Thursday, March 31, 2011


Sarah returned from a WIC appointment for Miles the other day with some amazing news about our little boy*. He's in the 1 percentile for height. One? Yep. One. That means that 99% of kids his age are taller then our wee little Miles. I did a little research and one percentile basically means that he's a leprechaun. I have never noticed that he is so dimunitve, but since hearing this shocking news I have begun comparing him to other toddlers and he is, in fact, kind of wee. L'audace, Miles, toujours l'audace!

* My readership is a more fractious coalition of disparate/divergent interests then a balkan state. Although the BFZ is not truly a "family blog" (What kind of blog is it? I don't know.) I do have to toss the family bloc a bone every once in a while with these posts about the kiddos.


For reasons that remain mysterious to me I never evolved into a true sports fan. I love professional football of course, as you already know, but outside of World Cup soccer, the occasional Kentucky Derby, and a strange hockey phase I went through during college I never have cared much for sports in general. I have decided, as an exercise of the will and not truly of the heart, to give baseball a second look this season. I'm gonna try it on for size. Opening day has gone unobserved during all of the thirty-three years of my life, but today I feel strangely compelled to leave my status as a nominal Orioles fan behind and pursue a more enthusiastic posture toward their struggling organization. We'll call it a trial embrace. If the poor Washington, Redskins are any indication of what my support can do for a team then I need to apologize to the fine people of Baltimore and to the Orioles organization for publicly declaring my support for the team.


Casey Abrams, of American Idol fame, may hail from Long Beach, CA these days but he grew up right here in Idyllwild, and right now this little mountain town is pulling for her native son with every fiber of its being. American Idyllwild!!! Really the place is kind of nuts for Casey Abrams.

Now I don't follow American Idol myself, but ever since Mr. Abrams emerged onto the national stage, and the whole town started going bonkers for him, some have begun suggesting that there is some resemblance between Mr. Abrams and myself. I want to apologize to Mr. Abrams right off for the unflattering comparison. However, if it is true that Casey Abrams and Josh Tate bear a passing resemblance to each other then I am heartened because it has been reported to me that the lovely Jennifer Lopez (American Idol judge, sassy latina, and one-time pop sensation) has described Casey's looks as "The New Sexy."

So move over you traditionally good looking guys, you dinosaurs of a by-gone aesthetic era, me and Casey are here to stay, and we're rocking beards.

Vote Casey Abrams!!!


1. I wish I could forget that song so I could hear it again for the first time.

2. President Obama may be remembered as the man who was chumming the waters as the ship was going down.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


When I pee
In my pull up
It makes my bed
Feel warmer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Now, as a gentleman of good family I have long thought that puttering around the house shirtless was an acitivity to be looked down upon. Only Italians do that sort of thing! But last night, after tossing and turning most of the night with a fever, I woke up drenched in sweat and dizzy. I stumbled toward the bathroom where I gulped down some ibuprofen with water, and then I made a fateful decision- I took off my t-shirt and went back to bed shirtless. I'm one of those guys that always sleeps with a T-shirt on, but I have to confess that the latter half of the night, the half that I was sans T-shirt, was actually really nice. I'm a little afraid that this might be kind of a gateway activity- one night I make the innocent decision to sleep without a shirt on and the next I've purchased of a gold chain to dangle amidst my chest hair while I hang out on the porch with a bowl of peach slices and imported crackers. It's a slippery slope. I see that. I think I have heard that some even make a habit of sleeping nude (shudder)- Barabarians! I wouldn't know anything of that of course- as a gentleman of good family I never even think of such things.

I'm going to continue this experiment. In the meantime though I implore all of my readers who are gentlmen of good families to free yourselves from the stuffy chains of your imaginary taboos and putter shirtless. It's delightful!

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I stumbled downstairs shirtless to make the kids oatmeal before school. I felt liberated! Lucy stared at me, one sleepy eye peeping out from between two strands of hair (she's growing out her bangs), as she sat at the dining room table and asked,

"Daddy, why are you not wearing a shirt?"

"I've gone native, honey," I answered.

"Gone native?"

"Yep. Native."

"Daddy, what are those stripes from again? (referring to some stretch marks I have)"

"Oh those! I'm part Tiger, remember?"

