31 October 2006

Found This a Bit Late

Saved for next year:

Carve Your Own Pumpkin

"Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet..."

"...give me something good to eat...look out, look out, the goblins are out!"

Which means I watched the For Better or For Worse Hallowe'en special, and then It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and then it was time to man the door for the real-life Hallowe'en denizens.

I wore my cat outfit (black sweats, white gloves, and a black and white cat mask) and got lots of laughs from the adults taking the children around. There were several little girls dressed as cats and they seemed astonished to meet yet another cat! (Another tiny blond boy, however, seemed a bit overwhelmed by the costume and almost started to cry until I showed him it was a mask, after which he solemnly told me "Bye-bye.") I also had several compliments from the adults and the older kids about the decorations on the porch and in the foyer, which made me feel really chuffed! (A useful word that.)

The little girl next door was Elmo, and we had several Disney princesses, a cool kid in black robes with red eyes that glowed from a distance, a Ninja Turtle, various monsters and ghouls, several skeletons, Raggedy Ann, and too many others to remember. Everyone was happy and polite (no slouching teens who made no effort at a costume) and the little ones ran about shrieking happily. All the candy was gone and I had to turn away six kids, so that means we had about 76 in two hours and ten minutes.

Pidgie chirbled through much of the procedure and Willow of course barked. I can't remember when I enjoyed myself and at the same time felt so lonely and melancholy in my life.

18 October 2006

In Color...

I had just finished looking at photos on the Vermont Fall Foliage website—the color was spectacular this year!; I now have their photo of Killington as my wallpaper—and just happened to read this article about hiking Vermont's Long Trail afterwards:
"Take up the trail again, follow it to a mountain crest, and you will see something that is not quite like anything else. There is nothing bleak and aloof about these mountains; they are soft, rounded, friendly giants clad in incomparably beautiful garments and holding in their laps, like toys, the homes of men. Here and there is a silver pendant on a silver chain, for there are lakes and streams without end. North and south is the tumbled green range; shading to blue in the distance; east, across the multicolored woods annd hills, are the White Mountains; west and four thousand feet below, in the oldest valley in America, Lake Champlain and its islands stretch out of sight; and close beyond are the purple Adirondacks, fold upon fold. For a hundred miles in every direction the cup of beauty is full to the brim."

Merritt Parmalee Allen, "Let's Take the Trail," St. Nicholas 1928

All painted so well in words!

"Shopping for a Man"

This was on my Christmas to the Max list; had to share:
Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.
Rule #1:
When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.
Rule #2:
If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.
Rule #3:
If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.
Rule #4:
Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.
Rule #5:
You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.
Rule #6:
Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.
Rule #7:
Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.
Rule #8:
Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.
Rule #9:
Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.
Rule #10:
Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sear's Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.")
Rule #11:
Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"
Rule #12:
Tickets to a Red Wing/Lions/Pistons/Tigers game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.
Rule #13:
Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why - please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.
Rule #14:
It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.
Rule #15:
Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.

06 October 2006


A cold front pushed its way through last night so the first thing I did upon arising was fling open the windows to be greeted by a sweet autumn breeze. I decided to have breakfast at the Starbuck's at Barnes & Noble and just for the heck of it ducked next door to CD Warehouse (they sell used items)—and got an astonishingly good deal on the new release of Little Mermaid and fourth season of Hogan's Heroes. Also found Bambi II at a very good price and a CD of Christmas music totally done by brass orchestras.

Since James' mom and sister (cross fingers) are spending Thanksgiving with us, I bought a fall tablecloth at Linens'n'Things with one of my coupons.

I also went to Garden Ridge looking for something but didn't find it. However, upon walking in I was surrounded by Christmas decorations glittering to my right and fall decorations glowing to my left. Summer has been so hard on my health that I had to resist the urge to spin about like Mary Tyler Moore and pronounce happily "I'm home! I'm home!" since it was all so welcoming.

Came home to find the house cool and breezy and was feeling so chipper I committed poetry:
Vivid blue sky,
autumn leaves fly--
gold, orange, red.
Summer has fled
back to her den.
Can't wait till when
cooling winds blow,
hinting of snow.
Bonfires burn
while the leaves turn,
and gingerbread
children are bred;
savor near fire,
after all retire,
with cocoa--Yay!--
while branches sway
in crisp delight
on moonlit night.
From settling leaves
now Nature weaves
beds for flowers.
Counting the hours--
for when leaves fly,
Christmas is nigh!

05 October 2006

A New Leaf

It's that time of year when a "young New Englander's fancy turns to thoughts of leaves" (not to mention the middle aged and old New Englander—LOL).

Here's a Mount Washington Cam and a view of Mount Washington Valley. Looks like the color will be good this year.

Not much obvious color in Providence yet from the panorama shot, however, if you click on the second picture from the right, which is the new Johnson and Wales campus (where the old Outlet Department Store used to be), several maple trees are heralding the turn of the season.

(Can't see much color here in Burlington, VT due to the camera position, but look at Lake Champlain!)

Columbus Day weekend is the traditional "leaf peeping" weekend for New Yorkers and New Englanders. Even the folks at the Yankee Magazine home headquarters have forsaken the shot of the green in Dublin, NH, in favor of the treecam.

Wonder what I-91 going toward Rockingham, VT, looks like. It parallels the Connecticut River and is lined with trees. When we went up to the Vermont Country Store there two years ago, it was way past peak.

More fall links.

03 October 2006

Angel Songs at Avonlea

Marilla probably wouldn't approve of Anne wearing her hair loose like this, but here are "Diana" and "Anne" singing.

Diana Barry and Anne Shirley sing Christmas carols

01 October 2006

Christmas Lights and "Kindred Spirits"

At Sam's today we checked out all their gift and decoration aisles; tons of stuff: several large gorgeous Nativity sets, also a Victorian village in a box (4 buildings and the ice skating pond and a bunch of different figures), and of course those big gift baskets of chocolate or tea things.

At the end of one aisle were the lights and they had several different choices of LEDs, which James has been interested in getting. Each different size (three in all) had multi and white bulbs, but the small ones also had blue strings. Well, we are "blue fools" with our outside lights and candles; only the tree is multi. I had bought five strings of 100 blue mini lights last year when they were on sale, but we still didn't use them because the idiot who designed our old house didn't put an outside plug in the front.

James' eyes lit up (pun intended! ) at the sight of LED lights, so he bought a box to decorate the porch. There are 180 lights in the string, 48 feet of lights in all. I suppose we can buy another string if needed, but it's not a big porch!

We also went to JoAnn since I had a 50 percent off coupon courtesy one of the ladies in one of my Christmas groups. Last week I had seen some small caroler figures about the size of large action figures; these are dressed in heavy "clothes" and carry different things. Several of the girls had red hair and since I've always wanted to be a redhead I wanted to buy at least one. Sadly, I couldn't use the coupon because they were already on sale. I picked out a red-headed girl with a roll of music in her hands, a red cap, and an old-fashioned plaid skirt, then had a glimmering of an idea but couldn't find a dark-haired girl caroler (all the dark haired girls were African American). The other carolers were all blondes or red heads. I did see one caroler in a cape and muff where only a little of her hair showed. Like Mary Clancy in The Trouble with Angels, I had a "scathingly brilliant idea." :-) I will get a dark marker or some black paint (whatever will work best) and darken her hair. Then I will have Anne Shirley and Diana Barry singing Christmas carols at Green Gables!