Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Winston (the Wu):
Destroyer of Mint

Devourer of Roses

Guardian of shoes and socks and dry washing

Filler of sinks

Slipper Wearer

Loudest Purrer
Walrus in Feline Form
Lover, not a fighter
Mr. Longpaws Brooklyn 2009-2014 (and Washington Heights March 2007-July 2009)
Lover of boxes, bags, and cases - whatever the size

Lover of Plastic Bags
Hugger of ipads, legs, whatever was going, really

Loving and Beloved Brother


If you were lucky, he would hang out under the sheets with you - or help you change them

Comforter extraordinaire

Cat in Space

Drinker of Bathwater
Tyrannical in his pursuit of affection
Licker of Armpits and Biter of Watches
He was my (far too) early morning alarm; the first face I saw when I got home as he ran, excitedly, with that big belly swinging, to greet me.
Destroyer of Rugs and Print Media.
Vanquisher of Butterflies, but not Mockingbirds.
A fan of dirt, sunbeams, and sitting underneath things.
He would lie on your back, your front, your legs or your head - whatever he could find.
For seven years he brought joy, affection, and a lot of hair to our lives.
He was very much loved, and he will be missed.

Monday, September 01, 2014


For various reasons, this summer has not been as light, airy, and filled with outdoor fun as ones in previous years. 

Yet on Saturday, as the season draws to a close, we managed to find a walk that fit our needs perfectly: breathtaking views (both because of the actual view and because of the ascent to the vista); fresh air and nature (a deer, a salamander, and millipedes galore - alive and being recycled by the local insect population); and, finally, a place to properly swim.*  There was a rather steep ascent for the first ten minutes, which leveled off.  We were rewarded with views over the freshwater pond below and, after stopping for a breather, headed down to the water side.  We reveled in the fresh water, which was a perfect temperature - not too hot, not too cold - and had not too much pond weed.  After scrambling out and discovering that Dr. TOH had kept the potential presence of water snakes from me, we then dried off with another couple of hours hiking.  

 The pond
The pond and, it appears, already changing leaves on the trees.
The highlight occurred as we ascended once more, scoffing some well-deserved firecracker chocolate at the top of Eagle Cliff, and taking a long look at the glorious scenery.  No eagles, though.  The only fauna during the walk was a rather startled but relatively brave deer, who stared at us before deciding munching some plants was more important, an eastern red spotted newt, a delightful little orange fellow whose brethren I've spotted before but not remembered to find out what they are, and many, many millipedes.  Seriously, I have never seen as many.  Remarkable little creatures - that flurry of legs is amazing to behold.

Eagle Cliff

 The view from the cliff

Then home for tea and medals.  On the drive home we crossed Bear Mountain Bridge and were stunned by ten or so birds of prey circling right next to the structure, making up for the lack of them at Eagle Cliff.  By then my hamstrings and glutes were complaining, a lot, and every part of me had that physical exhaustion that feels wonderful because you genuinely worked for it, and it came through being outside.  Nonetheless, we rallied for supper.  We even managed a full 45 minutes of The Grand Budapest Hotel before conking out on the sofa.  (We finished it last night - delightful, is my assessment.  Not as good as Moonrise Kingdom, but still one of Anderson's better films, I think).

* For various reasons, including strong lobbying by my lawyering kin, swimming in ponds/lakes in New York State is virtually impossible if you want to swim any kind of distance and not just plod around a small, roped off area.  This otherwise supportive and helpful piece about swimming holes in Harriman State Park is great, if you can get through the weird bit at the beginning, which may be actual disclaimers or merely a joke.  My favourite of the "Facts": "It is just as easy to refresh yourself by wading in a lake as swimming in it.  Wade, don’t swim." Right.