October 25th, 2010


Poem for Monday and Maryland State Parks

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We spent Sunday afternoon at parks and farms surrounding South Mountain in Frederick and Washington Counties. We had been debating either going to the science expo downtown on the National Mall or going to Mount Vernon's harvest festival, but we were at Mount Vernon a few weeks ago and will be on the National Mall next weekend for Stewart and Colbert's rally, so we figured this was our best chance to see the fall color in the mountains...plus Paul's parents said they'd meet us at Gambrill State Park to picnic, and we haven't seen them in several weeks. We walked around the summit of High Knob at Gambrill, where we saw many, many stinkbugs, particularly on the sunny side facing Middletown. Then we went to Washington Monument State Park, where the summit of South Mountain and the monument were absolutely covered with the freakin' bugs! We were amused when we stopped in Middletown -- there's a pretty craft store there called the Snallygaster, named for a local legendary monster -- to discover that one of the scarecrows on display on the town's street corners was designed as Munch's The Scream covered in stinkbugs.

Paul's parents had never been to South Mountain Creamery and we figured they might enjoy it, so we stopped there and everyone was pleased to discover that they now have eggnog available in their shop. We got ice cream and went to visit the calf barn, which still has a visiting sheep and a sow with piglets -- this time the piglets were awake and tried to eat Adam's shoes. One of the girls whose family works on the farm was in the barn and she let us see some of the chicks and pet one of the piglets. By then we knew that both the Redskins and Ravens had come from behind to beat the Bears and Bills respectively, in both cases because the opposing quarterbacks decided to throw the ball to the wrong team (the Redskins' DeAngelo Hall picked off Jay Cutler four times including a 90+ yard run for a touchdown), so we didn't feel compelled to rush home for sports, though my in-laws left to get back for the end of the New England game. The rest of us went to Gathland State Park as the sun was beginning to set, so the sky was beautiful and there were lots of colorful leaves visible through the arch and around the ruins of the barn.

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We had grilled cheese for dinner made from the cheddar, swiss, and colby we got at South Mountain Creamery, then watched the Green Bay-Minnesota game around Boardwalk Empire, which was too violent for my taste but I like how nonjudgmental it is of the choices women were often forced to make (I never expected the leading Temperance Union lady to pass on information about birth control to a woman living in circumstances other people are all too happy to use as an excuse to call her degrading names). I need someone to explain to me why it's fine for animal butcher Michael Vick to play for the Eagles but Brett Favre is in huge trouble for a bit of consensual dirty electronic interaction. With accused murderers in the NFL, I'm supposed to be upset about Favre's sex life? Give me a break!