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almost over

Nov. 5th, 2016 08:27 am
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
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There is still some color left, but more and more trees are bare now, ready for winter. I'm trying to get out every day to enjoy what's left of autumn before it's all gone.

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I went to see "Doctor Strange" on Thursday night. They had a secret screening a day early, so I got to beat the weekend crowds. I absolutely loved it! I had high expectations, and they weren't let down. I even didn't mind (much) that Benedict had an American accent in it. He was fantastic, just perfect for that role. Everyone in it was great. I will probably see it again in the theatre, and buy it when it comes out on DVD. Such a treat, especially after being disappointed in the last couple of Marvel movies.

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I start a new job on Monday, and I'm both nervous and excited. It's for a web services company, which is right up my alley (much more so than the last couple of gigs). I worked really hard to get it, too; in addition to the phone and in-person interviews, I had to do a couple of test calls so they could hear my phone manner and pitch style. I really hope this works out, because the company sounds awesome.

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I am attempting to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven't had a lot of words yet, but I'm pretty happy with what's come out of me so far. I've had a couple of fun ideas about how to structure the story, partially inspired by a classic of horror literature that has come up repeatedly in the last month or so. Figuring out how to work it all in has been a fun challenge.

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I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
lizziebelle: (crow)
Not a lot has been going on around here lately, but autumn continues to be beautiful, so I'll share some more of it with you.

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oh, the lovely colors! )

We had some very intense weather the other night, wild thunderstorms and heavy rain & wind. Dark and stormy night, indeed. We even had a flash flood warning! I was very glad to be on the second floor (first floor, for you Brits). I was worried we'd lose power, but we only had a couple of flickers. Not everyone was so lucky!

Today is very windy, and much cooler, but sunny. The light coming in the north-west side of the house is orange from the maple tree out back.

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lizziebelle: (crow)
I was taking a walk along the river path today when I stopped to watch a wee chickadee to see if he'd stop long enough for me to take his portrait. He hopped down into the little stream I was standing over, and proceeded to take a bath. I snapped a couple of shots, then took a little video of him splashing about.



He was so cute! I was so pleased to capture this.

October

Oct. 12th, 2016 04:45 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
A lot of you live in places where you don't have autumn like we do in New England. Here you go.

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Autumn in New England )

It's been deliciously cool, and mostly sunny and nice. I love this time of year! This is the best time to live here.

seasonal

Sep. 27th, 2016 07:04 pm
lizziebelle: (moon)
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Autumn has arrived in New England. Trees are starting to turn colorful. Although, with this drought, they'll probably not be as colorful as usual this year. But at least it's cooler, and there is rain this week.

reservoir overlook on the rail trail

I went farther into the Marlborough end of the rail trail the other day, and found this fabulous lookout over the reservoir. I'll have to go back up there when the trees are more autumnal.

a touch of color along the river

This is another shot I need to go recreate when autumn is further along. I love living near the river.

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lizziebelle: (artsy me)
The other day, I saw this snapping turtle sunning herself by the falls.

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She turned to look at them, perhaps thinking how refreshing a cool shower would be.

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turtle adventure )
lizziebelle: (crow)
While walking back from the library the other day, I came across a tiny, newly-hatched snapping turtle trying to make its way over the sidewalk. As it was heading straight for the road, I picked it up and carried it over to the edge of the woods, heading toward the river.

li'l snapper

It didn't struggle, or even move, once I picked it up. It didn't even move when I struggled, one-handed, to dig out my camera and take its portrait. It sure was cute.

If it makes it to adulthood, it will be anything but cute.

huge snapper

I spotted this adult snapper downriver a bit, a few weeks ago. Its shell was at least a foot across.

I know it's unlikely that my little rescue will make it to adulthood; the odds are against it. But at least it didn't end up as roadkill in front of the Elks Club.
lizziebelle: (little me)
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I got up at 5 a.m. to walk over to the Elks Club and see a bunch of balloons get inflated. It was wicked awesome, to use the local parlance.

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There were a lot of them, and I got to see them in all stages from being unfolded, filled with air, and rising from the ground.

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There were a surprising number of people there. I didn't expect to see so many folks out at the crack of dawn.

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I was also surprised that there weren't any news crews around, although the guy on Team Peacock who looked familiar turned out to be the evening news dude from channel 7. Which is an NBC station, hence the peacock theme and design on the balloon.

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They'll probably be there later, since the fest is going for the whole weekend.

I would have stayed to watch them take off, but the sky was overcast and not conducive to lovely soaring balloon photos, so I headed back home and took a nap.

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I was glad I got to see it this year. Last year, it happened the weekend I went to NYC so I missed it. If it's clearer tomorrow morning, I might go back and get more pictures. But not as early this time. Things didn't really start getting interesting till around 7:00.

