Saturday, October 29, 2016

And so it begins...

Auntie Tina with Emma!

Greencastle started early this year! Monday, Cloverdale will catch up.

The leaves and such are at their peak. Fall at it's loveliest.

Listened to James play a few new tunes he has been working on.

And looking forward to Monday and all the Grands dressed up (and seeing my honorary Great Grand, Amelia Rose, again) and handing out candy, dressing up as well, and James & Nicole's Traditional Chili Supper.

Today was unseasonably warm and Chris drove me all through the twisty back-roads for some  leaf peeping at their peak...even out past our old house at The Lake. The trees I planted are huge. Taller than the house now! One was a pink flowering crabapple that smelled like cotton candy every Spring...and the other a self-pollinating Washington cherry tree. It must produce enough cherries for the whole neighborhood these days.  Then we drifted into Avon for Greek at my very favorite Greek Restaurant!

                     Saganaki....Cheese...Ouzo and a lemon to put out the flames.
                                                   What's not to love?

Love you, guys!

See you for Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fallish Things...The Latest Dave Barry...and Ready for A Virtual Turkish Aventure

Thinking a lot about the road less traveled by, today.  A heart-date. One of those that only those who lived it- shared it.  Today I sat in the crisp Fall air and enjoyed a cup of Orange Spice Tea and a Smoke and remembered. You once called me your soul-mate. I knew you were mine.

I miss you.

Simon and Garfunkel were right.


Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you. 

We choose our partner. We do not choose our soul-mate.  We have always been together for centuries and centuries in one form or another, and we will be again...and again.


Brought home a fat orange globe of a pumpkin yesterday and sat it on the patio amidst the yellowing vines, mums and fallen leaves. Sitting out with tea and smelling the first of the wood-smoke on the air as the temperatures start to dip.
Ribs in BBQ sauce with apple-butter and honey simmering in the oven in an iron skillet.


Also finished Dave Barry's new book

Best State Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

as my TBR Pile from Summer transitions into the Still-More-To-Be-Read Pile of Fall and Winter.

Hands down the funniest book I have sat down with for a while. Starting with a brief history of the State (given a LOT of artistic license) then answering the burning question of why people actually decided to settle there. Why Miami has  (he swears he isn't making this up) the "hottest women" in the Country. And describes a supermarket trip with a friend from Out of State

"Is it always like this" he asked me.

"Pretty much."

"If I lived here," he said. "I would go to the supermarket constantly. I would buy my groceries one grape at a time."

He also takes us to all the Florida Hot-Spots

The Skunk-Ape Center

Weeki Watchee



The Villages


Lock and Load


Key West

Giving a summary of each as only Dave Barry could.

If you are a Barry Fan, love Florida, live in Florida, plan to visit Florida or just wonder

 "What the HELL is wrong with those people, anyway???" 

This is the book for you.

Planning to rejoin "A Year in The World" Virtual Travels on November 1st with Istanbul, Turkey.

The Itinerary looks like this

Like "The Pirate's Code" 
they be mostly guidelines...

Finding out what the hell a Turkish Gulet actually is.

See Istanbul

Watch the Mevlevi Sufi Dancers and "Belly-Dancing"

Learn more about Rumi and reading some of his poetry/writings

Try Turkish Delight

Learn to make Turkish Coffee and an Ibrik

Buy a Turkish Demitasse  

See the Bosphorus Strait

Experience the Herbed Baths and Dead Sea and Sulfer Mud Masques

Learn a few words in Turkish

See a Turkish Marketplace (...sorry Ms.Mayes...I do not share your rug enthusiasm...if you do apparently this is the place to go, though...

Make Mezes

Check out Pashmina and Hijabs

Check out Rose Mountain and Termessos

Read the myth of Pegasus and Bellerophone

See the Lycian Coast

Read the Myth of the Chimaera

See the Chimaera Fires on the Mountainside

Fix a Typical Turkish Dinner

See Kayakoy (ghost town)

Discover Topkapi

See the Emerald Green waters of Turkey

And finish most, or all of this in 30 days.

For a destination that (like Portugal) I admittedly thought about skipping sounds like it might actually be a great adventure!

So it is off to Turkey (Virtually) in November.

With the upcoming election and appropriate  :)

More anon...


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Novel: The Plan The Doctor's Reveal

Whether it was the invasion of the home and life we had made together. Her affair. The subsequent abortion, or just my heavy case-load and seminars at the time...the fact of the matter is

I killed my wife.

(I told the police as much. Told them how responsible I felt being gone when it happened They told me that it couldn't have been helped, and that I shouldn't blame myself.)

I am not talking in the abstract, here. Not like she was alone too much or I broke her heart by forcing her to terminate her pregnancy.
After she drives away I walk back inside and call The General to reassure that Tracy will no longer be our problem.


 I killed Sarah.

Before you think of me as some kind of a horrible monster, let me explain.

I was, after all, the victim.

