Living the Dream!

I have a few more photos to regale you with, these are from inside the house and they focus more on — the cats!

However, loyal readers of this lofty blog will no doubt recognize that  the really old-looking radio is actually a brand new record player (which I love, gang!! You will recall an earlier post that explained it not only plays records, but is an AM-FM radio, CD player, cassette player and also plays MP3 files!).

Daddycakes relaxing in the dining room.

And that the new “Baxton Studio Sorrento Mid-Century Retro Modern Faux Leather Upholstered Wooden Lounge Chair, Brown ” is known more affectionately as “my new chair.”

Weenie under the new chair.

This next photo has little to do with any previous posts. It is just a photo of the critters having breakfast!

Daddycakes, Lucy McGoose, Tommygirl, Doris-the-Exploress, Huckleberry, Francis, Weenie, and Scottie Fitzgerald McPhee (in the center)!

My flowers (also from a recent post, see below somewhere) are just exploding in a  riot of color, gang. I can’t believe how well they’re doing. It’s a just a few flower boxes full of impatiens, petunias, and begonias that I planted on Memorial Day, but boy do they add a splash of life.

Yesterday morning, I was drinking a cup of coffee and standing in front of the open screen door, when a teenage boy and his mom walked past my side porch (you’ll no doubt recall that my house is really close to the sidewalk around here and that when neighbors pass by, they are, for all intents and purposes, walking directly inside my house ).  At the same moment that I saw them and said, “Hi”, I heard both of them say, “Beautiful, just beautiful.”

No, they were not talking about me, they were talking about the flowers blooming.

When I lived at the previous house, I had 11 cultivated flower beds, along with a bunch of window boxes full of flowers and some hanging flower baskets. Here, it’s just a handful of flowers, by comparison. But you never know what is going to brighten up a stranger’s day, do you, folks? Their reaction really took me by surprise.  In a good way.

All right, well. I have a lot of writing and editing to do around here for the next several days, so I have to get at it. Smashwords informed me this week that an eBook I published a century ago (The Muse Revisited, Volume One) indicated that it was in fact only one volume in a series and they were curious where the rest of the series was, and that it had to be re-categorized in the “Series” section, posthaste. And so it occurred to me that Volumes Two & Three really should have been published ages ago. They’re just collections of previously published stories, hence it’s really sort of a no-brainer type of project. So I’m trying to get those books up and published in the next few days.

Then, I am totally re-writing the Miracle Cats. This is the mystery series that I’m writing and that my friend, Val in Brooklyn, is illustrating. We began the project close to 3 years ago, when suddenly everyone in her family began dying and then a couple of my cats and a few of her cats, died, too, and then I moved, twice, so we were just not able to emotionally revisit the whole project until now.

But, revisit it we are, in fact, doing. And it’s become almost a whole new book. So that’s really cool.

Oh, before I close this post, I wanted to say that I’ve been reading a bit of history about this village I now live in here in the Hinterlands and I discovered that the railroad train that passes –yes– practically inside my house, was built in 1855, and that it runs on “a diagonal through the town.” Yes, that would be the very same railroad train! It was sort of cool to know that the train has been passing by this very house for 46 years before the house was even built. Knowing that made me feel really connected to all the people who have ever lived here before me in the last 117 years. I can’t tell you how much I love this place; the house and the old town.  It just keeps getting better and better.

The train! As seen from the kitchen porch.

All righty! As always, thanks for visiting, gang. See ya!

12 thoughts on “Living the Dream!”

  1. Nice to know that somebody out there is still using the good old analogue cassettes to listen to their music. 🙂 Nice photos by the way. Mr Midnight and Sir Winston were particularly impressed with your cat family. It´s quite cool to have a train go past your kitchen window. I think such a thing would frighten the life out of my Mr Midnight and Sir Winston.

  2. So happy for you re. town and home! But, to be honest, I’m reacting with, “Stop it, already!” … because I grew up in a pretty idyllic (tho a bit lonely sometimes) rural setting. Also lived in such a setting a few years as an adult much later. So it’s more than just the idealism, I’ve experienced it. I know other settings have their perks, but “you can’t take the country out of the boy.”

    1. If I hadn’t already grown up in Cleveland and then lived for nearly 30 years in New York City, I might feel really restless out here in the country. But it seems really perfect for this time of my life! Thanks, Howard. 🙂

      1. So great! On re-reading my comment, I’m not sure if it came across the opposite of what I meant. By “Stop it” I meant because it was arousing my love of rural (or very small town) living. Actually, my suburban but near-rural setting now is o.k., but I’d still prefer a bit more quietness and fewer neighbors, etc.

      1. Hi Marilyn, No, I don’t think I’ve posted about Eisenman, though I have some familiarity with him and his work. I somehow got the James book several years ago and read a fair portion of it. I never deemed it worthy to either finish or do a review on. From all I’ve gathered, Eisenman was standing alone in his main conclusions (as below). As to the book itself, it is definitely not well written nor organized, so that in itself does not speak well of his credibility. He may have other better works… not sure.

        Still, I think the James book does have SOME scholarly value (from distant recollection), but from both direct reading and the evaluation of many scholars, I don’t think his main thesis (or related theses) holds up, esp. to ID “the Righteous Teacher” with Jesus. I’m trusting the broad scholarly consensus (across various spectra) that nothing in the Dead Sea Scrolls refers to or relates directly to either Jesus or James.

