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In honor of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s birthday, here’s him talking about “the most astounding fact.” But, of course, we of the Woodstock generation already knew that, because Joni told us. * Watch it in full screen.  The graphics are fabulous.

Fortunately, I was up early today, because at shortly after 8 a.m. this morning, the UPS guy plonged on the doorbell and left a box containing the six bowls I ordered from Amazon to replace the one that the white kitty broke the other day.  One of these bowls is one I already had; the other six are the new ones.  Can you tell which is the old one? (It’s the one at 12 o’clock). When you get right down to it, the little ganef actually did me a favor.  I’d been wanting more bowls like that since I got the original eight, which was all they had.  Now I’ve got twelve of them.  IMG_1049

I actually like how they’re all different patterns. They are exactly the right size that I can set a salad plate of my blue willow ware dishes on top of them for a lid when I put them in the microwave.  The “dishing” of the salad plate’s bottom fits just inside the bowl’s rim.  I have these dishes, except I have service for 12, my cups are shaped differently, and I have soup bowls, too, plus a coffee pot, tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, gravy boat, butter dish with cover, salt and pepper shakers, a round serving platter, an oval serving platter, 3 large serving bowls, a divided serving dish, and two covered vegetable casserole dishes.  I also have a set of tumblers and a set of footed goblets in a matching blue.  I come fully equipped.

My blue willow dishes are what we call “grocery store” dishes.  That particular chain of supermarkets had a “deal” on them. For every $10 you spent on groceries, you’d get a stamp. They had little cards you stuck the stamps on.  When you filled up the card with stamps you could buy a complete 5-piece place setting (dinner plate, salad plate, cup, saucer, and small bowl) for $2.99/£1.60/€2.05, which was a substantial savings over what you would pay if you just walked in the store and bought a place setting.  The store also sold the serving pieces, so you could buy whatever other pieces you wanted to fill out your service.  They’re Churchill China. I bought them about 20 years ago, but the pattern is still available.

In other news, we had a front come through last night and it was downright cold today — cold enough, in fact, that I went and got a lap robe.  Last night’s low was 35F/1.6C.  Today, we only got up to 65F/18C.  Yesterday’s high was 90F/32F.  Tomorrow we’ll start warming up and be back in the mid 80’s F/30’s C by Tuesday. If they haven’t started defoliating the cotton (we haven’t had a killing frost yet), they’ll start next week, providing the wind stays down.  Once they’ve defoliated it, they’ll start stripping it and ginning it.  The air will be full of cotton fuzz, leaf dust and gin trash liberally laced with defoliant, and my allergies will shift into high gear. They’ll usually be ginning until around the end of December.  Needless to say, October, November, and December are the three worst months of the year for my allergies.

Since we are now technically in the Halloween season, I thought I’d share these pictures that came across my Tumblr dashboard the other day, without attribution, I might add, so I have no idea where they’re from. Although they’re electric fiddles, somebody obviously put a lot of work into them and ought to get the recognition for it.

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* And so did David, Steven and Graham.

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