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For All Mankind

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong first set foot on the lunar surface. The astronauts left a plaque on the leg of the lunar landar that remains on the surface of the moon: HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969 A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND. No-one has been back to the moon since 1971 with the final mission to the moon of Apollo 17. Only ten men have ever set foot on another planetary body, and at this time there’s little indication that any others will do so in my lifetime. . . . → Read More: For All Mankind


I was up way too late last night watching a film I haven’t seen for ages. “Bedazzled,” starring Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. Peter Cook is the Devil, who persuades nebbishy fry cook Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore) to sell him his soul for seven wishes. Of course, none of the wishes turn out the way Stanley intends. . . . → Read More: Bedazzled

Stories for Dark November

Mid-November always makes me want to curl up with a good book. Preferably a scary book. My mental soundtrack in this season is the winter concerto from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Just picture me in an armchair with a reading lamp over my shoulder listening to the rain outside.

Perhaps it’s perverse of me, but at . . . → Read More: Stories for Dark November


I realized that I never have posted about one of my favorite blogs: Shorpy. It’s quite different from the text-based blogs I usually follow. This is a photo blog, that draws on national archival photos for high-resolution images dating back a hundred years and sometimes more. It’s especially strong on photos from documentary photographers like . . . → Read More: Shorpy

Open Windows

The heat of August has finally broken here in Washington. About time too! Finally we’ve returned to open window season. Aaah, this is the best time of year here. Today is clear and sunny with very low humidity. All my windows are thrown open to the air. I’ve always avoided air conditioning as much as . . . → Read More: Open Windows

Friendly Microbes?

I recently had a really good experience with an organic mildew cleaner that I thought more people would want to know about.

You may remember, if you read this blog regularly, that my husband and I suffered a serious flood in our finished downstairs after torrential rains in late June. (The weather forecasters swear this . . . → Read More: Friendly Microbes?

The Water Feature

My favorite place in my house isn’t actually in my house at all, it’s my back patio. That’s where my husband and I take many of our meals and spend an awful lot of our free time, chillin’ and watching the birds come and go. The highlight of the space is the little fountain that my husband (rather grandly) calls “the water feature”. . . . → Read More: The Water Feature


I love daffodils. I love them because they bloom so early and in such profusion. I also love them because they’re tough—once you put them in you can generally forget all about them and just let them do their thing without any help from the gardener. I’ve seen ruined homesteads in the Manassas Battlefield Park where cheerful clusters of daffodils have long outlived the farmhouse where they were planted. . . . → Read More: Daffodils