One week

In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don’t ever shine; I would shiver the whole night through.

Seven inches of snow at 7 a.m. with seven days until the election.

I call that an omen. Of what sort, I’m not certain. But it has to be better than 6, 6, and 6, don’t you think?

Sweet dreams, old pal.

As the snow piled up last night I dreamed of Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment).

He was all sprawled out, occupying a considerable portion of territory, as was his practice, and seemed very much at peace. So I woke with a smile. It was good to see my old comrade again.

I did not dream of Covid the Barbarian, because it was not yet Halloween, which this year comes with a rare full moon, the first to brighten All Hallow’s Eve in (wait for it) many moons. There won’t be another until 2039.

And it’s a blue moon. Another omen?

Here’s hoping it lights our way toward kicking the Not-So-Great Pumpkin off the White House porch a few days later.

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27 Responses to “One week”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Went down to fifteen up here with about the same amount of snow. I had the pepper raised bed tented with a double sheet and three lamps inside for warmth. I have a bad feeling that my efforts were a little underwhelming. Will go out there after some coffee for the postmortem.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Low of 19° here, and happily no peppers to fret over. The neighbors, who had a bumper crop this year, brought us a whole bunch of ’em because they knew what was coming. We will not lack for vitamin C around here for a while.

      • JD Says:

        Hola….some steel cut/Irish oatmeal, some posole, green chile, and maybe a loaf of fresh-baked, homemade bread? Life is good, mi amigos!! Enjoy!!! 🙂

      • khal spencer Says:

        We picked everything remotely ready to be picked on Sunday, knowing the crack of doom was around the corner. I set up the tent anyway just to see if stuff would survive.

  2. Libby Says:

    A beautiful and sweet dream indeed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I miss my big ol’ cat. It was comforting to see him again.

      • Libby Says:

        Turk was as big and beautiful as his extraordinary and outsize personality. Thanks for sharing your furry family over the years. My cat Spunky died 12 years ago today – a year (October) after Chairman Meow – if my math and memory is correct.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Turk was a fine-looking fellow, if a bit ill-tempered at times, and prone to play just a little too rough. Dude didn’t know his own strength, is what.

          We miss them so much when they move to The Other Side. It’s always too soon.

          Were you adopted by another cat after Spunky went west? I forget who’s serving whom around here.

          Here’s one of my all-time favorite pix of the big galoot doing Peter O’Toole from “A Lion in Winter.”

          • Libby Says:

            Yes, Peter O’Toole! And there’s definitely a nod to “Lawrence of Arabia” in that gaze!
            After Spunky died I still had the much younger Westlyn. Westie died in 2015, at 17+yrs. I adopted 4 yr old bio siblings Honey and Hayley in April 2015. Honey had a very late diagnosis of cancer and he died August 2015. I have 3 cats now. Butterscotch and Marmalade (Mamie) are bio siblings but age unknown (6-8 yrs now?) adopted November 2016. I kept their names. One has heart disease; one has kidney disease and all coexist if not always best friends. They are a joy and a tonic and I’m grateful for them.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            A conga line of cats, switching their tails in and out of our lives. One sis-in-law has three, like you; the other, a dog. We’re down to Miss Mia Sopaipilla, who seems to enjoy being an only cat for now. She gets (and demands) a lot of attention. She’s astoundingly kittenish for a 13-year-old.

            Her favorite thing lately is playing Stick ’n’ Bag. She low-crawls into a Sprouts grocery bag on my office floor and waits for someone to poke it with the stick end of a cat toy (the other end, which she couldn’t care less about, has a fake bird on a short length of fishing line). The game starts with a poke, progresses to assaults on the stick, from inside and out of the bag, and ends with WWF-style, off-the-turnbuckle attacks on the bag itself. Great fun for everyone.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Sounds like you folks had a lot of fun on the roads down there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Not me, Bubba. I shoveled the driveway, but the autos stayed indoors, as did I, until 3-ish, when I went outside for a short hike. The side streets cleared really fast, and the walking was easy-breezy. Didn’t even get my shoes wet.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Yep. I shoveled out the estate, cleaned the snow off the cars, walked the pooch and fed the birds. Other than that, stayed home and left the roadway demolition derby to others.

        Interestingly, it looks like the pepper plants may have survived last night’s ordeal.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Nice pic of Turk, relaxing like only a pampered dog or cat can, wiry the “House Back East” in the background. A lot has happened in the old dog house in the past 20 or so years!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ayuh. That was a fine neighborhood, the Greater Metropolitan Patty Jewett Yacht & Gun Club. I miss it from time to time, especially for its walkability, the local java shop just a block away, the wide, treelined streets.

