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Apr. 2nd, 2019 01:32 pm
lizziebelle: (raven)
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So I went down the rabbit hole and started reading entries from when I first started this journal, back in '04. A lifetime ago, it seems now. And wow, how my life has changed since then! Actually, it has changed a few times. Fortunately, nearly all for the better. I was getting PTSD from all the awful stuff I went through, and had to remind myself that things are pretty good now.

I also saw a lot of names in the comments that have dropped away from LJ, and I miss them. I've managed to keep in touch with a bunch of you, but there's a bunch more that I'm not connected with elsewhere, and I wonder how their lives are going. I wonder if they ever think of me. I guess it's like that in real life too, but it makes me sad to think of people I once thought of as friends just disappearing from my life.

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We're in that weird, in-between place that feels like spring one day, then back to winter the next. Late March & early April is the cruelest time of year, teasing us with a taste of what's to come and then taking it away again. I did see tulip & daffodil shoots, promising flowers soon. But I remember last April, when we had snow. It ain't over till it's over.
lizziebelle: (raven)
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I went out in search of spring over the weekend, and found a tiny pocket of it at the Arnold Arboretum.

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I found witch hazel, pussy willows, and snowdrops.

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The willow trees are turning that yellow-green color that signals impending springtime. The maples have red buds on the ends of their branches. The vultures are back, and the hawks are out in force.

We could still get snow, and we almost always do at least once after the equinox, but spring is definitely on the way.
lizziebelle: (Default)
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Life has been pretty uneventful lately, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Especially in winter. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel; the willows are turning that yellowish color, and all the winter merchandise has gone on clearance in the stores. Hey, I bought a pair of $70 boots for $30, I know how to work the sales. All those years in retail haven't entirely gone to waste.

That handsome fella above is Izzie, my friends' cat. I was kitty sitting earlier this month, and as he and his sister were starved for attention, I got followed everywhere. Even to the bathroom. Silly beasts.

I'm making tentative plans for a possible trip to California. I have never been there, and an old friend extended an invitation to stay with him in L.A. last time he was visiting. And I know a couple of folks from here who live there, too. So I'll investigate fares, check with my friend for possible dates, and hope for the best. My niece, and my bro & sis-in-law, all visited there last year, and it's one of those places (like New York or D.C.) that I've seen on TV and in movies all my life. I have a list of places I want to see. If you've been, what were your favorite places?

winter

Jan. 18th, 2019 03:09 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)
We've reached that part of winter when I am officially sick & tired of it, but spring is far too long in the future so the light at the end of the tunnel seems like a pinprick. Add to that the forecast for at least a foot of snow this weekend, and I'm pretty much done. I'm really hoping they're wrong, and we get much less. I'm getting too old to shovel all that by myself.

I haven't been out taking many pictures, either. It's been too cold, and I just haven't felt like it. Which makes me feel guilty, because I should be making art. It makes me feel better.

handsome boy

I got to kitty-sit my favorite felines when my friends went on a trip to Peru last month. I got a few good shots of them, like this one of Izzie enjoying the sunshine. He's such a photogenic cat.

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This one of our local greasy spoon caught my eye when I went to the library last week. I would like to have gotten a wider shot, but that would've involved standing in the middle of the rotary at rush hour, so I had to settle for this. I love that neon.

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I did make it over to Danforth Falls on New Year's Day, which was a pretty mild one. All the rain we've had in the past few weeks made for lovely rushing water cascading over the falls. Love those negative ions! It felt good to just stand there and listen to the water. I dragged a friend along with me, and she was glad I got her out of the house. It was a nice way to start off the year.

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So I'm hanging in there, trying not to give in to all the negativity around me. Some days are hard, but on the whole I'm doing OK.

How are you holding up?

still here

Nov. 23rd, 2018 08:20 pm
lizziebelle: (raven)
Since you saw me here last, Autumn has come and gone. It was another disappointing year for fall color; this year it was too much rain, while last year it was too little. I did get to see an owl, though.

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Earlier this month, I spent a weekend in NYC. I didn't realize when I booked it that it was Marathon weekend, and Central Park was full of people. Thousands of people. But I wanted to scout out a couple locations I had seen on Doctor Who, like the Bow Bridge and the Bethesda Fountain.

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I didn't see any Weeping Angels, and I still haven't found the big rock Amy and The Doctor were sitting on while reading. Next time!

