Monday, October 18, 2021

Greetings from Poolesville

Sunday was a beautiful, cool day, so we wanted to spend it outdoors. We got things organized for trash day on Monday, ate brunch, and went to Riley's Lock on the C&O Canal, where we saw herons, ducks, and turtles as well as kayakers, boaters, and Riley's Lock Jams -- a group of local musicians who meet outdoors for social distancing and folk rock. From there we went to Homestead Farm, where we visited the farm animals, admired squash and gourds, and found Halloween pumpkins. 

We stopped at Giant on the way home to get some fruit and cat food, but most of our evening was taken up with sports. It had been a good day early -- the Ravens beat the Chargers -- but the Dodgers yet again lost to the Braves on a walk-off hit in the ninth, then the Seahawks played a horrendous last few minutes after staging a nice comeback and lost to the Steelers. I did get to talk to my kids about the games, at least! Plus Adam sent a photo of his own pumpkin picking adventure: 


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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Greetings from Emmitsburg and Hanover

We spent most of Saturday either en route to or at Paul's parents' house. Rain was forecast for the afternoon, so on the way up, we stopped at Emmitsburg's Grotto of Lourdes, which is a beautiful place to walk around in the fall. We ordered lunch from the Firepit Rotisserie and Grill while at the visitor center and picked it up when we got to Hanover, then we ate it and Skyped our kids and my parents with my in-laws. 

It was a good afternoon for Paul's father, since the Red Sox were winning when we left and they beat the Astros easily, but we just finished watching the awfulness that was the Dodgers' ninth inning against the Braves (and if it's a Braves-Astros World Series, I will refuse to watch based on Atlanta fans most of all). Here are some pictures from the grotto (a frog in the shrine's spring!) and from visiting in Hanover: 

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Poem for Saturday and Maryland Renfaire Shows

By Edwin Morgan

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates


I had a very busy Friday starting with a morning appointment for my Covid booster shot, which was at a different Walgreens than I got the previous ones at (not the closest one to my house, which has Moderna, but not as far as the first one, which was out of my county). Since I had to wait 15 minutes before leaving the store, I looked at Halloween decorations and did a Pokemon raid. 

 In the afternoon, Denise came over because she was in my area and we haven't seen each other in ages! We wanted to get together so I could give her some film books and she could give me some DVDs, though we didn't manage to go out for lunch because we'd snacked too much beforehand. Then I watched the last two What If? episodes with my friend in London, which was great fun. 

We took a walk in unseasonably warm mid-October weather, then went to my parents' for dinner. Now we have finished watching the first game in the Red Sox-Astros series, which unhappily did not end the way I wanted, but if the Sox beat them the next few, I will forget all about it. From the Maryland Renaissance Festival, some of the shows we saw, including Shakespeare, music, and acrobats: 

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Poem for Friday and Pennsylvania Renfaire Shops

The Phantom Guest
By Natalie Clifford Barney

We lay in shade diaphanous
And spoke the light that burns in us

As in the glooming's net I caught her,
She shimmered like reflected water!

Romantic and emphatic moods
Are not for her whom life eludes...

Its vulgar tinsel round her fold?
She'd rather shudder with the cold,

Attend just this elusive hour,
A shadow in a shadow bower,

A moving imagery so fine,
It must have been her soul near mine

And so we blended and possessed
Each in each the phantom guest,

Inseparate, we scarcely met;
Yet other love-nights we forget!


Apart from seeing bunnies when we went for a walk in the unseasonably warm late afternoon, Thursday was a pretty uneventful day. I did a bunch of book sorting and boxing, folded some laundry, and admired photos from younger son and his girlfriend, who are visiting her grandparents near Tampa and saw an alligator, crabs, flamingos, and other Florida residents near the beach. 

I chatted with fannish friends on Zoom in the evening while Tampa Bay was beating the Eagles, then we watched the ALDS game that clinched the series for the Dodgers, which was the result I wanted, though I don't blame the Giants for thinking that last call was terrible (and I still love their stadium). Here are some of the places we shopped at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire: 

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Poem for Thursday and Mount Hope Harvest

The Black Queen
By Carrie Law Morgan Figgs

All hail! This honest dusky maid,
    Let all others prostrate fall;
Bring forth the international diadem,
    And crown her queen of all.

In all pure womanly qualities,
    She stands serene and tall,
Way up above the average,
    This makes her queen of all.

She’s not a sluggard at any place,
    She answers duty’s call
Come all ye people, small and great,
    And crown her queen of all.

She stands bolt upright by her men,
    She will not let them fall,
Now for her valor, tip your hat,
    And crown her queen of all.


I went to the lab early Wednesday to have blood drawn for routine tests, which always leaves me groggy for the rest of the day, though it wasn't so early to make me exhausted and it wasn't so late that I was headachy with hunger. When I got back, I watched Shatner go into space, which was thrilling and surprisingly moving, then I had some almond butter toast and talked to my high school friends, though Windows kept getting updates that slowed my computer. 

While I was chatting, I was playing with the necklace I put on to go out and broke the elastic, spilling beads everywhere, so I spent a stupid amount of the afternoon putting it back together on stronger wire with some little modifications. We took a walk, admired some more Halloween decorations while walking around the neighborhood, and ate Trader Joe's Vegan Meatless Meat Eater's Pizza for dinner, which we'd never had before and it was very good, even the fake cheese. 

Then we watched The Masked Singer, which unmasked yet another black woman who's a legend while keeping boy band clones, always frustrating, and after that, I made Paul watch Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle, which was pretty entertaining for its short run time, half-Tarzan and half-Avatar, quite pretty. From the grounds of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, some of the autumn decorations at Mount Hope Winery: 

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Poem for Wednesday and Countryside Artisans Yarns

A Good Yarn
By Keith Shorrocks Johnson

'Life is like a tangled ball of wool
That begins with nothing and ends with nothing':
Be sure then that these threads
Are knitted into the headscarf and socks of infinity
With humility, humanity and good deeds
And if you can unravel at times
To entertain a kitten, do so.


Tuesday was as cool as Monday, overcast and dark, which made me sleepy while I was doing laundry and cleaning up things I ignored over the long weekend. Nothing much exciting went on until afternoon, when we watched some baseball (*cries* White Sox), took a walk, looked at neighborhood Halloween decorations, and watched some more baseball (*cries* Brewers, or more precisely *cries* stuck with the Braves). 

We ate leftover Chinese food courtesy my parents for dinner, then I watched Voyager's "Sacred Ground" with my Tuesday night fan group, which is still an enjoyable if flawed episode (hokey but a nice change from know-it-all Starfleet and a good Kate performance). Now the Dodgers have beaten the Giants, so at least one game went as I wanted it to! Some of the yarn from Dancing Leaf, Heron's Meadow, and Breezy Hill farms: 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Greetings from the Canal

Monday was a lovely cool day with occasional mist but very little actual rain. had the day off for Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day, so we did a bunch of chores in the morning, then left several boxes of books, games, and records at the Friends of the Library donation site. From there we stopped for gas and drove to the C&O Canal at Lockhouse 10, where we walked a couple of miles and saw several frogs, a few turtles, a little green heron, a couple of ducks, and various other animals enjoying early fall: 








 Our evening has involved juggling several sports events, since the Red Sox and Ravens were playing at the same time. The Ravens made some huge mistakes and went down by a lot of points while the Sox were hot, so we got to see Boston clinch their series over the Rays, then we put Monday Night Football back on to see the Ravens make a great comeback, win the coin toss for overtime, and win the game. Now the Dodgers are in a close one with the Giants so we're watching that while reading about the Raiders bully coach leaving.