"Oh yeah, but why aren't you wearing a shirt?"

Then , while I was trying to come up with a response that would fully explain my imaginary identity as a gentleman of good family as well as the inner turmoil I was feeling about being untrue to that imaginary identity by puttering around the house shirtless, Bowden and Jack entered the room wearing nothing but their scrigglies (our word for briefs). Lucy looked at them and said with a sigh (and perhaps with some disgust),

"They've gone native too."


"They say if you're in a hurry you should get out of Idyllwild."
Elderly man walking with the aid of a cane, who had held the door for numerous people outside of the Post Office before entering himself. He said the above quote in response to an elderly woman with hair dyed an unnatural reddish color who paused on her way inside to thank him. Post Office- Idyllwild, CA

"Nothing. I can't decide if that's good or bad."
Same elderly man commenting on his post office box, which he opened and found completely empty. Post Office- Idyllwild, CA

Monday, March 28, 2011


"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed
And in your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them."
Psalm 139:16

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Did you know that when Lewis and Clark finally arrived at the Pacific Ocean they found an Indian woman with a sailor's name tattooed on her arm? When I read that it made me feel like as if Buzz Aldrin had landed on the moon and found "Dirk was here" carved onto some moon rock.That poor woman.


According to an article I read in the latest issue of THE WEEK, researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany recently concluded a study involving over 200,000 subjects in 86 different countries,  which found that young parents with young children are significantly less happy than their counterparts who remain childless, but that older parents with older children are far happier than their childless counterparts. So, according to this study, the marital stress, sleepless nights, anxiety and financial burden that comes with young childen may be viewed as a long-term investment in happiness.

Well I don't know about that, but I do know that Sarah and I are planning on grabbing a big fistful of happiness in just a few weeks. That's right, Sarah and I are just weeks away from our "getaway" to the above hotel (The Clement) on cannery row in Monterey, CA. Yep, that's the ocean lapping at the pilings in front and that's the historic cannery row beyond. Just the two of us! We're both pretty excited about it. Nanny has graciously agreed to come up and babysit, which is a HUGE job. (Don't think for a minute, Nanny, that I don't appreciate the depth of your sacrifice. You're awesome!) As I told you all before we made the decision to hold off on a major trip abroad until next year, God willing, so we can save up our money and do it properly. We put our trip money in a CD where we can't touch it in the meantime, and have set out to save enough money between now and 2012 to go to the east-African island of Pemba. In the meantime, however, we are taking this smaller trip up the coast in recognition our tenth anniversary. That's a pretty significant milestone, right?

Monterey or bust!

Friday, March 25, 2011


 Hmmm... I received a second msytery package this past week containing his and hers ball point pens. They happen to be our favorite kind of pens. That kind of knowledge is limited to just a handful of trusted confidants. inside job.
Clearly, whoever sent these pens knew that Sarah was a girl and I was a boy. That limits the field of suspects to everyone who happens to know  us or those who know our names and are at least passingly familiar with English names of biblical origin and the gender appropriate use of said names. Okay, now we're getting somewhere.
 Now I'm a trained investigator, and as a super-sleuth, I thoroughly analyzed the packaging for any clues it might offer as to who sent us these pens. I'm on the case! I will get to the bottom of this.
 First of all the envelope had been used previously which means that the sender is frugal. It had been formerly used to send a book from which I reasonably deduced that the sender is not illiterate. Hmmm...the package was sent to us from the post office in Idyllwild, CA, and the sender did not use their own writing to address the package which means that they have perpetrated this sort of thing in the past and have learned how to cover their tracks. No doubt we are dealing with a hardened and repeat-giver of anonymous presents.
I have my suspicions. I intend to interview my first suspect next Wednesday night. Until then I'm enjoying my pens. Thank you...whoever you are.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I'm bigger than you.
My language is in my drawer.
I took my language out.
I spit and now you’re stuck in my pasta.
I'm bigger than you.
I have a giant belly button.
I can’t see because of my giant nose.
Even though I’m more littler
I'm bigger than you.
It’s true. I am. I really am.
I come in and I roar like this
And everybody runs away
Cause I’m big.
Bigger than you.


