Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Last Day of November Nonsense

 Last summer His Madness suggested a road trip to a nearby town's historical museum to take our minds of the heat and humidity and it was closed! So we ended up visiting their jailhouse instead. My first impression was that this was a pretty fancy place to keep criminals, unless they had a dungeon! For 75 years it was the home of the sheriff and his family as well as possibly up to eight county prisoners, that's why it's actually called a jailhouse, like in the song, "Jailhouse Rock", who knew? 

On the first floor, across from the family's main living room, was the Sheriff's Office.

It was the place all the prisoners were processed . . . 

. . . while the children watched cartoons across the hall. Really.

The prison cells were in the back . . .

. . . on the other side of the wall from where the Sheriff slept!

As for that dungeon, well the family dining room . . .

. . . kitchen

 . . . and laundry were in the basement instead. How cool is that pink washer?
Sadly, there was no matching dryer, maybe they hadn't been invented yet.

The children slept upstairs, where the only bathroom was located.

It seems like it would've been pretty hard to break out of this jail, but just in case . . . 

it looks like someone decided to stash a get-away car camouflaged as a tea cosy at the back door.
It was a pretty odd place for a visit and now I can't get Jailhouse Rock out of my head!

So where is the strangest place you've ever visited? Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving with a Look Back at Autumn and Pie

It seems the holidays, along with the changing of the seasons have come along in a faster succession than usual this year. Then we tossed in a week of wedding celebrations, halfway across the country, so it's been one big non-stop party for us. Apart from the horrible outcome of the election, anyway.    

These photos of the fall foliage on the way to Mosquito Hill are from last month. I was having too much fun with Halloween to get around to posting them. It's all bare limbs and grey skies now! 


Any sort of Thanksgiving decorations are a bit hard to come by, so I was happy to find this trio of candles in an antique store. My Mom had some exactly like them that she put in her kitchen windows right after Halloween each year. Their eyes and mouths were worn off but that never really mattered.

Of all the gifts from nature we have to be thankful for, fall foliage has to be up there at the top of the list. Isn't it great that trees put on such a wonderful display each autumn? We had a White Mulberry tree in our backyard that stayed green until there was a hard freeze, then it just dropped all it's leaves at once. It was kind of shocking to wake up and see it go from summer to winter just overnight.  

Burt and Ivy have been charged with the task of camouflaging the black hole of the fireplace. I keep meaning to find an interesting screen or put together a basket of dried flowers to make up for the lack of having a fire during the festivities. It's all fine from a visual standpoint but adding a few extra BTUs to a house full of people after running the stove all day just results in a lot of open windows! 

In these parts, every autumn looks different. Sometimes the trees turn color all at once and it's over in the blink of an eye then the following year it's a slow, lingering process. The intensity varies too, the forest can be ablaze in red and yellow one year and drab and brown the next. Here's one end of Mosquito Hill with a little bit of the prairie meadow. This fall was pretty good, at least an 8 out of 10.

I wish I had learned that advance preparation is the key to making a dinner for guests easier, much earlier in life. I am thankful for all those simple recipes that can be made a couple days ahead of time!

His Madness is thankful that his new knee enables him to walk up the hill much faster.

I've had this metallic green-gold runner for awhile and decided to try it out since I was a little tired of setting the same table year after year. Of course, it was a complete disaster, it clashed with the dishes and flowers and ended up looking pretty boring as well as leaving no place for the food! I took this photo before I dismantled the whole thing and went back to my usual scheme of a bouquet of flowers that gets removed right before the turkey comes out and a pair of candles that likely add a few more degrees to an overheated room and probably just make everyone nervous! So much for ambience.

Golden leaves and long shadows on top of Mosquito Hill.

It's hard to stick to just one motif when decorating a pie.

A Jackson Pollackesque view of some maples.

It wouldn't be a formal dining experience without But's impersonation of Mr. Carson. Only he knows how much space is proper to leave between the wine glass and dinner plate. At least Ivy's amused. 

On the road for one last look at the autumn leaves.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate!

So how was your Autumn? 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wedding Pictures!

On October 29th our son Andy and his sweetheart Kristin were married! We don't have the professional photos yet but hopefully this collection of snapshots at least covers the highlights.

There were no pre-wedding jitters for the groom and his best man, Nathan.

At 7:36 am on the day of their wedding the bride sent this Facebook message to the groom:
"Hey, what are you up to today? Wanna get married?"
At 7:37am he replied: "Think I'm mostly free in the afternoon."

I'm thinking they're probably going to get along just fine.

The happy event took place in the picturesque village of Cohasset, south of Boston. Not that it's relevant but some of the scenes from the movie, The Witches of Eastwick were filmed here. 

Andy was pretty excited about his first limo ride. This was actually the first time His Madness and I had been in one, too. We arrived at our wedding reception in a yellow VW beetle.

His Madness did a great job greating the guests and wondering what to do next.

It's not a proper wedding reception without the Best Man's speech! 

Kristin's lovely sister, Laurie served as bridesmaid and confidante. 

The Halloween wedding cake was awesome, Kristin gave it a 10!

Next, there was the father and daughter dance . . .

then I got to take a turn with my handsome son . . .

. . . and finally everyone got into the act!

We all had a great time, the aunts and uncles . . .  

cousins and old friends,


along with the members of the band Silent Wild (who Andy is lucky enough to play guitar with)

and their lovely dates, whose names I have (very unfortunately)  . . .

managed to completely lose track of . . .

and finally, some old pals from high school, complete with fangs!

It was a wonderful wedding and now they're off to Hawaii!

The Aftermath

Now that the election is over I am finding it hard not to worry about how all of us will be adversely affected by the policies of the new administration. Just trying to imagine what all those people who the president-elect has said he would ban or deport must be feeling right now makes me want to weep. How did a person completely lacking in empathy for his fellow human beings become our president? What will happen to all those people who will lose their health insurance when he repeals the Affordable Care Act? How will the Republican policies affect the environment or our friends and allies around the world? I'm horrified by the increase of hate crimes against minorities and the LGBT community by a part of the electorate who believes they have been given a mandate to act on their prejudices. Then there are his minions who rush to chastise anyone criticizing his hateful rhetoric by insisting that it is unfair to judge him before he has had a chance to govern. Seriously?

So now what do we do? Being silent is not an option. Getting together with friends and discussing what to do next seems like the best idea. The president-elect and the members of Republican establishment will have to be held accountable for their actions and it's up to all of us to make sure that happens. Donating time and money to organizations that promote progressive causes can help those at risk. In two years there will be another election and we can work to replace those legislators who support right wing policies. The cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." We can keep her words in mind as we weather the next few years and hope for the best!    

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It's Election Day!

Technically, Ivy and Burt can't vote but that hasn't stopped them from getting involved in the election process. They obviously have a favorite candidate, preferring to support the reasonable, sane one as opposed to siding with a buffoon who indulges in fear mongering by attacking minorities and women.

Just in case you might have forgotten a few of the finer points of this election, like the opportunity to vote for a highly qualified candidate with years of experience in government and foreign relations or  a xenophobe. I think Samantha Bee summed it up best in her monologue that can be found here.

All elections are important, don't give away your power by staying home.
Go here to find out more information on how to cast your vote!