Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cabin Fever and Cabin Chills…

Worcester, Massachusetts, approximately 30 minutes northeast of us and the closest “big” city, has had the snowiest winter in the United States so far in 2015. Worcester tops the list at 108.5 inches of snowfall.  That’s close to three meters of snow for those of you who measure things metrically and over a meter taller than I am, if I’ve done my math correctly. Hey, no matter how you measure it, it’s one heck of a lot of snow.

Of course, insult has joined injury with the current temperature of 7 degrees F. with a wind chill of -4.  That’s -13.88 for those of you who measure things in Celsius.  Last Sunday, we reached a balmy 30 degrees F.  (-1 C.)  and it truly felt like spring.  That’s how cold it has been.

I know it has been a rough winter in many places on this continent, so you all know that I am not lying when I say that it has been a winter to remember.

To add to my particular chill, Greg injured his foot about three weeks ago and has been unable to deal with the snow, but because he is a good person, our son Evan who lives in cold and snowy Worcester has been very good about coming to help to dig us out when necessary.  However, I forgot about the mailbox after the last major snow and now it is socked in and un-dig-out-able.  So for the first time since we’ve lived in New England, I have had to put a “snowhold” on our mail, which involves periodic and frustrating visits to the local post office.

In spite of it all, I have maintained my true love of winter and snow.  I know this winter is a freak.  At least, I hope this winter is a freak.  But dealing with a winter like this can lead to a very real case of cabin fever.  To combat that, when the sky has been blue and I haven’t had any immediate responsibilities, I have taken a ride around just to get out of our cabin with my camera.


I’ve found that while I am suffering a bit from “cabin fever,” most of the actual houses around here seem to be suffering from “cabin chills.”  That’s what I’m posting here today.  Some of these icicles look pretty darn lethal so don’t stand under them when it starts to warm up.



Well, this house doesn't seem to have an ice dam problem, but I thought it stood out beautifully in the snow.



We did end up with a ice dam on the back of our house and water dripping in so decided to get our roof scraped.  We can now only get out of the house through the garage.  Fortunately, we have not had a power failure so far.  Hey, you gotta look on the bright side!  Here's the view from our kitchen door.


I do think it's kind of funny that people on Facebook are insistently and frantically counting down the days til Spring.  Like the minute Spring hits all this will be over.  Yeah, right!  I mean, don't you remember the April Fool's Day Blizzard of '97?  Don't expect Mother Nature to pay any attention to you and your Facebook posts.

Monday, February 16, 2015

One word says it all…

SNOW!!!

But you know I can't stop at one word...

I took this photo on the 11th.  Those tracks are loooong gone by now. They are well buried under another 8 or so inches of snow.


Seems like apple season is a very long way away.


We've been wondering if we need to get our roof scraped.  I think if this structure can hold up, maybe our roof is safe.


The Dark-eyed Juncos fly south every year to be a part of our winter.  I'm not sure they really bargained for what they got this year.  But this little fellow looks pretty content.


The juncos are ground feeders and they leave tracks all over our covered porch when the wind blows the snow in.  I like them.



Here's my Buddha in his winter home.  He's supposed to stay warm and dry there, but this year he didn't stand a chance.  I think he has the right idea about how to handle a winter like this though.

We need to just keep calm and carry on.  I'm sure a little meditation couldn't hurt.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Good Snowy Fences…

Yesterday was a truly beautiful day here in snowy Massachusetts.  I had an appointment early in the morning for a massage (Lucky me!) and afterwards, I just had to drive around for a while to admire the beautiful mounds of snow against the perfect blue sky.  I managed to pick up a few shots of fences on my rounds so I am going to link on up to The Run*A*Round  Ranch’s Good Fences.

The snow just keeps on coming and it's getting harder and harder to figure out where to put it.  It has been snowing off and on today, but it won’t amount to much.  However, they are threatening us with another foot this weekend.  If Worcester doesn’t win The Golden Snowglobe Award this year, it will be a miracle.  But, we are currently ahead of Buffalo by only six inches.  It may be a close one.  I am a person who likes the winter, but this has gotten to be a bit ridiculous.



They look cold, don't they?


Friday, February 6, 2015

Willy-Nilly Friday Five: 52 Weeks of Blue…

Week 1 – I have been kind of directionless with my photography since I finished my 365 Project on Flickr.  So late last year, I decided I would take up another project but not one quite so intense.  I decided that a 52 Week Project would be a more reasonable idea.  That means that I would pick a theme and take a photo using that theme at least once a week.  I thought about it for a while and came up with a few ideas:  black & white, square format, up-close, food, texture, coffee, numbers & letters and so on.  But what I decided on was simply the color blue.  Blue is my favorite color but when I took a look at my Flickr photostream, I realized that I had almost no blue in it.  That made me think that coming up with 52 Weeks of Blue would be a challenge.  I was right about that.

This is the one I decided on for Week 1:


But I rejected these:




Week 2 – I decided not to put too many parameters on the project other than that blue has to be a main color of the subject of the photo.  In other words, I can’t consider using a picture of a red house with the blue sky as the background as my Blue Shot.  But if the house were blue and the sky red, that would work.

This was the only one I liked for Week 2:


Week 3 – Something I also thought about was that there are many shades of blue.  Most likely, some things I consider to be blue, someone else may think of as green or purple or even grey.  A Google search revealed that there are actually sixty-five shades of blue with names, but I’m not going to try to capture a different blue every week.  I’m not that anal.  I decided that if it looks blue to me that will be good enough for me.  I’m going with my own interpretation of blue.

Here's the one for Week 3:


But I rejected this one.  Do you think the trim on this house is blue?


Week 4 – I got off to a pretty good start because we were traveling and there were blue buildings and signs there for the taking.  But once we returned home, it definitely got harder.  We’ve had some blue skies, but the snow has covered a lot of the blue stuff around here.  But not to be discouraged, I got some of my blue things from around the house and took pictures of them.   I have a lot of blue things.  I even have a cobalt blue bottle that I can’t bear to recycle because of the way the sun hits it in the morning.  But I sure don’t want to use all of my blue things up at the beginning of the project.

Here's Week 4:


But I considered this:


Week 5 – So now I am almost a tenth done with the 52 Weeks of Blue.  With my last 52 week project (52 Weeks of Purple Monkey) I was one week short.  I just couldn’t figure out that 52nd thing to do with my Purple Monkey.  Surely there are enough blue things lying around so that I will be a success this time.  We’ll see.

This is it for Week 5 and yes, that bigger blue bottle is a gem in my book, but I might just keep the smaller one, too.  That blue is heavenly to me.


Linking up to Tanya's Willy-Nilly Friday Five!


Around Roanoke

Thursday, February 5, 2015

In a white out...

We have had us some snow this year.  At this point, we have about three feet on the ground and more on the way this weekend.  To add insult to injury, it has been downright frigid out.  We humans complain about it all the time.  Facebook is covered with snow images and statements of disbelief.  Well, it is winter after all.  I found a couple of creatures who seem to be taking it all in stride.  Heck, for the dark-eyed junco, this is a walk in the park.



The powers that be managed to clear enough snow out of the way to allow the Patriots' Super Bowl celebratory parade to occur yesterday in Boston.  Seems like it is more important to do that than to make sure the schools are open for the kids.  Oh, well...  But a good time was had by all and I'm just happy football season is over.  That means spring is sure to come again and with it the crack of the bat.  Go Red Sox!

This next photo isn't a very good one, but it will give you some idea of what we're dealing with around here AND it gives me the opportunity to link up to The Run*A*Round Ranch's Good Fences.


Aren't you glad you don't have that job in this snowy weather?!

  But while we were in Florida last month, we ran across another Liberty.  It was a first for me.  I've never seen the Statue of Liberty with a mustache.  On the other hand, this Liberty doesn't have to find his way through the snow banks.


Linking up to Theresa's Good Fences!




Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good Fences in St. Louis Cemetery #3…

On our recent stop in New Orleans, we didn’t have as much time as we would have liked and the weather was not the best, so Greg found us a tour company that would take us around town and would let us take the dog along with us.  We ended up with a very informative and comprehensive tour.  I would recommend New Orleans Native Tours (NewOrleansNativeTours.com) if you find yourself there.  Of course, the dog was allowed because it wasn't a full tour, but we really appreciated that.

As you can imagine, Olive thought she was hot stuff getting to go on a tour that is normally reserved for people.  She behaved so well, that we were proud of her.


One of our stops along the way was to St. Louis Cemetery #3.  Before we arrived in New Orleans, I was determined that we were going to visit one of the famous above-ground New Orleans cemeteries, so I was a happy camper.  Of course, I could have spent a lot more time wandering around that beautiful place, but beggars can’t be choosers and I was just glad to get an opportunity even a short one.

Here are a few fences I came across in the cemetery:







Linking up with Theresa's GOOD FENCES!



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Oranges and Apples...

I’m sitting here very grateful that we have power.  We are currently about half-way through the  nor’easter that was predicted for coastal eastern United States and, boy, do we have us some snow.  But, here in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, the winds that were predicted haven’t arrived yet, so the power remains on.  It’s very cold out, making the snow light and fluffy, not that I’ve tested it yet.  But, I will tell you from much past experience, the light and fluffy beats the heavy, wet stuff any day of the week.

One of my Facebook friends asked if this weather has made me miss Florida yet.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like visiting Florida, particularly the area where we just were in the northern panhandle, but I’m not, nor will I ever be, someone who would be comfortable living in Florida.

  This is no criticism of the Sunshine State, it’s more a statement of what I like and who I am.  And while this crazy, winter weather can certainly make one miserable for a time, it will pass a lot quicker than the hot, summer days in Florida pass.  They have a misery all their own, in my book.  And I would miss  seeing a winter snowfall now and then.  Of course, I'm not talking blizzard here, but the nice, quiet, normal snow that comes with a nice, normal New England winter.

But it’s oranges and apples.  I am a northern, cool weather loving person and that’s just the way it is.  Different strokes for different folks, right?!

But I took a few pictures while we were in Apalachicola at the beginning of the year.  Don’t say you’re surprised.  And I will post a few here today to contrast with what’s going on outside my window.  Okay, it does look a tad bit inviting, I must admit, but there’s no going back except digitally at this point.


Greg does love his oysters from Up the Creek.

Olive doesn't like oysters, but it doesn't keep her from begging.  She is a dog after all.



The weather wasn’t all that great while we were in Florida.  Okay, it was better there than here temperature-wise, but aside from a couple of sunny days in Apalachicola, it was drab, overcast and cool.  Still, you can’t beat a view like this no matter what the weather.

Here are the oranges:

This was taken off the balcony of the condo we rented on Inlet Beach.  The light, fluffy stuff here is sand.
And here are the apples:

This is not sand.
Hey, the juncos seem to be okay with it.


Stay safe, friends, no matter what the weather has in store for you!