        Whatever connection the Qumran community and their writings have with Jesus and his initial followers seems to be only quite indirect. There is a good chance, seems from my fairly limited study, that the community was one branch of Essenes, or closely related. Jesus may have had some Essene study or connection, but not as a “member”, most likely, and no indication he’d visited or been supportive of the Qumran folks. Similarly with John the Baptist, tho his association with or even as an Essene is somewhat more likely. That said, I also see good evidence that the Gospels greatly exaggerate (or invent) much of the association and especially the “handoff” of John the Baptist to Jesus.

      2. I’m reading the book now, and actually the book is not proposing that Jesus was the righteous teacher, but that it was more likely that James was. The book is a look at the Messianic Movement beginning in the Maccabean era up to just prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD, and how James was the leader of the Jesus Movement until he was executed in 62 AD (as Paul mentions in his letters), and how/why the Jesus Movement became Pauline Christianity afterward the fall of Jerusalem because of Paul’s being a Roman citizen and having ties with Rome. I think it’s a fascinating book! There are many more scholars these days re-examining the role of James in the early Jesus Movement. Of course, I am speaking historically, not theologically.

      3. Oops… that was a bad mis-remembering on my part! Glad you corrected it. My only (inadequate) excuse is how long ago I was reading some of it. I can’t even recall about how much of it I did read, though a significant part. As to not finishing, I think I was having trouble with the detail and repetition (I do think even his “fans” found the book poorly organized/structured… seemingly not edited, or only very lightly). Please let me know if you find out more about how his. If I had time to go back to it now, my interest might be higher, having now much more study behind me, of both DSS (Qumran) and relevant Xn origins material, which I began a renewed focus on, much deeper, sometime around when I was reading Eisenman.

        Frankly, I don’t know how, without putting in more time, to assess Eisenman’s competence and reliability as a scholar. I wouldn’t let the fact he stands virtually alone in his thesis be the sole factor, and even if his thesis is wrong (which I strongly suspect), he can contribute a LOT, but it’d help to know more about his methodology, his biases, etc.

        A similar case, in which I’ve spent more time, doing a 2nd read of his audacious book, is Alvard Ellegard: “Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ”. (He doesn’t mean exactly 100 years, but multiple generations, as to when Jesus actually lived.) I couldn’t recall if/where Ellegard cites or draws from Eisenman, so I just did find 2 of his sole-authorship books and one co-authored in Ellegard’s bib. I don’t think he cited him much or developed his thesis re. James. However, it’s a book YOU (particularly) should read if you’ve not. Perhaps like Eisenman, I didn’t find I could yet buy his main thesis (tho am still open to the possibility of either it or something related). However, I believe Ellegard HAS brought out important and interesting observations that I’ve found little-dealt-with in Xn origins lit, and which raise significant scholarly questions/issues that do need further elucidation.

        This is from my obviously VERY limited memory of Eisenman’s points and their support, but I think an important juncture point: IF his equation of James and the Teacher of Righteousness were to be correct, I’m wondering if he’d not have to rely on the extension of Ellegard’s dating re. Jesus, to placing James back around 100 years also. And that would seem impossible given the solid dating of Paul’s genuine letters and their ref. to James, along with the probably historical aspects of Acts (such as the “Jeru. Council” or something like that around 49 CE, etc.).

        Relative to all that, I am also about finished with a review (for my blog) of a 2005 book I’d somehow missed: “The Reluctant Parting” by Julie Galambush. It is not “radical” in the same areas as the other 2, but also “rings the changes” on the typical or “received” view of earliest Xnty, as to the manner and timing of the gradual split between Judaism and the sect of Jesus followers which eventually became a separate religion. It is apparently another example of just how hard it is to get broad support/readership and honest scholarly response (either support or responsible, respectful challenge) when one is “coloring outside the lines”.

      4. I’m not deep enough into the book to know yet what Eisenman concludes about Jesus. I’m guessing he comes to the conclusion that many have today: that he was a revolutionary, a human, and that a whole lot changed once he was “deified” by Hellnistic followers of Paul. However, I’m reading the book because I am so interested in James, and through him, his martyrdom, his marginalization in the NT — to learn from those things what Jesus might have really been teaching before Pauline Christianity “re-wrote” it, so to speak. I’m not super interested in the DSS. I’m more drawn to the gospels of the Nag Hammadi library. But having been raised by an adoptive Jewish family (very religious), I find what Eisenman has to say about the huge difference between the Masseanic communities like Qumran and the Jesus Movement and the Zealots, and then what ultimately became modern Judaism after the fall of Jerusalem — for me, he feels spot on, His theories make sense and explain so much about the Jews. So, again to me, I find what he presents about James (apart from the Qumran community), to be quite compelling. But I still have a long way to go. Re: Jesus, I am quite willing to consider him as a man, who had a life, and the whole Talpiot Tomb scenario. However, I still regard him as much, much more than that. Not the more “pagan-themed” supernatural Christ. But I do think that he was more than just a “man,” I try to be open minded but still have trouble with theories that minimize him. Not saying that the book you’re talking about is like this! I’m just saying that in general. 🙂

      5. Interesting! Thanks for the added background and your perspective. Watch for my review, soon, of “The Reluctant Parting”, esp. given your “mixed” upbringing (it could go up now, but I wanted some more specifics of the vast content that’s really good… maybe next couple days).

        I’m probably similarly amenable to Eisenman’s general viewpoint and analysis re. James (and I recall that from what I did read). Either just before or just after, I’d read some of the key work (to me) of another scholar you must put on your list, if you’ve not read him (re. Zealots, the impact of the fall of Jeru., etc.): SGF Brandon… particularly “The Fall of Jerusalem and the Christian Church” and “Jesus and the Zealots” (in which he MAY overstate his case, but valuable none-the-less). I think I reviewed one or both on my blog, but hurrying so won’t check and provide links right now.

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