Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A Scotsman's Journey to the Vert with only Cherries for Vivers! Part II

fleer: v. to sneer or scoff; n. a word or look of mockery

nates: n. the buttocks

lief: adv or adj. willing, glad, or dear, beloved

blin: n. Russian pancake

blithe: adj. merry

rive: v. to wrench open or tear apart to pieces; to shatter, split with force

urp: v. to vomit

kex: n. a weed, or a dry husk or covering

zax: n. a tool for cutting roof slates

staw: v. past tense of steal

trice: n. instant, moment

cote: n. a small shed or coop (for sheep or doves)

vita: n. brief autobiographical sketch or curriculum vitae

Arms outstretched, singing to the skies, the Scotsman felt, for a trice, true comfort in this new land. He longed to spend the rest of his years living in this beautiful tarn, singing and dancing to his heart's content. He pictured the smew happily sleeping in a spacious cote, while he used his zax to fashion a splendid roof for his newly crafted hut, small but very blithe indeed. As the vision subsided, and the Scottish thesp came to his senses, he almost urped! "Blimey!," he exclaimed, "what in the world have I been thinking?" Realizing he could never leave his lief family, he fleered at the land before him, concluding he had gone utterly mad, if only for a trice. As he continued to frown, he felt like he wanted to rive the earth apart and rip the weeds around him, especially the malignant kex, though why the kex was malignant was a mystery to the Scotsman. He just hated the way the leaves looked and the stems curled, and ... and ... he couldn't think of any more reasons, and ended up crossing his arms in arrogant disgust. With his eyes wide and red hair sticking up, he looked much more like a mad Scotsman than the cheerful thesp he was back at home. To calm himself, he started to picture the rolling countryside of his native village, scrolled through his most impressive vita, and sighing, he dreamed of himself embracing his welcoming and amiable family. He pictured himself walking into his house, with his kitchen to the left and those wonderful blin his wife made him nearly every morning. Feeling as if he could taste the sweet pancake, he licked his lips and smiled, feeling utterly content. He suddenly wished he had brought blin instead of cherries for his vivers. Ah, I staw cherries when I could have swiped some blin!, he thought to himself. Knowing he must now return home to his lief family and scrumptious blin, excitedly, he started to run, wanting nothing else but to be home, home-sweet-home. After a few yards of running, though, he started to weaken, and had no choice but to continue on his way in a slow amble. The pain ran down from his lower back into his legs. It was so great, that he worried that his nates might completely fall off. Will the struggling Scotsman reach his home before his nates fall off, or will he be forced to delay his journey, continue to be vexed by the kex, and only dream of his wife's delicious blin? Find out next time on "A Scotsman's Journey into the Vert with only Cherries as Vivers."


Friday, January 18, 2008


This week, I've used some Boggle-icious words in the beginnings of a story, "A Scotsman's Journey to the Vert with Only Cherries as Vivers!"

1.thesp= short for thespian. It means an actor (noun) or being dramatic (adjective).

2.vert=green forest vegetation especially when forming cover or providing food for deer (n).

3.tarn=a small steep-banked mountain, lake or pool (n).

4.vitta=a stripe or streak (n).

5.vivers =(chiefly Scottish) victuals or food (n).

6.trow= to believe or to think (slightly archaic; verb)

7.smew= a small Eurasian merganser with the male being white, gray and black and the female chiefly gray but with a chestnut and white head (n).

On a casual walk through the abundant vert, he stumbled upon a beautiful tarn that suddenly appeared amidst the cover of green vegetation that blanketed the hillside. Below the steep mountain face, there was an unmistaken vitta of water trickling down as far as he could see. He could make out a group of swimming smew, a lively blurr of white, black and grayish colors against the deep blue background. Being Scottish, he marveled at the way the sun reflected off the water, the same shade of red as his hair and the cherries that he had brought as his main vivers of the day. It enticed him, and made him trow and strongly think it was the place to be. He flew his arms outwards into the increasingly brisk winds, and sang to the skies. He was a thesp, after all, and well-known for his dramatic acts in his home back in the valley. He pondered this urge, thinking over what he would be leaving behind. The vert, the tarn, the vitta, the smew, and the vivers--what would this thesp trow next? Find out next time on "Scotsman's Journey into the Vert with only Cherries as Vivers!"


