Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cookies, cookies, cookies!

We've finished making cookie platters! I say "we" - Ellen made all the cookies, which is 95% of the job. I helped clean up during the baking process and did some schlepping; then tonight the two of us distributed the cookies on to 3 sizes of platter - small, medium and large, wrapped the platters in shrink-wrap, and tied them with a ribbon. 38 platters in all. (16 s, 10 m, 12 l). All together they will fetch about $400 for the church. They fly out the door.  It took about 3 hours to do the job this evening. We're tired! Ellen is amazing!

Getting ready to tie ribbons on the small platters 

        Wrapping the medium platters

    A large platter, wrapped, no ribbon

             Ready for tomorrow  

Ellen made apple butter and jams too, plus tea cakes. Quite a spread ! 

The big picture  - but there is a lot not in the picture! There is a huge white elephant table off to the left, and also a raffle table with 8-10 items. Cookies are off to the right. Tables are for a lunch. 






Hilltown School Winter Fair

We are in Northhampton at Tamar's school. She just sang in a couple of choruses and played in a ukulele ensemble. Julie and Mimi are here too. 

Tamar in a chorus singing "Shut de door, keep out de devil." 

            Ukulele band

       Singing "Lean on me"




Thursday, December 1, 2016

The spring is UP!

Went to check the water level in our spring today and it had come up to the 12 foot mark! Wow! That's almost 8 feet higher than yesterday! We did get a lot of rain last night. So, no more hauling of water. It feels sort of weird taking water out of the faucet and flushing the toilet by pushing a handle instead of pouring in a pan of dirty dishwater. I had my first shower today at home in aImost three months. I guess we'll just have to get used to it. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Madlibs

On Thanksgiving Day at Katie and Savanna's, I wrote a Madlibs for the occasion. Here is the original:

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A Thanksgiving Visitor

On Thanksgiving Day, 2016, a knock came at the front door of 205 West Pelham Road. "Who could that be?" said Brendon, looking up from his game of  ___name of a game____. "No one ever comes to the front door." Savanna opened the door, and standing there was man with ___ a color____ hair. "Hello," he said, my name is Donald ____a last name____. "May I come in?" Savanna wasn't sure. She took a moment to scratch her ____a body part___ and collect her thoughts.  "What do you want?" Donald ___a verb for making an offensive sound___  and stuck out his ___a body part___,  "I'm reaching out to people who didn't vote for me. I want to unify our ___a political unit___. "Oh, well, come in then," said, Savanna, as she pushed aside the __a piece of furniture___ so that Donald could come in. "Katie," she said, "we have company. It's Donald __last name from above___."   "Tell him to pull up a ___piece of furniture___ and sit down," said Katie, calling from the ___a room in the house___.  "Would you like a drink?" asked Savanna. "Yes," said Donald, "I'll have a ___name of a drink___. Donald settled in and asked, "Have you heard that I want to build a ___name of a large structure___  to keep out  ____name of a group of people___?  What do you think of that idea?" Tye piped up. "I think that idea ___a pejorative expression___!  Savanna spoke up. "Donald, you should know that we think you are a  ____a mental illness___.  "You may be right," said Donald. But remember, I'm your ___same mental illness___. What can I do to win you over?  Katie joined the conversation. "You could appoint ____name of a well-known person___ to the Supreme Court." "I love ___same name___ exclaimed Donald.  Consider it done. What else? Brendon spoke up again,  "How about ___a participle for a violent action___ your ____a body part___  into your ___a body oriface___  and ___a participle for making a loud noise____  like a ___an animal___.  "Brendon," said Savanna, suppressing a ___a bodily noise expressing disapproval___. Don't be rude to our guest." "Not to worry," said Donald. "I like the boy's honesty. Brendon, what is your favorite dish for Thanksgiving dinner?" "___an unusual food___, said Brendon. "I love __same food___, said Donald. I eat it every day. Well, I have to go. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!" "And a Happy  ___a holiday___  to you," said Katie. "Try not to trip over the ____a piece of furniture___  on your way out! After Donald left, Tye exclaimed, "That man is a ___a well-known villain___.  "Amen," said B. "Let's eat ___another unusual food____

And here is the way it came out with the responses I got from people (which, admittedly, were a bit unusual at times).

