Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Sunset

I was in the passenger seat as my husband drove us home last night.  I took these photos with my phone while the car was moving (I do that a lot).  I was struck by the sunset, thinking it's beautiful even if we aren't in a place with beaches and palm trees.

Here are the four little feral kittens, sitting in the heated water dish to keep warm…

When the sun is shining they come out and play, even though it's so cold.  The sunshine is helping all of our spirits through these winter days.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Sky

This is the frozen lake photo I posted yesterday.  The sky appears as cold as the lake.

This is our sky this morning, as the arctic blast descended on us.  It doesn't really come through on the photo, but it looked like a giant, frozen meteor streaking across the sky.

At four this morning, I was awakened by the sound of the wind howling out there.  Yesterday it was 40 degrees; tonight it's going down to minus 15.  I am trying to remain sane here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Kitties

These kitties were hanging out on our back deck this morning:

Epic Winters

If you have read Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, you have the imagery in your head of the seemingly endless, enormously frigid winter at Lake of the Coheeries.  It was so cold that the lake froze overnight.

Likewise, if you have read Game of Thrones, you have imagined "The Wall".  The Wall is solid ice, 300 miles long and 700 feet high.  It serves as a barrier between Westeros and the wilderness beyond.

These images of extreme cold and endless winter come to mind now, as we approach the end of January, in which we have had record amounts of snow and below zero arctic temperatures.  We have had one "arctic blast" after another, with another one due next week.  It is beginning to feel endless.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This is Winter…

This is what happened when a pipe froze and broke:

Fortunately, we were home and heard the water running where it wan't supposed to be running.  If we had been away, the whole basement would have flooded.  Now we know to shut the water off and drain the pipes before we go away when it's this cold.

And here are the outdoor kitties when they came to eat this morning:

One of their Igloo shelters:

One of the heated water dishes… sometimes they drink from it and sometimes they sit in it for warmth.

Before today, we have had sixteen inches of snow this month.  This morning we had three or four more inches, and more to come tomorrow.  Also, next week is supposed to bring record cold, all of it below zero.  It's not fun!  I know they are having record heat in Australia, so I don't want to complain too much.  The weather is causing a lot of people a lot of trouble these days.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Christmas Past

I still have a few of my Christmas decorations up around the house.  These are pictures I had taken with Santa when I was a little girl.  I don't know what age I was; I would guess maybe four, five, six and seven.

I found an old Christmas list, written in my seven or eight year old hand.  It shows what a girly-girl I was, apparently liking to play "house".  I wanted the following:

Little camera
Little mixer
Little pinking shears
Little utility cart
Little outside grill
Little vacuum cleaner
Little ovenette and bakerette with pans
Little teakettle
Little sewing machine with carrying case
Pla-mate doll in formal
Naida the ballerina doll
Pinafore tot doll

I wonder if I gave Santa that whole long list.  I do remember having a camera, lots of dolls and a toy Coke machine that really worked!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Theater Night

We went to see this show last night.  It has been sold out ever since it came to town, and we bought our tickets a couple of months ago.  We had a snow emergency and schools were closed, but every seat was filled.  I'm glad we ventured out because it was a bright spot in a dreary, cold week.

I loved the music and dancing!

We need to get out more often…

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Globalization Hits Home

Jim Beam… Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.  It has been made in Kentucky since 1795, for seven generations of the Beam family.

The seven generations are shown here, on the side of the bottle.  

Here is the home of Jim Beam, in Clermont, Kentucky… the American Stillhouse.  

So much for history.  Now Jim Beam has been bought by a Japanese company.  They say it's not unusual in this day and age for a company to go "global" but this just doesn't seem right to me.  I'm not even a bourbon drinker or a native Kentuckian, but it seems that something has been lost.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blue Ice

Winter is cold, and it's making me blue.  Last week the "polar vortex" descended on us, bringing Arctic cold to our area.  That meant our temperature readings were below zero for days at a time.  Below zero!

This week normal winter weather returned.  Our temperatures are above zero finally… but still below freezing!  Now they are telling us that the "polar vortex" is coming down AGAIN next week.  Get me away from here!  I am yearning for a beach and the warmth of the sun.

Even if I did have a chance to go away, I'm not sure I could.  I feel responsible for the feral kitties who live outside in back of our house.  We have provided them with shelters filled with straw, along with food and water dishes.  Of course, the water freezes when temperatures are this low.  So we got heated water dishes for them.  Look what the kitties have done…

They have decided that the heated water dishes are a nice place to sit.  I'm sure they are drawn to the warmth.

I could get heated shelters for them, but there aren't that many electrical outlets outside.  So will they have to choose between drinking water and a warm place to sit?  I have thought about asking my brother-in-law if we can borrow his outdoor heater (the kind that cafes have outside) to put back there.  I'm not sure it would work while sitting in snow and ice, though.  (Or we might blow a fuse from using all those heaters.)

I just wish winter would go away!

Friday, January 17, 2014


On a whim, I snapped these photos with my phone, on the way into my doctor's appointment this morning.

This is the plate that I put on the front of our Blazer.  We have nicknamed it the "Maui Car".

This is the evergreen bush just to one side of the Maui Car…

No words needed.  The pictures say it all!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


This is my inukshuk.  I bought it in Michigan about twenty years ago.  I don't know why, but I was drawn to it in a little shop that featured folk art.

What is an inukshuk?  That's what I asked the man in the store.  It's a symbol used by Inuit people to represent the human figure.  "Inuit" means "the people".  These people are nomads who live in Arctic regions around the world.

The inukshuk is used for communication for those who encounter it along the way.  It can mean "you are on the right path" or "other people were here".  Sometimes they are used to memorialize a revered individual.  I found it fascinating so I looked into other art made by the Inuit people.  There are many beautiful figures of animals, such as bears, caribou and whales.  The people respect the environment and the animals that share it with them.  I find a lot to admire in that tradition.

Here are some photos of the inukshuk in the Arctic:

Some animal figures made by Inuit artists:

This kind of art goes straight to my heart and soul.  It reflects the respect and understanding that these people have for animals that share their world.  As I was researching this, I found that there is an Inukshuk gallery in Vancouver, B.C. and a native art gallery in Stratford, Ontario.  I would love to visit them one day.  Here is a link to their website.