Nice To See You Again

Alright, alright, alright–good to be back after a nice ImageThanksgiving with family.  We plunged onto the highways after an overnight ice storm, which was pretty much a relief compared to the furious onslaught of snow, wind, and ice the meteorologists predicted.  We kept it slow, had a few iffy spots crossing the ridges (Pennsylvania has a series of high ridges along the spine of the Appalachians, oriented north to south, that a traveler must cross to go east or west–they don’t look like much if you’re accustomed to the Rockies, or the higher segments of the Cascades, but one takes them less than seriously at his or her own peril).  I have to admit that while I was clutching the steering wheel a little more tightly than usual, I was also enjoying the snow and ice–very seasonal, it got me in the mood. I’m unabashedly in love with the landscape I live in, and a grey day of wind and foul weather is just one of its moods.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, the best stuffing I’ve ever eaten, cranberry sauce, and all that good stuff.  Seven pies on the table, quarts of ice cream, and growlers full of some fairly mind-blowing microbrew from my cousin Jarrod, a beer genius who, after several years apprenticing with a prominent Pennsylvania brewer has been hired as a brewmaster for an ambitious mid-western brewpub–good for him, and good Imagefor us. We get to drink some sublime liquid bread, and he gets to support his family doing something that he utterly and passionately loves. How awesome is that?  How rare?  I’ll be writing about him again soon enough–to keep you posted, to tell you where you can sample his work.

I took most of the past week off from this blog while we were away, and also while I finished my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo–learned a few things along the way, too.  First, it is possible to sustain that pace for the better part of four weeks (I was actually done on the 26th)–something like 1800-1900 words/day.  Second, while doing so, one can expect to pump out some utterly horrific prose.  I got the words down–and will need about 20-30,000 to wrap things up–but the manuscript is a mess.  Still: I wrote 52,000 words in 26 days plus all the stuff I did here.  I even managed a couple of poems.  So I pretty much rocked.


Got the Christmas lights on the house today, too. The girls and I got everything bright and shiny in about 40 minutes–amazing what you can do in a light coat, without wearing gloves, at 23 degrees F.  We were motivated.  No pix yet, but here’s a stylized shot of our hundred-year old homestead from several years ago.  We’ve since gone to LED lights, eliminating that $35 spanking the electric company used to deliver each December, when we were using the giant, old-fashioned C-9’s.  Highly recommend the LED’s.

So, that’s where I’ve been.  How about you?

By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

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