Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crocuses and daffodils

I have a patch of crocuses coming up, near a patch of early daffodils.  It's hard to believe that so much time has passed--probably because I haven't been anywhere but here since Christmas.  Yikes that's a long time.  I'm going to Rhode Island for Easter, leaving Sat. and returning Tuesday.  After that I'll be eager for spring to advance.  They have green grass there, though the forsythia is not blooming yet.  Last year at Easter I took a picture of riotously yellow forsythia in bloom at the park.  I guess everyone's a bit behind this year.

Things are going along.  Dogs are well but they disappeared for 3 hours on Saturday, which really distressed me.  Especially since they were seen at P&J's, on the other side of the hardtop.  I guess my pattern is, once a week I let them both out at once and they take off.  So that pattern will be changed post haste.  Since then they've been great.

I went to the Mirror Lake Inn with the Holts for dinner Sat. night.  It was great fun, as always.  We were celebrating Annie's retirement and birthday and feeling quite festive.  The food was good and it was a nice evening.  On Sunday I went to their house for pie after dinner and we sat in Rush's observatory to watch the nearly-full moon come up.  There's a nice winter view of the lake from there, but too many trees with too many leaves to afford a good summer view.

It's amazing to think that people will start coming to Hawkeye in a month (or less).  Each spring Ken & I would marvel at the fact that we lived through another winter, and that's a habit I've kept up. 

I had to have the satellite dish repairmen come to adjust my dish on Tuesday.  I park my car at the end of the driveway to keep people OUT of the mud, but these two smarties drove around my car and got their van stuck up to the muffler in mud.  Honestly, sometimes I wonder what people use for brains.  They fixed the dish easily but finding a tow truck was far more complicated and time-consuming.  They got out, though and now I have 2 huge ruts in the driveway.  At least they weren't done by me this year.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to drive to the house--not for a long time, at this rate.

I'm looking forward to my Easter visit with my mother and Mark, hoping for good weather.  We always go pansy shopping at Easter, which is very cheery.  What color should I get this year?

Back to winter

Not really WINTER, but we had snow last night, about an inch, and it was 17 this morning.  Too cold, after we're starting to get used to those above-freezing temps.
Nice warm spring sunshine today but it's still cold.

This is what OHR looked like Sunday, which was a sunny spring day.
This is what the dogs did on Sunday--lots of sniffing the ground.
This is what I look like today.  New haircut.  Big nose.

Friday, April 11, 2014

End of the week

And I get paid!  Amazing how cheerful everyone is on a payday Friday.  The sun helps, and it's warm enough to be outside not bundled up or even wearing a jacket.  YAY.  I think it's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow, with more sun.  Go sun!  Melt that snow!  The snow is probably still 2 feet deep around my house, but that's a big improvement.  The top is so crusty that the dogs are able to walk on it.  Oh how Tess likes being a Tall Dog.  She's frustrated in her efforts to roll in it, though, it's not fluffy enough.  She flops down and rolls around to no avail.

It was a good week.  At least I think it was, I don't remember much that wasn't good about it.  Well, wait, I had some dark moments this week, thinking about my brother.  I wrote to his college friends, sending them some things and an explanation.  They were very very sad when he died (Lory said "I don't believe what you're telling me," which I thought was nice).  Anyway, Lory sent me an email when he received the stuff, and it was touching.  So touching that I cried and cried.  Henry really liked these friends and would see them periodically.  They live on Lake Ontario, a few hours from here.  So I had a couple of dark days.  But now it's all back where it's supposed to be and I'm feeling good.  Looking forward to the weekend.

There's an auction tomorrow that I've been thinking of going to.  It's more than an hour from home, though, and doesn't start until after noon and I have to be back by 5:30, so it all just seems too complicated.  It's the remnants of the life of a friend of a friend, and Linda desperately wants something from the auction.  I was really hot to go last week, but now it just seems foolish because I DON'T NEED ANY MORE THINGS.  I'm supposed to be divesting, not adding.  So I probably won't go.