Here's a bonus Jack poem for your reading pleasure-

Today is tomorrow
Yesterday is not tomorrow
Today is...
This is just today
Only today

Saturday, March 19, 2011


"I said TODAY not tomorrow. That ought to tell you something!"
Young man, yelling loudly and publicly at a local shop owner over some unknown dispute (exact location withheld- Idyllwild, CA)

"I was hiding in the broom closet and he was outside asking 'Are you a free man?' over and over again. That's how I knew."
Middle-aged man with long, reddish, curly hair in a pony tail talking animatedly to a middle-aged female (Post Office- Idyllwild, CA)
Since moving to Idyllwild nearly eight years ago I have heard raccoons fight on many occasions, and the sound of them fighting always sounds to me like R2D2 having a seizure. It's an unnatural sound, raccoons fighting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


1a. Based on the doucmentary footage I have seen nazi salutes seemed to get sassier and less enthusiastic as the war dragged on. At first their arms were fully extended, fingers straight as an arrow, and a couple of years in they were just kind of flipping their hand up a little as they walked away from their motorcade.

1b. Some of those nazi conventions where thousands were giving the salute all at the same time must have caused some anxiety for those nazis who forgot to wear deodorant that day.

1c.Wasn't the nazi salute kind of like a gang sign?

2. I hate dust jackets on books. They are a needless annoyance.

3. Somebody should conduct a study on why girlfriends/wives are cute when they wear their boyfriends'/husbands' clothes.

4. Is it physically possible to fart and burp simultaneously?Somebody should conduct a study on that.


As you long-time followers of the BFZ already know I have been without a pair of flip-flops since last September, when my last pair gave up as I was giving a tour to a prospective guest group at work. It was a sad day.This has been the longest I have ever been without a pair of flip-flops since I began documenting the lives and adventures of my footwear here on the BFZ.
Well today a mysterious package arrived in the mail containing a single, perfect pair of flip-flops which I am wearing as I type by the way. Every breeze tickles the minute hairs atop my feet, which have been freed from the onerous and fetid confines of their shoe prisons. I love flip-flops. I hate socks. Let the feet breathe!

The only distressing thing is that the package gave no clues as to who might have sent the sandals- no return address, no little note, nothing... Every fiber of my being is screaming with a singular desire to call the sender of these beautiful flip-flops and thank them. I want to dispatch a "Thank You" letter, but alas the giver was anonymous so whoever you are, consider this an open letter to you in thanks for the flip-flops. I love them.
I am not a size thirteen, I am actually a size 10 1/2 or sometimes an 11, but I prefer to buy my sandals in bigger sizes because the way my feet wear sandals causes them to slip off the sides. So I actually tend to buy sandals in this size. The senders of these flip-flops somehow knew that, which makes me wonder if this was some kind of an inside job. Or maybe they just guessed and got lucky. Hmmm... sounds like one for the Hardy Boys- "The Case of the Mysterious Flip-Flops."
Thank You! (Whoever you are!!! I have my suspicions.)


I remember once in Junior High I overheard a classmate of Irish descent explain to a teacher why she celebrates St. Patrick's day. "St. Patrick was Irish," she said "So we really celebrate the holiday more than most families do. We're really Irish!" She was dressed all in green with lick-on shamrock tattoos on both cheeks.

The teacher was smiling and nodding her head, when I interrupted, "Actually, St. Patrick was from England," I said. "He was brought to Ireland as a slave, but he escaped, and after coming to Christianity he voluntarily returned to Ireland to introduce them to Christianity."

That's not an exact quote I'm sure. It has been a long time since this exchange took place, but I remember some of the words I chose, because I was careful back then about how I talked about my faith in the public arena. "Introduce them to Christianity" sounds like he gave them a disease or something. Here I was speaking their secular language to describe the event, which in my heart of hearts I would have preferred to describe in more personal language. Had I described this summary of St. Patrick's life to sympathetic Christian ears it would have sounded more like, "After he came to know the Lord, he voluntarily returned to Ireland to tell them about Christ." As a boy I felt weird and different for being a Christian, and I was a tad bullied by the disapproval of my peers into avoiding any direct, naked discussions about my faith so I generally talked about it as though I were a detached observer and not as the participant that I truly was. I regret that.

