Cloister Commentary, Day 136: Paid Off

Thanks to Nicole’s grandfather’s generosity upon his passing, we were able to make a humble down payment on this, our first and only house in 1996. It’s served us well, and, despite the numerous upgrades it needs, we are still fond of it. Yesterday, we were able to pay it off. We probably should have kicked out the jams to celebrate, but this IS a pandemic.

We failed to get Scrappers, the latest stray to wander up to our deck, into the clinic for a feline leukemia shot and an exam (our local spay and neuter project neutered him and gave him a rabies shot a few weeks back). A very runty Yoda-like tabby who has been through the mill–he’s missing half an ear, sports numerous battle scars, and has a hitch in his get-a-long–Scrappers has been a regular visitor for breakfast and, of course, The Beebs and Goldie have peacefully accepted him as a guest. He must have seen a crate in his future–but just before I started to tap this out, he yearningly reappeared at the back door. No, we’re not keeping him….

I eavesdropped as Nicole mirrored our school district superintendent’s Zoom with teachers to our TV. The questions from educators were very apt, challenging, and engaging (too many, perhaps, produced no answer), and I had to keep reminding myself I was retired. This is not going to be an easy, or safe, semester, and I hope the leadership consistently makes the best hard decisions as the school year begins.

Ever noticed Monday isn’t the best night to dine out? We had little in the cupboard since we’d been out of town for a few days, so we just struck out to “find something,” and struck out is what we did on our first five (?) swings, until after what seemed an hour we happened upon Chim’s Thai Kitchen On Broadway. We ordered curbside and brought home some masaman curry, pad bok choy, and crab rangoon–we shall return!

Our good friend and fellow educator Greg Soden, host of the always-edifying Classical Ideas Podcast, presented his audience with a new episode celebrating the late great sage George Frissell. It includes an interview with George and reminiscences from those who were lucky to know him.

Streaming for Strivers:

Today ought to be a national holiday so we can all celebrate the life and work of this birthday kid.

Cloister Commentary, Day 55: The Thing with Feathers

Talked to my mom on the phone, and I am trying to sketch out a plan to safely visit her and Dad–I can barely remember when we last saw them in person. They’re 3.5 hours away, we’ll need to kennel the dog, and we feel an overnight stay is pushing it: we’re not putting anyone at unnecessary risk. Also, we’ll need to think out our distancing, dining, and rest stops very carefully in advance. It’s enough to break the brain. My dad’s also made me two much-needed record crates, so that just increases my desire to visit. Any advice or ideas? It seems like the masses are just relaxing and rolling out, but my mind and gut are telling me to hold steady. It’s enough to wake you up at 3 am.

We’ve been trying anything Jamestown’s Happy Hollow Farms has to offer. They deliver to Columbians via our Farmer’s Market. Our recent experiment, after devouring their purple radishes, was with black radishes. Damn. Talk about strong. VERY strong. Nicole soaked ’em in sugar water and vinegar to tone them down after we tried them raw and discovered their health benefits, and that helped, but, when we opened the container they’d been marinating in, we were tempted to look askance first at the dog, then at each other.

Hope is indeed the thing with feathers; every day the news seems to bring more proof. A step forward, three steps back, each a slap of insult, degradation, and smugness upside the head. But it was fun, on Hulu’s enlightening limited series Mrs. America, to see Phyllis Schlafly (played astonishingly by Kate Blanchett) get a pie in the face. Did it really happen? Yes, it did. See the link in the comments below. The only issue I have with the series–it’s really my issue–is it helps explain a bit of where we’re at right now, and while that’s helpful, that’s also somewhat depressing.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

NEVER depressing.