About Cyndi the BookChick

Available on a “need to know” basis. Information requests should be submitted no less than 30 days in advance and in triplicate. Some restrictions apply. Please see small print for complete rules and regulations. Void in the state of Nebraska. No rain checks, refunds or exchanges. Some things you need to know about me: I have big photographic dreams and a shoe string budget. My indoor studio consists of a kitchen floor, a piece of glass, a flash light and some parchment paper on most days. My outdoor studio is anywhere I can go with my camera. My equipment, you ask? Nikon d3200 , a couple of lenses, a couple of screw mount lenses, a tripod, a camera bag, Photoshop CS 5 Design Premium on an Acer laptop and Photoshop CS4 Master Collection on an Acer desktop. Back in the closet are two Pentax 35mm Superprograms, 4 lenses that fit them, a Canon 35mm, flash units, and old B/W developing equipment. I have severe camera envy when I see the equipment lists of the bloggers I follow...

self-evident half truths

i wasn’t whole

i wasn’t unstarted

i was half-way

sometimes things happen, and people come into your life, ever so briefly, like a match struck and out as quickly.  those people, brief though they are in your life, help to put the broken pieces together, and go on their way.  i am happy, no, thankful, for those people.  remembered with some fondness, grateful for what they left behind.

i recently slipped my chains.

i am more than half-way

i am almost all of the way there

Krider Gardens February 20, 2017

Fruit Don’t Fall Far

From Daddy sprung my inborn ribaldry.
His crudeness destined me to be the same.
A seedlet, flowered from a shitty heap,
I came, the crowning glory of his aim.
From Mother I inherited ennui,
The leg irons of the queendom I once rattled.
But I won’t let such chains imprison me.
And there is just no telling what this brat’ll…!
This marriage thing? We snub our nose at it.
What’s pearl turns piss, what’s classy breeds what’s smutty.
But like it? Lump it? Neither’s exigent.
And I’m the end result of all that fucking.
Do what you will! This world’s your oyster, Pet.
But be forewarned. The sea might drown you yet.
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Ice

December is generally a difficult month.  This December has been no different,  and perhaps more so.  The past couple of weeks have brought much introspection, most of it painful.

I am a woman well used to being alone.  I was alone for many years, through college, and after while traveling with work, helping to open retail stores. Even during my marriage, I was alone, almost from the start.  I used solitude to escape the pain of those years.  In the ensuing years, I have continued with my solitude.  I am not sure if it is self-imposed at this point, or if there is a deficient quality in me, which seems to be the most plausible explanation.  I have flirted with relationships, including my marriage. None has succeeded, including a recent foray that left me so wounded that I do not think I will venture out again.

I will continue with my solitude, striking out with my camera, and immersing myself in art.  I play at being happy, and laugh when I am supposed to.  I believe my heart is turning to ice.

Ice

Lorelai ~ Robin Pecknold

So guess I got old
I was like trash on the sidewalk
I guess I knew why
Often it’s hard to just sweet talk

I was old news to you then
Old news, old news to you then

You, you were like glue
Holding each of us together
I slept through July
While you made lines in the heather

I was old news to you then
Old news, old news to you then

Fell for the ruse with you then
Old news, old news to you then

And I still see you when I try to sleep
I see the garden, the tower, the street
Call out to nobody, call out to me
Chip on the shoulder, the dime in the teeth

Now I can see how
We were like dust on the window
Not much, not a lot
Everything’s stolen or borrowed

I was old news to you then
Old news, old news to you then

Whom I Love

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This is my girl, whom I love.  She is frustrating, stubborn, self-centered, dramatic, introverted, artistic, athletic, coltish, playful, loving, beautiful, talented, and mine.

I love her beyond words.  She fills my life.

She Walks in Beauty, Like the Night

Lord Byron 1788-1824)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

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Into Winter

Krider Gardens

Just into winter I will submit a bit of color from the summer months.  We all know I like flowers.  I like them far too much as subjects.

Krider Gardens

The scrumptious color, the sensual shape of the petal, the golden light of late afternoon all make them an irresistible target.

Krider Gardens

Krider Gardens

To Summer

William Blake

O thou who passest thro’ our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched’st here thy goldent tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o’er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.

Our bards are fam’d who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.

Krider Gardens

Non-Disconnect

Bonneyville Winter 2016

I spent the day Sunday out in the cold.  I needed to find the beauty around me.  It has been a difficult couple of weeks, however there has been major resolution to what was bothering me.   It is a good time in my life. I find myself looking forward to the further beauty of the winter.  Blow, winter winds, blow.

Bonneyville Winter 2016

Winter Song

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, who would be sad tho’ the sky be a-graying,
And meadow and woodlands are empty and bare;
For softly and merrily now there come playing,
The little white birds thro’ the winter-kissed air.

 

The squirrel’s enjoying the rest of the thrifty,
He munches his store in the old hollow tree;
Tho’ cold is the blast and the snow-flakes are drifty
He fears the white flock not a whit more than we.

