September 18, 2008


Isn't it funny how we learn something new and then hear about it or see it everywhere? The word excoriate, for example, showed up twice in this issue of Poets & Writers magazine after I'd just learned it. Then I wrote about sumac and said I'd never seen it. The next day R and I took a drive and the stuff (the benign bush with red berries) was growing along every highway.

Same thing with hostas. The first week, maybe even first day, we were here, our neighbor was planting hostas in her front yard. R's mom ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them, and I thought, "Hmm, not sure we have those green things in California."

Also, I imagined the word spelled H-A-S-T-A, like the Spanish word for until-- Hasta la vista, baby-- and I thought it was so cute, as in "until I grow big and flower." I know, I know, the H in hasta is silent, but you know how these crazy Massachusans pronounce words all wacky.

Actually, the plant is named after Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host. I'm not sure what he did to deserve his name on a plant, but it makes me think the plant should be pronounced HOE-STA. The original name was Funkia, so that's what I'll call it. I don't really like the things, but I might grow one just so I can say, "Look how our Funkia blooms."
Well, whatever they're called, the plants are everywhere, and they are gigantic-- tropical rain forest sized. There's no escaping them.
In other news: R is going so green he's going to turn into Kermit. He's discovered this fabulous lighter footstep web site, and now he wants to stop drinking from plastic bottles, make our own microwaveable popcorn (did you know the factory workers get popcorn lung from the butter-dust? Crikey), eat vegetarian once a week, use natural cleaning supplies, and -- I cannot believe this one-- aluminum-free deodorant! I've been pushing it for four years, but better late than sorry, I guess.
*Sweet Potato ran away from home today, or she went on a really long walk, depending upon how you look at things. In any case, she got a taste of what a small town it is-- not in terms of walking; it's quite a large area for a pair of legs-- but word travels faster than a kitten on roller skates around here, and we imagine she'll be the hot topic of conversation at school tomorrow.
*We think Buckaroo has finally grown some molars, and we're hoping for a few whine-free days (hours?).
*I've started my new job as subscription manager from Embassy Events. As a perk, my new employer has offered to let us paddle around in his canoe. He lives down the road but has his own pond with lily pads and otters.
*Tonight I volunteered at the middle school for a couple of hours, and I had to take the circuitous detour home. It's a gorgeous drive, it turns out, tree-lined with ponds, farms, rolling green hills, and tonight-- the biggest, most beautiful orange moon ever. The kind of moon that says Halloween is on its way.


Anonymous said...

Popcorn lung!
We pop our kernels on the stove! We enjoy the occasional flying hot oil soaked puffs. It's more like a sport, especially when the dogs get involved. This is one way we get exercise during those long winters. Dodge Popballs anyone?

Do that in your fancy microwave machine missy.

Glad you found your Sweet Potato. Send her our love (and a map to our home) (send both to that other wandering soul too. Hi Obo - we miss you!)
Luv, FMF family

Anonymous said...

We love the old fashion popcorn popped on the stove too...

What about the huge orange moon? As I was driving home last night, I saw a falling star and then I caught a glimpse of the moon. I was mystified by the night sky.

Tell O, her Nana used to take long walks too and occasionally I still do. It really helped clear the cob webs from my thoughts. Love you, QW

a.stenzel said...

Ah ... an autumn moon is a splendid thing! One evening when I was living in Washington, D.C., I walked up the Metro steps toward N. Carolina Street (where I lived) and the huge orange moon was just sprawled across the end of the street -- as wide as the street, but kinda squashed looking. I am so glad you got to see such a one.