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 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 75—November 14, 2016
It's yet another Supermoon. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explains why today's full moon really is great, and reflects on that superlative in a eulogy for her husband's gram. She also reads a short story about a less-than-great man and his moment of grace with a gun. It's called Cellar Hole.
"...Hunting in the middle of the day was like jacking off to a kitten calendar—nearly useless—but Arlen needed to get out of the house. Diane had left the turkey in the mudroom, thinking it would be warm enough to thaw there, but it hadn’t. When she retrieved it for stuffing, it remained an igloo brick and set her off cussing..."
Moon Astrology: Full Beaver Moon in Taurus: Work together.
Proxigee full moon, hauling water, and canned peas.
Episode 72—September 30, 2016
Nearly everyday Earth has a close approach with an asteroid. Today host Jennifer Ellsworth explores how NASA scientists find these Near Earth Objects and what we plan to do with them. She also tells a true story about an ant-hunting dog, and reads a prose poem about shape note singing. It's called "#Blessed-Common Ground Country Fair Folk Arts Tent 2016."
"...I was there because I was supposed to be there, the next act on stage, following whatever this was, telling a story in the old way as the woman said, which to me just meant I’d rehearsed it out loud in my car on the way to the grocery store, my two boys a peanut gallery in the backseat, and while driving here, to the Fair, instead of listening to NPR..."
Moon Astrology: New Hunters Moon in Libra: Take only what you need.
Interplanetary gas stations, my dungy dog, and a hand shaking heart.
Episode 63- May 21, 2016
Navigating the seas without a map, a compass, or a sextant and nautical almanac would mean death for most of us. Today host Jennifer Ellsworth introduces the ancient art of Wayfinding, and explains how celestial navigation negates that fate. She also tells a true story about a group of hayfield partiers finding their way to the next vision, and reads a short story about a soldier and his wife staying connected. It's called "Intact."
"...“Can you hear me?”
She could. Abby was sitting at the kitchen table. Though it was 5:45 a.m. she was dressed in a pink blazer, her hair braided like a tiara above her bangs, her eyelids dusty purple. This was the advice of the VA—treat skyping like a date...."
Moon Astrology: Full Flower Moon in Scorpio: Weed.
Nainoa Thompson's philosophy, a ground compass, and needing to call a guy.
Episode 60- April 7, 2016
Metaphorical lightning strikes illuminate who we are. Today host Jennifer Ellsworth illuminates how to properly name a moon phase- each precise moment and the many in between. She also shares an interview with Babette Cohen-Solal, who explains how she decided it was time to learn to read, and reads a short story about a boy who gives up sugar for his health, despite the sweetness shared with his mother. It's called "Chubby Bunny."
"...It wasn’t a girl’s look, or a boy’s for that matter, that transformed CJ. It was a web seminar in Health Class. He left in the morning, Mountain Dew in hand, and came home talking about Glycolysis as he opened and dumped down the sink the remainder of his twelve pack, like an alcoholic gone cold turkey..."
Moon Astrology: New Milk Moon in Aries: Spark your enthusiasm.
The Balsamic Moon, strained eyeballs, and Barbara's baby.
Episode 45- August 29, 2015
Tonight's Supermoon- the Full Moon at Perigee- brings Earth and her satellite as close as they will be all year. Host Jennifer Ellsworth celebrates this celestial reunion by imagining the first Supermoon. She also tells a true story about a letter received at a funeral that unites her past and present, and reads a fictional story about a woman who finds enlightenment opposite an egret. "Bird Buddah" begins like this:
"...The thunderstorm had brought hail. Nickle and dime size nuggets that would shear the shoulder off a perfectly ripe tomato, or just nestle into its flesh, and melt, and start rot. This was where Karen’s mind had gone under the dark clouds..."
Moon Astrology: Full Corn Moon in Pisces: imagine.
4.5 billion-year-old blood brothers, decade-and-a-half-old phone tree and a table set for two.
Episode 43- July 31, 2015
This evening's Blue Moon is borrowed time from the Universe. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explains how and tells a true story about a lucky hay crew. She also revisits Bets serving breakfast at Bottoms Up in a story called Sky Dive:
...“Food poisoning, my ass,” I say.
“I heard the toilet flush in the background,” Emily says, already scanning the Bottoms Up! phone list for a fill-in that might actually answer a call at 6:45 Sunday morning. ...
Moon Astrology: Full Hay Moon in Aquarius: Gather together.
Maine Farmer's Almanac, quinoa-chevre-shitaki, and broken balers.
Episode 36- April 4, 2015
The Moon travels the Ecliptic just like the sun, only 12 times as fast. Host Jennifer Ellsworth explains this mimicry and how to estimate the moon's celestial path. She also tells a mud season survival story, and reads "Bets' Baby"—a tale about a waitress returning to work.
"...I took my six-week maternity leave, though I was no longer a mother. Maybe, technically, I was never a mother, since Joseph had died in utero..."
Moon Astrology: Full Egg Moon in Libra. "Take a chance while you still have a choice."
An old-fashioned call for help and the sun and moon are in cahoots.
February 8, 2015- Episode 32
Where did our celestial companion come from? Host Jennifer Ellsworth investigates the Giant Impact Hypothesis, and what our corner of the Universe looked like 4 1/2 billion years ago. She also reads an essay about two dramatic daycare providers: "Goldfish at Cedar Street Daycare."
"Hank had just had his first round of shots, but I knew I was in trouble if I didn't make it to the Ladies...."
Moon Astrology: Waning toward the Last Quarter in Libra. Go in peace.
Theia, dust to dust, and our wild beginnings.