(Confession- In truth, I was enjoying this moment a little too much. Pride gave birth to this exchange. I was an obnoxious, little, know-it-all sort of kid in Jr. High, and I wasn't primarily concerned with confronting their secular notions with the unsanitized truth of the holiday's religious beginnings, but with simply showing off a little of my knowledge. I'm sure it rubbed them both the wrong way, and they can't be blamed for that. I am still trying to shed my contentious nature. I share this so that you will know that I am not exactly proud of this story.)

The teacher looked at me puzzled for a second, her head cocked to the side and hands on her hips. The girl looked at me like I had just said that the capital of the United States was actually Cleveland, Ohio. After a moment the teacher said, "Is that right? Well, we'll have to look that up." She went over to an encyclopedia, which was nearby because we were in the library, and after a few minutes came back confirming that St. Patrick was, in fact, a Briton.


Although, like most American mongrels, I can never be exhaustively or exactly sure of my ancestry, there is not a strong Irish presence in my family tree. If anything it tends to lean more heavily towards other portions of the British Isles. But I do celebrate St. Patrick's day, but not because he was a Briton (as were my ancestors actually! Isn't that word "ACTUALLY" an obnoxious sort of word?) but because we are brothers in the same family and in the same cause. The family being that of Christ, and the cause being that of Christ also.

One of Bowden's teachers at school was struggling recently to explain to him and some of his classmates why St Patrick's day is a holiday and told him that St Patrick is somebody we celebrate because he freed slaves in Ireland. At breakfast this morning, Bowden told Sarah that this is why we celebrate St Patrick's day. I was outraged. A paid educator taking such pains to avoid any endorsement of Christianity (perceived or otherwise) that she completely misrepresented the holiday's beginnings and the man, St Patrick. Maybe she was just bullied by the disapproval of her peers, I don't know, but I wanted to go to school, seek this teacher out and have an actually-filled conversation with her. In fact, I might. As I think about it that teacher wasn't so far from the truth after all if she meant that Patrick helped to free men from their slavery to sin and death by introducing them to Christ, but I doubt that's what she meant.. St. Patrick did come to Ireland to free slaves. I have to own that is true.

So, unlike some,  I won't be pretending that I'm Irish today, but then again I don't need to. For I am a Briton (by ancestry), as was the good St. Patrick, but more importantly I am a Christian, which was St. Patrick's raison d'etre, and, actually, it's mine also.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


1. I think the name "blue tooth" is gross.

2. I like eating at McDonalds but I'm embarassed to admit it. I'm ashamed of my forbidden love for McDonalds.

3. I wonder if documenting my cast off thoughts on my blog comes off as a tad too narcissistic.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Those who gossip never doubt
That they're being talked about.
I spy with my eye looking up
A spark in the dark rising up
From a light in the night sending up
More sparks in the sky
On a breeze through the trees
That fade and then die
Swallowed up.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


This morning, as I listened to my three-and-a-half year old, Jack, playing with an odd assortment of toys on the bricks in front of our fireplace it occurred to me that perhaps you could take his utterances, which are odd at times, sheenesque even, distill them down and present them in the form of poetry. So I grabbed a pen and some paper and would occasionally cherry-pick some of his choicest comments out of the air. So, allow me to present to you for the first time the poet genius, Jack Tate. (To create the mood you might want to dim the lights, get some coffee and play some soft jazz in the background as you read. Also, it's best read aloud.)

The sky is hungry.
So is the trees.
Wolves drink fish.
Actually red fish.
I'm a hungry wolf.
Him gonna fly.
Him gonna fly to you.
'Cause Him don't
Need a car.
Watch out!
Stay there blue-one!
It's okay.
I won't drop you.
Me gonna eat you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I think my favorite part of any given episode of Man vs. Wild is when Bear makes a shelter. What little boy doesn't dream of making a shelter in the woods. Especially making one out of necessity! I think the act of carving a bit of comfortable space out of the wilderness speaks to that desire inherent in mankind to subdue the earth, to excercise dominion over it. I guess I shouldn't overthink it though. It just seems cool to go out in the woods and fashion a shelter of some sort. I have already told Bowden that the next time we go back to Vermont we are going to take the boat up to the overhang at Chipmans Point, construct some kind of shelter there, and pass the night sleeping where cannibals and savages used to live. I have documented, on this very blog, my regret over not staying the night there the last time I had an opportunity. I will have to remedy that mistake the next time I am back in the 802.
(I don't know who this gentleman is, but I liked his shelter. It looks like a more comfortable habitation than my birch bark wigwam, but not as cool looking though.)


