I don’t usually put up multiple posts, but there are so many different way to look at “pure” as a visual concept. So here’s one for today and there will be another tomorrow.

Putting aside the current gypsy moth invasion which is putting a serious crimp in our lives, this would have been a great summer. Not only is the weather moderate, but we have had enough rain so that our river is full again. The ponds and streams have fish and the herons are happy.

This post is about the purest thing … water. Clean, sparkling, fresh.


I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016


I have a passion for English muffins. The original muffin was a popular bread product sold door-to-door in Victorian Britain. The recipe can be found in many old cook books. I used to make them myself from a recipe I found in a 1918 cookbook. I have lost that recipe, but if anyone happens to have it, I would love to get it back. It used a rising sponge rather than a standard dough (for you bakers, you know what I mean) and required a double rising. It was finally grilled, not baked.

Thomas’ English Muffins, which you can get in any grocery store, are as good as it gets short of making your own. Whether you make them or buy them, they are always toasted and typically served with butter and something sweet on top. Jam, jelly or marmalade.

The jam and jelly selection at Hannaford isn’t … well … it just isn’t. I have been in jam and jelly withdrawal for years and finally, I snapped. Dammit, I want some quality sweet spreads for my muffins. I deserve it, don’t I? I worked hard my whole life. The least I should have is something good with my coffee in the morning.

I broke down. Went to Amazon and ordered Chivers Orange Marmalade, Chivers Ginger Preserves, and Good Schmitt Peach Ginger Pinot Noir jelly. The Chivers is an old friend. I used to buy it when I lived in New York. It was “the good stuff.” The Good Schmitt jelly sounded interesting. I love ginger and peach anything, so I figured I’d give it a try.

I had been reduced to eating Welch’s grape jelly of which I have never been fond. I needed to rethink the entire sweet topping thing. Am I really so poor I can’t afford some good stuff to put on my morning muffin? Really? It’s not like I’m going to consume buckets of the stuff. It’s a small investment and it will make my life better. It will make my mornings brighter.

I can hardly wait until Amazon delivers!


I’m not especially afraid of insects. I don’t like them, but unlike Marilyn, they don’t really frighten me. Except — right now, it’s a bad science fiction movie outside. An alien invasion. I hope this is as bad as it’s going to get. It’s pretty bad.


Yesterday, I took my yellow car to the car wash. Today, it’s covered with gypsy moth caterpillars. Again. The house, which Owen power-washed last week, is covered with them, too. And the excrement they leave behind.

The oak trees have no leaves. It’s eerie.


Marilyn is refusing to go outside. At all. The dogs don’t want to go out either which is a first. The only time they don’t like going out normally is in very heavy rain or full blizzard conditions. Otherwise, they’re always happy to romp, bark, and run around.

Not now, though.


I went out and took some pictures. Marilyn thought I was very brave. By the time I was back inside, I felt brave too. Even braver after picking off the caterpillars trying to crawl down my neck and through what’s left of my hair.

Bring on the cavalry to break the siege!


You would think, given the scope of the problem — we made Fox News without a murder … all we needed were a massive invasion of  gypsy moth caterpillars defoliating our oak trees. You might think our town might be offering some kind of help to besieged homeowners. Even advice would be helpful, right? Sympathy?

When questioned, they suggested we Google it.

Some other town resident, equally besieged (but clearly not living in an actual oak woods) pointed out that 2 teaspoons of Murphy’s Oil added to two quarts of water and sprayed on the caterpillars will kill them. How much Murphy’s Oil do you figure we’d need to clean up 2-1/2 acres of oak woods  contiguous to 40 acres of oaks woods — owned by the county?

Our little town has been raising taxes at the rate of no less than 2% per years. Taxes, since 2000, have gone up more than 400%.

We have no sewers. No public transportation. No city water. In this area, no street lights or sidewalks. No dog officer, though they want us to pay a tax on our dogs anyway (I do not agree). For all practical purposes, there’s also no police force and our fire department is volunteer — except for the “chief.” When we were locked in our house by ice, we were told there was no help. Too bad, you old folks. Hope you’ve got enough food to last until the ice breaks!


If the woods were on fire, they’d suggest we buy a longer garden hose.

Fire is indeed one of the best weapons against gypsy moth caterpillars. Marilyn’s been Googling this. She assures me there are many suggestions for using a blowtorch to kill the caterpillars or melt egg masses.

Blow torches.

I had a sudden mental image of The Flash and his Super Gang coming to Uxbridge to save us from the caterpillars. Burning the town to the ground, and leaving while slapping each other on the back for a job well done. Yeah!

You think insurance would pay damages after the League of Superheroes leaves?