31 January 2007

time flies

does it seem to you like we just started the new year? and look - here's the end of the month already. used to be that january dragged, filled with grey skies and cold and snow. early to bed nights and stay inside days, one after the other each the same and in endless succession. now the days fly and are gone. is it that im busier? that im older? that i have a better concept of what time really is? i sit here on the last night of the month wondering what happened to it. the only poor comfort i have is the knowledge that tomorrow there will be another new calendar picture to look at for february. the shortest month of the year.

29 January 2007

academia 101

tonight i taught my first undergraduate class in this room. i think it went well in spite of my nervousness. but how odd it is to be on the other side of a desk after being a university student for so many years! someone actually called me professor and i almost laughed out loud. after class i sat in my office, small and shared and in the basement of the education building. but its a hallowed space where one of my favorite instructors began her tenure with the university. would that i follow in her footsteps...

28 January 2007


yesterday the girl sent me this taken a few days ago at almost 20 weeks. i keep going back and looking at it just one more time. i am awestruck by the image. i see the profile. i see a nose. i see bones in the arm and even in the fingers. the parents thinks the baby is already thumbing his nose at us. but i prefer to think he - or she - is waving at grammie. and i cant wait to finally meet this small person who is my babys baby.

27 January 2007

red squirrel

spotted this little guy sitting in the lilac in the middle of a flurry. tail all tucked up near his back for warmth i think. later he managed to raid the bird feeder by climbing inside the squirrel proof wire surround. when hed eaten his fill of the chickadees sunflower seed he bounded to the ground and began to stick his face in the snow. not sure if he was chasing the seed with a little water or washing up after a meal. finally he retreated under my house. apparently he doesnt live too far from the best squirrel restaurant on the road.

26 January 2007

the surprise inside

im a coffee drinker so i dont often buy tea. maybe a couple of boxes a year. and every box for years and years has had one of these small porcelain figurines in it. and invariably i get the box with the cat in it. the side of the package suggests collecting them but really - how many tiny glass cats all the same color all the same pose can one person have? how do you display them? do you line them up parade style - a rank and file of cloned kitties? this one will eventually follow all the others to the rubbish. and ill keep sporadically buying tea and hoping that finally i find the rabbit.

24 January 2007

blue light special

the yard with late afternoon shadows makes the white snow take on a tinge of blue. note the winding trails down the slope. there are more beyond the bounds of the photo. looks like mice have been snowboarding all the way from the summit down to the house at the base of the hill.

22 January 2007

best seat in the house

for the life of me i dont know why this cat doesnt self combust. a long haired black cat sleeping on a brick hearth directly under the ash drawer of a constantly lit woodstove sounds like a disater waiting to happen. how much heat can one cat absorb? is there a feline flash point? every time i go by i scoot him out. and he finds his way back again. good thing hes still got about six lives left - he may need a few of them.

21 January 2007

at the feeder

a junco watches the approach as this chickadee comes in for a landing.

20 January 2007

the ice cometh, man

it has to be the coldest night weve had this winter. snow does a wild dance outside the window. gusty winds blow and send drafts through this old house. i wear three shirts and a fleece vest and still need to wear my gloves with the fingers cut off so i can type. best to turn up the heat i guess.

19 January 2007


this is my father. in life, he was a navigator in the air force, a salesman, a huge red sox and patriots fan, and one helluva piano player. when i was little he could make things disappear before our eyes and make quarters come out of our ears. he could name all the stars. he would give us logic problems and not tell us the answers. he not only knew the tune and the words to any song you could name, he could sing it and play it too. he took us to the beach in a station wagon. he brought us chocolate covered halavah from boston. he took his accordian and every kid in the neighborhood from house to house christmas caroling. and he used to kiss my mother in the kitchen right in front of us. this is how i try to remember him. i miss him still. and today is his birthday - same birthday as robert e lee.

18 January 2007

i think i can...

ah, the start of the new year brings with it good intentions and steadfast resolutions. one of mine is to try to take better care of myself. walk. sleep more. eat better. at least for a month or so until i inevitably lose my resolve. pictured is lunch. 4 points.

17 January 2007


so cold this morning that the windows were frosted on the inside. so cold that i had to rifle around in the closet to find the fleece slippers. so cold that i wore double socks. and so cold that my car would not start. this is the winter ive been waiting for. so be careful what you wish for.