Monday, December 10, 2007

Phat Phives

Our Five Favorite Places That We Visited Last Week

Monday: Free Soup And Games Night At Hope And Olive Restaurant, Greenfield, MA: Every first Monday at the start of each month, Hope and Olive, in conjunction with Gill's Wagon Wheel Restaurant, provides free soup, dessert, and bread to its customers in return for a donation to a local non-profit organization, such as the Survival Center in Turners Falls, that the Hope and Olive and Wagon Wheel collaborative has chosen to benefit. Not normally open on Monday nights, Hope and Olive hosts this monthly gathering, and it is a treat indeed. As you enter the building, the warm and cozy atmosphere greets you, with comfortable booths, warm, rich colors, and the sounds of laughter and community spilling from all corners of the restaurant. The bar stays open for specialty drinks, but water is provided for free, along with soup, bread and dessert. The soup is always luscious and blends interesting and exotic flavors, such as root vegetable with ham, spicy sweet potato, and corned beef and potato. On each Soup and Games Night, they provide two different kinds of self-serve, all-you-can-eat soup. The bread is also very good; I suspect that it's home-made. Hope and Olive also provides a tray of free dessert, such as brownies, cookies, and pastries, to accompany your meal. To top it all off, you can enjoy games with your family and friends while you eat. Hope and Olive provides some games, but you are welcome to bring your own from home. The best part of the evening is the various sounds of games and fun filling the space. It's great that the kindly folks at Hope and Olive and the Wagon Wheel bring the community together for some much needed fun in a way that benefits the entire community.

Free Soup and Games Night starts at about 5 pm and ends around 9.
Hope and Olive is only usually open on Mondays, only for Free Soup and Games Night on the first Monday of each month. Otherwise, they are open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. I suggest you come by another time, too, and not just for the free Soup and Games Night, but to enjoy their full menu, full of amazing food!
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Valley Muse

The Craft Fair Moon

The days are shorter, the lights are dimmer. Now it is time to get ready for the big day.

Ideas have been floating about our heads for months; now we must put them together and make our lists: what we'll need to gather, what we'll need to do.

Over the summer, while we walked the beaches at Campobello Island, we stuffed our pockets and bags with all sorts of rocks. We packed them up and drove them home, where we washed and sorted them, setting aside the most beautiful ones. These, we turn into rock magnets to sell at the craft fair, or give as gifts at Christmastime.
The Campobello beaches provide me with sea glass as well as rocks, which I fashion into necklaces by wrapping wire around and around until it looks just right.

In the woods, I collect acorn tops to use as caps for the flower fairies and tree sprites I make. At home, I gather together silk flowers for dresses and clothes, pipe cleaners for bodies and arms, beads for heads, and yarn for hair. I start to piece together all the elements into colorful flower fairies and tree sprites, and finally, when they are done, I hang them on branches of a pine bough that I've put in a clay pot filled with more Campobello rocks.

