Blog Archives

Halloween tonight…

Elly works late today, so the dogs and I will be ready to greet any costumed kids who come to the door with a bowl of miniature candy bars. I know this is going to drive my dogs crazy, but I’ll put up with it.

It looks like the rain has finally stopped outside. Hopefully it will stay this way. It would be very unfortunate for kids to have to go house to house in the rain. Out here in rural Harper’s Ferry the houses are spread pretty widely apart and it would be a very wet walk.

So I’m wishing all of you a happy Halloween out there. Let it turn a Wednesday evening into fun.

 

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I’m wondering if Halloween is turning into a sexually demonstrative holiday…

Have you seen some of the Halloween costumes, both for kids and adults, that are popping up on the web looking for buyers to turn on? I’m finding them amazing…what was always, to me, a kids’ holiday with a spooky, witches and ghosts attitude seems to be changing radically.

The first costume I saw that made me look for more was this kid’s costume:

The idea that mothers are going to let their young ‘uns out as contraceptive packages surprised the hell out of me… not that I didn’t think it was hilarious.

Then again, there are adult costumes that are making me wonder what folks are looking to communicate.
Perhaps there are too many things in our society that aren’t getting enough attention… or the conservative attack on a woman’s right to choose has results that appear unnatural.

I’m not about to think of Halloween as an obnoxious holiday… it never has been during my life.

It does seem that some folks are having lots of fun with this. I’m not sure if the penis here is for kids or adults. Whatever, it certainly seems happy.

Can you picture moms and dads in the costume shop with junior shopping for this year’s appearance. And then there are girl’s costumes, too. A used feminine napkin is something I would never have imagined as something to walk the neighborhood looking for candy as.

When you think of it, there are many similar things which could be turned into Halloween costumes and some designer somewhere is having an emotional roller coaster ride.

How we see members of the opposite sex is something that expresses an unusual opinion. Men are, perhaps, looking for ways to make a statement as to how he sees the woman in his life. A joke? An insult? A confused thought? Who can tell?

Then, of course, there are costumes looking for some kind of action. Does it make you wonder what occurs during the free mammogram? One can guess.

There is, however, a view of the man/woman relationship as a plug-in idea… and energy will probably be passed on. This is pretty neat, but still highly suggestive.

So… I hope at the end of the month you have an interesting and revealing Halloween.

 

The sadness of a runaway dog… And his recovery.

Three evenings ago our smaller dog, Byron, pushed his way out of the front door as he regularly tries (and sometimes succeeds) to do. Usually he returns in about an hour wanting water and to get on a couch and go to sleep. This time he didn’t return.

Elly and I drove up and down the nearby streets for two days hoping we would see him or, a miserable thought, find him dead along the side of the street having been hit by a car,

We called the dog warden to see if anyone had turned him in, but there has been no lost dog answering to his description (nor has there been any dog reported hit by car in our area). The Warden keeps us on the list watching out for the next month, but Elly and I think we have seen the last of Byron. If someone has taken him in I hope he has a good new home.

We miss him.

UPDATE!

Wonder of Wonders… Byron is Back!

We got a call this morning from the dog warden’s office saying Byron was found last night by a family several miles away. We, of course, immediately ran over to get him… a tired and roughed up dog that had spent two days on the run… his face looked like he had been fighting and he smelled of cow poop.

The folks who found him had three dogs and Byron was apparently not being all that friendly with the male of the three. But these good folks fed him and gave him a place to sleep and called the dog warden with his description.

We got him home and hosed him down to get the dirt and stench off and wiped off his face and brought him into the house. He immediately curled up near Elly’s feet. It looks like he’s glad to be home.

Thanks to all of you who have called and e-mailed after my accident…

So many of you have wished me well. I am still in some pain in my ribcage (I’m  calling it “airbag shock”), but, in general I’m feeling much better.

Several have asked what caused the the accident and the best I can say is “I don’t know.” Essentially I had a blackout seizure and when I finally realized where I was I was 30 miles down the road having hit two cars and a power line. When I noticed a police car behind me and I pulled over, I had no idea what was going on, or that the whole front of my car was just about gone.

Somewhere in the course of the accident I lost my Superfocus glasses… I terrible loss for me. We don’t know yet of the insurance covers the loss as part of the accident.

Anyway, they’re not likely to let me drive again unless they can figure out what causes the seizures (apparently I’ve had a couple of other ones, not while driving, over the last couple of years. Most of these include lapses of time that I don’t remember, either.)

So my computer and I will continue to travel the world… but I won’t be getting out of the yard unless someone else takes me.

The Power is Back! (9:00 AM)

We just finished a 13 hour power outage due, I am told, by a tree falling over a line down Uvilla Road.

Elly and I drove over to Charles Town to have breakfast (and COFFEE) at the Mountaintop Diner and came back to the lights being on (although the Potomac Edison trucks are still working on the lines around the corner from us.)

