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Showing posts from December, 2009

Writing Cheerfully on the Web

We're number six! We're number six!

The anthology of Quaker bloggers, Writing Cheerfully on the Web (featuring, among others, yours truly!) made the top ten best-sellers this year at Quaker Books!

OK. Technically, that's way too many exclamation points. I would never let one of my writing students get away with that many exclamation points in a row.

But we're excited around here, and we don't care who knows it! And, if you haven't done so already, how about celebrating the New Year with us by picking up a copy of this (Extreme Bias Alert!) massively magnificent book?

"Topical and thought provoking writing from all the best Quaker Bloggers." (And I quote.)

We're number six! w00t!

Fire in the Webs

It's still quite difficult to blog; I'm used to sitting down for two or three hours when the writing fit is on me, and my spine objects to anything over ten minutes. So I'll keep this short and sweet...

I celebrated my Solstice with a day off from my job--and I'm so glad I am openly requesting religious holidays at last. On my day off, I watched the sun come up through the line of white pines at the edge of the former pasture (now woodlot) behind our house. Then I put on hiking boots with cleats, and using a ski pole in lieu of my cane, I made the rounds of our quince and apple trees, with a libation of hard cider.

That afternoon, I wandered three miles along woods roads and the ridge path, out to the pine tree with the bee hive in it. I didn't offer the bees anything--as far as I could see or hear, they were all asleep--but as I turned to hike home again, I noticed the oddest thing:

Spiderwebs.

It was perhaps twenty degrees outside, with brilliant sun, warm aga…

Season of the Deer

The nearness of Yule has a different feel to it this year, our first year living by the woods again.

Since my back injury, I have spent a lot of time walking in those woods, alone, or with Peter and our dogs. Pain pills help; the heating pad and orthopedic chair help more; however, the only thing that really banishes the pain for any length of time is walking, particularly outdoors. I love the woods and walking in any case, but I've really been putting on the miles this year.

One thing I figured out a couple of weeks ago, when I found a spent shell along the trail, is that I'm not alone in these woods even when I am unaccompanied. It's hunting season, and these woods are wild enough and deep enough that they are in regular use by hunters.

On a practical level, that means that I'm back to wearing special Pagan garb again: in this case, a blaze orange women's hunting vest. (It has marvelous pockets, intended for game birds, which are waterproof and easy to clean:…

Waylaid by a Dragon

Have you ever noticed how much the shape of a human spine resembles a dragon, with the head at the base of the spine, and the tail at the neck?

I have. I have had reason to.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may be wondering: what happened to it?

The Dragon happened to it, in the form of a post-influenza inflammation of either the sacroiliac joint or the L5 S1 disc, depending on which doctor you prefer to ask. And while I have had my share of back pain in the past, this is really my first encounter with chronic and serious pain.

I have not been able to sit for more than a few minutes at a time for about a month now.

When I sit still, or try to sleep more than a few hours, The Dragon gets me, with fiery breath and claws, and sharp electric teeth, up and down my leg from ankle to hip. I have come to dread my inner Dragon, my spine that will not tolerate stillness or rest.

I have been back at work for a little more than a week, but the 25-minute commute is often a real …