Two of my cousins and I went to the Harry Potter/History of Magic exhibit at the New York Historical Society. It's the same one that was in London last year. That was fun, but they didn't allow photographs. Boo, hiss. That's two Harry Potter exhibits I've seen in New York, and I couldn't get pix of either.

The following week, I got to see "Hamilton" in Boston with Leenah. That was fantastic! Totally lives up to the hype. I hadn't seen a show in I don't know how long.

Winter has come early to New England. We've already had snow, and yesterday it didn't get out of the 'teens. But at least we're not on fire, like California! I've been so worried for my friends there. Even if they're not in the path of the flames, the air quality has been awful. Anyone who still denies Climate Change is only fooling themselves.

I'm spending this long weekend catching up on reading, and the shows I have saved on my DVR. Hopefully it will be mild enough in the next couple of days to spend some quality time outside, too. Avoiding malls and shopping centers if at all possible. The small amount of holiday shopping I do will be with local merchants. I'd rather spend my money there than with giant corporations.

Still loving my car. Her name turned out to be "Daisy." She made it through her first snow with flying colors.

Went to the doctor (routine visit) and I'm back on antidepressants again. Hopefully I won't retreat into myself for the dark part of the year this time. Winter is always difficult for me. Cold and darkness are not my friends. It would be nice to be able to enjoy things this winter.

What good things have you enjoyed lately?
lizziebelle: (little me)
I went with my friends J&R to a crafts show yesterday, to a Historic New England home in Lincoln, the Codman Estate. There were lots of pretties to look at, and we got to tour the first floor of the house and the gardens.

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I love these old New England estates, with big old houses full of beautiful paintings and furnishings, and lovely grounds.

Since we were going to be in Lincoln anyway, it occurred to me that a side trip to see something I had seen on Atlas Obscura would be fun. It's called Ponyhenge, and it's just the sort of weird that I love.

It's a collection (nobody knows who started it, or who contributes to it) of rocking horses, hobby horses, and other assorted horse toys arranged in a field like a henge.

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Read more... )

It's right by the road, not far off the main route through Lincoln. The whole thing just makes me so happy; it's fun, whimsical, and weird. Kind of like me. :)

looking up

Aug. 29th, 2018 03:50 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)
After so many setbacks and disappointments, things are finally settling into a good place for me. I don't want to be complacent, because I know situations can change without warning (as they have several times in the past few years), but I am cautiously optimistic.

Things are going well at work, which is a very good thing. I'm consistently one of the top producers in my department, which of course pleases this Leo. I've always been a little competitive. I've been making bonus every month since I was hired on permanently. It's so nice to not constantly worry about money for a change. That's a new thing for me.

I finally took the plunge and replaced the last big thing that needed upgrading: my car. The Santa Fe served me pretty well, but was teetering toward an expensive repair so I decided that money would be better put to use toward a newer car. I decided on the Kia Soul, after a couple of my friends bought them and said good things about them. I started looking at used Souls (and that conjures a few interesting images in my head), but the cars available that had the features I wanted were only a couple thousand less than a new one, so I figured I might as well look at new cars, too. New cars come with a nice long warranty, for one thing, and I wouldn't have to worry about how it was treated by a previous owner.

I went to the Kia dealer on Sunday and test drove a pretty green Soul, which I promptly fell in love with. They had just gotten her in a couple hours before, so she was brand-spanking-new. Five miles on the odometer! So I took a deep breath and started the process to buy her. I picked her up after work yesterday, and squeed all the way home. She's so pretty! And shiny, and new, and full of fun new features like a backup camera and Blue Tooth connectivity! The guy at the dealership showed me all the controls and how they worked, and connected my phone. I can listen to my podcasts in the car now! Whee!

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I haven't settled on what her name is yet, but I'm leaning toward "Fern." I want to drive her around a bit and get to know her before I decide for sure. Ferns are one of my very favorite things.

I'm looking forward to all the places we'll go, and the adventures we'll have together.
lizziebelle: (tree lady)
I spent last week at Sirius Rising, also known as Pagan Hippie Camp. I had to miss it last year, so it was extra good to be there. I really missed the place and the people I only get to see there.

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The weather was mostly good: not much rain, not too hot, only one night that got chilly. Anytime I can spend a week outdoors and not get sunburn or heatstroke is a good one.

