Thursday, February 29, 2024

Mad Hatter

I took a pic of myself in my 'specially designed' head covering, so you could take a stab at guessing what it's for. I know it also showcases what a goofball I am (this is something we all know), but besides that, what do you think it's purpose is?  A Mad Hatter's Tea Party, perhaps? 

This is what the inside of my winter fleece hat looks like:

Why on earth would I need a carboard insert? Well, I don't have a hardhat or bicycle helmet so I improvised, to protect myself whilst re-organizing our attic space (I'm the only one in the family who can fit through the entranceway and stand up in the space). This is what I had to protect myself from:

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Socratic Wisdom

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

Here's Dallas, our domesticated panther, taking time out of her busy schedule for some self reflection and examination of her life. I'm sure Socrates would approve.

Today we welcomed my daughter's cats into our home for a temporary stay, so Dallas' supreme reign is coming to an end. 

These little darlings are still in hiding, but we can't wait to welcome them fully into our daily lives. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Double Duty

Crocheting blankets is doubly useful - it keeps me busy and focused in the winter months, and if I work quickly, I reap the benefits of a warm knee rug as I sit in front of the wood stove. 

The color palette was determined by what I could blend together with the scraps I had available. This is the second one I've made this winter, and it's getting less and less interesting to finish up but complete it, I will. This is a Tunisian crochet stitch that looks remarkably like the knitting pattern called stocking stitch.

Monday, February 26, 2024

In Awe

The patterns of the ice forming and melting impress me with their beauty. I can't stop admiring them! Bear with me. 

In my opinion, the magnificent patterns we see in nature ought to be replicated in curtains, flooring, countertops, etc.

Imagine this is an aerial view as you're flying over a landscape way down below... the scale doesn't matter, the patterns recur.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Flower Foods

I've been playing with food and ideas and art again!

When an acorn squash end becomes a daisy ...

When a red pepper slice is seen as a flower ...

It looks a lot like the three petals of a spiderwort to me, apart from a few missing details

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Patterned Lake

The lake surface almost looks like white clouds scudding across the sky (but wait, why do clouds 'scud'? I think glide or float describes their fluidity better. Scud makes me think of stop-go action that is not smooth or fluid ... but I digress)

The lake surface is only flimsily iced over, and has an amazingly different pattern from usual, on its surface.

It could be an artist's splashes of white paint on a blue canvas ...

There are no clouds in the sky, so these white patches are not reflected clouds. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Cone Field

The snow cover makes it easy to spot just how abundant our pine cone crop is

Without the contrast against the snow, these nutritious nuggets would be lost (to our eyes) amidst the leaf litter
The roads are littered with flattened cones (and don't you just love the intersecting lines of tree shadows and car tracks?)

Thursday, February 22, 2024


Some noodle-iscious textures and patterns to admire! 




Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Glittery Morning

What a pretty morning it was after a light overnight snowfall last week. The flakes were still falling in the morning sun, glittering as they fell through the air. I struggled to focus on them, but the light was lovely anyway, so here are a few pics as I tried to capture the dazzling sight.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Fun with Bubbles

 I love all the different patterns 

and formations

This one makes me think of overland flow on a pebbly surface

Monday, February 19, 2024

Mystery Solved

 Does this help? Do the scattered grains on my countertop give you a clue?

If not, then hopefully this pic will put it all into perspective:

It's a half-grated nutmeg seed.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

What Can It Be?

What do we have here?

A brain? A rotten potato? 

Guess away ... until tomorrow ...

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Icy Love

I can't stop stopping to admire the delicate patterns in the ice formations I've found

This shape makes me think of a constellation depiction

The slow accretion of ice creates beautiful lines

I'm in awe of the colors, shapes and fragility of it all

The warmth of this beautiful lichen is melting the icy snow

Friday, February 16, 2024

Tracy Chapman - What's Not to Love?

Tracy Chapman's rich voice and down-to-earth lyrics have been a favorite of mine for many years. For some strange reason, I used to listen to her albums to help inspire me to cook steaks perfectly - everyone in the household could hear what to expect for dinner! Even my 82 year old Dad would hear her music playing and ask me, "Ooh, is this, ... umm ... Chapman?"

Beautiful Tracy Chapman from Entertainment Tonight's coverage of the 2024 Grammys

She received 4 Grammys for her artistry and gritty lyrics in the late 80s and 90s. She writes about the human experience, about things we can all relate to. Her lyrics are hard hitting, a real punch in the gut, as she addresses chillingly real situations - here's a short excerpt from her song entitled "Why?"

