Cider Press Hill

Guns, guns and bigger guns

Friday, 11:35 pm

By Kate





I was just taking a stroll down memory lane this evening. At the very beginning of this blog, I had strong opinions (Oh what a surprise, that!). Turns out that my instincts, eight years ago were spot on. But then, many of us instinctively knew that an assault weapon free-for-all was horribly dangerous. How is it that the loons who think more guns = better are the ones who make the policy in this country as if the rest of us don’t exist?

Incidentally, I found this graphic on Gawker recently. Not for sure that it is genuine, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me. Seems to summarize everything wrong with our culture. Please enumerate the ways this graphic is wrong? I can’t get past the stuttering....


Total life upheaval

Tuesday, 10:16 pm

By Kate




clear night

Katie is actually not dead. Nor is her blog. But life has intervened and things have been happening and things are lively and Katie feels just about dead from all of the lively. Katie sincerely desires a vacation in a tropical setting, swilling pretty rum drinks sporting tiny colorful umbrellas. Being waited on hand and foot would be really fine, too. Inasmuch as this isn’t going to happen any time soon....


I am selling my house. Or, at least, I will attempt to sell my house after I’ve whipped it into shape. I made this decision about a month ago. I lined up a realtor whom I adore. She has been a great coach giving me ideas about what I need to do and what isn’t so terribly important. However, the To Do list vastly outweighs the What’s Not Important list. What I have been doing is filling a dumpster with 18 years worth of STUFF. We all collect stuff. I had a basement filled with stuff. And closets. And cupboards. And drawers. And stuff shoved under sofas and chairs. If you’ve lived anywhere for more than 10 years, you probably know what I mean. When I move, I will downsize slightly. I aim for about 660 square feet of living space. So, I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff. And what I decided from the start...I am not packing and moving anything that I do not LOVE. Consequently, I filled a 20’ x 8’ x 5’ dumpster to the brim in the last three weeks.

And that’s aside from the vast quantity of STUFF reserved for a large yard sale in a couple of weeks.

What amused me most? People coming into my driveway to dumpster dive. People looking for useable items, or, in one woman’s case, items she could sell in her shop. I had to tell people to leave. Lots of nails and broken glass in the dumpster. Not a good idea to have strangers exposing themselves to injury in that manner.

A couple of weekends ago, my lad came home for the big weekend of emptying out the basement. He wondered how I felt about tossing out the bulk of my memories and evidence of a life previously lived. I said it was a little bit difficult, but I am not so invested in this stuff that I need to keep it. He whipped out his mobile phone and said, “Let’s take pictures of this stuff. That way you can always look at it and keep your memories without having to keep the stuff.” And that’s what we did. What a Great Idea!!

Now I am carpet cleaning, spackling walls, and doing all the little repairs that we all put off indefinitely. Well, in real life, “indefinitely” eventually has a terminus. So I’m doing the repairs now and wishing like heck that I’d done them a long time ago. Spackling and repairing and painting and replacing and whatnot. My days are about 14 hours long. From early morning til late in the evening, I’m working my butt off. We do what we have to do.

The thing that kills me...I’m making my house absolutely lovely for someone else. It’s funny, we live in our houses for years and years and fall blind to the most obvious blemishes. When it comes time to sell, we begin looking as though through a stranger’s eyes. All of a sudden our wonderful comfy home looks a bit down in the mouth and tatty.

Today, I did a pint’s worth of spackling. Tomorrow I’ll sand it and start the painting. I hate painting. It heads the list of things I dislike most about homeowning. This is where I desperately wish for a magic wand. Dream on, Kate.

I hope to have the house ready to list with my realtor by next weekend. I’m not entirely sure that’s going to happen, but either next weekend or the weekend after. This is an adventure in an iffy market. My realtor is quite positive. My town has been doing very well with real estate sales this year. But I do need to make my house as irresistible as possible. Keeping fingers crossed.

And wishing to wake up tomorrow in a tropical paradise. Just 24 hours. That’s all I need! Then I’ll paint without a whimper. What are the chances?


Saturday tunes

Saturday, 4:52 pm

By Kate




partly cloudy

Was editing and updating my playlists and thought I’d share a couple of my favorites.


Richie Havens at Woodstock way back in 1969. This song was apparently improvised after he’d run through his repertoire, kept being called back for encores, and was desperate for material. It launched his career. Thank goodness.


Havens sings the same song, 40 years later, with greater subtlety, nuance, and depth. I could watch this all day long and still be endlessly fascinated by what he does with that guitar.


The pressure is on

Friday, 7:41 am

By Cyn





Just got word they published my blog entry and changed it to say “why I am SPEAKING” here Enough is Enough.  No pressure or anything.  I need lots of help from my friends.  And you are my friends!! ;) I am sure it is supposed to be short and sweet, but still.  God help us all...........


