Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Dollivers, Annies and Elton bring in the New Year to you

The Ds wanted to be ahead of the game a bit, and are already partying in the New Year, along with Elton and the Annies.

Elton, by special request from Boud, refrained from playing Auld Lang Syne, and subbbed with Scots Wha Hae, a bit bloodthirsty, but oh well, and in honor of the new gowns sported by the Ds, a whole medley of show tunes, including Oklahoma in honor of the Minnesota Annies, well, a bit off target, geography not being his strong point, and ballet themes vaguely resembling the Firebird Suite.  All in all, a creditable performance.

the Ds have decided that these new duds have to have names, so they posed and dictated what I should say for each of them.

Here's Dreads modeling Rosebud

and Blondie Firstborn in Millefleur Medley

Call Me Michelle in Firebird

NameMe in Mysterious Spanish Princess

Bette Davis in Girl of the Golden West

While all this posing and bossing was going on, Elton quietly threw a Tinies Party attended by the three Annies and Canadian Doll, who has taken up permanent residence at the piano with Elton.

And we all wish you all a Happy New Year and a good 2013 to everyone.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cheery note in December gloom

Not my most up time of year, in fact I think it would be much better not to fight against the short days and the cold, and just get under a blanket with a good book and two cats until Spring. However, my begonia in the kitchen indicated that she thinks it's Spring already, and since yesterday put out this little stem with pink flowers all ready to bust out all over. And I'm torn between saying oh, thank you, and oh, shut up already..
In a few days' time it will be flowering season for local witch hazel, too. And maybe a few snowdrops on the patio. Meanwhile, I'm reading good books.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Good New Year

In honor of blogistas at the antipodes who are well into Christmas early morning at this point, here comes the Christmas Blogpost from all of us to all of you.

Elton wishes to state that his holiday program ranged from Jingle Bells to Minuit Chretiens, with stops off at the Coventry Carol and The Twelve Days of Christmas. 

The Annies are anxious to point out that the snow on the creche is actually quite warm, being a fun fur scarf swiped from Boud,and not at all like the real stuff they left behind in Minnesota.  And the Dollivers remember about the creche and the figures in it from last year, and quite like it, the figures already being dressed and not in need of borrowing anything from them.

Boud has reread A Child's Christmas in Wales, a lovely edition from the 60s hand bound with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin, on the blank cover of which Handsome Son many years ago, probably aged about seven, wrote in the title, then decorated it with a jeweled cross for reasons that remain mysterious, but have become more dear with the passing years.  Duncan and Marigold will be content with a nice bit of nip over the holidays, Duncan being very happy that an old friend we haven't seen in a while stopped in yesterday and renewed their acquaintance, they being very good friends.

Handsome Son and I will be going out to celebrate at a buffet restaurant, where he can have lovely roast beef, and I can have lovely whole salmon to slice from, and a lot of other choices of all kinds, no work involved beyond carrying food to our table.  This will be good!

And we all wish you a good season, and a happy New Year, and good friends and neighbors to share it with.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Roses, you've met them before...

My lovely birthday bouquet is now down to the roses, so I've incorporated them into a group of houseplants I'm rooting in water, and they're now Christmas roses.  This is in fact my favorite stage of roses: when the petals square off and curl over,beautiful geometry.  They have a fruity smell, and now you can detect it better because the lilies are over. 

The other plants are philodendron, cuttings from friend, sansevieria, cuttings from friend, begonia, cuttings swiped from friend unknown to her, spider plant, great-great grandchild of an ancient plant who has propagated so many times I don't remember its origin.

I'm getting ready for a Big Thing Upstairs, new flooring.  Longtime blogistas will remember voting when I got samples of the downstairs laminate and showed you.  We ended up with Flare Cherry, which looks wonderful, and still like new, so I think I'll repeat the theme in the two bedrooms.  I won't put you through another contest!  but it's high time the ancient wall to wall put in by the builders, and the survivor of many animals, was retired and replaced.  Also I catch the underside of my slipper sometimes on the rugs, and it's a good idea not to have them upstairs.  Hallways and stairs will continue to be carpeted, fairly new carpet there, and I still like it.

This is a big budget item, and has pushed window replacement far down the list, but before I can get it done, I have to move a ton of stuff, sigh.  The men who have done several big jobs for me in the past, are wonderful about working around big furniture, moving it, moving it back, etc., but I have to move all the books, bookcases, various containers of craft items,  all the stuff on the closet floors, since I'll get them to floor right into the closets, looks lovely when done.  And I bet my cleaners will be tickled, that much less vacuuming, in place of damp mopping, much easier.

