Day 68: Several Delights

Google suggested I conjure up a 3D ghost with my phone today, and who am I to refuse Google? I was also given the option to create a dancing skeleton. Delightful!

Most Thursdays bring me a large box of vegetables and other goodies from a company called Hungry Harvest that “rescues” produce. Today I received such a box and it was delightful, just like all the other Thursday deliveries.

When I stepped outside to pick up my HH box I noticed that the neighbors received a delivery too. I am pretty sure it was a fire hazard at that point. I don’t know how they were able to get out their front door. Nonetheless, the giggle that escaped my lips was delightful when I saw the overcrowded porch.

Finally, I have repurposed Dean’s side of the attic. I will no longer call it “Dean’s side of the attic” and get pissed off that he has more than one office to call his own when he never, ever works up there. Now that we’ve got a comfy chair, it is my reading room and non-electric writing room. I will continue to keep it tidy because I want to, not because Dean insists I do. The letting go of the anger and resentment is delightful as is sitting in the chair, reading and sitting at the desk writing with a pen and paper.

Day 67: Honeymoon Photos

I spent much of yesterday and today scanning and uploading photos of our six-and-a-half-week European honeymoon to my Google Photos space. When I first opened the album I was dismayed to see the photos looked orange, but relieved that it was the 35-year-old plastic holding the photos and not the photos themselves. The photos, however, are faded which sucks. I did use the “restore color” option on the scanning software, but that might just be making matters worse.

Despite the state of the photos, the content is delightful — even if I don’t remember exactly where they were all taken. I can get a general idea based on where they are in the photo album.

I still have more than half of the photos to scan, adjust and upload, so this will take a while, but despite the monotony, it is fun to see those two young lovebirds on their mini Grand European tour in 1985.

The top photo is Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District.

Day 66: My Daughter the Author

In today’s mail we received the second issue of Oak Journal, a self-described anti-civilization journal. I would have never heard of this journal had Clare not published an article focusing on plastic words in the most recent issue.

I was already delightfully proud of my amazing and talented firstborn. This article only increased that pride. I would likely have been proud of her had I not understood the article, however it was very well-written and even a lay-person like myself could comprehend the entire article. That’s good, because that’s sort of what the article was about — using language that is understandable, not vague or pliable — not plastic.

Plastic words, such as management and development mean many different things in many different situations, so much so that they end up meaning nothing at all, although they sound authoritative in their various contexts.

In the article, Clare goes deeper into discussing a few of the plastic words and the different ways in which they are used. She not only discusses the problem, but proposes a few solutions.

From what I understand, some of the other authors in this issue of Oak Journal are renowned in their fields. For instance, John Zerzan is listed as an American author (and anarchist) on Wikipedia. I’ve not read any of the other articles, but I will.

And I will reread Clare’s. It’s likely I won’t see her until one of us feels safe to get on an airplane again, which may not be for at least another six months. It’s already been 10 months since we were together. I miss her. She’s one of the biggest joys in my life.

Day 65 Dark-eyed Junco at Our House

I know I mentioned seeing a Dark-eyed Junco on our trip to Skyline Drive last week, but I had not seen one in Bethesda until this morning. I was unloading the dishwasher (check that off the list for today) and saw a flurry of movement on the deck. There, a few feet from the sliding French door was a Dark-eyed Junco. I don’t recall seeing them so early before, but they are ground feeders, so I probably missed them at the feeder when it was just outside the window, pretty much exactly where the Dark-eyed Junco sat. It must have detected movement because it flew away, white tail feathers flashing. I then saw several others farther back in the yard, some must have been feasting on zinnia seeds.

While the Dark-eyed Junco is a harbinger of colder weather (which I do not find delightful), the birds cannot help that so I find them a delight.

As I added “flowers in the vase” to my list this morning I had a strong desire to hear Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I asked Alexa to play it. It was delightful.

That song used to stop me in my tracks when it came on the radio or played over the speakers in a store in the days before Spotify and mp3 players. It reminds me of my days in London and the following summer, after I’d purchased the album it was on and played it over and over again to reminisce about that experience. I wrote about it on my song-blog years ago.

Day ~64 Mom and Dad, (addendum to last post)


Photo courtesy Google Street View

A dream in which my dad was pointing out a house to me after remarking that it finally had a coloring it had when he lived near it. It was on a hill and the coloring was a sort of a pale rust, and definitely powdery. He stood behind me, moved my head towards the house and pointed with his right hand, his left on my shoulder. He asked me if I remembered walking past it when I was young.

