Monday, April 30, 2012

Lazy Weekend

I feel as though I hibernated all weekend.  It was so cold I just could not force myself out the door at all on Saturday.  I spent the day in yoga pants, which is about like wearing pajamas all day.  I do notice that lots of people have no problem going about their public business in actual pajama pants.  Fortunately for the world and those who might run into me, I am not among them.

On Sunday we did go out for breakfast.  We have the habit of full breakfast on Sunday mornings.  It was nice to have a good breakfast (I had scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes with two slices of bacon on the side) and not have to clean up afterwards.  It is such a messy meal to cook, which is why toast or cereal works for me the rest of the week.  However, we did notice that the days of going out for a ten dollar breakfast are no more.

I read two books over the weekend--Nicholas Evans: The Lucky One and Tina Fey: Bossy Pants.  I'm not saying that I am proud of this accomplishment.  I'm just saying--it was a slothful weekend.

Oh, I did put together my new vacuum cleaner.  I didn't use it, but I put it together.  My mother used to have this thing about Sunday being a day of rest.  It annoyed me when I was working full time and weekends were the chance to do the housework, shopping, laundry, etc.  Now, I kind of like the concept.

I also worked a bit on writing.  I signed up for a short class at UVM to give myself a bit of a kick in the butt.  Margaret from the library writers' group insists that I need to kick Mike out of the shared office and stake it out as my writing space.  I don't really feel the need for that, but I do feel the need for my own laptop.  Somehow I believe that will give me the sense of my space with portability.  Our house isn't terribly large, but it is certainly enough space to get out of each other's way when needed.

I did not take the poetry workshop that is an annual event for National Poetry Month here at our library.  I knew I would miss too many sessions.  I will attend the reading tonight, though.

So I have cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen and made up a long grocery list to get the cupboards restocked after being away for three and a half months.  Today looks like it will be a bit more productive.  Maybe I needed a lazy weekend.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh, No! Snow!

Every one has been saying there was no winter in Vermont this year.  Maybe so, but we are having typical April weather--which means no one would be surprised at the freezing temperatures and the sleety snow fall.

I spent the afternoon working at the library.  I met with the state librarian consultant on Wednesday and had a quick tutorial in pulling books off the shelves for de-cataloging.  Our small library probably needs that done more than most because space is so limited.  Of course new books are coming in and there are always donations that need sorting through. Once the books are pulled I have to take them off the computer record, pull the bar code, mark the book as 'withdrawn' and then box them all up.  I can see where this is going to be a long time until completion.

I spent the morning sewing some new curtains for my bedroom.  I am about half way finished with that and will maybe get more done later tonight.  Or maybe I will just have a glass of wine instead--to clear the book dust out of my throat, you understand.

I will have to go out to shop for a new vacuum this weekend becasue my old one died a slow and torturous death.  Such drama.  I hate to go out to the stores on a weekend, so maybe we can just live with dirty floors until Monday. 

What I really want to shop for is a new laptop.  If anyone has a recommendation, I'd be happy to hear it.  As long is it is not long and tecnical.  I need the very basics and anything too fancy would be wasted on me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Playtime

It looks like my poor grandson has inherited the tendency for wicked morning bedhead from his maternal grandmother.  (So sorry, Dane)


His Uncle Kevin (my son) brought him a box of heavy cardboard spools from where he works.  Now when Kevin was this age himself, he would open birthday or Christmas gifts, leave the toys on the floor in a forgotten corner, and play for hours with the empty boxes.  I was not surprised that he thought this would be a great play option for Dane.

And he was right.  These spools were made into castles and tunnels and roads and people and served for hours of quiet playtime.

And, of course, the box they came in went to good use as well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Detective Work

A while ago, I noted that I had not been able to identify this flower.  Two readers offered guesses.  Linda thought it was chionodoxa  and Tabor suggested Scilla siberica. 

I looked them both up--very similar plants.  Some botanists do not even acknowledge them as a separate genus, although others do.  What cannot be seen in the pictures (I am not much of a photographer) is that the stamens in the plants that I saw are flattened and form a tube.  That suggests that they are chionodoxa, also called "Glory-of-the-snow."  I am sure that they escaped from a nearby garden.  Some may just escape from the roadside and into my garden.

