Archive for the ‘Weather-Seasons’ Category

So said Scrooge, but as we know, he was persuaded to change his mind.
I own that the prospect of this mighty holiday–looming like one of those gigantic inflatable Santas over poor shrinking December–is always somewhat daunting. But one bravely perseveres!

SPEAKING of giant inflatable figures, one of my more exuberant neighbors has placed not one–not two–but FIVE of these festive items in his front yard. There is a Jovial Polar Bear, a Genial Snowman, a Cheery Santa, a Frisky Reindeer, a…uh, memory fails me…oh yes, A Festive Tree. With Colorful Presents under it! So there they are, lined up in military precision by the front porch, bestowing their celebratory beneficence on passers by, and enlivening my walk to the bus stop.

Thus inspired, I ​succumbed to the shameful allure of a ridiculous holiday trinket: Star Night Laser Shower Christmas Lights. This device, placed in the front yard and plugged into an electric outlet, will play an array of glittering lights over the house–ludicrous to one’s good sense but ineffably charming to the eye. The eye which, the instructions ominously warn, must NEVER be directly aimed into the beam of the laser –which beam must moreover, NEVER be aimed at the sky in case of blinding the pilot of an incoming airplane! Nothing ruins a festive holiday evening like a huge plane crash with hundreds of people dead, so I am very careful not to point the device at the sky.
And now, a pleasant perusal of holiday baking recipes! With eyes undimmed (as yet) by magical laser lights.


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My brave little car–not as youthful as all that, but then, neither am I–began to puff out warm air when I requested cool. So what, right? It’s not as if we were trekking over the Sahara. Our forebears didn’t have air conditioning, and they did very well without it. I was resolved to be STRONG!
OH yes.

After one trip in 99 degree heat my resolve faltered and failed.
So, I dropped off the unsatisfactory vehicle at the garage, requesting the bold garageurs to dribble in the magical encoolment liquids in the fervent hope that it would fix the problem.
Of course, it didn’t.
The garage lad called me to say that the compressor needed to be replaced. And his boss recommended that I take the car to the dealership for the operation.
Sigh. Every trip to the dealership results in a giant hit to the bank account.
Of course, there ARE free bagels in the waiting room! Not to mention, free coffee and free WiFi!
So there is that.
Wiping away my tears, I turned back to work.
When, another call from the garage! It turned out that the lad’s boss thought he was referring to the OTHER Mini Cooper in their care–a much newer model than mine. My Mini, being so antique, is amenable to the ministrations of non-dealership mechanics. So, they could replace the compressor! AND, they had the part. It would only cost….an enormous amount of money. But LESS than it would have cost at the dealership!
So I told him to make it so.
On the way home, I stopped into BestBuy to buy a new laptop. YAY! Spending money like drunken sailor!

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Yesterday evening I was languidly sitting on the bus when suddenly there came a horrid CRACK–had we hit something? No, it was the heavens bellowing their rage, instantly followed by torrents, gouts, FLOODS of rain. The bus stolidly moved on through the storm, but the passengers eyed the cascading stream with dismay. Leaving the haven of the bus was like diving into the ocean. No matter how strong your umbrella, it could not withstand such force.
What dreadful noise of water in mine ears! The street was a running river, and when I finally squelched into my door, the cats regarded me in wild surmise. Why, they wondered, had I chosen to leap into a pond before coming home?
Once changed into dry clothes I was able to serve them their dinner, so everything turned out OK in the end.

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1) Today there were so many birds singing so sweetly!
2) Today I noticed that the red maple is flowering!
3) Today for the first time in months, I didn’t wear a coat.
4) Today for the first time in months, I wore thin nylon stockings, not thick dark hose.

Perhaps….it really is spring?