      And then we get some cold and snow here in ’Burque and I remember, “Damn, it used to get like this a lot back in Bibleburg.” Shoveling that long, two-car driveway after a big dumper was quite the upper-body workout.

      • khal spencer Says:

        We had the big two decks, the two car driveway, and the walkway up in BombTowne. I always considered that workout to be good for me since on heavy snow days, I couldn’t bike very easily. I guess they got 12-14 inches of the white stuff up there from this storm, based on a couple conversations with my colleagues who live there.

  5. Derek Says:

    I lived in Leadville long enough to drive my wife crazy. I miss it but I still got her. I could die shoveling snow up there and be pretty happy about it.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Why would one shovel snow? It will be gone by noon. I would love about 10 inches of snow right now to keep my whole world from burning up next spring.

  7. Shawn Says:

    I’ve learned about snow. You don’t shovel it. You get out while it is falling and there is no more than a couple of inches and push it with a broom. You’ll need to do it multiple times to keep up with the snow but the workout is better than trying to lift the snow. When it is dry and cold, the snow is really easy to broom off. Although I don’t live in Leadville (starry, starry night) or Valdez (more snow than you can imagine), a broom works really well for me for those 12″ days. Oh yeah, and you never walk, ride on or worse, drive your truck on snow before you shovel / broom it.

    And one last thing: This snow re-positioning method applies to lazy bums like myself who are around the house most of the time and not out in the world working for an honest paycheck and really making America great “now”.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I almost moved to Valdez once until I checked the cost of living. Working as a community college teacher would not have cut it.

      No worries Shawn about just hanging around the house. I have been on the public teat, retired civil servant, for 16 years, and the milk keeps flowing for now. Maybe it’s my fault America anit’ great.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Sheeyit, I’ve been hanging around the house since 1991, shoveling words, cartoons, podcasts, videos, and pretty much anything else I could turn a buck on. Snow, too, though that was off the clock.

        I can recommend it, the hanging around in the house, and occasionally outside of it, on a bicycle. So can many of the people who used to have to share office space with me.

        “By all means, go home. Stay there if you like! How long? Forever! Does forever work for you?”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I used to broom the driveway in Bibleburg, right after we had it paved. Smooth sailing on that bad boy. Anything the broom couldn’t push I moved with a plastic grain hog.

      The driveway here looks like Dresden after the bombing and slopes like a Trumpetista’s forehead. North-facing, too, and always in the shade. The broom will still work, sometimes, if the weather is good and cold. But if I’m dealing with a heavy, wet dumper following unseasonably warm weather, like this last one, I gotta get right after it with the grain hog unless I want a bobsled run out of the garage until the ice melts.

      Herself doesn’t have AWD in the CR-V and doesn’t like the idea of taking a hard fast run at the driveway from the street. She thinks she’ll end up parked in the kitchen. And she just might.

  8. Dale Says:

    Hey! Mr. Tangerine man, tell a lie to me me
    I’m stupid and I will not fact check you
    Hey! Mr. Tangerine man, tell a lie to me
    When the rally comes to town I’ll come to you

    Though I know my job is gone, and you tell me to pound sand
    Money’s vanished from my hand
    Left me blindly here to stand but still not thinking
    My stupidness amazes me, I’m living on the street
    I have no one to meet
    And the empty factories are dead and mouldering

    Hey! Mr. Tangerine man, tell a lie to me me
    I’m stupid and I will not fact check you
    Hey! Mr. Tangerine man, tell a lie to me
    When the rally comes to town I’ll come to you

    Take me on a trip upon your magic lying shit
    My senses have been stripped
    My hands can’t feel to grip
    My toes too numb to step
    Wait only for my boot soles to need mending

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      He shoots. He scores! I am so stealing that, with permission of course.

      • Dale Says:

        Permission granted from me, but Bob – that’s another thing.

      • psobrienBam!39003490 Says:

        Yep, got to watch the copyright. I am stealing just to try it out with my guitar mentor this afternoon He liked “Down In The Bunker” as well. I just got a new guitar, and we are going to break in those new strings today. Or try to. They are Elixir strings, which I usually don’t like. If they don’t sound good after a couple of hours playing, off the come and a set of Martin Retro Monels will go on.

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