Dark Moon, Snow Moon

The full moon of November, in various types of lore, is known as the Snow Moon and the Dark Moon. We are not yet at the full moon, but just now, leaning out the back door as the dogs patrolled the perimeter of the yard, I saw my breath hanging in the chilly night air, and I looked up and saw the brittle crescent of the moon balancing on the tree tops, and just for a second, I could taste the snow and the darkness.

It is not likely to snow here in Texas any time soon, of course, and yet, high above the trees, the crystalline cold exists, passing us by en route to a place where it will sit and rest, causing people to swap cotton t-shirts for flannel lounging pants, and making cozy firelit evenings a regular occurrence.

Almost, it is cold enough here for a fire, and indeed I can smell pine smoke in the neighborhood, but the weekend will bring temperatures approaching the eighties once more – probably for the last time this year.

I don’t mind the days that creep up on 80, linger there for a moment, and then slide back down to cooler temperatures, but I’m ready for something a little bit cooler, a little bit darker, a little bit more on the winter side of autumn than the summer side.

I won’t get the snow. But I’m ready for the Snow Moon.
We won’t get bitter black nights. But we are ready for the Dark Moon.

“Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than the daffodils” — Cyril Connolly


I’ve been thinking a lot about espresso machines lately. I used to have a DeLonghi machine, but it was a pain to use, and when I owned it I felt like I had to use it, instead of hitting cafes. I like going to cafes, you see. I like the mix of people, the funky music, the sound of the steaming milk as it makes froth and foam, the cheery clatter of cups and saucers.

However, I also like really strong coffee with pretty foam on top when I write, and without an espresso machine I can’t make one. We have a wet bar in the kitchen, and I’ve often fantasized about having a restaurant-quality machine hard-wired and hard-plumbed into that space.

It’s just a fantasy, of course, because we don’t have that kind of cash, and if we did, we’d be replacing carpets, putting in a hot tub, and rebuilding the front entry, but it’s fun to dream about such things. I try to justify it by reminding Fuzzy that he likes frothy hot chocolate, and that espresso machines of that caliber are also great for steaming scrambled eggs – nothing is fluffier, actually, then eggs done by steam injection.

Fuzzy brings me back from my fantasies with questions like, “So you wouldn’t have to go to Starbucks, then, right?”

Silly man.

(If you came here looking for my Thursday Thirteen post, it’s below. )

Thursday 13: 0711.15

Thirteen Things about MISS MELISS
Things that Begin with Z

  1. Zabaglione: An Italian dessert. A custard of eggs, mascarpone cheese, sugar and liquor, traditionally served with figs.
  2. Zebra: I was crazy about horses as a kid, and this extended to zebras. They look so magical, especially in video clips from watering holes.
  3. Zenobia: A Queen of Palmyra, she ruled after her husband’s death, was captured by the army of Aurelius, whom she so impressed that he freed her. Eventually she became a philosopher. I used her name for my very first MUSH character, ever.
  4. Zenzizenzizenzic: The eighth power of a number, and just totally fun to say, though less so to type. (A corruption of the Italian censo de censo.) No longer actually used as a word, excepts in lists like this one.
  5. Zephyr: A light refreshing wind, or gentle breeze. I love wind, and I love that different types of wind have names.
  6. Zest: Not the soap, though I remember bars of it in my grandparents’ bathroom when I was a kid. (I liked Ivory better, back then, because of the floating.) I like zest in it’s culinary sense – the outer rind of citrus before you reach the pith – it’s where the color and oils live – and for it’s use as a synonym for “enthusiasm” and “vigor.”
  7. Zingers: Witty, stinging remarks, or frightening Hostess snack cakes, either will do. In the latter, I’m partial to the pink ones (I think they’re supposed to be raspberry?) with coconut.
  8. Zinnias: One of my favorite kinds of flowers, they’re so colorful and vibrant.
  9. Zither: I have a thing for unconventional musical instruments. The zither is one of them – you play it sort of the same way you play a dulcimer (the kind you pluck/strum, not the kind you hammer.)
  10. Ziti: While the word specifically refers to the noodles, which are like overgrown macaroni, or really big penne, to me it also means the dish “baked ziti” which has long been a family favorite. I should make some. Maybe for Thanksgiving.
  11. Zippers: I had a pair of zipper earrings, I’ve had zippered shoes, and I love that my current every-day purse (a messenger bag from an import store) zippers beneath the flap. Zippers are just incredibly useful things.
  12. Zoetrope: Wiktionary says, “An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.” You know the spinning gray structure on the old Mr. Rogers show? Technically it was a sort of zoetrope.
  13. Zoo: When zoos are well done, you don’t feel like the animals are imprisoned as much as honestly protected and cared for. The Fort Worth Zoo is my current favorite, because you can get really close to the animals, and never feel like you’re looking through a fence.

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