Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Princess Maggie

Knight Warrior, Ethan - Ghost, Cora Mae

Witch, Autumn - Gypsy, Kathryn - Rogue from X Men, Sandra

Amy, Mark and Pumpkin tummy, (future - Amelia)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Camping At Christmas Meadows

All-Time Favorite Photo Of Camping With Children

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I like long walks,
especially when they are taken
by people who annoy me. ~Fred Allen

My grandmother started
walking five miles a day
when she was sixty.
She's ninety-five now,
and we don't know
where the hell she is. ~Ellen Degeneres

Halloweens Past

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If You're Looking For Literary Content - Go Away

I'm awash in a sea of flashing insights and downright idiocy. I think that's why I blog. Some of the things going through my mind:
How much I love my Aunt June.

I went to visit her with my mother the other day and she had some lovely peaches,

...and these lovely ladies have nice new scarves.
(without a sense of humor, we are nothing, right?)
{emailed to me today by fun friend, Linda}
...and as soon as I dared post this slightly provocative photo,
I thought, 'but you might offend someone.'
.....and then I thought,
"where no offense is intended, it is foolish to take any -
where offense IS intended, it is foolish to take any."
Does anyone know who said that?
It's quoted all over the place around here
(Salt Lake City, Utah).
...and then I thought about Amanda Palmer,
the daughter of a friend in Massachusetts.
She is an Indie Pop Star. She sang with Keith Lockhart
and the Boston Pops Orchestra
last New Year's Eve and is going to do it again this year.
She is 'OUT THERE'.....and I love her.

When she was a little girl, I accidentally shut her fingers in the sliding door of my VW bus. I'm so glad she can still play the piano and the ukulele. There is nothing more sickening than the wail of an innocent who has been hurt and you are the one responsible. She has a fabulous mother who comes from a very proper background (she was somewhat of a rebel herself so I'm sure she supported Amanda in all her artistic expressions). Amanda's  sister, Alyson, was my son, Todd's first girlfriend.

I alternate between the image I have of myself as a responsible mother/grandmother and someone who is also 'OUT THERE.' I think the real issue is - I have no impulse control. I have done things in performance that were spontaneous and funny and then I went home afterwards and thought, 'what the....?'  I wish I could totally have the confidence of Amanda Palmer, who knows who she is and is undeterred by what ANYONE thinks....but I have these voices in me....especially now that I'm old and supposedly demure and wise.

...and then I click John Ettorre's post and look up Frederick Seidel and find this poem:

...and then I remember the woman on Broadway with the beaming face, who was probably my age, but I thought of her as old back then in the '70's. She was more beautiful than terrible and obviously loved Manhattan and eating in that diner and I vowed I would be an old woman like her.

...and this reminds me of the 'old' woman I saw skiing who was also beaming and exclaiming, "Whee!" every time she made one of her slow not-so-great Stem Christy turns, ...and I vowed I would also be an old lady like her - though I admit I go around smiling a lot merely because I've seen pictures of me lately where I'm not smiling and I see the turkey neck and dangling jowls and I think, 'maybe that wiggle-waggle would tighten up if you smiled.'

...and then I think, 'you're too should adopt a refugee,'....but then I realize my limitations and decide to blog all of this instead, because blogging slows down my thoughts that rush around as fast as photons.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


From "Day Full of Gulls"
Day full of gulls, a storm of gulls,
wheel within wheel of caw and sweep,
never seeing enough of them,
how they tilt the air, and glide, and ebb.
Barry Spacks

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Consider This...

Bright Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America
By Barbara Ehrenreich

"This utterly original take on the American positive frame of mind traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. With the myth-busting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America's penchant for positive thinking: on a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out "negative" thoughts; on a national level, it's brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster."

"Unless you keep on saying that you believe in fairies, Tinker Bell will check out, and what's more, her sad demise will be your fault! Barbara Ehrenreich scores again for the independent-minded in resisting this drool and all those who wallow in it."
~Christopher Hitchens
complete review here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, 'you mean they forget?'" - Howard Ikemoto

granddaughter, Sandra's painting, age 4

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, After Dinner

"In the beginning came the secret word - but I digress. The word actually was no secret. It was laughter..." - Groucho Marx
"Paint as you like and die happy." Henry Miller

I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
Walt Whitman,  "Song of Myself"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bonneville Shoreline Hike

This we know.
all things are connected
like the blood
which unites one family....

Whatever befalls the earth,
befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life;
he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
he does to himself.
     -Ted Perry, inspired by Chief Seattle

Friday, October 16, 2009

Death and Truth

This is a wonderful book written from the perspective of 'death.'  It's supposedly for young adults, but I'm wondering about this classification because the content is so 'adult.' I bought it because a fellow blogger recommended it ( It got me thinking about the books I'd stolen. I can't remember the title of the first one because, years after the theft, I returned it to the library. The guilt was eating me up, mostly because I equate reading with being morally superior.

