Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Serenity

My cousin Jim sent the family an email lamenting the amount of snow his neck of the woods has gotten this year (around 5 feet). My mom responded to him with a wonderful tale from her and Jim's dad's (Mom's brother) childhood. Written memories like this are such treasures:

Dear Jim,
I surmise that you are fed up, correct? This too will melt and then you will just have mud. I enjoyed your take on Robert Frost's poem.
When we, Aunt Helen, your Dad and I were young, (indulge me, old folks talk a lot about olden days) we had a snow and ice storm of epic proportions [they grew up in Jamestown, MO]. First came the snow and high winds that made huge snow drifts. That was followed by an ice storm that coated everything. The trees were bending and breaking, the few electric and phone lines were down. Electricity was provided by a local plant that served just Jamestown. On a normal day we had electricity from 6am until morning light and from sundown until 10pm.but we had kerosene lamps. So you see, we really weren't in the dark.
School was canceled and we had the most incredible winter vacation. After the chores; bringing in wood and coal, milking the cow, chipping ice to get to the cellar for stored canned goods, root vegetables, saurkraut, sausage and homemade wine, we were free to play. Everything stopped for the winter games.
Everyone that had skates, both old and young, were skating over the fence rows, the fields, all of our world was snow with a heavy coating of ice. Sledding was fast and, we thought, very dangerous. The hill we used became so slick we had to hack steps close to the downhill slide to be able to get back to the top.
Whenever we had a snowstorm, the tradition at our house was, Mother made a pot of chili, or "rig tum ditty" then we would set up a card table in the living room and have dinner by our beautiful "circulator". That was a coal burning stove with pretty windows to view the fire. It was a bit of a status symbol.
After that Mother would read the beginning parts of John Greenleaf Whittier's "Snowbound". Then, bedtime with the evening serenade by Dad [my grandfather was a wonderful jazz pianist].

Really good hard times.

Love, and come for another visit -
Aunt Mary

Here is a bit from that wonderful poem.
So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines Of Nature's geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below,
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvelous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa's leaning miracle."


expect nostalgia at times

Friday, February 26, 2010

Winter Sky

(Friday morning update) I certainly got my wish! Started snowing just after midnight and I'm told the snow is going to continue all through tomorrow. No school day for me!
Today @ 10:45am

Today @ 10:00am

Right now it's raining buckets in Connecticut. I'm hoping for a school snow closure day Friday, but since it's Thursday night as I'm writing this, and it's just raining like crazy with no snow in the foreseeable future, I have no idea if I'll get my wish or not. I'll either have the phone blaring at me around 5am announcing a snow day, or the alarm will blare and I'll have to drag my sorry a** out of bed so I can be at school by 7:45 am. Ugh! this hour (11:15 pm) there's already a foot of snow in NYC and that's just 40 miles away from me! (We still have no snow.)



expect snow???

Sky Watch Friday!

Do join us!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Love is in the Air...

And it is not pretty!

Nephew Connor-Man and I turned into my Sasqua Pond Rd., and what greets us?? Two male (of course) turkeys in a fight-to-the-finish scrimmage for the privilege of ~strolling into the woods ~ with the beautiful Ms. Turkey.

Ewww! From what Connor-man and I could see, it looks like the male that is winning ~swallows~ the face of the other male turkey's head. Just about his entire head. Of course, I couldn't stand the unfairness of this, so yelled at Connor-man to "GET OUT OF THE CAR AND SAVE THAT TURKEY "with me. I got out...Connor...not so much. Smart kid. I chased the turkeys around and they ignored me for the first few minutes. I finally ~rushed~ those very big birds (what Connor said I did) and they broke apart. (The first video is the result.) The second video is their first mating dance Connor and I came upon. As I said, it wasn't pretty...on so many levels.

The Turkey Trot

There must be an easier way to win the turkey girl!


expect turkeyness at times!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday Family Dinner

We gather for Sunday Family Dinner as often as we can - which turns out to be an average of two Sundays a month - with as many of us gathered as possible. It's been a wonderful ongoing tradition that's become implanted in the next generation of kids, and I know will go on into the future when they have their own families and friends. We've fallen into the football season habit of having a buffet dinner with everyone scattered football fanatics at the family room tv, we others in the kitchen at the other non-football tv for the eating part of the meal.
Well! That changed this past Sunday! My GB said he'd like everyone to gather around the table and eat together. I am so very glad he suggested that! We gathered 'round and the meal lasted much longer than usual as we were enjoying not only a most excellent meal (Shrimp Scampi, salad, roasted asparagus, toasted Parmesan ciabetta, homemade brownies) but the pleasure of everyone's company. Yes, we forgot to turn the TV off, but as you can see no one was paying any attention to it!

It's good to remember the reason we gather for
Sunday Family Dinners!

On another note, Little Miss Magic and my son Bly played together almost the entire evening. Bly sat on the step you see there and Miss L would run at him and "knock him over". A-tumbling they would go - with Stella-dog worrying over them the entire time - and then in a minute or so, the entire thing would start again. Bly loves his Miss L and she adores him. Whoda thunk!


Expecting SFD traditions to continue!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Serenity

Dinner Contemplation or just some friends stopping by?

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes*.

~ Marcel Proust


expect anything!

