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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Merlin’s neck rags

Why is it that, though warm around-the-house winterwear is easy to find in the form of henleys and waffle-weave undershirts, nothing ever has a collar? Necks get cold. Sure, I have turtlenecks and even fleece neck-warmers that I keep in the Jeep. But the collarless winterwear needs a supplemental collar. The TV series Merlin (a […]

Into the Woods: the 10th anniversary

Tomorrow, July 18, will be the 10th anniversary of the Into the Woods blog. I started the blog while I was still living in San Francisco, more than a year before I actually moved to North Carolina. I hope you will indulge me for a moment for a few self-referential comments. • In the past […]

Watching the eclipse

This summer — August 21 — a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States. This is the chance of a lifetime to experience one of nature’s strangest events. Unless you’re inside a path that is about 70 miles wide, you won’t see as much. A partial eclipse is not nearly as […]

The Miracle of Dunkirk

The Miracle of Dunkirk, by Walter Lord. Published in the United States by Viking (1982) and in Great Britain by Allen Lane (1983). 324 pages. Last week, in a post about summer movies, I wrote about the movie “Dunkirk,” which is to be released on July 21 and which seems sure to become a summer […]

What the cat eats

I’m persnickety about what Lily the cat eats, and Lily is too. Though I know that some cat keepers and cat food authorities say that cats should not be on a diet of only dried food, cats may have their own opinions. Lily is very opinionated, and her opinion is that nothing will suit other […]

Up comes the drawbridge

My plan all along, regardless of the outcome of the election, was to pull up the abbey’s drawbridge the day after the election and go into literary mode. I’ll start writing Symphony in Ursa Major, book 3 of the Ursa Major series. Ken is here for the winter. He has a contract for his third […]

Next year, a total eclipse

Wikimedia — Click on map for higher resolution Next year, most of us in the U.S. will have a chance to see a total eclipse of the sun without traveling too far. The eclipse will be Aug. 21, 2017. Here’s a web site with all the details: I think I’ve already figured out where […]

Spider 1, stink bug 0

The spider in my window was having a stink bug for lunch. Way to go, spider.


When I was a young’un in the rural South, we called these doodlebug holes. There is much folklore about doodlebug holes. The version I learned as a child was, “Doodlebug, doodlebug, come out, your house is on fire.” A little Googling reveals doodlebug holes to be the sand pit traps of antlion larvae. As for […]

On letting grass go to seed (follow-up)

When I check the logs of this blog, one post that I find is frequently read (by people searching Google) is “On letting grass go to seed” from May 2009. I owe my readers a follow-up on that post. In May 2009, I was so busy finishing the building of the abbey that I didn’t […]