Monthly Archives: May 2013

If You Are Spending Memorial Day Alone

parade route

Too early even for the convertibles to be lining up.

…don’t feel bad. Just remember a past good one. I remember a party rife with Vermont nutters.

This photo of the parade route I took before work when I was feeling sorry for myself. But then, I rather enjoyed the holiday alone after work, much as I’d like to have cheered on the vets.

I hope yours was a good parade, a good party, a good potato salad, and a good trip to the cemetery. Don’t forget to sing.

Black Flies, Lemonade, Hope, Mayo, and More Mayo


Wicker and mayo. Bon ete!

It’s time. Fishing. Golf. Swimming holes. Mayonnaise.

Black flies comin’. But mercifully along with rain.  It’s been so dry the liquid manure spread over the Land baked, stank, and dried up into individual molecules blowing into our cars, homes, and nostrils. While the recent re-wetting served to reconstitute (read: re-aromatize) this fertilizer, at least it is no longer visible as a wind-borne dust. Not good for tourism (You can’t be 20…on Manure Dust Mountain. Ride our Dust Chute!)

Another month, another holiday.  As complements to Mother’s and Father’s Days, I have repeatedly proposed both Maiden Aunts Day and Perpetual Bachelor’s Day (Crack open a PBR…on PBD!) So far no takers, including those behind the Hallmark and Mayan calendars but, as always, I remain hopeful. The month of May also means American Idol is over so we can stop Talking like Aussie Keith Urban—every bit as addictive as talking like a pirate on Talk Like A pirate Day (Arrrrrrrr, avast, me hearties: a Thursday this year!) The difference is Idol spans many months and causes more permanent damage in friendships.

I can’t decide if the live voting that goes with TV shows these days is fun or saddening (How are the judges doing? Are they moronic? What about their hair? Yes or no?) Between that and young computer hackers sending viruses with creepy names and Trojan horses that “drop” malicious “payloads,” we oldsters are at a total loss. Maybe psychiatrists can tell us why these kids are so bloody angry. We know why we’re so bloody baffled. The world has become odd in our lifetime. Things are just…boggling. Tech confusion! Voter fraud! Bio-terrorism! Climate havoc! Calf implants! Oceans full of garbage! Economic pandemonium! Geez, it makes you long for a kilt and a good old-fashioned plague.  With some Crusades thrown in. Wait—maybe things weren’t so great in the past. But at least we know all about them; our new horrors we don’t understand yet. If youth is wasted on the young, history is wasted on the living. We don’t learn Jack from history, seems like. We just keep piling new horrors on the old.

In a world teetering on the brink of disaster, it is more pressing than ever to think on happy things. In this unimportant column, after some head shaking at the neo-Biblical mayhem of modern tymes, we strive for laffs, lemonade from lemons, and lerv.  People want good news, like how the re-opening of the Barnard General Store has proven the existence of a benevolent God, or when NPR news informs us that the honey bees’ Spontaneous Hive Collapse (a.k.a. “Colony Collapse Disorder” or “May Disease”) suddenly dropped by 50% this year. That means more bees generating warmth in the hive, giving them the energy they require to fly (they need to be warm to fly—don’t you?), so that they can pollinate the crops that feed this crazy planet.

Let’s hope all the flora—including trees flowering madly this year due to a legit winter without last year’s weirdly hot spring—will provide our busy fuzzy friends with the pollen and nectar they so richly deserve. Worth considering from the NPR report:  a woman suggested that humans (1) plant flowers and (2) be less fussy and let some weeds grow, as bees like ‘em. Thanks, NPR lady! Givin’ us advice we dig, makin’ our lives better. Less weeding = one item crossed off the To Do list = another perfect day in paradise. And thanks, European Union, for passing legislation (for two years, anyway) banning pesticides that might be behind the bees’ demise. Good work, EU.