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I managed to make it to one workshop, on cultural appropriation. It was run by three friends of mine, so I couldn't miss it. It was very informative and interesting, and gave me a starting point for conversations and a vocabulary to draw from. It's a hot topic in many spheres these days, so it's good to be able to have an informed debate about it.

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I didn't get to see or spend time with a few folks I had hoped to, but I did get quality time with a few friends I don't get to see often. There are so many people, and so many things going on, it's a delicate balance.

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I tried to get pictures of different things this year, and only partially succeeded. I wanted to work on portraits, and a few folks gamely posed for me. I love my friends: they indulge me when I ask. I get to do the same with my family this weekend, at the family reunion.

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I still haven't dealt with all of the laundry and unpacking, and I won't get a chance to finish until after this weekend. It's so much work, but it's worth it. My spirit is refreshed from spending a week with like-minded folk. I even got some writing in, and was inspired to write a poem. I might post that later on.

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My body is still recovering from all the walking on uneven ground and sleeping on a cot in a tent, and then driving for 9 hours straight. I really wish I could afford a small camper; that would make things so much simpler (and more comfortable). Someday, I hope.

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It's hard to believe it's already in the past. I'm trying to hold on to the feelings and experiences as long as I can to get me through the long, mundane days in between.

See all my photos here.
lizziebelle: (fox)
When I first moved to Massachusetts, I lived in the town of Milton, which is a well-to-do town south of Boston. One of my favorite places to go was (and still is) Great Blue Hill, where there is an Audubon museum, a small zoo with rescue animals, and lots of trails in the woods. On the way to GBH, I passed this wonderful stone gatehouse, through which you could see the big stone house up on a hill. I fell in love with that gatehouse, and to this day I would love to live in it.

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The property is called the Eustis Estate, and is now part of Historic New England. Yesterday, admission was free, so I went with a couple of friends to explore it.

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It's a gorgeous house, stone on the outside and wonderful woodwork on the inside. Beautiful furniture, paintings, and stained glass everywhere. There's even a stuffed peacock on one of the fireplace mantels.

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The garden out back was just lovely, with lots of flowers, including the most beautiful poppies I think I've ever seen.

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I'd love to go back sometime and explore the grounds some more. There's an orchard, lots of big old trees, and paths to follow.

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We stopped at the Trailside Museum on the way back, where we got to see a bald eagle taking a bath.

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(ETA: click on the pic to see the video)

I also got to see, in person for the first time in my life, a pair of snowy owls. That was a thrill. The pictures didn't come out very well, because they were in a cage and the light was iffy.

It was a very fun excursion, to a place I've wanted to explore for more than thirty years. I didn't sense the ghost rumored to haunt the place, but they did have the top floor blocked off, so who knows?
lizziebelle: (raven)
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After the winter that would not end, spring has finally come to New England. Right now is my absolute favorite time of year: lilacs, apple blossoms, tulips, dogwood, redbud. Pink tree season is the best.

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Things are going well at work. I was hired on as permanent (yay!), so now I have benefits. To celebrate my first real paycheck, I got a "new" phone (it's a "pre-loved" iPhone), which I love love love. My old phone was, well, old. The new one is rose gold and very pretty. And it has a lot more room on it for more apps and pictures. It makes me happy.

My next big thing I need to replace is my mattress. The old one is quite ancient, and probably a big reason I haven't been sleeping very well for a while. I found a great price on a nice one at my local appliance store, so that's coming next week.

Then I need to start saving for a car. The Santa Fe is almost 15 (I've had her for 5 years), and really needs replacing. I'd like for that to happen before anything else goes wrong with her. I'm leaning towards a Kia Soul; a couple of my friends have them, and say nothing but good things about them. Plus, they're cute.

Now that spring is here, I'm making an effort to get out more and take more pictures. It feels good to stretch those muscles again.

I'll leave you today with the Great Horned Owl I spotted at Mount Auburn on Beltane. I was very pleased to get pictures of him!

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lizziebelle: (ganesha)
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Last weekend, I went with a friend to Tower Hill Botanical Garden for a fun event they held called "Stempunk." It was a steampunk-themed flower show, complete with a costume contest. It was a lovely day for February in New England, so we wandered around the grounds a bit after taking in the flowers and costumes.

Flowers! Greek gods! )

Things are still going well for me at work, but several people have left in the past few weeks (three just this week!), so it's a little more tense than it was. We'll have to see how things shake out. But it looks good for me being hired on permanently, and things are happening in our field that should give us some good selling points, so the future still looks sunny.

