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lizziebelle: (crow)
Not a lot has been happening around here lately. The weather has been pretty dismal, with lots of rain and grey, broody skies. This does not help my feeling of being overwhelmed by the world. I do try to get out of the house every day, but some days I fail at even that.

I did make it to the wildlife sanctuary last week, where I found lots of lovely pink lady's slipper orchids (though not nearly as many as I should have; I suspect people are picking them, as I found a lot of flower-less plants).

pink ladyslipper orchid

It was cool and green in the woods, with lots of birdsong and ferns.

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There's a red tailed hawk that's been hanging out atop the spire at the UU church downtown.

DSCN0049

I've seen it there several times. Must be a good lookout place for it.

These lovely little flowers have been popping up in our yard. I'm told they're called Star of Bethlehem.

starry

Speaking of hawks and backyards, my neighbors had to put a chicken run back in the trees because one hawk decided our backyard was an all-you-can-eat chicken buffet, and had killed several of the girls. No more chickens wandering around the yard, but I'm glad they're safe. And the guys bought a bunch of chicks, which are growing fast. They're so cute, and their little peeps make me smile. One of the hens is playing mother to them.

I went to see "Wonder Woman" the other day, and I liked it a lot. It's not perfect, but then what movie is? It was refreshing to see a strong female lead who was not just eye candy or assisting the men. I wouldn't bother to see it in 3D, though. It really didn't add anything to the experience. Save the four bucks for popcorn.
lizziebelle: (fox)
As I knew it would, winter has returned. At least this time it didn't bring more snow with it, just bitter cold. After the very mild temperatures last week, it feels even colder. I never even left the house yesterday, I just stayed cocooned in my apartment.

Earlier this week, the daffodils in front of my office gave us a tease of spring blossoms.

Untitled

We'll need a few more warm days before those buds bloom.

The most exciting thing from my week was the release of Doctor Strange on disc. It was my first Blu-Ray purchase. I have to say it was just as enjoyable the second time, and the extras were a lot of fun. Definitely my favorite Marvel flick so far.

*************

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of my dad's passing. It seems unbelievable that it's been that long. I often think about him, especially when I see a movie or TV show that I know he'd like. I wish he could've seen his granddaughter grow up. He'd be so proud of her. She was the light of his life. I wish she could've had more time with him, like I had with my grandfather. Life is so short, and it goes by so quickly.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Each winter is weirder than the last. This year, we seemed to have it all in one week, with 3 snowstorms and bitter cold, followed by unseasonably warm weather. Last weekend, I went for a walk around Gates Pond with my friend B and her dog, Puck. There was still snow in the woods and ice on the water, but the road was mostly mud, punctuated by the occasional ice patch. People were jogging in shorts and tank tops.

The past three days have been downright springlike, nearly 70°F (22°C). We ate lunch outside on our patio at work the past two days, and there were daffodils sprouting in front of the building.

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Right now, I have the doors open, and it's 75° in my apartment. The heat hasn't come on in more than three days. Thanks to Facebook's "On This Day" feature, I see that it was bitter cold at this time the past couple of years. I really don't like to complain about nice weather, but geez. This is downright weird.

Being a lifelong Northeasterner (and longtime New Englander), I know winter isn't finished with us yet. We will likely get at least one more storm, and more cold weather. I just hope the trees don't bud too early and then freeze; that happened last year, and ruined much of the peach crop.

Other than the weather strangeness, not a lot has been happening around Chez LizzieBelle. Just trying to get through each day has been as much as I can handle. I've had to cut back on my social media intake, because there is just too much anger and scariness out there. I'm doing what I can do, and that's all I can do at the moment. Still trying to seek out the beauty and the goodness, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to cope at all. I'm really proud to see the budding activists amongst the younger generation in my family, though. My generation may have dropped the ball, but they're picking it up and running with it.

This morning, I went over to mum's to help her out with some housework and shopping. She's still pretty weak from having a cold, and was recently diagnosed with COPD thanks to her asthma and the recurring pneumonia the past couple of years. I do worry about her. It's hard to see a parent decline from the strong person who raised you. But she's stubborn enough to want to fight, and that's a good thing. She's not ready to give up just yet.

We had tacos from the delightful taqueria in Canton, and called my sister to wish her a happy birthday. I was exhausted, but it was a good visit.

