This is how I know Mr UD believes me when I tell him I’m traumatized by recent events.

I asked him to order for me on Instacart this combination:

Like a lot of traumatized people, I’m reverting to the foundational securities of childhood – a childhood in which my mother basically cooked one dinner – spaghetti – and set out one lunch – a lukewarm Hebrew National hotdog, with French’s Classic Yellow mustard, inside a tasteless white bun.

Under normal circumstances, I would never ask Mr UD to order this for me, to have it in the house, to watch me eat it.

I mean, he would refuse to order it; and if I smuggled it in and he saw me eating it, he’d flee the room.

But when, out of a deep well of need, I – seemingly casual, but trembling inside – asked him to add these things to our grocery list, he unhesitatingly, with a profound and humane expression on his face, did so.

Fox Tracks in Frozen Mud…
…along one of UD’s backyard paths.
Veteran UD Readers Know…

… that for decades every December UD has grabbed a Quiet Car at Union Station and taken the long scenic ride to Boston for a Polish Christmas. This year she’s home in ‘thesda with a small celebratory crew; and as is typical of ol’ UD, she’s happy with this, as she was happy with Boston. There’s an interest in ordering a small same day delivery treeish plant that sits on the dining table surrounded by gifts. The topiary bulls grazing outside in pachysandra (they honor Munro Leaf — author of Ferdinand — the last owner of our house) sport silver lights. The clear night skies have been blasting out, again and again, with meteor showers and conjunctions; yesterday’s sunny morning featured multiple contrails in formation. She prefers all of this to Boston’s blizzards.

A ce moment la (9:30 AM Dec. 24), nature has boiled up a wet and moody brew, and UD is happy with this. Why not. You want something expressive with your Christmas Eve dinner, and in a few hours smoky logs will heighten the gloom … Of course UD – knowing the forecast – should have gathered logs yesterday and kept them under cover blah blah blah, but UD is way non-Girl Scout. She will do her best with her Duraflame firestarter and other random kindling.

In two days Les UDs drive to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – the summer White House – for their annual Atlantic New Year. As ever, blogging will continue.

UD’s Old Friend and Neighbor, Neelam…

… a scientist at NIH, gets her covid vaccination with other front line workers. With Fauci attending.

Shooting on a Metro Train Near UD’s House

So far there’s little information, but what we have is intriguing. At around seven this morning, an FBI agent shot another person multiple times on a train at the Medical Center station (this is basically the highly sensitive location of the National Institutes of Health).

Les UDs are of course speculating as to the details.

I’m gonna guess, said UD, that this has nothing to do with his (let’s assume his) being an FBI agent, except for the fact that it means he was carrying a gun (who isn’t?). I’m gonna guess it was domestic – a fight with another guy over a woman?

It’s always possible he was threatened by a crazy fellow passenger, and instead of changing cars as the rest of us would do he decided to unload on him. Or he saw someone threatening someone else… But anyway, I’m going to go with something in his private life.

View from UD’s front door, Electoral College Monday, 4:00 PM.
Train Tracks in Fog.

You get there by walking to the end of UD‘s property. From the edge, and down the ravine, the land is owned by CSX.

‘The West Hollywood home has a glass-bottomed pool which sits above an identical pool underneath, so swimmers can look up at others swimming above.’

A spec megamansion listed for $55 million, currently in bankruptcy, boasts this original feature.

UD read its description aloud to Mr UD. He was lying in bed gazing at the beautiful early morning sunlight on the garden. He did not respond.

“Thoughts?” UD prompted.

“Trying to picture it,” he said.

“Yes. Also took me a moment.”



“No what?”

“No I don’t want it,” said Mr UD. “Why would I want to look up at people swimming above me?”

“What if they were naked? We’re probably talking skinny dipping here.”




But UD’s thoughts had moved on. A Simon and Garfunkel tune, slightly altered, wafted through her mind.

And the dangling genitalia

And the superficial sighs

The borders of our lives…

Old thick tree bark with a hole in it.
Woodpecker? Found in my woods and photographed on top of an outdoor mat that UD found at the long-uninhabited property next door. She brought it back to useful life.

Although it’s arguable that NO ONE IN THE WORLD is less like Martha Stewart…

… than your blogueuse, every now and then she becomes oddly inspired and does something like this.

That is, she goes next door to the long-empty Dubinskis house (both Mr and Mrs D have died, and no one has yet put the place on the market) and cuts a few Debutante Camellia flowers off of a bush in the front yard. These amazing late blooms are hidden from everyone, and there’s no one in the house to look out the window and appreciate them, and UD‘s old friend Bennett visited this afternoon as he always does on his Sunday bike ride, and it’s his birthday, so UD wanted to do something special for him. She made Mariage Freres Marco Polo iced tea, lit a candle, and floated the flowers in a very old, attractively distressed, glass bowl UD inherited from her parents. Bennett brought, as he always does, the Black and White cookies we both like (I only like the white, he the black), and we made a little party of it.
A picture of my garden that…

… looks like a nineteenth century landscape painting. Like the other garden photo a couple of posts down, this was taken early on this late autumn morning, with the sun already up and doing its thing.

It all made me think of the poem “Sunlight on the Garden.”

Early morning December sunlight on…

UD‘s garden, after a night of wind and rain.

‘Well the frost is on the pumpkin / And the hay is in the barn…’

UD‘s sunny garden, 9:00 AM, after the first frost of the season.

The post’s title is from James Taylor’s Walking Man – a song which for almost fifty years has been playing in my head.
Yesterday would have been Wojciech Fangor’s 97th Birthday.

An old friend of the Soltan family, he was a significant but not immensely significant artist until his last decade, when Les UDs began to panic as their six Fangor paintings became so valuable we had to make a decision: Handle and secure them properly or sell most of them. We kept this one

La Kid, With a Dog…

… looking fetching. And wearing, of course, a Rehoboth Beach sweatshirt.

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