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.
Episode 82—February 26, 2017
Who's your Daddy? Host Jennifer Ellsworth explores the science of genes and what happens when energies merge. She also shares an interview with Michelle Moschkau who describes a long distance connection made via a cell phone number; and reads part one of "Baby," a short story about the end of the 23rd chromosome.
'...“Where are we going?” Kaleb asked.
“Equinox party—” Julie muttered. She was stuck, with a towel-wrapped Pyrex wedged between her breasts and the steering wheel. She’d charged from the house through the rain, not wanting to wear a hat. She had tried a new part following her shower—sloughing her bangs left, not divided down the middle—and had a moment of such sexy feeling she’d gooped it in place...'
Moon Astrology: New Egg Moon in Pisces: Daydream believer.
Gaia and Kronos, meditation question, and a quiet car.
Episode 81—February 10, 2017
The Fire Rooster is this year's Chinese New Year animal, and we cannot ignore his crow. Host Jennifer Ellsworth enumerates his traits that we should adopt to succeed this year. She also profiles a couple that lives the change they wish to see in the world, and reads a short story about a woman following doctor's orders and transforming her life. It's called "Executive Order."
"...Isn’t this worse?
I’ll do it because that’s how I am, but imagine if this was the prescription for the whole country? Ignore the media and eat red meat. Oh wait, it is! Is it possible Dr. Liz is one of them? Perhaps her chakra poster peppered walls are a ploy to make me accept her and her advice: ignore the media and eat red meat!..."
Moon Astrology: Full Sap Moon in Leo: Illuminate.
Healthy, happy hens; sugar shack time; and dressed burgers.
Episode 80—January 27, 2017
Can dreams tell the future? What happens when we die? Host Jennifer Ellsworth explores some of Life's mysteries with Joe Asciello as he recounts a boating accident he saw coming. She'll also share the outline for a tough talk with her children and a poem about a sweet farewell with her grandmother. It's called "The View of Planet Earth From Room 216."
"...In her delirium Grandma shops at the open market.
'They’ve got sausages drying,' she gestures
to the fluids dripping into her IV..."
Moon Astrology: New Sap Moon in Aquarius: All together now.
Righting itself in the water, a not-fancy fish, and marveling at them all.
Episode 79—January 12, 2017
Love abounds as Venus occupies its point of greatest eastern elongation. Host Jennifer Ellsworth offers a planet primer for our solar system sister. She also marries love and food in an essay about what makes a good cook, and a short story about waiting for a table at Neighborhood, Belfast's next best thing. It's called "The Waiting Game."
The return pitch of those two words, twenty minutes—the estimated wait for a table at Neighborhood, the new restaurant in town—was designed to equate that time frame with swimming naked in pig swill...."
Moon Astrology: Full Wolf Moon in Cancer: We are family.
Sex, love, beauty, and military victories; beans and rice; and She Talks to Angels.