Christmas, Day Four

..or On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Running Water.

Over at the Trailer Park:

Joodles: Done diggin’.
Lannie: Well, ding dang doodle, let’s get’s this sucker runnin’.

Meanwhile over at Seaside Villa:

Judith: That’s the last bit dug, dear.

Lancelot: All right – let’s give it some juice.

Lancelot: Heh, heh, there comes a trickle. The pouring will aerate it ya see, makes it taste better.

Judith: And it’s colder than a well-digger’s buttocks. Refreshing!

© Judy Parsons 2018

Christmas, Day Three

..or On the Third Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me: a deer little gift.

Over at the Trailer Park:

Lannie: What’s that you got there?
Joodles: Deer head for yer man cave.
Lannie: Whur’d ya git it?
Joodles: Road kill. I decorated it up right nice and Christmassy. I made a bunch.


Lannie: Well ain’t that somethin’. You sure got a way with roadkill, honey-bun.

Meanwhile over at Seaside Villa:

Lancelot: My heavens, Judith, what is that?
Judith: A deer head for your man-cave. There was a lady selling them over at the Flea Market. She makes them out of roadkill.
Lancelot: Waste not, want not, I always say.

Lancelot: Well now dear, it adds a real nice rustic touch. It surely is a wonderful thing.

© Judy Parsons 2018

Christmas, Day Two

…or On The Second Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me: man-cave/she-shed lights.

Down at Florida Seaside Villa things were brightening up:

Lancelot: Not bad. Not bad at all. Shouldn’t add too much to the power bill, should it Judith. Judith? Juuu-dith”

 Judith: Aaah. That man-cave was the best idea I’ve had in years.

Meanwhile, over at the trailer park:

Joodles: OMG it’s amazing how a few coloured lights can brighten up a she-shed.

Lannie: Kind’a gloomy out here after dark.

Lannie: Better. Gotta get the neighbours over to see this set-up. Needs a bit more pizazz though. 

Lannie: Ar’right folks, let’s let ‘er rip…

Crowd: AAAAAAAAHhhhhh.

© Judy Parsons 2018
Video of  Nature Park Christmas light show by Lance.
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Christmas, Day One

…or On The First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…..a man-cave.

Over at the Trailer Park

“Oh yeah, most awesomest Christmas ever Sammy.”

“I got me a man cave.”

“Oh yeeeah , Tammy, it’s awesome. I got an totally spectacular she-shed.”

Meanwhile over at Florida Seaside Villa:

“Well Samuel, I would have to say irrevocably that it’s the best Christmas ever. ”

“Judith secured a man cave.”

“Now Tamara, why would I want a so-called she-shed?”

“With Lancelot in his man cave, I have the whole house to myself. I’m not going anywhere, girl.”

Stay tuned……

© Judy Parsons 2018

O Tannenbaum

…or It’s Gotta Have the Popcorn Momma.

So the tree looked a little like it was harvested from the Grinch’s backyard outside Whoville.

But I fluffed up the branches and straightened the trunk and replaced the decorations it came with.

Needs more decorations.

Needs popcorn. Really needs popcorn. So I set about stringing popcorn.


There’s a right way to do popcorn. First you must be wearing pajamas. A good audio book helps break the monotony. I chose a Kurt Vonnegut novel to keep me amused. Quilting thread works better than ordinary thread. Some effort must be put into figuring out the perfect popcorn to cranberry ratio. This can be done while the popcorn sits with a cover on the bowl to make it soggy; it is less likely to fly apart if soggy. There is no golden ratio; factors such as size of tree, amount of cranberries available, time you have to spend, and attention span, are all variables. In this case 5 pops to 1 berry worked well. Under NO circumstances should one graze while stringing. Feed unpopped kernels to the chickens.

Whaaat? Doesn’t last year’s tree skirt make a perfect popcorn bib? The berries I nibbled must have been fermented because like our dear Frosty the Snowman, the decorations began to come to life.

“Wow, Henny, how’d y’all git yer eggs so red?”

“Gosh Penny, it must have been from grazin’ in the compost; all those beet peelings and squishy cranberries. ”

“Well durn it, I grazed the compost too and all I can get is these silly pop-farts.”

“Did someone say pop-farts?”

Goodness, what was that? Where was I? Decorating with popcorn.

There now, that looks a darn sight better.

Merry Christmas to all of my loyal readers. Now get yourselves off to bed before you get caught out by the big guy in red.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Thrifty Christmas

… or Goods at the Goodwill

Good gracious, it’s Christmas and I am in a different country without all of the Christmas crap I’ve collected over the years. So it was off to the goodwill store to see what took my fancy. Here are some of the things I didn’t buy:

It’s a ….what is it?

No really, what is it? It is over a foot tall and wears mittens and snowshoes so it is likely a Northern creature, but not one I have ever come across. Perhaps the real ones are all trapped out. It might go real nice with this tree:

Glam tree.

At least I think it was a tree. It was with the fake trees and it had a Santa tree-topper. Tempting? Nope.

How exciting!

I was disappointed to discover that this was not a book of suggested places to have Christmas sex, i.e. under the mistletoe or under the tree or wearing just the kid’s Christmas stockings. Might be a niche market there for someone with a little imagination.

Joyeux Noel, little buddies, Joyeux Noel.

