Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Poem for Wednesday and Homestead Farm

World Series, Game 5
By Karen Zaborowski Duffy

Even God, I think, is here,
so high up in the stands
with my ten-year old daughter and me
we can almost touch the X
from Schmidty's old home run,
probably the two worst seats at the Vet
but right where the whole world
wants to be.
I let her drink real Coke,
eat Milky Ways and dance with strangers
at 11:30 on a school night and still
ninety minutes from home.
I took her sticky hand.
The Phillies and we are in control.
For now, the world has stopped worrying
about players who might be traded,
moods that might swing and miss.
There are no thoughts about new uniforms
and the boys who will wear them.
Tonight she is here and finds it easy
to love me for this end-of-season
home game.
We are those jumping red dots
in the center of the universe, my daughter
and me and a baseball game
that is perfect and no more meaningless
than anything else.


Tuesday was cool and quiet around here, a lovely day to walk and sweep leaves off the deck, lots of squirrels and chipmunks around plus one bunny hiding under a bush. I didn't get a lot done besides laundry and a Halloween fest contribution due two days ago. 

I watched Voyager's "The Cloud" with my JetC friends, which is still a thing of beauty and a joy no Trek stupidity can stop. Then we watched what turned out to be the last game of the World Series, meh. From Homestead Farm, the goats, pigs, and alpacas of the season: 

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Poem for Tuesday and Split-Rocker Seasons

Political Haiku
By Jean Hall

Habeas corpus
And that pesky Bill of Rights
Who needs 'em? Wink. Wink.


We just watched the last episode of Schitt's Creek, followed by the CBC making-of special, both of which were delightful and heartwarming and moving plus a nice distraction from the news that has me grinding my teeth and wanting to vomit coronavirus germs all over certain people who seem to be immune anyway. I didn't have a terrible day -- got a lovely glass bowl on Freecycle, took a walk in beautiful fall weather, finished a computer project, a silly craft, and a Pokemon quest. 

But I am in an extremely shitty mood because of the Supreme Court (new justice and Wisconsin ruling just as much because the court has now declared that nine justices, not states, decide how elections are carried out), the Speaker of the House's straight-up declarations of corruption, and the promise of election fraud from the President of the United States. So here are some photos of Split-Rocker at Glenstone in four seasons (blooming in three of them) because that, at least, briefly cheers me up! 


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Monday, October 26, 2020

Greetings from Glenstone

After two days with unseasonably warm temperatures, autumn returned on Sunday with rain much of the day and high temperatures only around 50 degrees. We had a reservation to go to Glenstone from months ago, so after lunch, we packed umbrellas and headed out. We only had drizzle and the grounds had very few people; we only walked through the pavilion to reach the water courtyard, so social distancing was easy. Most of the trees are red-yellow-brown and the garden meadow has many fewer flowers than in the summer, but Split-Rocker is still in bloom: 

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We came home in the late afternoon, I chatted online with friends for a while, we watched some football, I folded laundry, then we had dinner and Skyped with our kids. We're still thinking about going to Seattle for a few days in November -- it's very unlikely that we'll see them before late spring at the earliest otherwise, and I don't actually expect it to be safer then, since there's no way a vaccine will be distributed so soon even if it's developed (and depending on how the elections and other things go, it may actually be a lot less safe). 

In between the World Series and late football (Seattle just lost in a very sad overtime), we watched Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. My reaction to it reminded me of my reaction to most South Park, which is that the hilarious, socially relevant parts generally outweighed the cringe-worthy parts though some bits are painful to watch -- the ending "revenge story" did have us laughing out loud, especially the Famous Actor Cameo, and the scenes with Giuliani, Pence, the QAnon idiots, and the crisis pregnancy center made up for a lot.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Greetings from South Mountain

Saturday was a perfect fall day, especially in the vicinity of South Mountain, where we spent the whole afternoon. It was windy at Gambrill State Park on top of High Knob and there were a surprising number of people, but the leaves were gorgeous. There were even more people at Washington Monument State Park even though the monument itself was closed to visitors -- there was a boy scout camping group in the lower park and lots of Appalachian Trail hikers on top of the mountain. Gathland, too, had a nearly full parking lot. Oddly, the place we went with the fewest people was South Mountain Creamery, which was keeping people out of the calf barn to encourage social distancing. 

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2020-10-24 16.46.53 

We drove home through Middletown listening to some surprising Big 10 football results -- Rutgers beat Michigan State, really? Then we went to my parents' house for dinner and watched the awesome end of the Indiana-Penn State game over Thai food. We saw comparatively little of the Maryland game because it was so embarrassing -- we put on Skate America, which was more exciting than the World Series until the Dodgers apparently decided they wanted to extend the series with the Rays, a ninth inning we missed because of Saturday Night Live which really needs to bring back the Fake Village People for protest songs every week -- Adele's skits were merely okay, even the Bachelor parody.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Greetings from Sugarloaf Mountain

Summer came back for a while on Friday -- we had temperatures in the low 80s. I took a long walk in the morning, retracing my steps from Thursday, and in one of those small miracles, I found my lost earring! It was not in the woods as I expected but on the sidewalk a few yards away from where the path comes out of the woods, so it wasn't buried in leaves on asphalt but instead quite bright among a few scattered leaves on concrete. So that felt lucky. 

Paul had meetings that went long earlier in the week so only had to work half a day. So after lunch, we went to Sugarloaf Mountain, where the leaves are still pretty thick -- so thick that they still obscure the overlooks in spots. Then we went to the canal, figuring it was probably the last day to see frogs -- I had seen one in the neighbor's pond in the morning -- and we saw several, plus turtles and a gorgeous sunset (more photos soon, just one frog): 





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 I stopped on the way to the canal for two Galarian Ponyta raids, plus a couple of remote ones with Denise while they were around for the special Pokemon Go event, and managed to evolve one Sirfetch'd -- I can't get ten excellent throws in fewer than 10 hours of constant attempts! We watched the Dodgers beat the Rays, then watched two episodes of Schitt's Creek -- I think we only have four left, waaaaah, then will need a new binge! 


