Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Photos

The other morning this was all that was left as color on our burning bush hedge. I think the colors have intensified with the frosts we’ve had the past week. It was grey outside so the leaves took on their own persona. Pretty.

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Early morning shadows on the back deck.

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Our weather station was not recording rainfall amounts anymore after more than 15 years of hard service. It drove us crazy not knowing how much rain we got this past week. So, for Christmas we bought a new one. It was supposed to be saved and wrapped and put under the tree but we just couldn’t stand it any longer. Rick got it installed yesterday. Here is Sam having fun with the box. Sam does love his boxes!

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Our turkey came out looking and tasting wonderful! In fact, our whole meal was one of the better Thanksgiving feasts we’ve ever tasted.

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Bella and Alex thought the turkey looked awfully good too! Mom, are we getting any?

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Our weekend weather is supposed to be glorious—sunny and in the 60’s so we are thinking Ms. Mia is definitely going for a drive. It might be the last chance for weather this incredible. After that it can snow a little if it wants to get us all in the Christmas mood.

We still need to run Johnny over the yard one more time for a final leaf pick-up, then he can be switched out to the snowblower. Right now it’s hard to imagine!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Home thoughts

We arrived home in the very same kind of weather we left in. Rain. It rained nearly all the way through the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, again. We haven’t seen rain since the very first day we arrived in Laramie to do our shopping on the way in to the cabin. Two weeks without rain! The temperature upon arrival was a chilly and damp 50 degrees F which feels so much colder than the dry-almost-non-existent humidity of Colorado.

The dogs somehow knew we were home the minute we pulled in to the driveway and all three erupted into a frenzied joyful barking. We let them out of the truck and they ran around, barking of course, in the front yard. I’m sure the neighbors at the opposite end of the street knew we were home after that racket. The kitties once let out of their crates in the house roamed the rooms with tails straight up and eyes round. The house was chilly, so on went the heat for the first time this year. It smelled good; comforting. We unpacked the truck in the light drizzle, put some things away and then finally sat down to a well deserved glass of wine. We heated up the leftover chicken pot pie we had brought home with us from the cabin because we couldn’t bear to throw it out and had that for our dinner while we watched the TiVo’d premiere of Terra Nova.

Our neighbors called and told us to be on the look out as a big bear was getting into the trash down the street and we had just put our trash out for pickup in the morning. They said they’d had a bear in their garage three times over the past week. Welcome back to the wilds of New Jersey! Rick turned on our outside lights at the street thinking that might deter him.

Too tired to do anything else, we went to bed. As I lay in bed listening to the soft patter of rain outside I thought not for the first time how good it was to be home. We both love the cabin but now it’s somewhere we go on vacation and not home. At least “not home” in the sense of where we live. When we are at the cabin, we are home. Hmmm ... does that make sense? It’s hard to explain. I know I’ve said it again and again on my blog, but when we are there we are home and when we are here we are home. I think you get the idea. I am starting to come around to the idea of a trial year at the cabin, winter and all, once we retire. What a blog that would make!

This morning as I type it’s raining. The sky is gray and dark. So different from the brilliant blue that we had for the past two weeks. When I look out the window I see a wall of trees crowding the yard instead of an open meadow and golden aspens glowing in the morning light. Our trees here are just starting to change but I don’t think they will be very pretty this year. They look soggy and defeated. But they are oh so beautiful with their many colors when they do change. We shall see if all the rain has made a difference in our normally gorgeous fall.

I have much to do today as you can imagine. Grocery shopping is #1 on my list, then laundry. My new machine will certainly be getting a workout over the next few days!

I’ll leave you with a photo I took last week.

Lynne Robinson, New Jersey

Saturday, September 10, 2011

True North

Lynne Robinson, New Jersey

Our cabin pulls us back like a malfunctioning compass, insisting that for us, west is the true north. Our souls resonate with those 70+ acres of rolling sage-covered high prairie hills. The deep gullies filled with aspen and pine. Bart’s Creek (named after our Bernese Mountain Dog Bart who loved the water) that runs in the spring. The beaver pond where Bella loves to “swim.”  The meadows where columbine and lupine grow. The moose, deer, and elk that sometimes grace our land with their presence. (Although the free-range cattle that also “grace our land” are unwanted visitors.) The coyote serenades at night. The Milky Way shining brightly in the night sky. The cabin made of hand trimmed logs. It’s part of us. Part of who we are.

And next week this time we’ll be arriving about now after three days on the road cooped up with three dogs and two cats and a packed Suburban full of all the necessities.  We’re on countdown now ...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A few ways to cope with the heat

It’s hot! Temperatures in the 90’s with heat indexes well into the 100’s. Whew! Here are just a few ways some of us are coping.

Sam’s idea is to stretch out his body as far as he can for maximum cooling.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Alex’s advice is to stick your head under the tablecloth while eating outside to shield your face from the sun. Also lay with your back legs spread in frog-style to keep the belly cool.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And here is the best way to cope that I know of. Stay inside in the air conditioning until the sun goes down. Jump in.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Friday, July 15, 2011

I need a kick start

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Really, I do. I need something or someone to kick start me back to blogging on a more regular basis. Every time I sit down to compose the entry on the Panama Canal I end up staring at my brand new HD computer screen. No words come. I end up playing one of my “hidden object” games instead and zone out for an hour or so. What is wrong with me? Summertime blues? Sheer laziness? Maybe a little of both. To quote one of the blogs I read every now and then, her excuse for not blogging was that “I guess I am living the life instead of blogging about it.” That about sums it up for me, but mine is pretty boring.

