“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”

The breeze is just about gone, pushed aside by the humidity. We will be in the 80’s today while Boston will suffer in the low 90’s. Sitting on the deck under the umbrella surrounded by trees seems a perfect spot to spend the day. After my errand, that’s where I’ll plunk myself with a book and music to sweeten the day.

Both my sisters had extreme weather yesterday. In Colorado there was rain, wind and hail. My sister said the sky got so dark they knew the hail was coming followed by the rain, a deluge. My other sister who lives outside of Boston got tremendous thunder and lightning. She was outside watching when a bolt hit close, and she realized how silly it was to be out there, but lightning is so amazing it seems to draw us to watch. I remember the same realization hitting me when I was in Ghana. It was the start of the rainy season when thunder and lightning herald tremendous rain storms. I was outside in the front of my house on the porch under a roof covered in tin. Lightning struck the ground in front of me, and I decided I best get inside before the roof attracts a bolt of lightning. I had to be happy with a window view.

Deluge was one of my mother’s weather words. It didn’t rain cats and dogs. It was a deluge. Spitting rain was another, and I always knew what she meant. It was too cold to snow she’d tell us, and I believed her never having given thought to the Arctic filled with snow and fatally low temperatures. I was an adult before I realized snow could come regardless of the temperature.

My mother used to play a game with us called Jack and Jill. She would attach a band of paper on one finger of each hand, the same finger on both hands, and place only those fingers on the edge of the table. She would say, “Go away, Jack,” and raise her hand in the air then bring it back down and put the finger on the table again. Jack, the band of paper, was always gone. She’d do the same with her other hand and finger. This time it was Jill who disappeared. We would look under the table on the floor, behind my mother on the floor and on her lap. We never found Jack or Jill. My mother would then say, “Come back, Jack,” and raise her hand again. Jack always came back. She’d do the same with the other finger and Jill would come back. I was aways in awe of my mother and her magic trick. I’d ask her to teach me, and she’d say when I was older, but she didn’t need to teach me. She knew when I was older I’d figure it out for myself and I did. In my mind’s eye I can see my mother with her fingers on the table and my brother and me watching and hoping to catch Jack and Jill. Never finding them made me love that trick even more. My mother was magical.

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36 Comments on ““It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Okay, I’m mystified. I can’t picture how your mother’s trick worked.

    My mother usually said raining cats and dogs or spitting rain. If I had to go out in the rain she would tell me to walk between the rain drops so I wouldn’t get wet. I tried it once. It seemed to work. Sort of. I was only partly wet. I put it down to lack of practice.

    I got some wind and rain and some loud thunder but that’s all. The storm we had last Thursday was worse for me. There must have been some more thunder after the two biggies because I thought I heard it when I was half asleep later on in the night.

    At the moment it’s muggy, cloudy, breezy and well under 90. It’s still early so there’s time.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      You mean give away a magician’s trick? She switched fingers, and we were too young to catch on.

      I think spitting rain is a purely New England term. I have never heard it anywhere else. When I used it, people thought it sort of gross. That never occurred to me.

      Last night was such a bust except for some wind. I have to water all the deck plants today. I didn’t yesterday holding on to hopes of rain.

      It’s starting to get muggy here too. I’m already ready to turn on the air.

      You also enjoy your day!

  2. im6 Says:

    I may have provided a link for this song before, but it seemed appropriate today:

    • Hedley Says:

      OK im6,
      Sometimes you are so clever that I don’t know if your really mean it or not.
      Today is the release date for the 40th Anniversary remaster of “Late for the Sky” in all sorts of digit formats with impressive references to bits and Khzs and stuff that I really don’t understand.
      I am waiting for folks to post as to whether or not it is fab and worth yet another copy.
      May the road and the sky always bring you to more fun music

      • im6 Says:

        Had no idea about LFTS 40th anniversary. I just know it’s a great song and that I’m a major Jackson Browne fan. I’ll have to check that out. Just checked. Doesn’t look like there’s any additional material included. I really recommend you check this out: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Strange-Digipack-Jackson-Browne/dp/B003C5FMIA

      • Hedley Says:

        Jackson has a sold out show at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor on Thursday. It is the acoustic tour so we are going to skip it. Mrs MDH and I cruised over to Meadowbrook a couple of years ago and saw the full band/electric deal and it was a lot of fun.