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que gelida manina

It is mighty chilly today–despite the brave little heater by my desk, my hands are icy. So, I put on gloves to type.
NOT easy, typing in gloves.
In Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a lovely book we had when I was young, Mr Popper, a modest house painter, receives a surprise gift: a penguin! Mr. and Mrs. Popper empty out the refrigerator, and the penguin lives in it quite happily for a while, but then he begins to languish: he is lonely! So, Mr. Popper acquires a lonely lady penguin from a aquarium. Well, nature takes its course, and eventually there are TEN baby penguins. The Poppers have given over the basement to the birds, and set it up with a freezing machine to keep them comfortable. In order to pay the bills for all this penguin luxury, the Poppers develop a circus act: Mrs. Popper plays the piano while the penguins dance. Because it is so extremely cold in the basement, Mrs. Popper learns to play the piano while wearing gloves.
I think of this story every time I don my gloves to type. If Mrs. Popper could do it, so can I.

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The dreadful memory of the blizzard recedes, but the giant ice walls persist on every street, growing grimier every day. Commuting is something of an ordeal, as too many vehicles attempt to thread the sclerotic streets. Talk about the eye of the needle! This evening the bus inched along in a tedious procession, but I managed to maintain a tranquil demeanor with the aid of my iPod and a bar of chocolate.

How nice that I need not ply my shovel today! Earlier in the week I laboured like a convict on a chain gang, digging out ton after ton of wet heavy snow (OOOh, oooh, that’s the sound of the men,working on the chain, gang–All day long they work so hard till the sun is going down). Tiring, rather.

Afterwards, I collapsed into bed at 8, exhausted.

Which reminded me of this:

Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?

A poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay which Dad used to quote.

Courage dear friends! I expect the snow will all be melted by June. Perhaps even by May!

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Yesterday was a day when I truly triumphed over adversity! I drink myself a toast! See, the Ghastly 2016 Blizzard loomed, and as I labored in my office–I do not scruple to say, as Holmes says of his brother Mycroft’s value to the British government, occasionally, I AM the Board on Population Health–I pondered the various problems posed by the End of the World As We Know it in Washington DC:

  1. My treasured ticket to Ballet Canada’s Saturday performance must either be exchanged or forfeited.
  2. I would endure the desperate hours of blizzard entrapment WITHOUT the relief of drawing kitty pictures, due to the gradual descent into infirmity and insanity by my iPad.

1. Ballet Ticket
The ballet ticket could be exchanged for a show THAT NIGHT! However, as everyone else with a weekend ticket had the same brilliant notion, the Kennedy Center phone lines were swamped. So, the obvious solution was to go there in person, which I did. There are shuttle buses from the Metro station to the K Center, but it was a bright day, why not walk? Because why, because the K Center is almost impossible to get to on foot, as I gradually realized. It is protected from the vulgar ingress of the lowly by a circlet of high speed expressways. However there is ONE way in, which I eventually found, and was able to storm the gates, exchange my ticket, and make it back to the Metro. This time using the shuttle bus. Success!

2. Drawing Pictures while Trapped in House by Vile Storm
I know some of you will point out that one could use pencil and paper. WHAT?? Are we suddenly transported to some neolithic village? I scoff at such retrogressive notions! No, I needed a replacement tablet! And having visited Best Buy earlier in the week, I decided to just go ahead and BUY the Samsung Tablet (half the price of an iPad, and getting better reviews as a drawing tablet). I paid for it online, and set it up for in-store pick up. And with the precious ballet ticket safely tucked in my bag, I set off for Best Buy–PLENTY of time to get the tablet, get home, feed cats, and then off to the ballet!

3. Best Buy is Run by Incompetents
Once at the store (which has its OWN SUBWAY STOP!) I was directed to get in line at the In Store Pickup Desk. Behind a bunch of disconsolate souls, all looking vexed. There were two bored women at the desk, each having some interminable discussion with a customer. HOURS passed. Well, half an hour. I gradually shed my layers of warm garments (it was HOT in that place) and ground my teeth with impatience. The ballet started at 7, it was now 5:30….Sigh. Once I finally was able to present my order, the gum chewing BestBuyette announced that of course–it was not to be found. However, she located another one on the shelf, and eventually I got out the door, back on the subway, and home to the cats. And then, whoosh, off to the ballet–which was SPLENDID!

And so, I feel a mild glow of accomplishment. Now if only I can master the Android drawing program I just downloaded, my joy will be complete. Very best wishes to you all, as you confront the mighty storm! Here is a storm aid, which should help with the process.

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