Monday, February 10, 2014

Gutter Ice Art and an Unsuccessful Dog Walk

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I just got back from trying to take the dogs for a walk. A pretty unsuccessful walk. Last night we got about an inch of new snow. Just enough to coat everything really well, but not enough to shovel or plow. Scrape, maybe. Neither did our road get plowed since they have a “two-inch” rule where it has to snow two inches before they bring the plows out. 

The dogs have been driving me crazy and really missing their daily walks, so today I finally relented. They have to walk on the road because getting over on the side with all that frozen snow is something even they don’t want to do. 

We barely got out of the driveway before Hailey started hopping along and holding her paws up. I turned around and promptly put her back inside the house while Bella and I went by ourselves.

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Our road, not being a very wide road to begin with, is slowing shrinking in on itself the more snow we get. Here is what the end of our cul-de-sac looks like.

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I am not getting much exercise lately. I can’t walk at Long Pond Ironworks anymore unless I want to trudge through that nasty snow. I guess I could go over to Skylands where I could walk on pavement, but the temperature is still below freezing with a biting wind. Not conducive to walking outside at all. These days I get the most exercise walking around the grocery store aisles.

Talk is now floating around that there is a potential for a major winter storm on Wednesday night through Thursday. They must be joking. Please, stop!

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Gutter Photos: Last Thursday’s ice formation and today’s formation.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Rounds Three and Four?

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Round Three seems to be fizzling out. They are now saying we’ll be lucky to get a coating to an inch. That’s fine with me. I’m tired of shoveling the stuff anyhow. They seem to be focused on a yet another storm for mid-week which will probably fizzle out too. Only time will tell!

In the meantime, the snow we have is next to impossible to walk through or on. It’s almost crusty enough to walk on without falling through, but not quite. When I do fall through it’s up almost to my knees in spots. It’s a real workout! Even the dogs haven’t gone very far down into the yard and the snow remains undisturbed and pristine. 

I don’t have much else for you today. Last night, just before I fell asleep, I had a great blog entry formed in my mind, but the night’s strange dreams wiped my mind clean. Maybe it will come back to me. And then again, maybe not.


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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Round One and Round Two

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What follows are photos of Round One on Monday. As I mentioned, Phil is not a welcome woodchuck and better stay hidden in his hole. This snow was beautiful: wet and fluffy and stuck to everything in sight, tracing all the tree branches in white.

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Round Two which arrived in the wee hours of the morning this morning, was quite a different animal. Several times I woke up to sleet hitting the window, tink, tink, tink. The sight out the window this morning was not a welcome one. Yet another six inches of snow, but this time very dense and with an added something extra thrown in just to keep it interesting — a coating of an inch or more of ice. The only good thing I can say about the snow is that Rick did cancel his road trip to Maryland and is working from home today.

Here is what it looks like now.

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The stuff is the consistency of snow cones. All I need is some colored flavoring and I could start a snow cone franchise.

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Moving it was like trying to pick up concrete. I first had to break the top layer of ice and toss it before I took a shovelful. I think a nice soaking bath will feel pretty good tonight.

Bella is the only one who doesn’t mind.

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I don’t think Round One or Round Two is going to melt before Round Three which is expected on Sunday through Monday with a predicted additional 6-12 inches with maybe an ice storm thrown in. It’s still days away and too early to call yet, but that’s at least what they are saying now. I can’t wait.


Monday, February 03, 2014

Shoot the Messenger and Bird Rescue

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The messenger being that pesky rodent-y woodchuck, Punxsutawney Phil, who yesterday predicted six more weeks of winter. He was right! It’s snowing and has been since before the sun came up. I would guess we have about 5 or 6 inches so far. More snow is predicted for Wednesday morning, which is of course the very day Rick needs to drive down to Maryland. To top that off they have been hinting at a really BIG storm coming on Sunday. Phooey on Phil! Afraid of his own shadow! Go back in your hole and chuck some wood before someone takes a pot shot at you! (Just kidding —I wouldn’t really harm him. I think they are cute.) Just sayin’ …

Yesterday as I was sitting in the sunroom with my cup of morning coffee I was startled by a loud THWACK! on the sliding glass door. I knew what it was before I even looked, but I was hoping that the bird had just been able to fly away. Not this time. I looked over to see a decent-sized gray bird doing a sick kind of dance with its head down and its butt in the air with all its tail feathers spread out. I rushed to get my gloves and went outside to try and save him. I did not know what it was since it was not a bird that frequents our feeders. It had a large black crown on its head and beautiful rusty-colored underparts. I held it gently in my gloved hands, trying to keep him warm while he got over the shock. He was not looking good, I have to admit.

It’s amazing to me that the birds that I have saved (and tried to save) let me pick them up and don’t really seem to mind being held by a giant. I held it for a while but I was getting cold since I was still in my robe and slippers so I asked Rick to get me a towel. I put the towel on our outside table and every so gently put the towel over and around the bird. I went back inside to eat breakfast. When I came out I lifted the towel to see him still in there after 20 minutes. I went to pick him up and he took off trying to fly without a lot of success. I was bending over a little to catch him when he landed on my back. Yup. On my back on my nice warm cozy robe. There he sat. Has this ever happened to you? 