Two days of 70 degree weather didn't hurt, either. Of course we're back to snow today, but not a lot, and it won't last. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

first snow

Dec. 9th, 2017 04:29 pm
lizziebelle: (raven)
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Texas beat us to the first snow this year; they had some the other day. Georgia had it yesterday. Today, it was our turn.

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I went out this morning, before it had accumulated too much, to take in the magic of First Snow.

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It was peaceful and quiet down by the river. I was the first to leave footprints in the blanket of white. Well, the first human, anyway.

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I followed a path of crow prints, finding a spot where it stopped to turn over a leaf, then moved along.

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It was sitting in the tree above me as I took pictures of its footprints. I'm sure it was amused.

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The new job is going quite well. I had a stellar week: I booked 8 web demos, which is what my job is. They want us to do 3-4 per week, so 8 is pretty darned good. I was the queen. I hope I can keep it up! My coworkers have all been very supportive, which is nice. Often, in sales, I see envy and resentment when one person shines. That's not the case here at all. Everyone cheers each other on. It's a nice crew. And it's nice to start off strong at a new place. Let them know they made the right choice in hiring me. :)
lizziebelle: (raven)
wild fluff

It's been too long since I've posted; sorry about that! Life has been a trial, but things have settled (mostly) and I'm getting into a new routine.

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Autumn turned out to be pretty drab for these parts. It was quite disappointing. There were spots of brilliance here and there, but for the most part we had a fairly dull season.

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I started a new job this week, and so far I like it there a lot. It's a medical software company, which will look good on my résumé, but I hope I'm there for the long run. It pays well, and the atmosphere is pretty laid back, especially for the size of the company. It's a lot bigger than my last couple of employers, but it doesn't feel like a big company.

The loop around the office park is a mile in length, and makes for a nice, brisk walk at lunchtime. There's a café in the other building, and because the owners are originally from India (as are many of the employees), they feature a lot of Indian food. I haven't checked it out yet, but I look forward to having that available. I just missed Diwali, for which I hear they had quite the celebration.

autumn reflections

As I settle into my new routine, I'm hoping that life will become less stressful and more enjoyable. It's been a difficult few months of desperately searching for a job and worrying about money. I'm ready to be done with that.

Great blue heron

Maybe I'll even have it in me to do some writing this winter. That would be nice. Anxiety and stress have sapped me of most ambition for a while now. I'm starting to get inspiration again from random things, and story brain is beginning to engage. It feels good.

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lizziebelle: (artsy me)
Wow, it's been a month since I've posted. Sorry about that! Life has been quite stressful, for a variety of reasons. I've been trying to get out every day, and mostly succeeding. I've been trying to take more photos, also mostly succeeding. I even got out of the state yesterday, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine; we went to Barrett House in NH, which is a historic home built in 1800. That was fun, and photogenic to boot.

Barrett House )

The weather has been cooler, and I've been watching Autumn slowly begin to touch the trees with color. I've seen lots of birds & critters out & about.

Wildlife )

I keep leaving this and coming back to it hoping to add more interesting content, but at this point I'd better just hit "post" or it's never going to happen. I do post most days on Twitter and/or Instagram, so you're much more likely to see me there than here.
lizziebelle: (little me)
When I was little, I had three imaginary friends. Never one to do things in a small way, me. Their names were Ernie, Bird, and Hatusan. I'm not sure how Hatusan's name was spelled, as I couldn't read or write yet; it was pronounced hah-too-SAHN. Lest you think I got the idea for the names from Sesame Street, let me remind you that this was years before that program started. I did (still do) have an uncle named Ernie, but he was not the inspiration for my friend. I don't remember a time before they were around; I'll have to ask my mother, but they may even predate my sister, who was born when I was two and a half.

We had many adventures, the four of us. We explored my grandparents' farm, looking for ripe berries and dinosaur bones (which were probably cow bones, but try and tell that to a little kid). Grand adventures were to be had in the cornfield and the garden (where we stole peas and ate them right out of the pod). Being the oldest child, I often had to amuse myself, and I've always had a vivid imagination.

I don't remember what they looked like back then, but later on, I imagined them as crows (I suspect watching the show Heckle & Jeckle had something to do with that). When I was four, we moved way upstate to Keeseville, and the gang came with us. That's where we were joined by Bird's friend (he never had a name), who lived on Poke-O-Moonshine, a nearby mountain. Look at the picture of it in the article: that's exactly what I remember it looking like.