        Thanks for the link – I do have gobs of Browne including some bootleg stuff, of which Montreux 82 is my favorite. Big fan and I am hoping that LFTS40 is some mega revelation, or at least good.

        Excellent job today channeling the new issue

    • katry Says:

      I can’t remember when I last heard Jackson Browne, but this song reminded me how much I like him. Thanks for that!

  3. im6 Says:

    Some days I don’t comment at all. Some days you can’t shut me up.

    Ran across this video this morning and, of course, I thought of you. I just know you’ll want to install one of these Rube Goldberg contraptions in your backyard to enjoy while you’re lounging on the deck. It sounds like those squirrels aren’t going anywhere, so you might as well enjoy ’em. I’m sure your factorum can rig one of these up in not time:

    • katry Says:

      That was wonderful. That spawn deserves a huge snack after all that work.They are smart critters!

    • im6,
      You came up with a great name for your blog – have you given up on the idea of posting to it? Just curious.


      • im6 Says:

        I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator, Marie. I keep intending to start writing a blog (just what the world does NOT need — another blog), but I get overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts of it. How do you do this, do that, put up music, store music, etc., etc., etc.??? I really, really like Kat’s format here at KTCC. It’s very easy to read and listen to music and it allows visitors to comment, share links, etc. Someday I’m going to have to corner her and ask her how she does it. Glad you like the (secret) name. I think it would pretty much cover the intent and content, but then there’s the question, “Will anyone really care what you think?” I probably just need a place to rant and rave… cheaper than therapy!

      • im6,
        I beg to differ – there can never be too many music blogs. 😉 I’m sure Kat will be happy to walk you through her method for WordPress. As for storage, you already have itunes, I think, and box is so easy to use (and it’s free to boot). You and Kat both have Macs, so there’s no problem there. Plus you have a ready audience in the folks that you’ve come to know here on Coffee. (Just saying . . .) 😉


      • im6 Says:

        Thanks for the nice comments, Marie. I wish setting up a blog wasn’t so involved (content! images! music!). Or at least I wish the instructions for doing so had been written by people other than code-whizzes who assume people don’t need their hands held like I do. I bought some music editing software that was supposed to be “intuitive.” Well, yeah, as it turns out it’s very intuitive… to the guy who wrote the instructions… who just also happened to be the guy who wrote the code and created the software. *Of course* it was intuitive TO HIM !!! To me it was a waste of money and only frustrated me to the point of stopping the plans I had for using such software. I fear that same scenario may play out if I actively pursue creating a blog and I don’t want (or need!) to be further frustrated. Any hand-holders out there (in here?)?

      • Birgit Says:

        the best audio editor you can get for free:
        Waiting for your rants and rave and music 🙂

      • im6,
        If I can do it – absolutely anyone can! Honestly! I did find WordPress frustrating to use though and was never able to figure out how to post music to it. Blogger, on the other hand, seemed more user-friendly to me and I could use divshare or box. Of course, a Blogger site doesn’t have Kat as an enthusiastic consultant, so I can see the sense in using WP if it also has all the features that you like.

        Finding images to illustrate your blog is half the fun, but there are plenty of music blogs that don’t use illustrations at all. The site administrators write a blurb and just post the music they like.

