Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry. RIP

He was 90.  He was amazing.


Chuck Berry the blues

Monday, March 13, 2017

If you got 'em

get the cows in and hook the chicken coop door.

Even though they insist on calling this an 'old fashioned
nor'easter" (makes it sounds like something out of granny's
attic), I think classic would be more appropriate.  It is, I admit,
kinda fun to watch as this thing plays out. And NOAA
does have some fun weather maps.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Guess what! It's 1984 and 1952 all over again! Thursday 13

1.  I worry that we might all be monitored in some fashion, very soon

2.  I have found places on the net where any news commentary concerning the Donald that is in the least critical of his actions is represented by an opening statement that has turned into an unclickable link. "oops, we can't find that. error 401"  yep.

3. Anytime I see outrage or fear or anger expressed, concerning the new admin,  I wonder how long those kinds of expressions will be allowed to continue.

4.  There is such a thing as too much power and the wrong hands wielding it. In the wrong hands, obviously, any power is too much.

5. I've been seeing several blog entries sent to me that start out obviously not in favor of this or that, politically,  click on them, and the link is broken. "File not found."  and i wonder who pulled the plug. I know, I've done the same thing at times, but rarely.  This seems to be happening more and more.

6.  We are being catapulted back to the time before women's rights were an issue, before integration, before birth control, before health clinics for abused women, and the days of "don't ask, don't tell".

7. It has become the norm to automatically praise any newspaper who resists the Donald's dubious charm/policies.  I just wonder how long those papers will continue to exist.

8.  The smirk, the sneer, the hand gestures, the wall.

9.  That auto-blame that kicks in anytime something goes wrong. "it was X who did that."  The classic sign of a Narcissitic personality.  I know, my mother was one.  If I was in FRANCE and she broke a dish, it was my fault. Trust me, she'd find a way.

10. Blaming people who are in no position to refute the claims, in order to deflect unwelcome attention about  their own bad behavior.

11. People all too willing to believe that just because he's President he must be ready for sainthood and they behave/believe accordingly.

12. Years ago we impeached a President for sexual misconduct (and folks, that kind of  'misconduct' takes two) yet this time around we elected one who brags about it.  Times do change.

13. Sweeping and all-inclusive laws that affect our personal lives, our behavior, and those of our friends, with no regard for the grey areas and the people who will be irreversibly damaged.

Thursday 13

Friday, March 3, 2017

The winter of our annoyance

I never quite understood the fascination with winter, with snow, with sub zero temps.   People actually CHOOSE to live here in Northern New England,  even if there's a choice for a balmier climate.  You know, Tennessee. Virginia.

Someone suggested to me that we did seem to obsess about wood.  As I recall, I pointed out that when you burn the stuff for close to nine months,  spend the other three or four or five cutting, splitting, stacking, and negotiating over it with wood deliverers,  it tends to crop up in convo quite frequently:

"get your wood in yet?"
"Nahh, threw my back out last week,  hard to throw wood leanin' on a cane, yep"

"How much you burn last winter, anyway?"
"Considering the early cold and the late snow,  just about everything back to the walls.  Mebbe 13 cords, mebbe less."
"Yep, now I have to it do it all over again this year..."

Possibly, too, because burning wood is such a personal experience, I mean, you're right there with it, every step of the way--if you have gas or oil the delivery truck pulls up regularly, fills the tanks  and drives away.  Your only concern is finding the checkbook. After that, it's thermostat time.

But I seriously wonder why people, when they have the chance,  move NORTH instead of South...and then are surprised, open-mouth awestruck, when they look out the window one morning to see two feet of snow.  Like, it never happened before or something...

But there are perks to all of this. One of them is watching newcomers learn how to drive sideways on icy roads.

Or explaining why the 6" of new snow doesn't just disappear in a day or two "like it does in Tennessee..."

Or showing them what a roof rake is and why you really do need to clean off that roof NOW...

I know a man who buys a new plastic shovel every time it snows, because he always forgets and puts his used shovel away once he's cleaned the driveway.  In the shed.  The one where the snow drifts in and plugs the door shut.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My one political commentary for the year. I hope.

Without realizing what I was listening to the other night I kept hearing the Donald in speaking mode:  he sounded sincere, sonorous, convincing. What, I thought, was THAT all about. Then I recognized the speak and response rhythm when the POTUS addresses the congress once a year.

My husband is a fan, by the way. I am not.

Anyhow, the whole speech went over very well, and the next day the news people were all over themselves with exuberant praise for what a wonderful, sincere speech the Donald made, they were surprised, very encouraging, and quite willing now to believe that he has changed his tune/stripes/spots and is becoming civilized.

