Sitting in front of a screen and a keyboard, trying to focus on random.
-Typepad has done strange things with formatting numbered lists. So screw that. -I can't figure out how to make it auto-advance only one line instead of two. I hate having to press shift-enter. -Next year, this NaBloPoMo thing will only happen every other day. And I will call it a success. -I cut the warp off the loom, and won't be able to put a new one on for at least two weeks. -Thanksgiving plans are in full cry. The recipes are selected, 1/2 the shopping is done. -Selecting wines for the day is not easy. I punt and hope for the best, figuring the day is not about the wine. -No one will let me stop making the Three Nut Cranberry tart. Thank goodness for that. -The entire day will be devoted to cheating on the eating plan. -I have lost a stable 10 pounds, and have maintained it with minimal jiggering. -Post Thanksgiving, there will be jiggering. And probably the day after, too. -Mr. E and I had the usual discussion: late fall or early winter? -There needed to be a winter precipitation event before it became early winter, until we went out this afternoon and froze. -It is early winter.
Transitions are difficult. Available new technologies are expensive. Because of that, profits can be reaped. And in laissez faire economies, competition springs up to compete for those profits.
So. You walk into any women's public bathroom in America now. You encounter four devices:
-a toilet -a faucet -a soap dispenser -something that dries your hands
Invariably, they all operate on different assumptions, are made by different companies, and have different points of failure. The toilet self-flushes. Or you have to actuate the flush. The faucet works when you wave your hands at a sensor. Or you push down on the top, or you turn handles. The soap dispenser either needs a solid push, or another wave of a hand near a sensor. And the drier either needs a push on a lever, a turn of a wheel, a wave at a sensor, or a dip of your hands into the U that blows you to deafened oblivion.
And NONE devices that work by sensor reliably works. You are waving at faucets, cursing the faulty technology. You look down. And see that you have to push down to get the water running, and now you feel like an idiot. Or you look for the lever on the towel machine, and after fruitless searching, understand (with people waiting behind you), that it is the sensor that needs to be waved at. Or simply? The sensor isn't sensing.
The worst is when the toilets are auto, refuse to flush, AND the rescue button doesn't. What now?
It's enough to make a reasonable woman want to hold on until her bladder busts.
The light changed. They walked across the street, but it wasn't walking. It was weaving, and slapping shoulders, pushing, laughing. It was a moment in time for them that stretched out with no awareness of ending ever. She sat at the light, in the car bubble, watching. Her moment was remembering her version of their moment, and that it is not endless. Not knowing the end of the time doesn't change the timeless experience. She looked at her moment now, seeing that it, too, seemed without end. But then knowing the moment ends, her later self will look back over her shoulder, and see her moment that never seemed to own an end. And so it goes around, for each, without end.
I had no hope of puzzling this crowd. The plant is, indeed, a teasel. It was used in the oulden tymes to card wool for spinning. The stem and the seedhead are covered with stiff spikes. Harvesting and using cannot have been fun.
The Knockando Wool Mill in Scotland has a nice blog post on the plant and its use. She includes a picture of a very large carding wheel covered with secured teasel seedheads. The link is here. This is a picture of their carding wheel.
In my search for information, I discovered I had purchased a biennial which had apparently not set seed. So funny that I carefully planted it in a metal mesh so the voles would leave it alone. Some kind of plan "B" will need to happen by spring 2017.
A more manageable handtool that uses teasels is just a mere Google image search away. See below.
There seems to be a lot of chicken and egging going on in the deep Web about teasel being the root of teasing something apart vs teasing something apart being the root of teasel. I leave the solution as an exercise for the student.
The local farmers' market hosts all. Each summer, an older couple sells plants from their small garden. They always have something interesting and out of the ordinary.
This year, I bought a sturdy little plant for a difficult area. It is a mountain mint, not as invasive as the culinary species. It smells sweet, and is hardy. I paraded the pot over to Mr. Etherknitter, who came back to the tent with me. He pointed to a plant in back of me. "What's that?" he asked. "It's good."
I twisted around, and spied a familiar form. Who can guess first?
You can look at this as a placeholder. Or not. There may be no others for the rest of the month. The computer systems that are always metastable here are not stable. They are not functioning at all. There is no access to pictures, and hence, nothing other than words.
In its way, the summer of 2016 rivaled the winter of 2015. A plague fell upon all our houses in this part of the northeast. (If there had been ten, I would have referenced Moses, but there were only eight, so Romeo and Juliet will have to do.)
Heat: Relentless. Dessicating. Damaging. Ennervating. It was the first summer ever, that I left the AC on 24/7. I had a stiff drink prior to opening the first electric bill (not really), and found that keeping it on was cheaper than on/off/on/off.
Drought: Relentless. Dessicating. Soul-killing. The effect on the landscape was amplified by the heat waves. Hours of my life, spent resuscitating dying shrubs and perennials. My gardening jones may have run its course.
Voles: What the drought didn't kill, the voles did. Plants disappeared overnight. One looked like it was wilting from the drought. I watered it, and the next day, it looked worse. I reached over to investigate, and the whole plant came out of the dirt into my fist. The roots had been vole-dinner. One evening when I was watering shrubs, one of the little shits poked his head out of a tunnel. I had only hose in hand, otherwise I would have executed a whack-a-vole manuever. My gardening jones may have run its course.
Deer: There were three living in the cul-de-sac all summer, a doe and two fawns. Definitely cute, and remarkably destructive. All the front perennials were lunch. All.
Water ban: See #2. The coup de grace for the grass, and many other plants.
Rabbits: What the voles didn't get (they work underground) and the deer didn't eat, the rabbits finished off. You can tell who eats what by the type of damage they leave on the stems.
Chipmunks: The tomatoes in the deck plantings became tomato confetti while still green. They never had a ghost of a chance. The chippers left the skin, and chewed out the flesh.
Squirrels: They ate the pomegranate blossoms. They ate what the chipmunks didn't. They occasionally managed a successful raid on the squirrel-resistant feeder.
It tears the soul out of my gardening body.
I had to bring the pumpkins into the house. They really are more Thanksgiving decor than Halloween ornaments. Nothing would have been left by November 24th if I had not taken action. Instead, I put out the ones we carved for the holiday. And this is the fate of pumpkins.
She is fickle. Capricious. Some years, I am not quick enough to catch her in the act. I cannot imagine why she is blooming out of season. Night blooming Cereus. She reminds me of the creature in Alien. But I do not tell her that.