Small Town 'Scopes

Sheesh, it's beautiful here.  One could weep.  Yes, one could.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20)
:  The other morning when I came out of yoga, I heard a loud noise, sort of garbage truck-ish, and realized it was the sound of mail being poured into the mail trucks.  It suddenly seemed crazy. Like, there's one truck that goes around delivering garbage into our mailboxes, and another truck that comes to collect it.  It made me tired.  But it also made me wish I was the kind of person who wrote little notes and mailed them, made pretty envelopes with sweet contents.  But I've thought that before, and it hasn't really taken root.  Pisces, maybe you could be that person?

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  When R. was in first grade he was assigned to mentor a kindergardener, a little 5-year-old girl who wasn't quite ready for school.  He took his job seriously, and tried to show her the ropes, but she was a challenge -- lots of tears and tantrums and misery on her end, and lots of explaining about how it goes down at school on his end.

One morning, she got up from her desk in the middle of class and headed towards her backpack to get her lunch.
"It's not lunch time yet," R. explained.  "You can't just go get your lunch.  We're doing Math now."
"But I'm hungry."
"In a few minutes it will be snack time.  A parent volunteer will come around and put a handful of pretzels on a napkin for each of us.  Lunch happens later."
"But I don't like pretzels."
"Look," he said, finally losing patience, "this is school.  No one cares if you don't like pretzels."
I know some people reading this could find it an example of what's horrifying about public school -- really?  No one cares? -- but I was infinitely proud of R., because he already understood what some people never learn:  there are lots of people on the planet, we don't always get our way, we need to compromise, wait our turn, figure out the deal and go along with it if it's not wrong or too terrible, and if some nice lady comes around with pretzels, well, lucky you, even if pretzels aren't your first choice.  We need to mold to the world a little bit.  I think, Aries, that your horoscope is wrapped up in that somewhere.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Yesterday I was on my way to The Field, as we call it, and I needed to use the internet [sheesh, can I not drive 25 miles without needing to look something up?], so stopped to find it.  While I was sitting on a concrete sidewalk near a stripmall using my laptop, a woman asked if I could help jump her truck.  I like to think she asked because I was sporting kind of a bad-ass lesbian look (carharts, tank top), the look that says, "I don't give a shit how I look - I'm capable."  But its probably just because I was the only one around and she had a baby in the car.  We rounded up cables, did complicated maneuvers with my car, pushed her gigantic truck into position, and were just about to hook up the cables, which, by the way, isn't rocket science, and some guy walks up and starts telling us how to do it.  "Uh, you'll want to start your car before you hook it up, or your battery will go dead instantly."   The woman and I were both polite (well, she was.  I was silently gritting my teeth), and he took the cables out of her hand and connected them.  The instant he clipped to the battery, he told her to start her truck.  I suggested we wait a minute for it to charge, but he insisted, so she did, and it almost started, and then ground down.  Duh.  So he said maybe we should wait a bit, like it was a new idea.  And so on. 

I tried to imagine how it would go if the genders were reversed.  If two men were in the middle of a perfectly smooth operation of jumping a car -- would a woman arrive and start telling them how to do it and demand to handle the cables?  if she did, would the men politely let her take over, and stay silent while she shared misinformation?  I'm pretty sure not, Taurus.  See what you can do about that this week.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21)
:  Every Wednesday at noon, a weird disembodied voice comes floating through the air, warning us about the possiblility of a dam breaking.

This summer, it seems ike every week I've been in the woods by myself when it comes on, and each time it feels like I'm in the Hunger Games.  I wait for a basket of bread to gently float down, or for the score to be announced.  Hasn't happened yet, but I guess I'm still in the game.  Gemini, stay in the game with your whole self this week!

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  I used to blame the fact that I never mail actual letters on the fact that getting to the post office was hard, but now I go every day, sometimes twice, for two main reasons:  1.  That's where the money arrives, and 2.  That's where all the death notices and other quirky items appear.  For example, last week there was a sign advertising a potluck to celebrate a dog.  I guess they were going to have the party, say farewells, and then, um, put him to sleep at/ after the party?  Everyone in town was invited.  I didn't know the dog so I didn't go, but jeez, that's sad.  And then there was this long, hand-written obituary about someone, I couldn't really read the writing but it was surely sweet.  But you can see why I go to the post office a lot.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  There's a hilarious FB page, a free-form discussion for and about our town, and OMG, it's crazy funny.  I won't go into the whole thing, but there's been a lot of discussion, for example, about the free couch that I mentioned here a few weeks ago.  Some people feel that the couch should have been removed after 3 days, others wonder what has happened on and to the couch, and others digress further to talk about The Ways of The Hill.  Other posts announce that in the next town over, 5 guys dressed as clowns knocked at someone's door at 2 in the morning.  Another guy saw a bright light, causing others to comment on where they were when the bright light happened.  I don't know what to make of it all, but I think it's mostly good.  Leo, your week will also be mostly good.  Enjoy.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  I went to a comedy show last week at a huge venue with 20,000 people, I'm not making that up.  20,000 humans were herded into an enclosure, all paying money and hoping for a costly laugh. As we trudged into the venue with the other grim and serious humans, tickets in hand, I had a flash-forward (or was it back?) to the apocalypse.  I slept through much of the show (awkward!) because it turns out I don't really like stand-up comedy.  All punchline, no story, all the while making fun of the audience.  Why is it funny to pick on the guy with crutches?  Virgo, make your week all story, and don't worry about punch lines.  And be especially tender to the guy on crutches.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Many years ago, I found a skull in the woods not too far away.  I took it to a wildlife biologist friend of mine, and I sat with him while he keyed it out.  At the end, he got a sheepish look and said, "um, it says it's a polar bear?"  He wasn't feeling particularly confident because he'd just survived a terrible head injury and it had been only a short while that he'd been out of a coma.  That, and the fact that polar bears don't live here.  We laughed and dropped it, and I've called it a black bear ever since.  I found it back when the internet was young, and I mostly stayed inside the safe boundaries of AOL (remember that?), and didn't venture out looking for pictures of skulls.  