With a hot bowl full of Maccaroni and Cheese (Generic is better than Kraft) and a diet pepsi (the secret ingredient is cancer!) I recently settled in front of the TV for an episode of Bear Grylls' show "Man vs. Wild" on the Discovery Channel. It's easily one of my favorite shows. I could kill an entire day watching Bear conquer the wildest corners of the earth. In this particular episode he landed on a desolate stretch of Scotland's coast and "self-rescued" his way back to civilization.

Being an introspective person (equal parts blessing and burden) I began to ask myself what it is that appeals to me about the show. Adventure, self-sufficiency, wilderness, danger, challenge were all words that occurred to me. In truth, it brings out the little boy in me, and also a hidden, dusty part of who I am as a man. The old desire for adventure, which courses through the hearts of boys and men. On some level I want such a life so I escape for a bit and watch Bear play out my fantasies by proxy.

A spoonful of Mac & Cheese. (I have little use for forks.)

A drink of Diet Pepsi.

Another drink.

Another spoonful of mac and cheese.

And back to the show.

The scene is farcical if you take it in in its entirety. Perverse even. The fit and toned Bear Grylls scrambling down cliff faces, dangling by one hand above certain death, swimming raging rivers, meeting and conquering the worst nature has to throw at him, and me- fat, lazy me- watching him wide-eyed from the comfort of my lazy-boy. My admiration for him does not translate into action. I enjoy taking in his exploits, but I'm not motivated to imitate him.

Another drink.

Another spoonful of mac and cheese.

And back to Bear who is skinning a seal carcass he found along the shore in order to fashion some sort of wet-suit from its disembodied hide so he can swim a stretch of the north Atantic, which separates the island he has landed on from the mainland.

Confronted as I was by Bear Grylls awesomeness I couldn't help but feel a tad like a flabby pretender. I want to be a praticipant. How much do I live by proxy? Do I do this with my faith- the most important thing to me? Do I pretend.

Not always. I'm flawed, but genuine for the most part. Though perhaps, at times I am guilty of studying the life of Christ with a similar detachment. I have sat in church and I have read the Bible in a manner similar to watching Man vs. Wild. I have, at times, admired and enjoyed Jesus without imitating him.

So I asked myself... I eager to do what is good or am I just an admirer of what is good?

Does my understanding of Christ and what He has done for me translate into action in my life? His love for me was an active one. Is my worshipful response?

Is it transformative?

Does it govern me?

Has it motivated me to pursue holiness and reject sin?

Or am I lazy-boy sort of Christian? How about you?

or is it just another drink of sin. Another spoonful of the flesh.

And back to the program.


I do not love the ocean.What I love is the shore. I do not want to enter your world- only to flirt with it.

Monday, March 7, 2011


What am I talking about? Click here to be brought up to speed.

The maverick nation criticism-

Possibly the most legitimate criticism is that, in order to be successfully implemented, a policy of planned dwarfism must be imposed worldwide. Due to the virtual impossibility of achieving this level of international cooperation it would seem that some form of global government, with sufficient power to propose and enforce policy, must necessarily precede the implementation of planned dwarfism. Imagine if nation A dwarfed its offspring, but its neighbor nation B did not. Nation A would then be placed at a disadvantage in a variety of areas ranging from the serious (national defense, competitive advantage of labor) to the seemingly trivial (Olympic competition, Miss Universe pageant). This is perhaps an oversimplification of a very serious and complex problem, but it must be addressed before we can go forward with a policy of planned dwarfism.

I am not convinced that international cooperation can be entirely ruled out as a possibility. The complex fabric of the people groups and nations which make up our planet are becoming more and more intertwined every year. If a majority of the earth’s nations, or even just a few powerful ones such as the United States, European Union and China concluded that this is a policy which should be implemented they could levy strict sanctions on dissenting nations in order to bring them into agreement. In this day and age there is no such thing as a true isolationist. The economies and patterns of life are so intertwined from one nation to the next that it is possible for one nation’s goals to be realized through skillful manipulation of its assets and position in the world.


