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Or not! I think “not” if the icicles are reaching from the gutter to the ground. Once, the winter after we moved into the Bungalow, Kelsea took one of her Spanish swords to the icicles, much to her satisfaction. It did seem like a good idea, but I then discovered that they must have served a purpose, as I had a leak in the bedroom window frame for weeks afterwards. Therefore, these icicles will be staying put until they decide that spring is here.
Quote of the day: “A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars.” — Walt Whitman (I would give anything to see a blade of grass. This has been a hard, bleak winter.)
Cuddling with MKL
Watching cat videos to keep our stress levels down
The poignant can of Hormel chili abandoned in a snowdrift
The nearly circular sundog in the sky yesterday morning
A cat that loves me
I was under the impression that icicles hung down. They are certainly hanging from my eaves and gutters. But apparently, this icicle is under the mistaken impression that it is a stalagmite.
Quote of the day: “In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually toward the horizon.” — Albert Camus
Nice post office people
It’s baaaack. Yes, the snow is back. We are nowhere near the Northeast totals, but our streets are icy and our yards are getting deeper by the moment. I have been talking about the weather a lot, haven’t I? As if I am an awkward stranger at a party, rather than the mistress of my own blog. It’s not that I don’t have anything else to say, but that I have so many things I want to write about just now and don’t want to shortchange my thoughts. Soon come.
Quote of the day: “I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us…” — Mary Oliver
Mr. Man with his paw on my keyboard
Rides with Elisa
That MKL is getting better (I miss him)
Hearing songs that I love that I’d forgotten about (wish I hadn’t lost my iPod)
You know it’s not like me to be too Pollyanna-esque, but I am trying to maintain a sense of positivity as we seem to be diving back into the great white hole that is winter. It reminds me of the Great Blue Hole in Belize, where divers become so mesmerized that they simply keep going down and never return. I have never been there, but this is what it looks like, if you’re not familiar with it:
Great Blue Hole, Belize (image credit: Atlas Obscura)
Quite a different view than from our snow-covered porches, eh?
Being a beach baby, I thought diving would be a wonderful experience for me. My first snorkeling experience was so magical, once I got the hang of it, that diving seemed to be the next logical step. Alas, it was not to be. I took the initial certification class, but unlike any of my classmates, needed an extra lesson before my instructor was comfortable signing off on me. I couldn’t get over the inability to breathe, and the pressure on my ears, and the growing sense of panic as I went deeper. And so, that dream was wrapped in a lacy lavender sea fan, and tucked away safely for the next lifetime. Even snorkeling now is a challenge, due to ill-fitting masks and random hairs and disorientation. But I have my exquisite memory of my first snorkel, playing alone with two Hawksbill turtles for twenty minutes. And accidentally brushing my hand against some fire coral, but that’s a tale for another time. It was after the diving lessons and a talk with my instructor that I realized I was a beach baby, not a water baby. That those two things were different, and that I need to be BY the water, and IN the water, but not UNDER the water. A dream trip to the Galapagos is still on the Bucket List, and MKL and I will brush up on our snorkeling and snorkel there like billy-o.
But back to the cold reality of a Colorado winter. Poor MKL has the flu and has had expensive car troubles since we tried to escape the -19 weather back in November. It seems to have tailed him like some sort of ninja, springing to beat him about the head and wallet with numchuks when he least expects it. And now he is terribly blue. Having just recovered from my own bug, and being swamped at work, I have not been able to bring him supplies (supplies being Sauza Tequila, which is the cure of all that ails one, Vicks VapoRub, chicken soup, and tender nursing.) I keep telling him that this too shall pass, and it will. It always does. The only certainty in life is change.
While I dislike winter as much as he does, and we are tempted to rethink our strategy for where we live after Kelsea gets out of college, I am trying to stay positive. Hence, today’s unicorn snow. Can you see the sparkles in the photo taken along the fence? It glittered as it was falling in the cold sun, and looked like some celestial unicorns were shaking off the last vestiges of a fine slumber. And the birds had not given up hope and were singing, even in the 8 degree morning. What choice does one have but to try to find encouragement in such signs of spring?
However, Colorado has only put a dent in its winter inferiority complex and will be providing us with more snow this week. Let’s see how far into the white hole I can dive without running out of oxygen.
Quote of the day: (As an aside, this was a favorite of my Mother’s and she had it in front of the bathroom mirror throughout her battle with cancer. It sits on my dresser today. I carefully brought it all the way home from North Carolina and dropped it getting out of the car and broke the frame. I’ve left it so, as there seemed to be some kind of symbolism in that occurrence.)
““In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus
Getting the occasional ride to work with Elisa
Louis Bayard’s weekly recap of Downton Abbey in the NYT that makes me laugh out loud
Head bonks with Mr. Man
Buena Vista, Colorado.
This was last weekend up at Cottonwood Hot Springs, where MKL and I spent a blissful three nights, with a lovely mix of sun, stars, and snow.
