Dec 18, 2012

meanwhile back in raglan shire

mudpie is ready for xmas in her cozy houseboat.  there are nice cottages available, but this is perfect for me!  almost perfect -- if only my shire had a road or a canal right to raglan shire!  

waiting for xmas can get boring, so the tinies have constructed a race track!  mudpie is hooked on racing and has made the scoreboard for 2 days in a row -- (but now everybody's getting better so no longer on it)
 and one other thing -- mudpie's gone into the placebo business in first life.  lots of studies show them to be effective, and in a recent study they worked as well as drugs even when the patient was told they were just placebos!  
i'll try to get a picture of this great new product before they are all snapped up.

Dec 10, 2012

An autumn of visitors!

it's true -- Vermont is the new North Carolina.
here it is december and no snow covering the ground.
how will santa even find us?
here's how it looks:

a little time off now after such a busy fall.
first came college friends to brookfield,
then halloween kittens

we blew up our 'scream' and had it around for halloween
and again for thanksgiving, when there was a wedding
at our house!

28 years and they are finally legal
at least in the Republic of Vermont.
the scream was not part of the wedding,
altho we considered including it.

saturday morning a flock of turkeys went through our yard

but crossed the road just as i found my camera.
why did they cross the road?

Dec 5, 2012

What i learned in Brookfield in October

Modern cars have slightly tinted windows unsuited for viewing autumn leaves.
Looking at photos of me with my southern friends:
    Practice smiling bigger
    Practice sitting more ladylike
People from away are not as inspired by healthy food produced in a healthy manner.
People from away have funny ideas about cold and snow.
A GPS can be useful on a foggy night, but is not as much fun as getting lost and asking strangers for directions. 
RTFM means "read the friendly manual" -- oh really?   

Dec 4, 2012


don't you love it when the log on the fire
matches the cat on the rug?

Nov 22, 2012

Rude Veggies

in one of those british tv shows, as kind of a casual aside from the plot, there was a box for collection of rude vegetables.  apparently there was to be a contest judged by  -- of course --the parish priest.  

i had no idea what a rude vegetable might be until the contents of the box were shown!

what a fun idea!  carrot growers especially have had many a hoot over their crop.  i mentioned it to my neighbor, and she brought this one by yesterday. 

could my town have a contest like this?  not likely!  this is america - we are above that sort of thing.
*giggle snort*

Oct 15, 2012

Les Miserable by Theatre on the Hill

(click any picture to enlarge)
 minding her own business in her pumpkin-head psycho nurse hallowe'en costume, mudpie got a message from Skyblue Earthboy that Theatre on the Hill was doing Les Miserable (which they've been working on for a loooong time!) right now!

(scene 1)
 she tp'd right over and sure enough the seats worked for tinies too!  hooray for tiny power!  my snapshots are not very clear, but you'll get the idea.
(the flames were wild and crackling!)
 the singing was beautiful, and the sets stunning. the acting was a bit robotic in places, but perhaps that's as good as it gets.
ordinarily i don't go for seeing something in SL that would actually be better in RL, but i'd never seen Les Miserable, and i did enjoy the music.

(the river flowed toward us!)

 michael heard i was the only tiny attending and came to be my wingman, as he put it!  as you can see we are both mesmerized, even tho he was watching on his CELL PHONE!
actually i have no idea what the plot was about, but still it was lots of fun with lots of good energy in the troupe. made me miss Lucy's days on the SL stage!

Oct 14, 2012

out beyond wifi

(View from the house -- photos by Josephine, not me)
the floating bridge (photo by josephine)
a friend from college borrowed a house in Brookfield -- a totally out-of-the-way town.  the house is on a narrow dirt road off a wider dirt road off a back road.  thank goodness another friend lent me her GPS or i'd never have found the place in the dark in total autumn fog!

 we had a great time, 6 friends from all over the country who see each other once a year or so.