-->
A Thanksgiving Visitor

On Thanksgiving Day, 2016, a knock came at the front door of 205 West Pelham Road. "Who could that be?" said Brendon, looking up from his game of Scrabble. "No one ever comes to the front door." Savanna opened the door, and standing there was man with purple hair. "Hello," he said, my name is Donald Pinchass. "May I come in?" Savanna wasn't sure. She took a moment to scratch her earlobe and collect her thoughts.  "What do you want?" Donald muttered and stuck out his uvula,  "I'm reaching out to people who didn't vote for me. I want to unify our state. "Oh, well, come in then," said, Savanna, as she pushed aside the futon so that Donald could come in. "Katie," she said, "we have company. It's Donald Pinchass."   "Tell him to pull up a hassock and sit down," said Katie, calling from the mudroom.  "Would you like a drink?" asked Savanna. "Yes," said Donald, "I'll have a pineapple juice. Donald settled in and asked, "Have you heard that I want to build a mosque   to keep out a quilt club?  What do you think of that idea?" Tye piped up. "I think that idea sucks!  Savanna spoke up. "Donald, you should know that we think you are a  trichotillomaniac.  "You may be right," said Donald. But remember, I'm your trichotillomanic. What can I do to win you over?  Katie joined the conversation. "You could appoint Sarah Palin to the Supreme Court." "I love Sarah Palin exclaimed Donald.  Consider it done. What else? Brendon spoke up again,  "How about throttling your hip bone into your nostril and crashing like an ardvaark.  "Brendon," said Savanna, suppressing a boom. Don't be rude to our guest." "Not to worry," said Donald. "I like the boy's honesty. Brendon, what is your favorite dish for Thanksgiving dinner?" "Pigsfeet, said Brendon. "I love Pigsfeet, said Donald. I eat them every day. Well, I have to go. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!" "And a Happy  Patriot Day to you," said Katie. "Try not to trip over the commode on your way out! After Donald left, Tye exclaimed, "That man is a Billy the Kid. "Amen," said B. "Let's eat octopus!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

More Putney Craft Tour

Here are some photos from the Putney Craft Tour that were not available when I made the previous post:


Gail showing Brendon the scouring apparatus
The "picking" operation
Part of the "carding" machinery
The spinning machine
Bobbins in the spinning operation
An old photo showing children operating the machines - common in the early 20th century
I forget the exact name for this machine but it is part of the final process

When the wool comes from! And also the source of some sheep cheese we got
Joshua Letourneau working on creating a marble
Bob Burch heating a bowl
Bob Burch shaping a molten bowl
The potters wheel at the glass blowers studio. Brendon made this photo

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving time

We have had a full Thanksgiving time. Thursday, we went to Katie and Savanna's, where we were joined by Tye and B, plus Alia Starkweather for a lovely dinner. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed mashed potato and turnip mix (a tradition from my side of the family), brussell sprouts, two kinds of squash, two kinds of cranberry sauce, and mince pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie!  Wow! I ate too much, as usual.

Friday, K&S and Brendon came up and we went to the Putney Craft Tour, ("the oldest continuous craft tour in the country"), and had an especially good time at the Green Mountain Spinnery,  where we had a full tour, and two glass blowers, Bob Burch and Joshua Letourneau, who were both giving demos. Brandon was especially fascinated.

Three bottles by Bob Burch, glassblower

Josh Letourneau

The Green Mountain spinnery
Then Friday evening we went to the Davis's for another thanksgiving meal with Andy, Robin, Emma, and their friend, Steve Vorhees.