It will entail taking my platform bed apart again.  HS and I assembled it a while back, when I wanted to reclaim my own bed, taken apart when HP and I combined households, and it took a while for me to find the parts, since they'd been doing service as shelves here and there, and desktops in the studio and on and on.  Then I couldn't quite remember the order of business, and patient son kept the eye rolling to a minimum when we built and rebuilt it until it finally worked.

This time, when I broke the news to him, he said, after a pause, well, the good news is that I think I can remember how to assemble this thing this time.  Also, I'll help take it apart.  And I didn't add, but could have, this time we'll have all the parts in one place...

So that's the New Year adventure.  But first we get through Christmas, with a nice dinner out, no work, and I have the second season of Downton Abbey to watch, again, from the library.

And this morning, a cheerful sight at the bird feeder: a little redbreasted nuthatch, not the white breast who often shows up on the tree, but a newcomer, never seen on this patio before, noshing away happily and making many trips.  This is a good omen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Books,birds and niche interests

Reading lately has been an interesting mix.  I'm finding something intriguing: during Handsome Partner's lifetime, he was the household authority on all things history, being a hugely well read scholar.  This was in his spare time from being an atom scientist, and running bridge clubs, following tennis and golf and playing seriously good badminton.

His reading covered the Maya, the Incas, mucho pre-Columbian work,  masses of Egyptology, then sweeping right up to the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, on which he was a dead keen student, hauling me around to battle sites, of which there are plenty around here -- not far from Gettysburg, in fact, and the battles of Princeton and Monmouth are only a bit down the road. And to southern ones, too, when we were in the vicinity.  And he loved the history of science and astronomy, too. So history kind of became his property, if you follow me.

Now, though, I find I'm developing my own interest in history, though my period is different, mainly English history, either Tudor or nineteenth century.  And I'm more interested in social history than in battles and treaties, though you have to know about them to fathom what's going on in society, anyway.  this is partly a function of having uninterrupted time to read and follow a long thread of argument and description, and partly having recovered my ability to focus on reading more demanding stuff again.

Currently, I just finished The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson, never knew he was a historian.  He does have a great hand with narrative, just sweeps you along, even among the complications of that age.  And he makes a serious attempt not to take sides in the Reformation.  This book came out in 2012, so it's up to the minute in terms of where England is now, and how the church seems to have lost a lot of its authority, or been secularized in a way that would have surprised its forebears. Some very serious musing on the English blunders in Ireland and why they happened, and where that is now, too. Anyway, this is well worth reading.  In fact, if you like historical fiction of the period, it's great to read a history of this kind to get the hang of  what's going on in the background of the characters' lives.

Then, since all heavy reading is not on, I discovered Anna Dean, whose Victorian amateur sleuth Dido Kent, is a kind of Miss Marple meets Jane Austen, very very funny,very witty, good story, some serious social commentary, too, not just froth.

Out walking today, everywhere is still a lot of evidence of Sandy, massive trees down and hauled off the roads,but not yet cut and chipped down to usable material, very sad to see all those great wodges of earth slammed over.  But here and there something interesting happens. Here's a picture of a place where a big conifer limb was torn off, leaving a kind of niche you could nicely use for a piece of sculpture.  It's a bit high up, but might be a site for a bit of stealth art.

And a swan on the pond, very rare visitor here, possibly blown adrift by Sandy, but bossing the Canada geese around firmly anyway,and taking baths.  Riddle me this: why do swimming birds, who spend most of their lives in the water, need to take baths?  I mean, any lice would have drowned, so why else do they do this?  any knowledgeable blogista who knows, please chime in.  I'm guessing it has to do with maintaining the waterproofing of their feathers, but would like to know more.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Annies after their big city holiday makeover

The Annies got a haircut, new clothes and a lot of attitude when they shed their wholesome gingham for more, um rockin gear.  Here ready to partay. 

And just to show they don't forget who brung em, posing in the rocker with my peasant doll, who was heard to comment that they're still nice Minnesota girls under all that brocade.

Hippo Birdies to Me!

Beautiful flowers appeared at my house, and the whole place is filled with different scents, wonderful at this time of year specially.  Handsome Son will come by this morning to cook and serve us a special birthday lunch. Life is good.

