Respite Open Thread: I Was TOLD There Would Be Tea And Honey

Bear on hotel balcony

Photo by Deborah Roberston at Mount Washington Hotel NH

Bear just waiting for his party to arrive for tea and honey on the balcony.

Here’s video of what happens at my house when I’m late letting the ducks out in the morning:

And this made my afternoon – Manta Ray asking for help

I am taking a serious break, but did want to offer you some respite. I have started an anger journal – it has been so cathartic. Y’all can have your gratitude journals, I need somewhere to put all this anger so I’m not dumping it on some innocent bystander. It’s surprising how well it actually works. LOL

I hope everyone in the path of Barry is safe and hunkered down.

I’m off to mow the lawn and make sure everything is good and watered before the heat today. Cute Penelope Pearl story – I was outside in the lounge chair reading and she came over and settled down next to me so I could pet her while I read. So freakin’ adorable. I’ve had quite a few ducks, none so puppy like.

What’s everyone else up to today?

Respite open thread

82 replies
  1. 1
    Miss Bianca says:

    Army of Duckness!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  2. 2
    Steeplejack says:

    Yesterday I found this site, Reelgood, that appears to be a good one-stop reference to where stuff is available for streaming.

    Ignore the sales pitch; just use the search function to look for shows.

  3. 3

    I think BJ might be my anger journal.

  4. 4
    frosty says:

    We stopped at the Mt Washington for dinner about this time last year. When we found out we could order small plates on the veranda there was no other choice. Good food, great view, the bear picked well!

  5. 5
    MomSense says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    Ha! Same here. I should probably take up boxing.

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    Was just thinking I need to step back — my entire life feels like an anger journal lately! I’m in the perfect setting to change my ‘tude; spending this weekend at the beach for a family birthday celebration. The kids and I are in charge of the cake.

  7. 7
    Steeplejack says:

    No spoilers, but I’ll just say that the Wimbledon women’s final is over already.

  8. 8

    Interesting article at Kos on Detroit using tiny homes in the Cass Corridor to create affordable housing for poor people.

  9. 9
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Which beach? When I lived in Mobile and Atlanta we always ended up around Pensacola or Appalachicola.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Looking at this map, I don’t think NOLA will be out of the woods in so far as flooding is concerned for at least a week. That’s a whole lot of water falling in the lower Mississippi water shed.

  11. 11
    ixnay says:

    Mr. ixnay played piano at the Mt. Washington for years. We know that veranda well, and have received that photo from many friends. Yes, great view.


    Grateful manta ray!

    Thank you, TaMara.

  12. 12
    Ohio Mom says:

    Ohio Family is taking a quick respite weekend in northeast Ohio. Drove up to Amish country last night, now eating a typical mediocre Amish breakfast (big servings of carbs).

    We’ll take the scenic route to Akron where our main destination is the History of Psychology museum at the University. Their collection includes Milgram’s pain meter and movies of Freud.

    Also on our itinerary is looking for the Goodyear blimp and a few other odds and ends.

    Then back to Cincinnati in time for bed.

  13. 13

    Hmmm – I guess I am really taking a break. Twitter has banned me! LOL. I can’t even imagine what for – I rarely tweet. No loss.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Steeplejack: Redington. I didn’t know you lived in Mobile at one time! My paternal grandparents lived in a nearby hamlet, so I know it well.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Have fun.

  16. 16

    The Obama bros did a fun half hour podcast with Megan Rapinoe this week.

  17. 17
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Long time ago—’72-79. Haven’t been down there in almost 20 years.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: Send pics of the cake!

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: How about your son’s apartment?

  20. 20
    smintheus says:

    A few weeks ago I encountered a large bear in my parents’ driveway in New Hampshire. At a distance it appeared to be a very large dog sniffing at something, so I walked toward it. When it saw me it stood up at full height – which was very tall – and eyed me calmly for a few seconds before slowly turning away and scampering into the woods. It it had been a race back to the house, I don’t know which of us would have won.

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Army of Duckness!

    Alfred Hitchcock’s The Waterbirds.

  22. 22

    @smintheus: Wow! My niece is coming for her annual hiking adventure vacation – and I swear, all we want is a bear and/or moose sighting, but the most we get is a chipmunk. I am a constant disappointment to her. LOL

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: So far so good. He talked to one of his neighbors who’s lived in NOLA all his life and Ronald said, “This ain’t shit.” NOLA skirted the direct hit but It’s wait and see time now with the river.

  24. 24
    Narya says:

    It’s my birthday—I’m “running” a 5k and drinking beer and having venison cheese steaks for dinner. And then another 5k tomorrow (it’s a series; I get a beer at the end of all of them).