Later in the dream I realized it was the setting for a Tom Petty music video because I could see people (including elderly women in victorian garb and very weird shoes) and objects from a song he never wrote or sang or made a video of.

I think the house was a building from my past that my mom and I would walk past when we went to visit my dad at the auto shop.


Photo Courtesy National Today Website

The moth with the pale rust colored wings that flew in the kitchen last night and evaded our attempts to shoo it outside again. When it landed on the counter I covered it with a glass and then gently scooped it into my hand and walked it out the door. As it sat on the first knuckle of my index finger I noticed its wings barely moving, but moving very quickly. I was reminded of the dream I had about my mom the night she died, when she stood at the window, her arms behind her moving quickly, but only slightly. I then said to the moth, “Hi Mom! Thank you for stopping by to say hello. I love you and I miss you. I had a dream about Dad last night.” With that she flew off into the dusk.

Days 47 – 64 Many Delights, Big and Small

I really thought I could keep up and write every day, or at least keep up the illusion that I was writing every day, but I was wrong. I am not even sure I noticed all the daily delights since last I wrote.

Here are some that I remember.


I baked Italian bread twice. Both times it was delicious and once again, I was shocked that putting together flour, water, yeast and a few other ingredients made such delightful loaves. Note that I also baked sourdough, naan and sandwich bread, but they are less new than the Italian recipes.


Two memorable cocktails were the October 9 Tom Collins* cocktails in our republican presidents Tom Collins glasses (a tongue-in-cheek gift from my friend Catherine who was not republican either) and our Liberal** cocktails the evening after we voted.

The Pumpkin Murder

Remember the Egg Man’s Cinderella pumpkin? We murdered it on October 11 and recorded the gruesome act. Andrew is still working on the stop-action film, but above are some stills from the production.

After that we cooked it and ended up with over 30 cups of pumpkin puree.

*The gin we used is an amber color, that’s why the drink isn’t clear
**We didn’t have the exact ingredients for the Liberal, cocktails, but made sure our cherries were held by blue mermaids.


We voted.

An Excursion

As a way to get out of town and celebrate my retirement (and Dean’s 18-month-old promotion) we ventured to Washington, VA and splurged on dinner and a stay at The Inn at Little Washington. This included afternoon tea, dinner (and wine pairings), a night in a huge suite, and breakfast.

For dinner I had the vegetarian menu and Dean had the non-vegetarian menu. Everything was exquisitely delightful. Even Rupert dressed up for the occasion.

Skyline Drive

We took the long way home along Skyline Drive, purchasing a senior lifetime national park pass on the way in. I also saw my first of the year Dark-eyed Junco and Rupert took a hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Shadows, rainbows and clouds

Shadows of everyday objects that appear when the afternoon sun shines through the west-facing windows delight me. Any kind of rainbow delights me. Sometimes clouds delight me too.

Day 46: Sweet Relief

Andrew and Alex made plans to go away for a few days and asked if we’d take care of Mingus, their cat. We (I) love Mingus and was happy to have him stay for a few days. Mingus can be a delight.

As nearly always happens, however, Mingus escaped. Usually it is the fault of someone else, but this time it was completely my fault. I opened the kitchen door to empty the compost container and didn’t close the door after myself. As I walked up the steps, I saw movement (it was dark) and it took a few moments to realize that Mingus had gotten out. Again!

I knew he’d head towards the area under the deck and was grateful he did because he is pretty much stuck there (or so I thought) because the lattice openings are too small (or so I thought) for him to squeeze through. With Dean’s help (he made me a treat rattle out of cat food and a jelly jar) we (I) enticed Mingus to come close to us (me) (which he did from outside the underside of the deck), then I grabbed him (this time wearing protection) and carried him into the house, delightfully relieved.

It doesn’t seem so bad now, but it was an anxious half hour for Dean and me (mostly me, I think Dean was watching TV most of the time) — and probably a very happy half hour for Mingus (aka “the boy”, aka Mingo, aka Mango, aka little shit, aka hellcat).

Andrew had not left Bethesda yet, so I texted him, hoping he’d stop by and help.

Screenshot of a text message. Dona( 8 pm through 8:33 pm): Mingus got out. Under the deck. I'm sitting on the steps. He can't get past me. But... My fault. I left the kitchen door open when I was dumping the compost. Also my phone is low on energy and I'm sitting on the basement steps.
All clear. Mingus is inside
Andrew (an hour later): Omg I'm so sorry I missed this. Things are okay ?
Dona: Things are ok. no blood
Turns out he can get out from under the deck, this time he went back and I was able to grab him (thank you Ove Gloves).
Text messages during the crisis

The photo at the top of the page is from the last time he got out.