Remember, Remember…

By Bob Howard

It’s bonfire season – my favorite time of the year. We’ve got a few good piles of branches and limbs around the yard ready to go up. An 18-pack of cheap domestic canned beer, some diesel fuel, and a bic lighter is all one needs to enjoy a wet weekend day to the fullest potential.

On November 5th in the year 1605, an assassination plot against the sitting King of England, James I, was foiled, and Guy Fawkes, a member of a dissident Catholic group was arrested guarding a cache of explosives. To celebrate the thwarted attack, and the continued existence of their King, the citizens were allowed to light bonfires. This grew into a tradition that continues in many parts of the world. Some friends of mine enjoy constructing an effigy of the notorious Fawkes, and the torching of the stuffed dummy is affectionately known as “burning the Guy.”

But any excuse, or no excuse at all, is enough to get my inner firebug tittering.

November is National Novel Writing Month

Another more recent November tradition is national novel writing month, in which ordinary people endeavor to write a complete, 50,000 word novel, in thirty days. I’m in this year. Success, in this event, isn’t perfection, it is the act of creation – to the tune of 1,667 words a day. My plan is to get up early each day and get my writing done before I head into work, and to make up for weekdays when I fall short by pounding away on the weekends, when I have more time. I’ve got a crime piece I’ve been kicking around for a few months and this will give me a great excuse to get down to business and generate some words.

Election Day

A friend of mine is so happy right now that the Giants swept the Tigers, thereby winning the World Series in four straight games. This is not because he is a tremendous Giants fan – rather it is because he hates baseball, and now the season is done. In spite of my admitted politics jones, I am feeling the same way about what feels like has been an endless election cycle. I’m tired of the ads, the debates, the arguing on the Internet. I’ve had enough of this ugly, rough process that is our twisted form of democracy. By Wednesday it will all be over, and we can go back to living our lives without the constant barrage of political propaganda.

Fall Planting

I’m a bit behind in regards to our fall plantings. Just today I placed orders for a variety of fall seeds: endive, radicchio, rutabaga, cabbage, snap peas, several varieties of garlic, some traditional, heirloom onions, and one I am really curious about, an Egyptian “walking” onion. The greenhouse I built last year is already in need of new plastic. On the sun-facing sides, the plastic sheeting I attached has become brittle, and broken away. It’s important I get that done before the weather gets below freezing, or I risk losing our ginger and a few different succulents.

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Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.