They should rename cocoa puffs "Rabbit Turds."


You can't spell Tate without "A+."


1. That song which goes "Loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful," does not express a particularly romantic sentiment. It's basically saying that you would be difficult to love if you were less attractive.

2. Either grapes are really good or they're just awful. Same with blueberries. Blueberries are best eaten by the handful. Who eats blueberries one at a time?

3. I wish there was a tree that was heat-pruducing. That would be useful. I guess all trees are heat producing if you burn them. Maybe it would be cooler if there were trees that actually cooled the air- like air-condition trees. Well...I guess they kinda do that too through shade. Trees are heat-producing and cold-producing! Wow!

4. Is there a difference between a bog, a swamp or a marsh? They're probably synonyms, but I don't know.

5. Can moose be domesticated and ridden? How intimidating would a cavalry charge be comprised of several hundred bull moose with their antlers sweeping out in front? That would be awesome! This image in my head makes me wish I was an artist.

6. I wish John Madden would come back out of retirement.

7. It seems odd to me that gold can't be created in a lab.

8. Why does soda cost so much? How much of this $1.75 fountain drink would be pure profit?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


June 16th of this very year will mark Sarah's and my ten year anniversary. I know! Ten years! A whole decade! That's a significant milestone, and one worthy of special celebration. Some of you might remember that we had decided to celebrate in grand fashion with a trip abroad. We looked at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. We looked at Italy, including Bari, the final resting place of Saint Nicholas (sorry kids, he's dead). In addition to its connection to the late Mr. Claus, Bari is also noteworthy as the old world city from which the Fusanos embarked for the New World. We also looked into Venice as well as Mediterranean cruises. But the place where our imagination finally came to rest was the East African island of Pemba. Not only is it the sort of out-of-the-way, exotic destination adventure we had in mind but our friends, Reid and sandy Arensen, live there as well. That's like having a couple native guides around who speak perfect english. Plus, we love the Arensens, and we would be excited to see firsthand what they have been up to. But as we dug deeper into the details and laid out all of the expenses it became clear that even with generous help from Uncle Sam and you (You know who you are!) we were either going to come up short or it would be very tight. Uncomfortbaly tight.We're close though. So instead of abandoning the idea entirely, and blowing our dough on a lesser adventure, we have put the money away in a special account with plans to save our money and go to Pemba, Lord willing, in 2012. We think it's worth the wait. We'll use some of it though this year to go on a cruise to Mexico or something. We'll see. Nothing as dramatic as what we had orginally planned for the big tenth anniversary, but it'll still be awesome, cause being married to Sarah is awesome, and being able to getaway at all is amazing given our humble financial position. We have a lot to be thankful for. And we are thankful!
In planning for this hypothetical trip abroad, Sarah and I both came across our old, defunct passports from the 90's. Sarah's was issued in '95, she was 17, and mine was issued the following year in '96, I was 18, and it was just months before we started dating. Both passports were obtained in advance of a trip to Europe.

First of all, it looks like if the young man in the picture to the left opened his mouth Russian might come out. I look Russian in this photo, no? Maybe Polish? Definitely slavic. My ancestry is predominantly of the Anglo-Saxon variety, but you wouldn't know it from looking at this photo. And what is going on with my hair? Get thee to a barbershop! Stat! Didn't I know they would be photographing me? Sarah was charitable to take me on as her boyfriend. That's all I have to say about that.

Sarah, who is brown as a nut and smoking hot in her picture, also looks like a foreigner, but perhaps from somewhere along the Mediterranean coast. How did these two foreign kids meet and fall in love in America?
Then I made the two pictures kiss.


During many of my back-east wanderings through the woods, which filled many a happy day in my youth I would sometimes happen upon an old cellar hole. Often times the spot would be far removed from any road or other habitation, way back in the woods, and I would pause for a moment to pay homage to the spot, and wonder about what had happened there. Forgotten people and forgotten lives. Forgotten effort too. (Vanity, vanity, all is vanity under the sun.) Old cellar holes always felt like a memorial that refused to focus on a specific person. More of a memorial to forgotten times in general. Not the sort of memorial which informed or brought closure- just a mysterious, forgotten place- a hole in the woods. Old cellar holes have an undeniable air of mystery about them. They raise questions rather than answer them.