*Three souls that constantly look at the world with new eyes
& always manage to make me smile (in alphabetical order):

Ms. Daryl
Ms. Kate
Ms. Katie

Friday, February 19, 2010

SWF: Winter Reigns Supreme!

Just a few days ago I posted a picture of the above trees when they were bathed in late-afternoon sunlight. What a difference a day or two makes! Winter is upon us and it seems every day there's a different sky. Whatever, the sky and accompanying tree-lines are always fascinating... Well, at least to me.



Sky Watch Friday -
do join us!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Thursday - It Really Is...

This week I'm on Winter break so I have lots of time to get into trouble! I intentionally did NOT go visit my sis or parents or anyone/place else as I wanted to get loads of cr*p either purged out of our home or just taken care of. Must say I've been fairly successful in this endeavor - but MAN, it depresses astounds me how much there is yet to be done! How the hell did we collect all this stuff???
On other fronts, I saw the most bizarre thing today. As anyone who is obsessed with the weather like me knows, New England has been blanketed with snow for most of our winter. It's been mild enough lately, relatively speaking, that under our home eaves there's no snow. As I was coming down the driveway, there had to be at least 30 robins on the snowless ground. I quickly drove in the garage and went upstairs to get my camera which wasn't in my purse, dammit, as I'd forgotten it, dammit! I snuck out the front door, barely put just my camera around the corner, snapped off a pic...and got...nuthin'. Little buggers had flown, one and all, to the area around our mail box. I was not happy. I won't be sharing that particular photo.
On another note, I'm quite pleased with our Olympic ladies! Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso - you two ROCK! Thanks for making us Americans so very proud! Oh, and that snow boarder, too - he was good!
On the next note, wasn't the dog show wonderful?? That Scotty dog was just the best - but I LOVED that doberman - oh what do I know???
Last note on a very sorta nice day - played bridge tonight. Let's just leave it that I was not, repeat, was not in the winner's circle. POOH!


expect anything!

Photo: 8:30am, 2/16/10

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Fort

Some things never change
A good snow fort is timeless
Whenever it's built


expect anything!

Photo: Nephew Connor-man & friends building a pine-bough enhanced snow fort. 2/14/10

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Serenity

Cardinal Within the Storm


expect anything!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sky Before the Storm

Golden limbs against
A beautiful turquoise sky
Then the clouds rolled in.


expect blue skies!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

O My How Things have Changed!

Storm Barbara's Falling Snow, originally uploaded by annbumbly.

Well, we've had a bit of a change since midnight. Snow is coming down fast and furiously. Roads are terrible, wind is picking up. A good good day to cozy up next to a fire with a good book. Oh, and popcorn!

Not A Single Midnight Snow Flake

I bring you what we have none of thus far!

It is after midnight and nary a flake has fallen!

I'll let you know if there's flake fallage tomorrow...

Till the a.m., my friends -


expect anything!

Photo courtesy of:

Scott Kroeker (Scott Kroeker [Artographer]),

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Beauty Before the Storm

Some of you may remember that my eldest daughter, Remy, and I had a community garden plot last spring and summer. To say we two were the blind leading the blind would be an understatement of epic proportions! We made mistakes, we had successes, and we definitely will plant again come this spring. Our two most obvious mishaps were planting 20 pepper plants - where were we thinking?? - and planting three strawberry plants. Strawberry plants spread at an alarming rate. When your entire garden plot is 4' x 20', this really isn't a good thing. So...Remy dug up the strawberry plants and replanted them in a pot that now resides in the sunroom off our kitchen. One plant got mad and just up and died, another is struggling to stay alive until replanting time this spring, and the last is blooming profusely and setting strawberries! Yum!
So very lovely to have a breath of spring deep in the February doldrums and with a big old nasty snow storm headed our way.


expect anything!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sunday Serenity

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.
A persistent simplification will create
an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one's life.


expect anything!

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Shy Wolf Moon

The moon a week ago tonight was simply perfection and beauty for those of us who were fortunate to live where cloud cover happened to be nonexistent.
While I was able to take a photo or two that were...uh...kinda good...there were others who got simply magnificent shots. Much to my chagrin...

Three of my very favorites:

Hilary - incredible photos one and all


Ms. Hannibal - the only way this photo could possibly be better would be if those geese were replaced by a witch or two.
It's just a magical wonderful photograph!


My Ms. Daryl - whose commentary is just the best read around...only to be outdone by that last of her Wolf Moon photos


expect a loverly Wolf Moon once a year!


Wednesday, February 03, 2010


(I swear I'm going to publish a cocktail table book called "Where Cats Sleep.")

While this is far from the oddest place I've found Trey-You bedding down for a nap, it's one of the more irritating. Trey has clawed the quilt down from the railing to make his cozy little pied-a-terre. Of course, the quilt was freshly washed and had been hung on the railing to dry, not for Trey's sleeping comfort. Of course, it's now covered in cat hair. Lovely. (That'll teach me to put quilts and clothes away the second they're dry!)

Must admit, this is slightly better than the times he gets into the linen closet and burrows a hole into the clean towels. Nothing finer than taking a shower in the morning and drying yourself off to discover you are covered with orangish cat hairs. You truly have not lived until you've experienced this.

Well, come on over! I'm sure Trey-you will be glad to burrow for you! And I'll supply that towel!



expect anything!