The wind and thunderstorms last night blew all kinds of things from Elly’s gardening around the yard and it will have to be picked up today… although it is getting up to near 90° outside… and there are more thunderstorms due later this afternoon.

Happy Memorial Day.

Waiting for John Case to pick me up…

This is my 9th and, hopefully, last day without a car. John’s picking me up to get to the 7 AM warmup for our Friday morning show on WSHC.

According to the Honda dealer, my new Fit should be ready to pick up after 3 this afternoon and I’ll be driving again and much poorer.

We’ve already named the car The Hearse, since it is black… or, as Elly says, we’ve never had a black car. The other choices were white or teal (which Elly refused to get.)

Now we have two Fits… Elly’s is a grey 2008 version. I think it’s a pretty good car… we haven’t had any complaints. Even though it’s small, there’s a lot of room in it.

Anyway, I’ll add more later when I get the new wheels and drive ’em around.

Here’s part of my Yard Sale…

No one around here would seem to need these, but I’d like to sell them,

These are 2 30-year-old (or so) TV Camera rolling tripod/stands… before rolling up the heads they are about 4 feet tall. The heads need new handles, which appear to be rods set in a hole with a set screw.

I’d like $50.00 each for these (or both for $75.00). These are awfully big for shipping, but if you can pick them up here in Harper’s Ferry they will fit in a station wagon.

 

 

Drop me an e-mail here if you are interested.

Living in the rural district…

Bird's nest over our front porch.

Sunny day, warm weather and I spent the last half hour sitting out on my porch with my next door neighbor, Francis, talking about lawn mowing, hay growing, birds nesting, different kinds of tree blossoms…etc,etc. This is nice.

If you are going to be retired, I can’t think of a better place. It’s a great place to write and develop theatre projects (John Case and I are working on an updated

Flowering Pear Tree

version of Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” which will include contemporary references and some music… we’ll be performing it at The Folly sometime this summer.) It’s also wonderful for gardening and other outdoor activities.

There’s a whole different kind of concerns out here than there is in the closer suburbs… the weather relates more to how the land operates than to what you’ll wear and how you will move around. Rain out here is is a prized phenomenon (and we expect some this afternoon and tomorrow.)

And now that winter has been eliminated by an early spring, it looks like things will get even better.

Sunday Morning Goat Lessons

Elly and I are getting ready to move next month to our new “farmlet” on Engle-Molers Road, so now she is starting to research the two things she wants to do there: raise goats and raise chickens.

Elly with chickens

As part of the research we went to a farm owned by some local folks, Sally and Jimmy, to learn about maintaining the goats and chickens (plus…unexpected surprise… to see how Jimmy raises pigs).

Now we know more about the expenses of feeding and maintaining the critters, about milking and egging, about dealing with animals in bad weather, about unexpected costs, etc. etc. etc.

Sally is a retired teacher, and Elly sees

Miniature Nubian Goats

herself getting heavily into this in another four years when she retires from teaching… from what I see, it’s like giving yourself another full-time job. The rewards, of course, are dozens of eggs every week, goats milk for cheese (and soap!) and all the exercise you get taking care of these guys.

Jimmy has 11 1/2 acres (we have, as of now, 4 1/3 acres) so we are going to be doing a much smaller operation than they are… but still it’s enough for the two

Just born last week!

of us to handle (maybe even more than we can handle… I want a tractor!). Just walking around their farm for an hour and my knees were killing me. I could ride around much more easily.

Jimmy’s pigs were great to look at (the piglets are cute little devils, but I don’t think the work and space needed for pigs is something I can deal with. Where goats have 1 or 2 kids a year, a mother pig will drop 17 or 18 piglets without thinking about it.)  Jimmy raises and butchers them himself… not something I even want to think about doing. The chickens are enough for me to start with. I don’t know when we’ll be starting a goatery.

Sitting in the radio station after crawling through ice to get in.

Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive. Fortunately they had already plowed King St. and I could park quite close to WSHC‘s studio in Kunicke Hall.

There’s about 2 inches of snow layered with a half inch of ice.  It took me a few minutes to scrape my car off, but it looks like the worst is probably over. The Weather Bureau says the temperature will go above freezing and we’ll have a little light rain and then overcast sun later this afternoon. Can’t wait.

Given the weather, I’m not sure if any of my regular walk-in guests will be on “Talk To Me” today. Hopefully folks will call in to 304-876-5369 and say hello.

The internet is up, so if you’re not in the Shepherdstown, WV, area you can tune in at http://897wshc.org. I’ll be on from 11AM until 1 PM ET.

Since it’s a great day to stay inside and snuggle up with your sweetie take advantage of it. There has been so little winter this year that this is almost like a vacation.

200 Motels

If you’ve never seen 200 Motels or even if you have, the whole thing is here:

And if you don’t have time to watch a whole movie, here’s a song for today;

Frank with the Petit Wazoo Band…Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing:


You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day…

… for the opening of Morgan’s Grove Market. The sun was out, it wasn’t too warm , and people showed up to fill the parking lot.