Brookfield is known for its floating bridge - currently closed for repairs - and surprisingly there's a wonderful restaurant there, too, Ariel's.

vermont's leaf show was not up to par this year, but vermont is always beautiful (except maybe in November)

Sep 15, 2012

garden buddha & squirrel

the little kid who came 
a few years ago to our door
pushing a lawn mower he barely topped,
and asked if we wanted to hire him to mow our lawn, 
is now a big tall kid!  
strong enough to pick up the picnic table 
to move it out of the way of his new riding lawn mower
and mow several lawns in town and out, 
and the library as well!  
he's a good businessman, and now 
that he's old enough to be driving (legally) (yes, we've recognized you) 
he mentioned that he's twice failed to pass the test to get his license.  
but since then, 
he did pass it. 
i'm not asking and he's not saying, 
but i did notice someone left a 25 cent piece on our garden buddha.


Sep 8, 2012

early one saturday morning

me:       what's all that noise in there!?
hank:    dis box had spider innit mebbe
me:       who's going to pick up all those styrofoam pellets and put them back in that box!
hank:    i haz to wash dis foot now

Sep 7, 2012

summer's end

labor day was summer blue and pink
shy autumn played around the edges
tuesday never dawned
cold rain down your back

and rain and rain and rain and rain
and i opened my eyes to dreams of yellow pencils
and the smell of paper wrappers on crayons
chalk dust squeak

oh to be in second grade
and the cold rain falling
my new desk shines smooth under warm lights
and my teacher is so beautiful!

Sep 6, 2012

castle cats

lucy's second life cat went missing.
i finally rezzed another one
fluffy turned up lost in the castle!
now there are two, fluffy and fussby.

they play together -- and when lucy's not online
they really like getting lost in the castle.
lucy put some chairs down to block the door
it works!

Sep 4, 2012

getting away for the day

Labor Day monday
a beautiful day!
sunny, breezy, not too hot, not too cool

in the morning,
cars headed north with kayaks on the roof
and cars headed south with kayaks on the roof

cars with bicycles on the roof drove north
and cars with bicycles on the roof drove south

later bicyclists bicycled by going north
and more going south

in the evening it all reversed.

Aug 31, 2012

WSOS meet Old Whitey

yellow jackets took up residence in our garage. we couldn't see quite where - they were zooming in and out behind a big bunch of garden rakes, shovels, hoes that leaned in a corner. after we searched the internet (google "winged spawn of satan")  i devised a plan involving fishing line and a bungee cord to pull the tools over from inside the house. i gathered materials and made my plans.   meanwhile john went out one night and just stealthily moved all the tools.

three nest holes were in the dirt and bark rubble of the garage floor. during the day the WSOS poured in and out and threatened anyone who came near. winter is coming and we have 6 cords of wood dumped in the driveway to stack in the garage.   something must be done.

after more research, and suggestions from chemist friend Liz, John purchased some stuff to spray. i had my doubts.   but one coolish night (last night) he suited up in heavy shirt, hat, pants tucked into socks, heavy gloves and headed out on his mission.

in just one minute he was back in the house laughing. our resident skunk, Old Whitey, had found the holes and was digging up the nest!  yum!  go Whitey!  we'll see later today how that worked out.

while we were laughing over this, hank and barney were tearing up the kitchen. what? what? a moth? a LIVE MOUSE!  their first!  being just over a year old, and shelter kittens, their moms never taught them catching and killing.   they were doing pretty well at chasing. John managed to chase it out the back door.  knowing mice, it'll be back.

Aug 29, 2012

ring out bells of vermont

yesterday at 7 pm all the bells in all the towns & villages rang through the mountains and valleys for the anniversary of last year's amazing floods of Irene, and all that has come to pass since then. 

Aug 28, 2012

napping 4 dummies

cats indulge in napping as a hobby.
they find new and interesting places, and then take a nap there.
you might say "what a lovely spot for a picnic"
or "we should definitely kayak here"
cats say "what a perfect spot for a nap"

 if they could, they would keep life-lists of places they've napped.
they'd want to nap on every covered bridge in the country
or every lighthouse
or every state park
they'd have slides to show you
an online photo album of their last 100 naps.
humans check right out when they nap
cats nap their way into the sounds and smells and breezes
and especially sunbeams

Aug 26, 2012

it came from curio obscura

been so busy i never get to second life.  today there was a sale at curio obscura and mudpie made a trip in-world.  mudpie's pet mouse, and lucy's pet cat are always very happy to see them!  i feel guilty leaving them alone so much.  they rush over eager for a pat or some company.

see mouse? click to enlarge!

mudpie bought a tentacle.  hope it doesn't catch mousie!  stay away!
i'm all stretched out!

