THE CHANGING SEASONS: MARCH 2017

«The Changing Seasons» is back once again…


I haven’t taken a lot of pictures this month. Bad weather. Cold. Too much snow, too much mud. Too much ice. And so, for this month, just three pictures. The river. The naked trees. The woods with snow.

It has also been a strange month, ranging from warm as summer, to snowing hard and bitterly cold. I think it is warming up and by the time we enter April, we will be more or less at normal temperatures. But early spring in New England is an erratic season.

The corner of the river where the water swirls in circles. I’m sure there’s a proper name for it.

Sometimes, we don’t have spring at all. It stays cold and nasty until sometime in May when, magically, it gets warm and cozy and everything blooms.


And a gallery from Garry who, unlike me, actually went out in the snowy weather and took pictures. Uxbridge, in the snows of March.

We are not there yet. We are still mud and ice and piles of dirty snow … but not for long. According to our calendar, today is the first day of spring. It’s warmer than yesterday and the dripping is drippier than even it was earlier. There’s a lot to dribble away before it is truly spring, but I trust in the seasons. Mostly.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

DECORATING TRICKS FOR YOUR KITCHEN – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve been obsessing over the news for what feels like forever. I needed a break. So I decided to step away from my iPhone and do something that made me feel happy and safe. I walked around my house. I took in all the little things about it and in it that I love.

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I particularly love my kitchen. I redecorated it from top to bottom two years ago, along with the adjoining sun porch. It came out exactly as I had hoped – bright, cheerful, fun and totally me.

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My first goal was to create a colorful environment. All of the walls in my house had been shades of white or beige for the past twenty years. So I went a little crazy. I love color. Happy colors make me happy. I dress in them and wanted to live in them as well, particularly shades of aqua and turquoise. So the walls in the kitchen and eating area are a pale mint green and the walls in the sunroom are light turquoise. Most of the accessories in both rooms are shades of blue and green.

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For some colorful drama, I trimmed the moulding around the numerous windows in the sun room in turquoise darker than the walls. The effect is stunning!

I also added an aqua Corian counter to the kitchen island. And a colorful mosaic tile pattern on the back-splash behind the stove.

My second goal was to create warmth and personality by using accessories. Everywhere you look there is something pretty and interesting to look at. Because it’s a kitchen, and because I wanted to save money, I used everyday items as a major part of the decor. Items like plates and bowls, glasses and cups, trays, etc. So in my glass cabinets, I displayed these decorative touches to add pops of color in and amongst my everyday dishes and glasses.

I have two small bookcases in the kitchen as well. I used these shelves to create artistic ‘vignettes’ using similar items plus some vases and paperweights.

I love to use colorful, patterned plates, trays and bowls as decor on the walls and on other flat surfaces in the kitchen as well. I have a charming set of ceramic plates in different sizes, shaped like fish and glazed in beautiful tones of blue. They are dispersed throughout the sunroom and kitchen, on walls, in cabinets and standing on the shelf above the kitchen cabinets.Sun room curley house

I get a lot of pleasure looking at the pretty things in my home. I also remember how and where I got them and what they mean to me. Hopefully you can take some of these ideas and use them to give your kitchen a little extra pizzazz, or at least something new to look at.

LET’S ROUND UP AN ANGRY MOB! by GARRY ARMSTRONG

“Let’s round-up an angry mob and storm the place!”

That was our granddaughter, a few years ago. A precocious 7 or 8-year-old venting her anger over management shenanigans at a favorite local restaurant. We considered the issue and somehow placated our granddaughter. She clearly thought we should tackle the issue head on. She reminded me of all the high-profile, controversial stories I’d covered in my 40+ years as a TV news reporter. I never backed down!! I was relentless!!  I had to do something!!

Gradually, the hot button issue faded away. Gramps was now in retirement. I’d hung up my guns.

We’ve frequently laughed about the “angry mob issue” over the years. When something comes up that bothers us, someone yells, “Let’s round-up an angry mob!” Giggles all around.

I heard the familiar refrain again, today, in the middle of grocery shopping. I started to laugh and stopped quickly. Two very angry people confronted me. I just stared, trying to make sure they were talking to me. They were shouting!

“We need to round-up an angry mob. That’ll get their attention!”  I continued to stare as my brain shifted into second gear. They — the angry duo —  clearly wanted to do something about the state of our nation. I almost squashed the tomato I was holding.

“I’m retired,” I tried to reason, but they wouldn’t have it. It was just the beginning for me. I was still picking tomatoes a few minutes later when I heard it again.

“This is crap!! We need to do SOMETHING! I’ve had it with this guy!”.  It was a store employee I’ve known for several years. We’ve discussed politics, the economy and local environmental issues between my getting tips on what’s good in the supermarket on a particular day. No such tips today. He was angry — and it had nothing to do with the price of tomatoes.

“Nobody wants to get involved! We need to do something, Garry. This country is in big trouble”. I bit my lower lip and nodded in agreement, hoping to appease what I saw coming.

“Garry, you could do a special report. You know people. You have clout. People respect you!!”.

“I’m retired,” I said it slowly, dolefully. He shook his head as if he didn’t hear me … or it didn’t matter.

“We need to get people involved. We need people to make things right. We’re running out of time, Garry!!”  I bit my lower lip. More people had gathered around. I realized we had a small audience. People were nodding, red-faced, shaking their fists.

I surveyed the crowd. Shook my head solemnly and said it louder. “I’m retired!”.

They shook their heads in disbelief. I could hear mumbles of anger and confusion. I should have anticipated what would come next.

“We grew up watching you on TV. You always told us what was happening. We’ve told our kids about you..”.

The guilt card, face up!

“I’m retired,” I repeated again. They couldn’t accept it. They moved in closer, fingers poking in the air as if I didn’t understand. Of course, I understood. I understand.  It’s hard making sense out of what’s going on with the current administration. Real news is called fake. Fake news is being analyzed as if it’s real. There’s no precedent for this in my lifetime. I have no war stories to share about dealing with the type of people who are now in charge. I covered Presidents from JFK to Bush Number 1. There was lots of crazy stuff over the years but nothing, nada like what is happening today.

I dodged several more small crowds and made it to the checkout counter. I was feeling pretty good because I had found some fresh fruit Marilyn wanted. Head down, I spread my groceries on the counter, glancing at the young woman bagging the stuff. I thought I was free as soon as everything was tallied and bagged.

Free at last?

No! I felt a hand on my shoulder. An elderly man, maybe 80 or so grinned at me. But it wasn’t a happy grin, but a grin of anger. I’d seen this many times before. I braced myself.

“Garry, why the hell aren’t you out there, telling the public about this guy? Everyone’s angry!! You done it before! You done it with them other bums. We could always trust you!”

“I’m retired.”  I said it slowly. Very sadly.

I politely extracted myself from the elderly gent’s strong grip and wheeled the groceries outside. As I loaded everything into the car, I saw a couple of people approaching me. I double-timed the rest, got in the car, put pedal to the metal and beat it out of the parking lot.

In my head, I could hear my granddaughter.

“Gramps, let’s round-up an angry mob and storm the place”.