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Rainy day cheer

Well, we have entered the Big Dark. The Big Dim. The Big Wet. Late October and the first weeks of November are usually the wettest part of the NorthWET’s year, and the rainy season has arrived with a series of three storms strung between China and our doorstep.

Today the wind howls, small branches fall, mysterious knocks and crashes can be heard through the neighborhood, and rain blurs the windows.

But it’s not cold and I am cozy now that all Ava’s required walks are done for the day (Neither snow no sleet nor gloom of night shall stop Ava from expecting at least two miles a day.)

And there’s cheer! These arrived from used-bookseller DiscoverBooks:

Was anybody else a big fan of Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent series when they were a kid at whatever younger-than-now age applies? I devoured these things once upon a time. Then earlier this month I watched the 1962 Otto Preminger film and found it as classy as ever. Dated, but classy. Though Henry Fonda got top billing the real star and stealer of scenes was Charles Laughton (in his last film performance). Laughton played a cagey, crusty southern senator (based on John Stennis), determined to halt a key presidential cabinet nomination.

So I decided to indulge in the book series again. Not quite the whole series, unfortunately. The third novel, Capable of Honor was available only as an autographed copy, going for way more than the $3-4 I was willing to pay. So forget that. But the five will brighten the first dark weeks of winter.


And so will these:

Award-winning honey from the Molon Labe Apiary in the Great State of Jefferson.

This white honey won 1st place at the (Oregon, not Jefferson unfortunately) State Fair:

I think this red also placed high in the competition:

But without having opened either jar yet, this is my favorite part:

Honey from armed, dangerous, attitudinal freedomista bees! Thank you, JW and C.


  1. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 18, 2017 11:05 pm

    Does the season have anything to do with the color?

  2. fred
    fred October 19, 2017 12:08 am

    Larry,I think the color is related to the kind of nectar they harvest?

  3. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran October 19, 2017 2:21 am

    Been fortunate here in Western New York as we’re getting lots of sunny days with temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s, magnificent weather for Fall with the change of the colors!

  4. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas October 19, 2017 7:13 am

    Just noticed the first, briefest sputter from the kitchen faucet last night. Past seasons of experience say this gives me another few weeks of careful use before the pump has no more water to pull from the well, so come on fall rains!

    As it happens, I find myself living on a street named after the man scheduled to have become the first governor of the state of Jefferson, up until Pearl Harbor diverted that movement. Only first noticed this some weeks back and now see the same info in your Jefferson link.

    On the other hand, I’ve just failed, entirely, in finding any source for state of Jefferson honey, molon labe apiary, rogue river red, gold beach, or any combination of those terms or words, or any match with an image search. Can’t remember when otherwise that I’ve ever failed in a simple product search.

    Sure do remember those Drury books from back in teenage, or nearly-teen years. Was exciting to discover an author who was actually saying those things. May have to check that movie.

  5. Claire
    Claire October 19, 2017 7:29 am

    Firstdouglas — You’ve “failed” in your product search probably because this honey isn’t a commercial product. It’s just what a private party (and friend of this blog) has done with the honey from their home beehives. I have no idea whether they sell any of it.

    And I’m so glad somebody else was a Drury fan. I started reading Advise and Consent last night and found it as politically trenchant as ever. That book won (and deserved) a Pulitzer Prize, and it’s sad to think that today no such thing would even be possible for a “conservative” writer like Drury. And of course today’s “conservatives” aren’t Drury-like. (How many modern conservatives would write sympathetic gay characters into their novels, for instance? Yet there was Drury creating such characters when it was a controversial thing to do.)

    The movie is excellent for its day. The book is waaaaay deeper and more pithy.

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 19, 2017 8:36 am

    I’m afraid by 1959 I was already hooked on Costain, Burroughs, Heinlein, Besides, up until 1968 I was almost* apolitical.

    * I did wear a button for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but trying to impress a pretty girl was part of that story.

  7. MacGregor K Phillips
    MacGregor K Phillips October 19, 2017 8:47 am

    I read all of his books back in the day. Usually bought them the day they came out. Loved the series.

  8. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas October 19, 2017 8:50 am

    I also failed when I searched for Thomas Ingersoll More, but I didn’t get as obsessive about it as with the honey. There’s more good writing out there than I can keep up with day by day anyway. Was I the only one among your readers who didn’t recognize you in “his” writing?

  9. Claire
    Claire October 19, 2017 10:09 am

    I have no idea if anybody figured out that was me. I only hoped that a few people would notice that the author’s name was a combo of a saint (Thomas More) and a great skeptic (Robert Ingersoll) and grok that something was fishy about “his” identity.

  10. Claire
    Claire October 19, 2017 10:12 am

    “I read all of his books back in the day. Usually bought them the day they came out. Loved the series.”

    Ohgood. Glad to know it wasn’t just me — although I think I discovered them long after they were published. When the first one came out, I was still on the playground pretending to be a wild stallion.

    And Larryarnold, really, it is possible to like both Heinlein and Drury. But of course that whole “impressing the girls” business does tend to interfere …

  11. just waiting
    just waiting October 19, 2017 10:19 am

    We harvested the darker honey after the blackberry bloom. I’m not sure if it’s “official” blackberry honey, but the taste comes through.

    The light was a June harvest, after Cs’s garden, the apple and wildflower all bloomed. It’s the lightest we’ve ever gotten.

    We have a pristine stream that is the bees’ water source, and I think the water may have something to do with it.

    Claire, the bear is honey we pulled after we were smoked in for 2-3 weeks. Trying to come up with a name for that one.

  12. Claire
    Claire October 19, 2017 10:32 am

    Thank you for both the honey and the great info, JW. I see I’m not the only one who was curious.

    I meant to ask what the honey in the bear jar (not pictured) was. Smoked honey??? Weird. I’ll have to try that one ASAP and see if I can think of a name and if there’s much difference in honey produced after wildfires. But even if you come up with a great name, I doubt you’ll want to try that recipe again.

  13. ellendra
    ellendra October 20, 2017 8:56 am

    Call it “Smoking Guns”

  14. Claire
    Claire October 20, 2017 9:06 am

    That’s hilarious, ellendra! I emailed JW a few suggestions, but I like yours better than any of mine.

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