Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye, 2012; Hello, 2013


So, it is almost over.  We managed to avoid the end of the world on December 21st although, I  guess the fiscal cliff still looms.  Oh, but now they are calling it more like a fiscal slope so that’s all right then.

There will not be a phenomenon such as 12-12-12 in the rest of my lifetime.  Oh, well, I took very little note of those dates anyway.  I am sure it would be handy to have your wedding date, or your birth date, or even your twelfth anniversary on that day.  Imagine the righteous indignation you could muster: What?!?  You forgot our anniversary?!?  Unlucky for me, though, because I am the one who always forgets those sentimental dates.

According to a numerology article I read in an area magazine—the Sarasota area is tres new agey—the coming year will be a financially beneficial year for me (hence my refusal to worry about the financial cliff).  I hope so, as 2012 was not a banner year on the money front.  Still, we never once went without a meal unless we wanted to—usually because we had too much at the last one.  Also, we were able to complete the furnishing of our Florida home.  I have nothing to complain about and every reason to be grateful.  And I am.

I have made a couple of resolutions, but mostly I am concentrating on my hopes for a better world ushered in with the new year:
  • a world where people (including those On the Hill) work together with civility,
  • a world where children go to bed at night feeling safe and well-fed,
  • a world where women do not lie near death after being brutally raped and beaten,
  • a world where weapons are turned into ploughshares and we study war no more (something like that),
  • a world where peace is found in every home in every land.
Not so much to ask…


Bing Images
 
 
Happy New Year

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Breakfast


Breakfast at our house these days means a cup or two of coffee and a slice of toast or a muffin.  Except on Sunday.  We have a big breakfast on Sunday mornings.

This morning, I made Crème Brulee French toast.  Actually, I served it because I put it together the night before.  It was delicious, custardy…although I may spend the rest of the day in a sugar-induced coma, even though I did cut back on the butter and brown sugar called for in the recipe and I did not see the need to add powdered sugar or maple syrup.  Mike did, though. Just to make it pretty.  I served it with sliced oranges.  I found the recipe through a link-up hosted on Family Home and Life.  The original site was My Turn (for us).


 My Turn (for us): Creme Brulee French Toast

I will not make this often, but I will make it again—special occasion recipe file.  I pinned it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Vintage.



We have had our Christmas celebrations with family and friends for this year.  Mike and I will have a quiet day together.

To all of you who celebrate in a more traditional manner:


Merry Christmas
 
 
 
May we find peace in the coming New Year
 
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Solstice

I was compelled to drive the 70 miles to my daughter's house yesterday afternoon so that I could attend the grandkids' Winter Concert.

Usually, on a cold, dark night, I would stay in with a mug of hot chocolate and let them know I was there in spirit.  Somehow the events of the last few days made my need to see them--and see them in their school--overwhelming.  I put aside my volunteering and I put aside the preparations for the start of our trip to Florida tomorrow and I attended that concert.

It was so very worth it.  They were surprised (but pleased) to see me.  I was excited to see them all dressed up.  Dane wore a white dress shirt and a tie -- so precious.  K. had on a white sweater and a pretty necklace and she looked so very beautiful.

The program was well done.  The school band played, the chorus sang, there was a group of hand bell ringers, and each class did a sang with an accompanying dance or reading.  The music teacher obviously worked overtime, but so did the entire rest of the staff.  The art teacher had decorated the stage with stars and moons and twinkle lights.  Several of the staff joined in with the chorus.  And then there was the set-up/cleanup, practice time, and supervision and assistance during the program.  Teachers work so much harder than most people know--and too often without the credit and appreciation they deserve.

I did send a thank-you to the school today.  That is not very much for how good I felt after giving the grands hugs and kisses and heading out for home.

