25 February 2009

right on time

easter displays are abundant in the stores and they're right on time. today is ash wednesday and there are only six more weeks until easter. six more weeks. who can think about bunnies and duckies yet - with all this snow, all this cold, and all of march to still get through?

24 February 2009

far from home II

this fat tuesday morning i am greeted by a fat robin at the feeder. there is easily three feet of snow on the ground in this neck of the woods and i have no idea why he'd choose to be here. a quick look through the fridge yields cranberries from the holidays but by the time i string a few on a length of jute, he is gone. off to some place with earthworms and fruit, i pray, and not hanging around here waiting for a spring that will take weeks and weeks to arrive.

23 February 2009

far from home

looks like i will probably not be seeing the ocean this winter vacation. i took poor (and funny!) comfort in seeing this flock of seagulls - well inland, perhaps because of a coastal storm.

19 February 2009

snowy night on campus

a streetlight glows through ice-ladened branches as i leave my office after class and head home in the snow. it's a good night for slippers and tea.

17 February 2009

lost & found

lost a week ago: the woolen half belt to the back of my red winter coat. found today, probably right where it came off, at the edge of the parking area at work. after looking everywhere, fishing through several lost & founds, and tearing the car apart, i was very happy to see it lying there, bright red against the drab winter landscape. i didn't even mind that it smelled like a dog slobbered all over it - or worse. the coat needs a good midwinter cleaning anyway.

15 February 2009

valentines day 09

the roses were great
the chocolates were fine
but this heart from the baby girl
was my best valentine.

10 February 2009

flowers in february

this is a flowering maple, a plant i bought in may because i loved the deep green and was captivated by the flowers, both red and white on the same plant. keep it outside, the plant man said. in the fall, bring it inside and treat it as a houseplant. sure thing, i thought, knowing full well that it would die the minute it entered the house. but it has thrived at work and, look, it even flowers still - like a flowering maple is wont to do!

08 February 2009

holiday remnants

when i bought these stamps at christmastime, it struck me that these nutcrackers, however decorative they looked, were not wearing very festive expressions. but it was christmas, and christmas is for nutcrackers! however, in the light of february, these nutcrackers now look downright sinister. i've been mailing bills and sending out random greeting cards, trying to use them up. only a few left now - just enough to mail valentines.

06 February 2009

scrabble in winter

a high point of the cold dark winter has been playing online scrabble with the girl. neither of us is particularly skilled at the game but we continue to play, night after night, she forming a word one night, i making one the next. she takes the triple word score spot, i place a k in a double letter score square. we make two and three letter words we've never heard of. she plays off my x, i play off her q. sometimes we chat as we play, sometimes not. certainly it's not the same as sitting together over a gameboard. but it's a quiet connection across the distance to someone i love at a very quiet, still, contemplative time of the year.

02 February 2009

cross quarter

today is groundhog day and candlemas. both special days seemingly evolved from the fact that today is a cross quarter day, or a date midway between a solstice and an equinox. the winter solstice was 45 days ago and the vernal equinox is 46 days hence. if you want to read more about its complex celtic origins, it's here. all i know for certain is this: the amount of daylight is beginning to noticeably lengthen.

01 February 2009


what happens when you shop for groceries without having first had breakfast...