I has my doubts.  Anyone who has been subjected to his many moods and modes of communication will recognize this one, it's the "placate the masses" one,  intended to soothe and butter everyone up.  It was a speech, nothing more.  Even the Donald knows better than to go into Big Dude mode with Congress, and to be honest, he handled them very well.  I just don't buy it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Even the smallest steps are appreciated (6WS)

Day before yesterday I was shoveling off the kitchen roof after the second semi-blizzard in three days (and of course it's a two-fer  because once you get that roof clean you take the roof rake and drag down as much snow as you can from the main roof on two sides, giving you usually three times as much snow as you just cleaned off) and in the midst of all this I heard ravens, looked up, and there were two of them, heading off for the woods. Cruk, cruk, cruk.

And deeper into the woods, careful, tentative, a pileated woodpecker drumming out his first love letter to a prospective Mrs. Woodpecker.

At the edge of the field which is bordered by woods, chickadees, shouting at each other, establishing their own early territories for the spring.

At some point the sun will come out and something will start to melt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

T13--ladies only--mostly

Ah, the memories:

1. full body girdles with stocking grippers (remember the dents?) to hold the nylons up

2. "are my seams straight?"

3. two inch heels for everything--even teachers, nurses and waitresses wore them

4. "mules" and yes they had heels too

5. lipstick came in two basic colors:  red and pink, and when you were 16 you were allowed some.

6. if you colored your hair (it was called "dyed" back then) you never told anyone

7. home perms with little pink plastic clips and curl papers

8. homes for wayward girls (and it was ALWAYS her fault, right)

9. dress-up to go Christmas shopping, to the movies, even to  the doctor

10. you wore blue jeans or slacks only at home and skirts to go out in public

11. I had a Golden Book (flip book), one side was "Just like Mommy" and the other side was "Just Like Daddy."  grrrr.

12. real glass in your eyeglasses

13. little metal perforated curlers with a hinge that usually pulled out a chunk of hair when you took them out

New Thursday 13

Sunday, February 12, 2017

It looks almost fake

It's been snowing since noon.  I must admit, albeit grudgingly, it is kinda pretty.  There are storms like this that make me feel that the snow is not rising, but the house is sinking.

The weather people are still arguing about just WHERE in NH this will become a blizzard and seem to have narrowed it down to two counties out of a possible er. however many there are.  What I am curious about is how they can explain to the storm that it's just supposed to turn into a blizzard in ONLY those two counties?   It would seem about as useful as shouting at ants that they're going the wrong way...

The mister is out there even now, making his first snow blower pass of the evening. He's a happy happy man.   Enclosed cab, am-fm radio, heat,  power.  Much power.  The only thing missing is a heated shower and maybe closed circuit tv.  He keeps telling me I should learn to use the BobCat,  but I suspect we would have to fight over who gets to use it first...

It does resemble one of those lithographs you used to see in old stories, all we need is a sleigh and several hungy wolves trailing behind, waiting for somebody to be thrown to them as a sacrifice...

Monday, February 6, 2017

one wish

We have a cat here named Toby;  he's about  7.  He came to us 5 years ago, with his bonded buddy Sammy.   After Sammy disappeared Toby made tentative friends with  our remaining cats but has always been numbingly frightened of humans, of hands raised (oh my god he's gonna throw something at me), or sudden moves.   When you entered a room, he would hurl himself out the door to escape. When he needed to go out or pass through the room you were in he would whiz through like greased lightning.

Since Charlie came, two years ago, Toby has settled down. he accepts us as tolerable, which means if we enter a room, he opens one eye to make sure we aren't carrying anything, and then more or less goes to sleep. He no longer gives us that deer-in-the-headlights stare.  Charlie has colonized the bed and that seems to have given Toby permission to do the same.  Sometimes he will actually brave the fact of Sleeping Humans to sleep there; we pretend not to notice.  Or move.

When I brush Charlie, now, Toby will show up too, not so much to be brushed, but for a very fleeting scratch between his shoulder blades.   Slowly, slowly, he's being assimilated.

