Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Fangs and Daggers

I love the changing nature of ice and snow formations - it's about the only thing that makes this frigid weather worth enduring! Look at these beautiful structures:

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Frozen in Time


This reminds me of a competitive swimmer, poised to dive into the water

I love being able to see the layering of ice being deposited over time, visible as lines in the encasement.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Branching Out

I was so excited to find this by the lake edge at a neighbor's property - problem was, it was dusk, so the light wasn't particularly good for pics. 

These are NOT tree branches - these are fantastic, dendritic patterns formed under the ice at the lake edge. I find it fascinating that patterns in nature are repeated in different situations.

I intended going back the following morning to catch these patterns in better light, but we'd had snow overnight, and the ice had a fresh white layer over it, so I was glad I'd captured it when I did, poor light and all!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

It Is What It Is

What does 'It is what it is" mean to you? It often sounds like a casual dismissal of reality, but after reading Tara Brach's book, "Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha" (a slog) I began to think differently. 

'It is what it is' is simply the lay person's way of saying that they have released themselves from the attachment to a particular adversity, that they can't change things that have already happened, and that there is still life ahead of us that we have control over.

From Bowie Style Facebook page

For me, a trivial example is that I've had to accept that I won't ever get to see David Bowie live in concert, but I can appreciate all he has given of himself that is still available to me. That is freeing. So is realizing that having 3 invasive plants in our lake is not something I can undo, but I can still enjoy and appreciate the nature in front of me, and work with what I've got - it simply IS. 

Another commonly quoted phrase comes from Reinhold Niebuhr's Prayer for Serenity - "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

I found it interesting that the concept of radical acceptance aligns with other commonly used phrases in our culture. One doesn't have to practice mindfulness, meditation and the spiritual teaching of Buddhism to find one's way to serenity and inner peace.

The hardest part is humbly accepting that I don't have control over everything!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Different Circumstances

I noticed two snow blobs melting very differently on our deck

Just a little further along, where melting and accumulation circumstances were ever so slightly different:

Like snow blobs, we all grow and change differently!

Friday, January 26, 2024


I'm sure yesterday's photo is obvious to you all, but just in case the out of context pattern threw you off, here is a more helpful set of photos that include the window casements. The snow was very light and airy, and gathered in clumps as it slid down our 45° windows.


I also used Picasa to create a collage, just for fun ... 

I really liked the juxtaposition of the wood flooring and railings' reflection in this pic

Thursday, January 25, 2024

What Am I

White lacy curtains,

Or a gauzy wedding veil,

Or clouds in the sky?

Or ... something else?

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Snow Motes

Stray snowflakes flutter -

Sparse and inconsistent motes.

Perfect, dainty jew'ls.


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tombstones And Other Delectables

When re-arranging my roasting potatoes on end like this, I thought that tombstone potatoes might be a fitting name for them!

And then I realized that I had a lot of foodie pics to share ...

Here's a pic of the new way I learned to cut Kiwis to make them look special and even more attractive

I often make pizza using leftover pieces of chicken, ground beef or part of a pork chop all together - a little goes a long way on a pizza. Adding spinach and mushrooms can't be beat!

I tried - successfully - to bake a Pumpernickel artisan bread. It definitely needs to be repeated!

Another way I like to dress up leftovers, is to mix leftovers into a meat pie, baked within my own pie crust. Mmmm, I included some leftover kielbasa in this one, chopped up small, as well as leftover mashed potato and gravy to make it come together - it tasted awesome (but you never know until you taste it - could be a bust!). I also tried to copy my Mom's way of making roses with leftover bits of pastry, but they got way too brown.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Perfect Camo

Juncos pour in droves

From dark woods to whitened cove 

Plumage works in both! 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Snow Carcass

The branches of this fallen tree looks like a dinosaur carcass mired in the snow - I'm thinking maybe a Stegosaurus? 

And then I started wondering whether a snow carcass ought to be called a snarcass? I mean, there's a word, smurr, for a drizzly fog, and susurrus to describe being full of whispering sounds, so why not?

This imprisoned tree creates a great site for magnificent shadows and patterns - just up my alley!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Snow Patterns and Shadows

The same old things still intrigue me and draw my attention - tracks and shapes and patterns.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Snow Hooves

When I see the way snow accumulates on one side at the base of trees, I picture the hooves of draft, or shire (British), horses! Spindly, ramrod straight legs on a massive horse, yes, but still ... 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Sunset Paddler

We opted for a very simple decoration on our traditional Xmas cake this year (what with all the extra goodies I produced, we thought this brandied fruit cake would not only last, but improve with time, so we've only recently got to the stage of frosting it) as an homage to my favorite lake activity.

After another long, dreary rainstorm, the sun came out just long enough for me to get some sunset shots of our HO scale paddler in his canoe on our cake frosting in the foreground. 

