Gilding the Web

A delicate balance on each strand.

On mornings when the mist is just right, spiderwebs are decorated with tiny jewels.

There’s a low juniper hedge on our walkies route ideal for arachnids (no doubt it’s a huge buffet) and some mornings, the bling catches the early sun and turns gold. Other times, it’s silver gilding, and while the dogs sniff at the bottom of the hedge, eager for news and the passing report of small animals, I look at the webs and feel a great sense of calm.

I hope you find a tiny bit of beauty today, my beloveds. And I hope the long-legged ones get their fill, once the mist burns off.

Have a good weekend!

Horace, of the de Brassieres

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Horace de Brassiere, espresso machine and man about town

There’s been a positive plague of googly eyes around the house lately, since the Princess got an idea from Tumblr. (Apparently halving a bell pepper and sticking googly eyes on it is a good time. Who knew?)

My big Breville espresso machine needs a bit of care, so it’s sitting in the garage waiting patiently for the end of the pandemic. This fellow has stepped in to provide signal service, and for his pains he has been given…eyes.

I’m leaning into my mad scientist urges, I guess.

I was too lazy to go downstairs and get the glue gun, but it occurred to me, in a blinding flash of creative joy, that we had a whole cabinet of school supplies in my office and neither child is going back to school anytime soon. (College, maybe, once the damn pandemic…oh, you know the drill.) So I hied myself down the hall at high speed, startling the dogs into giving chase, and tore into said cabinet like a kid on Yule morning.

One glue stick and two very confused dogs later, I bolted back down the hall, and Horace’s surgery was performed posthaste while I treated him to a rousing rendition of a song about his cousin Phillip (the very worst of the French patent thieves).

…we used to sing that a lot in high school. Sometimes you’ve got to make your own fun, and if some cheap plastic from the craft store helps, there’s no reason to refrain.

Horace wishes you a very pleasant weekend, my beloveds. And so do I.

Our Assistant, Doge

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Identity theft is not funny, Jim.

So my daughter is a big Office fan, and got me to watch several seasons. My favorite scene is Dwight finding Pam crying in the stairwell and immediately puffing up to shank whoever hurt her; my feelings on any fictional character have rarely taken such a complete 180 as they did in those few moments of screen time.

Before, Dwight irritated the crap out of me. After, I was ready to pick up a baseball bat and follow him into battle.

Anyway, the Princess brought home some hilarious themed pillows during lockdown, and this was one of them. We can’t decide if it’s more or less funny that the “to the” is hidden. Doesn’t Boxnoggin look proud of his new title?

Actually, he’s a little put out, because he knows he’s not supposed to eat pillows and this one was deliberately set near him for a whole thirty seconds. It was whisked away once she got the shot; Boxnoggin was petted and made much of, told he was a good boy for refraining to savage the poor pillow.

Progress, right?

It’s a Friday that still feels like a Monday. I’m going to ask the local Assistant (to the) Regional Manager if we can just knock off early today.

I mean, look at him. Do you think he’ll disagree?

Finding a Way

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Every time we reach this particular slice of sidewalk during morning walkies, I think I really should get a picture of that. The cracking and litter remind me of the Westron Wastes in Hostage to Empire.

Most deserts are fine upstanding biomes with a surprising amount of life thrumming just under their surface. Even salt waste as cracked as this little section of sprinkler runoff provides food, shelter, and solace. Of course there’s a locust tree overhead, which you can somewhat see from the wrack and litter–as well as a maple seed.

Life finds a way, even in tiny inhospitable corners.

Have a lovely weekend, my beloveds.

Caught In the Act

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Ohai there, Mum. What are you doing here?

What you’re seeing, my beloved gentlehobbits of the jury, is a pair of criminals caught in the act.

The victim, their intestines spread over the carpet in front of the Cookbook and Apocrypha sections, was a very nice chibi-Dracula pillow. It was soft, it was fuzzy, it was comforting to hug.

Apparently this could not be borne.

Now, the evidence is entirely circumstantial1, but we believe the deceptively innocent-looking delinquent on the right (that would be Miss B) brought said victim down from atop the piano, and then…simply allowed nature to take its course.2 The malefactor on the left (Boxnoggin) was apparently offended by something soft and fuzzy possessing stuffing guts inside its skin instead of outside, and sought to remedy that situation in the most direct way possible.

As I believe you can see from this photograph, gentlehobbits of the jury, there is absolutely zero repentance even when caught in flagrante delicto. In fact, the offender on the left seems to be almost challenging the photographer with a hearty “It looked at me funny, I swear!”, while the one on the right, certain her part in the misdeeds will not be punished or even suspected, is wearing what my grandfather often referred to as a “damn ol’ shit-eatin’ grin.”

Now, the defense will tell you that the pillow was asking for it, and the defense will further state that the arresting officer (yours truly) may indeed have been laughing too hard to administer a proper scolding.3 The defense may be right, gentlehobbits of the jury, and in any case both culprits entirely forgot about the entire affair five seconds after cleanup and it would be wrong to punish them for an act they do not even remember committing in the heat of passion.

But dammit, I’m gonna miss that pillow.

I rest my case, gentlehobbits of the jury, and wish you a pleasant weekend.

Little Things, Right

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Much depends on a single magnolia petal, sprinkler-starred, lying in thick grass.

I’m struggling lately, my beloveds–as you can probably tell. Every time I think there’s a little hope, some-damn-thing else happens.1 I suspect my resilience is reaching a limit, and that is an Unhelpful Thought.

I’m trying to find little things to focus on–cuddling a happy dog, a tiny victory for one of my (grown, when did that happen, my gods) children, a sip of good coffee, a small break in the gasping, terrible heat of summer. If I pay attention to those, maybe I can get through all the rest of it.

At least there’s some rain today. Not much–a bare drizzle, tops–but it smells lovely and cleans the air, and a little relief from the heat is better than none. And walking the dogs mean I have to stop often and look at the things which interest them.

Like a single magnolia petal from a tree fooled into blooming again by the release of the heat dome, and tiny jewels of sprinkler-water glittering in the sun. Sometimes, looking at the small things, I know everything’s going to be okay.

I just hope I’m right.

Heat, Exceeding Savory

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The first of the season’s blackberries have arrived in our demesnes. We’d need a bit of rain–even a drizzle–to make them sweet and plump, but that’s not going to happen so they will be exceedingly savory for the time being. Especially with the heat wave.

Still, they’re good for the birds, and vines growing in swampy places will get enough moisture to make them perfect. Said swampy places are buried in thickets and protected by thorns, so the wildlife will get the best–but honestly, with what we’ve done to the planet, the fauna deserve the berries more than humans.

The dogs are eager for walkies, and my coffee is almost done. Sadly, neither avocado is ripe, which means my toast will not bear mushed green deliciousness, alas. Somehow, though, I shall carry on.

It is a Friday, after all. Happy weekend, beloveds. We’re almost there.