It was late Friday night. I was speaking at a seminar in Philadelphia on Saturday and had headed out to make an early night of it. Determined to get a fresh start the next morning from the hotel.  Half-way through the four hour drive I realized, distracted by my day at the office, I had left my note-cards for the lecture at home. So I turned around and headed back to the house.

Just before I reached our long winding gravel drive through the trees back to the cabin I saw a car turn out of it.  Not a car I recognized.  I made a mental note of the make, and color, and then turned where the blue Chevrolet had pulled out only moments before. I caught a brief visual of the man driving away. It would be enough to make a positive ID days later.  

(When I told the police that my wife had complained about someone of his description at the market making odd comments, and then watching her from an older make blue Chevy, several times. No, we didn't bother to report it. Thought it was strange but harmless. Turns out the guy was kind of a nobody, a loner no family, and had several previous arrests. All his priors were non-violent crimes. 

His current employer took the stand and told the court during the trial that Steve had "really been pulling his life together" and that he had formerly been a transient. 

"There's always a first time." the officer had told me while patting my back in a comfort  gesture.)

I parked the car just out of line of sight and walked up to the door, only to find it unlocked.


I heard Sarah call out from our room.  Our bedroom. 

"Glad you're forgot to say goodnight to Baby"

Did I bother to tell you she had named that flea-bitten Siamese "Baby"?

"She would have pouted, you kn..."

And her words froze.

The last person she expected to see walk into the house that night was me.
She turned white.
Would not look at me, or answer.

She was wearing only her panties and sitting with the cat in the wadded cum-stained sheets where she and Steve had been only minutes before.

I remember grabbing one of the heavy wood based lamps beside the bed and striking her across the face with it in a rage. The damned cat hissed at me, then scrambled from the room. I was so angry I hit her over and over. Body. Face. Head. She became the embodiment of my cheating whore of a mother who had cost me my baby sister's life.

Sarah was my only love
The only woman I ever trusted.
And now she had spoiled that, forever.

When she stopped screaming, stopped crying, stopped moving I realized it was too late. I had gone too far. Her face and head were beginning to turn purplish and swell. She was curled in a foetal position and the red marks that would soon be bruises over most of her body.  

(The police would later tell me the attacker had broken several of her fingers, shattered both wrists and forearms as she fought him off. They also found the bastard's fingerprints throughout my home.)

 I threw the base of the lamp in our wood-stove to burn, upended furniture and scattered books and papers to give the appearance of a struggle. Then I left her in that blood soaked bed. It was dark by the time I left the house and I locked the door, then used a tire tool to pry it open. I left it standing ajar.

I went back to the hotel and heard nothing more until our housekeeper found her. The police notified me. The shocked look on my face when they told me she was on life support, and still alive, was real.

Frankly, I am surprised she didn't die through the night.

She was always the tough one, my Sarah.

She never regained consciousness. They put her in a medically induced coma hoping that it would permit some of the swelling in her brain to go down. Several areas of her skull were crushed.The doctors told me that even if she lived she would basically be a vegetable for the rest of her life.

Eventually, she died.

When they arrested Steve for the murder of my wife he tried to concoct some story about how the two of them had been engaged in an affair for more than a year. He also said he had given her the Siamese Cat, that she was in love with him, and planning to leave me.

(Obviously obsessed and delusional, they concluded. Fixated on my wife.)

When he was convicted and sentenced I sat silently in the court-room. He was underwhelming as a physical specimen. Thin, non-athletic with dark hair and a full shadow of a beard. He had thick lensed hard-framed glasses giving him a rather slow appearance, very nervous and displayed a tendency to stutter under pressure.

Quite unattractive, actually. Sitting there, I found it hard to believe that my Sarah would have...have...anyway...when the jury came back with the death penalty he completely lost it. Crying and gibbering like a distraught child.

It was, overall, a very satisfying moment for me.

He sat on Death Row until his appeals were exhausted, and they shipped him to Terre Haute, Indiana for the execution. I flew in to witness it. Hopefully, my face was the last one he ever saw when they pumped the chemicals in his vein.

I buried Sarah in our plot behind the cabin.

I buried that damned cat there the same day.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Catching My Breath...Leaf Peeping...The Orchard...and Grandchildren...Lots and Lots of Grandchildren!

Off Saturday with Chris for some "leaf peeping" and a Taco Lunch. Everything is turning nicely.I won't be surprised if it peaks by next weekend!

Then, Sunday with James, Nicole, Tanya, Brian, Aiden, Natalynn, Kaylee, Emma, Hannah, Jazzie, and Brenden at The Apple Orchard.

The Brady!

A horse-drawn hay-wagon to the Pumpkin Patch where the kids got to pick their Pumpkins and a Trek through the Corn-Maze.

Although the kids always managed to find their way back out...better luck next year, eh?

Cloverdale must be riddled with clowns.  Actually had one in white rush at the car as we rounded the turn by the pond...WTH?

I think we need to get a group of adults decked out as Zombies to hunt down our clown problem. Could be entertaining and exciting!