Before the tie and the hair combing.  My daughter attempted a tucked in shirt, but that did not last to the stage.  The tie did though!  How pinchable are those cheeks?                                                                                                            


Today, I did some last minute errands--the drugstore, the bank, the car wash, the grocery store for supper for tonight.  I dropped off a couple of small presents to friends.  Now the car is all packed and Mike and I will start the three day trip to Florida in the morning.  We will have a quiet evening.  The decorations are all put away, but I left up candles in the windows to acknowledge the winter solstice.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace

So often we wish each other peace during this season.  May we all find some measure of peace.  I want to say that even knowing that for too many that will be beyond elusive.  Where is there shelter in this storm?  My heart aches.  Pictures of the Sandy Hook victims reduce me to tears and I only want to hold my little ones tightly.

I have visited these words from One Day at a Time so often in the past few days.

May we all stay strong.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Confession


I have to admit this: I am really, really bad about this whole idea of blogger awards.

And it makes sense.  I was the person who always, always broke the chain letter thing.  I just could not bring myself to follow through.

Snail mail and, therefore, chain letters are a thing of the past.  But I still get the e-mail equivalent:  I will get $$$ and good luck in just twenty-four short hours after forwarding to 20 of my closest friends.  Well, even worse is those that say if I fail to forward to 20 of my closest friends, bad luck will befall me and all those I hold dear.  I don’t want to believe that stuff, but it still bothers me so greatly that I tend to hit delete before getting through the whole message. What I don’t know won't hurt me.

Now, awards are a different thing.  Who doesn’t like to get awards?  Bloggers pass around awards and I have gotten a few and I think, in a Sally Fields kind of moment, “Oh, you like me!”  That feels pretty good.  Still, I am vaguely but clearly bothered by the stipulation of passing it on.  I don’t know why, but I am.  I  do believe it has something to do with that whole chain letter thing—like I will somehow be imposing on those I choose to award.

On the other hand, I get the part apart sharing interesting blogs, getting the word out, and  encouraging a wider readership for worthy bloggers.  I think that is a good thing.  So I am conflicted.

Have I now shared at least seven random facts about myself?

I have received two awards in the fairly recent past.  Connie of Family Home and  Life nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award and Meryl of Six Decades and Counting nominated me for the Reality and Shine On award.  I am thankful.  I am honored.  I am humbled.  I am so very passive aggressive about passing these awards on to others.

So here is the thing.  I am checking out the blogs honored along with my own for these awards.  I will  very likely add some new blogs to my list.  I am suggesting that any of the blogs on my “Blog List”  are really worth checking out even if I fail to specifically nominate them for an award.  And that list does not even come close to listing the blogs that I follow in Reader and elsewhere, but I hereby promise to give them a shout out as time goes by.

I am living with myself on this!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paper Project



I get together with a group of crafty women on a fairly regular basis.  We have fun with glue and glitter…so much glitter.  We have a lunch, laugh a lot, and go home with something completed.

We made a lot of Christmas cards and gift tags over the fall.  We met last week and I was responsible for a project.  I made a bunch of these folded pockets to stuff with treats and give to friends and use for the kids’ advent basket.  By then, I was tired of the Christmas stuff, so I packed pink paper and we got all girly.

DSCN2226 A candy, a note, a gift card, whatever could be tucked inside.

The steps are:
DSCN2279Start with a square piece of paper.
 
DSCN2280Fold it in half to form a triangle.
 
DSCN2281Fold the top point toward the long side (bottom).
 
DSCN2282Fold one side over, aligning the edge with the upper fold line.
 
DSCN2283Repeat with the other side.
 
DSCN2284Voila! A pocket.  No glue or tape required.  Ready to decorate.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

More of the season


DSCN2268
It is the little touches that make the holiday for me these days.  I bought this basket to hang over the front door.

DSCN2263
I used to fill these shelves with Christmas dishes and Santas.  Obviously, I have cut way back.  Small touches.

What doesn’t show up in a picture is the smell of the tree.  I have supplemented that with oil of balsam fir spritzed on cotton balls and tucked here and there.  And next week there will be the added fragrance of baking.