I wanted to stop at the Arboretum on the way home, but by then it was raining, so I settled for stopping at Trader Joe's to stock up on noms. Not as much fun, but now I have lots of yummy food in my freezer and cupboards. I wish they'd open one closer to me, but then maybe that wouldn't be a good thing. Not as special.

What are you up to this weekend? Something fun, I hope!
lizziebelle: (crow)
We didn't quite get the 12+" that were forecast, but we still got a respectable amount of snow today. Hard to tell with all the blowing and drifting, but it looked like at least 8". I know they got more out in the western part of the state (see [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's latest post). It took me a good hour to shovel off the deck, stairs, and around my car. :::oof:::

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At least I didn't have to drive in it. My employers let everyone work from home today. I've never done that before. It was a little strange doing my job in my living room, but it was so nice not to worry about driving in the snow or missing a day of work. We use Slack (a chat app), and it was fun reading everyone's updates throughout the day. I especially enjoyed peoples' lazy pet photos that they posted.

It's been a weird winter. Pretty mild, by New England standards, but February is always the worst month, weather-wise. Yesterday, it was in the high forties after starting out coated in ice. Quite the rollercoaster. It's true what they say about the weather here: if you don't like it, just wait five minutes.

When the weather gets like this, it feels like spring is a million years away. Especially after getting a tease of it, like we did this week. It doesn't help that I see pictures of snowdrops and daffodils from friends in warmer climes. It's not that I hate winter; I just wish it didn't last so long.
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.

IMG_6922

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: (crow)
Today was the coldest day all winter. I certainly hope it doesn't get this cold again this year! The high temperature only reached 12 degrees F. I have stayed holed up in my aerie all weekend. I may venture out tomorrow to do laundry, but I have been happy to stay snug at home. I'm getting caught up on all my shows.

Earlier today I discovered that I had no hot water. Nothing was coming out of the tap. Got in touch with my landlord, who came over to deal with it. At first he thought my water heater was dead, but it turned out to be frozen pipes. He used a hair dryer to warm them up, and after about an hour they finally thawed. It was nice to be able to take a shower and wash the dishes!

He also replaced the knob on my front door; the key I had was a copy of a copy, and didn't really work when it gets very cold. Fortunately I have another door where it works fine, but I don't like having to come in through the bedroom with snowy boots on. So all's well that ends well. At least my heat is working (I have electric heat); his was only working in half his house. Not the kind of weather you want to have malfunctioning heat!

I have tomorrow off; I took it as my floating holiday. I figured most of the people I'd be calling would have it off, and it would be a wasted day.

I celebrated Valentine's Day by making peanut butter buckeyes. Even better than Reese's! Dark chocolate, of course.

I think I'll let the hot water tap drip overnight. I don't think I want frozen pipes again.

How is your weekend going?
lizziebelle: (fox)
Right now, just after 9:00 in the evening, it's 57 degrees outside (that's almost 14 degrees Celsius). Just to remind you, a year ago we had sub-zero temperatures and several feet of snow on the ground. The other day I went for a walk, and found this in one of the pots I'd stowed under the deck for the winter:

Blooming on 1/30!

Mind you, I'm not complaining! And we can blame El Nino this time. But it sure is weird.
lizziebelle: (george)
The big storm never quite made it this far north, for a change. We got maybe 2" of snow, which is fine by me. I'm liking this winter much better than the last one. We had feet instead of inches this time last year. Friends & family to the south got hit this time. Sorry guys, but better you than me! ;)

It was already starting to get dark by the time it started snowing, so I didn't get out to take pictures of it. I have plans with a friend downtown today, so I think I'll walk there and see what I can capture. It looks pretty from here.

Untitled

I think I'll wait until the sun is good and high before I go out to shovel off the deck & steps, and clear off the car. For now, I am happy to be snug here in my little apartment.

playing

Jan. 10th, 2016 07:38 pm
lizziebelle: (sherlock)
I've been inspired to go back and play with some older photos that I like a lot, but could've been better. I really like the Snapseed app, which I got for free when it was the app of the week, or free from Starbucks, or something. It has an HDR filter, which you can control the level of so the pix don't look too unreal. It's kind of fun to see old favorites in a new light.