I tried to get the perspective just right to make the subject look like a natural part of the background, but it didn't really work because our model canoe looks as if it's stuck in snow, and yet there's water in the background, where the paddler should be!

But I had a lot of fun (and frustration) trying to achieve my goal, and ended up happy with a few shots.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

A Dangerous Business

After an unprecedented set of events at the pharmacy last week (what's new? I seem to ooze bad juju when it comes to pharmacies), I was reminded of Bilbo Baggins' warning to Frodo in the Fellowship of the Ring, when he said:

"It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Oh woe - my stepping out the door didn't lead to an adventure, which is what Bilbo was hinting at. Mine was a misadventure, i.e. definitely not enjoyable. I had stopped in at the store pharmacy to pick up our meds, having received reminder phone calls that they were waiting for pick up. I was "greeted" by this sign warning customers of longer than normal wait times.

The gentleman sitting in a chair near my place in line started telling us that he'd been waiting 20 minutes for them to open, after having called ahead and being told they were ready for business. I tried to be cheerful and non-judgemental, feeling for the poor technicians behind the counter, and said, "Well, we can be glad they at least provide chairs for us as we wait,' and he laughed sarcastically and said, "Well, they're going to have to provide bleachers for all their customers at the rate they're going!" I laughed with him, but I wasn't in a rush and thought I could easily exercise patience. 

But that wasn't the problem - the problem was that with the new software, ALL 'waiting for pick-up' meds had been returned to the shelves and my request had to begin again afresh. I was asked my birthdate at least 3 times, and was then told that my prescription was out of date and couldn't be filled. I stood up on my hind legs and emphatically explained that that was impossible, since my doctor sent it through on January 4 of this year, 2024, and I'd received a call that it was ready for pick up just 3 days ago. I was repeatedly told that all scripts had been returned to the shelves, as if that explained why mine was unable to be filled (expired script). Then I got asked if it was for 137 mg. I don't know the relevance of this, and certainly didn't know what the strength was off the top of my head - it was just a regular bottle of nasal antihistamine. It was explained that there were 2 requests in my records (same strength!) but that one had expired, which had caused the confusion (what?) ... It just went on and on ... After mine was sorted out, I had to switch gears to my husband's prescriptions, with the same level of repetition and incompetence. At the end of it all, I was reminded that it would take about 30 minutes to process and fill. 

I had shopping to do anyway, so I decided to simply check in again afterwards. An hour later, I returned to the pharmacy ... and my script (a nasal spray that doesn't require counting out pills and dosages) was not ready, despite me having taken DOUBLE the amount of time suggested! I was exasperated, but remained calm knowing I would hate to be at the receiving end of an entire community's anger, and sat down to wait another 10 minutes.

I didn't lash out or release my inner Kraken this time around, but had a lot to share when I got home ... Bilbo was right, you just never know what dangerous business you might encounter when you step out the door! Tolkien also appropriately wrote “It simply isn't an adventure worth telling if there aren't any dragons,” because in this case, it was the dragons that made me tell of this misadventure!

(I think my doctor should write a script for me not to go near a pharmacy in future; that might help my blood pressure.)

Monday, January 15, 2024


Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963, from Strength to Love

It's frightening to note that 61 years on, we haven't learned a thing. As a society, we haven't progressed - we do not value insight and wisdom. 

How and why do we ignore such clarity?

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Mini Galaxy

I managed to capture this photo of a mini galaxy recently ... or the eye of a hurricane (hmmm, same thing in a way?)

I seem to create a new galaxy every time I follow a recipe's directions to sieve confectioner's sugar - what a mess! So much to clean up, but I did get to appreciate how a galaxy is created - it's a build-up of static between the metal bowl and sieve that causes powdery material to fly outwards in a swirl around the central core (the bowl). 

Whoever thought baking wasn't science?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Old Curtains

Our bedroom curtains are 40 years old! They seem to shed a little fluff these days, but they still hang together well, so we are not looking to replace them. Yes, we've had to make a few alterations to them over the years, when different hardware or roof height called for it, or when seams needed strengthening. But they're still very repairable, being neither threadbare nor on their last legs.

The same goes for us - after 40 years together, we're a little drab and frayed around the edges, have had to make a few adjustments over the years, but we're still hanging together. And we still come together at the end of every day like a pair of old curtains.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Ho Hum

Yet more snow stuff - sorry! I let Google Photos take it up a notch by 'stylizing' my photo of the watery patterns on the lake surface.

I find it amazing that after 15 inches of snow 3 days beforehand, we are back to melting and opening up of the lake.

It makes for some pretty spectacular and interesting patterns in the sunshine.

The sky's reflection is magnificent!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Ice Stars

 What an amazing find this was on a recent walk - starry ice!

There were only 2, so I'm glad I spotted them. I have no idea how they were created.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Snowy Comets

Cold breezes shake free

Mini'ture comets of snow, 

Icy tails sparkling