Walking in the woods and fields is now officially over for me.  I pulled a tick off my grandson's chest during a bath after a walk in the field behind our house and Mike pulled one off his own leg.  I'm sure that I got to Dane's quickly, but Mike's bite spread over his whole inner thigh.  I'm hoping they were not deer ticks because they were fairly large.  How many different kinds of ticks are there?  More detective work needed.  I may be on the coputer all day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Liebster Award

I was surprised to receive an award!  Thank-you Muffy!

Please visit Muffy at muffysmark.blogspot.com.

 

My First Blog Award

My First Blog Award

I thought at first that I was going to be treated to a lobster dinner, but no...
Liebster is a German word that translates to; dearest, beloved or in this case favorite.    The idea of the Liebster Award is to give it to an up and coming blog with fewer than 200 followers.  – in order to create new connections, and bring attention to their wonderful blogs. 
When  you win the award there a few details that need to be attended to:
  1. Thank the Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented you the award.
  3.  Copy and paste the Liebster Blog Award on your blog.
  4.   Present the award to 5 bloggers who have a following 200 or less, who you feel deserve it.
  5.   Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.
I usually avoid things that require sending on to others, but I like the idea of sharing favorite blogs so I have picked a few that I  enjoy.  Of course, any of the blogs on my list are worth visiting, but, if you have not already,  give these a try:

Dani at http://oklhdan-musingsamiddleagedwoman.blogspot.com/ (for getting perspective on your problems and a great sense of humor).

Barb at barbs-this-and-that.blogspot.com (like drinking a cup of tea on the front porch)

Jennifer at mymuskoka.blogspot.com (lots of nature and two great cats)

Mark at manofwow.blogspot.com (because you are bound to learn something new and interesting)

Bobby at bobbydobbybloggy.blogspot.com (because how can you go wrong with a blog name like that)
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Walk, Part II

A moose has been known to visit this swamp...
but not today.

When I walk by myself I go pretty fast and I get a good amount of exercise.  When I walk with Mike, I go much more slowly, but I do see a whole lot more.   I walked with him and saw a beautiful purple trillium, but of course I did not have the camera with me.  I could not find it again when I went out with camera in hand.
 
Would you guess that this hill is a covered landfill?  The white pipe (If you scan really hard) is a vent.  There are many of them scattered over the area.

I am quite certain that fairies live here, but I did not see them today either.  A red squirrel was on guard duty and he told me to move along.

This area is now town recreation land, but it was once all part of a large working farm.  It's kind of funny that part of the land became the town landfill for a while because there are areas that were obviously a family based dumping area.  This mountain bike trail has been named the "Americana Trail."


The chrome still shines!

This tree grew right around the old bumper.


They just don't make them like this anymore.
 A view of my house (on the left)  from the edge of the woods.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Walk

It's early spring in Vermont and that means woodland wild flowers are in bloom.

These bluets don't look very blue here.

Pushing up through the forest mulch.

Spring beauty


Trout lily

Yellow violet

Hepatica with sharp=lobed leaves and

fuzzy stems

Now these flowers are very pretty, but i have no clue as to what they might be.  I've looked in two different wildflower books so far, but I have not been able to identify them.  Any body know?



They were along the road, not in the woods.  They could be escapees from some one's flower bed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pinecones

There seems to be a bumper crop of pine cones this year.  My next door neighbor's trees are surrounded by fallen cones.

This sight cracked me up, I must confess.  When my grand daughter was only about two, her parents took her on a picnic.  They discovered that their usually sunny and happy little girl shreiked hysterically at the sight of a pine cone.  Later that same summer, I took her for a walk in the woods and she had to be picked up and carried around any pinecones we came across.  It made for a pretty short walk.

My theory is that she had overheard the expression about bears doing in the woods and in her two year old mind, that is what she was seeing.  I'm sure she must have been wondering why the otherswise sane and sensible adults in her life would think it a good idea for her to set foot near such disgusting piles,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tomato Tunic

I sewed this tunic on Sunday afternoon.  I may save it for next halloween and dress up like a tomato.

Actually, I have made a couple of this Kwik Sew pattern.  Easy and quick--comfy and casual.

Yesterday, the temperature reached 86 degrees -- one degree shy of the record set in 2002.  I remember that heat spell of April, 2002.  I was teaching and experiencing hot flashes.  The PTO bought fans for all the classrooms at our school.  The next week was a vacation week and I (foolishly) went out and bought garden plants and (worse yet) planted them.  Of course by the following weekend the temperature dropped and it started snowing.  All my plants were killed.  I'm not falling for the tease of some warm weather this time.  It was in the 40's this morning, so not much chance of that anyway.

