Though it was a short week, it's been a particularly difficult one on several fronts (the least of which is my lingering sore throat that's keeping us from a "day after" outing today).

So yesterday, we were particularly thankful to again be a part of Stacy and Jim's celebration. An evening of great food and even better people, time to just appreciate being around both.


Happy Birthday, Monica

Birthday portrait(s) commissioned from Richard Stevens, creator of
Diesel Sweeties.


coming soon...

We've put in an application to adopt a retired greyhound!


Well, That Could've Gone Better

A little fencing competition over at Prep today, right here in town. Registration closed at the very civilized hour of 1:00, so there was no needing to get up early and on the way before sunrise or anything.

There was some decent attendance from out of the area, especially for such a small event. Figured I had a good shot at doing well, and with some of our A-rated fencers, a good opportunity to increase my own classification.

The pools were easy and fast; my first direct elimination is someone I regularly fence at the club. My next DE was a kid that I've beaten before, and was fairly confident about defeating again. Not to take anything away from him — he was really on today — but I kept giving him opportunities and failing to capitalize on ones he have me. I came back, we were tied at 14 after the end of the first period, but I'd made too many mistakes, should've been in a better position by then, and he got me with a good, clean shot. Dumb.

Update: final NMFF standings; I ended up about where I was seeded at the beginning.


Qui transtulit sustinet

He who transplanted still sustains.
— Connecticut state motto

Sunday evening found us at Stacy and Jim's, planting some Maximilian's Sunflowers in their backyard.

Earlier in the day, we had M+D over for some brunch — and some housework. The adirondack chairs outside had suffered from a year's worth of exposure and needed a fresh coat of stain, so M and I tackled that. Monica had decided that the sunflowers outside the office window needed to be moved, so she and D started digging.

The flowers were occupying a raised bed that gets good sun and water, a space that we could better use for growing herbs and vegetables. Plus, they were always getting caught in the window.

The sunflowers are all over the place around Santa Fe in late summer, tall and beautiful. I requested that we retain some in our yard. Mon and D cut down the stalks, dug out the plants and roots.

One batch went to the opposite wall in our yard. Another got bundled up in wet paper towel and a trash bag for M+D to take back to Connecticut with them. More got bundled up and packed in a box to go to Monica's mom in Maryland. The largest pile got brought over to Stacy + Jim's where, in the waning daylight with Bernice looking on, we quickly added them to their garden.

A few more transplants among the transplants.


A Walk in the Arroyo

Part of M+D's daily housesitting routine is a morning walk with Audrey — and often the cat — in the arroyo near J+J's place. We joined them this morning.

Audrey's custom is to run on ahead, disappearing for stretches of time, reappearing to check on her walking companions every so often. The cat just kind of walks behind or alongside; apparently, she often just lays down and needs to be carried back.


The two often just behave like siblings fighting for attention. Their usual state is simply ignoring each other, though.

The sun was warming, but it was still early enough to be cool, especially in the frequent shady spots. Out about an hour, a leisurely walk. The cat, when threatened with me carrying her, got home under her own power. Audrey, so excited at the beginning, was dragging a bit by the time we got to the house.

Into the car and off to Tesuque Village Market for a late breakfast. We'd long heard about this place, and M+D actually sought it out last weekend. Surprisingly, not very crowded, but a good place to linger over a big, New Mexican breakfast.

Headed back to J+J's and hung out outside; D shared the some of research he's been doing on our neighborhood in Wethersfield. One of the main things he's been relying on is a planning document, ca. 1928, which took a look at the ways Wethersfield could (and should) manage a transition from a farming town to a bedroom community.

The ordinary, suburban environment is so taken for granted these days, it's interesting to find out what came before, how things got to be the way they are, how people and groups wound up where they did. It's really recent history, but so much is lost and/or overlooked.

Monica got to work turning the discarded sardine container found on the morning's walk into a little retablo for St. Christopher.

It'll get left at the house for J+J to keep or add to the shrine that passersby seem to be creating in the arroyo.


For the first time since moving out here, there was not the usual Halloween party. We stayed in last night, better prepared than last year. Probably 15-20 groups of kids from just before 6:00 until about 8:30; by and large, very polite.