Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the Road

Okay, enough of winter for me.

I packed up the car and hit the road, heading south.  I spent Monday with my daughter and grand kids and left from their house on Tuesday morning.

I will spend the night in a hotel in northern Virginia and then head to my brother's in North Carolina.

It looks like I might not outpace the storms that threaten the southeast this weekend, but I will give it a try.

The 500+ miles I put in today were relatively smooth, except for the mountains between  Scranton and Harrisburg, PA.  It rained and helpful signs (when I was right on top of them) informed me that I was in a fog-prone area.  Right--might not have noticed otherwise.

Have they kicked out St. Christopher?  The  one who was supposed to protect travelers?  I think I heard that some years ago.   Well, my dad was not a saint, but he was a good driver.  I have long conversations with him whenever I am driving any distance or driving in bad weather, and I definitely feel he is there watching out for me every time I am in a car.  Thanks, Dad!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Snow

It is causing problems with electricity and internet connection and some are not so safe and warm...

but it is quite beautiful.
My road.

Red barn to show the camera does take color photos.



Arching branches laden with snow.


It was especially beautiful when this  morning, ever so briefly, a ray of sunshine pierced the grey clouds and lit the scene.  It was like being in a church.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quilt

The storm warnings were well founded and we are sogged in with the heavy, wet, white stuff.

Schools were not in session and the snow plows were busy, busy, busy.

Housebound, I had time to finish my memory quilt.  I used Mike's flannel shirts and denim to represent his jeans.  It wasn't really that easy to work with, but it will be a cozy reminder for me on chilly evenings.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shoulda...

As in:  Shoulda left last week!  I would be in Florida by now.

Burlington, VT
Tuesday 9:00 AM
Mostly Cloudy
undefined
33
°F | °C
Precipitation: 10%
Humidity: 75%
Wind: 5 mph
Temperature
Precipitation
Wind
Winter Storm Warning
Northern Vermont
5 hours ago – 


National Weather Service

Accumulations: snow accumulation of 5 to 10 inches of heavy dense snow ... Up to two tenths of an inch of ice, mainly across mid level elevations of northeastern Vermont ...




In fact, the weather in Florida is not that great, but I do note that there is no snow on the current horizon.

Elev 26 ft 27.05 °N82.41 °W | Updated 5 min ago

Overcast
Overcast
57.6 °F
Feels Like 57.6 °F
N
4.2
Wind from NE
Today is forecast to be MUCH COOLER than yesterday.
Today
High 64 | Low 49 °F
0% Chance of Precip.
Yesterday
High 75.9 | Low 57.6 °F
Precip. 0 in
7:07 am 5:36 pm



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Night Life.

I went out to a movie on Friday night with a friend.

It was a 7:30 p.m. movie.  I didn't even get home until 10:00.  This is so exciting for someone who has been fighting the urge--and not always winning--to be in pajamas as soon as it is dark.  Dark dark happens at around 4 p.m. around here at this time of year.

Not only that, on Thursday I went to a gallery opening in downtown Burlington.  I went with friends and afterward we went out for something to eat.  I didn't get home until 9:30 that night.  And I dressed up to go out!

Two nights in a row!  Out past dark!  I might be turning into a party animal.

The movie was St. Vincent.  I enjoyed it, thought it was quite touching in a way.

The little kid actor is not in the poster, but he was really the star.


The gallery show was well attended.  I have mentioned the local artist, Dianne
Shullenberger, and her work before.  She made her recent, realistic pictures out of fabric bits and a sewing machine.  It was being with good friends that made the evening though.

Church Street, Burlington, VT


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weekend Update

The day after Thanksgiving was always Mike's favorite day of the year.  Absolutely NO eating of leftovers.  Early on it was watching Planet of the Apes movies with his brothers and ordering in pizza.  In more recent years it was an outing--maybe to Cedar Hill Cemetery or to the Wadsworth Atheneum.

That was just a preliminary sidelight to the main event as far as Mike was concerned.  The main event was a trip to Hartford's Franklin Street, once the heart of the Italian section of the city.  For Mike, it was pure nostalgia and real comfort food. Nothing says "Thanksgiving" like a salami and provolone grinder* and a bag of chips from Giant Grinder.

Then, on to Modern Pastry Shop for a box of assorted Italian cookies to bring home--or maybe gobble down on the trip back to Vermont.

Life changes.  Established traditions change as well.  We all have to work around that fact at some point.  New traditions come into being and that is not such a bad thing.  But we also want to preserve something of our pasts.

The day after Thanksgiving (which was actually very pleasant and not nearly as trying as I made it out to be in my previous post), I left for a trip to Connecticut.  I joined Mike's sister and brother and families for dinner at an Italian family restaurant--Roma's in East Hartford, where they make the best eggplant parm I have ever tasted, on Friday night.

On Saturday my sister-in-law and I walked, talked, shopped, took in a movie, had a lovely salmon dinner, drank wine, and just had a good time together.  I am sure that Mike was smiling down on my new kick off to the holiday season, although with a tear for the lack of a salami and provolone grinder (especially for it being replaced with eggplant).

And now, a week of diet and fasting and exercise.



*Grinder is New England for sub, hero, hoagie, etc. kind of sandwich.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Giving thanks it is over...

Thanksgiving Day is such a fine holiday--at least in theory.

It is a day dedicated to family, to giving thanks for that family, to food, to giving thanks for that food. to contemplating our blessings.  What is not to love?  I cannot understand why it isn't everyone's favorite holiday.

Okay, if you are a kid, I'll give you Christmas and Halloween.  If you are religious, I will grant you special and spiritually meaningful holy days.  If you are patriotic, well, you get the idea.

So why is it that such a fine concept as a day dedicated to Thanks Giving can sometimes go haywire?  I mean, I have never really experienced anything close to, say, the kind of family reunion portrayed in the movie August Osage County, but I don't doubt for a minute such reunions take place all too often.

I had a very nice Thanksgiving Day.  I started the preparations early.  (Translate as I cooked for three days.)  At some point I realized I was cooking as maniacally as my mother used to only there were not going to be twenty to twenty-five people gathered around my table.  Whoops.

I asked Kevin to drive into Burlington and pick a few homeless people that might be gathering for a meal, but he didn't think that was a good idea and besides he wasn't feeling all that great.

Then of course there was the storm that dumped a foot of snow over Wednesday night.  I know that is nothing compared to 6 or 7 feet like they got in Buffalo, but it was enough to make me worry that my daughter would not make the 70 mile trip.  When I called her, she said, "Oh, I told Father I would go to his house for Thanksgiving."  WHAT???

Well Amy and the kids did arrive just as my meal was ready to go on the table.
Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, homemade rolls, cornbread stuffing, pumpkin pie.  Kevin managed to eat a little.  Kristen had some of the shrimp I had set out for an appetizer (actually a lot of the shrimp), a small piece of turkey and some mashed potato, and and two brussel sprouts.  Dane tasted the turkey and some squash, then he ate two raw carrots from the refrigerator.  Amy and I did our best, but there is a lot of food leftover.

Then the kids started getting rambunctious.  They had had a long car ride.  Ha!  Time to go visit grandpa.

The clean up took as long as preparing the meal.  In truth, probably a bit longer.

Now Christmas.  What a joyful holiday full of tradition...