You can see my whole set here.

tropical

Aug. 14th, 2016 06:18 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
It's been very hot and muggy in these parts the past few days. Too hot. I miss getting outside, and going walking. It reminds me of the awful cold days of winter, when I was similarly disinterested in going outside. I've been trapped inside all weekend, where I mercifully have air conditioning (I would never have made it if I didn't). The heat index has been hovering around 100*F (around 38*C), and the brief forays outside reinforced my decision to stay in. Oof.

I've been watching some of the Olympics coverage on my new telly, trying to catch different sports. Right now it's field hockey, where the 'field' is a puzzling shade of blue. Earlier it was table tennis, which was surprisingly intense. I'm thoroughly over beach volleyball, which seems a bit twee for an Olympic sport. I find most of the commentators irritating, especially when they get all excited and you can't understand a word they're saying.

I give props to all the athletes, though (even the beach volleyballers); they all worked hard to get there, and are amazing at what they do. I can't imagine the work and discipline it took.

Anyhoo, I sure do hope we get those thunderstorms they forecast for this evening. We so need the rain, and maybe they'll cool things off a little.
lizziebelle: (ganesha)
Last weekend was my family reunion. It's always good to see everyone, and this year we had quite a few of the cousins (my generation) attending so we managed to corral all of us and get some pictures.

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There are (I think) 23 of us, so having 15 all in one place is pretty good.

Actually, one of the folks in the pic is a cousin from Germany, who was visiting with his daughter. So make that 14. Still a pretty good showing.

It was nice to meet Hannes, our German cousin. His mother and mine are first cousins. I'm not sure what that makes us; second cousins? I can never keep that straight.

Back at work on Monday, we had two days of sales meetings. Fortunately, my team didn't have to attend all the modules. It's hard for me to sit through long meetings. I need to get up and stretch, and walk around once in a while! We were supposed to all go to Dairy Queen again, but it was rather gloomy outside so they brought in ice cream & toppings, and we did make-your-own sundaes. That was fun. It was my birthday that day (Tuesday), and one of my coworkers spilled the beans so they all sang to me. That was fun, if slightly embarrassing.

After work, I met a friend at her now former house so she could give me an extra TV they had, since mine had bit the dust a while ago (all I've had to watch since then is a 13" old-fashioned tube set). Well, the darned thing is HUGE, and it was an effort for both of us to get it into the car. There it stayed until today, when my landlord dropped by (for another reason) and nicely helped me carry it upstairs, and waited while I cleared off the bookcase where we put it. Whew. I had to do some rearranging, but I think I've found a good arrangement.

I had to go to Target to pick up an HDMI cable, and after I attached all the cords I turned it on. Great picture, but no sound! That was frustrating. I called the electronics department at Target, but the guy there was little help. So I looked at the back of the cable box, and noticed there was an audio out jack (actually, a pair of them) which matched jacks on the TV. Aha! I think. So I went back to Target (it's only 5 minutes away) and bought an audio cable. It took a couple of tries in different jacks on the back of the TV (there are so many of them!), but now I have sound! And HD picture! And the thing really is huge, I think it's 40". So now I have a bigass television, and I'm watching the opening ceremonies from Rio on demand. Nice. I don't have a remote or a manual, but hey, it was free. I really can't complain.

An aside: why do the Olympic opening ceremonies have to be so weird? Who started that trend?

Last night, I got together with friends for a nice cookout-and-cocktails evening, complete with cupcakes for my birthday.

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My friends are awesome. But they made me take home the leftover cupcakes. I had one for breakfast, because I could.

Oh, and the other night we had a smoke alarm malfunction in the house. Fun times.

So it's been quite the week. I hope I have the spoons for tomorrow's Lammas Faire, which is here in Hudson now.
lizziebelle: (crow)
Another festival has come and gone. It seems to take forever to get here, and then is gone in a flash. It was so good to be there, in a place that feels like home. Our little village springs up each year like Brigadoon, always changing but ever the same.

Walking along the drive one day, I happened to look up at the sky (I do that often) and saw a rainbow splashed across the clouds.

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If that's not an omen, I don't know what is. It was glorious. A perfect reflection of the colorful village below.

I got to play my ukulele with my friend Snoo. I learned a new song: "Leaving on a Jet Plane." Shades of my childhood.

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The weather was hot for most of the week. The only time it rained while I was there was early one morning, before I got up. My tent stayed nice and dry.

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I saw lots of birds around camp, including a new one for me: an American redstart. I thought at first it was an oriole, but the patterns weren't quite right, and it was smaller. The pic above is a fledgling robin, waiting for his mama to feed him. He hopped around our kitchen area, and onto the grill. I didn't tell him we had cooked chicken on that grill the night before. ;)

I proposed having a write-in at camp for anyone who wanted to come and write. Two of my peeps took me up on it, and we wrote (and talked about writing) for three of the days we were there. I like writing with other people; it was one of the things I enjoyed most about Nanowrimo.

