Not The Target Market

Recent Car Adventures

Two weeks ago, my mechanic said:

“I don’t know why you brought your car in for an a/c service.  The a/c is working just fine.  However, you need new front brakes, which will be $700 and repairs on the power steering, which will be $2,000.”

I was too stunned to hold up my end of the conversation. (more…)

All the Dogs of My Life (And Other Matters)

I would like, to begin with, to say that though parents, husbands, children, lovers and friends are all very well, they are not dogs.  In my day and turn having been each of the above, — except that instead of husbands I was wives, — I know what I am talking about, and am well acquainted with the ups and downs, the daily ups and downs, the sometimes almost hourly ones in the thin-skinned, which seem inevitably to accompany human loves.

Dogs are free from these fluctuations.  Once they love, they love steadily, unchangingly, till their last breath.

That is how I like to be loved.

Therefore I will write of dogs. (more…)

The New Age of Letter Writing

Lady Writing a Letter by Albert Edelfelt, 1887

Even with all the quick and snappy ways of keeping in touch with friends and family – texts, emails, video calls – I have never given up writing letters.  Real, physical letters that you stuff in an envelope and slap a stamp on.

Originally, I had thought of calling this blog “Letters at Breakfast” because it has always been my fantasy to have a voluminous correspondence. I dreamed of coming down to breakfast and finding a pile of letters at my plate.  That this would mean acquiring 1) a cook to prepare the breakfast, 2) a house parlor maid to set the table and put the letters at my place, 3) a postman to deliver the morning mail by 7:30 or 8 a.m., and 4) friends and family to engage in this back and forth letter writing, are mere incidentals.  As for the blog title, the posts would have been my letters in return. (more…)

Results

The porch hallway after being stripped

Apparently, you don’t actually need a pump sprayer and a power washer to strip a porch floor and railings.  Tools on hand, if they include a plastic pail, a paint brush, a scrubbing brush and a garden hose are just fine.  It helps if you are single-minded and a bit crazy, but it is probably not essential.

In a way it is unfortunate that this project ended with such satisfactory results.  It will do nothing to stop my delusion that I can do anything with the junk lying about the cellar and garage, and I will continue to dive into things best left to the professionals. (more…)

The Very Endless Porch Project

Back porch on its way to becoming leprous.

Because 1) my thoughts on the state of the Commonwealth, Country and World are not printable; 2) I haven’t assembled any thoughts on another book commentary; 3) I haven’t been anywhere beyond the back garden to write about; 4) The Moose is working from home and so unable to provide me with any comic relief; and 5) it is past time for another post, I thought I would just offer a peek into what is going on here in lockdown in the middle of nowhere.

I can sum it all up by saying that I am having a A Very Hungry Caterpillar week.   (more…)

Some Thoughts on Weeds

The troublesome garlic mustard.

It was an almost warm, dry winter.  It is now a cold, wet spring.  As I type this, on April 27, it is raining and 38 degrees.  Adding to the general specialness of the day, there is a hard northeast wind blowing.

The garden flowers may be hesitating until it gets a little warmer, but the weeds are out and about. Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time attempting to get these prolific, shameless intruders under control. When one is on one’s knees in the dirt, one has a lot of time for thoughts and these are mine. (more…)

Two Things …

… I would have told you today about COVID 19 if we had been able to have a glass of wine and a salad together on the patio of a little neighborhood café.

Prologue:  After lunch, as The Hunter left to go scouting for a good turkey hunting spot (the season opens next week), he asked what I was going to do.

I said: “I don’t know.  Maybe write.  I’m way past due for a blog post, but I’m not sure what to write about.”

He replied: “I should have thought that you would have had something to say about COVID 19 by now.” (more…)

The Shadow of His Wings

It is supposed to be the story of a priestly vocation, but the book The Shadow of His Wings, by Fr. Gereon Goldman reads more like an action thriller.  Done right, it would make a fabulous movie – the kind of Mission Impossible movie where every five minutes it seems the hero is done for – but, instead the plot twists and the hero finds himself in yet another incredible situation – the kind of situation where, if these Mission Impossible heroes were Christians, they would be praying the Hail Mary as fast as they could. (more…)

Fish Soup

The Moose scanning the Wall Street Journal before diving into his work for the day.

Now that The Moose is working from home, I have more time for stories that don’t begin A cow says moo, a sheep says baa, three singing pigs say la la la* or In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.**  I even have the time to write a few.  Here’s one: (more…)

Anne of Green Gables

It is Lent and the only book I’ve been reading is the diary of St. Faustina.  Still, I don’t want to neglect my book posts and leave the impression that after that spate of reviews on taking to the Maine wilderness (which doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all given the present circumstances), I had nothing left.  Far from it.  But the books I have earmarked all need re-reading and I’m focused on other things at the moment.

There is, however, a book post I’ve been wanting to write which doesn’t involve any re-reading. I want to comment on one line from Anne of Green Gables. This line leapt out at me when, about a year ago, and probably for the first time as an adult, I re-read the Anne canon. (more…)