  25. 25
    smintheus says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I’m always worried when walking in the woods that I’ll run into a mother bear with cubs. There seem to be a lot of bear, not many moose. About 20 years ago as we all sat on the back porch a bear cub showed up and played for nearly an hour on the rocks about 10 yards away. It was playing hide and seek or something, dashing behind shrubs or little saplings and peeking at us to see if we noticed it. Its mother just lolled on the lawn a short distance away, as if the cub did this all the time at people’s houses.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    If it had been a race back to the house, I don’t know which of us would have won.

    The bear.

  27. 27
    RepubAnon says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    There’s a horror movie about killer sheep roaming New Zealand. “Night of the Lepus” was about killer rabbits. Perhaps someone should make “Army of Duckness” – maybe Bruce Campbell’s available.

    Babylon 5 comes to mind as well:

    Londo: “This is like being nibbled to death by – what are those Earth animals – white feathers, round bills, go ‘quack’?”
    Vir: “Cats”
    Londo: “This is like being nibbled to death – by cats…”

  28. 28
    noncarborundum says:

    Sorry to intrude with blog mechanics, but is “Contact a Front Pager” broken? I wanted to tell Cheryl Rofer that I have pictures of the Lights for Liberty vigil last night in Lexington, MA, but not only haven’t I heard back, it’s been more than 10 hours and the automatic confirmation email I was supposed to get hasn’t arrived either. I checked the email address I supplied and it’s correct.

    *Edited: its been > 10 hours, not > 12

  29. 29
    smintheus says:

    @Narya: Happy birthday! Speaking of venison, we have the cutest little dappled fawn bedding down in shrubs in our yard sometimes as close as 10 ft. behind our house. It’s barely old enough to be mildly concerned when we walk past. It must be an orphan.

  30. 30
    smintheus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s what I was thinking as I took my last step toward the dog creature rising up out of the hay.

  31. 31
    debbie says:


    Yelling at radios no longer holds its allure? //

  32. 32
    Eunicecycle says:

    @Ohio Mom: I live in Amish country and I agree about the food. When I first moved here 40 years ago everyone raved about the food. I was kind of disappointed to find out it was food like my mom made. Comfort food basically. Visitors still want to go to an Amish restaurant though! Also I got my MA in psychology at UA but have never been to the museum.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @smintheus: Does quite often leave their fawns alone all day while they are off doing adult deer activities. Chances are this one is just fine but still too young to keep up with Mama all day/night long. Mama will be back.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @smintheus: I have a very funny story about a late moonless night race with a “bear” back to my cabin when I was at the Lake of the Woods. When I got back to the cabin I knew it hadn’t been a bear because I was still alive. Turned out what I heard rooting and growling behind the outhouse I had been using was the 13 year old arthritic golden lab we had on the island. And I still damned near turned and ran when her red eyes blinked at me in the beam of my flashlight. The only thing that stopped me was her golden fur.

  35. 35

    @noncarborundum: I’ve emailed you.

    OMG, they all went into my spam folder. There’s a bunch. I’ll get to it.

  36. 36
    delk says:

    I’m hoping not to break my hip by dancing on the grave of William E. Dannemeyer. Oh, what the fuck, my hip needs replacing anyway.

  37. 37
    smintheus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes I realize that. There are many deer in these woods and they pass through our orchard with fawns frequently. But none have ever bedded their fawns remotely this close to our house.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack says:


  39. 39
    smintheus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In my youth when we had a cabin on a mountain in NH I used to be petrified of going to the outhouse at night, just on principle.

  40. 40
    Eunicecycle says:

    @smintheus: It’s mother is probably close by. My daughter had a little fawn in her backyard almost every day for several weeks. The mother always came back.

  41. 41
    smintheus says:

    @delk: No scum like a convert. He started out as a Democrat.

  42. 42
    smintheus says:

    @Eunicecycle: I’m hoping, the poor little dear.

  43. 43
    jeffreyw says:

    @TaMara (HFG): It might be that they think the author is spamming the kitchen MsT.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    MoxieM says:

    @Ohio Mom: I can’t think good thoughts about the Amish now that I know they operate some of the biggest and worst puppy mills. Turns my stomach. It’s horrific. I just don’t understand…

    More cheerfully, are we sure that’s a bear up on Mt Washington, or just a big black fly? /jk. It’s a gorgeous photo.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steeplejack: Let me guess. Megan Rapinoe in straight sets?

  47. 47
    West of the Rockies says:

    Thank you for a fun post, TaMara.

    I know about feeling anger. Besides all things Trump, my town has grown by about 20,000 since the Paradise Camp Fire. Everything is more difficult, slower, congested. The way people claim social space now annoys me. I don’t journal, but I sometimes find a private place to talk out loud and let shit go. It helps.

  48. 48
    smintheus says:

    @MoxieM: The Amish are all about making money. Some of them happen to be good people.