I don't want to seem heartless by failing to note the terrible events of yesterday in Connecticut, but don't want to add to the prying coverage,either, very disrespectful to the people whose lives now fall into before and after.  But I am praying, and I will walk the labyrinth for all of them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Orphans of the Storm, three little Wooden Annies

Arrived today a group of three wooden cotton reel dolls, explaining that they were refugees from the big storm in Minnesota, all that snow, way over their heads, they figured they could do better, and arranged to move in here courtesy of KH, who had rescued them and provided foster care until they could find a forever home.

 My wooden peasant doll took over and installed them in her rocker,

then the Dollivers accepted them into their rocker, too. 
Since the newcomers are too small to borrow D clothes, they are safe here.  But they need names, if blogistas would be so kind.  They prefer to stay together in a group, so it's okay to have a group name and individual ones, too.

Elton asked if we needed a quick rendition of Good King Wenceslas, what with the snow and all, but was persuaded to hold off till it was more seasonal.

Meanwhile, Marigold and Duncan discovered a little package of excellent nip in the parcel, too, and tried it out, rolling and howling and trying to wash their faces with paws that kept on missing their faces and sort of flying out, causing more than one brisk fight, neither capable of landing a paw on the other, no harm done.

  Happy happy kitties.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Food to combat festive low spirits

This being my least favorite time of year, full of obligatory festive events, just at the season when all I would like to do is hibernate with a good book, and when any suggestion that I don't like Christmas or the season itself leading up to it is greeted with various levels of indignation.  Not  to mention names like Grinch and Scrooge.  Well, I don't spoil other people's enjoyment, just would like to be left alone. I look back with a surge of tiredness on my days as a program director in a large nonprofit org., where one year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, I had to attend twenty three, count them, official celebrations, all obligatory, all with great food, all too much!

I do put up a ceramic creche with figures, since the cats are  not interested in exploring, unlike other decorations and trees with tinsel, which were banned long ago. And I do make gifts for people.  And send and receive a few cards. It's all very low key.

Today was a good day, cold and sharp, for soup.  Soup is always good for my spirits.

So here comes cream of broccoli, from farmshare yellow squash and broccoli, with garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, plain yogurt added after blending. 
With homebaked bread croutons, tossed in olive oil,salt and pepper and thrown sizzling onto the bowl of soup. 

Dessert is a gala apple, with chopped hazelnuts and a drizzle of good honey.  Good.  Raised my spirits right away.

That and walking, and pushing furniture about at home, will probably help me get through this festive time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aha, gotcha, you critter, you!

So the last couple of days have been occupied with household stuff, mainly a leak in the bathroom under my studio, which the HOA maintenance people assured me, after tramping about and cursing for quite a while up on both sides of the inner roof, was not the roof, was probably the vent pipes in the roof leaking, and was certainly not their job.  Sigh.  Meanwhile, drips kept on coming down from the ceiling, removing parts of the ceiling board, so my friend the HandyLady agreed to come and see what it was, since all the HOA people said was what it wasn't.

She climbed into the roof through the entry from the studio -- which was right over the leak, and which the men had assured me would need the wall torn out to find it, but it wasn't their job-- and moved insulation and generally crawled about the confined space, and concluded she couldn't find a leak up there.  So we went back down a floor, and she pulled out a bit more ceilingboard then thrust her hand up into the little hole in the ceiling, and instantly found the trouble: a hole bitten into the PVC piping by some critter, like a squirrel or chipmunk, with which we are infested, causing condensation, instead of traveling along the vent pipe to the exit, to exit quickly down my wall and ceiling.

and here's a closeup, so you can see the toothmarks. Gah!

So we now think a simple application of plumber's putty and duct tape might do it.  It's a small pipe, a tributary to bigger ones, none of which can be accessed from above in the roof, since joists and other pipes intervene, which is why it wasn't visible from above, despite my shining a flashlight through the hole downstairs, light never penetrated,don't ask me who designed this and who ran the phone line like a tripwire over the entrance to the roof.  Meanwhile, since a trip home, three houses down, established that after a lengthy search, she concluded that her son has apparently abstracted the putty, she came back and put up a temp. fix of duct tape so I can observe the patient and see if the problem of dripping stops. 

If so, we'll go to Stage Two, the cutting of the ceiling board back to good board.  Then the Stage Three, the app. of the putty and duct tape, and Stage Three, the replacement of new ceiling board and taping thereof.  Stage Four, repainting, can wait a bit, I think.

