Saturday, January 12, 2013

Astronomers 3; KD cont'd; Yet another plug; Good word; Good dog


Some years ago
we purchased these three kings
with non-frankincensian and non-myrhhian
'gold' at Plowshares in Waukesha

They were cut of recycled oil drums
in Haiti
and are luminaires;
that is, you put candles in little sockets
and burn them backwards
so that the journeying astronomers
(William says they were astronomers)
would be candle-lit from behind

casting mystical illumination
in a darkened room (read: world)

Now, at this moment in the liturgical calendar
the three travelers hold forth
perched on the center window member
at the Odd Fellows lodge hall
where we live and work

but last Sunday, as per gathering custom,
they were on the altar
of the 1838 First Congregational Church
and our new minister pronounced over them
the good news of remarkable beholdings

and the Haitian artists did a good thing
ultimately for us Dixes, and beyond....

[Footnote:  in the upper picture, see the china plate on the wall
to the left of the floor lamp.  It is of the church.  Several people
have these 'Congo' plates....]


KD, Cont'd

Becoming thoroughly integrated into the hall of Odd Fellows
our new cat has become a true help-mate in addition
to being a windowsill bird chaser and swirling toilet bowl watcher.

KD offers us a 3rd entity to talk to.
Dee discusses kitchen recipes with her
and ocasionally gets the cat's taste buds involved;
I bounce ideas off her in my writings
and often rely on her 'take' on certain things.

Pictured above KD sits on my wheel chair arm
and scans the computer screen for errors.

KD was a pre-owned cat.  The Humane Society told us in full disclosure that 
she had been adopted by someone who found out after a month that she
was allergic to her cat dander, and the brief owner had to bring her back to the shelter.

That is how the name KD was established for our cat, by another owner
who had to give her up. 'Katydid' was the full name but we shortened it to KD.

What we did not get told - and we did not ask - was what sort of home  
KD resided in during that previous trial span.  KD is given to using a lingo, a vernacular
that did not come from us.

As an example, she uttered "Give Me FIVE!" when I went to shake her paw.
See above.

Then recently she saw he staring at her and she
exclaimed, "Hey, are you lookin' at ME?
Are you (expletive) lookin' at ME?"
As though she wanted to make something of it.

She was privately reposing on claw-scratching device where she doesn't like to be disturbed.


We have an old shoe brush
but so far no cat brush
We had one for Mona
but it went when we retired her effects
on her demise, her departure after 20 years of life
 headed for happier hunting grounds

So we were polishing our shoes
ahead of going to the Congo
in front of the fire
and KD made signs that she
wanted to be brushed 
with the shoe brush
which is indeed 100 % genuine horse hair

KD Cat took kindly to the horse hair brushing
so maybe we won't have to buy
a cat brush.

KD sits on piano behind the John Tyson double-breasted pot.
From there she frequently hunts bird-sightings in the near-by window.
That's what she was doing when the shutter clicked.
Note dialated eyes.

John Tyson was an art professor under Wis Guthrie in the art department
at Carroll College.  John made this pot somewhere around 1965.
It has traveled with the Raccoon roottage ever since.


KD's presence is often announced when I'm working at the computer - which rests
on a Singer Sewing Machine - by a gentle walking against my legs, and then I
reach down as shown here and stroke her ears and head.  She often takes up
a perch as illustrated at the start of this series above, to contribute companionship,
 aid and comfort to me as well as occasional critiques.........

Yet another plug for The Cup: 

Three members of WHS class of 1954

Certain conspirators helping plan the 2014 60th high school reunion
choose a meeting site with high electricity in order to jolt their old bones and synapses.
Here, retired plastics magnate Jack Hill of Elm Grove, humanist and 
grandmother Sally von Briesen of Shorewood, and yours truly of downtown
Waukesha get a head-start on their reunion planning.

At the meeting place, downtown's The Steaming Cup,
special tea libations are test-brewed using ranks of small teapots
and wee cups with which owner Kerry Mackay periodically educates
his staff in tasting sessions such as we watched from a table nearby
a week ago.
Taking a surreptitious snapshot with our semi-concealed LC cell cam,
we blurrily recorded what we were seeing without alarming the subjects
or the patrons,  also busy sipping their various imbibements.

Delicious soups and sandwiches, bakery, coffees robust; chocolate drinks 
laced with optional  whipped cream; teas from
Kerry's many large storage tins which are viewable on honest shelves behind the counter;
even special gourmet sodas kept in a cooler near the cash register.
(We drink their Hank's root beer, an obscure brand to us but outstanding over ice!)

Teas, well stocked in many varieties are jolly good!


Add this word
if it isn't already in your vocabulary:
~ Verisimilitude ~

It came up again
in our current re-read of Somerset Maugham's
great book
The Razor's Edge.

Verisimilitude came up on page 8 of the introduction to the book,  which has gotten dog-eared
in the many pack ups and moves it has been through, and the avidly clutching handling the book
has received over the years we have owned it.

Verisimilitude is defined for you via this link.

The Raccoon News is big on 'verisimilitude-ty', for we frequently test theories on the Scales of Truth.

Writer Norb Blei of Ellison Bay WI has recently re-recommended Maugham to his readers, and as we
subscribe to Blei's blogs, we were spurred once again to search out our favorite Maugham book.
See Blei:

And this caused us to drop Norb a post card.  He likes to get post cards:


The last thing this week:




John says:  This is one reason why I absolutely love those Labs!