Enough is Enough Rally in Washington, DC

Thursday, 1:02 pm

By Cyn




light rain

OK, while I have been AWOL from Cider Press Hill, I have been busy!!  I got hooked on Facebook and tend to do all my ranting and raving there.  Don’t believe me??  Just ask Linkmeister as he knows!!

There is going to be a ‘by the people, for the people’ type Enough is Enough Rally on October 29 in Washington, DC and I will be there!!

Last time I did anything on this scale (and I am assuming this will turn into a large scale event--at least I surely hope so), was back in the 60’s when we marched against Viet Nam........never ever against our soldiers and veterans, but against the war.  And that is a story for another day!!

However, I am one of thousands of “Coffee Party Members” and to that end, they and a few other organizations have decided there will be a People’s Rally on the 29th.  I decided we would go and combine it with a visit with our older son and his girlfriend....nothing like inviting yourselves to someones’ house and saying BTW, we are participating in a March/Rally on the 29th!!  But they know me and love me in spite of my decisions!!  And my husband is on board for this one as well.

I was asked, as many others are being asked, to write a blog piece for the event and I just did.  I wish I had Kate’s way with words, but below is exactly what I sent.  Not sure where it goes from here, but somewhere I am sure. (Circular file??)

Why am I coming to the Rally on October 29???...........I wish I had some incredibly intellectual answer or could say a lightbulb (a real lightbulb) went off in my head, but it is simply a response to everything that has been happening in our world; it’s the right thing to do and the place we need to be. 

I am but one of the thousands, millions, more likely, long considered the ‘silent majority’.  We hate what is going on, are dismayed by the machinations of the people who have been elected to serve the people, yet we continue to sit silently by while they destroy everything past generations believed in and worked so hard for. It is no longer enough to just rant to your friends, to tweet or sound off on Facebook.  I think we need to be there, be seen and be heard.  Perhaps by standing up and speaking out, more and more will follow suit.  It is time to drown out the rhetoric of those who would have you believe they speak for us and, in fact, only speak to their own lives and their own wallets and the people who continue to line those wallets.

The time to be silent is long gone.  When I listen to elected officials, who were elected by the people to serve the people openly admit their main goal, their only goal is to defeat President Obama in 2012, you know something is dreadfully wrong.  Really?  Defeat our President??  What about the thousands of children in this country who go to bed hungry and get up hungry each day.  what about the people who cannot get (and if the tea party has their way, will never get) medical insurance?  Did they forget about the people who are unemployed, who have been for 2 years or more and probably have little or no hope of finding employment that will allow them to provide for their families and live with dignity.  Many Republicans don’t care.  I care. We should all care.

Democrats are far from perfect, we have bad apples too; however, this current crop of ignorant Republicans, particularly the tea party members, campaigned on JOBS.  They were going to be the party that set the country back on the right track.  Well, what they neglected to say was the track was a track for the top 2% to more wealth, a track for the ultra rich, many of whom have never done an honest day’s work in their life. Their wealth?  Garnered on the backs of the rest of us.  Oh wait, they are not the ultra rich, they are the ‘job creators’...and if you believe that one, then you deserve to have someone like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin or, better yet just throw all their names in a hat and pick one, running the country.

They have turned our political processes into a joke and I am fed up.  We need solutions, not rhetoric, We need people to come together for the good of this nation, not for the good of corporations (who, by the way are not people) and we need these politicians to remember why they were elected.  It is time to take back our country from the fat cats, the special interest groups and work together to build our country back to what it can and should be.

I have so much more to say, but I think this is enough for the moment.  We have to start someplace and this is the place.  I can only hope and pray we have not put it off too long.

And now, they emailed to say that since they are going to make this an open mike event (with hopefully Dylan Ratigan, Jon Stewart and others) for the ‘people’, would I consider speaking… Oh.My.God.  Just what they/I need.............Send me your thoughts so if I do, I can speak for ‘my’ people!! ;)

So stay tuned, this ride could turn into an interesting one!!



Early Evening at the Beach

Tuesday, 3:09 pm

By Kate





Saturday at Hampton Beach, NH, just up the road from where I live. Maybe 7 or 8 miles. This was early evening...around 7:30. Two fishermen with their lines in the water. Tide is way out. Taken with my cell phone.

Looking down the beach. Pretty pink clouds.

Looking up the beach. Some fog beginning to roll in. These expensive houses sit on the raw edge of nothing. I’m sure the owners hope those heavy rocks prevent more beach erosion and don’t end up in their living rooms during some fierce ocean storm.


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