Scientists are talking of bringing the dinosaurs back from extinction.  While they’re an old horror we know something about, we also know they’ll just walk all over the hives and everything else, breaking stuff, setting off nukes, and who knows what with their giant feet and pea-brains.  But maybe we’ll domesticate them (humanely!) as forms of mass transit (pterodactyl plane; brontosaurus bus; sea monster water taxi) or (lovingly!) make them walk (lumber?) on giant treadmills connected to power generators. I remain hopeful. As, I am certain, do you.  Good holiday, extra mayo, and good day.

I Love Old Shit

Just the right height, baby.And by sh** I mean “things.” I like the color of them, their materials, engineering and, occasionally, smell.

This gem I got at the FREE table at the dump.  I call it my Gentlewoman’s Plunger—small and delicate enough for Lady.

With a clogged sink of late, I’d have paid yard sale top dollar—if only to buy a usable item headed for landfill that’s not yet been in a toilet. I hope.

Here’s some more old sh** I like:

How to serve crudites, a la 1957.

Flip side of trivet. From Taiwan, by way of…Mt. Vernon!

L’il avacado beauty.

Happy [Non-] Mother’s Day

EdenWhile all women have mothers, not all are mothers. I salute you today, maiden aunts of the world. Here is your swamp rock gift by “modern backwoods” band, Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck. Play #11, Happy Ending.  This song captivated at their record release show with its hypnotic speed + cool vocals.

Nod to mothers: A boy in church, when asked why we celebrate Mother’s Day, replied: “Because of the special love of a mother.”

Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck’s album, Eden, was written almost entirely on electric banjo and fuses experimental elements with Americana, rock, bluegrass, and folk. 

“Not many people move to Vermont to pursue a career in music. But for me, it felt right…” says Thayer. “Because Vermont is so isolated and rural, I feel like I’m looking at society as an outsider, which is a big part of my perspective on this record. It also feels like we are in a bubble trapped in time in many ways. It’s beautiful and weird.”

“Harkens back to the rootsy groove of The Band.” – Twang Nation

If you’ve never attended an Eastern Orthodox Easter service…

EOE icons      EOE circlingEOE out frontEOE prettyEOE family pondering  EOE traditional Easter foodstuffs…here are images for you.

EOE baskets

Traditional Easter foodstuffs brought to church to be blessed.

EOE sausage

Don’t forget to get your sausage blessed!

At one point, everyone leaves the service to circle the church three times while a madman pounds on the bells in the carillon  —  crazy loud. Crazy good.

eoe tree

Tree of eggs.

XPUCTOC BOCKPECE! Looks like Zuptock Bockpeace to me, but  is of course pronounced nothing like that. And no one finds it funny. At all.

Nothing spoils nature’s splendour

gu sullies

Hover over photos for secret commentary.

… like garbage. gu dew

Green Up Day in Vermont is a day when the people of the Land take to the roadsides, woods, and riversides to pick up all the crap left behind — or thrown from cars —  by careless losers. (No photo available.)

People of all ages out with their special green bags (and latex gloves) stumble upon points of interest as a reward. Today I saw I giant marshmallow, a tricked out tree, and a [Northern?] Magnolia. I learned that beef from grass-fed cows contains the recommended ratio of omega 6s to omega 3s (3:1), and that cows fed hay cut from the flood zone after Hurricane Irene had guts blackened by snails in the grass. Sooper ick.

  gu bag

If You Hate Keurig Cup Waste

Every day is Earth Day with Ekobrew.

…and I know you do, here’s a swell little gadget by Ekobrew just in time for Green Up Day. You fill it with your own coffee (at a mighty savings) and throw nothing into landfill. Ahhh.

Tips: I got mine on eBay. Use a medium to coarse grind. The basket empties much easier if you let it dry out. It’s hard to get the full aroma with decaf, so I switched to flavoured coffees. There are videos on YouTube on its use; this guy fairly compares the rivals. I refuse to buy Keurig’s version of the device because, welllll, they certainly took their time in making it, now didn’t they?

Find out what your Vermont town is doing for Green Up Day here. Catch you by the river.

Ann Aikens

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