Downton Abbey, Season 5, Ep. 2: Technology Time!

"I'm not entirely sure that she is even human, but I intend to find out." photo source: The Guardian

“I’m not entirely sure that she is human. But I intend to find out.”

This episode offered more of everything we love: more talking, more harumphing, more potential Mary-mates, more Daisy ‘n’ Patmore, more Carson ‘n’ Mrs. ‘ughes, more Dowager vs. Isobel. It also offered less of everything we love: Isis was present in name only. And then there was doe-eyed Edith, stumbling and bumbling her way toward godmother status with baby Marigold, her secret daughter from her long-lost goose-stepping lover, Mr. Griegson.

Mrs. Pigman is justifiably horrified at ‘er lady’s intrusive visits, where Edith consumes the last of the tea and biscuits in the larder on a regular basis, never mind the fact that she has more than enough food at Downton. Mrs. Pigman goes on to say one of the only sensible things anyone says in the whole episode: “I don’t want her treating this like a doll’s house and Marigold like her doll!” Mr. Pigman, undeserving of his reputation for good sense, makes everything better by making everything worse. You’re on a need-to-know-basis, woman! he shouts. No, he doesn’t say that but he might as well have. I think the time has come to change the locks on the cottage, Mrs. Pigman. Because once Edith sets her sights on you, there’s no escaping, only fleeing. Fleeing the altar, fleeing to Germany. Poor Edith. She is a one-woman wrecking ball. Just like Miley Cyrus, only with more clothes on.

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Making Music with the Family

A few weeks ago my brother, who is a songwriter and musician, and my niece and nephews, who have a band and play with my brother for as many of his gigs as they can, stayed at our house for a week while they did some recording and made a few stops on their Northeast mini-tour in support of their new album Blinded Again. The band crammed in a lot on this early spring visit: a supper around the fire out in the woods (cold. so very cold), a few beach walks, trips to Boston and lots and lots of music-making. Our living room was stuffed with instrument cases and instruments: a cello, fiddle, a couple of guitars, a couple of banjos, a mandolin and more covered every available surface. It was a great and crowded week, and we missed them as soon as they pulled out of the driveway. I can tell I’m getting older because I kept wanting to ruffle their hair and hug them and talk about how “special” it was to have them all staying with us. And I wanted to bake them cookies and extra food to take with them on their various excursions out of the house, though I didn’t do too much of the latter. I was too tired from all the excitement. Which is further confirmation that I am getting old.

If you like indie-folk, traditional Americana style music, check out their music:


The band, looking cool in every sense of the word.

Making Stuff: the Domestic Edition

Because of the internet and the bunch of killjoys who use it, those of us who look up stuff and read links our friends send to us on a regular basis have come to realize, in excruciating detail, that everything (every single thing) inside our homes is pretty much killing us. We are surrounded by chemicals, breathing them in from the time we roll off our toxic mattresses in the morning to when we relax in the evening on our comfortable couch as tiny particles of flame-retardant carcinogens waft upwards, entering our bloodstream via the air we breathe and our very own skin, that traitor.

So what is a conscientious person supposed to do? Well, some of us are purists and dress only in ethically-sourced hemp, use only milk paint and eat food that only comes from biological resources that don’t have eyes, which means that even some plants are off-limits. Others among us don’t go that far. I am one of those others. But still, I really, really, really despise being forced to play along with our Industrial Food-and-Chemical Overlords, so on to the real point of this missive: I recently made my own toothpaste, and I liked it.

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New Stuff

I’ve been making stuff again. Just in time for a rash of upcoming events, which I’ll tell you about in another post. Right now…can’t…write…much…more. Aren’t you glad, secretly, just a bit, that you don’t have to read my usual twenty paragraphs of convoluted text? Yes you are. It’s Friday, the end of a long week. I’m tired, you’re tired, so let’s just cut to it…

Mr. Owl says No!

Snow globes and ceramic plates: that’s what I’ve been working on. And what do these items have in common? Octopus-es and other creatures found in nature. The snow globes are for fun, but the plates are actually functional, should you be inclined to serve food on top of an owl’s face (and who wouldn’t be?).

For more of Mr. Owl and his friends, head over to The Roving Home store.