The Lady of Shalott

Part I
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro’ the field the road runs by
       To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
       The island of Shalott.
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
       The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow veil’d,
Slide the heavy barges trail’d
By slow horses; and unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken-sail’d
       Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
       The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
       Down to tower’d Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers ” ‘Tis the fairy
       Lady of Shalott.”
Part II
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
       To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
       The Lady of Shalott.
And moving thro’ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
       Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
       Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,
       Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
       The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro’ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
       And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed:
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
       The Lady of Shalott.
Part III
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
       Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
       Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
       As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon’d baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
       Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn’d like one burning flame together,
       As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro’ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
       Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
       As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flash’d into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,” by the river
       Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro’ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
       She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
       The Lady of Shalott.
Part IV
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
       Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seër in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
       Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
       The Lady of Shalott.
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Thro’ the noises of the night
       She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
       The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darken’d wholly,
       Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
       The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
       Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they cross’d themselves for fear,
       All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.” 

Sometimes a song just helps me get thru the day.

Bex & Co.

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Some Food for Thought

Cheating the Atmosphere

I listened to most of this interview on WBUR (public radio) last night/early this morning and it was so informative and stunning.  I highly recommend you take a half hour and listen to it, as well.  Click the links I’m putting in.  What is happening the world over will stun you, if you haven’t already learned this information.

If you are any kind of a Climate-Change-Non-Believer – read it and then tell me you don’t believe!  (I doubt you will do this because it’s been my experience that if you are a non-believer in the first place, you won’t read it!)  But do try.  The amount of poison this old world of our has sustained, and is sustaining right now and in the future, is almost incomprehensible.

Cheating the Atmosphere

That’s all folks.


Bex & Co.


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Dear(est) Abby…

It was Paul who alerted me to this recent publication of “Dear Abby” in the newspaper today.  He brought it out for me to read saying, “This could have been written by YOU!”

And he is so right (with a very few minor exceptions).

This is from the “Dear Abby” column in today’s Salem News:

DEAR ABBY:  My husband and I have been together for 40 years.  Like most people, we’ve had our good times and bad, but we’ve both been committed to the marriage, and so we’ve made it work.

Now I’m faced with a problem for which I see no solution.  My husband refuses to learn to use a computer.  He knows nothing about computers, not even how to turn one on!

As you know, computers are now key to even the most fundamental tasks.  That means, as the only computer user in the house, all tasks are MY responsibility. Banking, bill paying, communications with family, friends, lawyers, financial advisers, arrangements for social events, business meetings, medical appointments, travel and other activities are totally up to me.  He does NONE of it!  He washes the dishes and takes out the trash, but any function that requires brains and technology are totally left to me.

I’m tired!  Is this fair?  I’ve asked many times for him to go to our public library and take lessons on computer use, but he adamantly refuses.  How do I handle this?


(and Abby’s response):

DEAR ALL ON YOU:  After 40 years you are not going to change your husband, so appreciate the things he does do.  I know you’re tired and it may not seem fair, but grit your teeth and forge ahead.

You have no idea how lucky you really are.  Many wives know little or nothing about the family finances.  If something unforeseen happens to their husbands, they are left scrambling to learn about realities for which they are not equipped.

P.S. Consider asking your husband what he would do in the case of YOUR sudden death.  He, too, would be left completely adrift.  It couldn’t hurt to warn him.

We certainly had a good old laugh over this!  We’ve only been together for 31 years, not 40, and he does way more around here than wash the dishes and take out the trash (for which I am eternally thankful, believe me!).  Without him, we could not have a dog!  Belle would never have adopted us!  Without him, I could never have taken up this time-consuming and sometimes over-indulgent hobby of crocheting all the time!  Without him, we would never have flown across the pond to our beloved England and Scotland eight times over the course of our married years… which gave us memories to last forever.  Without him I would never have known the love of two Great Pyrenees doggers, named Esmeralda and Nicodemus, and neither would I have ever been graced with the love and companionship of the rest of the Crowell family, i.e. Muffin Collie-Flower, Jasmine Rose, Whitby, Emmalee, Kip, and now the most wonderful collie girl, Belle.

weekend and monday 026.JPG

Without all these things in my life, what would be the point?