Rick was watching from the door and I expected him to come and help but he just stood there like he was enjoying the show. Meanwhile, I am bent over with a bird on my back in my robe and slippers on the outside deck. Finally he opened the door and asked if I wanted him to take a picture because I kept gesturing at him. NO! I said — I want you to get this bird off my back! So he did and the bird kind of flew off and was last seen clinging to the side of the house. I went back out in about 15 minutes expecting to find him lying on the ground below the spot where he was clinging, but much to my surprise (and relief) he was nowhere to be seen. I am hoping he recovered enough and flew off. 

My bird turned out to be a Gray Catbird which I had never actually seen before. A few years back we had one that was nesting in our hedge under the window that we heard every morning, but we never actually saw one. They are very pretty birds.

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, and all those people who flew in just for the Super Bowl? I think their flights might have been cancelled today. I’m sure they aren’t very happy, especially if the Broncos were their team. They came all this way to watch the Broncs make donkeys out of themselves. 

I’m on a roll. Just try and shut me up!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Neglected and Clippered

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Well, so much for my “promise” of blogging more often. Three weeks?? That has got to be a record. My poor blog is as neglected and forgotten as this old house. (Autumn reflections in windows.) No, nothing is wrong — just living life away from the keyboard. I haven’t even been around to read or comment on anyone else’s blogs either, so for that I apologize. That having been said, this will be a catch-up post and longish. I will be by to visit your blogs soon!

We’ve been having a series of clipper systems coming down from the North and snowing on us with frigid temperatures. Last Tuesday we got snow —about 4 inches worth — while the city got about a foot. On Saturday we were supposed to get “a coating to an inch” and ended up with 3 inches. And just yesterday we had an unpredicted little snow that coated all the surfaces we had just cleaned the day before. We’ve had so many gray days that it’s hard to count them all. We saw blue sky yesterday morning for an hour or so and it was a welcome sight.

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With the temperatures not getting above freezing for the past week we’ve had the wood fire going all day. It keeps that part of the house so toasty warm! Today is the first day above freezing in a while but tonight it is supposed to plummet again to the single digits. 

The dogs like it when I don’t clear all the snow off the decks and leave them something to lay on. Hailey turned ten years old on Friday. A grand old age for her breed. She does not like the weather we’ve been having other than to lay in her snow pile. I attempted to take them for a walk last week when it warmed up to 20 degrees but there was still patchy ice on our road. She kept pitifully picking her paws up and holding them in the air as if to say “mom, it’s too cold on my poor little pads!” So I brought her back home and went with only Bella who didn’t seem to notice. I’ve never seen one of our dogs ever do that before. If was almost funny if you didn’t think she was in some kind of discomfort. 

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She and Bella have become closer since we lost Alex. She was even playing in the snow with Bella the other day on the deck like a puppy. They have also taken to lying next to each other like siamese twins. It’s really sweet.

I have been somehow keeping myself busy even though I stay home a lot. I have been knitting this Katniss-inspired Cowl (from the Catching Fire, the second of the Hunger Games movies) and I’m super excited how easy it was and how well it turned out. I tried to get a pic of me wearing it and it was harder than you think it would be. (Getting the photo, I mean. Self portraits are not my forte.) I’m now making a second one for my sister. And yes, it was one sleeve and the other side just drapes over the shoulder.

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For Christmas I gave us a trail camera. I mostly bought it for the cabin so we could catch those animal visitors that we never get to see, but I also thought it might be fun here as well. It takes photos both in daylight and at night by infrared. We set it up the night after it snowed and here were a few visitors we caught. It’s very cool because each pic has a read out of the temperature, the date and time that it was taken. I think the photos are pretty good quality! It was fairly inexpensive so I’m sure we’ll have more than one set up in different areas at the cabin.

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In this mash-up of topics I just had to include a photo of our lunch yesterday: Roasted Pears with Honey Mustard Glaze, Brie & Pistachios. We’ve had this several times and each time it seems to get better. We serve it on a bed of arugula with high-quality balsamic vinegar splashed on top. 

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We are also moving forward with retirement plans, which are still two years in the future. We are excited about the most recent development for the winter months if we decide the cabin is just too “out there” for spending the winter in, but I don’t want to talk about it just yet on the blog for some personal reasons. Let’s just say it makes perfect sense for us. I am also forming a blog post in my head about the sense of belonging. It just has not jelled completely yet.

We are also thinking about getting one of these cute little things. We have always had in the back of our mind to get a motorhome and travel some in retirement, but after going to an RV show recently and playing with all the numbers and the amount of times we’d be traveling, we came to the conclusion that it didn’t make sense money-wise. To get  a T@B, however, would fill the need to go “glamping” and it’s priced reasonably enough to justify its purchase. We still need to see one in person since we are fairly certain Rick won’t be able to stand up to cook if we get the one with the inside kitchen, so a close-by RV show in February should decide that issue. 

So, that’s my life lately summed up in a clamshell (or teardrop), and if you didn’t follow the link you won’t get the inside joke. 



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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