Lord Love a Duck

IMG_1500.JPG (2)Yes, this is a picture of a big ass chocolate bar.  It was the most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday.  I had adjusted and dispensed glasses to a little old lady (she was way older than me, by at least 10 years) and as she got up to leave she asked me if I liked chocolate.  I said yes.  Dark chocolate?  Yes.  She whipped this monstrous thing out of her bag and told me to enjoy it with the rest of the girls who helped her pick out her glasses and to have a nice day.  Just being called a ‘girl’ would have been enough to make the day nice.

But look at that thing.  It is for sure my kind of gratuity.  Normally we get nothing (which is what we expect even though we’re awesome) and sometimes we get coffee or a handful of change to put in our coffee fund.  This is the equivalent amount of chocolate found in about a dozen normal size bars.  I ate four squares of it and felt sick.

As interesting as all this is, hang on, because I’ve got something even better.

In my backyard this morning in the rain I spied a creature.  That’s about as specific as I could be without my glasses.  It looked like a bird, maybe a young Canada Goose.

008I really need to clean this window before I take any more pictures through it.  This is the last of our dirty snow pile still refusing to give up.  And with glasses on and the zoom on my phone, look at this!

005It’s a mallard duck with his very-hard-to-see mate just behind him.  Both of them mucking about in the rain, like this is the wetlands or something.  I was going to wake W up so he could get all excited about my remarkable avian identification skills involving a bird that wasn’t a blue jay or a cardinal, but then I remembered he used to be a migratory birds expert and seeing a duck might not be the highlight of his morning.  I imagined him being grumpy and unimpressed, or worse, spewing out a hundred duck related facts off the top of his head.  I let him sleep.

The ducks may have been attracted to all the spilled birdseed under our tree, or the gigantic puddle in our neighbor’s backyard caused from all the run off of the melting snow.  He’s been pumping it periodically to keep it from turning into a big mud hole, and now all the rain makes it look like he hasn’t done a thing.  I watched the ducks putter around for a bit, and then they waddled under the fence to the other side to play in the water.  It was such a simple thing, and yet so odd and unexpected that it felt amazing.  What an excellent way to start the day.

Just when you think it’s all about chocolate, life gives you ducks.

This Is My Backyard on Good Friday

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This is a direct W quote – “Lord Thunderin’ Jesus”.  As for me, I have uttered a couple of phrases beginning with the word “Holy…”   It is a religious holiday after all.

Not even going to wonder how long this snow will continue to fall.  The good news is – we can see the Easter Bunny’s tracks!  Really!  They look suspiciously like the footprints of a jack-rabbit!  Sneaky bunny.

Happy Winterspring.  Hope you all have a thunderin’ awesome day.

Nothing to Say But That’s Okay

We are having an end of March snow day.  I don’t feel like talking about it.

Normally I wait until the end of April to do our income taxes, but this year I thought I’d get it over with and make the end of March our new deadline so I downloaded the software and got started.  Then I got fed up seeing how much money I’m making for the government and decided to take a break.  The break turned out to be a really long one.

I’m still on it.  It’s still snowing.  I do have something sort of I interesting to put in this post, I just wanted to make you wait for it.

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I don’t really get the last one but the picture is fun.  Maybe I’ve already taken that walk.  Cabin fever is a powerful thing.   But my house is warm and the days are long.  And the sun will come up tomorrow.

 

What I Did on the First Day of Spring

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I swore a lot.

You know, just for the record, way back in the day when I was young Spring didn’t officially begin until the twenty-first day of March.  When things change I always like to find someone to blame for it, and in this case it’s astronomers and calendar manufacturers and people with a warped sense of humor.

Spring is currently being reduced by approximately one minute per year and winter by about one-half minute per year. Summer is gaining the minute lost from spring, and autumn is gaining the half-minute lost from winter. Winter is the therefore the shortest astronomical season, and getting shorter all the time.

If you don’t believe that, good for you.  It doesn’t sound even remotely realistic to me either, especially when I’m looking out the kitchen window at eight o’clock in the morning on the 20th of March at a raging blizzard.

So back to the swearing part of my day.  W has already replaced my winter tires with summer tires because it’s what he does every March just before a major snow squall.  There’s no reasoning with him on this so I don’t even bother anymore.  I just get in my car and drive all over the road cursing non stop for however long it takes me to get where I’m going.  It’s good that I get this out of my system before I start work.  And that no one has to listen to it but me.  It’s therapeutic.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So I did make it through the crappy weather to my destination where I worked all day.  Then I did some grocery shopping and drove home on mostly bare roads because the snow melts more quickly when a lot of maniacs are driving their cars on it.  And I made a big pot of chili.  Because it’s the first day of Spring and we need to eat something hot to thaw us out.