I'm having dinner with the Holts Sat. night at the Mirror Lake Inn (again).  We do enjoy going there, and we laugh a lot.  This time we're celebrating Annie's retirement and her birthday.  It'll be a good time.

I have to stain the 2 Easter baskets I made last weekend.  That's an easy thing to do but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to do it any evening after work this week.  What's up with that?  Doesn't take long, sure isn't hard.  Oh well, I'll get it done tomorrow, they'll dry, then I can deliver them.

My co-worker (Fred hates it when I call her "my clerk") is on vacation for the next week so I'll be doing lots of typing, checking out books, checking in books, pulling things off the shelves.  It will keep me busy.  Do I mind?  Not really but by the end of her vacations I'm sure ready to get back to MY work.

The dogs are doing well.  They go out one at a time and seem to accept that.  They like to go out.  And come in.  And go out.  And come in.  They'll sit on the deck staring into space and smelling spring.  With an occasional bark.

People keep asking me "Do you have bare ground at your house?"  Well, yes, there's some.  Where the plow moved the snow around.  That's it, though.  Since I haven't been anywhere else, this is all I know so I'm not frustrated, the way I usually am by this time.  I'll be in Rhode Island next weekend for Easter, where there are spring bulbs coming up and there's nothing but bare ground.  Let's see how I feel when I get back from there.

Mud--I've got mud.  As much as I will later complain about mud and mud season, right now it's delightful.

I have plenty of wood left--there's all of this plus 2 cords stacked outside of the wood shed.  Thank you, New Stove.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Seems to be spring

We had good weather for the weekend, though Saturday was a bit cool and cloudy.  Yesterday was a banner day.  My only complaint is that the sun was too bright on the snow.  Blinding.  Ah, but it was definitely a spring day.  We're not losing snow at a rapid pace, but there's a definite trend going on.

I finished the 2 baskets I needed to weave, and they turned out well.  One is a bit better than the other, but I had a good time making them.  I started thinking about getting back into the business, gently and gradually.  I really did enjoy the process of weaving, and I think I might be able to sell my baskets (wholesale) to a gallery owned by friends.  Who knows, this may just be a passing fancy.  Right now I'm interested, but all it will take is one failure and I'll be off this kick.

I emailed my friends in the Midwest to tell them that I won't be joining the reunion this summer.  I couldn't decide whether I would go or not, but finally decided it would be better for me to stay here that weekend.  It's our annual meeting weekend, and I like to be here to offer a voice of reason to the collected group of cousins.  And my sister will be here in America, maybe here in the Adirondacks.  Anyway, it feels good to have made a decision. 

I wrote to my brother's friends and will walk the letter to the post office at lunch.  It's a nice day for a walk, and I feel good about communicating with these people.  The last time I saw them was in the seventies, at my brother's first wedding, but Henry had been in touch with them and visited them several times in his last years.

The dogs disappeared Saturday morning, which was upsetting.  I couldn't figure out where they were, gone for a few hours.  Very distressing, and now they're grounded.  No more joint ventures for them.  It was a tough day.  Yesterday was way better.  Today is fine.  Let's keep it up.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Smells like spring

We had 7" of heavy snow last weekend, but this morning I noticed it SMELLS LIKE SPRING in Hawkeye.  It's been a warm week, with some snow melt and...bare ground showing in some places.  Not around my house, except where it's been plowed and plowed and scraped.  There's some mud showing, which portends an intense mud season.  I'm parking at the end of the driveway already because the town plowed a chunk of snow across the bottom of the driveway so I can't get to the house anyway.  It was 18 this morning, more like a winter stroll than a spring walk, but it smelled wonderful.  Melting earth.

It's been pretty quiet at work.  The director is out ill for 2 weeks and everyone has their noses buried in their work.  Or playing games online.  Or emailing.  Or something.  Me, I've been weeding the fiction like a mad fool.  I think I may even finish this project soon.  Wow.  Then I have to finish weeding the non-fiction, which isn't nearly as much fun.  I have a row of biographies to get through.  Those, actually, might be vaguely interesting.