Freak warm days like yesterday always mean the local paper will feature lots of picutes of sunbathing co-eds.  Our own little version of the Sports Illustrated swim suit edition.  Or evidence that newspaper photographers are salacious perverts?  Or I am just cranky that I no longer have that bathing suit body?

My doctor's appointment went well.  I have not lost the pesky ten pounds, but I had lost the couple extra in the week we've been home.  I had to have a tetanus shot with whooping cough protection added.  I guess there was a big whooping cough epidemic in Vermont this past winter.  I didn't really need the tetanus for another three years so I tried to get out of it, but no dice.  I also have a prescription to take to a local pharmacy for the shingles vaccine.  I did not argue about that one although I am going to wait until next week to have it.  The grand kids are coming this week so I don't want to chance feeling punky while they are here.

I got a reminder call last week about my doctor's appointment and that was a good thing since it wasn't on my radar at the time.  I also got a call to "pre-register" me for the appointment.  I cannot figure out the purpose of that.  They just confirm the same information they ask at the doctor's office.  Seems like an unnecessary duplication of effort to me. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Uh-Oh

Uh-oh.  I just realized that the doctor's appointment I thought was in mid May is actually tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Darn!  I have not lost that pesky ten pounds my doctor has been harassing me about.  In fact, I think I may have put on a few pounds extra.  Lots of good food, specialty markets, restaurants, and such in Florida.  And one of the things I did not make a point of going out to get in the furnishing process--a scale.

Sure, I could reschedule the appointment, but I might as well admit that the extra time is not the issue.  Enjoying good food and an accompanying glass of wine is the issue.

I have noticed that every woman's magazine at the supermarket checkout touts a "NEW" diet miracle that will take pounds off practically over night.  The next week or month--a totally "BRAND NEW" miracle diet.  They all come down to eat less and exercise more.  Among my problems is the fact that as soon as I say the word "diet" to myself I feel inordinately hungry.  Why is that?

I try to avoid elastic waist bottoms.  They let you go far too long before getting the signal that clothes are getting too tight.

I have also found it helpful to develop a taste to expensive wine.  That way, I just can't afford to drink too much of it.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Fluff

It was a fairly nice day and I got out to do some yard work.  Mike went off for his exercise walk.  When I finished in the yard, I noticed that he hadn't yet returned.  That was two hours for a 2 1/2 mile walk.  I got a bit worried and went to look for him.  I should have realized he would have stopped at a neighbors for a catch-up chat.

I decided to have a fruit and yogurt smoothie for lunch as a change of pace from the salads of the past three days.  I had the hardest time trying to find my blender.  This adjustment thing is going on a bit long this year.

I noticed while sipping my lovely blueberry-raspberry-mango smoothie that the color matched my raspberry-pink shirt.  Then, when I was washing the glass and blender I noticed I was using a raspberry colored dish cloth.  I am just so matchy-matchy today.

Note the cheery daffodils.  They are blooming beside south facing walls.  It is supposed to warm up over the weekend so I expect the yard will be decked out in yellow by next Monday.

I walked to the library and put in 4 hours of volunteer time.  Between that and finding my blender -- oh, and my bread knife, which is, oddly enough, hanging on a magnetic strip on the wall in plain sight --I am starting to feel like I am really home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Springtime in Vermont

Lots of rain on Wednesday, which our neighbor says is badly needed.  The noon weather report promised that the sun would come out at 3:00pm on Thursday.  I am amazed that the meteorologists think they can pinpoint it like that.  I decided to take a ride to Gardener's Supply where I spent a couple of hours wandering around the shop and the conservatory.  This was just a reconnaissance visit.  I didn't buy anything, not even a packet of seeds.  I can get so impulsive in that store that I had to leave my purse locked in the car.

I was mightily inspired, though.  This morning, even though it was cold and windy, I went out and raked out the flower bed along the garage wall and the herb patch by the wood shed.  If I was a more clever and productive person, I might use all those coreopsis stems to fashion little brooms because they do remind me of broom bristles.  Instead, I will start a knitting project and hope my hands and wrists hold out.