The last morning, when I went up to the lot to get the car, the sun was coming up and a mist was rising from the pond. It was so beautiful.

misty sunrise

A perfect ending to a great week.
lizziebelle: (moon)
I leave tomorrow for Sirius Rising festival. I couldn't leave till then for various reasons, but I'm trying not to stress about it. There's quite enough stress in my life, thank you very much. I'm looking forward to being there, being set up, and being handed a cocktail around this time tomorrow.

I discovered the Prisma app, thanks to various cousins posting on Instagram. Oh my, is it fun. I couldn't put it on my phone because I don't have the latest OS, but I did put it on my iPad. It's probably a good thing I don't have it on my phone; I waste enough time on it as it is!

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It's rather addicting.

I'll most likely be posting on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, so I'll see some of you there!
lizziebelle: (sherlock)
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The anxiety has been building to a crescendo recently, but I took care of a couple of things that have been stressing me out over the past week.

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My employer gave us an extra day off (today), so I was able to cross off something from my list that I wasn't sure how I was going to get done.

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I had a nice visit with a cousin last Friday, along with my mum and niece. He was on his way to Maine for a sail on a masted ship, lucky guy! It was so good to see him. It's been ages. I have so many cousins, and I don't get to see them nearly enough.

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Hoping to check off more stressful things this week, so I can relax at the festival later this month.

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At least there have been pretty things to photograph.
lizziebelle: (little me)
I love Saturdays. When I worked in retail, I had to work pretty much every Saturday, and I always felt like I was missing out on real life. Very often, I was missing out on something fun. So now I savor them, doing Saturday things like I always wanted to.

Most Saturdays, I walk down to the library. I usually have a book or movie that I had requested waiting for me (I love that I can request things online, and they even send me a text when it's ready!), but it's also fun to just browse and hang out in the reading room, looking at magazines. I've always been a big fan of libraries, and ours is small but nice.

I had other destinations in mind as well this week. The Say Cheese food truck was going to be at Medusa, the brewpub on Main Street. I stopped first at Mullahy's, the cheese shop, and picked up a bit of lovely ripened goat cheese that had just come in. It's similar to Boucheron, and less crumbly than the usual goat cheese.


A short walk down the street brought me to Say Cheese. It's a grilled cheese food truck.

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Grilled cheese is one of my go-to comfort foods. I had told my boss the other day that I was planning to go, and she thought it would be a fun idea to maybe have them come to us sometime for an office lunch, so I took one of their cards as I waited for my sandwich. I ordered the Cheddar Monster, which was delish. Cheddar, munster, and tomato perfectly grilled. I sat in the shade in front of the town hall to eat it.

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I then headed up toward the library, but as I passed New City Microcreamery I decided that some ice cream would really hit the spot. It was pretty warm, and I had a long walk home. So I popped in, and decided on the grasshopper flavor, which turned out to have alcohol in it so it was a bit like a frozen cocktail (not terribly strong). I sat under the apple tree by the library to eat it as I watched swallows skim the river looking for lunch.

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After I checked out my book (THE ROOK by Daniel O'Malley, which I am rereading in anticipation of the sequel that just came out), I headed back home. A whole herd of turtles were sunning themselves by the waterfall; these three found a convenient rock to perch on.

three turtles and a damselfly

When I got home and uploaded the pictures, I discovered that there was also a bright blue damselfly sitting on the rock.

By the time I got home, I was pretty wiped out. It's about a mile and a half from my house to downtown, and the walk back was bright and hot. All I was good for was a cool shower and settling in with my book.

It was a good day, and I had the goat cheese with some crackers for supper.

break

Jun. 13th, 2016 08:17 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)
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I had to take a break from social media yesterday; all the hate and anger were making me anxious. I cautiously stepped back in today, and was assaulted by someone posting a pro-gun meme. Look, I get it if you're a responsible gun owner, and you don't condone the attack. But dude, today's not the day to do it. Let it rest. The psychic wounds are too raw.

So instead of checking Facebook and Twitter, I went for a long walk along the river. And I read (current book: WONDERFUL TONIGHT, Patty Boyd's autobiography. I just got to the part where she got the role in "A Hard Day's Night"). Then I watched the Tonys, which was the perfect antidote to the morning's stress. Ah, theatre people. They love everybody. I am now a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda. I just want to hug him and say "Thank you." I wish I could see him in "Hamilton." And Frank Langella: what a classy speech. All that wonderful talent, all in one place, and the joy in sharing it with the world. Made me miss my theatre days, way back when. It was worth being tired today to stay up and watch.