Anyway, I was reading to the kids last night at bed time from the children's classic, "Miss Hickory" by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, and happened upon this apt description of a cellar hole, and the thoughts that such a discovery always conjured in my own mind.

"The cellar hole that had once held a home had been abandoned for many years. None but a dweller of the forest could have found it, for its road was lost, its stones were overgrown with wild brier and sumac, and the old gray birches that had sprouted around it were now tall and arched by the winds into a roof. But the cellar hole could remember. There, on one side, a brick fireplace had once stood with the bean pot snuggly simmering in its oven, the andirons holding four-foot logs, and a mother rocking a cradle and knitting on the wide hearth. The cellar hole remembered spinning wheels and sleigh bells, sizzling doughnuts and molasses cookies, fishing tackle, guns, singing school and Bible readings, hardships and laughter, snow-drifts and white lilacs. Now it was nothing, but an ancient memory book of things past. The thicket of black alder, pine and hemlock that led to it kept its pages closed to all except those who love the country. And when doe had been searching for a safe home for her fallow deer, the cellar hole had seemed right. There was not even a footpath where the long-lost road had led to its smoking chimney. Granite rocks covered with lichen and moss were the only sign posts."

Friday, March 4, 2011


"I've been through tornadoes and blizzards. H---, I've even been in a hurricane before, and I'll tell you what, give me earthquakes anyday. They're not fun, but it could be worse."
White male in his sixties, speaking in an inappropriately loud voice to three of his friends, who were likewise white males in their fifties and sixties. (editors note- One of the males dissented, claiming that earthquakes were the worst natural disaster. He was alone in his opinion however as the rest, including a waitress who chimed in, seemed to agree with the first man.) Jan's Red Kettle Restaurant- Idyllwild, CA

"She kicked him out of his own house. It's his name on the deed. He paid for it, but when it all hit the fan, he was the one sleeping in his truck. Now I'm sorry, but that's just not right. I would have told the judge to go (expletive deleted) himself!"
Same male as above, still speaking at an inappropriate volume, and still using inappropriate language, to his friends, who nodded in agreement as he spoke. Jan's Red kettle Restaurant- Idyllwild, CA

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


 With all of the snow that we have been experiencing I decided to give the old Police Boots the start today. It was a good choice. I love these boots. I don't know why I don't wear them more often. I especially love the way they clomp-clomp-clomp their way across hard floors. They are not particularly waterproof, and they are not terribly warm either, but there is just something about them. They're comfortable and I like the way they look. They are easily the most expensive pair of footwear in my collection- thank you taxpayers of St. Albans City!
The Mallards, which you may recall were named Captain of the Footwear after the Boat Shoes were demoted following the discovery of a small tear along the side of the instep, have now apparently suffered the same fate (see photo below). Plus, the padding inside the Mallards bunches up everytime I remove my foot (see photo above). This is even worse then the tear along the instep. Oh how the mighty have fallen! They now appear to be doomed to be demoted as well, and possibly used as a flower pot this spring.
In light of these developments, there is more uncertainty surrounding the hierarchy of my shoes than a north-African dictatorship. CNN is even reporting that the Mallards were toppled in a coup earlier this morning, and that my house slippers have assumed emergency powers. Most experts agree that this is unlikely however as the slippers are not respected enough to patch together a coalition of support. The other shoes would never respect a pair of slippers enough to allow for them to take over the top job. The snow boots especially, which are the longest tenured pair of footwear in the house, may not even consider the slippers to be proper footwear. It is possible that the newly acquired "N-Shoes," which have never even been worn, except to see if they fit, could be immediately declared the Captain of the footwear just as  John Roberts was immediately given the title of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A more likely scenario is that the Perry Ellis shoes could be named to the top spot following the sad news about their friends, the Mallards, ruptured instep. We all mourn the loss of the Mallards. I'll keep you posted. Things are happening pretty quickly aound here.
 In other shoe news. My Mother-In-Law has gifted us with a new shoe rack. The old one was determined by sarah to be too small and was also falling apart. This one feels luxuriously spacious and easily accomodates our shoes as well as their drama.