15 January 2007


the girl gave it to me for christmas. a pressed snowflake lovely and delicate and made of glass. i hung it in the kitchen window this morning as it stormed outside. sleet and freezing rain all day with just enough snow to make things white. the birds feeding frenzy finally came this morning and i was home to witness it. no work for me today. although i did lots sitting here at the table watching the storm just beyond the green of this glass.

13 January 2007

for the birds

a few chickadees at the feeder today. a junco on the ground. a titmouse in the lilac. later this afternoon a squirrel. and very little else. with the forecast of a storm i expected a feeding frenzy. but for the birds it was apparently just another saturday - and business as usual.

12 January 2007


the song just will not leave. for days and days its been in there circling round and round in the inner workings of my ear, racing through my head, escaping temporarily from my lips or throat, only to return to my ear to once again drive me mad. an earworm its called. stuck tune syndrome. "repetunitis. " this time its eine kleine nachtmusik thats making me crazy. but at least its mozart. the most relentless earworm i ever had was the shadow of your smile. much to the dismay and annoyance of those around me, i whistled that song for years.

11 January 2007

relish redux

at the risk of beating a subject to death - look. if you cant see click to make the picture bigger. because someone is actually trying to make a living manufacturing this. maybe its catching on. perhaps weve started something. maybe next year i'll think about seasonal employment towards years end.

09 January 2007

home fires

this is our second winter burning wood. weve gone back to it for a third time now after trying more conventional means of heating. first time we had a woodstove was almost thirty years ago when we moved here from points south. having little experience with burning wood, i thought it would be folksy and homey and easy to do. but i spent the better part of that first winter leaning against the counter in the kitchen with snow up to the windowsills watching that old cookstove and just waiting for the moment flames would erupt from it and burn down my house. i kid you not. woodstoves have come a long way since those bygone years. thankfully so have i.

07 January 2007

the turnin' of the broom

every family has its quirky holiday traditions and this is one of ours. on thanksgiving night after dinner is finished, dishes are done, leftovers are packed away in the fridge, and evening candles are lit, we "turn the broom" to usher in the christmas season. this in-name-only broom hangs by the fireplace all year long. on its twig handle a carved and painted santa face smiles nose to the wall. turning this santa around to face frontward is the first decorating that happens here. conversely its the last thing we do as we put christmas away for another year. and today, the day after epiphany, in a much more timely fashion than in years past, i sadly reluctantly turned the broom.

06 January 2007


this is my almost bare foot photographed today out in the yard on my way to the compost pile. in the middle of winter. i even sat outside and read for a while - a long while! - after i made this shot. downright balmy out there today with singing birds and fog lifting off what little snow was left at the edge of the woods. perhaps this extreme is what would normally have been a january thaw. if i didnt have calendars all around me, if i didnt know new years was last week, i could have close my eyes and just imagined it was april.

05 January 2007

i told you so

poking around in the refrigerator this evening and look what i found. behind all the holiday cream cheese that never got eaten because we already had some and didnt really need to buy more. way in the back sandwiched between the maple syrup and the outdated sour cream. shimmering like a cranberry jewel - and stuck to the shelf. see it tucked back there where i predicted it would be? if you dont know what it is, just reference the november archive (right).

i told you so. its new years tradition.

04 January 2007

seeds in stores in january

this is usually the very first sign of spring for me. seeing the new seasons seeds on display always cheers me and and makes me hopeful about the eventual coming of warm weather. but not so this year. winter has not been winter very long. just last week the first snow accumulated and did not melt away. but temperatures are still not very cold and the forecast for the next few days is for daytime temps in the 40s and maybe even 50s. and those temperatures sound like the spring that im not yet anticipating because it hasnt even been winter long enough yet.

03 January 2007

on the 10th day of christmas

yes it is. its still christmas here. everything remains as it was two weeks ago. except of course the presents are open and the stockings are empty. the week between christmas and new years, i rationalize that its the holiday season after all - the decorations can stay out. after new years, i swing into epiphany mode. there are twelve days of christmas for goodness sake. i can leave the tree up for a few more of them. after january 6th i begin to run out of excuses. so i have at least three more days to enjoy christmas at home. unless i can come up with some creative reason to leave it all out til martin luther king day.

01 January 2007

icy new year

opened my eyes this morning to see ice covering the branches of the lilac outside the window. it rained all day and ice formed everywhere. on rocks on walks on benches and rooflines. as the temperatures increased and fog settled in, i took some shots of the crabapple tree in the yard, each tiny frozen fruit encased in a beautiful crystal coat.