Weeks footbridge, Cambridge, MA

Cat

Iconic

So I guess, for now, this is my new photo project. Since the weather's been pretty gloomy lately, getting out to take new ones has been unappealing, to say the least. Today's weather was really strange: warm (for January) and periods of fierce downpours, with a weird bright yellowish sky just before sunset. Still, better than it would've been if it had been colder; all that rain could have been a lot of snow. That would have been even less fun.
lizziebelle: (crow)
once more, with feeling

Winter doesn't officially begin for another couple of weeks, but it's already here. The trees are bare, the grass is turning brown, the dry reeds along the river whisper in their dry voices that it's fallow time. The days are short, and still getting shorter. Even the relatively mild days we've been having give way to long, frosty nights.

DSCN8374

I'm thankful for nice days, especially on the weekend, when I can get outside and enjoy the woods and the river. Who knows how many days like this we will have before spring?

waning

Aug. 9th, 2015 08:39 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
I usually start to feel the waning of the season after my birthday (which was a week ago), but this year I felt it a few days before. Not just the days getting shorter, although they are (today the sun set before 8:00); more that the season is past its prime, and from here on out it's all downhill. My spring flowers have almost withered away, the Queen Anne's Lace has started to go to seed, and little flocks of sparrows gather in my hedge every day, chattering away about this and that. The nights are cooler, although I know, just as in March we will likely get more snow, in August and September we will still get some hot weather, so the a/c unit stays in even though it's off more than on these days. But I like having the windows open, even if it means I hear the traffic going by and the neighbors coming & going.

They say there's a big El Nino this year, which means we will have a warmer than usual winter. I'll believe it when I see it. It would be nice to have a break, though: the past three winters have been monsters, the most recent one being the biggest monster of all. And California sure could use the rain.

As I get settled into the new job, my brain is starting to think about other things, and story bits are bobbing to the surface more often. I had a flash the other day at work, and quickly typed it into Evernote on my phone so I wouldn't lose it. I'm starting to get back into writing mode, when for months it took such a back seat that it was almost invisible. Never quite gone, as the story is always whirling around some part of my brain, but never quite ready to come out and play, either. Another fun side-effect of depression, I suppose. Which I'm slowly climbing out of, as things get a little better day by day. I'm reading more lately, which always leads to writing, and now that the weather's less beastly hot, I can get out walking more, too. That always gets the writer-brain going as well.

I've spent the last two weekends doing pretty much nothing, which I really needed. Next weekend is a quick trip to NYC for [livejournal.com profile] grrlfriday's big birthday bash, but that's it for a while. I need my weekends to unclench.
lizziebelle: (crow)


The male cardinal finally deigned to show himself and allow me to take his portrait. I wonder if it's the same one that woke me with his warbling at 4:30 in the morning last summer...

I'm becoming cautiously optimistic that this arctic winter will eventually end. It actually got above freezing a couple of times this past week, melting some of the ice & snow buildup. I finally got it all off the deck. I even went for a walk a couple of times, although I didn't go too far because we also had some sub-zero temps and there is a lot of ice. I don't fancy slipping and falling on it. No broken bones for me, thank you very much. And I don't want to jinx it, but it's been over a week since we've had more than a couple inches of snow. My back, arms, and shoulders are thankful.

I can't wait to get back out in the woods.
lizziebelle: (artsy me)


Happy Valentine's Day! Guess what? We have another blizzard arriving this afternoon. I have stocked up with chocolate, and am contemplating just going back to bed.
lizziebelle: (sherlock)
I've always been a cat person. Being a Leo, that's not particularly surprising. But I do love dogs too, as well as most other animals.

On my walk yesterday, I stumbled upon an event at the Elks Club called Woofstock. The river path ends at the field behind there, and it was full of vendors and people, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. So I wandered around taking pictures and talking with people.







They were all very well-behaved.

Last evening, it was finally clear enough to see the moon. I was very pleased to get a picture in which you can see craters!



I love my camera.

A few days ago, I was putting flannel sheets on my bed. Today, I had to turn on the a/c because it was hot! New England weather, man. You really never know what it's going to do.

At least my morning glories are still blooming. Blue is far from my favorite color, but these are so gloriously blue, I adore them.