Meanwhile, if you want a job properly diagnosed and inventive solutions found, get a woman to do it. Preferably a highly skilled friend who likes to rescue the likes of me from the likes of this problem.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fifteen seconds before this shot

there was a cheerful crowd of birds noshing at the seeds, courtesy of Heather, and the leftover turkey bits, courtesy of Boud. Then that bigbeaked chickadee gave the warning and they all flew for cover as I opened the door.

Sandy has carried many species way off their normal tracks this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a few unusual species showing up on the patio.

Already the juncoes arrived weeks ahead of schedule, probably blown north ahead of their plans, since they landed here two days before Sandy. Many species were trapped behind the storm and needed to set down anywhere to find food after being blown hither and yon in the skies.

 This morning's haul of birds at the feeder, at the seeds, flying off with sunflower seeds and cracking them on the nearest branch, then chucking the shells down for me to sweep up, and nibbling on the leftover turkey net and chunk of fat,great for insulating little birds in this bitter wind with snow in it, anyway today's haul included the following participants:

 Juncoes, several,varying colors and ages
Carolina wren, probably one bred and born on this patio,and I hope they'll nest again next year
Cardinal, Mister only, Missis usually waits to see if he keels over from the food before deciding to try it Chickadees, too hard to count, they move like little rockets, and they're always the first adopters of new food
Mourning dove, one advance scout shuffling around the deck checking the pickings
Tufted titmice, or titmouses, pair arguing as usual
Sparrows, various, including red breasted house finches

This was the breakfast crowd, all jostling at once, even shoving the squirrel out of the line. I wonder if we'll get woodpeckers and nuthatches and tree creepers this year. They have so much Sandy-downed timber to forage in that they might not need to come closer to houses.
They like the insects you find in rotted wood, a good argument for not keeping woodlots too neat and tidy.
However, the tendency of unpruned trees to get top heavy and crash down on your house in autumn gales is a very good argument for spending the money to keep them pruned and open. My little cherry survived because it had windows opened in its foliage ahead of the winds.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from us all to you!

We had our first Thanksgiving at home since Handsome Partner left us(last year it was too hard, and we went out to a restaurant and enjoyed it, no memories hanging about there) and now we can say we did it.  It was great, and Handsome Son and agreed that from now on we either celebrate at my house or go out, now that we have a choice.  Fine by me, and Christmas will be at a restaurant.

Despite the cut finger, amazing how often you need that exact digit to move things, open things, balance things on, etc. we did fine.  I appeared in usual holiday garb for the cook: 

best cashmere sweater, good pearls, apron! HS provided cheese and cracker hors d'oeuvres, here organizing them

while I fussed about with other food,
He brought the beverage and pie and cream, I provided all the bits in between -- turkey, farmshare squash, corn, broccoli, and, in the stuffing, farmshare red pepper dice, cranberry jelly, gravy, baked potatoes, roast potatoes. 
I managed to remember to serve everything I'd cooked, some of which appears here, a first for me.  Duncan was happy with his official little square of turkey,

Marigold maintained a calm indifference to the whole day, posing briefly

before retiring to her bathing,

and the Dollivers drew up to the candles in the fireplace, claiming they were exhausted after all that work.

A good day was had by all, as the parish bulletins used to say, among other hilarious comments.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog not happy!

The previous post unaccountably flooded its banks, must have been watching too much Sandy coverage. Sorry.

Thanksgiving Eve

Up with me: excitement this morning, which it's too bad
 nobody filmed,because it was a Three Stooges morning in the kitchen.
 To wit:

Got up as usual, humming happily, put on kettle, sprayed pan
with olive oil ready to put on homebaked slice to
 fry before breaking egg
over, favorite breakfast, put on burner.

Then while I had the bread out I thought, ah, why don't I slice and
cube it ready for the stuffing tomorrow.  Whip out the breadknife,
eyes probably not fully open,knife slips off the bread and buries
itself into my finger.  Much blood.  Rush to downstairs bathroom to
staunch blood, clean, apply dressing, interrupted by sound of kettle
whistling loudly, joined by smoke alarm on all three floors, it
doesn't mess around.