I have discovered that I really did miss some things at our VT house -- my gas stove, my NECCHI sewing machine, and Comcast on Demand.  What I truly did not miss -- heavy jacket, cluster flies, and walking in cold, wet, windy weather.

I'll be darned.  It is not quite 3:00pm on Thursday, but I do believe the sun is trying to show its face here.

A spot of blue sky to the east.

A bit of brightness through the clouds.

Some more blue to the south.

I feel less wiped out today.  I made it to writing group at the library last night, but I can't say I made much of a contribution to the event.  I think the cool air and outdoor exercise in the yard was good for me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Our trip went without incident and we are once again back in Vermont...where the rain has been steadily drizzling down and temperatures are hovering in the high 40's.  Our car was actually clean until we crossed the VT border on route 4.  It seemed like on cue that it started raining and the trucks passing by started splashing the mud.

The house was pretty much as we had left it. (We have a new thermostat.)  The daffodils are starting to pole up and some have even bloomed.  I can see buds on the lilacs and the crab apple tree.  The grass is actually green.  We went through some gorgeous spring weather, in reverse from late to early, as we travelled north.

I am getting quite bored with the long car trip between here and there.  We made it two extra times in the past year and maybe that accounts for my boredom.  Reading the bill boards felt like leafing through a magazine--ad after ad after ad.  I kept nodding off.

A billboard for the open heart surgery program at a certain hospital, repeated mile upon mile, struck me as quite odd.  I mean, seriously, if I needed open heart surgery I would think I'd want more professional advise than the ad on a billboard.  Seeing that ad did not prompt me to pull into the hospital and request their ballyhooed surgery either.  I'm just asking, "What's the point?  Aren't medical costs high enough without having to pay exorbitant advertising fees?"

I was taken with the sign for Rag Apple Lassie Vineyards though.  That's a good name.

I am planning to spend a few minutes checking out what I missed on television and then snuggling into a pile of pillows and blankets for an extra long sleep.  The ride, the unpacking, and the grocery shopping to restock have all combined to do me in.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hitting the Road

We are just about all packed and ready for an early start tomorrow morning.  We'll have coffee and and bagels, do the last of the tidying up in the kitchen, pack the last minute items, cover the toilets with saran wrap, unplug appliances, set the AC, and turn off the water.

I haven't thought about our house in Vermont much at all, but now I am starting to look forward to our other life...at least for a while.



Hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Leaving

We had lunch with friends at our favorite lunch place where we can sit outdoors on the intracoastal waterway, feeling a cooling sea breeze and watching the boats cruise by while sipping ice tea or a refreshing gin and tonic. For a couple of hours there, it was not at all hard to imagine that we really had ended up in paradise.

We are in the process of saying good-bye to friends we've made here.  We'll see many of them again next year, and we'll meet new friends and neighbors as well.  Still, we are at that time in our lives when we realize that there are some we are just not going to see again.  That holds sadly true for the home front as well.  There will be too many get togethers and events where one or more of the friends and family members we looked forward to seeing will no longer be attending.

It is easy, sitting next to gem-colored waters and listening to the shore birds calling, to be grateful.  And then there is the nudge -- don't take it for granted.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kale

Kale is a leafy green vegetable and you know we should all eat leafy green vegetables every day because they are so good for us.  You can read more about the health benefits of kale here.  That's where I learned that kale has been on the menu for over 4,000 years, but I have to admit I have never tried it.  I'd probably like it.  I like cabbage and broccoli and spinach and chard.

The subject comes up for me because I just read that the chain Chick-fil-A just received a preliminary ruling that a Vermont folk artist has infringed on its trademark.  Apparently the restaurant chain has trademarked the slogan, "eat mor chikin."  Vermonter Bo Miller-Moore sells T-shirts that say, "Eat More Kale."

Well, that just frosts my cupcake.

This is kale.  How likely is it that it would be confused for a chicken sandwich?  Plus, if you look carefully at the slogans, you'll have to admit that the Vermonter is a much better speller.  And the Chick-fil-A slogan is painted on bill boards by black and white cows.  I believe that another Vermont artist, Woody Jackson, has the trademark on black and white cows.  Somebody better be checking into that, Mr. Corporate Chicken Man.

So I am making it my business to eat some kale some day.  I also will avoid the Chick-fil-A til they come to their senses. That'll show 'em!