Elly and I went for a little more than the first hour… bought some vegetables, talked to people and had a great time.

And everyone seemed so happy! This is going to be a regular Saturday morning thing until the late Fall…and we have to hand it to Peter Corum who organized the whole thing and really pulled it off.

Can’t wait until next week… it’s going to be fun.


Following our visit to Morgan’s Grove Market, we drove over to Boonsboro Maryland for their Green fest, primarily because Elly wanted to buy two more composting bins for our gardening.

We walked around the park, spoke to some of Elly’s colleagues from HCC and came back home to feed the dogs and have lunch.

Nice day all around. Hope yours was, too.

Upcoming in Shepherdstown Next Week…

Saturday the 23d is Earth Day and Shepherdstown is having a big affair at Morgan’s Grove Park (which, of course, is right next door to the Community Garden that Sustainable Shepherdstown is setting up and the location for the new Morgan’s Grove Market which opens in May.)

Here is the poster:

Looks like great music… walk there if you can (I’m a lucky neighbor) or bicycle… cars pay $10.00 to park (which helps the Men’s Club maintain Morgan’s Grove.)

Elly and I Hosted A Community Garden Meeting Today

Elly and her Sustainable Shepherdstown group, along with local impressario Peter Corum, are organizing a Community Garden in cooperation with Peter’s Morgan Grove Market project just down the road from out house. Today, we hosted an informational meeting for interested parties… we had 12 in attendance (there were several who were interested and called to say they couldn’t make the meeting, but they want in.) Everyone seemed pretty excited.

Yesterday, Peter arranged to have the 100 square feet set aside for the set of 10′ x 10′ garden plots roto-tilled and fertilized. This was done with volunteers and by calling in some favors.

The weather held out well to get everything done.

Here’s the group who worked the land:

Anyone interested in getting involved in Sustainable Shepherdstown’s Community Garden (at a cost of $20.00 for a 10 x 10 for the whole season) should go to http://sustainableshepherdstown.org or send an email to esmithart30@yahoo.com.

Me? I’m assigned to watering our plot.


Escaped Dog…

For the last hour and a half I have been attempting to get my younger dog, Byron, back into the house. He wriggled his way off his leash when we were coming back from a walk and now he’s running around the neighborhood.

Has this happened before? Yes… but we try to avoid it recurring since he gives us such trouble getting back into the house. Our other dog, Nestle, can be lured by dog biscuits or by opening the car door and saying “Let’s go bye-bye.” Byron likes to run in large circles… come back to the door and wait till you come out to get him, and then run away again with a big laugh on his Rottweiler Mix face.

So my final solution is to leave the front door open and c0me upstairs to the living room (2nd floor of our town house) and wait until he gets so thirsty he’ll come in for his water bowl. It always happens eventually. Meanwhile, I have to keep Nestle on his leash or he’ll run out the front door looking for Byron. The problem if Nestle, my old Lab Retriever (10+ years), forgets what he’s doing, wanders off and gets lost. I have to drive for blocks to find him, and then he’s happy to jump in the car. Byron never likes to hang out with Nestle if they both run off… something you think my older dog would remember… but he doesn’t. Nestle stays by the window, at the end of the leash, and watches for the escapee.

__________

Wonder of wonders! as I write this Byron has tiptoed up the stairs and is heading for his water bowl… excuse me while I run downstairs and close the front door.

__________

OK, we’re all back where we should be. Byron is exhausted from close to two hours of running around the neighborhood. Nestle seems content to have him home again and has curled up and gone to sleep.

Dogs! The children of our old age!

My Car will now not be done until noon tomorrow…

…and I remain trapped at home. John Case is going to pick me up at 6:30 AM to get to the radio show setup at Mellow Moods (you can listen from 7:30 to 9:00 AM on WSHC 89.7) and I assume he’ll drop me off at Brown’s Auto Repair after the show.

It seems the new water pump (another part I didn’t know about) wasn’t delivered until late today and the guy working on my car won’t have everything back together until the late morning. This will only add hourly charges and watch the whole thing go beyond the $1200.00 they estimated yesterday.

That blows my evening out of the water, too. I was going to go to the Thurber Carnival rehearsal at Full Circle tonite to work on the lighting plot… looks like the next rehearsal I’ll be able to get to is Monday.  John is going to express my regrets to the Director, as he has to be at rehearsal at 7 PM. They haven’t run both acts in sequence and I have plenty of time to get the lighting down.

And life goes on…

Barbara Ehrenreich on Positive Thinking…

Thought I’d pass on 10 minutes of education today… perhaps it will help you see how we got into the mess we’re in:

After you are done watching, try to think positively again. Hopefully, it will make you more realistic.

I saw a Praying Mantis in the garden yesterday as I watered…

…a change from the stinkbugs, bees and grasshoppers that I’ve been seeing. Is it mating time?

Perhaps Isabella Rosselini can give us some insight:

Love it!