SPRING FINALLY

It was warm enough today to wear tee shirts. I took a rake and cleared out the dead leaves from the garden. Garry dumped them into a crate and tossed them in the woods. One of the great parts of living in the woods is you don’t have to worry about where to put the dead leaves and lawn rubble. The wood doesn’t care. It’s got plenty of its own rubble and your addition is a drop in a very big bucket.

We have a few crocus. We had a few more, but I missed them. We’ve got daffodils on the way up, but not in bloom. Several tulips on the way. A lot of popping day lilies. Fat buds on trees branches, but no leaves. I think we’ll see leaves on the forsythia by the end of the week, if the weather stays warm. And we will very suddenly have a great mass of Solomon’s Seal in about three weeks, give or take.

Next week, my son has promised to (FINALLY) pull out the two dead rose bushes. He doesn’t want to because these are brutal bushes. Barbed wire looks like pussy willows in comparison.

When we bought the miniature roses, they mentioned we’d have many roses. We do. Pink and dark red by the bunch.

They didn’t mention those little bushes are killers. Get anywhere near them and they attack. The branches latch onto you and your clothing with a deathlike grip. Plant these around your house and you can be sure no one is coming through your hedges. I think these bushes were used for that exact purpose. That’s also why these are not the most popular rose bushes on the market. They grow huge and produce a lot of roses. They also up and die for no reason. We had four of them. Now we have two, but these are huge. I need to clip them before they completely take over what we laughingly call a garden.

I never thought I’d say this, but we could really use a gardener, at least to help organize the space. It’s beautiful in May when everything is blooming.  It’s also a great big mess!

WAITING FOR SPRING

Yesterday was bright, but today, it’s back to rain and just a bit of sleet. Mostly icy drizzle. The woods are full of fog. Easy enough to photograph, but hard to process without losing the fog or the mood the fog creates, other worldly. Meanwhile, I’m lost trying to find the head of that bird. I know it’s there, but it appears exactly the same color as the tree.

AHOY! HOLD THAT SHIP!

Share Your World – March 13, 2017


Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

I know in my heart of hearts that pushing the button once is like pushing it a thousand times. The problem is that half the time, the light behind the button is out. The bulb went. So. I push the button. Nothing happens.

Not the right elevator?

A philosophical issue arises. Did I push the button … or did I not push the button? IF I pushed it, did it work? Is the absence of a bulb mean a failed process? Will pushing it again accomplish something else?

I push it again. Still, no light. By now, the conveyance is conveying. Up or down, we are on our way. Somewhere. Will it be where I want to go? Tune in next week and I promise I’ll let you know!

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I never visit big cities I don’t know without a hotel reservation — and a parking space. Other places — gentler, less busy places — we will go with or without plans, depending on the time of year. If it is full tourist season, we need a reservation. But if it is off-season, we might go and see what comes up. Some of our best trips have been to places we were only planning to be for an afternoon, then decided to stay overnight.

In this part of the world, season matters. The more upstate you go, the more likely you are to need a reservation. For mountains and shore or merely to go leafing. In New England, going out to view leaves with a camera is a huge recreational activity. Bigger than summer vacation. This isn’t about how we feel about it. It’s about living somewhere that millions of people want to visit.

Locally, if you want to do anything involving the beach and it’s summer, you absolutely need a reservation. Even if you have an RV, you will still need a reservation.You are not going to find a lovely little place to stay on Cape Cod in June, July, or August. Probably not in May or September, either. And, to be fair, the Cape is insanely overcrowded in the summer. It’s really lovely in the second half of October. I recommend it.

The moral of the story? If you live in a vacation location, make sure you and your calendar have a relationship. New England has gotten back to being more of a vacation site over past 10 years … as it was 100 years ago. It has come around. Again.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.

Uplifting? Um. I’m not sure about uplifting. Okay. But not very uplifting.

If you ask me for information or directions, you will really get them. I’m not good with quick answers. My husband has learned to say “JUST A QUICK ANSWER ON THIS ONE PLEASE,” which means I should leave the 40-page paper on my desk and give him the single-sentence version. But sometimes, I can’t.

It’s not even sarcasm. I think weird before I think deep. If you ask me something, I’m likely to give you one really strange answer. I have always been like this.

I love animals. All animals. That’s my most uplifting quality. Usually they like me, too. But they like Garry better.

I am a knee-jerk apologist. I apologize to everyone and everything. Tripped over the dog? Get down on the floor and apologize until dog gets annoyed and leaves. Walk into a table leg? Apologize to table and leg.

I am not perfect or even close.  I am, however, a hard tryer.

I believe we are supposed to care about people who need help. Poor people, sick people, hurt people, old people, children. Immigrants. I think we should be kind to those who most need kindness. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a sharp temper for which I will wind up making several million apologies, but that’s not the same thing. A sharp temper is just that. It comes (embarrassing). It goes. STILL embarrassing. Garry has a good solid temper of his own and you should see us when we both get going.