The dogs are fine and have been behaving well.  They're still on limited outdoor access, only allowed out one at a time, and that seems to work out OK.  They're used to the routine now and don't try (much) to sneak out together.

I shut the heat off in the living room last weekend, though I turned it back on during the week.  I've had good fires doing at night but am not keeping them stoked during the day.  Lots of warm sunshine keeps the house toasty.

We had book group on Sunday, but only Marylou and Lin came.  That was fine and we had a good time, with delicious pizza made by Lin.  I made a disgusting egg/chees thing in case the gluten-free member showed up, but she didn't.  So now I'm stuck with a big hunk of it leftover, which I'll divide between the dogs and the garbage tomorrow when I get ready for the dump.  My gluten-free carrot cake was not very good but I managed to get rid of most of it through Marylou.  Thank you, M'lou.

I think it's supposed to rain tomorrow and be nicer on Sunday, maybe even a sunny day at 45 degrees.  Yowie that would be grand.  I'll go to the dump tomorrow then will weave Easter baskets.  I finally have all the supplies I need and can get these 2 baskets done.  I'm looking forward to weaving, which is a great thing.  The only thing I don't look forward to is the mess it creates on the floor and the way it takes up all the space in the living room when I spread supplies out.  When we built the house we saved one room to be my studio, which would have been grand but that's now my downstairs bedroom.  It would be a good studio, but I admit I like to watch TV while I weave, and that wouldn't have worked out.  Maybe I should change my weaving habits and weave upstairs while I ... what?  listen to music?  listen to a book?  Well there are worse things.  I may try that this weekend.

I'm listening to a really good book by Nancy Horan, about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny.  It's based on their real lives, is well narrated and very interesting.  It piqued my interest about Samoa, where they spent some time.  I have a huge complaint about the book, though, and that is that she refers to SARANAC while they're in Saranac Lake taking the cure.  Boy that's a big mistake. 

Not much going on.  Will shop today during lunch--I have to get goldfish food because I took the fish from work home last night, after dumping her on the floor when I dropped the container I was transporting her in.  She seems to have survived and is quite perky at home.  I bought a second fish to try perking her up (she was totally sulking all day long) but the new fish was picking on her so I separated them.  Now the new fish is swimming merrily around and gives me something to watch as I ponder life's great puzzles.  Or maybe just think about cataloging.

It's the 10th anniversary of my brother's death this weekend.  I dream of him often, and he's always happy, and it's a good dream.  I miss him terribly and think of him often.  I wrote to his friends, embarrassed that my only contact with them has been a phone call telling them of his death.  These are friends of his from college, and I think of them from time to time and feel guilty.  So now I'm taking care of that with a letter explaining more about Henry's death, and I'll include a couple of nice pictures of Hank.  I have a wonderful photo here at work of him waving an American flag, I think it's from the Bicentennial.  He looks as cute as can be.  It never seems fair that he died.

Friday, March 28, 2014

End of the week

It's a rainy Friday, which is a nice change.  We got 2" of snow in Hawkeye this morning and the roads were a real mess.  Apparently the plow operators are as tired o f plowing as we are of winter driving.  Only it doesn't work that way...  Anyway, I made it to work in an hour (as opposed to my usual 35-40 minute drive).  Slow going but that doesn't matter.

I went shopping at lunch time--I have to work until 5, and wanted to get to P&J's earlier than I would if I shopped after work.  My but there are a lot of old(er) people in the grocery store at noon.  Holy cow.  Lots of electric scooters with reckless drivers.  Oh, Elizabeth, don't complain, that might be you some day.

Big storms predicted for the weekend, which doesn't surprise anyone but is still a disappointment.  I'm longing for warm sunny days.  I guess we're supposed to have 8" (or more) of snow, and it will be heavy wet miserable snow.  I forgot how disagreeable the terrain is in early spring.  It's hard to get up my driveway.  Usually in March we have glare ice on driveways--what Ken used to call "like a glass."  That really sucks.  More than once I've had to have help getting out of my driveway to get to RI for Easter.  Shouldn't happen this year, Easter is so late.  We'll see.

