A Dysfunctional Life in the Sticks
FEBRUARY 15, 2014 3:46PM

What's Going On Here???

I realize I've been away for a long while, and some of the changes are great (the spammers are gone, and I almost feel bereft, there is such a gigantic hole).  


But why are all the cover posts from last fall?  Have we been left adrift on an ice… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2014 1:36PM

The Apocalypse Version of "Stand By Me"





 I don't know how the hell this happened, but I'm just going to tiptoe away.  It took fifteen tries, and I'm not deleting the redundant copy, because I'm afraid.  

 I will not blither about this as I don't think it wants me to.  Su… Read full post »


 I used to be able to do this.  I'm not sure very many of you were enlightened by this ability.  More were probably less than thrilled.  But maybe some of those people have gone away.  
Please, someone tell me the steps to embed a you tube video.  Do… Read full post »

In my long life in Vermont, Winooski has always been the backwater rube sibling of Burlington next door.  The idea that it could ever be anything but seemed ridiculous.  There were stabs at gentrification from the 80s on, but really, Winooski (meaning wild onions, that grew along the river)… Read full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2011 8:58AM

Seventeen Pounds of Fruitcake - Part 2

In case you didn't believe me about the seventeen pounds - ecco!



Okay maybe not exactly seventeen pounds, because you have to subtract the weight of the aluminum canning pot, but close enough.



Here is the glorious batter.  That pan is… Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2011 11:21AM

Seventeen Pounds of Fruitcake - Part 1

I am making fruitcake today, for the first time in my life, after much initial preparation.  I made my own candied lemon and orange rind, I searched out organic figs, and begged a real nutmeg from my neighbor.  I even found a bottle of Lyle's Golden Syrup at  my village store. … Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2011 1:56PM

Funeral Pie for Bellwether Vance

No, no, no - she hasn't died, thank god.  But she expressed interest in this northeastern U.S. specialty, and I feel I must post the recipe as tiny iota of gratitude for all the entertainment and wonderful recipes she provides. 

Funeral pie is a raisin pie.  I expect it came… Read full post »

OCTOBER 22, 2011 9:14AM

God Takes Up Beekeeping

Well, I'm sure some of you reading this are thinking mumbletypeg has gone over the edge. I've never engaged in a protracted OS skirmish with anyone. It's pointless, I know. But there's something about this one that irks me more than usual, and I'm quite sure that it's… Read full post »

Remember how long it took for Coca-Cola to figure out New Coke was kind of stupid?

 Human beings really are capable of learning.   Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix,  sent me an e-mail explaining their new "improved" system of dividing streaming from dvds into separate accounts on Septembe… Read full post »

OCTOBER 8, 2011 11:48AM

OS Hate Mail

So while we wait for Kerry Lauerman to lead us to the promised land of wordpress, here's something I'm wondering about.

Last week, someone whom I respect immensely, for many many qualities involving their art and writing, told me they agreed with my vitriolic post… Read full post »

Yay, me.

Yeah, I should probably ignore this because it will go nowhere good, but I can't resist pointing out that LK Walker, OS author of stunning paeans to her connections with nature and death, protests my anti-social plotting not on OS, but on her own little site, safe away… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 7:18AM

OS Sinks to New Levels

I've been around here for three years, and I've seen a lot of amazing crap pass across the “front page.” I don't think Thomas or Judy or Emily chose this crap for the stellar writing, but because it was intriguingly horrid. Hell, I know my own EPs often came/… Read full post »

Fresh from my new free word-processing program.  Thank you OpenOffice,and while I don't exactly wish a pox on Bill Gates, I wouldn't mind if he got a bad rash.

Poverty Personal Hygiene

First off, if you're not poor yet, go out and stock up on toothpaste and toilet paper.… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 2:04PM

How To Be Poor: Cleaning I

My computer died a few weeks ago, and although I have a new computer, many things have happened in the eight years since I last bought one.  To wit - I have no word processing program, unless I spend an outrageous sum further enriching Bill Gates.  I already spent the whole… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2011 7:32AM

I is for Irony

The rain started several hours ago, as a gentle pitter-pat.  Now it's pouring, but the wind hasn't started up yet.

 Vermont doesn't get many hurricanes.  Once, long ago, my father made us come outside one night in wind and rain because you could smell salt air, blowing in from the… Read full post »

Life on Food Stamps I       November 20, 2008

I used my food stamp card today for the second time.   The first time was a month ago, when the sun was still shining, and an early snow hadn't beaten down the goldenrod to blackness in my field, and my… Read full post »

JULY 9, 2011 6:44AM

12 Hours of Open Salon

Between 6:30 p.m. yesterday and 6:30 a.m. EDT today, July 9, 2011, out of the 200 posts visible on the most recent list, 78  (seventy-eight) are for the same streaming rugby game, Reds vs. Crusaders.  More  are coming in as I type.

I'm starting to think our spam cops should cease… Read full post »

This should probably be a series, there are so many adventures to being poor.  My latest ones, this week, are extra special, not that they all aren't, but it's been a particularly wicked winter. 

And winter in Vermont this year has been clinging on hard, with temperatures… Read full post »

MARCH 25, 2011 3:11PM

The Good Old Days at Open Salon: Pft

We’re at a point in the cycle of OS tides where it seems like a lot of reminiscences about the days when OS was the Algonquin Round Table keep washing up on our plastic-strewn beach.  Maybe it was, and maybe my memory is wrong.  Too bad.  I’m in my sixth day… Read full post »

Today.  Of course, because it finally involves ME, moi-même.  Petty petty petty.  Yes, I’m being petty. And normally I would not lower myself to scrabble around in the OS dirt this way, but I’m in a really bad mood to start with, so what the hell.  The furnace is… Read full post »

It’s getting disturbing how things I could swear happened the day before yesterday are turning out now to be located way far back in the mists of time.  So I almost welcome finding clues that things have indeed changed in the few blinks it took me to get to old age. Read full post »

MARCH 1, 2011 8:04AM

Instant Pizza! (nearly)

One of the things I miss about being middle class is the ability to obtain a pizza when you suddenly want one right now.  This is not possible on a poverty budget, unless you’re willing to give up something else – say, electricity.  Pizza made by others is frivolous and unafford… Read full post »

Choses nouvelles?  Nouvelle choses? 

In the dull life of February Dogpatch, I didn't think I could come up with five new things, but voila!





Kitchen King Masala:  I am a horrible snob about curry powders and pastes.  I have none, and won't buy them.&nb… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2011 6:12AM

Punny Valentines


I love a good bad pun, but even I wince at some of the stuff the greeting card industry has put out in the name of St. Valentine.  Once, a grade-school rite of February was acquiring a book full of these groaners on punch-out valentines, which you then had to… Read full post »