Here, we’ve had the hype of a Snowpocalypse, with everyone rushing to the grocery store, cleaning the shelves out of bread and milk, and creating checkout lines from the front of the store to the back. I suspect Colorado is having an inferiority complex because of all the snow in Boston and surrounding areas, so we are talking up this weekend’s storm as if it were the first one we’ve ever had. As it is, it’s snowing, yes, a good respectable snow, but nothing fancy. “They” say that we’re getting three storms from three different directions in the course of the next 24 hours, but I have my doubts.
I’ve been so quiet because I’ve been working too much (and had zero connectivity during our three nights at Cottonwood Hot Springs). I realize that this is a pattern that has been in place since I first started working. Looking through my recently unearthed high school yearbook, I saw that several of my classmates said something along the lines of “Don’t work too hard!” It was the first time I had realized that I had maintained this kind of pace for almost 40 years, with only a few exceptions: when I took a year off when my baby girl was two, and when I got down to a half-time job for about seven months in 2010, as I was thinking my life was going to take on a certain shape. Fortunately, it took on a different shape than I had expected, but I picked up the work pace just as I had in the past. It makes me wonder why.
With my income(s), I am fortunate enough to be able to take vacations, have a home, pay my alimony/child support, buy books and groceries, go out to lunch with MKL most days, and (hopefully in the extreme) send my daughter to college so she doesn’t come out with student loans. I do not have an extravagant life, but it is comfy. Cutting back on my work would make it less comfy, and would make it more likely that Kelsea starts her adult life in debt. But I don’t think those are the reasons I work too much. even though I don’t have an answer for why I do. I think it’s important that I explore this element of who I am. At least before I work myself to death.
And on that cheery note, please be advised that today, instead of working, I am writing this post, watching the snow fall, and drinking caramel cocoa as a special treat.
Stay warm, all.
Quote of the Day: “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” — Lewis Carroll
A carb day
Taking care of Kelsea
(As an aside, I started watching “Patch Adams” this morning, which began with Robin Williams committing himself to a mental hospital because he was suicidal. That was hard enough, but then he became roommates with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I was done. It was too hard to watch. Just felt the need to share that.)
I can’t say I’m not glad to see the back of January. It seems to have been a tough month for many. Let’s hope February is kinder. Being a Spring and Summer person, winter is tough (don’t ask me why I live in Colorado), and in February, there are signs of Spring. Not snowdrops or crocuses – it’s a bit too early for that – but I grasp at the smallest things: the fact that they have the flyer for proposed bus route changes coming in May on my morning commute; that movie trailers say “coming this summer”; that it stays light just a little bit later every day. We had a lovely fluffy snow last night – not hard to shovel, and just some curious magical quality to it, so that it clung to the tree branches like albino caterpillars, and made the fields seem buried in puffed silk. It was a snow I didn’t mind, and for me, that’s saying something.
Quote of the day: “Fortunately, I’m good at ignoring a lot of what my brain does.” — Richard Kadrey
An interesting Super Bowl
A snuggly Mr. Man
Missing Michael – I would be sadder if I didn’t miss him
The big fat pig enjoying the snow in her field
The cry of a crow
This was what was up there this morning, and it was lovely in the clear blue. We are approaching the start of the National Western Stock Show here in Denver, one of Kelsea’s and my favorite mother-daughter traditions. Usually “Stock Show Weather” is as bitter cold as it can be, but I think we may actually have slightly warmer temperatures than the Polar Vortex has offered us in the past 10 days, which deserves a yee-hah. We are going for opening day on Saturday, so you can look forward to a photo report next week. Llamas and horses and pigs, oh my!
Quote of the day: “It was rather beautiful: the way he put her insecurities to sleep. The way he dove into her eyes and starved all the fears and tasted all the dreams she kept coiled beneath her bones.” — Christopher Poindexter
Working on the couch with Mr. Man
My sweet cousin
Today’s mid-morning hot air balloon
My daughter spending the night
It was -15 when I got up this morning. -31 with the wind chill.
I had a very romantic view of the West when I was a child, fueled by classic movies like How the West Was Won and episodes of The Big Valley. It was a wild, open place, full of space and freedom and adventure. I retained that image until I moved here, and still, the little kid that lives inside me believes that that West is somewhere I just haven’t looked yet.
My image of living in the West never encompassed slogging through icy streets to an office in a tall building in downtown Denver. But with a warm coat enveloping me like the arms of a bear, I can pretend I am a displaced Russian countess, which makes the cold slightly more bearable.
And knowing that there are places like this also ease the frigid winter winds.
Anegada, British Virgin Islands.
Quote of the day: “ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” — Nelson Mandela
My bear coat
That I got my sidewalk shovelled
Sparkling sprinkling of snow at night
A morning bus nap
And here is the snow that I alluded to yesterday…and the cold. Even the window was crying. I actually spent a lot of my day in tears as well. This weather is just not my cup of tea.
Highway 287, Boulder County, Colorado.
Quote of the day: ““You, of all people, deserve a happy ending. Despite everything that happened to you, you aren’t bitter. You aren’t cold. You’ve just retreated a little and been shy, and that’s okay. If I were a fairy godmother, I would give you your heart’s desire in an instant. And I would wipe away your tears and tell you not to cry.” — Sylvain Reynard
Spurts of creativity
Lentil the Bean