Saturday, January 19, 2013


We are enjoying our annual roller coaster ride up and down the weather map.  The temperatures go from the low twenties one day to a high of fifty-nine the next.   But hang onto your hats because the prediction is low teens to sub-zero in the next few days.   This means we have to make good use of the good days and enjoy our indoor warmth on the cold ones.     

We have had a couple of significant snow events.  The "Ground Crew" did a lousy job, leaving a couple of inches of packed snow on the driveways for an early storm and didn't come back to clean up.   Then we had a nice thaw so the bare driveways emerged.  Then we had another storm, and the plows came and did little better.   They threw sand in clumps in front of the door, which they say they have to do for insurance compliance, but they also threw it on the door step, which they are not obliged to do.  I have put a sign in the door now asking them not to sand in front of the door.   This is not "sand" as beach sand or even sand pit sand; this is gravel as in what the trucks throw at you when you follow them on the highway.  A person could turn an ankle on some of it.

A limb has fallen behind my condo.  I am grateful it was not the whole tree.  Mr. Cardinal sits in the top of that tree in the summer, telling all the others this is his territory.   There have been a lot of leafless limbs at the top for as long as I have lived here.  I hope he can find another as I enjoy his cheerful song.

The Ladies of the Creek met for lunch.  It was the same day as my music friends meet here, so I was among the missing.  The next one in February will be no problem as it is an afternoon event - coffee and cookies in someone's home.   Getting together is new for this community and seems to have struck a positive note.   Nice in the winter to keep everyone's spirits up. And the gossip flowing.

My daughter-in-law says her horses are snug in their blankets with lot of hay.   They have access to the covered run-in and several sheltered areas, but often prefer to stay outside.   Big round-about devices hold bales of hay for them to feed on.  It's a good life for them.

The animal shelters are full of needful animals, big and small.   A fire at one recently left them short of blanket, toys and supplies.  Maine is responsive to pleas for animals so they are getting replenished.  I made a contribution of toys and supplies including some shampoo, toys and harnesses.   My friend was taking over some blankets, towels and other items.   

From Maine

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Snow Caps

Maine has enough snow now to make the 'boards, 'bilers* and skiers happy so in my world, enough is enough!  I would be happy in my old age to have enough cold days to preserve what they need, and enough warmth to melt my driveway and lower my heating needs.  There are snowcaps on the fencepost tops, on the cones that cover the rose bushes and on St. Francis head. The mounds from shoveling and plowing have been freshly covered with new snow.  And the Presidential Range of mountains, visible from the high points in the area, as glistening with a snowcap which will last until summer.  A trip to the Western Promenade is well worth the gas and time when the weather is clear.

When I woke this morning there were scattered flakes drifting down, but within an hour they had become sparse and the sun was taking care of the few that had landed on the patio.  I waited a bit to put Nick out.  He was lethargic and apparently didn't have an urgent need so the two of us just took it easy for a couple of hours.   Nick has not been feeling well.  Too much holiday activity, I think,  He was petted and played with and all that wiggling apparently set off the arthritis in his back and neck so that even bending down to eat was painful.   He is stubbornly difficult to medicate, so I have been concocting hamburg, olive oil, spices and a little honey in a skillet, pounding his pill to a fine powder, and mixing it in. Poured over a portion of his dry food has him fooled for the time being.  If he catches on to that ploy I have no more tricks in my apron pocket.   He found the pill in the peanut butter on bread tidbits and now he won't touch peanut butter anything.   He found it in a hamburg patty and spit it on the floor, much to the amusement of a visitor who has as dog that is very compliant about medication.

Anyway, all the places along the roads where I enjoy seeing the water running out of little crevices now have icicles.   They are pretty.  I dare not pull to the side of the road to take a picture.  They are always in narrow or busy areas like turnpike ramps where the state cut through the glacial rocks to make way for men too busy to bother to go around natural obstacles like rock ledges.   The watershed by the Scarborough exit - which had a beaver house a couple of years ago -  is frozen over.   The beaver houses were removed after some do-gooder busy-bodies reported them to the state wild life people.
They said it was a safety issue.   I'm not sure if they were protecting the beavers or the people.

The turkeys, all 21 of them, were crossing the street by the entrance sign.  Several were on the right, more on the left, but in the middle of the road were three having an argument about which way to go.
I stopped (I don't mind and I don't blow my horn because it confuses them even more) and another car stopped behind me.  We spent about three minutes when car #2 blew it's horn and just as I expected, some went one way, some the other and some that had already crossed changed their minds to recross.
If you look at a turkey from the neck down, they are really beautiful with a lot of irridescent colors in their plumage.  But if you look at them from the neck up, well, not exactly ugly, but certainly not pretty.  Like ladies with beautiful clothes and plain to homely faces. But  those Tom's, they look at the beautiful feathers and not the faces.  Which is nature's way of ensuring the population.

Our deer also cross the road with abandon.  I am really afraid for them, and the unlucky driver who at dusk can't quite discern their dun colored coats until it's too late.   There seem to be three does in the herd unless I am seeing different groups.   Maybe we'll get a look a handsome stag one of these evenings.   Incidentally, Nick challenges the turkeys, but he has little to say when the deer go through. He just stretches his body out to get a better look, no threatening  bark, not even a little  woof.  They are  after all, much bigger than he is.

January is already a week old and I am no longer thinking about any resolutions that might have passed through my conscience.  That's a little ahead of schedule actually, as I usually make it to MLK day at least.  I did begin a "feel good" routine I heard about on one of TV's PBS programs: you can change your negative feelings by taking 45 seconds each morning to "appreciate" some thing - not the usual things but something that you might overlook in your ordinary thankfulness.  So today I am thankful that my computer is behaving and my shower has clean warm water of which I am about to take advantage.