Saturday, October 31, 2020

Greetings for Halloween

It really felt like fall on Friday -- chilly, overcast most of the day, leaves falling everywhere. I took a longer walk than I expected around a local shopping center because Paul went to get his flu shot (I got mine a couple of weeks ago) and they were running late for appointments, then we took another walk around the neighborhood to see the Halloween decorations since we'll probably be busy tomorrow afternoon setting up for socially distanced trick-or-treating. 

We finished watching The Queen's Gambit, which I really liked, though the last couple of episodes weren't my favorites; I didn't like that they lumped her comfort with sexual experimentation in with self-sabotaging things like drugs and alcohol, and I wanted to see more women supporting her in the end instead of mostly a phalanx of men since the whole show was so good about showing how women were there for her, at least the ones strong enough to be. C&O turtles:








Friday, October 30, 2020

Poem for Friday and Gathland

Love Poem
By Susan Wheeler

My mother wouldn’t stand up
to wave. My father made certain
the door locked behind me.

But when I went for your door
you came too. Your mouth
made a flute of my arm,

its music a glass on the past.
My love, my love, went its song.
Now there is no need to leave.


The storm left over from Hurricane Zeta made it a very rainy, dark, and occasionally windy day. We did not go outside till nearly 6 p.m., when the rain was only a drizzle, and I have nothing exciting to report from earlier in the day which was all chores and reading. 

We watched three more episodes of The Queen's Gambit, which is excellent; so many movies about women succeeding in fields dominated by men either show them as paragons or focus on how terribly men treat them; this does neither, it's just Beth. Some Gathland photos:







Thursday, October 29, 2020

Poem for Thursday and Clay Houses

House Of Clay
By Wildwood Slim

When dips my oar the Silent River
That Eternity and Time divide,
This house of clay I’ll leave forever
A new one waits, just o’er the tide.

This old clay, I’ll leave to crumble
Earth to earth, and dust to dust;
My vessel there, in the sweet forever,
‘Twill never mar, nor stain, nor rust.

T’wont be plagued with hurt and anguish,
Nor tempted with man’s gain and lust;
Pain and parting, there no never,
The gentle land of love and trust.

Yes, when my oar with silver glistens
From bright Jordan’s silent tide,
All to this world I leave behind me
Will lie in a grave on the green hillside.

Oh, meet me o’er the Silent River!
Our new forms there by faith will match
The house of clay we’ve left behind us;
Your familiar face at sight I’ll catch.

Pray that I my Oar have ready,
Both prepared to live and die;
That when we leave this clay behind us
We’ll meet again, friend, you and I.


Wednesday was another pretty, cool fall day here, probably the last one this week since Hurricane Zeta is supposed to sweep through here Thursday. Paul had to go back to the dentist to get a permanent crown put on the tooth that needed the root canal, after which we took a walk and had sausages, then watched The Masked Singer, as ridiculous as ever (the internet says the Mushroom might be Martha Stewart, hahaha). 

Afterward, we started watching The Queen's Gambit, which everyone I know said was excellent and they were right. It has a lot of women in very difficult conditions, but so far they've all been very supportive of each other, even if that has sometimes meant enabling their addictions and bad decisions. Here are one of Andy Goldsworthy's three Clay Houses at Glenstone, plus his exhibits "Boulder" and "Holes" inside the other two:



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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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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!