31 March 2011


i sure do hope this is the last curtain call for winter of 2010.

30 March 2011

december dessert

pear crisp - dessert for a special dinner tomorrow night. i was planning on making something spring-ish, maybe with rhubarb or strawberries, something airy with whipped cream. but it's going to s*** again, an intense storm tomorrow night and into the day on friday. apparently winter is not done with us quite yet. so it will be a good night to sit around the wood stove, drink coffee, laugh at the weather, and indulge in the cinnamon-y goodness of an old fashioned, warm from the oven wintertime dessert, topped with a dollop of ice cream to melt down the sides.

26 March 2011

the beauty shop

this week i ran into two of my students, brothers, 8 and 11, at a most inopportune time - as i was arriving for my hair appointment. turns out they had their hair appointments then, too. what are the chances?

what ever happened to privacy in such places? time was when the "beauty parlor" was a woman's refuge - a place to go alone, to yak with your neighbors, to dish with your hairdresser. who cared if other women saw you with rollers in your hair or smelling like permanent solution? there was common ground there among women with the unspoken rule that what happened in the hair salon, stayed in the hair salon. except for the gossip, of course. 

then men were invited in. they came in such droves that numbers of barber shops dwindled considerably. no longer happy with a haircut, men were now invading sacred lady-spaces in search of hair styling. so women ran the risk of running into their ex-boyfriends or their bosses while they were being curled and dyed.

and now, children? what's a teacher to do? allow her students to see her sitting in a paisley plastic cape for twenty minutres with orange goop all over her head? or in one of those clear plastic shower-caps with the cotton all around the edges? or with bits of hair poking out all over her head and looking like a koosh ball?

perhaps i'll need to take my business far out of town. or become a l'oreal girl (because i'm worth it!) and get rid of my gray in the privacy of my home. or better yet, i could just have my stylist slick my wet hair straight back when students come by. then i could put on my best accent and convince them that they must be mistaken, that i'm not at all who they think i am.

and what did i do? i chose to leave. reschedule. i ran like the gray-haired, shaggy coward that i am.

24 March 2011

at last.

so it begins. 
in soft tiny buds. 
a new season of growth. 

22 March 2011

my neck of the woods

where spring is trying so hard to come, but where it's beautiful any time of the year.  

20 March 2011

the eye of the beholder

it is clean - or so i thought. i remember weeks ago scrubbing and scrubbing this frying pan with dish soap and one of those all-natural scrubber things because the steel wool soap pads were gone. i shined up the copper bottom like i always do, dried it, and hung it up. and when i took it down this morning -- look. a maze of color and movement on the bottom of the pan. the swirls i can sort of understand: i heated up leftover pasta in this pan. but the colors - how can that happen? it must just be some sort of chemical reaction, the tomato sauce on the stainless steel. but regardless, i thought it was fascinatingly beautiful. artistic, like a fine silk fabric. 

one of my favorite quotes, in the sidebar for years, is it's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. perfect example here. 

19 March 2011


the moon tonight, the much touted perigee "super moon". perigee in that it's as close in its orbit to earth as it can be, "super" because this happens at its moment of fullness. it was not the spectacle that i had hoped for but then i don't know how it coud have lived up to my expectation after reading so much about it. or maybe i was just in the wrong spot. super or not, it's always good to stand out in the cold after dark, scanning the horizon for the first sign of orange light, then watching in amazement as the moon gradually appears and ascends into the sky before your very eyes. 

16 March 2011

one more time

the forecast said rain. instead, five inches of snow. this is the perfect example of my love-hate relationship with snow. as much as i want it to melt away and be gone and make way for spring to come, this morning i found myself standing in the wide open doorway for too long, marveling at the profound stillness and taking in the breathtaking grandeur of a spring snowstorm. heavy, wet, giant snowflakes - a beautiful surprise. 

13 March 2011

march 12 of 12: winter's end

here's my 12 of 12 for the month of march, the result of a weekend outing looking for hopeful signs of change in nature. 

snow is melting rapidly! where the snowblower has cleared storm after storm, there are paths of wet and flattened grass, banked with still untouched snow. it's good to walk on solid ground again. 

furniture long buried begins to emerge. there's a bucket of holly and pine on the table in there some where!

some things emerge from the snow and you wonder how long they've been buried and how they got there in the first place! as the snow melts away, all sorts of strange and wonderful things, covered for months, show up in melted banks or on muddy patches. one year i found a small pile of loose change!

i'm not sure why this happens. snow melts away from the trunks of trees, forming these little circular depressions. they get larger and wider and soon, forest debris from fall will show itself again around the tree. this is the reason i like to plant spring-flowering bulbs at the base of trees. it's one of the first places to melt!

