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Archive for the ‘Weather-Seasons’ Category

So, snow

A LOT of snow came falling from the sky today, but really, it is already melting, and one feels one could have left it where it lay–but after all, my ballet class has been cancelled and one needs some exercise. So I dutifully shoveled the walk and the driveway.
Yesterday le tout Washington kept an attentive eye of mild alarm on the heavens, waiting for this Winter Storm to blanket the city. Which it politely did not do until this morning, and now the sound of running water is to be heard everywhere, together with bird song. The birds know that it is spring and there are VERY important things to be done.
But the humans can’t help playing in the snow.

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This morning a wild wind whipped snow through the air–which was odd as it was 40 degrees out. The snow has stopped, but my, how the wind roars.
700,000 without power in the area–how very happy I was to see my front yard light on when I came home this evening. I passed several trucks chopping up a downed tree, and feared the worst.
I pray that the trees about us bend rather than break, and that those slender lines that feed us precious electricity stay unharmed.

Arthur O’Bower has broken his band
And he comes roaring up the land;
The King of Scots with all his power
Cannot stop Arthur O’Bower.

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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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Loveliest of trees the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide

Now of my threescore years and ten
Twenty will not come again
And take from seventy springs a score
It only gives me fifty more…

According to Housman’s grim arithmetic, I have only one Spring left–heigh ho! Still, how lovely is the spring, whether one or many be to come. On Sunday I strolled through Kenwood, a neighborhood planted about with cherry trees–like walking through floating bridal veils.

And this morning the spring announced itself the moment I opened the front door–the air had that delightful balmy benevolence, warm, damp and fragrant with the scent of blooming viburnums.
[I understand there are those who don’t know what a viburnum is. For them I include this illustration. 

Related image
Many many birds salute the morning these days–my walk to the bus stop is filled with song–wrens trilling, cocky sparrows chirping and squeaking, doves cooing– interwoven with the sharp passionate cries of blue jays.
Along the way I noted that my neighbor’s peonies and hosta are showing themselves in her well-kept garden. NOT in mine as yet, but there, we must bear patiently the sorrows that life heaps on us.
[For educational purposes, peonies and hosta illustrated below]

This gentle spring will soon give way to summer’s ferocious heat–and all the hungry armies of mosquitoes and flies that come with it. And then another autumn, another winter.
But today, it is spring.

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The holiday season has caused the following things to happen:

1. Excitement at Liquor store

Yesterday I was checking off a few items on my list: first, BOOZE. As I approached the popular emporium where it can be found, I noticed that a crowd had gathered at the doors. What was going on? Were they were giving away free samples? Not so! It was just that a large number of my neighbors had exactly the same item on their lists and had convened at the store simultaneously–and as it happened, there were those among us who had lost some of the sprightliness of youth, and were somewhat slowed down by canes, bad hips etc. Slowed down but BY NO MEANS STOPPED! Eventually the huddled masses made their way in and we were all able to go about our important business.
That place must make a million dollars an hour during the Christmas season.

2. Bravely Watching Dumb Christmas Movies
After 30 years there is a certain–what shall I call it–unwillingness to watch Christmas Carol yet again. But the old festivity furnace needs fuel! So I found some new contenders in the genre, The Christmas Candle and Christmas High Spirits, and managed to watch both. Neither in any way attains anything close to the brilliant zest of Christmas Carol, of course and the latter film includes some truly idiotic plot points. However, both dull little films had the one bright spot: leading men who were very EASY ON THE OLD EYES! I can put up with a lot of twee for the sake of such sugarplums.

Manufactured Merriment in the Workplace
In keeping with the season, we are bursting with Holiday Cheer at the office. There are celebrations! Being Mrs. Stick-in-the-Mud McScrooge I avoid these as much as possible, dropping by just long enough to demonstrate good will and bestow a few greetings (“Very festive sweater indeed, dear colleague!” “And happy holidays to you, Mr. Executive Officer!”). However, there is one party which is quite unavoidable–our department celebration. Because why, because I have to arrange it myself, organizing the food and entertainment and nagging staff about it. My boss is constantly worrying about who’s coming and what food they’re bringing, and at no point is the appropriate answer the one that leaps to the McScrooge mind, namely, WHO CARES. As I’ve told her and other people engaging in pot lucks, whatever food walks in the door will do very well–and even if everybody chooses to bring a plate of fudge, we will manage to make it through. Though I must admit that after a pot luck at my cousin’s house, she pulled me aside and whispered “Where’s all that fudge you promised?” NO ONE had brought fudge. Oh well, next time.

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Morning=BUST

Yes, it’s horrid out there, gray skies raining ice and streets a little chancy. So I felt a somewhat triumphant heading into the parking lot for ballet class, having already done the grocery shopping before setting out on the drive to Silver Spring. YAY me!
Except, what do you know, it seemed a little…deserted as I climbed the stairs to the studio.
AH.
Classes postponed because of weather. Come back later.
It NEVER OCCURRED to me that this weather was so mighty as to lay low the schedules and plans of the city. Yes, nasty–but a threat of such dimensions?
Sigh.
Seems something of an overreaction.
Hello, Washington–THIS is what icy looks like:

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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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