Run back holding up hand, to realize pan with olive oil is now smoking
merrily.  Whip open window, turn off kettle, put oven fan on high, wave newspaper at
smoke alarm to quieten it down.  Return to bathroom to redo entire
hand and get bandaids in place, then a latex glove over the lot in
order to cook.

continue with breakfast as originally scheduled.  Later, while
organizing turkey, realize poor thing and I have more in common than
usual this year, as I rinsed off the turkey blood from the dish.

The dressing, my own recipe, first time of trying, using homebaked
bread cubes, farmshare red pepper diced, Granny Smith apple diced, big piece
of frozen sage pesto, kosher salt, black pepper, chicken stock
(storebought this one), looks as if it will work out nicely.
I'm hoping for a quieter day from now on. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A morning well spent at the Honda dealership

So today my Honda, should I name her Rhonda, informed me that I better check into why her check engine light was on. I'd fiddled with the gas cap already,often a cause for this, but it didn't work. Sooooo, in we went to spend the morning waiting. Really it's simpler to stay and wait than mess about getting home and back, and renting or loaning, all that.

Especially now that they've finally finished rebuilding the entire place around them and are no longer operating with open walls to all weather, winds whipping through the waiting area, painters and other workmen moving the clients around all the time to get at the next bit they needed to work in. I can't imagine how the workers there managed. Even the repair area was under siege.
But now they have a new building, complete with good complimentary coffee and bagels and a nice lady to serve them,
and assist with the serious choosing of the bagel and despite the otherwise testosterone rich environment,
a reasonable place to do your email, your needlepoint,
your Freecell,

catch up with the newspaper, do a lot of what you might have been doing anyway at home. As a bonus, I have reached the official age at which all the men treat me like a nice if dotty old grandma, much teasing,great fun.

And today, in the course of doing a bit of catchup on needlepoint, a lady leaned over and asked me about it. And no, she blessedly did NOT say, oh I have no time for that, while waiting just as long as I but doing nothing, she did say she likes embroidery, wanted to know where to buy materials.

So I seized the day, as future President (one of three, it's a big job (!))of my embroiderers' guild chapter, and did a brisk selling job of joining us at our meetings and going on shopping trips with our members. I'm useless at shopping, but her eyes lit up when I mentioned that some of our members are great at finding the right stuff. So who knows, maybe I recruited a new member. Wonder if I'll get a toaster...

The only small downside was that I noticed when I retrieved my car, that the clock had been adjusted to reflect the time change. I was sorry to see this, because the reason I don't change it is that when you do, it loses all my preset radio stations, and it's a lengthy and annoying process to set them all up again. But I think the mechanic thought oh, poor old grandma, she doesn't know how to change the clock, I'll do it for her. Another instance of the boy scout forcing an old lady across the street when she doesn't want to go.

Rhonda the Honda is happy now. She needed a new oxygen sensor, imagine how that must have felt. So, with oil change, new battery, she's all set for the winter. At least that's the plan.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Three great movies to see at home

If you're in search of really good movies, on DVD, all of these were at my local library, my latest moviegoing in the living room has been:

My afternoons with Margueritte (well, I saw this at the movies ages ago, and it's good enough to see again, Gisele Casadesus is worth everything, aside from Gerard Depardieu)

 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Hedgehog (aside from other great actors, Gisele Casadesus is in this one, too, very small part)

 It just happens that they're all French, not planned that way, I just found them and thought I'd give them a try. All subtitled, for them as don't speaka da French,and all perfectly wonderful, well acted, just so worth seeing. So that's my movie review time done.  I don't want to ruin them by explaining the plot, since what happens isn't really the point of any of them.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Freecell and Freecycle

So, what with one thing and another, I decided I needed to do some pointless activity, to recover from last week's trauma, rather than the endless goal oriented activities I usually get enmeshed in. It's all very well getting things done and goals met, but I sometimes forget to just play and do silly stuff.

Freecell has rescued me from this terrible path of achievement. I am probably the last adopter in the free world of this version of solitaire, loaded on my Ipod touch.It will tell you something when I say that I have no games whatever loaded on my netbook, never have. It's strictly about doing and working and not just sitting there. So this is my new fun thing. I have to watch it, though, otherwise I'll start scheduling an hour of Freecelling right after the tapestry in the studio and the stitching in the living room and the drawing and cooking in the kitchen, and the gardening on the patio, and I'll be thinking gosh, everything's work..

One endless source of amusement, though, is our local chapter of Freecycle. I admire the folks who freecycle, I'm one of them, and it's great to pass on good stuff to a new home. But entries do tend to veer toward the comic now and then. Like the bride last summer, looking for items for a garden wedding at home: candles in glass holders, paper goods and -- garden rakes! was it for shoveling out the last of the revelers?

