March Madness is upon us…No I’m not talking about the weather, spring is coming we all just need the patience to await its arrival.
I’m talking the time of year when everyone goes back to college, even the folks who never went to college, and get wrapped up in all the hype. Why not….fans are treated to a month-long sportapalooza…do you have your brackets filled out. I know there are a few non fans who dread the hours of: who is in, who’s out, who will make it to the sweet sixteen, or the final four and become the National Champions of college basketball. This is BIG and there is lots of money to be made for scholarships, athletic departments and the bottom line for colleges everywhere.
But it’s fun too…watching these young athletes and their fans becomes infectious.  The Super Bowl this year hyped for 2 weeks and delivered a less than sporting nearly forgettable 43 – 8 crushing defeat to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos by Russell Wilson and the Seattle SeaHawks.  The NCAA will not disappoint…..these young players are full of energy and determination to make their mark.  Though many will be defeated non will forget their time at the big dance.

It started Monday with the choosing of the 68 teams who made it and first games are tonight.   It doesn’t stop til all the body paint is sold and all their voices are silenced as a champion is crowned April 7 in Arlington, Texas.  So hold onto your brackets and get ready for the “Trill of victory and the agony of defeat”  Come on IT WILL BE FUN!

UMass is a 6 seed and Harvard is a 12 so my home state is well represented and I love the home team underdogs….GO MINUTEMEN!

MEbootsMy mind has been rambling these days as it often does and so today I will record such a tale of prognostication many may find hard to hold true.
But in fact I have proof….
These are my L.L.Bean boots purchased in November 2013 at the Wareham Crossing L.L.Bean Outlet. Not only was I happy with the comfort but also the low, low 30% off the discounted price. And when the first snow fell in December I put on these wonderfully warm, all weather boots knowing my feet are dry and safe in the cold slippery streets. So what is the point….I have worn them every day since…that’s nine weeks of snow and ice and freezing temperatures. I have brought this weather upon the nation because at the time of purchase I did not know they could predict the weather. It stands to reason in my mind that if a Pennsylvania groundhog can predict the arrival of spring, so too can a pair of ME boot predict the arrival of a record-breaking winter. This being the first year of the phenomenon I realize more data is needed and I will be sure to keep you informed of my discoveries. Until then I think I will go buy a pair of sandals. Just saying…

snow3

The New Year has come in with a cold snap like none I have known before, Global Warming to the max.  Gas tank filled on the fourth and the boiler running full time.  I can see the dollars signs flying right out the vent. The lowest temperature recorded in my backyard was –10. That’s a record I do not want to break.  But if Global Warming is coming why aren’t we warmer?  Well turns out GW isn’t just a rise in ocean and air temperatures, it’s the cause of greater shifts in the norm…meaning hotter summers and colder winters….stronger storms and greater dips in the jet stream.  Yeah we’ve all heard of the Polar Vortex taking a recent trip south bringing with it extreme weather across the whole country, this may be a trend I do not want to return, but knowing New England weather wait a minute or a week it will change. 

Welcome 2014….What do you have in store?  A big storm is hitting us today and tomorrow and many schools have already cancelled for both days.  Weather folks have been excited for days and the accumulations for our area and in the double digits.  The new moon translates to high tide flooding of coastal areas just to our south.  There has been lots of talk of emergency plans for water, gas, food, and batteries.  I think I am prepared only time will tell.  For now I am warm and cozy, awaiting Mother Nature, her beauty and power never cease to amaze.  Stay safe my friends.cropped-snow3.jpg

BIOPIC2013 draws quickly to and end, the older I get the quicker time flies. The year has raced by and I have a few minutes to reflect. I look back briefly but focus on the future with new goals and ideas to improve on things I’ve started.
When endings arrive they signal a new beginning somewhere. With December comes January….2013 gives way to 2014….winter ends and spring begins; and though many endings bring sadness; so to do beginnings bring joy. We now have a chance to start over, learn from our mistakes, do better. So after a wonderful year with family and friends; their memories in my heart will remain; I look forward to what surprises and adventures await…..I hope it’s good,

thanksging13Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The family, the food, the football, and the fun…. what’s not to like. Today… checking my to do list I was comparing Thanksgiving as a kid to present day.
1960…My mom in the kitchen… apron on, coffee cup and cigarettes at the ready, preparing the biggest turkey she could find. Big bowls of; fruit, olives, pickles, and nuts to nibble. Everything made from scratch….apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, breads, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, onions…. and the stuffing. There were no cookbooks around, she made them on a weekly basis anyway, so no problem remember how much or measuring. The one thing she mixed up was the stuffing. This she experimented with: oysters, chestnut, cranberry…I don’t know where she got these ideas perhaps a neighbor or the newspaper, but each one was savored, some more than others but we never had a complaint. Our family, of ten children, made most things disappear easily. The drumsticks were coveted; somebody would call dibs and we all agreed without a fuss. There was never a problem with leftovers; they were gone in a day. We didn’t always have everyone home; some of the boys in the service, some working but we were thankful for the bounty of blessing at that big table.
Today I’ve made my lists and divided the cooking to do a bit each day. I look for the smallest turkey I can find…usually 10-14 pounds. I will have a recipe for everything I make, and I will have to check constantly to make sure I haven’t forgotten and ingredient. The drumsticks will probably be delegated to soup. There will be leftovers: I make up a good doggie bag for whoever wishes but… there will be leftovers. Turkey sandwiches are almost as in demand as the turkey itself, but there will be leftovers. This is the second year seven of us will gather around my grandmother oak table. We too are thankful for our many blessing. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksginving.