Why do the babies starve
When there's enough food to feed the world
Why when there are so many of us
Are there people still alone

Why are the missiles called peace keepers
When they're aimed to kill
Why is a woman still not safe
When she's in her home

I'm thrilled at her resurgence in popularity since her recent Grammy performance of "Fast Car" with country star Luke Combs 36 years after its release, but I've also had mixed feelings about whether her work has been misappropriated since fan-boy Luke Combs was propelled into the spotlight with a cover of her song.

But every time I watch their performance together, (I cannot recall exactly how many times I've submitted to this whim), I see how proud, delighted and gracious Tracy is. She glitters! I see respect and total admiration from Luke Combs. Tracy Chapman definitely deserves all the credit and recognition for writing this hit song. So long as we continue crediting her for the beautiful creation, I'm okay with their collaboration. After all, Tracy doesn't mince her words, and can clearly stick up for herself! I believe she would know how to say "NO" if it didn't feel right. She looks proud to share her work and see it reach yet more people. She doesn't begrudge someone else their success. If she's okay with it, then I can handle it too. It has given her work and unique voice a boost, which is a good thing, and I just can't stop listening to her, ALL OVER AGAIN. (Newsflash: She has reached No. 1 on two Billboard charts since then!)

What is beautiful to me is that both artists relate to the song for different reasons and from different perspectives, from completely different walks of life - Tracy Chapman doesn't claim to "own" common feelings of desperation and wanting to make something of oneself. Her words address the universality of the human experience, of our shared humanity. She's the one with the power and dignity. I guess that just highlights the magic of Tracy Chapman!

I admire and respect her so much 💖

(Listen to this podcast commenting on their performance: Grammys)

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Tracks From a Train

 Tracks from a train - not train tracks though! These are beautifully curved and sculpted animal tracks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Word Love

On Valentine's day, I choose to share my love of words and language. I love the sensation of relishing and enjoying the 'flavor' of an author's command of language that I get from fiction, almost like savoring a good meal. Stephen McCauley, a new author for me, is insightful and imparts incisively smart comedy into his 'voice'- a wizard with words and ideas.

Here's a delicious little excerpt that I enjoyed from "You Only Call When You're in Trouble" as the protagonist mulls over her mother's email:

I love how he sneaks in commentary on society and culture through his characters, as in the following:

I loved his quirky perspective on things!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Food Fun

Radical radish - a root vegetable, and radical is a mathematical term for root. Therefore, a perfect combination of words in my mind! See Saturday Evening Post

And then I wondered about radish fetish? The words play well together, in a fun sort of way ... but the implication is rather weird (and not for me). 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Bathroom Olympics

Have you ever tried to turn around in a narrow public bathroom stall to close the door with a backpack on, whilst also plumped up in winter gear making movement very stiff and difficult? (I think they should award Olympic medals for those who manage it without "incident.")

That was my predicament recently as I visited the bathroom before boarding the snow train in NH. (Of course, there was a line in the women's bathroom, so I contemplated the wallpaper as I waited my turn) ... 

I stepped into the stall, and found that it was almost too small for me to step far enough into the stall to turn 180° and latch the door closed - was this the hobbit bathroom? It took a few attempts that involved side stepping and squishing my pack against the side wall to get rotated enough to get the door latched closed.

Now, facing the door, I had to reverse towards the seat (which was black - the same color as my pants that were pulled down, making it difficult to know if I had backed up far enough). In my usual style of 'hovering' in a public restroom, with my face down towards the floor, my glasses began falling off my face! I reacted so quickly to save them that I dislodged my scarf end that had been flung over my shoulder, and the long segment began unfurling towards the dirty (obviously) floor. I somehow managed to initiate another "save" - thankfully, this one was without further calamities.

I emerged feeling a little ruffled, but hoped I'd earned at least a Bronze for my success in surviving the hurdles, even if I didn't complete a full double axel very gracefully in the space provided! I didn't slip or touch the floor once - surely that counted for something?

Sunday, February 11, 2024

D is for Doldrums

Another alliterated haiku:

Dreary light is drizzled

Over dollops of dumped snow -

Drab doldrums descend

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Lacy Cloth

Nature's tablecloth

Of lacy white snow lay draped

Over the landscape.

Little Ossipee River, on my way to the grocery store

Friday, February 9, 2024

All Aboard

We recently took a trip on the winter train from North Conway. We chose the dome car, believing it would give the best scenic views, but we were pretty underwhelmed by the opportunities to see the scenery en route. Route 16 offers way better views of snow-covered Mt Washington (and without the grimy, reflective windows), but here's the 'least' dirty one.

We crossed a few rivers, roads, fields, villages and industrial areas, but nothing to write home about unfortunately.

Of the 101 pics taken that day, my best pics turned out to be the ones taken of strangers inside the dome because of the glow it offered!