We will be heading to sunny Florida just before Christmas, but until then it is certainly great to have the small touches of color and light to counter the grey skies and early darkness.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Merry and Bright


DSCN2278
The wreath is hung on the window outside.

DSCN2275
It may be early, but the stockings are hung by the woodstove.

I have sampled a few too many Christmas cookies.  I noticed I had to give an extra tug to button up my jeans this morning.

I have the mail away packages wrapped and about half the cards ready to go.

I have the mittens and hats for donation and a toy for the toy barrel in the mall.

I even went out for a tree and put it up.DSCN2271It is tiny, but it is real.

The red ball says, “I Love YOU, Grandma.”  Yeah for Christmastime!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Scary News

The local newspaper has been full of disturbing news for the past couple of days.  I couple in a nearby town went missing a year and a half ago.  Their bodies were never found, but there was serious evidence of foul play.  A suspect was identified eventually but his name was never officially released until yesterday.

The suspect, and confessed killer, committed suicide in an Alaska prison. Israel Keyes had been arrested in Alaska for the murder of an 18 year-old coffee cart vendor.  He then confessed to the Vermont murders and  several others.  He died before authorities could follow up any details beyond the Alaska and Vermont slayings.

He apparently killed totally at random, with all his victims unknown to him.  He was fairly meticulous in his planning and claimed his criminal activities had gone on for years.

He travelled through Vermont on his way to see relatives in Maine and apparently felt the urge to kill a couple in their home.  He scouted for home with attached garage, no dogs, no children with a standard layout so he could predict the location of the bedroom.

Throughout the years and who knows how many killings, he maintained his own handyman business and was respected for his work by those who hired him.  In his words, "I am two different people."
One of those people was pure evil.

And he walked among us.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Small Town


My grand children live in a small Vermont town.  The buildings along the main street were mostly built in the  early 1800’s.      
WallingfordCollage
Colonial and Victorian influences are evident.  It is a pretty little village.

The fountain where my grand son is standing has a boy with a boot during warmer weather.  We have had some cold days and some snow, but this day was quite balmy—almost 50.

Wallingford2Collage
Anybody know what these architectural styles are?  There are marble quarries nearby so one sees a lot of that in the area.

Of course, the very best part of that little town:

Dane5
and
 
K11

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Easy as Pie


I am going to weigh in on the subject of pie crust.

My grandmother made an excellent pie crust.  My mother made an excellent pie crust.  For the longest time I thought it was too difficult to even attempt so I used ready made.  But I have reformed.  I have claimed my rightful heritage.  In fact, when I reach that great bake-off in the sky, I am going to be serious competition for both Gram and Mom.

I have a couple of recipes that I use.  The one I will share today was taken from Health Magazine, the November 2007 edition.   It makes one double crust pie.  And, hey, it came from Health Magazine.  The word ‘health’ is right in the title.  That proves that it is good for you!  Eat as much as you want!

All the ingredients and all the utensils should be very cold.  The recipe actually calls for use of the food processor.  I don’t use it though.

Combine: 2 cups all-purpose flour*, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add: 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, and 7 tablespoons of trans-fat-free shortening.  Combine until the mixture resembles crumbs.
DSCN2233
I like to start with a pastry blender.  Mom used two knives.
*Can’t beat King Arthur flour.

DSCN2234I finish by pinching it between my fingers—the grandma method of choice.  I do believe pie crust is a ‘feeling.’
Sprinkle: 1/3 cup cold water over the flour mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  Toss with a fork to mix.

Light tossesDSCN2235

Form the pastry into two balls and flatten into disks (3/4 inch thick, or so).  Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

DSCN2236Mine is going into the freezer today.  I’ll make the pie in a couple of weeks.  Maybe you can see the smears of butter in the dough.  This is perfectly fine.  Remember…think Health.

Rolling out:  Place a disk on a 12 inch sheet of plastic wrap.  Dust with flour and roll out with floured rolling pin.  Invert into a 9” pie plate and peel off the plastic wrap.  After filling, moisten the edge, roll out the other pastry and top.  Seal edge and trim any excess.  Slit top for steam vents.  Brush top with milk for a golden brown finish.  It can also be sprinkled with sugar before baking.





