Two Poems for November

Whenever I feel like this:


by Thomas Hood (1799–1845)

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon!
No dawn- no dusk – no proper time of day –
No sky – no earthly view –
No distance looking blue –

No road – no street! –
No “t’other side the way” –
No end to any Row –
No indications where the Crescents go –

No top to any steeple –
No recognitions of familiar people –
No courtesies for showing ’em –
No knowing ’em!

No mail – no post –
No news from any foreign coast –
No park – no ring – no afternoon gentility –
No company – no nobility –

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

I try to remember this:


by George Herbert (1593–1633)

Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast given him heretofore
Is lost.

But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.

Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
And comes.

This not withstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan
Thy joys.

Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love
Did take.

Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Of thee:

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.

Tires and Tribulations

This is the second time this has happened to me and my tires this year. Sadly, this is a brand-new tire.

tire impaled by screw







Fortunately, both of my 2013 tire casualties were slow-leak cases and not all-at-once blowouts.

The first time I discovered a flattened tire on my vehicle, a summer Sunday evening church activity had just concluded and I was wearing a dress. So, I was grateful that there were good lights in the church parking lot and that a personable young man (attired in suit and tie) gallantly took over, removing the flat and installing the spare.

I went to my tire shop the next morning, and all was eventually well, especially since my tires were still under warranty and the shop gave me a brand-new tire when the flat proved to be irreparable. Then, because I had three pretty old tires and one brand-new tire on my vehicle, I bought another new tire, just to even things out until spring, when my budget will allow for all my tires to be new.

The second time I discovered a flattened tire on my vehicle, which was yesterday, there were no personable young men about to help, but I did get to practice changing a tire, start to finish, all by myself in the comfort of my own driveway on a warm and sunny almost-winter afternoon. I was really rusty at changing a tire, so it was good for me to practice. (As I am more svelte than strong, I have to hold onto my roof rack and stand on the tire iron to get the lug nuts loose.)

So, although I had the sad experience of driving over a screw this weekend and getting a slow-leaking flat tire a result, my tire tribulations could have been much worse. I’m just hoping that the third time will not be the charm.

For the Love of Almond Extract and Coconut Oil…A Carrot Bread Recipe

During the past summer, I fell in love with almond extract and coconut oil. I used them in just about everything I baked.

Because I had a lot of carrots to use up, I tinkered quite a bit with a zucchini bread recipe and came up with this carrot bread recipe, which I found pleasing.

carrot bread recipe

October Outfits: Part 4

In accordance with my October theme, I devised a Halloween costume from the clothes hanging out in my closet. I managed to pull together a respectable gypsy costume, which I wore to work and to a Halloween party.

Halloween gypsy costume

When I was a kid, my mom had a dress-up box full of clothes that my sisters and I played in all the time, plus she had a Halloween box stashed under the stairs that contained mix-and-match costume elements, which we resorted to every October to create costumes to facilitate our Halloween trick-or-treating.

Although it can be fun to come up with a creative, sometimes last-minute costume from the items lying around one’s living space, I think it’s time for me to start a costume box of my own. Then, should I be invited to a 1930’s-themed murder mystery party or an epic Lord of the Rings hike, I will have a stock of costumes all ready to go.