Thursday, January 30, 2014


A few days ago we remembered the big snow of '67 in Chicago. 
Jerome and I were seniors in high school. We'd had mild weather the day before with a whopping good thunderstorm that night. The next morning the snow began. When it finished on the second day there were 23+ inches on the ground. I was employed part time in a grocery store then and on that second day I walked to work down the middle of a very busy street which had seen nothing but foot traffic. Once at the store I experienced for the first time in my life what panic can do. People were buying many multiples of milk, bread, toilet paper. It was as if they feared no restocking would take place for weeks. 

As I type this, it is snowing here at the farm yet again. The wind is blowing the flakes horizontally with some force. Our snows have been frequent and with no thaws, cumulative.  Never more than a few inches at a time, the flakes have been the smaller, drier kind, light weight, easy to shovel but also easy for the winds up here on the ridge to blow. Clear a path and when you lift your head to look back it is filling in behind you. The results are scenes reminiscent of desert sands.
Many, many times this winter I have given thanks that Jerome is here with me. What a chore this would have been alone. His being here helps me see the beauty behind the beast. 

working his way to the chicken house

Flowers help a bit too. As do good pals of the purring sort.

Much to be grateful for.

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 weeks into the new year

completing older unfinished projects

crocheting while watching films

appreciating the here and now

Feeling blessed.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

above zero

Yesterday, with the aid of a dazzling sun,  the mercury in the thermometer outside our north facing dining room window bravely rose above the big fat O for the first time in several days.  There is a photo on the front page of our town's weekly paper showing Main Street at 10 am this past Monday with not a vehicle or pedestrian in sight. That morning Anne and Matthias made a video flinging a pan of boiling water into the 21 degree BELOW zero air, creating an instant frozen vapor. (I have no idea how to create a link for you to see it from here, but if you'd like to see it, I'd be happy to forward it to you in an email.)
During our cold spell the temperature on the second floor of the farm house never rose above 60 degrees in the daytime. I keep my orchid collection on an old bakers rack next to the sliders and my computer desk in the sunroom on the second floor. They love the sun and don't seem to mind the cold, even as it dips down quite a bit below 60 at night.

Here is my Sherri Baby. She smells divine. When I was still media center director at Emerson Middle school, I kept her on the check out counter while in bloom so the students could enjoy the blossoms up close. One of my autistic students loved to put his nose right into her petals and sigh "Candy!"
And as of today all of the moth orchids are growing flower spikes.

There is nothing so encouraging as plants you've tended for years rewarding you with blossoms. And all the sweeter on subzero days.

Monday, January 6, 2014

a new year

Sometimes I wonder what became of the kings, or wise men, or magi after they arrived at the stable. After following the star for how long? was it an ending or the beginning?

Despite the countdown to midnight and the changing of the calendars, for me, the real new year begins after the lights are packed away, the ornaments safely tucked into storage, and the last pine needle has been swept. Not until after Epiphany.

I have delighted in following so many lovely blogs this year and from what you've been writing about 2014, I can't wait to see what each of you is up to. I thank each of you, deeply.
And wish each of you an amazing new year.