Yes, my wonderful lobsterman husband does not know how to turn on a computer, or, for that matter, the TV, the radio, or the DVD player!  When his radio/alarm clock loses power, I have to help him reprogram it.  Setting all the digital clocks in the house is always MY job after a power failure.  Each time I want to go to bed early (which only happens a few times a year) and he wants to stay and see the end of a show, I’ll have to go over all the directions on which buttons to push on the remotes, etc.  It’s always a learning experience all over again when it happens.

All that said, I wouldn’t trade him for all the Don Juans in the world, all the computer savvy guys out there, or all the football-game-loving jocks.  He’s just right for me.  I love him just the way he is.  And I always will.


Bex & Co.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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The (high) cost of being sick

Recently our darling Belle-the-collie-dog was a little off-weather.  She “leaked” in two places – once on the wood floor where she likes to sleep, and once on the sofa, where Paul likes to sit!  We were concerned enough to schedule a trip to the Vet for her to see if there might be some underlying problem causing this.

Let’s see if I can tell this short tale so it’s coherent.

She went for her visit and Paul took a sample of her pee.  She had blood drawn for the inevitable blood-work studies.  Once the results came back, Belle’s doctor called to report what they’d found.  Anaplasmosis, to be exact.  It’s a tick-borne illness.  She would need a course of antibiotics for this, and, according to Dr. M, this particular medication, Doxycycline Hyclate, is a rough one to take – makes the patient have an upset tummy and/or diarrhea.


Dr. M. said that if she had these side effects, she would prescribe Belle some pills to settle them down.

Paul went up to our local pharmacy near here to get the prescription for the Doxy.  When he got home he had a deer-in-the-headlights look about his face… he said that this was one expensive pee-leak!  I was to guess at the price… I guessed $59… Nope.  $75?  Nope, $150? (please no),  Nope.  Higher.  He gave me the bag with the price on it and I was stunned…

There are two spots for prices on these bags.  One is the “YOU PAY” price and the other is the “RETAIL PRICE.”

On this first go-round, the “You Pay” price was $234. and change.  I about lost all the marbles remaining in my head!  What?  TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR DOLLARS? For a 30 day supply of antibiotics?

What?  I shook my head a few times thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me.

I can’t remember the exact other figure under the RETAIL PRICE but it was a little more than the first price… say by about $25.

When I spoke with Dr. M next, I ranted and railed about this price!  That was when she told me that if we had gotten the pills at her place (Vet Clinic), it would have cost us $71.

SEVENTY ONE DOLLARS!  As opposed to the $234. that we paid at the pharmacy!

I was seeing RED!

To make a long story shorter, we decided that Paul would try to get a refund on them and he would go to the Vet Clinic and get them there.  Dr. M. called the Pharmacy and explained how outrageous their price was and she, in the end, convinced them to refund us most of it but we would just keep those pills.

OK.  Fine.  Paul had to go down and get the stomach upset tablets from Dr. M. anyway later that day.

So when he got back with the original bottle of pills, they were in a newly printed bag, and, now sit down.. this was the label on the new bag:

price 003

Can you see the prices?  We pay now – $89.90 (as opposed to the $71 the vet would have charged us) BUT the clincher is that the Retail Price jumped from somewhere around $275-give-or-take a few dollars before, to a whopping $553.29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I realize that is not what we are paying, but why such a huge jump?

I must admit I am still in the dark, but I give up.

Belle is on the antibiotics now and the tummy upset pills and we shall see how she makes out.

When we had given them to her the first time, she threw up her whole breakfast.  Here’s hoping all stays put this time!



Bex & Co.

Below:  My latest pile of crocheted cat blankets I made to be donated to the Odd Cat Sanctuary for the kitties to sit/sleep on.

pileofmats 001.JPG

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Just throwing this out to the Universe

I keep hearing “Who have the Dems got to run in 2020?  Nobody!”

Well, to that I say… that is so wrong.

I am not writing this to argue with anyone, because the Lord knows that there are enough people out there who would argue with me, but I’m just putting it out there.

My choices for possible candidates for President and Vice President to run in 2020 are:

(and I actually only have three but there are a whole lot of others who might fill the slots, but these are my favorites)

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg for President

Eric Swalwell for VP


Adam Schiff for VP


Michelle Obama for VP

Now in the case of Caroline being President for a good 8 years, and Michelle helping her to turn the country back around to a righted position again, then Michelle would run in 2028 for President.

Just thinking about this sends chills down my spine.

If only dreams would come true.

That’s it.  It’s out there.  Things will never happen in this world if no one dreams them.



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