We bake granola, chocolate chip bars, and make chocolate peppermint bark. We package everything in bags with labels we've made. We turn our favorite art into art cards and package them in sets of three. We write up bits about our art and ourselves so that when people buy something of ours, they know who made it and where it came from. My brother puts the finishing touches on his sculpey creature magnets and his Santa cards. We've worked hard. --DRP

The Kid's Craft Fair takes place this coming Friday, December 7, from 4:30-8 pm in the River Garden on Main Street in Brattleboro, VT. Over 60 kids of all ages--mostly homeschoolers--are registered to take part. The Fair takes place during the first Friday Gallery Walk and the kick off to Brattleboro's Holly Days celebrations, that last all weekend long. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Phat Phives

Here's what's on Luke & Dom's playlist this week:
1. Rhianna w/Ne-yo--Hate that I love you
2. Chris Brown--Wall to Wall & Kiss Kiss Kiss (w/T Pain)
3. Musiq Soulchild--B.U.D.D.Y.
4. Kanye West--Good Life
5. Common/John Legend--They Say

Here's what's on Mom's:
1. Raul Midon--Pick Somebody Up (single)
2. Angie Stone--Play with it (single)
3. anything by Anthony David/Hamilton
4. Ayo--Joyful
5. Martin Sexton--Seeds

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Boggle-licious words of the week!

1. roc: Dominick remembered this word from the Age of Mythology PC-game. A roc is a legendary bird of great size and strength, believed to inhabit the Indian Ocean area, and able to carry 100 tons--that's a lot of fish! A roc is a carnivore, so perhaps the 100 tons would be in large mammals--humans? The roc glided over the rough seas in search of prey, its wings blanketing the ocean below, where a herd of blue whales swam dwarfed and darkened by the roc's shadow.

2. seel: this one seems legendary as well, and seems at least to have its origins in some archaic custom. It's a verb, meaning to close the eyes of (as a hawk) by drawing threads through the eyelids. The archaic meaning (because the previous one was so modern) is, quite simply, to close up (one's eyes). Ouch. I seeled my eyes as the sunlight's glare pierced and burned.

3. rube: a fun word, like dola or gary, I suppose, that traces its roots to the name Ruben (the only Ruben I've ever known was Ruben Kincaid from the Partridge Family), or even a particular person named "Ruben" who must have been enough of a piece of work to engender comments, comparisons, and finally, this memorialization, however infamous, of his unsophistication: n. an awkward, unsophisticated person; rustic; or a naive or inexperienced person. George Bush often appears to be a real rube, in appearance, behavior, and speech.

4. sate: We all know the word satisfaction, as in "can't get no...," but do you know the word "sate"? v. to cloy with overabundance, glut; to appease by indulging to the full. This holiday season, I plan on sating myself with all the sweets I can get my hands on.

5. pate: rhymes with sate, means head. "Cover your pate!", Mom always says, "before you get cold and miserable."

6. gast: This would have been handy at Halloween: v. to scare.

7. olio: n. a miscellaneous mixture. Sounds like a cafe' to me. We liked to eat at Cafe' Olio, because there was something for everyone.

8. S-O-N-E What 3 and 4-letter words can you make with these four letters?
noes (plural of no)
sen (yen)
sone: n. subjective unit of loudness for an average listener equal to the loudness of 1000 Hertz sound that has an intensity of 40 decibels above the listener's own threshold of hearing. Huh?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekly Muse


The firm grip of the golf club
may give anyone who plays calluses and blisters
but gifts the avid and devoted golfer
a touch that is
soft, warm, and encouraging

Blocking out
the excitement, anxiety, tentativeness,
and the voice in the head
that comes to you with reminders of
all the little things that perfect the swing

The taste of excitement fills the body
as the golf ball rockets off the clubface
miles onto the fairway.
Strutting across the course, feeling invincible,
you slow down to take in the moment

As the golfer lines up the putt
the amazingly bright colors of the autumn leaves
come into view, distracting,
blurring together to form an array of
reds, yellows, oranges, and every color in between

the unforgettable sound of the golf ball
rattling the cup
enlivens and excites the heart
causing it to skip a beat

The smell of the first frost
fills the body with coolness
you shiver as you walk up the last hole
weary that this might just be the last day of golf
you are glad that it was such a nice round

You say your goodbyes
to the colors, smells, sights, and touch of golf
now walking up to the green you cry out in anguish
as the golfer's least favorite season
lays its last finger around you.