I don't remember when I stopped believing in Ernie, Bird, and Hatusan (and Bird's friend). It was probably around the time I started school. But I still thought about them for years, wondering where I came up with them, and that crazy name, Hatusan. It sounds sort of Japanese, or maybe Aztec. Were they memories of past lives? Local spirits? Or just the imaginings of a creative kid looking for playmates? I still have a vivid imagination, but I put it to other uses now. I do sort of miss having those companions, though.

little me

Midsummer

Jun. 21st, 2017 03:24 pm
lizziebelle: (ganesha)
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Today is the longest day, the Summer Solstice. I went down to the river early this morning, before it started getting hot, to celebrate the return of summer.

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into the woods )

Blessed Midsummer!
lizziebelle: (crow)
Not a lot has been happening around here lately. The weather has been pretty dismal, with lots of rain and grey, broody skies. This does not help my feeling of being overwhelmed by the world. I do try to get out of the house every day, but some days I fail at even that.

I did make it to the wildlife sanctuary last week, where I found lots of lovely pink lady's slipper orchids (though not nearly as many as I should have; I suspect people are picking them, as I found a lot of flower-less plants).

pink ladyslipper orchid

It was cool and green in the woods, with lots of birdsong and ferns.

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There's a red tailed hawk that's been hanging out atop the spire at the UU church downtown.

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I've seen it there several times. Must be a good lookout place for it.

These lovely little flowers have been popping up in our yard. I'm told they're called Star of Bethlehem.

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Speaking of hawks and backyards, my neighbors had to put a chicken run back in the trees because one hawk decided our backyard was an all-you-can-eat chicken buffet, and had killed several of the girls. No more chickens wandering around the yard, but I'm glad they're safe. And the guys bought a bunch of chicks, which are growing fast. They're so cute, and their little peeps make me smile. One of the hens is playing mother to them.

I went to see "Wonder Woman" the other day, and I liked it a lot. It's not perfect, but then what movie is? It was refreshing to see a strong female lead who was not just eye candy or assisting the men. I wouldn't bother to see it in 3D, though. It really didn't add anything to the experience. Save the four bucks for popcorn.

sproing

May. 18th, 2017 08:13 am
lizziebelle: (fox)
As usual, we've gone straight from cold to hot. Last week I was wearing hoodies, this week I'm digging for summer clothing and installing my a/c unit. It's supposed to hit 90° today. I got an air quality alert on my phone, even. Oy. At least it's supposed to cool down again by next week.

I went to the Arnold Arboretum the other day to enjoy the lilacs at their peak. A lot of other people had the same idea! They actually cancelled Lilac Sunday this year because the weather was rainy & windy; it didn't end up as stormy as forecast, but it still wouldn't have been a fun day for festivities.

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The lilacs were, as always, spectacular. I also took in the shrub & vine garden, and the bonsai collection. Bonsai! )

Even the birds love the lilacs.

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I'm glad I made it there before it got too hot out.

Beltane

May. 2nd, 2017 10:13 pm
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
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Beltane morning was cloudy and dreary, but it wasn't raining so I went to Cambridge to celebrate with the Morris dancers and friends. For some reason my phone didn't want to take pictures (I think it was too full of podcasts), and my camera doesn't take great pix in low light, so I didn't take too many photos. I did get a few of Justin and an anonymous fella, both dressed in cloaks and Green Man masks:

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I had wanted to go to Mount Auburn, but since it was chilly and cloudy, I decided instead to just go back home and take a nap.

In the afternoon, I walked down to the library to pick up a book they had on hold for me (Elizabeth Kostova's new one, SHADOW LAND). There were a lot of people and trucks around, due to the movie that's filming on Main Street this week. All I really know about it is that it (supposedly) stars David Spade, who may or may not have been there. His stunt double certainly was; one of the scenes they were shooting was him being thrown through the barber shop window. I didn't see anything happening, just a lot of people and cops hanging around in front of Vic's barber shop. I saw the catering truck down the street, and all the equipment trucks in the Elks Club parking lot. Today, most of it was gone.

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Exciting times in our little town. I'm more excited about the bagel shop that's opening soon.
lizziebelle: (artsy me)



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So many memories, so many friends.

April 2019

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