 

Then heigho for the flying snow!
Over the whitened roads we go,
With pulses that tingle,
And sleigh-bells a-jingle
For winter’s white birds here’s a cheery heigho!

 

December is a hard season

Bonneyville Winter 2016

December is an entire season for me, and is a difficult season. Not because of the cold we endure in the northern climes. Not because of the unreasonable holiday expectations we, as well as others, foist upon ourselves. Not because of the shortened hours of daylight. December is my season of loss.
As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the reminder of the fall onto a hard floor. The fall was caused by messy children, and a parent who had no desire to parent those children. My dad fell, causing a small hernia to strangulate.
In the end of the first week of December: the surgery. All went well. He was laughing with us, despite the pain killers and the large surgical wounds. When I entered his hospital room, he was sitting up in a chair, doing his ever present crossword puzzles, and wondering when he could leave so he could “have a cigarette.” He was released, and all was well.
In the end of the second week of December, pain wracked my dad’s thin body. The surgeon had nicked his bowel in the initial surgery, and his blood was full of waste and poison. I received the call to come to the hospital. Pale, sweating, and groaning, he still found a way to joke with the nurses. He was so thirsty, and could only wet his mouth with what he called his “suckers,” lime green sponges on sticks. We dipped them into water and swabbed his mouth for him. I try not to think about Dad’s green “suckers;” they never fail to freshen the grief. That was the last time I had anything resembling a cognisant conversation with my dad. He was put into a medically induced coma to help with the pain that wracked his entire body, from the poison in his blood. From this point on, time is jumbled.
My dad was put into the ICU, a respirator helping him to breath, tubes everywhere. His heart rate slowed, his blood pressure continued to drop. A heart specialist was called in. Nothing helped. I remember standing in the ICU holding my mother as she sobbed, “What am I going to do without him?” over and over. Family started to arrive from all over the US and from other countries. I remember being angry with a few of them because they were smiling at each other in reunion, while my dad was dying.
His vitals went lower and lower, and eventually his BP was at 42/27, his pulse so slow. My mother, my aunt Bonnie, and I sat by his side. My brother hadn’t arrived yet, and my sister, who couldn’t deal with it, had to leave the room. I remember pulling a chair up to my dad’s side and laying my head on his left arm, swelled up like Popeye’s arm, and I simply started praying. I prayed hour after hour, never leaving his side. And his vitals went up slowly. For 20 hours, I sat by his side, leaving only once to use a restroom. I remember the sound of the heart monitor, the respirator, small beeps, and the rest of the silence around us. Mom came, at one point, to Dad’s other side and cupped his cheek, and told him she loved him. He somehow opened his eyes and looked up at her, a tear rolling down his cheek.
My brother made it in at around 6 (?) am and collapsed in the doorway. I still sat at Dad’s side, never breaking touch with him. And we continued to watch his vital signs slowly rise. At 9 am, he was making miraculous strides, and I finally left his side to go to my parent’s home to sleep for a few hours.
For the following days, we each spent our free time in the ICU with Dad. I would walk in on the quiet nights, my steps muffled in the snow, and sit in the dark with him, talking to him , while the respirator continued to breathe for him. Christmas approached, and we were simply happy to have him alive. The doctors were satisfied with his progress and the plan was made to remove the respirator on December 27th. I went to work that day, and my sister sat with my mother in the hospital as they awaited the doctors.
The phone rang at my store, and it was hospital telling me that I needed to come. When I got there from South Bend, my mother was sitting at Dad’s side moaning, while my sister sat in shock. When I touched his arm, it was so cool to the touch. I still remember how it felt. His heart had basically exploded from the trauma, and he was gone. Simply gone.
I dreamed about Dad sporadically, disjointed, strange dreams, until he said good bye to me one night in one of those “real dreams,” the ones that actually make sense. Now, I just have the memories of standing on his feet while he danced with me, of him driving me all around town one Halloween so I could go trick or treating in the rain, of him telling me why it thundered so that I wouldn’t be scared, of him chasing us around the house with his smellly socks, of his idiomatic phrases, his laugh, and his hugs and kisses.
December is a hard season for me, and everything is amplified.

Sizably Small and Slightly Sweeping

Dusty, covered with a shroud, it sat there alone, but not forgotten.  Everyone wanted it, craved it, and lusted for it.  It was not fame, fortune, or money.  It was not even chocolate, or tacos. This particular speculum was shrouded for very good reason, and to queue the not so shadowy foreshadowing, it was about to be even less prone to oblivion.

Amy Anderpaulous had a mission.  It was not an ordinary mission, because Amy Anderpaulous was not ordinary.  She was quite extraordinary.  From her very straight and curly hair, to her very small and sizable feet, her entire character was ineffable, so please kind reader, do not ask for an accounting of Amy Anderpaulous, and just concentrate on the mission that was currently wrinkling her incredibly smooth brow. Amy was no stranger to shadowy speculums, having been in search of them for the majority of her adult life.  She had entered into the family business, and searching for nebulous artifacts was her “bread and butter,” so to speak.