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I also took this lovely spring picture in our back yard.  I think the icicles on the lawn chair are a nice touch.  I’m not sure why the little tables are on top of the chairs but I’m sure W would have some crazy long and detailed explanation for it if I were foolish enough to ask him about it.  So I won’t.

I’m not convinced that today was a real spring day.  Maybe it’s still supposed to be the twenty-first after all and tomorrow we’ll get a better surprise.

Early Morning Yesterday

It was an early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn

(Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger)

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I wasn’t really up before the dawn and it wasn’t actually yesterday, I think it was the day before, but let’s pretend for the sake of my awesome quote that no one cares about the details.

Every morning when I get out of bed I pull the curtains aside and look out into the backyard to see what the day looks like.  And I guess to see if anything interesting is going on back there.  Nothing ever is, but you never know.  On this particular day the morning sky was absolutely gorgeous, so I grabbed my phone and took a picture through the bedroom window of….. the garage.  Then I woke up a bit more and decided to put a little more effort and some zoom into it and came up with these.

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A normal person might have put some clothes and shoes on and actually ventured outside to take clear pictures, but if I were one of those and had done that I think I might have missed it all.  In the second last shot which was over to the right, the colors were less intense and soon it all started to lighten like that. By the time I had coffee made the sky was back to its regular faded winter ice blue.

I’m so happy I didn’t miss this!  It was amazing.  If you’ve never heard of or seen the color called ‘sky blue pink’ before, there you go.  This is what it looks like.

Good Things On A Sunday

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These are good things on any day, really.

- Adult children.  Really, everyone should have a few.

- Finding decaf coffee for my Tassimo.  I have been blind.  (Thank you K and C for inspiring me to use this coffee maker for more than its previously mostly decorative purposes.)

- Blowing snow from the inside looking out.

- Candles that last all day and into the night.

- Driving home in the pouring rain and getting there just before it starts to freeze.

- Old movies on Netflix.

- Looking into the eyes of our children and seeing what miracles we have created.

- Good books, and lots of them.

- Today.

- Flux – a natural state.  (Our moods change, our lives change, our feelings for each other change.  Our bearings change.  The song changes, the air changes, the temperature in the shower changes.)  Accepting this.

- Magic

- A warm bed after a long day.

- Learning new words, like quaintrelle – a woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures.

- Big warm sweaters.

- The smell of dinner cooking.

- The sound of laughter.

- Having no definite plans.

- Realizing there is really nothing in the world we lack, and rejoicing in the way things are.

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“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”
― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales

One Christmas my brother and I sang this :  Deck the halls with poison ivy, fa la la la la la la la la.  Santa will get red and hivey, fa la la la la la la la la.  Well.  We were kids, not poets.

One Christmas my brother and I sang this song : Deck the halls with poison ivy, fa la la la la la la la la. Santa will get all red and hivey, fa la la la la la la la la. Well – we were kids, not poets.

Just Jazzy Advent Calendar

Many Dog Nights

Winter Storm

Winter Storm (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Winters icy fingers

Clutch my frozen heart

I’m lost in raw December darkness

Blizzard winds

Treacherous ice

Suffocating snow

Chilled to the depths of my Siberian soul.

Oh, wait!

There’s Christmas.

Never mind.

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Trifextra Week Ninety Six:

This weekend we are asking for a 33-word free write.  Give us whatever you’ve got.

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“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”
―     Sarah Addison Allen     The Sugar Queen   

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Those first big fluffy snowflakes of the season are indeed magical. It’s the next eleventy billion to fall that seriously mess with my good mood.

What To Do With A November Day

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 This is what it looks like here on my street on this snowy November late afternoon.  It’s hard to get a good shot of giant snowflakes, but trust me, they’re out there falling.   If you don’t have any snow yet wherever you are, perhaps this has made you ridiculously jealous.

Yeah.

It was not my idea to already be stringing Christmas lights on our bare and frozen little tree, but I suppose it does make this gloomy blue day a little more cheery.

I have no idea why I continue to live in this God forsaken climate.

No, that’s not true.  I have one idea.  Weather like this is custom-made for lighting a couple of candles and curling up somewhere warm with a hot drink and a good book.

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”  
―     Ben Aaronovitch,     Broken Homes