a random thought from more than sixty years ago

I remember how patiently my father taught me how to tie my shoes. Someone had complained that my shoes were always untied, but this was just after I had started school, and while I had noticed that my shoelaces were tripping me, I did not know what to do about it. I asked my mother but she turned away in her usual sulk that threatened violence, so I asked my father, who readily showed me. To illustrate this random thought from more than sixty years ago, here are random fishes. Caption: Artistpiscis Rouge, by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018.

Sweet Fish

My father taught me how to fish, on family vacations up to the cold waters of northern Minnesota, land of a thousand lakes. My parents would rent a log cabin heated by a wood stove, under the fragrant pine trees along the lake, and fish every day for a week. My father and his mother, my mother, myself, and my two siblings would get up just before dawn, then all six of us would fit ourselves into a small wooden rowboat powered by an outboard motor, with our fishing gear tucked around us; fuel can, backup oars, first aid kit, live bait (quick, pretty, doomed minnows and sometimes fat, vigorous Night Crawler earthworms, also doomed), casting rods, and warmer jackets and hats for if the weathe

oooh to dance again

Contra Dance* is wonderful with any partner, man, woman, or child. I used to contra dance all night long, up and down from one end of the dance hall to the other, swirling along with the other ladies, from one strong, competent man’s arms to the next. Everyone was welcome. Sometimes someone would step out and dance display their particular skills, what fun! One woman could jump shoulder-high and land on her feet like a bird alight on a branch. Another swirled effortlessly round and round with the softest touch, a caress to each partner in turn. The men strutted their perfectly timed footwork to please the ladies, often in unison and then the floorboards resounded against their heels, t

Why science died in the sixties: and why we never went back to the moon

In my personal experience, the sixties were times of traditional expectations twisted up with new societal requirements. As I began my adult life in the second half of the twentieth century, I expected in the old way that I would marry a good, loving man, and we would begin a family; while simultaneously in the new way, I would work full-time outside the home in order to bring my wages back into our marriage, while simultaneously I would earn a graduate degree to maximize my earning potential (which formerly only wealthy women expected to do); and throughout it all I would be a good, loving wife to my good, loving husband. Although I realized that the first ten or twenty years of adulthood

a delicate flower of femininity

I woke up today with a deeper, husky voice. I do not know if this is a temporary vestige of my illness this past week, or some new and terrible permanent manifestation of being AGED. A deeper voice certainly does not make me a delicate flower of femininity. I do not know what it makes me, but I do not like it. :O Dear Reader, If you do not think this is funny, then you do not have a very well-developed sense of humor, which you are going to need when you yourself are AGED. Caption: Is My New Deep Voice From A Sore Throat Or More Trickery By Old Age abstract by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2018.

Ten Things I Would Do If I Were Twenty-Nine Instead of Sixty-Nine.

1. Instead of trying every weekend, I would try every day to find a life-mate, I would try even on days when I was tired from working. 2. I would try ten strategies, instead of the same strategy ten times. 3. I would choose my friends for their stability and kindness, instead of their attractive quirks. 4. Having more friends who could help me instead of allowing so many friends into my life so that I could help them would have been fairer to me. 5. Probably could have gone to a few more parties. 6. Should have spent more money on clothing, taken control of people’s perceptions of me. 7. Could have insisted on staying in my home state,

Fish Escape The Net.

I wish that I could escape this net of ill health. I still have not recovered from my long drive to Chicago and court hearing last week. I have been sleeping in and resting up. Tonight I tempted myself to overcome the pain and lethargy and sat up at my desktop computer for a creation session and voilà, Fish Escape The Net. The sound of rain while I worked was comforting. Later, at my bedside laptop computer, I continued binge-watching Big Brother Australia 2014 on YouTube.com. I would have liked to have gone there in person. The show was interesting if you are convalescing, but I would not want to spend another 56 hours that way, even with "massive" skipping ahead. I learned some Aussie

The Chicago I loved, has changed to the Chicago I fear.

News media report today that murder suspect Shomari Legghette was wearing body armor, had heroin, marijuana, and crack cocaine in his possession, and used a gun with an extended-capacity magazine when he shot Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer six times, murdering him “in a stairwell outside of the Thompson State of Illinois Center. Commander Bauer served with the Chicago Police Department for 32 years, and is survived by his wife and daughter.” I had lunch in the atrium of the Thompson State of Illinois Center a week ago, and it is catty-corner from the Daley Center where for over a year I have been filing case documents and appearing for court hearings on my late father’s nursing home n

A Plane Full Of Lawyers

On my most recent drive up to Chicago, just for a lark, I was listening to New Life Russian Radio, or maybe it was Vashe Radio (Your Radio). I do not know, it was all in Russian! I will never get to Russia in what is left of my life, which is a shame because I wanted very much to take the trans-Siberian railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok, to sit by a grimy train window as the strange and elusive Russian countryside flowed by, talk with random travelers from who knows where, drink black tea from a samovar, and eat hot baked Russian potatoes for weeks on end. I have always wondered what Caucasians in Russian are like. Those I have met here in America seem intelligent and comradely. Pun i


Today, again, I find it very difficult to do the things that I do not want to do, but that I must do. I made a bargain with myself, I allowed myself time to create this abstract, constrained by my own absorbing rules of shape and color, light and dark, and orientation, to find the art within, but the deal is a hard one. I have created the abstract, now I must do the irksome work. Caption: Abstraction Distraction Cubed, Annmarie Throckmorton 2018.