Aug 24, 2012

veggie heaven

a food day today.
our neighbor's been generously sharing the garden produce, and our fridge hardly closes.
last year it was zooks.  ..i'm just eating the last of my frozen zuchinni bread!
this year it is cukes, cabbage, rainbow chard, tomatoes, and a pepper or squash here and there.
so delicious! but!
today is the day.
last week i started the vinegar made from blackberries and water. 
we're eating the amazing tomatoes fast as we can.
today i washed and briefly steamed 3 pots of chard, and bagged and froze it for winter soups.
the long colorful stems, i debated, then (shhh) threw away. as Ma said in Jeff Danziger's Out In The Sticks "want not, freeze not."
i used the rest of the cabbage to make a big lot of cole slaw to eat for a few days.
the remaining cukes became 2 jars of refrigerator pickles (not worth dragging out the canning equipment)
now i just have the not-quite-ripe pears on my pear tree, and all the quince if i want to make jelly.
who needs a CSA when you have NGV -- neighbor growing (too many) veggies.

Aug 23, 2012

nature's screechers

all these years earwigs have insisted on sharing our house. 
some years a few, some years a plague. 
to better relate to them, i've read all i could find from earwig scientists and exterminator's websites. 
earwigs came from england. (on the mayflower?)
nothing eats them, except guinea hens. (can that be true?) 
they sometimes emit a foul odor. (when? and why?) 
they are good mommies, guarding their bazillion eggs and then guarding the babbies that hatch out. (redeeming qualities ~ so sweet) 
they eat decaying vegetation. 
they don't get in people's ears. (never. ok maybe once somewhere one did by accident) 
they try to hide if you are trying to kill them, (but they are not very bright)
all these years i thought i was an expert. 
then this week i read in the NYT science section that male earwigs have 2 working penises. (or penes to be correct) 
that's all it says about that subject. (believe it or not) (no why, no how, no pictures)

Aug 19, 2012

Flowers of the Flood

 today on a walk up the road i noticed some kinds of plants -- weeds -- wildflowers --  i've never seen before in my years walking this road.  and in my back yard, too!  since last year's flood, some of my usual weeds are not as much in evidence, although not gone....that mustard stuff, and the poison ivy...  and i have some new weeds.
 i had to look up a ferny-leafed greenyellow flowerspiked plant. it's ragweed!  i didn't even know what this famous plant looked like. 
and here's another new one i had to look up.
some kind of smartweed - i think several kinds are in my yard

jewelweed has come up behind the garage -- i think i'll keep it if it will stay! jewelweed is so pretty, and. supposedly good to rub on a poison ivy rash, too.

 i don't have a picture of japanese knotweed, because i pull up any plants as soon as i spot them...don't mess around with that stuff. 
according to the internet, you can eat it in the spring.
naaaaa don't think so.

Aug 18, 2012

Thursday meditation

the meditation center is open several times a week.   the same method of meditation is taught and practiced in the same room on the same cushions and yet each of the days is different.
thursday meditation is mid-day on a weekday, when traffic and construction work and the store downstairs are active.  when the weather is good the windows and doors are open and the busy world outside flows in and out of the room with the breezes as we sit and hold our seat.  none of that peace and quiet, non- distraction coddling for us -- we practice holding our seat and staying with our mind through it all, as all of us sneeze, open water bottles, take off sweater, scratch.

someone is timekeeper on thursdays, but no gatekeeper.  perhaps that's why it is thursday that throws me the otherworldly challenges!  one week it was dragons fighting outside the center. the noise was deafening. we sat through the metallic screeching and tearing, the alarming beeping, the building-shaking crashing.  it went on for the entire hour. (our center is next to a train yard.)  i knew it was a test and i brought the dragons and their fearful battle into my consciousness instead of letting them pull my mind out to them.  i was not afraid or angry.

another time, as i left the room, i was attacked by a demon!  she flew at me with beak and talons emitting dreadful cries!  i tried to remember how to deal with this...i did remain outwardly calm, mostly friendly, but i admit i tried to get away and make her stop.  not bad for a first encounter, but in retrospect i should not have tried to get away, but maybe worked my way along to the tea area as she followed screeching, and made tea for both of us?  i remember one story of a sage who allowed the demon to eat him up, but i'm not sure how to do that.

i don't have these encounters with the other world evenings, or on sunday mornings when there is a gatekeeper and often even a kasung, and there are protector chants at the beginning and end.  but i am curious to face these thursday challenges.

