Oddly enough, we have an archive of over 41K digital photos, but none have been taken on a 30 Nov. Cool thing about dahlias: they’re native to the New World. This photo’s from fall several years back…in Seattle.

For today’s major out-of-the-house activity we visited our friend T (aka E), and John gave her computer lessons. While we were there, she got a call from Bill. Yeah, Bill Clinton*! Then, about fifteen minutes later: another call. This time: Michelle Obama*. Wheww!

Here, we only have heard from Max Cleland*. Max is great, but whew! Bill! Michelle!

All of this is to say: you GA people: vote in the run-off on Tuesday!

* Okay, okay, robo-calls….

Rain Fall


Rain almost all day has brought down many of the remaining attached leaves. This was yesterday….

Humpty dumpty?


The light was crappy and I had the iPhone, yet you can get some idea of the delightful decorations on this residential retaining wall in our neighborhood….

What does this juxtaposition mean?*

As I was preparing the photo for this post, an interview with a recovering alcoholic (NPR’s Alex Cohen talking to her dad) began (I frequently listen to the WUNC stream). I was also thinking about a book review by Roger Scruton (TheObserver and Guardian) that I had just finished reading, of Kingsley Amis’s Everyday Drinking (2008), with three short books he wrote on drink/drinking published together. Notes Scruton:

The famous hangover scene in Lucky Jim is complemented here by a philosophical chapter on the hangover that is one of the great English essays of our time. Kingsley dismisses the run-of-the-mill cures that you can find in any newspaper, since they omit ‘all that vast, vague, awful, shimmering metaphysical superstructure that makes a hangover a [fortunately] unique route to self-knowledge and self-realisation’.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been aware of a hangover as having a “vast, vague, awful, shimmering metaphysical superstructure” or that it is a “unique route to self-knowledge and self-realisation.” Live and learn!

* Aha! I have a theory! [The answer is:] ’Tis the season to be jolly!

Onward! Pieward!


I meant my choice of the word shackled yesterday only to refer to the contrast between an in-house day and a hiking-adventure day. Yes, I did considerable cooking, but that was so pretty much the only big thing (that is, to cook from scratch) I had to do today was make the pies. Shown here. And smelling terrific!

Fortunately, our guests are bringing most of the sides not related to the turkey, and appetizers, so I’m on EZ Street today!

Location, location, location


Three years ago on this day we day-hiked past Blood Mountain, and somewhere along that stretch of the AT (if I remember right) could see downtown ATL in the shimmery haze.*

Today, you ask? Well, today I was shackled to the stove and kitchen environs, preparing for tomorrow. Lunch: check. Most of dinner: check. Wine!: now!

* And, geeze, was the lens dirty!

For you…


I’m giving myself flowers today—well, a single digital posy….

Here, share with me!

Life abroad

On this day in 2004 we drove to my cousin’s for T-giving, over near Chelsea, home of Jiffy mixes!

Think southeast Africa, in the 1970s–90s, with upheavals, informal militias and less-terrifying times. The following bits are from an autobiography of a woman who grew up in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia when they arrived), Zambia, and Malawi; her parents had emigrated there from England, apparently seeking adventure. The book is Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, by Alexandra (Bobo) Fuller (2001).

There is only one time of absolute silence. Halfway between the dark of night and the light of morning, all animals and crickets and birds fall into a profound silence as if pressed quiet by the deep quality of the blackest time of night. This is when we’re startled awake…. This silence is how I know it is not yet dawn, nor is it the middle of the night, but it is the place of no-time, when all things sleep most deeply, when their guard is dozing, and when terrorists (who know this fact) are most likely to attack. (p.131)

I concur with the special non-sounds just before dawn, except for some birds that get going very early, and some predators that are still trying to get a meal before light arrives. Still, much is silent.

On her first date with the guy she marries eleven months later, they camp out on the lower Zambezi River, with a cooler kindly packed for them by her young man’s friend.

We set up the tent, make a fire, and then open the cold box to reveal Rob’s idea of a romantic meal for a beautiful woman: one beer and a pork chop on top of a lump of swimming ice. (p.291)

The tenters ended up awake all night listening to the predators passing by—including a lion and a leopard—so it wasn’t quite as silent as she had observed previously….

Fast read, pretty good. Mostly from her childhood point of view, in the moment, although obviously written in her adulthood.

Past and present


Way back in ’02, we were up in NC and although it was sunny, some of the shady, rocky places were festooned with icicles.

Today, in contrast, our focus was on painting the living room. It’s looking great! (if I say so myself!)*

* Now to get the chemical smell aired out—much easier with these new low-odor paints—so we can replace them with pie and roast turkey yum! by Thurs.

Oyster roast!


Sorry, no oysters in this picture; they’re stashed in bellies!

Tonight we had the great fortune to be standing around a woods fire as the sky gained darkness and the cold enveloped us. What a grand time!

Going back


Sorry for the late post; we spent the day in Athens! Our visit to the dead people was incidental to Other Events. This cemetery is within UGA’s limits, and is a popular place for picnicking, sunning, and the like. We just took a few photos and kept going.