We had our summer company outing on Friday night. We went to the Citizens Wine Bar in Worcester, which is in a complex of old brick buildings with an open courtyard in the center. We got two drink tickets (mojitos!), we had appetizers, and then build-your-own tacos. It was all delicious. People got silly. It was fun. I was taking pictures with my phone, because it was all very photogenic. I put one of the pics on my Facebook photography page and tagged it to the restaurant, and they linked to it on their page. That was nice! If you're ever looking for a nice place to eat in Worcester, I recommend them.

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green

May. 30th, 2016 09:21 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)
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We've just about reached peak green. I went for a walk on the rail trail while my clothes were washing today, and everywhere was green. The rain had let up, and the sun was starting to peek through. It was divine. Made having to go out and do laundry a bit less awful.

It's not that I mind doing laundry, or even having to pay for it. I just hate the laundromat, and today it was crowded. So much for my theory of it being less busy on a Monday. Everyone else had the same idea, evidently. At least the rail trail is nearby, and I can get other errands done in the same plaza.


I've been having fun learning to play my ukulele. She tells me her name is Lucy. I've learned a few chords, and I learned to play "When the Saints Go Marching In." I have to find some better songs to learn than the ones in the book that came with Lucy; I don't know most of them, and I grew up on folk music so I don't know what they were smoking when they put together their playlist.

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I ordered an electronic tuner for her, because I'm still breaking in the strings and they won't stay in tune. It's a pain to keep going to a website to get the notes.

I also have to keep my nails super short, because I have long nailbeds and I have trouble with one or two chords because it's hard to keep my middle finger out of the way of the string below it.

But I'm getting there. It's fun, and a good diversion from TV and the internet.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Yesterday was just stellar. Warm, sunny, and breezy. The trees have finally leafed out, making the world green again. I walked downtown, leaving early for my class at the library so I could enjoy being outside after a long week in the trenches. I stopped at the little park by the pond, where I found what turned out to be bluebells!

bluebells!

Just a tiny patch, but after envy of my British friends posting lovely photos of them, I was glad to find some here. I found out this past week that someone in my hometown planted a patch of bluebells near the river; I don't know if they were there when I lived in Geneseo, but if they were I wasn't aware of it. As I am now about 400 miles away, I can't just pop over to see them.

mystery bird and other adventures )

This morning is deliciously cool and green and sunny. Just delightful.
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
finally lilacs

I have (again) been a bad LJer. Sorry about that. Life has been a bit trying lately, for various reasons. 8 days straight of gloomy, drizzly skies didn't help. But! The sun came out yesterday afternoon, and today was glorious. There have been good things, too. I am slowly crawling out of the hole into the light.

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Pink trees and fiddleheads make my heart happy.

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I'm trying not to let brain chemistry make me into a hermit. Nice weather helps. Hello, May. Nice to see you.

my heart bleeds for you
lizziebelle: (fox)
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Yesterday was a glorious day for a walk. Warm but not too much so, and sunny with a little breeze. Perfect spring weather. The daffodils in front of the UU church were happy. Tiny leaves are popping out, and I even saw some trees in flower.

Down at the park, things are greening by the river, and some kayakers paddled by as I stood on the bank.

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Violets lined the parking lot, and dotted the grass along the path.

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I recently discovered a new cheese & gourmet shop downtown, and it's a delightful place. It's just a little hole-in-the-wall, but the proprietor is very nice (and she really knows her cheese!) and the selection is large. I tried a German triple-creme with mushrooms, and it was delicious. I'll definitely be back. I'm so glad to see all the new businesses downtown; a lot of places have opened in the four years I've lived here. We have a brewery, a martini & tapas bar, an ice cream place with a speakeasy in the back (really!), a flatbread pizza joint, and a new dress shop to name a few. Just the opposite of Westfield, where I used to live. It was sad to see all the empty storefronts there, and it's a much bigger town. I'm also glad to see that the new shopping plaza just outside of town hasn't hindered downtown at all. Maybe it even helps; who knows? It would be nice if folks who came to the plaza to shop decide to check out downtown as well. I like supporting local businesses.

My mom is home from the rehab place, and doing much better. That's a relief. She's going to have a visiting nurse for a while, and one of her neighbors has a daughter who does housecleaning, so mom is hiring her to help out. She's doing her exercises and her breathing exercises, and is determined to get and stay well. This makes me happy.

I brought the grill back up to the deck, and maybe I'll be motivated to light it up tonight. That sounds like the perfect end to a lovely weekend.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Bit by bit, we're finally getting some spring. I took a walk along the river today, and found more signs of winter's demise and spring's arrival.

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The turtles were out in force, lining every log sticking out of the water.

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Even the skunk cabbage is a welcome sight.

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Not a lot of flowers yet, but the bees are happy with the dandelions.

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I had the windows open today, and it felt wonderful. I am very happy that winter is in the past. Hard to believe that Beltane is only two weeks away! Before long, we'll have apple blossoms and lilacs. Ahhhhh, spring.

August 2017

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