I've been fish sitting for my friend's female betta and I've really enjoyed spending time with her.  She's much more interesting than the sullen goldfish I now have at my desk.  My friend will be back on Monday and I'll have to give up the fish.  I call her Nancy.  I haven't even bothered to name my goldfish, that's how grumpy she is.  I went through a long aquarium phase a few years ago, tried to have a 10-gallon tank, with heater, light, etc.  Fish wouldn't last long, and it was difficult to clean the tank so I quit.  Do I miss it?  Not really.  I did like watching the fish, and having different kinds of fish, but then they'd die and I'd be embarrassed and have to buy more.  Now I'm down to a goldfish at work.  I was going to have a goldfish at home but my house is too cold in the winter--I found that out with 2 guppies in a tank with no heater.  Oops, sorry fish.

I finally got my car fixed.  Really fixed. No, really.  I spent 3 hours at the dealer's yesterday while they took apart the front end & fixed the sensor, put it back together then drove it to make sure it was OK.  Yay, it's fine.  Now I can contemplate trading it in and buying a new car. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Above zero! Double digits!

It was 12 this morning, the first time above zero in 3 days.  or more, who knows.  I lose track.

Sunny weekend--bright, warm spring sun, but cold wind and low temps.  I walked to the mailbox with the dogs, which was nice but chilly.  That was Saturday.  Sunday I did NOT walk the dogs.

I skipped the Coop. Ext. workshop on Saturday, sadly.  It was snowing hard in the morning and it was predicted to be a bad travel day.  After discussing it with Lin I decided to stay home.  I felt bad, really wanted to go, but to Plattsburgh?  On a Saturday?  All day?  In the snow?  Instead I went to the dump in the afternoon.  Always a good trip.  Dump Man doles out dog biscuits so my dogs love a trip to the dump.  Garbage excites them when I get ready for the trip.

Haven't been doing much, just work and home.  I cleaned so well the weekend before that I didn't have much to clean.  Yay.  I read a lot.  Actually turned off the TV, sat in the sunny living room and read books.  I'm now reading Elizabeth Gilbert's latest (she wrote Eat, pray, love) which is very, very good.  It's about (so far) a woman who studies mosses.  This reminds me of my wonderful niece Anna, who is studying a specific type of mushroom.  I finished listening to The invention of wings, by Sue Monk Kidd.  Very, very good story.  Narrated very nicely and a good listen.

It was busy at P&J's on Sunday so I stayed a couple of hours.  Bill, Atkinsons, then Jon & Ann, so it was quite a time.  A lot of socialization for me.  I went home and read. 

There's really no sign of spring in Hawkeye, other than the sun being higher in the sky and warmer.  We got 6" of additional snow last week, a dusting last night, and on it goes.  The chickadees ARE singing their spring song, so I can't really claim the total absence of signs of spring.  I haven't had much variety at the bird feeder this year, mostly blue jays and chickadees with a smattering of finches and an occasional woodpecker.  It's good theater, though.

Book group is Sunday at my house.  Mostly what I have to do to prepare is clean up the tiny pieces of paper that Treasure has shredded an left all over the floor.  I shouldn't mind her paper fetish, it beats worse things.  Tiresome, yes, and I have to tuck papers away (which is probably a good thing) but she doesn't get into kitchen things and both dogs refuse to go upstairs so that's a safe place.  They both look at me, wide-eyed, in the morning when I go to work.  Well hell, is this not a standard routine (is that redundant?) these days?  Does Treasure realize that she no longer spends her days in a cage?  I can actually move the cage out of the living room, which will be grand.

I took my car to the dealer to be fixed AGAIN.  Yes, they fixed something, but there's something else that needs fixing.  The part was ordered and I'm waiting to hear from them so I can use more vacation time waiting there.  And a new car woos me.

