Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diary 148

Thursday, August 13th

The home schooling effort is providing plenty of fun. Zoe (7) is learning about money and making change. The workbook she has asks the question by showing a picture of the money, a picture of the items, and the different prices of each. The task is to find what she can afford, in each case.

Zoe, though, responds to the idea that she’s going to be giving these items as presents, and to specific people, and so what would they really really like to receive? Obviously this leads to some fascinating discussions about what might be a good gift, and the personalities of those recipients, and so on. We have some astonishingly good discussions.

And that’s the core of it, it seems to me. In the larger world of things like climate catastrophe, mass unemployment, and so on it’s never simply a question of ‘what we can afford’, but of what needs to be done, and done properly, thoughtfully, with love.

Dairy 147

Wednesday, August 12th

Amid the general joy at Biden’s choice of running mate there are a few negative notes. A headline in The Guardian read: “Why Black Progressive Women feel torn about Kamala Harris”.  People, dear people – some of us may need to remind ourselves of some basic facts. The election is about an incumbent, a destructive raving maniac and his psychotic enabler, being challenged by two good people who will work to save the planet, and us. Biden and Harris will get us back to where we need to be.

Anyone who cannot see this is a bit like a castaway sailor, perhaps, refusing rescue from a ship because it doesn’t meet the required aesthetic standards of perfection. 

Diary 146

Tuesday, August 11th

Kamala Harris it is for Biden’s running mate. Prepare yourselves for the ‘president’ to hurl every sexist, racist, vile piece of untruth of which he is capable at her.

It’s going to get ugly. But you know what?  She’s much, much bigger than all that. So are we all.

Diary 145

Diary 145

Monday, August 10th

Riots in Chicago. What can one expect when it’s hot, people have no work, no money, and not much hope, then they have covid to deal with.  The flashpoint?  Another shooting. I don’t know the details (who does?) but is lethal force ever a good idea except in the most extreme circumstances?

My bee suit arrived today, so now I can face the bees at harvest time. They’re usually very mellow, but when one is intent on taking their honey they tend to get a bit aggressive. Well, wouldn’t you be, if someone tried to take away your life savings or your pension fund? Oh wait. Isn’t that a plan our ‘president’ has?

And speaking of the devil, he claimed today that the great pandemic of 1918 occurred in 1917 and that it “helped to end the Second World War. All the soldiers were sick”

I’ll leave that right there.

Diary 144

Diary 144

Sunday, August 9th

Today I learned one of those lessons that one periodically needs to be smacked over the head with. I was attempting to fix a small generator and, no matter how much I tried, I could not get it to deliver a reliable charge. I fussed and fiddled with my little voltmeter, connecting it up to this wire and that wire and then I had a moment of insight.  

Yes. It was my volt meter that was at fault.

Sometimes I overlook the obvious, and in this case it was my own prejudice. Of course the meter must be fine.  It always used to be!

It’s in the bin now.

Diary 143

Saturday, August 8th

In amid all the news (The New York NRA has been exposed as a corrupt organization that stole millions), and the sad news (Beirut’s angry citizens in the rubble of the huge explosion that killed a hundred and more) and the bizarre news (the ‘president’ seems to allow economic relief, but at a far lower level than anticipated) – there is alway something good to look for. And that is, that people are pushing back.

Other news includes the excitement of sitting beside Ellie (5) as she begins to learn to read, and she’s utterly thrilled by it. Come the Fall it looks as if school will be a disaster for her and her peers, so we’re aiming for a bit of home schooling. Do we really think 5 year olds will wear masks in class and maintain social distance? Really?  Perhaps if there were 10 or fewer to each class, — but we know those numbers will never happen.

Diary 142

Diary 142

Friday, August 7th

Sturgis Motorcycle Week just kicked off in South Dakota. The crowd is predicted to be even larger than usual, which is going to put the number of people attending at perhaps the million mark. Early reports are that very very few are wearing masks, very few use helmets, and none are observing social distancing.

I ride motorcycles. I know plenty of people who do so. They are not always the most rule following people in existence. Yet this event surprises me. They are, after all, definitely not stupid.

There is within the American psyche a deep seated sense for some that one can do whatever one wants. I’ve a feeling plenty of people will suffer as a result of this latest hubris.

Diary 141

Thursday, August 6th

Today was expedition day, and we went to see some dear friends in Westport, MA. There we were treated to an absolutely splendid lobster roll (do you detect that this is something we track down whenever we can?) as well as delightful company overlooking a very lovely stretch of water. All social distancing was respected. At times such as this, though, I do wonder why we live in the city.

We also stuck our toes in the water. We’d forgotten our bathing suits and didn’t want to run into the waves butt naked, for fear of astonishing the locals.

Diary 140

Diary 140

Wednesday, August 5th

Among other events was the news, brought unexpectedly to me, that I am the new summer-camp teacher for Zoe (7) and Ellie (5). 

This they announced with great excitement, and then they proceeded to tell me exactly how to set it all up. That came as a relief to me, as I was otherwise a bit stuck for immediate ideas. Luckily they had their workbooks, too. They took charge right away, starting off by instructing me in yoga (I think I did pretty well in that one), and then we had circle time. Discipline was inventive. Ellie decided she could concentrate better if she did headstands. On the whole I think she was right. We drew, wrote, did general knowledge questions, used a lot of stickers, created and ate vegetable kabobs and laughed a huge amount. We had so much fun we never did get to story time.

I don’t recall my own early schooling being nearly this much fun.

Oh, and the raccoon is now dozing in the tree again. Closer inspection revealed that there are in fact four very large raccoons….

Diary 139

Diary 139

Tuesday, August 4th

I tried to take some pictures of the various types of bees in our Meadowsweet today. That’s what the picture here shows – a very large black wasp. I also braced for the ‘hurricane’. So far it’s not exactly Capt. Marryat ordering the sailors aloft to splice the mainbrace in a force ten as he rounds the Horn, but I will say this: if climate chaos continues like this I’ll need considerably stronger supports for my tomatoes.

Climate chaos is not going to lessen any day soon.

Our ‘president’ continue to do… nothing. And, truly, that’s probably better for everyone than when he does his usual destructive thing.