Aug 12, 2012

ms y times ms x = drama squared

which comes first, a dramatic life, or a career cutting hair?  Sweeney Todd had plenty of drama before he took up the profession, but does it also cause life-drama?

 i called ms x for an appointment yesterday, caught her at home without her book, it was the anniversary of her mom's death -- now there's a story!  

we ended up on the phone for an hour. her life is so dramatic, she even has an identical twin,  not exactly an evil twin but...  when i said someone told me you were also working at the salon down the street, she said her twin, ms y, had without telling her taken a job there and some customers had gone there thinking it was my ms x. twin hair-dressers (*cough* cosmetologists) must = drama squared!

i'll try her again next week.

Aug 5, 2012

still life with purple

last sunday, came home and dropped my stuff on the porch chair.  came out later and saw it and it looked so pretty!

Jul 31, 2012

we should all be so lucky

a few months ago a friend sent this email to me and several hundred other people to let us know about his mom...hope he doesn't see this! too good not to share.


Jul 30, 2012

my own time capsule

all kinds of stuff was in my old desk drawer.  

cleaned it out and i found a notebook with lists of books and comments about them.  one of my doomed attempts to do that sort of thing where you write something every day, draw something every day, take a photo every day, etc.  

it never works out.  

but it was fun looking at several years' worth of books, most of which i have no memory of ever reading.

also in the back of the drawer, i found THIS!!

Jul 27, 2012

watching trains in Folkston, GA

my sisters did a little train watching on their trip home:
"..we stopped on the way back for a few minutes at Folkston GA to watch the trains come thru the Folkston Funnel.  It's where the tracks from all over FL converge into one N, one S so a train goes by just abt every 20 min.
There is a platform where people (and there were at least 7 there already) can sit and a speaker where you can listen to the dispatcher send the cars down the line, telling what track and how many axles on the train. After abt 3 came by S. was ready for ice cream and P. was deaf from the horns, shaking his head to clear his drums so we went to find the store. It had moved to the other end of town so we had to drive in the air conditioning to get there. The owner was real chatty and somehow we got on to the fact that she owns two overnight places to stay, a caboose and a station masters cabin and "let me show them to you in case you come back." I couldn't resist that cause I know I'm coming back there, probably alone, to watch trains!
"Could have knocked me over with a feather when we toured them and S. asked if we could rent the stationmaster's cabin for the night. It's right on the tracks so I can watch trains all night and has some space so P. can run and far enough from the track that he won't be run over and his ears won't shatter. What a treat that was. And I never knew there was so much to know abt trains.
"We saw whole trains of coal cars filled with coal going south to the coal-fired  utility plants in FL and back empty to the mines in wherever, there is a nightly (5 nights a week) Tropicana Orange Juice train, quite long, that goes from Bradenton FL up to NJ loaded with OJ and back empty, and there are specialized cars to carry all kinds of specialized cargo, and they all went by Horn Honking and Engineers waving.
"I didn't stay up all night. Just couldn't do it, but I could hear them go by. Seems the night trains frequently pass each other  going N and S right at the spot instead of one train at a time. Lots of rumbling and roaring. Very relaxing.
"In the morning when we went to settle up with the ice cream lady we asked where the tracks split north of town cause one set of tracks sends trains up thru Valdosta to the east and one set to Waycross toward the west. "Well, let me just show you where that is. I own the land up there." I think the woman owns most of the town. She told us she bought this plot of land with trailers on it for her husband for Christmas. also has 3 camping spots and again right next to the tracks.
"What a treat.! I'm going back someday.
(note: we grew up near Baltimore MD, a train city if ever there was one, then lived in south FL and could hear both the east coast RR and the Fla central RR going by at night. we were the sort of family that said "oh boy!" if we got to a RR crossing and a train was coming)