Saturday, John and Cynthia came over for a scaled down thanksgiving meal, vegetarian and gluten free, but very delicious. We had a good time talking into the evening by the fire. Today we went to church, and then had thanksgiving leftovers for lunch, and a bit more for supper!

I just had a nice swim at the pool. Had to work some of all that food off with some exercise.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Catching up

Well, a lot has happened since last Friday!

Friday, we drove back from Swarthmore to VT, but we stopped in South Hadley Friday evening to attend a production of Oliver that had both Brendon and Savanna in it, with Katie backstage. Brendon was a member of Fagin's gang of pickpockets, and Savanna played the role of Mr. Brownlow. I got several photos, but they are on the iPhone and at the moment I am in the Subaru waiting room waiting for my car to be serviced, and I have the computer, but no phone. I'll post them later. It was a fun production - fairly stripped down, simple sets, etc. - and Brendon and Savanna were good. Oliver has great songs. Nancy and Bill Sykes were particularly strong characters in this production.

  Brendon (in red vest at left) with gang

Savanna as Mr. Brownlow, with the doctor (who pronounces Oliver a "mealy-faced boy."

The house was pretty cold when we got home late, but we warmed it up pretty fast. 

Saturday was John's workshop on Contemplative Spirituality and the Whole Movement of Life. It came off well, I felt. There was a good turnout - 18 people - and I was close to tears a good part of the day. John found a really effective combination of presenting ideas and sharing personal experiences that helped explain and illustrate the ideas. Several people expressed appreciation for the day. John himself wasn't sure if he achieved his primary purpose or got across his main message. It is a hard message to formulate in a way people can hear and take in. He was hoping for a "moment" to happen which didn't happen. But I felt people were touched by the event and it provided a lot of food for thought. I'm hoping we can do a sequel together in the spring.

I came directly from the workshop to a session at the Dummerston Church with the new minister, the Rev. Shawn Bracebridge, who was giving his candidate sermon on Sunday and meeting with committees on Saturday. The Music Committee was meeting at 4:30, so we got a chance to talk with him about music. He is a musician - he is an organist, and also has a degree in Music Therapy, which he has quite a bit of experience in both with elders and with developmentally challenged children. Shawn is very personable and made a hit with the folks in Dummerston. Sunday morning he gave a very thoughtful sermon on the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well from the Gospel of John. He took the time to really unpack the story and provide background, which I liked very much.
The congregation voted to call him following the service.

Ellen had a "Birthday Ladies"lunch after church, and while she was with her women friends, John and I had lunch together at Katy's in Putney. We had a good visit about the workshop and other things.I learned that he and Cynthia will be doing their Into the Silence service in Dummerston, on the solstice - the first time since 2013. It is a candlelight service of silence and music which they play (harp, cello and Irish whistle). It is a beautiful service and in the past, the church has been full. Since they haven't done it recently, we will need to get the word out.

I went to the pool after supper hoping to swim, but found that it closes an hour earlier on Sundays than the rest of the week, and I was too late.

Monday, I had the option of going to a workshop at the Learning Collaborative (where we go to OSHER lectures) on "computer trouble-shooting." I would have learned from it, I'm sure, but I also wasn't sure whether my specific problems would be addressed in a group setting. I also felt the need to spend some time with the Brahms Requiem, because we had a rehearsal Monday night, and I wanted to feel really on top of it. So that's what I did. I was glad i made that choice,  because we did a complete run-through at the rehearsal and I was much more prepared than usual. I think I will make an appointment at the Mac computer shop for a personal session. I do have a number of computer issues.

So here it is, Tuesday, almost noon., and my car has been in since 9 a.m., and isn't ready yet. Not a good sign!

Tonight we have River Singers. Tomorrow I have a dental appointment for a cleaning. Thursday is Thanksgiving!. We'll be at Katie & Savanna's.

Our water is still low. We have yet to have a long, soaking rain. Just showers.