Just sayin'

So...taking a slow Monday and Tuesday to catch my breath from the week's company, and then the weekend with Chris, James and The Grands.

Absolutely exhausted...but totally worth it!

Betsy, Dave and Jane spent the weekend with more of our DS Family at the Nashville Tennessee Gathering.

                                                      "Cheers, ya'll"

                                         2016 DS Gathering Nashville TN
                                                      The Bed Shot

And the three of them are off today for Atlanta tracing our (late) friend/brother Loran's footsteps- before heading back to Ohio, and shipping Dave back 'cross the pond to England.

October is ALWAYS amazing!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Life with A Cat

Brought the groceries in and, as usual, dropped in my chair for a made sure I had the camera on hand. We go through this ritual at least once a!  you'd think I'd learn, eh?

Tucker:  Excuse me...I was sitting here.

Tucker:  Okay...I suppose I COULD share the edge.

Tucker: Fine...I'll just climb up and sit on your legs until they go numb. 

Inching his way up from my legs to my chest...taking his time as if I wouldn't notice. 

Tucker: Ahhh...this is comfy. Maybe I'll just nap here for a while.

Tucker: Don't mind me...I'm just going to knead...snore...oh and drool on your boob a bit...

Tucker:  Hey, don't get mad. Here..I'll give you kitty hugs. There. Doesn't THAT make it all better? I love you, human. After all, those cat food cans don't open themselves, you know.

Tucker:  Damn. I thought she would never get up. 

And he is back to taking up the ENTIRE hassock...which is, of course, what he wanted all along.

Life with a Cat.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Forever Friends...A Lovely Week...Dave gets "Clowned" and more...

Betsy, Jane, Dave and I...

What a GREAT time!  Tons of chat and catch-up. Lots of cooking, and a few new recipes. Dave and Jane tried my Ginjinha (left from virtual aged 4 months and liked it.  Also a bit of  Homemade Blackberry Wine. We took a short road-trip to Cataract Falls, the General Store (regrettably closed on Tuesdays), several brunches out...including one at my very favorite tea room! More chat and late nights. They actually save me from watching last night's final debate. I am forever grateful! Read the transcripts this morning. Ridiculous. And a Fall Breakfast with Biscuits and Gravy...Apple Butter (hot) and honey...send-off today, as they drive 5 more hours to meet up with the rest of "Our DS Family" at The Nashville Gathering. Oh...and apparently Cloverdale does have a clown problem. Dave encountered one while strolling near their hotel. More on this later...

The Falls!



'avin a pint or two"

"Some beer with your head, then?"

"Almost Home"


And a beautiful drive leaf-peeping!

Now about The Clown...

                  (...not the actual clown...for illustrative purposes,only...)

When Dave got back on Monday to the hotel he decided to take a late stroll 'round the grounds  When suddenly he turned about to see one of these standing near the wooded area...just staring at him.

Now, Dave, being British and all...did not have the innate (fear) response that many of the locals have. Namely, he tried conversing.

"Eh, you dere. Wots wif da clown gear, wot eh???

Clown:  Silent but looming.

Ehr ya daft? A looney, eh? Sod oft b'fore I give ya a bop in yer gob, den. "ow's ya like dat? Daft  bast'rd.

Clown:  (...running back into the woods...)

Next time, if he shows (he says) he's going to grab him round the neck and

"Take a selfie, to show me mates back 'ome at the pub."


Built like a short barrel-chested boxer with tattoos up both inner forearms. I have no doubt he would.

The Clown would need years of therapy.

The Texas Gathering was over the weekend, as well.

And so many pictures taken and sent. With Joe on Guitar, here. This year marked 5 years since Bill's  Memorial on the Banks of the Blanco with everybody! Loved all the great shots and even some audio-video clips.

Many of our DS family have already started to arrive.


Early arrivals Shirley & Luann (Canada), Betty, Vicki, Sally and Cathy. Already plundering Nashville, together!   Many more yet to come!

Rumor has it that Betsy gets Flat Stan this year!

A touch-base today with "Idgy" who is with her brother John and her Dad at the oncologist's with Mom. The biopsy revealed Adenocarcinoma (lung cancer)  Stage 3. It is already in her lymphatic system. Not good. Now, they circle the wagons. Mom has already requested to go wig or head-wrap shopping. TODAY.  Chemo and Radiation start soon. She is scared but in good spirits, and ready for a fight. Her husband and grown children all at her side. Today's lunch will be the last normal any of them will know for a while. Been there-lived that. Hoping like hell she beats it!

Laughed recently, seeing a photo of Dave with All his Grands  
('cross the pond)


Someone who has as many Grands as I do...

Thanks for everything, guys! Dave, I love the beach stones from Crete!

 Jane and Betsy, the house smells wonderful like Salted Caramel and Pumpkin Spice! Thank you for the candles!

And my Yellow Friendship Rose is opening HUGE and beautiful, Betsy!

More anon


Relax and Chat

Chris, who dropped by with Tina- and surprised us with
an impromptu house concert after dinner!