I tried to get this at a discount because it was spelled wrong. They wouldn’t budge. And you should see the other stuff I didn’t buy. I did find some perfectly good little wooden decorations

and a two and a half foot synthetic tree. That’s a whole foot and a half higher than last year’s synthetic tree. I’m coming up in the world folks. It came with the lights already on it, four owls, and a hedgehog too and all for only $6.99. So I splurged on a two dollar tree topper. Let the decorating begin.

Whoo whoo hoo’s having a Thrifty Christmas?

© Judy Parsons 2018

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A Visitor

….or Gopherus Polyphemus returns.

Yep, he’s back.  Or, to be more accurate, still here. I’m the one who is back.

At least I think he is a he if my internet-based analysis is correct. He’s pretty old too given his size and the state of his carapace. Aw shucks, I’m just showing off now – that’s his shell I’m talking about.

His shell actually reminds me of a dog I once knew that lived in a garage/car recycling shop. The dog was so covered in grease and grime that we were never really sure of its actual colour – its coat was exactly the same colour as this shell. The tortoise’s face, however, reminds me a little of a woman who used to cut my hair. Not so much feature-wise, just the expression.

You’d probably look a little cranky too if your species was threatened. Or if you had to carry your home on your back. Actually it’s a bit of a myth to say its shell is its home. Gopher turtles dig deep burrows in which they nest. They are known to share their burrows with up to 360 different species. Not all at once I hope. That would really make me cranky.  Now why does he look like he is judging me?

Looks downright prehistoric wouldn’t you say? The species is around 60 million years old after all. He’s not the only thing in my garden that looks prehistoric. Take a look at this ginger plant which is growing by the compost bin. The red rhizome is is about four inches high.

The alligators also look prehistoric but hopefully I’ll never see one up close crossing my front yard. And the palmetto beetles – well – let’s just say they are a little alarming when underfoot so I am not inclined to take friendly photographs of them. You never know what is going to crawl out of the woods down here.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Another Day, Another Boat 3

In Which I Gain a Transom.

No silly, I haven’t been in Brooklyn all this time. I’m a little behind that’s all. No excuses, I’d just like to take you right back to August and the Wooden Boat School where I left off. It was Tuesday morning and we all installed our transoms. A pretty and practical transom it is: sturdy enough to handle a small outboard engine and it also has handles for handling – eureka! 💡 I never noticed the relationship between hand and handle and handling before . Did you know that hand is to handle as thumb is to thimble? But I digress. I was building a boat. In Maine. With a bunch of other people building the same kind of boat. Actually it more like assembling a boat in many ways but I’ll get into that on another day.

We also added the breasthook. When I say we, I often mean it took several of us to the task. This was one of the benefits of being at the school; many of the tasks took a second, third and even fourth set of qualified hands. In this case they demonstrated on my hull so I got to take pictures. By the way, I am usually pretty conscientious and ask people if they mind me using their photo in my Blog but I neglected to do so at the course. Blame it on all the glue. So sorry folks, if you don’t want your likeness out there in the wide world please email me at the address below and I will take down the photo. Back to the boat…

Flipping Art’s dinghy.

The flipping of the boats was an adventure in itself, especially given that at this point they were still hairy with sharp wires.  The hulls were much sturdier than they look because all of the planks are temporarily spot-glued with cyanoacrylate (pretty much Crazy Glue – crazy, eh?) so there were no traumatic incidents, at least not in our room. Once the boats were flipped we had to crawl in under and snip all of the copper wires wires where they went through the holes. This was not fun. Squatting on a low stool with the neck bent beyond the normal range to look up and find little nubs of wire, all in an enclosed space which still gassed off glue did not do me any good. In fact I got seasick. Yup. There is probably another name for it like vertigo or something yet it is exactly the same feeling as seasickness except worse because you don’t have the promise of being cured once you hit dry land. You are already on dry land. Did I say it wasn’t fun? I did recover with time and was well enough pull the wires.  So many wires. Here’s a close up of the wires. Once snipped from behind you just grabbed the twist with a pair of pliers and pulled. I should back track a little here. These were all twisted by hand and it was a real pain if one snapped because you had to replace it. I came to notice that every time someone said the word “break” out loud I broke a wire. Not sure if it was the jinx or just a case of me doing exactly what I was told but I had to threaten all my fellow boat-builders to get them to stop using that particular word.

That was the way with this boat, almost a two steps forward then one step back approach. Install the wires. Take the wires out. Install the seats, take the seats out. And on it went, usually until well into the evening. There was scarce little down-time. By dark we were all sweaty and tired and ready to be fed. This is where The Wooden Boat School excelled: in feeding us. And the nice part was no one cared if you came to the trough in your work clothes. Every meal was excellent. Not overly complex, just good solid fare and great desserts. The root beer float was a memorable treat and the blueberry pie was so good I had two pieces. But the dining room wasn’t jsut a place for eating; it was a place to share the joys and woes of your day, to hear of the adventures of the people in other classes like sailing or fundamentals of boat building, and to always have a few laughs. And best of all, no one talked politics. All ages and professions shared in the camaraderie which I think makes the Wooden Boat School the special place it is. No they didn’t pay me to say that.

This is probably all a little boring for you non-boating readers. I’ll post a few turtle pictures tomorrow.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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