  49. 49
    Juice Box says:

    We lost our old girl three weeks ago. The plan was to wait until fall for a new dog, preferably an adult female. So, we’re going to interview a male puppy tomorrow. Yeah, right. You know who’s coming home tomorrow. We need to choose a name.

  50. 50

    @Juice Box: And of course you’ll send me photos so I can show off your newest family member to the jackals, right?? Almost my entire crew is testament to the fact you cannot replace a beloved lost pet, but another one sure helps the heart heal.

  51. 51
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Miss Bianca: Thanks for the laugh.

  52. 52
    sigyn says:

    @smintheus: “It must be an orphan.”

    No. No it. is. not. Or was that sarcasm?

  53. 53
    smintheus says:

    @sigyn: It is around a lot, grazing as well as bedded down, and a mother has never been sighted. We get a lot of orphans here because there are several deer trails on our property that cross the road and deer strikes are common.

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    That little girl was my grandmother. She had a phobia about anything with feathers. You would never find a feather, a picture of a feather, or anything that remotely resembled a feather anywhere in her house. My grandfather build the house and you needed to go up a small flight of stairs to enter the house, and the landing at the bottom at the front door also led down to the basement (which he dug – with a shovel – after the house was built). Anyway he would tell the story of how she was trapped in the basement for hours one day when a duckling had made its way in through the open door, jumped onto one of the basement stairs and then couldn’t get back up to get out. It was a proper standoff – a duckling that couldn’t leave and my grandmother that couldn’t confront the duckling. A few hours later my grandfather returned from the store or wherever he was and rescued the duckling and then my grandmother.

  55. 55
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Did anyone else wake up this morning with Smelly Cat from Friends playing in their head?

    Just me? Ok.

  56. 56
    Martin says:

    @smintheus: Probably not, actually. Mama deer usually find a safe place for their fawn – in some bushes, etc. and they stay there all day while mom goes off to feed. The fawn will just stay put and get used to the pattern of activity around them. She’ll return at sunset and pick the fawn up. That’s normal.

  57. 57
    RAVEN says:

    I got a good deal of input on my fish accident this morning. I smells ok, looks ok and some even still has some ice on it. I threw it out.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MoxieM: The fact that they seem quaint doesn’t mean they are any more or less decent than anyone else.

  59. 59
    prostratedragon says:

    I’m enjoying Moonbound, which I think I saw recommended here at this blog — thanks!

  60. 60
    Catherine D. says:

    My good deed for the day was transporting my neighbor’s vintage dining chairs from the antique-ish store. We got all eight into Henrietta the Element. Seven in the back and one upside down on the passenger seat.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    BJ isn’t my anger journal. It’s the place where I can read about why I’m so angry. Where I can write some fluff and some angles on what I see. My blog was my anger journal and one of the keys to getting me here in the first place. BJ is the place that justifies my anger journal. The place that brings out not only the anger but the solidarity in fighting the cause of that anger. We see we can fight together, work together, support each other, our strengths support others weaknesses and vis versa. We can bond against the very common enemy from our differing directions. It is both scary and relieving at the same time. It allows those who have a current real need to focus upon themselves and still be, if only tangentially, involved. I know it’s working because most of us have to take breaks from the madness every so often, myself included, but we come back and check in.

  62. 62
    debbie says:


    Can you get some kind of sensor that will sound an alarm when the power goes off down there?

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    She’s the greatest of all time! Now she’s got to get back to the Tour de France.

  64. 64
    RAVEN says:

    @debbie: I’m just going to switch the GFI out.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    @Juice Box:
    Sorry for your loss 😢
    Hope that the search for a new family member goes well 🤗

  66. 66
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Steeplejack: Haha. Soccer, tennis and cycling. Rapinoe is kicking ass in a very unique triathlon.

  67. 67
    MomSense says:



  68. 68
    bemused says:


    We have a family cabin on a northern MN lake. Years (decades) ago a neighbor would take his very early morning constitutional in the outhouse and leave the door open as it was quite private. I actually think he wasn’t all that worried about having privacy from humans but he was pretty startled when a curious bear appeared in the door way to take a look. Bear seemed to be just as surprised and walked away.

  69. 69
    opiejeanne says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I don’t want to see a bear. I never want to see a bear. I’ve seen a bear pretty close up and Do Not Want. I’m afraid I’ll end like the woman in the Sylvia Plath story, the 23rd bear (or something).

  70. 70
    opiejeanne says:

    @bemused: I’m curious. why don’t people use a gazunder at night and empty it into the outhouse in the morning?

    We just sold our cabin in the San Bernardino Naitonal Forest. Bears were a constant worry because the smell of food in our little canyon was so overwhelming at times when there was nothing for the bears to eat. We stopped walking home from the Blue Jay Cinema after a little scare with a bear, which turned out to not be a bear.