Amy’s small but sizable feet moved ever so softly, ever so quietly over the crunchy leaf strewn walk that led to her employer’s rather ostentatious and particularly gothic, and garish, mansion.  Grasping the huge brass doorknocker, she made her presence known, and when the excessively stereotypical butler opened the door to inquire as to who was present, she swept around his obsequiously hunched form,  her daintily shod trotter click clacking along the marble floors. “Lucille!” she shouted, noisily calling with her carefully quiet voice.

Her answer came from the bowels of the cavernous dining room, “You know you are not to call me Lucille, Anderpaulous.”  Amy ignored the censure in Mrs. Grimhelde’s voice, and ignored the quaking in her stalwart heart, “The Recherché.  I have located it.”

Mrs. Grimhelde could barely contain her cackle of joy, “My speculum!  The jewel to my collection! Where is it, and why do you not have it with you, you wretched clodpoll?”

Amy, ill concealing the distaste in her respective tone for the hideous crone, could barely choke out the words she knew she had to reveal, “The Recherché, the very speculum you seek, is not as easily procured as you would wish.  It is has a very determined guard, the likes of which I have never seen.  And they are all diverse in talent, which has given me little luck in acquiring an item of such rare obscurity.”  She paused to show Mrs. Grimhelde a large contusion on the upper ulna region of her left arm, “There is a particularly vicious one who is deft with his axe.  I was lucky to come away with my arm intact.”

Her employer snarled at her, “Get my speculum for me!  I do not care the cost, not even for that of your measly arm.”

Amy, turning on a smart heel, stalked from the room, throwing open the double doors and nearly toppling the butler who happened to be stationed at the door with an empty glass in hand. He tottered after her, still hunched at the waist, “Miss! Miss!” Amy stopped at the heavy oaken entry door and turned to look at him with one suspiciously “on fleek” eyebrow raised in query.  His tremulous voice squeaked out, “I know of the guards of whom you speak, and they have one major deficiency that will gain you entrance.  But I hesitate to tell you.”

Grasping the butler with her softly firm phalanges, she demanded an answer.

He quaked as he revealed a secret so devastating, that had Grimhelde been party to it, not only Amy’s measly arm would be at risk, but also rapidly beating heart in her amply compact chest.  Leaving the door wide open as she staggered from the gaudy mansion, her sizably small feet now shuffled in a gracefully clumsy fashion.  She knew what she had to do.

Hours later, Amy Anderpaulous arrived at a deceptively small ranch style home located in a wooded subdivision 244 miles northeast of the heretofore-unnamed large city inhabited by her employer. In her right hand, she carried a small red bow, and in her left, a small covered box.  She did not stealthily steal to the entry, or the window.  She timidly and boldly walked to the door and pressed the doorbell.  The door was flung open by her axe wielding nemesis, an older man with wildly tufted gray hair. He raised the axe to her, “You come for more, you stinking private eye!”

Amy simply handed him the red bow and the box, then stood and stared him with her sharply myopic eyes until he opened the box.  Grunting, he took her by the arm and dragged her into the 1970’s ranch, not caring that she bumped into a man who was avidly licking the entry door window.  “I know what you’re here for, and it’s about time.”
Handing her the back the box and bow, he led her to the cellar.  They descended the long, narrow, dusty, and dank stairway to what appeared to be a mineshaft.  Taking a turn at a darkened opening, they walked along until Amy could hear the sound of whistling and the clanking of tool on stone.

There, whistling and working were five more guards.  Though short in stature, they were barrel of chest and quite strong.

“Ask her who she is, and what she’s a-doin’ here!”

One guard, wearing a particularly heavy duty set of carbide lamps said, “Ah, yes.  Now what are you, and who are you doin’ here?”

She held up the bow, and then lifted the lid of the box.  The carbide lamps waggled with his eyebrows, while another of the guards laughed inappropriately loudly. “Well, haven’t you been an abstruse puzzle all of these years?  We’ve been waiting for you!”  The six guards all curtsied prettily and then in single file led Amy to a small adit.  There it was: the Recherché. She went to it and in a confidently unsure motion, swept the shroud from the speculum.  The room suddenly filled with a flash flashiness, which could only be described as flashy.  A green face topped with a red turban appeared in the glass, intoning the words, “Meka leka hi meka hiney ho.  Who do you seek?”  Knowing that she had no wishes, or desires, save to destroy the Recherché, Amy wished for the genie to go into the box, thus rendering the Recherché, though rare and exotic, quite obscure.  Now safe, from Mrs. Grimhelde’s  secret agenda, one might say that Amy lived quite happily ever after.

And the genie in the box, you ask?  The guard who was partial to the taste of windows, gave up glass, donned a gray suit, and with his friend, Jambi, found fame and fortune by building a playhouse on a stage at the Roxy.