accounting for myself

September 7th, 2009 | Uncategorized


I know I haven’t been posting much. I’ve been working, though. And doing other things. Here’s the two cords of wood that got delivered in July, all stacked. And that’s the garlic Hol and I planted last November. And that’s a jar of peaches Holly just canned. (don’t actually click those links, or you’ll go to some very long dull videos.)

I guess I’m all ready for winter.

Oh, and today I hiked up Mt. Mansfield with Hol. We got almost to the forehead, but turned around because Hol’s boot fell apart. The sole came completely off. She cleverly kept it in place with the lace, though, till we got back down.

das boot

Here’s some guy’s blog which explains the physiognomy of Mt. Mansfield. Personally, I don’t see a human face when I look at this mountain. I think the native Abenaki had it right—they called it Mountain with the head of a moose. Doesn’t it look like a long, rambling antlery moosehead?

53 Responses to “accounting for myself”

  1. Timmytee says:

    Wow! Freshly picked garlic and a quart of just-canned peaches! That would hold me for a while! Best wishes.

  2. Timmytee says:

    And great jury-rig on the boot–those long laces can come in handy, eh?

  3. Heidi says:

    I’ve had that experience, with the boots, before. We had gone all the way to Missoula, Montana for a friend’s wedding, so we decided to go up to Glacier for a couple of days. On our first hike, the sole came off my well-loved boot. We had to drive to the nearest town with an outdoor gear store as fast as we could to get me new boots before they closed. Later found out that the guy who sold me the boots had gone to high school with my friend whose wedding we were attending.

  4. hairball_of_hope says:

    Two words… duct tape. Don’t leave home without it. I have a “flat pack” of duct tape in my backpack for all sorts of emergencies. They actually sell flat packs, but you can make your own by rolling off a few yards from a big roll and folding it over into a flattened roll that will fit in any pocket. I recently duct-taped the side view mirror back on the car with the flat pack I keep in the glove box (the mirror got whacked while I was parked).

    (… I’m so relieved the normal stylesheet is back on the blog …)

  5. Ian says:

    I’m about to plant my own over-wintering garlic for the second year running. I do find it magical that you can separate a head of garlic into cloves and you’ll get up to a dozen new heads of garlic!

    I just re-watched the video of you planting it and I’d forgotten how much your beds reminded me of small Saxon or Viking burial mounds, or barrows.

    PS my pumpkins are now ripening and are a lovely orange. Very similar to the colour of this blog! Not to take this thread off topic but I’ll be asking for good pumpkin pie recipes soon … 😉

  6. Sara says:

    I guess Holly got every last mile out of those boots – or at least one of them 😉 Maybe she can compost the leather uppers.

  7. Feminista says:

    Yep,duct tape’s great. I have some on the front bumper of my car,and used it recently to repair some holes in a ground cloth.

    Y’all may remember my lamenting in early summer about my upcoming *gasp* 40th high school reunion which once again has get-togethers planned at a sports bar and a golf club.

    Lately people have been sending in memories of their K-12 experiences,only one hinted at any interest in things academic,and nobody’s mentioned the political climate of the times. This was in south central Michigan,an hour from Univ.of MI,where SDS was founded,and 2 hours from Detroit,home of Motown,the 1967 rebellion,and much grassroots left and union organizing.

    Mind you,our middle-and working-class school had access to higher education:88% of our graduating class attended college,most at nearby Mich.State Univ.and Lansing Community College. MSU,although more conservative than UM,nevertheless had some academic freedom and anti-war activists,both faculty and students,and hosted the SDS national convention ca.1968.

    Where am I going with this? Well,one of my high school memories is not of the top-40 (white)radio station or Bermuda Day,but learning about Black history in an after-school,non-credit seminar,and later reading James Baldwin. Through my Unitarian friends, I discovered Malcolm X,learning that he’d spent some of his early years in the Lansing area. I read his autobiography in 1967,2 years after his assassination.

    Mentioning the above in the memory blog,however,will no doubt go over like a lead balloon. To quote my late father,however,”sometimes all you can do is raise issues.”

  8. Feminista says:

    P.S. The parents of my classmates were homemakers,secretaries,teachers,professors,farmers,factory workers,small business people and social workers. Most were mainline Protestant,primarily Methodist or Presbyterian,with a handful of Unitarians and Jews. Several of the Jewish students’parents had immigrated to the U.S. to escape the Nazis.

