29 January 2011

frozen mud clumps, aka frud?

finally a day arrives with temperatures above freezing so i can take the car for a much needed wash. but alas, even with pressurized hot water and an under carriage wash, i am still left with remnants of all four of these snow/mud things stuck between my tires and my mud flaps. they arrive with the first snow and stay for the entire winter. no amount of kicking or banging will loosen them and toes have been injured trying. they are so present and such a nuisance that these frozen clumps really ought to have a name of their own. suggestions, anyone?

27 January 2011

stopping by woods on a snowy morning

whose woods these are, i think i know...
tonight i was reminded how much i like poetry, even if i don't often take - no, make - the time to read it. with so much to do, so much to keep up with, there's hardly any time left for things that stir my soul...

25 January 2011

deep freeze

these days it's been almost unbearably cold. the sort of cold that sends you scampering barefoot across the tile floor to the hot shower to warm up. a cold that finds you roasting a turkey mainly to make the kitchen cozy. a many-cups-of-tea kind of cold that forces you to pillows and quilts and comforters before you're even tired enough to sleep. a cold that makes you resign yourself to the fact that the heat must be turned way up on to thaw your toes, even as the woodstove behind you warms your back.

22 January 2011

19 January 2011

view from the chair

tomorrow, i have to go back to the dentist. i would rather clean ovens, eat lint, or go without internet for a month, than go to the dentist.  in truth, i'm a total wimp when dealing with matters of the mouth. what makes these visits bearable, though, is not the nitrous oxide, not the novocaine, not the ipod with the earbuds - it's the maps. there are floor to ceiling maps in each of the treatment rooms, filling the entire wall in front of the chair. this map of the world is my favorite one. i'm always so excited to be put in this room. reading the names of far-off places, studying the borders between countries, visually tracing the routes of rivers from the mountains to the sea and dreaming dreams of distant lands all bring a sense of calm and wonder that help set the tone for the visits. i'm content and in control when my dentist appears. then i insert the earbuds, the nitrous oxide kicks in - and i'm good.

16 January 2011


i don't smoke, 
i don't drink, 
i don't gamble, 
and i don't wear fancy clothes. 
but i shamelessly buy myself flowers in winter.

15 January 2011


up and out very early this saturday morning. it's 0° outside and the car is not yet heated up as i pull out of the driveway. it's the kind of morning when you can be fairly certain the sun, in all its brilliance, isn't going to warm things up much at all.

13 January 2011

january 12 of 12: inside out

there's this exercise that some picture-taking friends partake in that i've always wanted to try. it's called 12 of 12 and goes like this: on the 12th of every month, you photograph and post 12 images depicting a timeline of your day or some sort of theme. since yesterday (the 12th) was a stay-at-home snow day for me, i thought i'd give it my best effort. the picture taking part was easy - it's meeting the deadline of the 12th that's giving me trouble! who knows when this thing will finally get posted?? anyway, here's mine, with the very broad theme of inside out, since much of the day was spent inside looking, and photographing, out.

these are the flannel pajamas i wore all day. who wants to get dressed on a snow day? the night before, i dutifully wore these pajamas inside-out in an effort to bring on a snow day. and it worked. it's a time-tested ritual. ask any kid. or any teacher.

a surprise visitor for the day - the little girl!! preschool was cancelled, perhaps due to all those 3 & 4 year olds and their inside-out pjs. we had our boots at the door but we never made it outside because we were having too much fun inside.

i was very glad i'd had the presence of mind to fill the feeders the night before the storm. the birds were so active - and very hungry!

they were also entertaining and we kept going back to the windows all day - the little girl with the binoculars and me with the telephoto lens.

a tiny redpoll kept knocking seed out of the feeder and down to the snow, then hopping around in it to eat it. at one point he was even flicking snow around with his beak, much to the delight of the little girl.

there was an inside bird as well - big bird on sesame street! i used to watch this with the girl on snow days, too. i am always amazed at how little this show has changed over thirty-plus years. they must be doing something right on sesame street!

midday, as the snow continued, the wind began to blow. with the way this squirrel's tail was wrapped up so tightly to his body, it must have been mighty cold out there. but we were warming up inside with lunch in a lunchbox and tomato soup!

look at this great thermos technology! a straw built right into the flip-open cap, an easy way for a little one to get the milk out of the thermos without the spills the girl must have had at her age with a plastic screw-open cup holder cap! 

the storm raged all afternoon. wind blew the snow this way, then that. it was a pretty good nor'easter, the kind where you don't see a plow truck for hours because no one's out and about!

a friend emailed me a video of a comic comparing life in california with living in new england. this guy says folks in new england can only use their picnic tables a few days each summer because of all the bugs and flying things we have here. he claims many new englanders keep a picnic table only so they can see how much snow has accumulated without going outside. and earlier, i had taken this picture to send to the girl at work so she'd know what to expect when she returned. so i guess i'm guilty as charged!

the day ended, the girl navigated back home safely, and the little girl at last ventured outside and into the cold and the snow to go home. blazing a trail through the snowy walk lasted only a few feet...

before her mother obliged her by carrying her. tired legs, the little girl claimed. small wonder with snow up to those tiny hips! and the snow continued, even after they were long gone and safe at home. 

11 January 2011

made my day

a quick stop at the market this evening to stock up on milk and tea in anticipation of the new year's first snowstorm. when i inadvertently left my keys on the counter and turned to leave, a kindly old gentleman in line behind me touched my shoulder, nodded towards the keys and said you'll be needing these...  and then he called me miss.

i guess it's all relative. thank you, sir.

10 January 2011

what's next?

as winter storm warnings mount for an impending east coast snowstorm, look - at the local pharmacy, they think now that christmas is over spring is right around the corner. who makes these decisions anyway? and who on earth buys this stuff now?

08 January 2011

saturday snow

the view out the window as i sit here. 
it's just beautiful, that's all.

07 January 2011

little christmas

growing up, my mother always recognized "little christmas" on january 6th, the day commemorating the arrival of the wise men at the stable in bethlehem. she always told us that the christmas season was the twelve days between the traditional christmas and little christmas. i don't recall her leaving our decorations up for all that time but this mindset of hers makes it easier for me to leave up mine. tonight, they came down, to be packed away for another year.

06 January 2011


when they made those automatic car door locks, the plastic kinds on the key fob, do you suppose they knew that it would help tired shoppers find their cars in the huge parking lot filled with all manner of silver cars not unlike their own? i just beep-beep my way through the parking lots now, looking for my flashing head and tail lights, odd sights and sounds emanating from my vehicle before i even start the ignition!

05 January 2011

out with the old, in with the new

new year
new month
new moon
and a new profile picture!

not sure how i feel about that yet. i've had that old drawing one since the first post on serendipitous in september of 2006! and every time i see this new photo, it startles me a little bit! but the start of a new year is a good time for change so i'll play along. i think i'll keep on trying for a better photograph, though!