        If you have a delicate constitution you might want to give mine a miss for a few days, as I’ve carried out my threat to post the Top 10 DISCO songs. (We all know how people like to diss that genre! haha)


      • im6 Says:

        Thanks for the Audacity link, Birgit. I’ll consider downloading and maybe playing around with it. I’m not so concerned with individual songs I might post on a blog, but when I create my compilation mixes, I’d like to be able to at least get the songs to play at approximately the same volume. That’s my #1 priority. And, Marie, I know what you mean about finding images, but I’m not too concerned about that part of a blog. I designed a format/template I think I’d like to use, but would like some freedom to expand on that if I need to. As far as music, yes I have iTunes and I have an external hard drive with thousands and thousands of songs. I’m not worried about finding music, but I can’t figure out where the songs get stored so Box (for example) would go to get them. Is there some storage site and what kind of $$ are we talking for them to host the music? Too soon to worry about my violating any copyrights at this point. Hopefully, clever naming of files would help mitigate that. I’d just like to be able to put together sets or themes or just expose music people may have never heard, have forgotten, or that I just happen to like. You have set the wheels in motion. I’d better get busy studying all these sites, applications, etc. And this all falls on the heels of my deciding to digitize tons and tons of slides from the past. My plate is full. Wish me luck!

      • Birgit Says:

        sorry, Audacity is mainly for editing single tracks and for recording, not really for quick mixtape volume adjustment. No recommendation on the fly but I’ll search. I assume you have a Mac computer?

  4. Hedley Says:

    Hello Bochum
    We are watching – may good fortune smile upon your team today

  5. olof1 Says:

    It seems the thunder missed us, instead we got 86F and gale force winds 🙂 The afternoon walk was rather fly free 🙂 The humidity is slightly lower too so I can almosy move without sweating 🙂 The field outside my cottage is free from most grass now, they’re making silage of it now and that usually means the flies fly away or perhaps they just die? The weather will be cooler and if it also will be a fly free period it would be perfect.

    I have to admit I couldn’t figure out how Your mother did that trick but then I read Your answer to Caryn 🙂

    I’ve just installed a new modem and I’ll just say I hope those creating Windows ( will be punished and punished hard 🙂 I need to print down my pin code every time I start up my computer or it won’t start up the internet connection. I can’t get an icon either because windows 8 won’t allow that for a reason nobody seems to understand. I must get wealthy so I can buy an Apple instead!

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I do like a good round of thunder and lightning, but it has been a while for us and rain isn’t in the next few days’ forecast either.

      I do hope your flies have gone away. They are the worst.

      At first I wasn’t used to a MAC, and now I love it. I can’t ever see me going back to a windows machine.

      My air conditioner is now on, and the house feels wonderful. I just came in from watering the plants on the deck, and it was nice walking into a cool house.

      Have a great evening.

  6. Birgit Says:

    The weather is unfair! I got a new used bike yesterday and what happened? It’s cold (60F) and the rain didn’t stop all day long and this weather won’t change until Friday. Unbelievable, it’s even warmer in Sweden! It’s not raining cat and dogs, it’s raining packthreads over here. Kat, can you recommend a good Ghanaian sun-maker who isn’t related to the soccer witch doctor?

  7. flyboybob Says:

    When I lived in West Texas people would say “It rained like a vow pissin’ on a flat rock”. My mother always said raining cats and dogs. Your mother was sophisticated calling the rain a deluge.

    When I was a kid my uncle would come over to visit and always had a trick for us kids. The best one was pulling his thumb in two. Of course I figured it out eventually along with pulling the quarter out of our ears. I love magic tricks and illusions. Sometimes Penn and Teller would show the audience how the trick was done. Half the fun was not knowing the secret.

    Almost got to 100 degrees for the first time this year. It only made it to 97 with a few puffy clouds in a blue sky.

    • katry Says:

      That is a really funny description of rain. I haven’t ever heard or even read it. Because of my mother, we all call it a deluge. She say, “It’s a deluge, a real deluge.” When I talked to my sister today, that was exactly what she said about her storm yesterday.

      I agree about half the fun not knowing the trick. My father used to steal our noses. I’d swear I could still feel it on my face, but he’d show it to me in his hand. Later I realized it was his thumb. He got me every time when I was a kid.

      We didn’t make it to 80. When i went to do my errands, it was 77.

      • flyboybob Says:

        Sorry, my iPad’s auto correct is not always that smart. “It rained like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock”. I’m not sure you understood. 🙂

      • kat Says:

        The iPad and my MAC do have some odd words appear in auto correct. Both also choose the wrong words. Today I was prompted to change there to their.

        I didn’t even think cow.

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