It’s finally cold outside. I need my winter coat. No snow yet, but the local shops are putting up their displays and the Town is getting ready for a holiday blow out this weekend: tree lightings, caroling, special promotions at shops and restaurants. White lights are draped over trees in Arlington Center and trees are on sale, ready for ornaments all all that.
We’ll probably pick out a tree this weekend, just in time to kick off Hanukkah! I’ll have to dig out my husband’s menorah and remind him to get candles so we can light the thing. My travel arrangements for Buffalo are set and I’m starting to look around for presents to purchase or make.
Okay, so this is feeling cool. I’m getting into it. It’s been a little hard to get into the spirit since my mom passed, but enough time has transpired so that I can feel that holiday joy in my heart.
Summer is in full bloom. The farmers markets are open and selling their goods as fast as they can get them out of the trucks.
This beautiful salad came mostly from my farm share, which we’ve been picking up for some time now. Basically, you get a basket full of whatever vegetable is ready to harvest. The last few weeks we’ve gotten a lot of beets, arugula, lettuce, zucchini, green beans and more. They throw in some eclectic stuff, too, like Daikon radish and kohlrabi. The corn’s in, too, although the tomatoes are very late this summer. I’m hoping the harvest comes in soon!
The farmers market also has luscious produce, in addition to a bunch of other items that have popped up in the last few years. We have local cheeses, smoked fish, beef, fish and chicken. There are flower vendors. There are also a few bakeries around for bread and pastries and even a wine maker. It’s a busy little place and I’m glad I can walk there from home.
I managed to get out of the house today, wonder of wonders and treated myself to a walk along a bike path that runs past our street. The path used to be a railroad line, so the terrain is nice and flat. There’s a very nice little park behind my street which looks out over spy pond. You couldn’t ask for a prettier scene. Trees, water, birdsong and peaceful nature. I’ll take it.
Arlington has gone whole-hog on the outdoor art scene. We’ve got painted utility boxes, street festivals and art exhibits in public parks. I’m just up the street from one of those parks, Spy Pond, and visited an exhibit called “Art Rocks Spy Pond,” which is going until the end of May. It was a beautiful day, so I took my camera and came back with some lovely pics. Enjoy!
I teach WordPress, using wordpress.com. Unfortunately, that option may be coming to an end. If you’re a wordpress.com user, you’ve probably noticed the ongoing succession of user interfaces (beep, beep, boop, anyone?). I’ve had to rip up and re-write class documentation almost every time I’ve conducted a class, which is usually twice a year. This time my students and I were confronted with a dashboard on top of another dashboard, an “improved posting experience” (which is anything but) and a lot of bloat overall. What’s worse, WordPress.com doesn’t seem to be listening. They’ve dumbed-down the posts and pages editors to make them more amenable to mobile devices. Too bad if you preferred what they had before. You can get to the classic editor, but not without jumping through multiple hoops.
I may have to call it quits on the teaching, at least using this platform. It’s too klugey and too confusing for me and for my students. I work with folks who want to create websites and/or blogs, then get on with life with a minimum of fuss. I can’t offer that anymore.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m seriously thinking about moving most of my websites and blogs over to a self-hosted version of wordpress. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the class. I have a multi-site installation set up for something else (You can set up wordpress so that it will host its own sites. That’s how WordPress.com is set up). I may simply move there and continue teaching if the school will have me under those conditions. Basically, at this point I have my own web hosting and website network. Yikes! Take me home, mommy!
So, anyway, are you guys as frustrated as I am? At this point I feel like taking an example from my country’s revolutionary beginnings and take some pot-shots at the redcoat wordpress.com army:
Is this the end, WordPress.com? Are we really splitting apart?
Oh, yeah, Patriot’s Day was last weekend. We spent a fun afternoon watching Revolutionary War re-enactors battle it out.
The town is spucing itself up, in an effort to get more tourist dollars into the local economy. We have a very active arts scene here and a few folks had some ideas for our boring old utility boxes. Nice job, guys!
Just finished up with the Columbus Day weekend here in the US and, for a change, the hubby and I actually went out and did something together. We have a tendency to act like ships passing in the night, then sit down and complain about how infrequently we do things together. During the last bitch-fest, I suggested we spend one day of the three we had off to go somewhere. Maybe apple picking? October is certainly the month for that.
Fruit-picking is an old standby, but neither one of us was feeling especially inspired to come up with new ideas. So, after the obligatory wasted morning we piled into the car and headed off for Bolton, Massachusetts and Nashoba Valley Winery. The winery grows most of its own fruit and has some really nice varieties. I like going there because I know I’ll be able to pick some really interesting and unusual types of apples. In this case, we loaded our bag with Ida Reds, Golden Russet and Roxbury Russet. There’s no point in driving an hour to pick up Delicious or Macintosh apples. You can get those anywhere, but when was the last time you laid hands on a Baldwin or Northern Spy?
The place was mobbed by the time we got there. Fortunately, they’re used to the rush and had some extra help and space on hand. The day was gorgeous, with clear blue skies and just the right touch of autumn cool. We traipsed hither and yon, looking for the trees that had the apples we wanted. Of course (but, of course!), I brought my camera:
Sometimes life leads me in too many directions at once. I rush from one commitment to the next and forget to stop and just relax. The hubby and I decided to take a break from the every-day and took ride out to Bolton, Massachusetts and a lovely peach orchard. That part of the state is chock-a-block with orchards of every type, but peaches are in season and we both love them. There’s nothing like biting into a ripe peach moments after you’ve picked it off the tree. We paid our money and walked down a long-ish road to the peach trees. Man, they were incredible – the very image of abundance.
Man, what am I gonna do with all them peaches, though? I feel a cooking frenzy coming on!