  9. Aunt Soozie says:

    When I first saw that boot I thought it must be something Phranc made out of cardboard…! but, nope… it’s the real thing.

  10. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Sara (#6) [yayyy, the comment numbers are back!]

    No need to compost the leather uppers. If they are in good condition, the boots can be resoled. If the wayward sole is still ok, it can be reglued.

    I have a pair of really heavy hiking boots (the kind you can put crampons on), and I had them resoled about 8-10 years after I got them. The leather was fine, and it took me all those years to break in the uppers, no point in breaking in my feet on new leather.

  11. Calico says:

    Wow, lots of fresh garlic!
    I was ready to ask you the other day how the garlic patch was, but got distracted and forgot.

    Does it require a lot of sun to grow? I may try to get some in during Oct. (I live farther North)

  12. Mighty Ponygirl says:

    Did you know that your birthday is marked as an important cultural figure birthday according to this year’s Futurama calendar?

  13. judybusy says:

    There is nothing like fresh garlic from the garden. It’s soooo juicy. I MUST plant some next month. Calico, the more sun garlic gets, the better.

    I also love the boots! I have a pair of workboots that are 23 years old this fall. I’ve only needed to replace the laces. Part of the reason they’ve lasted so long is that I only use them for heavy work in the garden, when I really need to punch down to dig up tough things.

  14. Ready2Agitate says:

    Can anyone possibly imagine a cuter photo of dear Alison than the one at the top of this entry? Really, it’s a keeper! (or “it’s a keepah” as they say here in Massachusetts)

    Sara – you beat to the punch with the composting shoes reference.

    Feminista – you go, girl!

  15. NLC says:

    This doesn’t have much to do with the current topic, but as a brief flashback to the recent Kindle-discussion I just have to say that (setting aside all of the various pros and cons) I find it seriously cool to be able to find myself sitting on a bench in front of the laundromat in Metamora Illinois on a beautiful September morning, first google-mapping our route to Franklin IN and then pulling down something as obscure as the non-canonical Gospel of Peter because the main book I’m reading happens to refer to it and I wanted to see what it actually said for myself.

  16. Xena Fan says:

    AB, Will you be resuming the cartoon strip after you’re done with the book? I can’t lose the feeling that you separating yourself from DTWOF (slowly but surely).

  17. Renee S. says:

    AB, that is the look of happiness.

  18. Kate L says:

    Boots! Has Holly ever been a geology major? 🙂

    I just saw an interesting ad on the MSNBC webpage, the kind that is directed by what the search engine thinks you may have an interest in. This one said, “How to Meet Jewish Singles”. Hey, where is hairball?

  19. Kate L says:

    It is being reported that Senator Max Baucus (Democrat – Montana) is proposing a health care reform “compromise” where there would be no public-option national health care plan to compete against private for-profit health insurance companies, and no mandate that companies provide health insurance for their employees, but where all uninsured Americans would be fined. No, I’m NOT making this up!

    (Kate L #18) Seriously, has anybody seen hairball? 😉

  20. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#18,19)

    Hairball has barely seen Hairball. 🙁

    Job cuts were announced, 50% of us are without jobs. They are making all of us apply for our own jobs (and there are no positions with my job title, so I get to apply for a handful of other jobs that I’m qualified for).

    No matter, because this is all a scripted Kabuki dance. They already have names more-or-less penciled in for the remaining jobs, but we are going through the farce of competing for these jobs so they can avoid lawsuits that they are targeting older employees with higher salaries and more expensive pensions.

    Those who don’t land jobs will have a short limited period to hunt for other positions in other locations that they are qualified for, and then they must apply and compete. In my case, I will probably get one of those jobs, which will involve a major downgrade, crappy workhours, etc.

    The bad thing about providing technical support for mission-critical systems is that some folks actually expect (and pay for) 24/7/365 coverage, and someone has to be there in the weird hours of the day to provide it. It looks like that will be how I end up at the end of this bogus process, with a major downgrade, salary hit, etc. But it looks a lot better than dealing with finding another employer in this economy. Also, it’s ridiculously hard to get hired in the tech world if you’re over 35 or so, and I’m over 50.

