Musings

Plant glory

Maple leaves fall glory

I imprinted on the temperate deciduous forest world, and the maple and its fall color signal the season deep in my brain…not original, but understandable.

Pampas seedhead CU

In addition, the seed-heads of the pampas grass (I think) also caught my eye….

Of mums…

Mums backlit

I’ve been enjoying the autumn-specific assortment of blooms Nature and my Gardening Neighbors offer these days.

Mums tulips display

I found this for-sale display a bit jarring, however; while mums are autumn flowers (see first photo), tulips are spring spring SPRING flowers! The miracle of greenhouses…and people who don’t know seasonality….

Blue skies…

Pole w decorations against sky

In my extreme youth, I was encouraged to “watch your feet” whenever I was walking. This resulted in an overwhelming prevalence of head-down walking by me. Which is good in the woods, but not-so-good elsewhere.

So, today, I sought to keep my eyes higher than my own body-height. Nothing earth-shaking resulted from this effort, although I want credit for it….

Wing ding bling

Capitol in sun

Look at those flags….

My day was focused on my civic self. I went downtown to report for jury duty, got chosen in a jury group, but not selected to serve. I would have been happy to (more or less), although I admit that I was happier not to have my week (the estimated length of the trial) rendered unknown.

After I was dismissed, I ventured across the street and contemplated our state’s gold-leafed dome, a gleaming symbol of civic-ness and plenty more. I kept it simple, focusing on the shimmering state bling.

Eyes wide open

Halloween free haircuts

I strolled out to do errands, loved the weather…. Most of the stroll was moseying in the dappled sunshine, but I also got some sensory overstimulation.

In the visual realm, some outdoor Halloween decorations were of the plebeian sort, out of the box from your favorite big-box store. Others showed creativity in how they were assembled into a scenario or theme. It seemed to me that as I went along, they showed more artistry. This was the last decorated yard I went by…yeah, free haircuts…haha.

Soon after, the number 16 fire truck came by, siren screaming, lights flashing, horn blatting—strong audio stimulation. I was ready for just sunshine after that.

Pocket change

Pocket change ancient

In the basement of one of the museums we visited was a large exhibit of ancient Roman coinage. This was some of the early stuff, dating to the 4th–3rd Cs BC. They look heavy to me.

Probably no maize

Front yard veggie garden

I have thought about converting more of our front yard into a veggie garden…. This year I didn’t even plant the part that is not lawn, as we were gone in the crucial planting and watering period. We’ll see what I do next year….

I’m saying yes

Iceberg bleu Sweet Auburn

I remember Mom’s explanation of the meaning of the phrase “composed salad.” I just couldn’t fathom the word composed in that context; of course, we were a tossed salad family—sometimes slaw, so our table didn’t have composed salads (and we rarely ate out).

Glazed pecans, crunchy bacon, blue cheese, grape tomato halves—what a tasty version/composition/ of iceberg. Although is it really a composed salad?

Evening menu

Often, I think up at least a partial menu before I go shopping. Sometimes I have no focus/creativity/ideas.

Today, I was in the latter situation.

Brussels deconstruction

I saw the stalks of Brussel-ees were marked down…and thought: gee, temps below normal…I should do an autumnal oven meal.

Autumnal oven meal

Sausage, Brussels and cauliflower, a few button mushrooms, some simple stuffing (cornbread, from a box), and a pound of tofu turned into hoisin-slathered “steaks.”

Perked us both up, although we both have vestiges of jet lag dogging us.

Looking back

Valley view overhead wires

We hear about how bad unemployment is in Italy (and elsewhere), and how bad the country’s financial situation is, and I don’t doubt those reports, but wending our way along urban streets and the stretches of Tuscany we trained through, we saw construction cranes and no loitering groups lacking an agenda for the day. We may have seen plenty of underemployed people…hard to tell.

As to “we do things our way”…in the Italy we have seen, engineers are big on tunnels for roads and railroads, while the skies can be webbed with electrical, etc. cables and lines—I can’t remember once noticing them underground—in the countryside.

Jet lag report: hard to stay up later than 8pm—sleep just overwhelms.