Eventually, we forget what we were fighting about and watch some television. As I said previously, pretending nothing happened is always a great way to end a stupid fight. Especially when you are fighting with someone who, like you, never loses.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? 

We’ve been on two cruises and we loved them. Why? Because once you get past the hassle of getting aboard — the traffic and hauling your stuff  — you are free. No calls. No mail. Nothing but blue ocean, leaping dolphins, and periodic stops on sandy beaches or other cool place.

After which, you go back to the ship, eat far too much, watch a show, take in a few movies. You can watch the latest films in your own little room or in a theater, too … which for movie buffs is a great thing. I thought a small ship would be better than a big one, but it doesn’t really matter.

The ship is the ship is the ship. They are beautiful, well-kept. The food is amazing. And for however long you are on board, life is just GREAT.

However, we’ve had two glorious vacations in Arizona and many wonderful trips to Cape Cod and other areas along the shore. We’ve been to the top of the mountains in Maine and New Hampshire and to the perfect village in Vermont. We’ve had a great time in Disney World, California, Gettysburg, Cooperstown and New York. We had a wonderful few weeks in Ireland, too.

The only time it really didn’t work out well was when it rained continuously for the entire time. There’s not much you can do up in the mountains of New Hampshire when it’s pouring. Generally, wherever we are, we have a good time. It’s stupid to not have a good time on vacation. If you are away, in a nice place, but not enjoying it? That’s silly.

WINTER BLUES – SWO8 BLUES JAZZ

 IT’S FEBRUARY AND WE’VE GOT THE WINTER BLUES!


First published Feb 15, 2015 – YouTube

My collaborator, Leslie Martel of swo8 Blues Jazz did the work. Composed the music and wrote the words. She also put the video together. Posted it to YouTube. I think that’s all the work. I merely supplied photographs.

This video is called Winter Blues, a unique, fun collaboration between me and composer-musician swo8 Blues Jazz.

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It’s that time of year again and we’ve had our first blizzard. The forecast is for snow every day for the next six days, so I guess the season just got serious. This seems a good time to run this one again.

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Before this longest yet, ironically, shortest month is finished, I expect to have many more winter photographs. But it will end. It always has. So far!

It’s sort of almost spring … right?

CAN YOU FIND THE WAY?

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – February 8, 2017

THIS JUST IN!

Due to severe weather, all non-emergency Town of Uxbridge offices, including town hall, the library and the senior center will be closed today. Please note that all programs and meetings scheduled in municipal buildings today and this evening are cancelled. Governor Baker has closed all non-emergency state offices today. Please check our website at http://www.uxbridge-ma.gov, Uxbridge cable television and our social media sites on Facebook and Twitter for storm related updates and important emergency contact information. We urge you to stay off the roads today if possible. Thank you and be safe.


Winter arrived with a roar. A literal roar. Thunder woke me this morning. Thunder and the wind moving the tall oak trees in the woods. I awakened to a white-out world. Hard to know how much snow has actually fallen.

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I shoveled the front walk and the area around the stoop so the dogs would have room to move. I shoveled it first around 9 this morning, then around 11. Garry did it again adding a path up the driveway to the car and the back deck — just half an hour ago. It’s covered with snow again.

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It is snowing very hard, those tiny flakes that mean “serious business” in a snowstorm. Add to that the wind and the thunder and you have … a little blizzard. Little so far. We’ll see how it goes. Could be big blizzard if it hangs around through tomorrow when a second storm is due to arrive.

The snow had just begun when I shot this one. An hour later, it was another story.

The snow had just begun when I shot this one. An hour later, it was another story.

Cee which way photo challenge

 

ICE DAMS

A Photo a Week Challenge: Ice, Ice, Baby


No ice this year, but we have had some astounding, huge, ice dams in past winters. This was shot from inside through the ice. It was the winter when we didn’t have any snow until the very end of January, but managed to accumulate more than 12 feet by mid-March. After it began snowing, it forgot to stop.

The odd "grid" in the background is the screen which I should have removed before winter because that ice destroyed it.

The “grid” in the background is the window screen. I should have removed it before winter. The ice destroyed it.

Icicles look pretty, but they do a lot of damage to houses, especially roofs and eaves.  Ice weighs down tree branches, causing them to snap. Sometimes, ice will cause entire trees to fall. Ice dams can prove dangerous.

You can clearly see the screen on this one. By this time in the winter, the ice had adhered to the screen, forming a curtain of ice.

You can more clearly see the screen in this picture. By now, the ice had formed a curtain.

A big one can weigh several hundred pounds. I know people who have been seriously injured by falling ice.