Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 18, 2014

Going Green

Filed under: For the Birds,What's Blooming — Karma @ 8:50 am
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I don’t care what Kermit the Frog says, I think it is pretty easy being green.

Robin calls it “a visit from the green man”. I call it finally feeling like spring. We’ve had some good rain, followed by days of sunshine, and my world is finally going green around me. The neighbors’ houses on the street behind mine have disappeared into the green:
Finally green

When I look around me I see fresh green leaves and green grass and I love it.
Greening

Next weekend, with any luck and a LOT of work, I will be greening-up my garden. I went to my favorite garden center yesterday for my “annual pilgrimage” and made my plant purchases.
Getting ready to garden

I’m yet to get a picture this year, but I have seen that wonderful “flash” of green – the ruby throated hummingbird. I’ve seen several taking sips at my feeder and flowers over the last week.

I do, however, have pictures I can share of another bird, in fact a bird family:
baby robins (1)

A robin has re-used the nest that was built on my flood light last spring and the 4 babies have quickly grown.
feeding time

I hope your world is going green too!

ETA: WordPress has just informed me that this is the 500th post here on Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog. Wow! I’ve hit that publish button 500 times? Thanks to all of you who have been here and said hello anywhere from 1 to 500 times!

post-milestone-500-1x

May 11, 2014

Slowly but Surely…

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 8:23 am
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…spring is arriving.
Some evidence:
Thunderstorm remains
We had a thunderstorm yesterday. I didn’t think to take any pictures during the storm, but here are remains on the grill. The grill has happily been getting much use lately, another sign of the season.

First mowing of the year
I mowed the lawn for the first time this year yesterday as well (before the storm, thankfully!) and the trees are finally starting to leaf out.

Feeder filled
I made hummingbird food and hung the feeder. I’m not 100% positive, but I think I saw a hummingbird speed by my window a couple days ago, so it seemed like time to get it out there.

Just a few lilacs
Some of the very few lilacs I seem to have this year are opening up. Remember in this post I lamented not seeing lilac buds yet? I was mistaken. There are very few buds out there to be seen. I think this harsh winter unfortunately did a number on lilacs around here. Lilac trees line the side of my driveway and I have several more trees around my house and there are precious few buds and many dead looking branches. My neighbor’s shrubs seem to be suffering the same fate. Anyone else in the northern climes noticing anything like this?

New bird bath
Hubby got me a new birdbath for my little perennial garden. My old one broke in the winter – my own fault for forgetting to put it away. I love this shiny new one though. It will hold more water and add a nice touch of color to the yard.

To all the mothers out there, including mine, I hope you are having a wonderful Mothers Day. I’m planning to spend mine having a little brunch with my family (I enjoyed the Easter one so much I decided to have a similar one today), which I am going to start working on soon, then I’m hoping to soak up a bit of sun and Vitamin D, (forecast here is for sunny skies and 75 degrees) and perhaps do a bit of shopping with my home-from-college girl. Even though I’ll cook most of the brunch food myself, my daughters have promised to clean up! That’s a good Mothers Day treat.

May 3, 2014

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 7:52 pm
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Waiting. I did a lot of it today. I sat in my car, waiting for Sarah…

Waiting...

for an hour! Sarah was taking the SAT’s today. The SAT website said 3 hours and 45 minutes should be allowed for the test. The SAT website said no phones are allowed, and they will be confiscated if students are found with them. So I arrived at the school 3 hours and 45 minutes after the test should have begun. No Sarah. Wait. Groups of kids begin to emerge from school. No Sarah. More groups. Frustration builds. Finally Sarah. Test started late. