Wednesday, August 27, 2014


my game on Facebook!" I complained to the geek (at the Best Buy store) who was faking a concerned look. "I'm addicted to the game.  It's my every day fix, my crack cocaine!" 

Then I added, just for clarification,  " I need to play Words with Friends!"

"Uh, I don't even know what that is," the guy said.

"It's like Scrabble," I explained, though I was well aware he probably didn't have a clue about that old board game, either.

I tried to pull up Words with Friends on my laptop, just to show him how the game refused to operate.  It refused to operate.

He fiddled with the laptop a while, erased all its settings and restarted it, continued to puzzle over it.  Finally he took my laptop and disappeared into the back room with it.

I pulled out the paperback book I had carried along expressly for the purpose of whiling away time, Why Does the World Exist?  

Strange that I'm reading this, I mused.  I already know it exists in order to drive me crazy!  But I opened to page 106,  nonetheless, and immersed myself in this 'existential detective story.'

Now, Reader Dear, let me quote for you the exact phrase I had just finished reading when Geek-guy reappeared with his fellow geek worker:


"Later in his philosophical career, Russell decided that the ontological argument was not sound after all.  Still, he observed, 'it is easier to feel convinced that it must be fallacious than it is to find out precisely where the fallacy lies'."*

I looked up from my book as Geek-guy said to me, "It's easier to feel convinced that there must be a problem, than it is to find out precisely where the problem lies!**


*Jim Holt; Liveright Publishing Corporation; 2013
**I confess, Dear Reader, it's not exactly how his response was worded.

 "We can't fix your game apps," one of the geek guys said.  They shoved my laptop across the counter.  "Just call the one-eight-hundred number!"

Monday, August 25, 2014


I promised I'd tell you about it, Dear Reader.
And so I will!
It was an old empty well that my brother discovered near his house (right outside the [ground-level] basement door, to be precise).  He cleaned it up and lined it, filled it with water, and turned that thing into a "plunge pit" (That's what he and his family call it, and I'm assuming you are able to see why, Viewer Dear--One steps into the pit, one takes a plunge! [If this should occur without warning at three a.m., when one steps outside the basement door for a smoke and it's black as pitch, one may do some thrashing and swallow water and fervently believe the plunge pit mishap to have high odds of being one's last!])

Fortunately, that plunge pit did not produce any more-than-oops mishaps! Instead, we kept our eyes on the little folk like a hawk eyes scampering mice, and had fun watching big folks take the porch-railing plunge!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


around at The Family Reunion, Reader Dear, kicking back with your feet up while the rest of us were industriously husking  that just-pulled corn!   So, here I am now, rushing in breathlessly to  finish up the whole story of that get-together, and take away your lolling privileges!  It was such an awesome weekend, and I didn't even tell you yet about my sister-in-law who showed up with umpteen loaves of bread she'd baked using my mama's whole-wheat-and-honey recipe, and brought jars and jars of good homemade applesauce she'd just produced!  Then there were the big bowls of  my very own coleslaw (Uh, huh, it's a current phase I'm going through).  Not to mention the terrific gift (if I do say so myself) that I gave my birthday sis (A gift she generously shared with all of us, as I was keenly hoping she'd do.)

But first, of course, we had the meal of barbecued chicken, corn-on-the-cob, cole slaw, apple sauce, sliced tomatoes, bread, and lots of lunch-leftover extras!  And we sang Happy Birthday, and ate the birthday cake (and all those other birthday-cake-related foods!)  We raised glasses of champagne and toasted the birthday girl!  And it had been such a beautiful day, and was such a beautiful evening, and we felt such familial love, and a blessed feeling wafted over us all, and we  had that sugar buzz goin' on, not to mention the champagne... and, well, Reader Dear, I'll confess I'm speaking only for myself, as I can't actually get inside the heads of my DNA-related kin!

*However, I know for a fact everybody had fun with the paper lanterns my sister unwrapped!

One and all, Dear Reader, exclaimed about the great time we had figuring out how to get those tissue-paper constructions up into the night sky, and then watching them float magically into the distance!


The next morning we ate up that delightful pancake breakfast, and tried not to think about the fact that anyone who didn't normally call this place home would, at some point in the day, have to say goodbye-goodbye to the rest of the  family of The Family Reunion, climb into a car, and take a lengthy trip back to life as usual.
Here, Viewer Dear, is how The Tiny Actor expressed his feelings on the matter.
They echoed mine.

Friday, August 22, 2014


bind!  Oh, The Family Reunion!  Reader Dear, I've dawdled away almost an entire week, haven't told you the first thing about the gathering of:
my two sisters,
two brothers,
two sises-in-law,
one husband,
one son,
one daughter,
three nieces,
two nephews,
one daughter-in-law,
one son-in-law,
three grandsons,
one grand-nephew,
one grand-nephew's wife,
one great-grand-nephew,
and one nephew's girlfriend
(Whew! Did I miss anyone?  There were so many idyllic places to hang out at Gladden Fields [It's the name of my brother's farm where we all met for the weekend], one could easily lose count!)

And now for some family details from
The Family Reunion:

One of my nephews slept most of the day, stayed up most of the night.  He accidentally fell into the "plunge pit" during the night. (Plunge pit?! you're asking.   Calm down, Reader Dear, I'll explain later).

One of my little grandsons developed a crush on his once-removed cousin, who is ten years older, and incessantly tagged after her, hoping she'd play with him up in the tree house, or down by the pool, or really just anywhere.

One of my brothers brought all of the pieces of metal for a massive grill and all of the pieces of chicken to put on it.  He played chef (a la Daddy, with his famous recipe).

One of my brothers let us take forays into his fabulous flower gardens and carry away the goods to our hearts' content.  He even brought a ladder to assist us, jars for our bouquets.

One of my sisters happened to have a birthday right then, and had ordered a bang-up celebration (She kindly brought the champagne!)

One of my grand-nephews... oops, one of the wives of …er, the one wife of the one grand grand-nephew made the birthday cake.  And the chocolate cupcakes.  And a (second) chocolate cake. (And, I think she likes to bake!)

One of my sisters made fifty-some candles (I dare not be specific) to circle the birthday cake.

One of my nieces made a terrific flapjack breakfast, standing at the stove while the rest of us, circling the dining room table, woofed down corn fritters (This family's name for pancakes with corn; Mama used to make them) and blueberry pancakes, as fast as she fried them.

One of my brothers pulled corn from his garden…

…ah, Reader Dear, that's where I leave you.  (We'll just be husking corn 'til I can come back)
.  There's so much more to be told, and I've run out of time!

(To Be Continued)

Saturday, August 16, 2014


strapped The Small Actor and The Little Actor into their respective car seats yesterday morning, and the four of us set out for The Family Reunion. Other members of this family (of my origin) were coming via other vehicles, and from various other locations.  All twenty of the travelers planned to end up at the home of my brother and his wife and two daughters, amid the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
Our little group spent hours and hours riding the road.
Some of us listened to The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who on CD (multiple times).
All of us ate snacks.
Some of us read The Sweetest Fig aloud (multiple times).
All of us ate french fries at Burger King (but only once).
Some of us took lengthy naps.
All of us noticed U.S. flags flying along our route.
Some of us got surprise toys pulled out of a bag every once in a while.
All of us listened to a CD of children singing Christmas songs (multiple times).
All of us, Reader Dear, visited the Virginia Welcome Center,
where only the smaller two shook hands with the puffy-skirted lady, and puzzled over the soldier who lacked hands.

Also puzzling to these two were the mixed messages of love and hate.  (Er, well, hanging near the apple display was the Virginia state flag.)          

"What is this?!" questioned The Little Actor.  "Why is that man standing on top of that other man?  Did he kill him?!"  His eyes grew large.
 "Was he a bad guy?!" he asked, in wonderment.
"Hmm. Well, I guess someone thought so!" I said.

What I wanted to say:  Sic Semper Tyrannis means We're Just Playing

All of us got back in the car and continued on our way.
All of us got exceedingly weary of the trip.
And, then, finally (as darkness fell), all of us (very fortunately) arrived at our destination!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


went speeding by...                                                          

There were jaunts to the farmers' market (well, one jaunt).

There were picnics, and games, and lots of time spent with small celebrities.

There were walks (well, one walk) to a yard sale.

And before I knew it, my Dark-haired Daughter was walking away from me at the Harrisburg International Airport!

Monday, August 11, 2014


was to be the super-est of the supers we will see this year. I knew it was to be closer, brighter, and all-around more stunning than usual!
And, sure enough, when it rose above the horizon, I was awed at its impressive radiance.
I could not resist a photograph, of course, though I told Dark-haired Daughter, "It's so silly to keep taking pictures of the moon.  It never changes!"

Soon after I made this comment,  my barefooted daughter stepped off the edge of the porch and squawked, "Eww!  I stepped on something slimy!  Eeek!  And it was moving; it's something alive!"

We squinted in the bright moonlight, and tried to determine what creature she'd stepped upon.  "Here," I said, "I'll take a flash photo and we can find out!
But, Reader Dear, what I'd taken to be the creature itself turned out to be only it's slimy trail. I leaned down so close for the photo that my hand touched the head of the thing as it crested the riser of the step.
"Oh, ugh, ugh, UGH!  It's a SLUG!" I exclaimed, throwing my arms in the air, smacking my daughter squarely in the mouth!*
(She was leaning in for a good look, too.)
I made a big wide circle out around the step, expressing quite volubly my sentiments regarding touching the slimy heads of slimy creatures.  Then I took a second photo
That's when we discovered that this first slug had either 1) just given birth to a second slug, or 2) was playing "pin a tail on the donkey" (slug-style) or 3) was know...hanky-panky with another slug.

I know a voluptuous moon can make all kinds of creatures do all kinds of crazy things!
What is your best guess, Viewer Dear?

*"I've still got sore places on my lip, where you hit me,"
Dark-haired Daughter told me this morning.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant yesterday afternoon, and collected my Dark-haired Daughter from the airport.  She's spending a week with me and her father.

At our first family picnic this evening, all of my diminutive actors showed up.  They were all three tickled to see their dark-haired auntie from North Carolina.  They got a great big kick out of whole swarms of ants, as well!

Friday, August 1, 2014


of veggies that The Yard Man brought home from his food co-op, and I filled the sink full of the bounty.  "What wealth!" I kept exclaiming to myself, as I arranged the assortment. 

There were all those leafy greens!  The red and yellow tomatoes!  The purple beets!  I felt that the lushness and the rainbow of colors were worthy of a painting by a great artist. 

Lacking an artist (with brush in hand) nearby, I wished for a great musician to quickly compose "Symphony to a Summer Squash,"
(throwing in any of the other vegetables as inspired to do so).

But no one showed up.
So I snapped photos and started working on my own new compositions.
"Come to supper!" I hollered to The Yard Man, when I was ready to show off my creativity.  He showed up promptly, and as he sat down to devour the work, I suddenly noticed (to my delight):
  "Look at this!  It's a FIRST in my (very long) history of meal-making---fully HALF the food is purple!*" 

*Last week's box of veggies included a head of purple cabbage.