    So I’ll be up with the vampires, and on the road again. Every one of these job postings has an overnight travel requirement. Blech.

    At least I’ll have my health insurance.

    I was telling someone the other day that many of us (myself included) put up with crappy jobs for the benefits. One of the few good things about a 401(k) vs. a traditional pension is that it gives the employee more mobility to change jobs and still end up with some kind of retirement annuity. The second thing that ties folks to crappy jobs is health insurance. If Obama succeeds in providing a gov’t-sponsored health insurance option, I think many folks who might not have switched jobs or started their own businesses might be inspired to do so.

  21. Ready2Agitate says:

    Oh rats, Hairball – that just sucks. Your ability to put a positive spin on such a crappy hand of cards is praiseworthy.

    Renee – OT, but I just saw “It Might Get Loud” – the documentary abt guitarists Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jack White (of the White Stripes), and Edge (U2’s guitarist). A film full of testosterone, no doubt, but still a big thrill for thems of us who love ourselves some loud geetar!

    Kate L, you seen that lady geologist again who nodded atchya from her pick-up the other day?

  22. j.b.t. says:

    I love the picture of Alison!!!!!!

    Hairball, I’m sorry about the job situation and will be sending good-luck vibes your way.

    I am self employed and only have catastrophic health insurance, which is outrageously expensive for what it is. I hope something decent passes, but every day it looks worse for my kind…

    In other, happier, news: my daughter started kindergarten today! She’s my only kid and I felt surprisingly emotional about it. She was a little nervous about it and didn’t want to go, but then when I picked her up this afternoon she said she didn’t want to go home. I took this as a very good sign.

    xo, J.

  23. Kate L says:

    Hairball, I’m sorry to hear about all this. It sounds all too much like my own experience.

    Ready2Agitate, Sadly, no.

    j.b.t., I’m hoping that on Wednesday night Obama comes out as a flaming public option person… Oh, and the picture of Allison is great!

  24. Alex K says:


    Mischief managed, then.

  25. Acilius says:

    Good luck, Hairball!

  26. Kate L says:

    Lordy, lordy, guess who’s 40 today! Well, someone is, I’m sure. I. however, am celebrating my 55th birthday today.

  27. Kate L says:

    I’ve just celebrated my birthday by juxtaposing (sp?) a picture I took on a bright, sunny summer day in the Colorado Rockies some 33 years ago with a Captain Janeway refrigerator magnet I have on a magnetized bulletin board on my office wall. One side of the photo from my geology field camp has a woman’s arm extending into the field of view, holding a rock. In the background is a pile of the same rock and, further up the hill beyond, is the rock layer all the debris obviously came from. The arm is in perfect proportion to Janeway’s body, and the two images match up perfectly. I am inordinately proud of myself. It looks for all the world as if Janeway herself is a woman geologist! I knew it! I KNEW it!

  28. Acilius says:

    Happy birthday, Kate! All of Germany is in denial about your aging… Nein! Nein! Oh, nein! But we embrace it.

  29. June says:

    THAT’s what garlic looks like, with those monster stalks? I had no idea.

    That is an awesome photo.

  30. Kat says:

    Happy birthday, Kate L!

  31. Dr. Empirical says:

    Happy Birthday Kate! and Congratulations on this “Lady Geologist” meme you’ve managed to insert into the lexicon.

  32. Renee S. says:


    yeah, I read about that documentary somewhere. I DO want to see it! I wish though, they would have included a woman in it, yes. It’s a sore spot of mine about women guitarists being excluded from guitardom.

    But! Some folks at the community college where I work did a mini doc about me making the cigar box guitars. I think they did a good job. If anyone’s interested:

    I’ll have a website up soon!

  33. hairball_of_hope says:

    Thanks for the kind wishes. I make pretty good lemonade… I just wish life weren’t tossing all these damn lemons my way. I’m grateful I likely have some job options, even if they suck. Some of my colleagues are not in good shape with regard to job prospects and/or personal financial situations. The looks on their faces tell all. And it’s ugly.

    (… exits singing that Gloria Gaynor disco hit, “I Will Survive”…)

  34. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Happy Birthday young ‘un. How are you and Sandy celebrating?

