Betty Duffy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Faulkner Stole My (.)

Sometimes when you're walking at sunset and the fields have just been turned over by an old farmer wearing a flat-billed con-agra hat, and the insects haven't yet emerged from their underground nests, and the dogwood and redbud are the only color in the woods surrounding the field, and you and your wag-tail dog turn around to the biggest orange orb of sun you've seen in a long time hovering over the horizon, you want to listen to a little happy music, but only a hammered dulcimer accompanied by a bongo drum will do.

Times like these, I reach for Malcom Dalglish and the Oolites. "Hymnody of the Earth" is one of the best musical accomplishments to come out of Indiana, ever (which isn't difficult to say really); compositions for the above-mentioned instruments to accompany a youth choir singing the poems of Wendell Berry. It's earth mama, Holy Holy, conservation chic, and old man river, with just a dash of new age cheese--and I never get tired of it.

Plus, I get to say Malcolm Dalglish and the Oolites, which has so many misplaced L's, consonants and double vowels, it gives me the chills.

I really cannot listen to music and do other things at the same time; no background music to my writing, no mood music to my shopping--particularly not tunes of Joni Mitchell with the lyrics replaced by saxophone, because I know the words, and their Kenny G stand-in will grate on me so much I'll lose my mood for shopping if I had it to begin with.

In Florida with Pedge and Irene, Pedge wanted some tunes in the background while we played cards, which wasn't kosher with me because not only do we have dissimilar tastes in music, cards require more concentration than I can give them if I'm distracted by the songs.

"My husband hates listening to music while he's doing other things," I say, which is not true so much, but I'm such an accommodating friend, I won't come out and say that what you're doing annoys me; I'll say it would annoy my husband if he were here, so in the airport, for instance, when Pedge was popping her gum, I said, "My husband hates loud chewing," But Pedge enjoys popping her gum, and said, "Good thing he's not here."

Anyway, I have a one-track mind, so I can only listen while I'm doing something mindless like walking or driving or cleaning my house, and it's also why I played the cello rather than piano since I can only handle one staff of notes at a time.

I'm writing in long sentences, stream-of-consciousness because I'm reading Faulkner right now, and as Mrs. Darwin said in a comment stream here, "What he (Faulkner) does not repeat much is the period," and nothing is more alarming than a period that goes MIA, as evidenced by the fifty dollars worth of pregnancy tests I took this month trying to figure out where mine went--which is no where, that is, until without rhyme or reason, it decided to return, and now I want my money back.


Pedge said...

Because I can't seem to get ahold of you any other way, my comments come to the blog. You've done it again, taken a set of very ordinary circumstances (our lives, the wedding, mr. Duffy's dancing) and gave them depth and made them interesting. You are truly some wonder!
Sharpen up the manuscript, as it turns out, I'll be in the company of Jason jones over memorial day! ;) oh, and I'm glad you found your .

bronzedshoe said...

I'm the same way about background music. I don't understand my fellow students who read or write papers with their headphones on. Don't the voices clash in their heads? You can only listen to one person at a time- surely you can only listen to one voice in your head at a time? It's a mystery.

BettyDuffy said...

Husband says he wouldn't write about his (.) if it were his blog.

I wonder if Jason will remember us. Fifty percent if you sell our pitch.

...and I've called you twice this morning--I believe you're the one who's difficult to get ahold of.

Catherine said...

Buy your pregnancy tests from They're like a dollar each and you can also get ovulation tests.
Or maybe that's already where you got yours and you just used 50 of them :D :D :D

Hope said...

Sometimes I lament not enjoying listening to music and doing other things at the same time. It means that I don't listen to music very much. Joni Mitchell and I share the same hometown. I know the lyrics, too. Have you watched that scene in Love Actually where Emma Thompson gets a Joni Mitchell CD?

BettyDuffy said...

Catherine, good to know about another blessing. I got some at the dollar store and then some expensive ones because I thought the cheap ones weren't working.
Hope, that scene is the only one I remember from that movie-heartbreaking.

Ellie said...

The baby's still nursing, right? (I don't mean "still" in any sort of negative way at all, I promise -- mine nursed for ages). Anyway, so long as you're nursing, even just a little, your cycles can be wonky: regular for a while, then irregular, because ovulation can be suppressed one cycle, and then it takes X# of weeks to ovulate and since it's ovulation that triggers a period, there's your reason (or a very, very likely one) for a longer cycle ...

BettyDuffy said...

Ellie, I am still nursing--and I bet that what you said, is what happened. Baby's suddenly become picky about table foods and wants to nurse a lot at night, and I had an inkling that that was what might be happening, but the "signs" had been rather uncertain in the interim. ANd then I put on a couple pounds and became very tired...

A couple years ago I believe I had a psychosomatic pregnancy--all the symptoms but no conception--and it lasted for a couple months--and again, I took all the tests...a couple of which were inconclusive, so I either did conceive and miscarried just as fast or just believed myself to be pregnant until my body almost followed suit. It was very weird.

ellie said...

Oh, yes, an upswing in night nursing does effect ovulation, due to the natural night/day hormonal cycle. When one is nursing, and wanting/hoping to conceive again, one of the best things to do for a start is to night-wean, or at least really ratchet back the night nursing -- easier said than done, of course!

That type of experience (what you describe as happening a couple of years ago?) is not uncommon, actually. Sometimes, there is a conception, but on a hormonal level matters are, sadly, significantly "off" right from the start. So a woman will have some physical signs and even an inconclusive pregnancy test or two, and then, finally, a period. (Can you tell I've got years of breastfeeding/conception during breastfeeding counseling under my belt??). Super-early miscarriages are more common than was once believed, simply because we didn't know so early. So, a woman often more readily believed a late, heavy period was just that, nothing more.

Home pregnancy tests are super accurate these days. Truly virtually 100% accurate for a positive result, even as early as ten days after conception. The thing is, the negative results aren't quite so accurate because a woman's hormone levels will rise at differing rates from pregnancy to pregnancy, and from woman to woman.