Revivification Sized For Lilliputians

Today is my birthday, I am sixty-nine years of age. Nitrostat (Nitroglycerin) is a coronary vasodilator, if you put it under your tongue at the onset of a heart attack, it might save your life. So, why oh why, would Pfizer, Inc. manufacture it in such a miniscule size that old, shaky fingers could easily drop it, and then old, blurry eyes might not be able to find it? This issue is as serious as a heart attack. Pfizer is one of the largest global pharmaceutical corporations. Who is Pfizer? Why did they make this pill so dysfunctionally tiny? I remember last year, waking up on the floor in front of my refrigerator with a bottle of Nitrostat spilled on the floor beside me. Did it save my

a gyro at Pinky’s

The last time that I was in Chicago, Illinois, I had a gyro at Pinky's in the atrium mall of the glass-fronted Thompson State of Illinois Center next to the Daley Center complex. It was tasty with real tahini sauce. I wanted to unwind and replenish after some turbulent court hearings before my long drive back to Bloomington, Illinois. But when I am out in public, like at that food court in front of Pinky’s, I notice scruffy, desperate-looking young men casing me. It feels like they want to rob me. I try to look alert and strong, but I am frighteningly aware that this is impossible for me. The police know it too because when they see the miscreants speculating around me, they move close

wintering over

When I took this photograph of icicles, I realized that last autumn I forgot to clean the nest litter from the wren houses hanging under my eves, and I worried that tiny vermin, mites, ticks, fleas, and other scavenger insects, might winter over there and pester the hatchlings that were sure to nest there in the spring. I peeked inside and startled both myself and the adult bird that had decided to winter over in its nest. It liked the nest litter just fine, any vermin were probably a tasty snack. Caption: Birdhouse With Icicles And Winter Wren Inside by Annmarie Throckmorton 2013.

Remembering balmy San Diego on a beautiful winter day in Bloomington.

San Diego, California is another beautiful city, but Bloomington, Illinois is fairer, especially in winter. I am warm inside, working at my computer, with a winter wonderland outside, listening to smooth jazz by Peter White, San Diego, the lilting kind of jazz that they play like a dream along the oceanfront. Yesterday, in the long line to the counter at the post office, I met a woman who still lives in San Diego, and we passed the time reminiscing. She too takes the various urban walks that I used to take with the group, Walkabout International-San Diego. The Walkabout guides always knew just the hidden place or unusual fact to please the group. https://www.meetup.com/Walkabout-int/ Pete

Covered With Snow

The last time that I took mother for a walk, she lagged behind and said she could not. I coaxed her saying, look, here are your favorite birds, cardinals, come see. No, no she said, so we sat on a bench, this bench. After she passed in late 2013, I took a winter walk alone, and there was our bench, covered with snow. Caption: The Bench Where Mother and I Sat Last Autumn Is Covered With Snow by Annmarie Throckmorton 2013.


A hibernaculum is a winter sanctuary, mine is a cool retreat into calm emotions, a cozy mental den where my dreams are sweet and simple. Yesterday we had mild winter weather. Night snow dusted the ground on nival grasses above and algid bulbs below, all readying themselves for the great Spring thrust upward, which will come again this year as it comes every year. This was no frore, frozen, frosty day, only light snow fell, pretty as a glitter postcard, promising to melt. If there were to be gelid trickery, the roads to become slick and cold with ice, let it happen now, before my next trudging trip to chilly Chicago. Yes, I have been playing in the “winter” section of the dictionary this mo

And all the while to rest...

Today is Sunday, a day of rest, a time to put aside my tasks. Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version of the Bible 3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a tim

2018 court hearing/travel packing list

My late father’s lawsuit against his nursing home required me to make a midwinter drive to Chicago earlier this week. Thank goodness the weather was clear for this trip from end-to-end the length of Illinois. For historical purposes, this is the packing list that one old lady (me) made for this unescorted daytrip, in the second decade of the twenty-first century. XD 2018 Court Hearing/travel packing list In the days just prior to trip. put gas in car, and check car. check clothes, buy whatever needed. check electronic equipment, laptop, phones, tablet, extension cord. buy snacks for trip, food along the way is three to five times as expensive, and often not what I want. Ozium air sanitize

Flying Saucers Over Chicago

I had intended to take an illustrative photograph of typical Chicago, Illinois showing the old and the new, the demolition in the foreground and the Sears/Willis Tower with its surreal antennas in the background. This 110-story, 1,450-foot skyscraper, which opened in 1973, is the second tallest building in the United States. I toured it about fifty years ago when I chose Chicago as the first big city that I would explore. Now, looking up in the sky on this Friday of February 2, 2018, the hotel lobby lights reflected in the window to give the illusion of four flying saucers hovering in the sky above Chicago. This photograph is not manipulated in any way, it is as the camera recorded it.

Is this a coprolite?

When I was young I remember being disgusted AND appalled by a boyfriend’s collection of smallish coprolites. Eeew. Then at the other end of life I acquired this intriguingly striated rock, I just picked it up off of the earth. Well, it is huge and it looks like elephant poop (compare at http://www.malawihf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/olifantenpoep.jpg), but it is fossilized so I wonder if I have acquired a woolly mammoth coprolite? Woolly mammoths lived from a quarter of a million years ago, until about 10,000 years ago in North America. I am flummoxed at how much I have changed over the course of my life, that I am delighted to possess this geological marvel. Caption: Is this a copr

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