But a young friend was visiting recently, and he always examines the skull when he comes over:  pulls out the incisors, and asks what kind it is, and I always say black bear.  But this time, we googled images, and wow, it may well be a polar bear!  Looks just like the picture.  Anyway, Libra, question assumptions, and be surprised!

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  So I'm in school to be a massage therapist, which is fun and a lot of work, and my biggest fear is that I'll have to play and listen to tedious music, which isn't the worst problem to have.  I'm not even very concerned about back hair, which apparently is a thing that massage therapists talk about.  Talc.  Who knew?  I think there might be other problems solved by talc, or at least tact.
Each of the squares is one inch, and each of
the black dots is a mite.  Yikes!

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  I'm treating my bees for mites, because that's a pretty big problem for the honeybees.  It's a single-celled parasite fungus (I know!  Fungus?  How does that work? Walking fungus?)  Hundreds of mites are dying and dropping onto my little piece of paper, and I don't know what to make of it all.  I hope the parasite evolves to be a little easier on the host, because right now it's pretty ugly.  

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  And poof, just like that, the summer's over, we've put away our seersucker suits, and  I'm a little terrified to head into the dark times again, but I guess we keep making it through.  We will again, Capricorn.  Hold the flashlight when you can, and draft on someone else's light when you need to.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  The thing about this year is that my body is so achy and tired.  I woke up this morning after a day of splitting wood, banging up my hands and tweaking my back and getting stung by a bee on my ankle so that my foot is very large, Sasquatch-ish, in fact.  I am swollen and stiff, as if I went to bed as me and woke up as a really old person. Oh wait. . . 

Did anyone read that short story, of course I can't remember the details, but it's about a guy who steals younger people's bodies, told from the point of view of a guy who's body was stolen?  I think that happened to me.  Anyway, I just tried to use the internet to find the story, and came upon a news article about a 24 year old who was pronounced dead after over-dosing on insecticide (?), but woke up in the mortuary 15 hours later.  In 2014.  So much here to be disturbed by, but I'll stick with insecticide?  Was he a man dreaming of being a suicidal butterfly?

Have a good week, everyone.


  1. If I could steal a mind it would be yours. Good thing for you I don't know how.
    If I could steal a body...well, it would be a young one and that's for sure.
    Can I just sum this all up by saying, "I love you, Betsy!"? Okay. Thanks.

    1. Aww, thank you Ms. Moon! Love you too!

  2. I am the Aries you described. "Just shut up and eat your pretzels!" It's my Capricorn BFF who makes the cards. I cannot believe the patience.

    1. Yes, the easy-going Aries people who make the world go around....

  3. It's a good thing I'm not an Aries, because I don't mold very well. I try, but it's a struggle.

    And I'm a Taurus but apparently not a very good one, because I would let that male do the battery jumping because I have no freakin' idea what to put where or when to do it, I only know I would cause a large explosion and probably die if I did it myself. So ...

    So, massage therapist, eh? Awesome!

    1. Oh Jennio, here's a throwdown: learn how to jump a car. Because it's easy! Red to red, black to black, it doesn't really matter so much about the order. You would NOT cause an explosion!!

      I hope your fall is lovely in NS. xo Betsy

  4. What a big responsibility for a little guy trying to help a small spoiled child face the future! I wonder how you treat bees for mites?

    1. So, for the mites, I put pads soaked in formic acid into the hives. The bees hate it :-(. But I think they also hate having mites hang onto their backs and sucking their blood and destroying their brood. Arrgh.

  5. I totally know that bad-ass lesbian look you sport sometimes. It's pretty hot. That's probably why the dude stopped. As a Taurus, though, I would have been grinding my teeth too and wondering how this dolt could be so oblivious to the unwelcomeness of his advances.

  6. I CAN change a tire and jump my own car. So back off, unhelpful guy. It's their hormones. My dad pretended to know how to do everything and believe me, that led to house fires and broken porch railings. I am more humble. Babies, for example. No guy has pushed me out of the way while I'm catchin'. Besides, it looks a mess.

    XXXXXX Beth

    1. Of course you can, Sweetie. You can jump the cars and catch the babies and marry the people. xo

  7. LOVE this one! Would you come to my classes and talk about blogging? Seriously, its going to be a quarter long assignment. With your permission, I was going to use your blog as an example. SO many bloggers need to take lessons from you...story & punchy.

    1. Thank you, Cobi!
      I think that sounds fun! Let's talk about it.


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