The second book I stole was "The Once And Future King." I borrowed it from a friend and I never bothered returning it. I feel really guilty about this one, because the friend is now dead (she died of breast cancer - this is another whole post - 14 women that I grew up with, within a one mile radius, have or had breast cancer - and that's just the ones I know about - 'downwind theories' anybody?).

The third (and I hope the last) book I stole was this one:

When I performed with Utah Opera's outreach program to the schools, we travelled to Hildale/Colorado City - home of the polygmists. This was a couple of years before they moved to their compound in Texas. We did a very cute operatic version of "Little Red Riding Hood." While I was in the teacher's lounge, I spotted this yearbook. After seeing so many children with braids and eyes on the sides of their heads, I knew I had to have this book. Here is the page with Allen Steed, who twenty years after this picture was taken, was married to his under-aged cousin in a ceremony performed by Warren Jeffs. Both were prosecuted, but I believe Allen is innocent, considering the inbreeding and his years of conditioning in the sect
(and besides, look at his face. He is in the middle, bottom row with glasses).

Allen at trial.
This breaks my heart,
but the statutory rape
of his cousin
is also wrenching.

Another book like "The Book Thief," written from an interesting perspective is "Living with the Truth." This is a book written by fellow blogger, Jim Murdoch ( Instead of death, his character gets to spend an infuriating two days with the personification of truth. You can buy this book here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Remember Sleeping In This Crib

I don't have an extraordinary memory - it's just that I slept in this crib until I was SIX! Our family was poor in the 40's and 50's and my two sisters and I shared a bedroom that was not much bigger than my entryway. My sisters slept in bunk beds a few feet away from me. They could reach out and touch me through the bars, and THEY DID. OFTEN.  Once, while I was taking a nap, my sisters rigged up a very elaborate Rube Goldberg kind of mechanism with string, cans and books - all perched on the edge of the chest of drawers. The string was tied to the doorknob and at the end of the contraption, a pair of dirty underpants dangled from a hanger inches away from my face. I must have been pretty young because I was still taking naps - oh maybe not, my mother kept me taking naps for a L...O...N...G...time because I was such a handful. She used to tie my arms and legs to the slats of the crib with nylon stockings (no wonder I have insomnia to this day)! When my sisters closed the door from outside the room, the books fell with a loud 'THUD,' the cans clattered and I woke up with dirty underpants on my face. Ah, memories - good times...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

...I am alone with the beating of my heart...LuiChi

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

David Whyte - Everything Is Waiting For You
photograph, Jerry Cook, Life Magazine 1955

Photos of Mom and me with our children

My Recital At Temple Square, Sept.14, 1990, To The Children, by Rachmaninoff, Jeffrey Price, piano

Monday, October 12, 2009


I don't remember why I chose to draw a clown.
Probably because I don't know how to draw mouths
and make-up covers up a lot
for clowns and others.
 I have no fear of clowns,
only the fear of being left at home
while everyone else goes to the circus.

pastel by Kathryn Schoenhals (Feigal), 1964,

clown copied from 'Painting Faces' art book

*Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns

Beautiful Autumn Weekend

I love my new digital camera. It was the cheapest model the store had - somehow I don't think I deserve a really great camera because I know NOTHING about photography. I have been using a disposable camera ever since I lost my 35mm on a bush-whacking hike. This is just an unusual ice cube that I couldn't resist shooting. It begins my beautiful weekend. There is such beauty all around.

What could be more beautiful than hearing the voices of school children singing, laughing and whooping with glee as you ride the lift to the top of Robert Redford's Sundance Resort?

Stewart Falls - not much water left

The back of Mt. Timpanogas
(why do they call it 'the back?' - it's prettier than the front?)

...the last droop of fall -

My son's family came to the cabin last weekend so I set out crayons, coloring books and a flannel book story, thinking about how cute and cozy it would be for the grandchildren to get crafty here.                                                                          

This weekend, I notice Kathryn and Sandra produced some masterpieces, but I can't find the crayons or the flannel book stories ANYWHERE. I look all over - they're nowhere to be found. I think, "Oh well, I'll just replace them."

When I'm getting ready to leave, I decide to put some mouse traps in the crawl space between the two bedrooms upstairs. Guess what I find?

Left to their own devices, kids do the craziest things! (can't you just picture them all hunched over in there, coloring by flashlight?)
The grandkids call this area the secret passageway because it has small, mysterious doors opening into both bedrooms (shoulda looked here first).