Episode 91—November 18, 2017
People will go to great lengths to keep darkness at bay, including shifting time. Host Jennifer Ellsworth discusses the history, intent, and limitations of Daylight Saving Time. She also describes the dim after-effects of marijuana use, and reads a short story about a woman who wants to light up her life. It's called "Your Smile Signals the World."
"...Sixty monthly payments of $50 at 0% interest. Doreen’d made three and the world was opening up. She’d been the transfer station attendant for eight years. She was quick about it always, jawing on with Ivan, sure, about who took what from the swap shop, but stepping up to vehicles while they talked and flagging at the cars how much to back up to the dumpsters..."
Moon Astrology: New Snow Moon in Scorpio: self defense
A Benjamin Franklin brainstorm, moon landings, and the sound of silence.
Episode 90—October 19, 2017
The Astrological Sign Scorpio may not be warm and fuzzy, but its no-nonsense attitude is necessary in the 11th hour of winter preparations. Host Jennifer Ellsworth celebrates this often-maligned Sign. She also meditates on faithfulness in an essay about marriage and a short story about a man who appreciates options. It's called "Morning Smoke."
...“You sly dog.”
Frank’s eyelids quivered. “Excuse me?” he said.
Meghan clucked her tongue.
“Excuse moi-“ Frank slid a hand under the sheet toward Meghan’s breast. She caught his hand, brought it to her mouth, and bit him.
“What the hell!” Frank’s eyes shot open.
“I know you didn’t deserve that, but I feel better.”...
Moon Astrology: New Root Moon in Libra: fill the cellar
Loyalty in low places, stacked wood, and dreams come true.
Episode 89—September 20, 2017
This week welcomes Autumn, but trees have been showing seasonal changes all month. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explains the science of colorful fall foliage—how it is always there waiting to reveal itself when things slow down. She also describes the forty minute visit with her grandparents that is supposed to teach a lifetime of experience, and reads a short story about a farmer's thirteen minute lunch break called "Noon."
"...Alden shut off the tractor ignition and reached for his lunch sack, bungeed behind the seat. Bologna and mustard. Plus what was left of a potato chip bag. He’d meant to grab a cucumber off the counter this morning, they were just about done, but he’d forgot...."
Moon Astrology: New Hunters' Moon in Virgo: The hidden side says take a break.
Photosynthesis, fresh salsa, and a half million pair of wings rub together.
Episode 88—August 21, 2017
Happy total solar eclipse! This episode host Jennifer Ellsworth celebrates the awe inspired by this celestial event as we step outside and look up. She also applauds her old chorus director, David Stevenson of Mount View High School, and the magic he cast in his thirty years of service; and reads a short story about love, the most powerful force of all. It's called "Transcontinental Booty Call."
"...Bishop had driven out straight in just over three days, slept stretched out on picnic tables, eaten his cooler of peanut-butter-pickle sandwiches until Nebraska then switched to trail mix to tide him over, his body humming the whole time..."
Moon Astrology: New Moon in Leo: Last summer roar.
The whole Earth responds, patting a bird's head, crab rangoons.
Episode 87—July 23, 2017
Concern for our food's origins has become common. In honor of Lammas, the seed gathering holiday, host Jennifer Ellsworth considers the ultimate seed source: LUCA, our Last Universal Common Ancestor. She also shares examples of metaphoric seeds we exchange. This episode features work by singer songwriter Sara Trunzo from her album Thanks Birdie and "The Ama Story," a bedtime tale that may become planted in your mind, too.
"...When Ama was younger she lived overseas with Grandpa George. I can’t remember if it was in Thailand, or Singapore, or the Philippines. When she was there she volunteered at an Army base where soldiers went to recover from being in the Vietnam War...."
Moon Astrology: New Moon in Leo: roars and whispers.
Hydrothermal vent home, living a country song, and feeling human again.
Episode 86—June 23, 2017
The summer solstice brings the most light of the year, yet there are still things we cannot see. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explores the invisible 95% of the universe, Dark Matter. She also delves into Downtown Tattoo in New Orleans, Louisiana to hear about the secret history of a very public tattoo; and reads a short story called "Neighborly" where a young man runs into the rough past that he doesn't want to see.
"...Lawrence saw the old fucker immediately, standing alone at the end of the buffet table eating a hotdog. More grey, stooped in his shoulders and favoring his left knee, but still wearing green Dickies top and bottom, and that fool belt buckle, wide as a metal plaque outside a cemetery, engraved thus: Wanna see my lucky charms?..."
Moon Astrology: New Hay Moon in Cancer: Family ties bind.
Infinite energy out, the good son, and a starburst on the grill.
Episode 85—May 25, 2017
The gulf between What Is and What We Would Like is deep. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explores these depths in a meditation on expectation. She also shares how a local feud has changed her idea of forever, and reads part two of "Uncle Remy's Birthday Cake."
"...It was 1:02 when Mary scooted into the solarium at Tall Pines, out of breath, but with the birthday cake balanced on her forearm. Her phone had dinged in the car, 1:00 on the nose. Mona with a text message. Such prompt timing from her sister meant she would not be attending the party, so Mary ignored it and attempted to recover a few of the many minutes she had squandered this morning by long striding it across the parking lot..."
Moon Astrology: New Strawberry Moon in Gemini: welcome Summer.
Rotating bodies, hug dreams, and clams on the beach.
Episode 84—April 26, 2017
Dandelions are not top of the flower grace scale, yet host Jennifer Ellsworth believes they deserve the May Moon title. She also describes seeing a long lost friend who has not lost his saving grace, humor; and reads part one of a story about the graceless Nickerson sisters: Mary, Melissa, and Mona. It's called "Uncle Remy's Birthday Cake."
"...The man was nearly dead and the last of his generation: Mary’s grandfather’s retarded brother. Uncle Remy in Tall Pines. He liked strawberry cake with rainbow sprinkle frosting. Mary hadn’t seen the man since Bush 2 was in office, but since this was certainly Remy’s last spin around the sun, why not go big?..."
Moon Astrology: New Flower Moon in Taurus: smell earth.
Spring Soup, Spaulding Rehabilitation Center, and Old Sits With Flames.
Episode 83—March 27, 2017
The North Star, Polaris, has been guiding star for travelers for centuries. Host Jennifer Ellsworth offers an overview of this celestial compass point and explains how it won't be there forever. She also shares a poem about Sungold tomatoes from a man who doesn't write poetry anymore; and reads a story about Bets, our favorite waitress, and how she tries to locate a little magic in life. It's called "Playing At Witches."
'...“Are you really going?”
I nod. I had emailed a way out this morning: Hello, ladies. Looks like rain. Next weekend?
The responses came quick with no bites.
I don’t melt! See you at 6!
I love rain. Might be ten minutes late.
Rented movies for the girls already. 6:10 it is.
“Rugged women,” Steve says.
I nod again. “How do I look?”...'
Moon Astrology: New Milk Moon in Aries: Spring means begin.
Sky clock, a sneaky trap, and a spring blizzard.