Springtime in Plattsburgh

A view from the mouth of the Saranac River, looking at Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.  The lake is frozen over, which hasn't happened in a while.  No sign of thawing, either.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Arrival of spring

That's just a joke, really, the arrival of spring.  It was -16 on Monday morning, -6 yesterday, and 8 today.  We got about 4" of fresh powder Saturday night.  I punched through the snow on my way to the bird feeder on Sunday and the snow was up to mid-thigh.  And I wasn't yet touching bare ground.  I'm not one to bitch & moan (though there may be those who disagree with that...) but this is getting a bit tiresome.  Most people around here are disgusted and dreary about the weather and lack of anything resembling spring.  I'm tired of winter, yes, but still not as frustrated and yearning for a new season as I often am by now.

Friends had a problem with their septic system yesterday because their leach field is frozen, which caused a back up in the septic tank.  Yikes, this is something they've feared all winter, because we had sub-zero weather long before we had a decent snow cover.  Oh how we take a flushing toilet for granted.  My leach field is always plowed over because it's where I park my car.  This should make it more vulnerable to freezing--and indeed it may be frozen--but I've never had septic problems.  I think about it often because I've never had my tank pumped out, but it's a 1500 gallon tank and I live alone so I lull myself into a false sense of security.  Oh how I hope I don't have septic problems--I do not know exactly where the septic tank is.  And the ground is frozen right now.

Ah, that was a cheerful subject.  More cheer--the dogs disappeared for 4 hours the other night, which of course upset me.  They were at the neighbors' house, a mile away, and having a great time.  They must have covered a lot of ground because I saw fresh prints going toward Silver Lake Camp that evening, during one of my forays into finding them.  All of which were unsuccessful.  I just waited and they came home eventually and boy were they exhausted.

Tomorrow I take my car to the dealer for what had better be the last chapter of this ridiculous deer impact episode.  I'm fed up with the whole thing.  But I still like my car.  But I think I want a new one.  But now is not the best time to be buying one.  But the dealer in Burlington keeps sending me good offers on a new car.  but but but.

I had friends come for cocktails Sat. eve, which meant I spent the entire day cleaning.  My routine is to clean, rest, clean, rest, clean, rest, etc.  That makes for a long day of cleaning.  I did go to the dump, and to town to buy wine, but other than that I worked hard to make the house presentable.  What I discovered is that my house is very dirty in places and needs a thorough cleaning.  Like, with cleaners and water.  The living room floor needs to be repainted but boy oh boy is that a chore.  Lin helped me do that a long time ago.  We took all the furniture out to the deck and it started to rain.  Lightly, but rain.  I put two coats on the floor and now there are places where the paint is worn off.  Is this something I consider a priority?  No, not really.  The refrigerator needs cleaning inside and out.  The kitchen floor needs attention.  The bedroom floor is a mess because it's maple that wasn't kiln-dried and it was never treated with anything much so it's totally stained and ugly.  There's the floor I should paint.  But that's a problem because the bed is there to stay.  It's a queen-size bed that Jamie built and it's heavy and impossible to move.  It needs to be taken apart for that, and Lin & I struggled to put it back together after moving it from the master bedroom.  Oh how I do go on.  ANYWAY, it was a nice visit with friends Sat. night.

I've registered for a Cooperative Extension workshop on garden design that's this Saturday.  Lasts all day, which doesn't thrill me, but it sounds good.  I would like to resurrect my gardens and maybe this will inspire me.  Plus they're going to cover container gardening, which is pretty much all I do now.  I used to have 4 definite gardens but grass and weeds and blackberry bushes have taken over.  I used to grow vegetables but got tired of doing that because the dogs always ate whatever I grew before I could harvest it.  They even dug up carrots.  Each year I say I will NOT try to grow cucumbers and tomatoes in containers, but each year I'm wooed by the cute little seedlings and try again.  With no real luck.

Tonight we're supposed to have snow, sleet, freezing rain and misery.  Spring?  What's that?