Green and grey you may I say

Two interesting finds in the June 15th issue of Library Journal:

"The Green Table"  VERDICT An essential purchase for any dance collection, this program will be a strong addition to any popular entertainment holdings as well; very highly recommended. The Joffrey Ballet's reconstruction of the Kurt Jooss ballet9780769750903 on DVD.

"Grey Gardens"  now available on Blu-Ray. The 1976 documentary about Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale in their crumbling mansion. First seen in the Sheldon Gallery theater with Nelson Potter's Aesthetics class. I've forgotten the theory of aesthetic distance, but the film lurks in my memory.

And just because, here is The Edge of My Life So Far, choreographed by Bruce Wood and danced unforgettably by Nycole Ray.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder



Including an Einstein Eisenia Fetida and a hit out of the park.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


If you liked The Hare With Amber Eyes

Memoir, history, charming characters, muttering spouses, committed horticulturalists, obsessive collectors, genteel experts, quirky watercolor illustrations all together make a delightful summer read. Having known an obsessive rose collector in my childhood adds to the fun.

Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside, by Andrea di Robilant; illustrated by Nina Fuga. Knopf 2014.

Di Robilant’s is a unique exploration of how human history often leaves its imprint in the most unexpected of places.
A quiet country pleasure.--Kirkus Reviews
Publisher's media info

Empress Josephine was so mad for roses that she persuaded Napoleon to let a British gardener pass through his naval blockade.--Wall Street Journal



If you still have not read The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal, I highly recommend it. Slow-going and worth every minute in gaining a new understanding of art history, Europe in the 20th Century, anti-Semitism, attention to detail, and memoir-writing. You will think of it often years later.

And don't forget The World is a Carpet, by Anna Badkhen. It will return to mind, too.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Perfume for a drought

Perhaps the only scent more beguiling than this oncoming thunderstorm would be eau de standing outside a lumber yard in a downpour. The cars on the street rumble whoosh splash, a slick silver sound.


© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


How are things in Glocca Morra?

My walking buds are off jiggity jigging around Ireland this week, visiting castles and kissing leprechauns under rainbows. The closest I can get is a rainy Sunday walk at Connemara Nature Preserve just north of my home. We all have our own pot-of-gold experiences, and I felt enriched by my little adventure.

Except for one jogger who was not Fred Astaire, I had the meadow to myself. And I will share my gold with you.

And where is Glocca Morra? How are things there? Please send a picture postcard.

Sunflower in a drizzle

Buffalo gourd blossoms vivid in the rain

Catching rainwater, a pot of gold!

This leprechaun defies identification

I love this golden beauty, but it doesn't seem to match my initial partridge pea ID. Please comment with your ideas.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder



Oh, no, I'm turning into my grandparents! Thanks to the wonders of Google Street View I can see the apartment building on East C Street where they lived in McCook, Nebraska. The building is still there, and looking just as unappealing as it did in the Sixties. The landlord's house is still next door with the brick fences we used to sit on to play cowboys on horses. There wasn't much to do inside the apartment except listen to Granddad's emphysemic coughing and Grandmother drumming her lilac painted fingernails on the dinette table. Once in awhile Granddad would let us rearrange the figures on the windowsill to amuse the people who walked on the sidewalk immediately beyond the glass. Not often, though, as it involved messing with uncooperative venetian blinds. He had a little old man sitting in a rocking chair, a little old woman in her own rocking chair, and a navajo hogan incense burner. Granddad would set the little old man and the little old woman together if he and Grandmother were getting along. If they were bickering Granddad put the figures at opposite ends of the sill. Like I said, there wasn't much to do. So now I've got these rabbits on the windowsill. They are not bickering, but some of them are singing a cappella. The snapshot I took when my grandparents visited us for Christmas 1964 is pretty scary, especially because I'd completely blocked those hideous dining room curtains from my memory with the bamboo blinds and that glass knickknack shelf above. 

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


A new blog endeavor

Please visit my new endeavor, To know a place: Oak Point Nature Preserve. Tracking the seasons and sightings through the year, I hope to create a searchable resource for nature lovers.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Love, Gramps

When my dad was finally ready to talk about his experiences in World War II, it was not to his children, but to his grandsons. He wanted them to know the facts, the history. Dad wanted my sons to know the horrors of war, and the foolishness of politicians. Long before he started yelling at Dubya on the nightly news, Dad put together this letter with photos for the boys who were at that time a first grader, a preschooler, and a toddler.

The 45th Infantry Museum was a favorite family outing during the short time we lived in Oklahoma.


Dad managed to hop up to sit on the hood of a jeep and break the folded-down windshield, so this was a true life cautionary tale.

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News editorial writer had similar thoughts this week between the D-Day anniversary and Father's Day.

And you of tender years

Can't know the fears that your elders grew by

And so please help them with your youth

They seek the truth before they can die
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder