Friday, January 30, 2009

turkey in the snow

This afternoon I looked out to see a single turkey hen crossing the yard. She walked right up to the foot of the living room steps, five feet from the window, and creaked at me. "You're not a turkey. What are you doing there?" she said, and then wandered down hill and around the side of the house. Of course I didn't have the camera within reach. I'm going to have to start wearing it around my neck all the time.

Later, I saw a whole flock south of the house. This time they were far enough away that I could go get the camera without spooking them, but they were aware of me.


This one heard the zoom motor through the window fifteen feet away and looked around just in time.

Off they go down the hill to the woods. 
I was 

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I found  my camera at last.
   I said I had packed it in something really soft. I was wrong: I had wrapped it in something really soft, but it was in a box of hard things with really sharp corners. Where  was my brain?
Now that I have found it, there's all that pretty ice to take pictures of, but it's cold and slippery out there, and I don't want to fall down and break the camera, or me, either.

This was my exercise yesterday. It took me fifteen minutes to pry up chunks of ice one shovel blade wide to make a path to the car. (I did not have a heart attack.)

Which I have not cleaned off yet, because I have no reason to go anywhere.

Maybe tomorrow. Or not.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

still with electricity

Fifteen minutes ago the freezing rain changed to snow. Big fluffy flakes at the moment. All night I've been listening to ice crashing off the roof, and off trees in the woods, and sometimes a branch thudding down, too. Not walking in the woods today! And with snow on top of the ice, I doubt I'll walk up to the road and see if the mail got through. 
About five there was a brown out, when the answering machine woke me up with its self check noises, and I told myself to get up and make coffee while it was easy, but I didn't. I got up at my regular time and fixed breakfast after resetting the microwave clock, and all is well. 
After it got light I could see that the trees are all bent over farther than they were at dusk yesterday. I've got enough wood in the house for at least one day, but now I'm worried about how I'm going to skate out there and bring more in. With ice on the walk, and ice coating the wood, the answer is One. Piece. at. a. Time. Sloooowly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ice is nice

To my surprise I still have electricity. With the two to four inches of snow predicted for tonight on top of the freezing rain all day on top of the sleet from last night, I'm not sure that will continue.
This morning I thought I would put the trash container in the back of the Jeep this afternoon and drive up to the road with it for tomorrow's pick up. So this afternoon I went out to chip the ice off the windows. First I scattered salt on the walks, only to find that the freezing rain was falling so fast it had no effect. Then I went cautiously, one foot at a time, out to the Jeep (not more than fifteen feet from the house) and opened the door. The ice cracked off the handle, and more ice fell off the top of the door. I got out the ice scraper and attacked the window of that door. It was only a few degrees below freezing and the ice was about an eighth of an inch thick. It came apart easily, but it was glued to the window with water underneath. On each window the whole sheet, already cracked into parts, would fall off onto the icy ground with a musical crash. The ice on the windshield was thicker (because of the slant, I think): about a quarter inch. Much harder to crack and pry loose. Then I whacked at last night's snow/sleet frozen onto the hood until I dug down far enough to find the windshield wipers. 
It didn't take very long and wasn't very hard, because the ice on the ground was rough enough that my feet had traction, but after that I had no intention of trying to drive three-tenths of a mile and back without chains, which I don't have, and which I wouldn't take the trouble to put on just to put the garbage out. I also wrote off the idea of walking up to the mailbox. When I got back inside, my hat brim was coated with ice, but the crown, where my head heated it, was just wet.
Everything outside is shiny. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

spreading sweetness and light wherever I go???

Even when I'm in a bad mood? Yesterday I went to the Kroger thirty miles away (for the things like house brand ice cream that I can't get locally) and was zooming through as fast as I could so I could leave before the combination of crappy music and lots of televisions tuned to a football game made me kick someone, and people kept smiling at me. Only one of them was an employee, so it wasn't a "smile at cross customers" policy. I do go around smiling most of the time, and people will smile back, but I wasn't smiling then. (Grrr--if only I could mail-order ice cream and never have to set foot in the place again! I fantasize about climbing up the walls and ripping the speakers out of the ceiling.)

I remember the first time I was in Chicago. I was walking around (smiling, of course) and I kept getting these looks from people--"She's weird! Is she dangerous?"--and after a while I realized I was the only one smiling. Everybody else was walking around as expressionless as they could get. It was the same when I went back ten years later. It must be a Chicago thing, not a Northern thing, because I didn't get the same reaction in Boston or New York or Philadelphia, even though (after Chicago I was observing) not very many people on the street smiled. 
Humans are strange.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


(The phone camera is really not up to this.)
This afternoon I looked out and counted twenty-seven turkeys feeding in the field south of the house. Whatever they were eating seemed to be plentiful and tasty. Maybe that, more than the hawks, is why the song birds aren't interested in the feeder.
So I sneaked over to the door, and opened it, which sounds remarkably like a shotgun being cocked, and snapped so quickly my finger was in the way, just as they looked up at the noise, and before they all flew away. If only I could find the camera I wouldn't have to tell you that those little dots are turkeys. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

is he a Westie?

It's been a while since I've been able to get my father to the barber. I'm resisting the temptation to take advantage of that natural chrysanthemum head and put him in a Westie cut. ; )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

spring WILL come

I saw the first new calves of the year this morning. It wasn't a safe place to stop and take a picture--in the middle of an S curve--but there they were, two black Angus babies about a week old. (I'm not good at calf ages, but I hadn't seen them before, where I drive by an average of twice a day, so probably not yet two weeks.) Still wobbly kneed and big eyed. Every time I see a new calf on the ground, no matter how cold it is, it's a hint of spring.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Dear Bag Lady,
Received your shipment of weather. It is not suitable for our use; we will be returning it shortly.
Yours shiveringly,
Mary Anne in Kentucky

Monday, January 12, 2009

mystery sweater

I have no idea where this sweater came from. I was choosing a "good" sweater (no holes, no stains, not too much pilling) to wear to my allergist appointment this afternoon, when I saw this bit of cable knit peeking out of the bottom of the stack. "That's not my oatmeal lambswool from the eighties" I said. No, the oatmeal lambswool was on top of it. A beige-ish wool blend sweater with small cables on the body and the sleeves. A label from a company completely unknown to me. No identifying marks on the plastic shipping envelope. (Except for size and color--camel? in my day camel was nothing like that.) It doesn't look like it's been worn, and I could swear I've never seen it before. When I packed I just picked up a whole stack of brownish sweaters and put them in a box, and the same when I unpacked them. 

Now if only my camera would turn up. Remember how sure I am I packed it in something soft? If it turned into this sweater I want it back!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


First, here's some "birch bark on snow" for Daryl.

This house does have lots and lots of different shades of white in it, but I do have color. As well as the walls in the living room and my father's room, I start the day with color.

Some of my favorite coffee mugs,

and a few more.

No matter what angle I tried I couldn't get a shot where you can read "Adopt a dog" under the little white dog on the dark green mug, which was a fundraiser for the Lexington (KY) Humane Society when I lived there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

the kitchen functions

[still no camera. still crappy phone pics]

The first time I've made rolls since the move. (I didn't realize I was celebrating the month-versary until I looked at the date here.) I could find everything I needed without trouble, although my cookbooks are in some box somewhere, so the measurements were a little spontaneous. Fortunately, yeast bread can cope with that. This is the first time I've ever had an oven with a light (or at least, one that works) and they're just as good for raising dough in as I've heard.

They are good. I ate five for lunch, and would have eaten more if I could fit them in.