Jul 23, 2012


it's one of life's great pleasures to have people show up at the house on a saturday or sunday summer afternoon and sit on the porch all day and talk.  i love it!
this weekend we had drop-ins both saturday AND sunday.
only teeny drawback -- it was WOOTSTOCK IN RAGLANSHIRE for only ONE WEEKEND!
fortunately i had my stock and wooted too, because i got to the last concert of the weekend after all.
it's worth it for the music alone, and the costumes are outrageous.
here's a few snapshots:
onstage - dj's - the guru and the diva?

mudpie rocks out in coveralls while others 'peace out'

hippy on hippo

fireworks finale - this doesn't do it justice

Jul 20, 2012

Dancing and dessert

is there a standard length for a minuet? i got a new recipe book -- one recipe mentions 'minuet' several times but it doesn't list it in the back under the measurements section!
must be a commonly used measure, because when i google "how long is a minuet" there are numerous sites addressing the question.
answer is, it depends.  but not on what you are cooking -- it depends on the piece of music, and also, it is usually played faster if there are no dancers.  so if i dance, this will take longer to cook.

Jul 15, 2012

phoebe! phoebe! phoebe!

mom and pop phoebe are raising a family on my back porch platform again this year. 
i'm so honored!
 (see last year's nest
they have a trio of hungry mouths and they are run ragged from early predawn (4 or 4:30 am) to dusk (8 or so) bringing creepy crawly things, flappy things, and probably spiders, since i don't see any in the porch eaves. 

next year i'll wash the windows before they get here -- i realized i can see the nest from a back window.

Jul 11, 2012

painting the church

across the street a van pulls up and unloads men and ladders. 
they've been working all week on the big new england white church, scraping, sanding, and now painting.  it's going to look great! 
they are a quiet group, well behaved, fairly lean, did you guess? 
i didn't at first. but i'm pretty sure they are from the prison.  
a good deal for the church, non-profits can hire them for a low wage, and a good deal for them.  
make some money, get out of jail for a week, do some good for somebody in the summer sunshine and green hills.
it used to creep me out a little to see these guys out working somewhere or playing volleyball in the prison yard,
until someone pointed out to me that they are pretty much mostly our friends and neighbors.

Jul 6, 2012

tripping on no-mesh

due mostly to laziness and non-inspiration, i still haven't upgraded to MESH !!  as more and more people use it, my view of second life has become more interesting. fewer cookie-cutter barbie and ken avatars, idealized houses and furnishing, and more CRAZY LOOKING STUFF

Osprey, who has never been cookie-cutter, is becoming less and less human to me, and wearing clementine's herring boxes for sandals.

 the fabulous SL9B lotus stage was, to me made of legos *smile smile*   and some of my fellow meditators look like pieces of cheese.

 and what are these things for sale? Buddhas? to me they are like beautiful stones. i admit i'm having fun.  like wearing distortion glasses.

Jun 28, 2012

hawaii in vermont

2 years ago i took the top from a yummy organic pineapple to my green-thumbed friend K.R. who stuck it in a pot.  i remember when i was a kid in florida, my mom used to stick them out in the dirt and sometimes they'd grow into pineapple plants.  i don't remember them ever having pineapples on them, but K.R.'s, 2 years later, here in her house in vemont, now has a baby pineapple getting bigger by the day! 

Jun 24, 2012

SL9B tinies and poems

mudpie's listening to her poem AGAIN with a handsome bunny who happened by.
she's so excited that her poem is in one of the 'shrooms at the tinies' exhibit area for SL9B (Second Life's 9th birthday celebration).  mudpie's written many haiku, but she didn't realize how complicated an ode is to write when she started it!

tinies are friendly and fun and love waffles, but lots of them are also poets!

here's mudpie's poem:


waffles glow in shades of golden.
roundness is a waffles contour.
small square holes for butter holdin'
into which we syrup's font pour.

you can eat things on a stick stuck,
vegan vegetarian local,
sandwiches or hot falafels,

you can fry food in a mix up,
mew for cheezburgers - be vocal,
but for me -- i can haz WAFFLES!