As my former future husband is now off the market, I am now taking applications for the next candidate. At the head of the pack is Benedict Cumberbatch, as his voice can make me dissolve into a puddle of Jell-o. I foresee a Sherlock marathon in my near future...
lizziebelle: (crow)

beach day, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Yesterday was a lovely reprieve from the cold and snow we've had so much of lately. I took a walk around Gates Pond, where these folks were taking in the sunshine on the beach. It got into the fifties, and felt almost springlike.

Today? It's snowing. *sigh*

lizziebelle: (Elvis)

dishes, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I've been trying to remember to take pictures of different things, and semi-succeeding. Here, I liked the shapes and patterns of my dishes drying in the dish drainer. Not something I would normally think of as lens fodder, but it caught my eye the other day.

It's been a bit of a rough week. Tummy troubles, compounded by the bitter cold, have made me one unhappy kitty. Even though it's supposed to be relatively warm tomorrow, it's also supposed to rain quite a bit, so I plan on spending the day resting. Maybe by Sunday I'll feel up to getting outside. I sure hope so; I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. It's only January 10th and already I'm tired of winter.

I started a new story today, and it's a vampire story. I keep telling my brain I don't want to write vampire stories, and it keeps giving them to me. This character really wants his story told. I am helpless against it. And don't you worry: there's nothing sexy about my vampire. That's just silly.

lizziebelle: (crow)

Frost on my window, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I was kind of hoping we'd get a snow day today, but alas, we only got a delayed opening. So I had to go out in the dark and dig out this morning, and of course the snow plow guy came *after* I took my shower so I had wet hair and couldn't go out and move my car for him. Oh, well. At least I can get out.

We didn't get as much snow here in Metro West as they'd forecast, maybe 6", but there are places north of Boston that got more than 2 feet. The coast is expecting flooding at high tide midday today. So I am counting my blessings, even though it's bitterly cold. It could have been a lot worse, and it is for some people.

One of my favorite DJs, Rita on The River, played Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Couldn't Stand the Weather" for me this morning. I requested it on Facebook (she asks for requests every week for her Friday morning show), thinking it would be most appropriate, and it was. :::brrrrr::::

The snow is winding down now, and the sun is making a bright spot in the white sky. By Sunday, it's supposed to be in the 40's and raining. It really is true what they say about weather in New England: if you don't like it, wait a minute.

lizziebelle: (crow)

winter geese, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I've spent most of the weekend indoors, as it's suddenly winter here. Today it didn't get much above 20 degrees, with a wicked wind that sounded very cold. I did get out for a bit yesterday, walking down to the river where the geese floated serenely, unaware of what was coming.

It actually snowed a little bit overnight, just a dusting which got mostly blown away during the day.

I spent much of yesterday parked in front of the telly, watching Doctor Who. I loved the 50th Anniversary special, which I won't spoil for those of you who haven't seen it yet. I was clapping and grinning from ear to ear at the end. I'm going to see it in 3D at the theatre tomorrow night with a couple of friends, and I can't wait to see their reactions!

It's going to be a short workweek; we have three days off for Thanksgiving, which will be nice. But the pressure will be on for Monday and Tuesday to make sales, because it'll be the end of the selling month for us. Cross your fingers for me! I need all the luck I can get.

still here

Aug. 13th, 2013 05:32 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)
old railroad crossing

Sorry I've been AWOL lately. I've been dealing with life, which has been less than easy this summer. Sales have been difficult, which makes finances tight. Flashbacks of what I went through last year tumble around in my head. What makes it harder, I think, is that things were really good for a while, and then suddenly they weren't. So I've been dealing with anxiety, just trying to make it through every day. I'm making it, just.

I have managed to have a little fun now and then. Over the weekend, I went to see my niece in a musical, "Spring Awakening." I'm not sure how I feel about musicals which don't have a happy ending, but the music was great and the performances were excellent. And I finally got to meet her boyfriend, who gets the LizzieBelle seal of approval.

And the weather has been mostly lovely. September-like temperatures, with lower humidity; the kind of weather I really love. Just enough rain to water the gardens and lawns, and not too much. Today's light rain made fallen leaves look like jewelry.

Untitled

And now the sun is out, and it's a lovely evening. Things could be a whole lot worse, and they're not.

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