Then today, another nice one: Offering three Barbie dolls (could be knock offs) and a black horse. Loose, no box, decent condition. From early 80s. When responding indicate when you can pickup. I mean, do you need a trailer to pick up Black Beauty or what? do the Barbies gallop off with you on the black horse? See, I can be frivolous, I just have to plan my spontaneity.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cooking the harvest

Now that eggs are back, in one store, anyway, and the last farmshare is in the kitchen, and yeast was once more obtainable in the store, all these happy events triggered a wild frenzy of cooking. Yesterday it was four loaves of wholewheat bread, one big loaf of squash bread, a pan of roasted french fry sweet potatoes (these can freeze), and today it was curried squash soup.

 I checked the Silver Palate cookbook for a soup recipe (Soup Suppers declined to offer one, why, Arthur, why) and after noting that of the requirements of the SP I did not have: a food processor, apple juice, whole apples, and chicken stock, I concluded I was on my own.

 Just using (farm) onion, chopped, with several teaspoonsful of curry powder and a dash of turmeric, extra to what's in the curry powder anyway, cooked gently for about 25 minutes, then a big butternut squash, chopped, three cups of broccoli water (from the steaming pot when I cooked the b., waste not, want not)added, to the boil, then on low heat, then to cut the rawness of the curry, some plain unsweetened fatfree yogurt, well from all this came out a stop-the-presses good soup. You do need an immersion blender for this kind of soup, so as to get exactly the consistency you like. At least I do, not being trustworthy with pouring hot liquids in and out of blenders.

 And with sizzling croutons from the bread I baked yesterday, in olive oil with plenty of salt and pepper and garlic crushed, just served right on top of the soup, this was really really good. And there are now two containers of it in the freezer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Reassuring notes on nor'easter

The nor'easter came, dumped six inches of wet snow, no wind, and departed. Some poor people who'd only just got power restored lost it again. They must be thinking longingly of warmer climates. But we were lucky, no further damage done. By the time I looked out, my neighbors had already cleared my car and the snow removal people had shovelled the walkways. I only had to trot out and bang the cherry tree on the patio with a broom to knock off snow so that it wouldn't break after all it's been through, and that was my restoration complete. I had to make a medical appointment, and noticed no further problems between here and there,and got a good medical verdict. So all is well chez Dollivers and Elton, Duncan, Marigold, me, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Day, the day after the election...

The Dollivers collapsed along with the rest of us, that finally it's over, we know the results.  Which were very very similar to the results last time around, which makes me wonder couldn't we just have pushed the button for copy?

Great relief, that it did not come to a Supreme Court fight,that even the small areas of contest and still uncounted ballots, don't affect the outcome, that we don't have one of those bitter drawn out squabbles that follow contested vital states.  That there's no doubt of the winner.

And huge props to my fellow New Jerseyans who trudged through bitter subfreezing weather from their unheated homes, searching for the new polling places, the old ones either being under water or destroyed, some who could find a place with internet access  figuring out how to vote via fax, new emergency method, many waiting hours to vote in person in freezing unheated tents.  And waiting and waiting for newly printed and rushed in emergency affidavit voting forms and paper ballots to arrive after the polling places repeatedly  ran out.  But still voting. 

Props to state government for once, for rapidly acting to change the voting methods and putting in place in hours print runs that would normally take months to design, execute and deliver, in this normally electronic voting state.  Preserving the franchise.

Elton broke out into song about this, and gave us a charming rendition of Bruce's Born to Run, then America the Beautiful, Louis's What a Wonderful World, and serenaded us out with Mozart's 21st piano concerto, aka the Elvira Madigan theme.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bringing in the -- squash!

The last of the farmshare today.  Over till next Spring.  We have a sparkling day of sunshine between storms -- a nor'easter due to arrive tomorrow.  But meanwhile, here's the harvest of the day. 

Duncan examines all incoming produce with care, and usually tears into the green leafy stuff, but he can't quite figure out these squash. 

And Dolliver Nation, all organized by the kitchen radio to listen to the election returns, have hedged their bets.  As Call Me Michelle explained "whichever way it goes, il faut cultiver notre jardin."  She's been reading our French blogistas' comments!  so since guarding the crops is the nearest they get to cultivating a garden, this is their best shot.

Wise group.