finally, back country roads are clear down to the pavement - or to the mud if they're dirt. either way, it's a lot easier driving the scenic route these days!

but all's not rosy on these types of road. spring signage appears, warning motorists of the perils involved with driving them. bumps and potholes and fissures in the pavement. huge puddles and water across the road. there are routes around here that are so bad, folks avoid them strictly because of the stories that have been told year after year!

lining these roads are tall banks of snow, covered with dirt from the road or from the sanding of icy spots. no more snow comes to dust them white again so, as the melting occurs, more and more grime is revealed. not until the banks have completely melted will the dirt be blown back into woods and yards. right now, it looks really awful. 

in the snow that remains, rivulets of water make their way to low spots or culverts. tiny rivers carving their way to an outlet. 

and streams where there were none! as snow from above melts, water cascades down from the mountains and high hills, seeking the same sort of outlet. the sound of the water is uplifting, a spring song for my winter-weary soul. 

water collects everywhere these days! this is one of the numerous puddles in the yard and those brown things floating on it are alive!! i wonder if they may be snow fleas, one of the first insects to hatch as winter ends. i've never seen them in water like this though, only out leaping and dancing on snowbanks in the warm sunshine. 

the last of the ice dams finally clears the roof, making such a racket that i hear the sound far down road as i'm taking these pictures! and i knew instantly what it was without even looking!

finally, buds. they're tiny but they're coming. at long last. 

12 March 2011

time change

in november, right around the time we new englanders returned our clocks to eastern standard time, i wove this string of miniature lights through fall garland on my fireplace mantle. i expected they might look garish, given the antiquity of the place. but they looked oddly cozy and homey, especially as the evenings got darker earlier. in december i put up this pine garland, keeping the lights, of course. after all, it was the darkest time of the year. come january, i took down the santas and christmasy things but convinced myself that i could leave the lights and garland because it all looked wintery and goodness knows there was still darkness to ward off. but now, with tonight's return to daylight saving time, it's fitting to dismantle it. in a small but significant way, the twinkling points have lifted me through darkness that will soon be pretty much over.  

10 March 2011


i hate to shop. i get confused and claustrophobic in stores, especially the big ones. i can never find what i want. and, in this neck of the woods, i have to drive too-long distances to purchase many of the things that i need.

ah, but online shopping - that's different! the ability to quickly find exactly the items i'm looking for, however obscure. so many choices. shopping in the daytime or nighttime, in pajamas or sweats. even coupons! but my favorite aspect of buying online is tracking the packages. seeing when my purchases leave the company, what cities and states they travel through in transit, what time they arrive and leave destinations, what day they'll be delivered to me - this is the part of the shopping experience that intrigues and fascinates me the most! perhaps all this speaks to my age, me a child of the sears-roebuck catalog. to be able to have such buying power amazes me still - and to have it work so well! the only drawback i see to online shopping is the yards and yards of bubble wrap that come in many packages. even though it's fun to pop, even though it's mostly air, it's still too much plastic for me. the only thing that's worse? styrofoam peanuts!

08 March 2011

comes the ice

here's the (other) down side of all the snow we've had this winter: all the ice we're having now that snow is melting or being washed away! although this may look much like a skating rink, it is not. it's a field that runs through the flats between the distant hills and the unseen river. crops grow there in summer, deer run in fall, but now that it's getting close to spring, it's just a huge expanse of ice. 

and in the woods this morning, droplets of water are frozen in time, glistening in the early sunlight. not a great shot - it was actually quite magical. you should have been there...

05 March 2011


snow has melted off or been washed from the solar lights. and they're finally getting enough sunlight to stay lit at night! so cheery to see at dusk as i pass by a window. 

03 March 2011

thoughts on home

i so love to spend quiet time at home. to sit in a sunny window, to read, to listen to music, to putter, to reorganize, to clean, to nap, to dream... sometimes i worry that i may be frittering away these days of my life, that i should get out and go, go, go while i still can, that i can stay home years from now when i'm old and infirm. but these tranquil days at home are rejuvenating somehow, and shore me up for the busy, fast-paced days that i know will inevitably come again.

01 March 2011

march sun

on impluse this morning i threw open a window, leaned out, and basked in the march 1st sun for as long as my pajama-clad arms would endure. the air felt heavenly after having the place closed up for so long. even though some of our worst new england weather has come this month,  there's something inherently hopeful about march. the slant of the sun, the song of the birds, a shift in the wind - all make me keenly aware that we're finally on the down side of winter and that much closer to spring.