Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poem for Wednesday and Mount Vernon Weekend

Autumn Fires
By Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!


The weather here Tuesday was almost painfully gorgeous and I simply could not bear to waste it; after doing various chores in the morning, I took a two-hour walk. I was hoping to see deer, who were hiding, but I did see a rabbit munching grass, several chipmunks hoarding acorns, many squirrels frantically digging -- I assume they were burying their food for the winter -- and several blue jays screeching, possibly about migrating, though we have blue jays most of the year here so I'm not sure whether ours migrate or not.

In the course of walking, I discovered that my sneakers are shot -- I've been wearing sandals all summer. So after I dropped Adam off at the first tennis lesson of the fall session (he's in a group with someone he goes to school with and a teacher he had before, so it's all good), I went to get decent outdoor walking shoes and found a pair of Adidas walking-hiking shoes on sale for for under $40. (I'm sure someone is about to tell me some reason I should be boycotting Adidas, but other than their Nazi past, I don't know anything about the company.) Picked up younger son afterward, we had leftover cassoulet for dinner.

We watched the season premiere of Glee, about which I have nothing to say, really -- I enjoyed all the music, Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga more than A Chorus Line just because it was less banal, and otherwise I still don't actually like most of the characters and watch mostly between songs to see what Sue Sylvester will say next. Afterward we watched the season finale of Warehouse 13, which I actually liked much better, though the artifacts were as ridiculous as usual and the special effects not much better -- Mrs. Frederic's memory kicks ass, and we were all howling at the throwaway "Resurrection is a dangerous process and always comes at a price." "Yeah, look at Mickey Rourke!" exchange. I can't find any confirmation online about whether there will be a third season and I will be very sad if they leave things forever where they are!

These adorable piggies were on display at Mount Vernon over the weekend... was the rat-catcher's rat, though the latter got carried through the market fair instead of sleeping away the afternoon in a pen.

Otto the Sword Swallower demonstrated that he can hammer a nail into his nose.

Colonial soldiers were camping by the edge of the marketplace.

Horses threshed the wheat inside the sixteen-sided barn; we got there too late to see the threshing, but we got to meet the horses and interpretive farmer.

There was also a demonstration of dyeing, spinning, and weaving on the colonial farm beside the slave cabin.

Spirit Cruises offered free sightseeing tours of the Potomac River from the dock at Mount Vernon past Fort Washington.

Late in the afternoon, some of the merchants and soldiers were packing up. Even in Virginia, it's pretty rare to see someone cleaning an 18th-century rifle out of the trunk of his car.

I'm too upset to post about the idiots in the Senate and DADT; I'm hoping that if enough people are apoplectic and tell them so, they'll do the right thing in December. Have a lovely Autumnal Equinox!

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