My camera is gathering dust. I did go to the Botanical Gardens a week or so ago and what you see in this entry is the result of that visit. But there wasn’t much to aim the camera at and I threw away all but a few of the photos that I did take. I am in a rut there too.

Yesterday I read a book. One whole book in one whole day. (It was a light read.)

Let’s see ... what else have I done?

Last week Rick and I went to a “gala” reception at the Lincoln Center in New York City. We got dressed up, had a nice dinner and then went to the event. A lovely night! Going in to the city is always exciting and fun. Such energy in those sidewalks filled with people!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

At home we’ve been enjoying the pool which is now above 80 degrees and very comfortable. It’s not even the weather that is making me lazy as the days have been sunny and warm. Delightful. Our last rain/thunderstorm was a week ago.

The fireflies are far and few between now but the cicadas have started up ever so slowly. In fact, as I type there are two going out there now. Ah, the sound of summer.

We have at least three bats in our winnowed-down bat population. They swoop and dip over our heads when we take our nighttime swims. It’s good to see them.

The turkeys bring their cute little babies around almost every day—the end result of all that turkey sex in my front yard this spring. Sometimes just one of the hens with her brood will show up, while other times it looks more like a turkey day care center and all ten or so of the babies.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I also went with neighbor Kim this week to see a litter of six week old Irish Terrier puppies that they will getting a new puppy from. The breeder was halfway out on Long Island and I have to tell you that it’s a nasty drive! Yikes, I won’t be going out there again anytime soon. The traffic! The puppies were adorable though and it was nice to breathe in puppy breath and talk dogs again.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We also had a six o’clock a.m. visitor yesterday. We were still asleep when Alex started barking downstairs. It is not his norm to bark for no reason, so I got out of bed and looked out the front window. Nothing. Rick got up and took a look around too but he also didn’t see anything. After laying there for a fitful twenty minutes more I got up and went down to feed the dogs and cats. I looked out on the back deck and saw that one of the planter boxes that was on our deck railing had been knocked down and the poor petunias were out of their pots, the nearly indestructible Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder pulled around in an abnormal position, the iron hanger it was on slightly bent. Okay, a bear for sure. A pretty brazen one too to come onto our high deck. It’s only happened twice before in our five years here that we’ve had bears on the deck. It’s not a good feeling. I have to say that I am more than impressed with this bird feeder. Not only do the squirrels not bother it but it held up to the bear mauling with not a scratch!

So, I go to feed the cats and eBay is nowhere to be found. I call her, searching high and low but I can’t find her. She is always ready to to eat so I figure something must be wrong. Finally I hear a tiny mew coming from the laundry room. When I pull out the washer, there she is. She ventures out very tentatively into the kitchen. She peeks around the corner into the sun room and out to the deck where the bear was with her eyes wide and her tail all puffed up. Aha! She saw the bear too and it scared her so badly she was hiding from it. Poor kitty! So, the bird feeder comes in at night and when I am not at home.

One of my daily routines is to water all the outside plants before taking a shower, check on the pool temperature and add chlorine every other day. I slip on a pair of shorts and t-shirt and head out with the watering can. It’s a nice way to start the day, especially with the weather we’ve been having. I don’t even mind if the humidity is high that time of the day. Bella usually helps me with this particular job. Every other day or so I’ll tip all the water out of her wading pool and refresh it. She loves this! The minute I start adding fresh water she’s in there wading around, scooping up mouthfuls of the cold water straight from the well.  I’ve also gotten into the habit of letting one of the dogs come with me out in the front as a special treat for them. No leash, just hanging out with mom while she waters. I check on the progress of the figs daily and I have to say I can’t wait until we can eat them.

You never know what you might see while watering. The little clearwing hummingbird moths have started hovering around as I water. I just love them! While I was watering the deck flowers the other day I found this moth clinging to the petunias. Isn’t it pretty? I have never seen this particular kind of moth before so I looked him up. I think it’s some kind of Sphinx moth—possibly a Virginia (hog) Creeper Sphinx Moth. No matter what it’s name is, it’s beautiful.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

For those of you that I’ve talked to over the past week, I apologize for re-hashing all this boring, trivial stuff about my life again. Ho hum. Which brings me to another topic of conversation. I have no idea who is reading this blog anymore other than family members and a few close friends and those of you that comment from time to time (thank you Debra, Maggie & Joyce!). I get numerous “junk” comments every single day that I have to delete which is very disheartening. You should read some of them! They always include a link to whatever website selling some garbage. I am so very tired of them. It’s long been in my mind to make this blog private and if Rick can figure out how to do that without too much trouble on the part of anyone then we will do so. If you still want to read all you will have to do is sign up to be a member. You don’t have to comment, you can still continue to read as you’ve always done. The only change will be that not all those crazies out there will be able to read things about my private life anymore. Because this blog really is about my daily life. But, that’s all in the future and hopefully we can make it happen.

Okay, so I’ve sat here long enough this morning filling this entry up with boring tidbits, neglecting my watering duties which are calling me, so I will close this entry now. If you are still awake after reading this, bless you. Hopefully this will kick start me to finish my vacation blogging. Check back in a day or so to find out!

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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