So after the holidays I will weigh in on the subject of pie crust and other delicious things in quite a different sense...but I will enjoy my delusions while I can.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What Happened to Legos?


I was thinking of getting some Legos for my grand son.

Remember Legos?  They used to be these brick-like stick-together blocks that could be used to construct all kinds of wonderful things.  Possibilities as limitless as a child’s imagination.

They are not like that so much any more.

I found some Star War kits and some City kits at the toy store in the mall.   There were not too many of either variety, but I was appalled at the kits on offer.

Robber’s Hide Away is the theme of one.
How about Prisoner TransportDrug Sniffing Dog?
 

I could not bring myself to purchase any of these.

What exactly is the message here anyway?


Now I know. This is what the discriminating five-year-old boy is into.


plants.vs.zombies.[1]

Legos, shmegoes.





Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Recommendation



This is the most beautiful book—achingly beautiful.

It has left me breathless.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FA LA LA LA LA



I confess.  I have a love-hate relationship with shopping.

I love shopping when:
  1. I feel like I can afford it.
  2. I have lots of time to devote to the task and really comfortable shoes on my feet.
  3. I know what I want to get and then actually find that item.
  4. I have my lists in hand.
  5. Something perfect speaks to me either because it is just what I love OR I know someone I love will like it.
  6. I pick something out and then learn it is on sale.

On the other hand, I really hate shopping when:
  1. I really need something, but I am feeling short on $$.
  2. I am tired or hungry.
  3. I am looking for something specific and it is no where to be found.
  4. I forget my list, thereby neglecting to get something crucial or buying an unnecessary duplicate.
  5. I don’t see anything that I like but I am under some kind of time pressure.
  6. I shop specifically for a sale item, but it is sold out or not as I expected.
  7. I feel the need to get a gift for Mike.
  8. There are crowds of other people in the stores.

As I get older, and therefore much wiser, I see the beauty in my mother-in-law’s technique.  Open up the L.L. Bean catalog, pick an item, and order one for everyone on the list. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Salmon Recipe


When I was at a friend’s house before Thanksgiving, she told me about a swordfish dish she had made recently.  She gave me some homemade pesto and e-mailed the recipe that afternoon.  I tried it last night.  So good!

I just watched the Cuisinart video again and they did use salmon. (An aside is that swordfish worked well, too!) 1.) They took a bunch of potato slices and placed them in the center of an oiled piece of tinfoil. 2.) Spread about a TBS. or so of pesto on top of the potatoes. 3.) Place a piece of salmon on top of the potatoes. Salt and pepper the salmon first. 4.) Then more pesto on top of the salmon. 5.) They said bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. (I baked my swordfish at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, and that worked fine. Of course I didn't use potatoes or pesto. I used asparagus. It might take longer for the potatoes?) Enjoy!   I love the casual approach to recipes.  You know, where the recipe is merely some good suggestions rather than hard and fast rules.  I did follow this one fairly closely, but I added a slice of sweet onion over the potatoes. I have a tendency to overcook fish, but this was just about perfectly done—tender and moist.  And baking it in foil wrap—no mess at all.  Love that.

Fresh caught, wild…the best.
Picture: http://www.revealingwisdom.com/uncategorized/the-courage-to-swim-upstream-back-home

Are you a strict recipe follower?










Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving




We are heading down to Connecticut for our Thanksgiving festivities.

I will be taking Connie's Butter Buns.  If you missed that recipe, you can find it here.  They look mighty good. 

And they were not nearly as hard as I thought they would be.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and a safe long weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In which I come clean...

Okay...there were no little old men harmed in any way for the sake of my last post.  That was pure figment of my imagination.

Also, in my opinion Wonder bread is an abomination to the bread world.  My mother may have once put a Hostess Twinkie in my school lunch, but I highly doubt it.  I am overly suspicious of that white stuff inside those cakes and have no desire to actually eat any of them.