Friday, October 23, 2020

Poem for Friday and Three Lakes Otters

Me and the Otters
By Dorothea Lasky

Love makes you feel alive
Johnny my animal you have no idea
How beautiful you are to me in the morning
When it is 5 a.m. and I am lonely
Everyone is dying around me
I eat spinach bread to keep my sanity, I am
Like Lisa in the mental unit with my father
I am Muriel who throws tables
I play blackjack with the clowns
Oh yes I do all that for a salad
Your black hair is better than a piece of fate
I find in the sky when I am looking
45,000 miles above the earth
For things that make it all worthwhile
I do this for you but you will never know
How dear you are to me
You chop leaves in your house in New York City
Dream of glamorous women and even too they are great
No one will ever love you like I do that is certain
Because I know the inside of your face
Is a solid block of coal and then it too
Something that is warm like warm snow
I hold the insides of you in my palm
And they are warm snow, melting even
With the flurries glutted out of the morning
When I get on the plane the stewardess tells me to let loose
My heart, the man next to me was the same man as last week
Whoever those postmodernists are that say
There is no universal have never spent any time with an animal
I have played tennis with so many animals
I can't count the times I have let them win
Their snouts that were wet with health
Dripping in the sun, then we went and took a swim
Just me and the otters, I held them so close
I felt the bump of ghosts as I held them.
There is no poem that will bring back the dead
There is no poem that I could ever say that will
Arise the dead in their slumber, their faces gone
There is no poem or song I could sing to you
That would make me seem more beautiful
If there were such songs I would sing them
O they would hear me singing from here until dawn


Apart from a couple of deliveries, Thursday was pretty uneventful till evening. It was nearly 80 degrees when we took a walk under the falling leaves; the weather was beautiful, but while tugging on my mask outside, I lost an earring Heather made for me in 2010, so I am bummed about that. 

My Voyager group met on Thursday this week instead of Tuesday because someone had a conflict, and Becky even joined us! We watched "Phage" -- not a great episode but it has the breakfast food discussion, and we got to discuss whether the phage is what happened to Mitch McConnell's hand. 

No debate, we put on Thursday Night Football instead with a break for Schitt's Creek at halftime. All I saw of the various crises du jour were clips on Twitter -- I'm sorry about President Hunter Biden's lack of a health care bill. Here are the otters from Three Lakes Park in Richmond last weekend:








Thursday, October 22, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Garden Orchids

Orchids Are Sprouting From the Floorboards
By Kaveh Akbar

Orchids are sprouting from the floorboards.
Orchids are gushing out from the faucets.
The cat mews orchids from his mouth.
His whiskers are also orchids.
The grass is sprouting orchids.
It is becoming mostly orchids.
The trees are filled with orchids.
The tire swing is twirling with orchids.
The sunlight on the wet cement is a white orchid.
The car’s tires leave a trail of orchids.
A bouquet of orchids lifts from its tailpipe.
Teenagers are texting each other pictures
of orchids on their phones, which are also orchids.
Old men in orchid penny loafers
furiously trade orchids.
Mothers fill bottles with warm orchids
to feed their infants, who are orchids themselves.
Their coos are a kind of orchid.
The clouds are all orchids.
They are raining orchids.
The walls are all orchids,
the teapot is an orchid,
the blank easel is an orchid,
and this cold is an orchid. Oh,
Lydia, we miss you terribly. 


My Wednesday was uneventful apart from chatting at lunch with two of my high school friends, which as always was a highlight of my week! Plus we had summer-like weather, which made it a perfect day to be outside, though we really didn't get to see how the repaired furnace works for any length of time. It was also a good day for bunnies -- we saw two on our cul-de-sac. 

The World Series is barely holding me attention -- I don't dislike either team, which makes it harder to root for or against anyone, and I miss the Rays' home stadium with the ray tank. We only watched one episode of Schitt's Creek (the crow premiere disaster) and snorted at the Giuliani fact finding mission in his pants story. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's orchids:








Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Poem for Wednesday and Wind, Waves and Light

Sail Away
By Rabindranath Tagore

Early in the day it was whispered that we should sail in a boat,
only thou and I, and never a soul in the world would know of this our
pilgrimage to no country and to no end.

In that shoreless ocean,
at thy silently listening smile my songs would swell in melodies,
free as waves, free from all bondage of words.

Is the time not come yet?
Are there works still to do?
Lo, the evening has come down upon the shore
and in the fading light the seabirds come flying to their nests.

Who knows when the chains will be off,
and the boat, like the last glimmer of sunset,
vanish into the night? 


Our furnace is fixed, for now, which entailed two HVAC technicians cleaning and replacing parts while warning us that we really should plan to replace the 30+ year old heating unit, though they think it will last the winter. Which is mixed good news, I guess? They wore masks the whole time and I was only in the same room as them for a few seconds, so I felt fine having them here, apart from the money aspect. 

It was otherwise an unexciting day with gorgeous weather (we took a walk early so we'd be back for the repairs, and saw bunnies as well as chipmunks hard at work). Evening TV was the World Series plus the start of the sixth season of Schitt's Creek, which I am going to miss when we're done! From George Sherwood's gorgeous Wind, Waves, and Light: Art in Motion exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: 


Memory of Fibonacci 


Col Du Couleur


Wind Orchid


Dichroic Sphere


Memory of Water 


Wave Cloud