A Beautiful Dawn in the New Year

My mother called very early yesterday morning. I expected it on January 9th because it was Mayhem’s birthday and Mom always calls first thing in the morning to wish her grandchildren a Happy Birthday.  I was not expecting an early call a few days later; so when I saw the caller ID I admit to panicking a bit.  Last year was not a good year health- wise for either my Mom or my step-Dad… sooo yeah.  Fortunately, she was just calling to alert me to the dawn.  She also calls for “rainbow alerts”, and gorgeous sunsets, and unusual bird sightings – outside of our usual conversations.  I will miss that when she passes, which won’t be for awhile yet if I have anything to say about it (which I don’t, but still…).

I threw on a jacket, grabbed my camera, and headed outside in my slippers to the back yard. Our property abuts the dike along the Westfield River, facing southwest(ish) if you’re looking directly out my kitchen door – so the sun actually rises in the winter just outside of left frame in the first three pictures, and well outside of left frame in the fourth. Behind the dike is a cornfield, then the treeline along the river. The next 4 pictures you see are a sort of  “pan” from left to right.  The sky was just beautiful yesterday morning.  By the time I got to work it had clouded over completely and later there was a freezing rain to drive home in. But the lovely start more than made up for it.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

January Dawn watermarkedJanuary Dawn 2 watermarked and croppedJanuary Dawn 4 watermarkedJanuary Dawn 3 watermarked

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The Quality of Light

I’m back to work this past week after a busy 2 week “stay-cation” at home. I did a lot of cocooning, baking, decorating, and cooking. The holidays unfolded in ways I did not expect, but as they were meant to.
It was a necessarily sparse Christmas. This past year has been an uphill struggle financially. I sent no holiday newsletters and no cards. Apparently very few people are doing that at all. We got a grand total of 5 Christmas cards this year. I’ve spent a small fortune over the years designing, writing and printing an annual family newsletter and sending cards to 50+ addresses every year. We’d get maybe 20 cards etc back. Cost/Benefit analysis clearly indicated we (I) were (was) wasting that money, so el stop -arino, muy pronto.

Anyway, I got to really notice sunrises and sunsets while on my holiday vacation. And appreciate the quality of light. There’s nothing quite like a dry, cold, crystal-clear atmosphere to bring out the best in our New England solar risings and settings. My birthday sunrise was spectacular. Clear skies. red to orange/yellow to jade turquoise and then a lovely blue. Stars still twinkling brightly around, above, and in front of it.

And, heading home from work on The ‘Pike directly west has allowed me to see some spectacular sunsets over the last few workdays. Red-gold light morphs into a violet-pink and sets the underside of purple clouds on fuschia fire. Just beautiful, and I savored the minutes I was able to see this.

Tonight I am watching the sunset from my living room windows. The sky is a beautiful cloudless peachy pink fading to clear light blue and then deepening to a darker blue. I think the coldness changes the quality of the light, makes it brighter, sharper, and more distinct.

I made no resolutions for this year, but rather, wishes. Wishing for a better year for all of us. I’m watching ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and having a glass of wine. (raises glass) Here’s to ya, my new friends – who have helped and nurtured me in ways indescribable. I’m truly grateful for your love and friendship!

On another note, I am reassessing my photo book project. In light of some reports of some horrid individuals attempting to cash in on the tragedies of Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings I have decided NOT to proceed with my idea to donate part of proceeds from a photo book to charity. I have no wish to leave myself open to accusations, or worse – lawsuits, from anyone. It’s unfortunate, but a few bad apples have spoiled the idea for me. Not worth the potential hassles, and believe me – the way my luck’s been running lately – there would be hassles.

I am, however, going to be selling a photo book online through blurb.com. Details will be forthcoming. I can assure everyone that if it proves profitable, I will donate part of the profit to charities I support; but I don’t want to make any guarantees and find myself in hot water later. Have a lovely evening, wherever you are. And, take a minute to appreciate the sunset.

Autumn Kalaidescope

Gallery

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Here are some more pictures I took on our trip to New Hampshire with my Canon EOS Rebel, in the order they were shot. We made quite a few stops on the way up to get many of  these shots. … Continue reading

Snow Day

First official snow day of the winter today. No school, no work. We got a little over 5 inches of the white stuff yesterday and another couple inches today-I’ve missed seeing the white stuff this season. Call me crazy, but I think there should actually be snow on the ground during a New England winter. Granted, we got more than our fair share last season, and the snowpocalypse nor’easter in October wasn’t cool in the least.
But there’s something calming and peaceful about snow falling. A hush that falls and allows you to take a deep cleansing breath and appreciate the beauty around you. I watched the snow swirl gently past my window all day today, and I was thankful for my nice warm house, my two doggies who snuggled wif mama all day, my girls who were clearly in need of an extra day of rest, and my dear husband, who sadly had to work today.
Its a good thing there was no work for me because I had a flare up with my “unexplained” all over muscle/bone pain today, so I’ve been taking it very easy. I get these flare ups every few months and it puts me out of commission for a day every time. It feels like every muscle in my body is trying to push all my bones apart. Blood tests have been inconclusive but fibromyalgia runs in the family, as does renaud’s syndrome- which I do have. And I just read somewhere that this type of thing can be linked to menopause…. Oh joy! But anyhow, I stayed warm and cozy today watching the snow fall. Grateful for a snow day!

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What in the Heck is Going On?!?!

This is what we woke up to on October 30, 2011 Autumn- as in Halloween…

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This is what I woke up to today February 11, 2012 Winter-as in Valentines Day

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Does anyone else see anything wrong with this??? I hear the sound of winter-failing epically. Sort of like air being squeezed out of a balloon…ppffffffffttttttt.
Dear Mother Nature, PLEASE get back on your HRT! Love, Me

Not my Picture. But that’s OK

My wonderful husband took this with his cell phone camera last winter, on a break from a Saturday workday.  Last winter was BRUTAL here in the Northeast.  I have to say we are loving the milder winter this year.  I love this peaceful picture.

Long Winter Shadows