  71. 71
    bemused says:


    Ewww. I suppose if bears were a constant worry, that would be a sensible option but cabin outhouses are vastly outnumbered by indoor toilets today. Bears up in the not very populated north country aren’t usually a problem. They have plenty to eat in the all the forests. We do watch out for them when we pick blueberries especially if it’s cub season. I remember only seeing one bear in our yard since 1973 although we know they are around on our 60 acre property.

  72. 72
    Betty says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Happened to me once. Very arbitrary. Couldn’t see what rule I had broken. Considering some of the things I see there, it’s a puzzle.

  73. 73
    Ixnay says:

    Mr. Ixnay here. I was an indentured musician there for almost 20 years. Lovely Steinway in the dining room, in need of a bit of work now. The bass player points out that 6 laps of the Veranda is one mile. What had been a 2-7 piece band playing Standards, jazz tunes, dance styles is now gone, a victim of modern hotel management pea brains. Fuck omni.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Fuck omni.


  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    So I had my sleep study/CPAP titration last night. If they put me through more than 3 sleep cycles, I would be astounded, because I went to bed around 11 pm and they were scooting me out the door by 5:30 am. As promised, they woke me up after a monitored but un-CPAPed sleep cycle and hooked me up to the machine. It was a little freaky to not be able to exhale as deeply as I wanted to and the tech said it took me about an hour to fall asleep with the CPAP on. I did sleep pretty well once I finally fell asleep, though.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @Ohio Mom

    Damn, now I have a craving for scrapple.

  77. 77

    @Mnemosyne: It’ll get easier to tolerate the mask over time. Also, there’s a variety of masks/nasals available, so it one isn’t working out, ask to try another one.

    FWIW, a lot of us apnics clench our jaws when we sleep as a way to stop mouth breathing (and improve keeping the airway open). Unfortunately, the muscle memory continues doing it after getting a CPAP. If you’ve had issues with this, ask them for a head strap as well, since it’ll hold your jaw closed.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    Oh, I definitely clench my teeth at night — my dentist gave me a mouth guard for that years ago after two root canals that were related to stress-related clenching (one side for my father in law’s funeral, the other side for my father’s funeral). Now I’m at the point where I can’t sleep without it.

    I also felt a bit like my asthma was triggered, but the tech may have turned the humidity up a little too high. Apparently the ideal for asthmatics is between 35 and 50 percent humidity — higher or lower can trigger an asthma reaction. And cooler humidity is allegedly better, too.

    I used a nasal pillow mask and it wasn’t terrible, so I’m hoping to be able to get one of those. I want to see the report to see if I was sleeping with my mouth open even with the mask on.

    I’m pretty sure I want the lady CPAP machine from ResMed. 👩🏻‍🦳 Seriously, their “for her” machine has an additional algorithm that other makers don’t seem to offer, so people from all genders seem to be trying it since it’s more adjustable. It will partly depend on what my insurance is willing to spring for, but this is what flexible spending accounts are for if they balk.

  79. 79
    J R in WV says:


    Years (decades) ago a neighbor would take his very early morning constitutional in the outhouse and leave the door open as it was quite private. I actually think he wasn’t all that worried about having privacy from humans but he was pretty startled when a curious bear appeared in the door way to take a look.

    That would scare the…. never mind!! ;-)

  80. 80
    OldDave says:


    So I had my sleep study/CPAP titration last night. … I used a nasal pillow mask and it wasn’t terrible

    Do they still do the full tilt sleep studies – wired for EKG, EEG, legs (for RLS), and a chest cuff? My first study nearly 30 years ago they also did an arterial blood gas test. Once is enough for those, thank you very much.

    I never could handle the nasal pillows – it felt like my nose was doing a Dizzy Gillespie. If it works for you, great! Just didn’t work for me, so I have a standard nasal mask. A coworker couldn’t switch from mouth breathing – he has a full face mask.

    Best of luck!

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yep, it took about an hour to get me completely wired up. I’m assuming the blood gas thing would require a needle and there were no needles, so I probably didn’t get that. They were able to bundle everything up behind my back/above my head so I could sleep however I preferred. I did get scolded for the way I sleep on my stomach (I apparently had the pillow jammed against my throat), but I do think my position was a little distorted because of the equipment.

    I think the nasal pillow mask would be okay with smaller cushions — my poor nostrils are feeling a little overstretched today. And it sounds like the machine I’m interested in isn’t a true BiPAP but does have some ability to automatically reduce the pressure on exhale, which was the one thing that kind of freaked me out about the machine they used.

    But the tech seemed pretty happy with the titration results this morning, so hopefully I will continue to be average and uncomplicated. 🤞

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    This is the CPAP machine I have my eye on, insurance company and/or flex account willing:

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