I do, however, fondly remember the treat of a Butterscotch Krimpet.   I believe they were made by Tastykake.  I wouldn't eat those anymore either, though.  My palate has refined over the years.  I prefer real food over something my brother may have synthesized from random substances found in his Little Scientist chemical kit.

I do admit that I spaced out, switched grocery carts along the way and lost my purse while doing some grocery shopping.  I also did the frantic search of my car and then the house before learning that it had been turned over to the service desk by the very nice people in the deli department who saw the purse sitting unclaimed for a period of time in an empty cart.

I was going to write about having a serious blonde moment (even though, yes, my hair is now grey...I am in full disclosure mode here).  I just happened to see about the closing down of the Hostess company and about some people starting to horde the snacks on the Google news while I was getting to blogspot.  So my imagination took a little flight.

Fooled you, though, didn't I?

There.  Now my nose is back to its original size.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Say it ain’t so…


Oh, no!  The Hostess Company is not going to fool with striking bakers.  Instead they plan to close down the whole operation and put 18,500 people out of work.   It’s over!  This is it!

No more smooth, soft Wonder bread.  No more Twinkies, always baked unless you go to the State Fair where you can get them deep fried.  Deep frying improves everything.  Maybe I should have tried that with the Wonder bread.  Oh, well.  Too late now.

No more day-glow pink Snowballs with the sprinkling of stale coconut.  No more chocolaty HoHos with that creamy white filling.   What is the American public to do?  Well, I’ll tell you what I did.  I got in my car and to make the rounds of area grocery stores and independent markets, snatching up every Hostess product I could find.

Ha!  You thought I was mad, thought I was compulsive for cleaning out my closets and storage shelves a while ago.  See!  Now I have plenty of room for stashing my horded snack cakes.  Foresight, that’s what it is called.

I’ll admit it, yes.  I worked myself into a terrible frenzy.  Perhaps I was not thinking entirely clearly.  I  know for certain that it was kind of wrong to knock over that 93 year old man who probably only weighed 93 pounds and used a cane just because he was reaching for those DingDongs on the shelf.  But really, such a fuss!  He only had the wind –and his teeth-- knocked out of him.  There were no broken bones.   It’s not like I was having such a great day myself.  I swept all the cakes off the shelves of that first store right into my into my waiting cart and made a dash for the checkout line. 
But when I got there—no purse.  OMG!  I left my purse in the car!  I went to the service desk and demanded the girl there guard my cart while a ran out to my car. 

No purse in my car!  Would I actually go to the store without my purse?  I ran back to the service desk snatching up a paper table cover on the way.  I covered the cart and told the young girl I would be back.  She said she would push the cart into the produce cooler.

I drove the ten miles back to my house.  I may have gone a wee bit over the speed limit, but, dammit, this was an emergency.  Surely my explanation would stand up in traffic court.  Fortunately it did not come to that.  I got home and ransacked the house.  No purse. 

“OMG! MIKE! Someone snatched my purse from my grocery cart!…What do you mean, how can that happen?  When my attention was distracted.  Maybe when I knocked over that little old man who was trying to abscond with Hostess cakes…No, he wasn’t hurt!  Will you please try and focus on what is important here!  My purse is missing…No, I am not calling the police.  I am calling the store to find out if anyone found a discarded purse in the parking lot…Wait…Yes!  They have it at the service desk.”

So Mike insisted on driving me back to the grocery store because I did not have my license on me.  He asked me how much money I had in the purse.  It was not much, but I didn’t expect to see it again.  Then I thought about credit cards.  I hoped they would still be in my wallet but I started making a mental list of the companies I would have to call to cancel accounts.  I was glad I wasn’t driving at that point because I would not have been able to see the road through my tears.