I wake up this beautiful fall day with the warm sunshine and the trees minus their colorful leaves.  November, the time of year when the warmth of the summer sun is replaced with the warmth of families gathering in kitchens and dining rooms across the country.  Our baseball games replaced with football games.  Perhaps World Series Champions will be replaced by a Super Bowl Champions, it could happen….”Truth is stranger than fiction.”  Air conditioners are replaced with heaters, shorts replaced with sweaters…Seasons come and go so quickly lately I want to slow down and enjoy what each has to offer.

wooly bearToday it’s the Wooly Bears that caught my attention as I was raking up some leaves and found him. He immediately curled up but you can see his brown band is very wide this year and according to legend this means a mild winter.

Farmer’s Almanac ….Annual Weather Summary: November 2013 to October 2014  Winter will be colder and drier than normal, although snowfall will be above normal in most of the region. The coldest periods will be in early and mid-December and in early to mid-February. The snowiest periods will be in early and mid-December, and in early and mid-February.

They are similar, but only time will tell.

Oh dear….where has the time gone?  Fall is here and the trees are having their annual colorfest.  BUT…my camera is in the hospital….my ipad is covering for her and I’m sure she’s up to the task it’s me I’m worried about.    This new season brings it annual changes in….my wardrobe,  my bird feeders, my yard work and my baking.  My usual flocks of goldfinches  were as scarce as my sunflowers this summer and the abundance of woodland berries have kept the birds high in the trees, unavailable for photo ops.  Then I put out my sunflower seeds, the titmice, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, and chickadees are back.

A few nights ago MM heard a  noise on the deck.  He flipped on the light and opened the curtain to find a couple of young raccoons enjoying themselves at the bird feeder.  They were undaunted by the light and continued their meal.  They walked along the railing and he sees a large one, most likely the mom or dad, and 2 more little ones.  They slowly ambled off the deck through the yard and into the woods…leaving behind and empty feeder.  When the birds feed they flick seeds all over easily sharing with the squirrels and chipmunks.  The raccoons left not a stray seed not one feeding a family of five not an easy task unless you fill your feeder daily.   I will bring in my feeder at night and let the raccoons move on to someone else’s backyard.

I include the following picture taken through te screen at 2 am with MM phone as evidence.

twin raccoons

My cone flowers and butterfly bush have been hard at work calling all butterflies. Though hot weather has sapped much of their beauty and the blooms are less than showy; they have dutifully attracted lots of swallowtails, fritillaries, skippers, and an occasional monarch.  Photo ops have been at a minimum however I’ve managed a few.  So what have they all been up to well.

A few years ago I was surprised to see a beautiful orange milkweed pop up out of no where. The leaves and blossoms look like the regular milkweed but much smaller and the flowers are a wonderful orange. My little surprise has been coming up each year and late summer brings tiny pods of the lovely white tufted seeds. I harvested the seeds and planted them but it’s only the original, that keeps coming back. This year I was more than happy to see her reappear and snapped this quick shot…we will call this Before

butterfly weed2

.

This week as I was walking by I checked out my little friend she was hardly recognizable.  All her leaves gone and a hoard of hungry dinner guest perched on top.  This is the After…not a leave or a pod just bare stems.  The herbivores are look like they wiped me out and I cannot identify them at this time.  I’m still looking not sure what they will eat now.  I checked today and there is no sign of them.  I love  the flowers and the friends they attract so I can’t be to disappointed that they’ve done their job.  Just wondering will my little orange milkweed be back.IMG_7924a

semaforeHello July…. June was very raining wettest in years, July started out pretty water logged, and then the heat wave hit.
Glad to head out to the beach where on shore breezes and the ocean temperature can keep you quite comfortable. Make sure you bring your sun block because the sun will creep up and burn you pretty quick. Reports of Portuguese man’o war in Westport got every one concerned but it appears the Gulf Stream and winds blew them in town and right out again we didn’t see any.
I so enjoyed the sun, surf, and sand with my VT daughter this week. The boys joined us one day; the big surf was crashing noisily and kept them running up the beach. Sand castles were made and let stand not immediately stomped upon, what a difference a year makes. There were not many beach goers out there with us and the boys continued to drift of to the left. After many attempts to get them to stay closer to our spot I decided a different approach was needed. I got their florescent green shovels and proceeded to send semaphore like signals. Yes they got the message right until the next big wave rolled in.

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