But I have one wish, before one of us dies,  and that is to have him jump up into my lap, turn around a few times, and curl up for a nap. Not planning on it, you understand. Just somewhere near the top of my bucket list.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Town House crackers and maple syrup (6WS)

Reeeealllly gooood

just dip and eat. dip and eat. dip and--😊

Thursday, February 2, 2017


she thinks of the times spent
in quiet easy conversation
two people relaxing on a step
or leaning, the way country people do,
against the side of a pickup,
staring down at nothing
as they discuss everything

sometimes they were so easy
together people mistook them
for more than they were to each other

they were each other's cheering section
on the good days
and on the bad as well
she thinks of the way it felt
when they hugged hello
and then goodbye

some things need
no explanation or reason
or boundaries
and what it is
is just enough on both sides

my stone wall will never become
your white painted fence, she said
but never out loud

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Something for the last day of January--

--that has utterly nothing to do with weather or politics or anything but what it is.

Arlo Guthrie

Monday, January 30, 2017

Snow months in Northern New England (9 or 10, maybe 14)

Someone will mention that "yeah, but don't let your guard down, remember that nasty bout we had one  March, three blizzards, one a week?"  and someone else says, " hey, three years ago we had snow in February up to the wahzoo..."

and I have pictures showing both of those, not to mention the Halloween "light dusting" three or four years ago which left us with a foot of snow and no apologies for the mess.  Or two Thanksgivings back, we spent on our appointed roofs (rooves?)  roof rake in one hand,  shovel in the other, cleaning off a mountain of snow with the consistency of partially dried cement.

 Or the infamous ice storm of '97 where it rained ice for a week, took off the top story of forest down six feet all over New England, and left many of us without power for 8 days or longer.   Took us two days to clear our driveway so the line crews could get to the downed  power lines in the woods.

First year in this house the temps went down to 0 at Christmas and stayed there until January.. Then it got REALLY cold, down to -20, all month.  We were burning green oak chunks, and spent the evenings listening to it hiss in the stove as it dried out.

and let us not forget April 1st, mebbe 25 years past, in the days when mud season here was a reality and we left our vehicles at the end of the driveway--any food we needed we backpacked in, and when I shopped I shopped by weight as much as by need.  Just the night before we had  been discussing finally bringing the cars  up to the house, always a marker for us then.  In the morning there was a two foot coating of snow all over the place, and the neighbor had used his tractor  plow to clear our driveway at least to the top of the hill.

Define 'snow month' and get 15 responses, all of them accurate, all of them covering nearly every month except June July and August. Including the 8" dusting we had one early  may, with  sad eyed
jonquils blooming bravely through it.

"Well, " he says, leaning back, "at least that late it don't stay  long"  and he's right.  But it's the fact of it. That, and you learn to never turn your back on winter,  she's a mean bitch,  hates to be ignored.

Those of you who don't live here, you are probably asking yourself, WHY ARE THEY STILL THERE?  I wonder, too.  But that's end of  January talking. Come March and the first warm days with the wind pushing the warm fog up from the south, and the smell of mud instead of snow--well...then I'll remember why. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The first crow of the winter

Every winter the crows fall silent.  Someone said they do, indeed, migrate, but no one seems to know why, or specifically where.  Maybe to Aunt Ruth's in Brighton. Who knows.

But some time in mid-to-late January I open the door to see if the weather is still there (one never knows, with winter) and, like today, I am greeted with an early morning symphony from the far woods.

And it's okay.

I think sometimes we have conscious or unconscious marker points in our weather/personal calendar, and this is one for me.  The next one will be getting to the last day of February.  My dad always said if you could make it that far, spring was on the way.  Ironically, he died on the last day of February.
Can't believe it's been nearly 44 years.

But the sky is bright blue, the wind is whipping the tall narrow ash trees behind the house into a frenzied swaying dance, and the crows are back.

And it's very okay.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trip down memory lane

1. "red yellow and blue balloons" (WONder Bread)

2. Spam  (the original mystery meat)

3, drive-in movies

4. Hostess Twinkies

5. Zarex

6. Marshmallow Fluff

7. Tuna Casserole (made with cream of mushroom soup) with peas (yum)

8.  TV test patterns

9. "living better electrically"

10. Masks on the back of cereal boxes

11. Cracker Jacks and those cool prizes

12.  Saddle shoes

13. Velveeta Cheese

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

out with the old in with the new

My only foray into political anything was tonight,  and I watched a clip of  President Obama's final days...I noticed he seemed relaxed, easy,  comfortable.  As well he should.

And the one statement that resonated with me.  "We're going to be okay."

I think we needed to hear that.  Lord knows, I did.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

the wind, she blows and then (6WS)

it snows.  again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The sweetest words in the English language (well, almost...)

Your order has been shipped    😏

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 (6WS)

practice, practice, practice

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas, Charlie

My husband's cousin gave us a lovely fleecy red and white throw for Christmas, and the first thing I did was add it to the blanket collection on the bed.