We got to the store and I ran to the service desk, leaving Mike to hobble after me.  The girl handed my my purse.  I opened it and…nothing was missing—not the $35 in cash and not a single credit card.  It seems that a delivery guy saw the purse in an empty cart sitting in the bakery aisle.  When no one came to retrieve it when he had stacked all his hamburger and hot dog buns, he took it to the service desk.  Thank-you!  Thank-you!  I can only guess that I must have grabbed the old man’s cart by mistake and left my cart there with the purse in the baby seat.

So, somewhat happy ending.  I used my debit card to pay for all my snack cakes, but it was too late to complete the rounds of the other stores.  By that time, of course, the word was out and everyone else was making a mad dash on Hostess products.

(Some parts of this story are actually true.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Thoughts


*There is a drop off at the village store for supplies to be sent to Long Island for Sandy victims.  I think a town resident must have family there and will taking the donations down this weekend. 
I don’t know why this requested item surprised me—heavy duty garbage bags.  Of course!  East coast dwellers are facing massive clean-up chores.  All kinds of cleaning supplies must be needed before they can get around to putting homes back in furnished order.  I am going to put together a bucket of cleaning supplies and drop it off today.  You can check out our country village store here.here.

*I have to say that I am very disappointed in secession petitions.  This doesn’t seem to bode well for the idea of coming together to solve problems—and, let’s face it, this country is facing a few.  We all take turns living with election results we may not have liked.  We whine and cry for a while; then we put on our big girl pants and deal with it.

*The local library was buzzing yesterday.  There were four volunteers there for the afternoon to help the librarian.  I was covering new books in plastic and some one else was bar coding them and entering them in the computer system when he wasn’t busy checking in returns.  Someone else was taking care of shelving the returns.  Best of all—a woman who was a professional organizer for corporations in the big city recently moved to town and she is making a huge dent in the freeing up of the general neatness and flow of the place.  I came home exhausted, but I really do enjoy that little library.  I have found that I really do need that little bit of imposed structure to my week.

*I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is only one week away.  We will head to Connecticut for some family, food, and fun.

*Both the writing group and the card-making group made plans for a lunch get together for today.  My social calendar is so busy.  I will be with the writing group today.  We are visiting a book store and then having lunch.  It sounds like a good way to spend a chilly afternoon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Long Weekend


I cooked a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for my son, daughter and grand children on Sunday.  It seems like we never get together on an actual holiday—well, rarely—so I figured I would make the best of it by celebrating whenever.  And it was a holiday, anyway.

The grand kids had Monday off from school so they stayed overnight because their mom had to work.  We had a busy day.  Dane brought his packet of kindergarten homework.  He is in an all day program and he has a packet of activities to practice letter recognition, numbers, and writing his full name.

Here is what I noticed about that.  While we were walking around downtown Burlington (our trip to the city), he was constantly counting things—pigeons on the sidewalk, items in store windows, wrapped packages they were bringing in for setting up under a Christmas tree.  He was reading off the letters  and numbers on signs all over the place, even when we stopped at a light on the way home.  He seemed to be having a delightful time practicing these skills.  Then we got home and decided to do one of the activities.  He has a hard time with the pencil and he got frustrated right away.  “It’s so hard.  I hate school.”  That just broke my heart.  He really does enjoy school though—at least for now.

The library was closed for Veteran’s Day, but I still had a job to complete.  The kids helped me out.  We made puppets.
DSCN2222
The story time group is being treated to a puppet show and then the kids are going to  make their own puppets.  We made the examples.  Since we ran out of paper towels during this activity, I made a tube puppet as well.
DSCN2224
My daughter made the napkin holder when she was in middle school.  All the schools around here have cut out those industrial art and home economics programs. Schools are making me feel sad today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vermont Mountain


Mt. Mansfield is Vermont’s highest mountain.  It’s elevation is 4395 feet above sea level.  I guess that is small compared to some mountains of the world.

For the past few days it has been looking kind of wintery.