  35. Ian says:

    Happy b’day Kate L! Was your birthday cake maoist orange cake by any chance? 😉

    I seem to remember an AB DTWOF calendar strip where she drew a selection of dyke calendars featuring butches, yuppies, flannels, etc. Maybe it’s time to add lady/woman/womon geologist to the list? 12 months’ worth of lady geologists in their khaki shorts, boots held together with duct tape doing interesting things with their hammers and rock samples!

  36. NLC says:

    …and speaking of birthdays, let us not forget 10 Sept 1960: Colin Firth!

    and, um, wasn’t there someone else…

  37. Andrew B says:

    Happy Birthday to the person NLC is thinking of. Whoever that might be.

    Kate L, I’m late in my time zone but I think you’re in the Central, so happy birthday to you too.

  38. Ready2Agitate says:

    Shooooot, girl, Renee!!! Great video! (and you have a voice, and a body, and a midwestern accent! 😉 ). You are going to LOVE the opening scene of Jack White in “It Might Get Loud.” And I hear you. Totally. It is a complete testosterone fest. I was thinking of how the film leaves absolutely no room at the table for women. Well, other than one or two annoying comments from James Page (including one that the guitar is shaped like a woman – blechhhh), it’s actually a lot of fun to watch/listen to him play. Enjoy.

    And happy birthday, Lady Kate. May this be one of many nights that you “take back.” 🙂

  39. Acilius says:

    Three cheers to you, Renee! I’ve linked to the video on my blog.

  40. Acilius says:

    Oh, I’m sure NLC was thinking of Fox News talk-show host Bill O’Reilly. Unless it was former US Senator John Sununu (Republican of New Hampshire.) Or perhaps Pope Julius III.

  41. Exis says:

    Have a relaxing birthday Alison!

  42. Acilius says:

    Yes Alison, do have a relaxing birthday today. Try not to spend too much of it trying to think of who it was NLC had in mind. I hope it was Raymond Scott, I’ve always loved his stuff. Or maybe Adele Astaire.

  43. Calico says:

    Happy Birthday Alison! : D

  44. Ready2Agitate says:

    hApPy BiRtHdAy, AB!

    Today is very special to we
    For it’s the day you came to be!


  45. Renee S. says:

    Happy Birthday AB! Hope you have all you wish for!

    Thanks R2A & Acilius! R2A, I really dig your kind comments; much appreciated! Acilius, thanks for the blog link!

    Yeah, R2A, I cannot tell you how many times that I wanted to play guitar in a (all male) band, and all they wanted me to do was sing. Must be a power thang. Well, yeah, guitar music is powerful for sure. That’s why they don’t want us to have it.
    One of my pet projects is to write a thesis about women, power, sex and guitars in the 20th century…

  46. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hmmm… women guitarists have strong fingers… ‘nuf said.

    (…goes back to prepping for her bogus job interview…)

  47. Renee S. says:

    @ HOH
    HAH!!!! you kill me!
    Bunches of Luck shot your way. (via a one-stringed harp)

  48. Mixelle says:

    Happy Birthday! Please more comics!!! 🙂

  49. AEB says:

    Happy birthday, everyone! Renee, I loved the video, loved watching you work with the wood. I hope you reap some financial benefit along the way.

  50. Feminista says:

    Yes,feliz cumpleanos to the above birthday people.

    Sorry to hear about the job sitch,HoH.

    Hope you had a great time at the shore (shoah?),Ready.

    Great blues playin’,Renee.

    I think that about covers it. 🙂

  51. Renee S. says:

    Thanks AEB & Feminista….
    now on to looking at AB’s PJs

  52. LA Steve says:

    Inspired by you & Holly, I took some sprouting garlic and planted it in a big pot on my balcony (apartment building). Alas, apparently the southern California sun was too much for it, as it failed to thrive. Or maybe I watered it too much, or not enough. “Maybe I didn’t water it … half as much as I should have …” Is there some soppy song to be had there? Frankly, I’d rather have the garlic.

  53. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    It is definitely garlic season, Lull Farm has theirs out for sale. You know, step away from this blog for a nanosecond and all hell breaks loose! Happy birthday, Kate, Happy Birthday, AB, and good luck on the job hunt, HoH. Keep us posted. Now for the garlic…mmmm….