Jun 22, 2012

fish story

around mid-morning john got in his car and drove to the village store and post office. 
walking from the store back to his car, he passed a woman who said "there's a fish on the hood of your car."  
idly his brain muttered to him about how many crazy people there are in the world.  
nonetheless, he walked around to the front of the car, and there on the hood on the passenger side, was a smallish trout.

soon a group of people stood round the front of the car staring at the fish and putting forth theories about how it got there...none of which made much sense. 
although it is actually the car that we bought to replace the one that the flood destroyed, you can't make anything of that!  
eventually ryan came out of the store, looked at the trout, and opined that a bird had dropped it.

that was the best explanation heard, and everyone nodded, reconfirmed in their belief that the world and life actually do make sense.  here's a picture.

(blotches are reflection of tree branches above the car)

Jun 17, 2012

life on a boat

 flying is so very useful when for example hanging the pleasant sounding windchime mudpie made in toady's class !


 nothing quite so nice as life on a houseboat in the summer in Raglan!

Jun 5, 2012

let them eat ants

it's been awhile since i shared my kitchen with ants. in florida it was normal.
here it is not.
at first it's "eek ants!"
then efforts at improved housekeeping.
eventually they become pets.

i found a tiny hole where some were coming in, and just as i put a bit of duct tape over it, an ant arrived carrying a really good crumb.
what to do!
let her through?  send her on to her next life as perhaps a great bodhisattva?
karma is too complicated for me.  i did nothing.

where is she now?  roaming the kitchen carrying her crumb, endlessly following the ant trails that get her nowhere until she succumbs.
or did she find another way out?

sometimes i let the ants search the counter -- i haven't figured out what they like.
they have ignored a banana, but seem to like an empty cereal bowl.

we moved the cat's dishes to the back room to get them away from the ants.
the cats dumped their water, tore up the newspaper under the dishes and put bits into the dishes, and dumped the dishes.

we moved it all back to the kitchen -- let them eat ants!

Jun 4, 2012

long dark monday

yesterday i happened into second life just in time to listen to an hour of "The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul" in Raglan, thanks to Shady Fox's Sci-Fi Radio Theater.  
definitely, i thought, i must re-read this for the nth time, soon!

this morning, monday, is overcast, barely 60 F, rainy off an on, that is to say cold and dreary in the way that makes it hard to even get out of bed and no amount of coffee seems to help energize the day.  finally i went to the bookcase and took down "The Long Dark etc" and sank into a big chair. 
ahhhh blessed relief!

reading the first sentence "It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression 'As pretty as an airport.'" was like sliding down into a warm bath.  
no other author understood so well as Doug Adams the kind of book that makes a cold dreary damp rainy day feel like a gift!

May 31, 2012

charivari for the right to make noise!

'charivari' to me was a cool word, like tatterdemalion... cool but no longer around.
nobody uses it.
but in Montreal they had a charivari as a form of protest last week - how cool is that?
not only the marchers, but those along the route came out to bang pots and pans in support.

The Guardian's Adam Gabbatt writes from Montreal:
Indeed, at the pot banging near the Jarry subway on Friday night the age range of the crowd was strikingly diverse. Sensibly dressed fortysomethings wearing hiking boots and kagools intermingled with long-haired students wearing only shorts. Men and women pushing young children in prams were flanked by hipsters on fixed-gear bikes.

The range of protesters was matched by the diversity of utensils they chose to create noise. Some had reached past the saucepan and wooden spoon, with the Guardian spying such unlikely pairings as a colander and a drumstick, a pan lid and a pair of chopsticks, and a barbecue lid and a pair of tongs all being put to alternative use.

As the protesters marched for more than four hours through various Montreal neighbourhoods, many people had taken to their balconies in support, bringing their own kitchenware and adding to the din.

kind of reminds me of the 60s when race riots spread across the USA and the one black guy in vermont exploded out to his curbside and set his paper-recycling bin on fire. (the good paper one, not glossy, that makes toxic fumes).

May 29, 2012

spork sport

never trust anyone who tells you a titanium spork can be hung on your nose as easily as a silver fork.*

it is way way more difficult and requires intense skill and concentration.

here is an expert demonstrating.  do not try this unless you know what you are doing.

*oops i meant as a silver spoon - never could hang a fork on my nose