Thursday, February 28, 2013

Boiling this weekend!

It's been an interesting month here.  From being snowbound to taking walks in 50 degree warmth of the sun at lunch, and seeing huge formations of geese heading......South???

Two more huge old houses have just been torn down on the main street near me.  Where lawns were once mowed and flowers watered, there is now uneven brown earth with a "Build to Suit" sign.  How odd it looked yesterday when only the brick fireplace remained where a noble New England home once stood.  As they say...."Change is the only constant".

The sap buckets went up this week and we'll be boiling over the weekend!!!  There were many little glitches that prevented us from an early start but the weather reports look like we'll still have a good run :)   I'm so excited to get involved in this, since one of my long-term goals is to have my own small stand of maples.  Check back here this weekend for photos!

Also, I'll snap some photos of my D9P denim quilt top.  I'm quite pleased with how it's turning out and hope to have it sandwiched and machine quilted very soon.

Have a wonderful Friday and let's get ready for the weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's the little things that count

Four days out of six my mailbox is empty.  I only get a few actual printed bills and some junk mail.  I pay most of my bills online, but the condo association fees are paid with an old-fashioned check.  The junk mail is from local vendors (pizza joints, dentists, etc) and it's hard to get rid of those.  But I suppose it's time to sign up for the junk mail cancellation again to see if it clears up a bit more.

So today I was surprised and thrilled to get a card from a friend up north.  An honest-to-goodness handwritten note.  A real "someone took the time to write out what they wanted to tell you" kind of note.  Words from friends are valued so much more when inked onto paper and posted in the mail than those that are tapped onto a keyboard (ironically, I'm telling you this by tapping!)

I thought of my teen years when I had a penpal in Ireland and how we'd gush over movie stars via our letters.  We both loved the fashions of the times and sent our "best" photos.  The thought and time that went into each handwritten letter gave it something of ourselves.

Today's mail
I'm thinking that this weekend would be a good time to sit down and write a hand, of course.  Maybe to someone I haven't emailed in a while ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

winner, winner, maple syrup dinner!!!

Many thanks to Wendy and her husband, Deus Ex Machina, once the sap starts running my family and I will be making syrup!  I won a starter kit from TapMyTrees in a giveaway on Mooseboots.  Woo, hoo!  You'll see me in action once the sap starts running ;)

For anyone who may not have been to their blogs, they are both extremely knowledgeable on self-reliance and survival skills in the rural field.  I have followed Wendy for years (and learned sooo much.)  I've read a lot on Mooseboots and decided to follow so I wouldn't miss anything there.  I'd like to thank them publicly here and encourage everyone to check out their sites.

Also: I've been checking out the TapMyTrees site, and found a wealth of information there.  A novice (like me) can feel confident following the clear instructions.

You know, I've been craving maple lately......   :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More mess on the way....

Short update: Even though the governor has lifted the travel ban, the mayor has imposed a local ban on vehicles.  The condo parking lot has not been plowed and I haven't heard a plow go down our street yet....

Looking forward: Monday's weather will warm up and bring a "wintry mix"...snow, sleet, rain.  Now THAT concerns me.  Once the rain starts, it's got no place to go, so I'm envisioning lakes out there on top of the snow.

So on Saturday I baked some oatmeal cookies, prepped some meals for the week, shoveled, talked to friends and relatives on the phone, and watched some old episodes of Newhart on youtube :)

Our HOA requires us to clear our decks of snow to prevent building issues, and I was happy to see everyone complying.

My deck sits 26" above ground level.  During normal snowfalls I can easily just push the stuff right off.

But the drifting snow built its way up the railing.  The snow that I shoveled off the deck had to be tossed over the top.  (You might just see the tip of the yardstick peeking out of the snowpile.)

Just clearing off this small deck took almost an hour.  (If you count the 20 minutes it took to shovel down the back steps to get to the deck.  I still have that shrink-wrap plastic on my patio door so I didn't dare open it.  It's still got work to do this winter ;)
There will be pots of herbs and greens out here this summer......

But for now I won't get in trouble from the HOA for not clearing it off  :)
Let's go back to those thoughts of potted herbs........mmmmmm!
Catch you later!  Stay warm.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nemo - 02/08/2013

By now you've seen lots of snow photos on the internet.  It's awe-inspiring, isn't it?  My employer closed the office by noon yesterday so I got home safely, before the rush when most of the offices let out.  It didn't look like much when I went to sleep last night, but this was my view at 7 this morning. Those pointy peaks by the condos across the way are actually cars. You can just barely see the windshield wipers sticking up.

This little car is completely covered.

I've been checking the news on the internet.  One of our local stations was streaming storm-related coverage online.  Earlier today the traffic cams showed stranded cars and trucks on the interstate highway, which was officially closed.  Emergency vehicles couldn't get to them.

When I bundled up and went out, it took three trips to shovel and crawl through the drifts just to get to my car.  I cleared the snow by the tailpipe and let it run for a few minutes.  It's not going anywhere until the plow comes through.  But I am sooooo thankful for my Keene boots!  My feet and legs stayed dry and toasty warm.
It's going to be a quiet weekend here.  Lots of hot chocolate, and maybe some baking :)
I hope you're all safe and warm!