MtMansfield


This view is less than a quarter mile north of my house.  I pass it just about every day. It is stunning at the peak of autumn color, but that was weeks ago.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cearing Out

I am not an overly messy person.  I am far from a hoarder.  Here is my junk drawer:
 
 
 
Everyone has one somewhere in their house, right?


This is my spare room closet where I keep some extra bedding and toys for the grand kids and a few other things that don't have definitive homes elsewhere:
 
 
I go through these areas that accumulate stuff every once in a while.  I never think that there is that much that is not being used before I start.
 
But then I can pull out a pile of stuff that is headed for the Goodwill store.  Honestly, I don't know where it comes from.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cold Snap


Woohoo.  Monday morning there was a spot of sunshine.  I put on my Nikes right away and went out for my walk.  I headed south and the air was chilly but still pleasant.  I had worn a hat and mittens along with my winter jacket zipped up to the scarf around my neck.  After walking for about a mile and a half, I was warm enough to pull my mittens off and loosen up the scarf.  In a few minutes, I looped back in a northerly direction to return home.  The sun disappeared.  The wind started to blow.  It was a most uncomfortable trek back with my hat pulled down and the scarf and jacket collar pulled up, mittens back in place, pace definitely ramped up.  I felt tricked somehow.

Then in the afternoon I did my volunteer gig at the library.  I was wearing a light sweater, but it wasn’t enough.  My hands were numb by the time I got home.  I made a quick supper of egg, cheese, and avocado sandwiches because I had to go back to the library at 6:30 for writing group.  It was dark when I got home at 5:00.  By 6:30, I felt like I was going out in the middle of the night.  In spite of the extra hour of weekend, I just wanted to crawl into bed by 9:00.  So I did.

Some people LOVE this time of year.  I am not one of them.

I went out to vote this morning.  Since then I have been working on sanding a small cabinet I want to paint and I have put together a couple of quilt squares.  I have not yet convinced myself to go out to take another walk today but I guess I had better get out there.  It will be dark again soon.  I am enjoying my sewing project, but it is not the greatest exercise.

 This picture has nothing to do with this post at all.  It is a case i made for my craft scissors a while ago.  Boredom games, my daughter used to call them.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A New Kind of Farming


This field once held hundreds of  roaming chickens, or at other times, sheep and baby lambs.  I am pretty sure there may have been pigs there for a while.  Now the field is given over to solar farming, although there may be days when farm animals graze there as well.

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It is not uncommon to see acres of these solar panels when traveling on Vermont country roads.  Are they common in other parts of the country?

I did not see any installations like this on our trip to Florida and back—in spite of the fact that we drove through much sunnier states.   We did see many windmills lining the ridges while driving through Pennsylvania.  Wind mills have been proposed for some Vermont mountain ridges, but they are not popular with property owners or environmentalists.   All I know is that it seems like we have much more wind in Vermont than sun.  I guess I will have to inform myself about alternative energy sources.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaks in the Storm

 

Sandy did not hit our area as badly as it might have.  I heard a meteorologist explain why that was but I don’t remember the explanation well enough to try to repeat it here.  It had something to do with the speed of the storm passing and layers of cold versus warm air.  I know that the winds on top of Mt. Mansfield hit 100 mile hour per hour while we here in the foothills just had a few afternoon gusts.  Our electricity blipped out only for a moment.

 

While it has been mostly wet and grey for the past few days, there were moments:

 

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The sky was clear and it was warm on Tuesday morning.  The full moon was shining through the kitchen window.

 

Later that same morning I looked out our front window, which faces directly east.  It was raining quite hard.  I looked out the back door and this is what I saw to the west:

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DSCN2194 I am grateful that Sandy snubbed us, but heartbroken at the damage s/he did elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Cemetery


Appropriate for the day…
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This old cemetery is about a mile north of my house. 

As you can see, this is a pretty old cemetery:
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Jericho’s famous resident, Snowflake Bentley, is buried here, but I have yet to come across his grave.

I really wonder abut this one:
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**My thoughts and prayers are with those so affected by the devastation of Sandy.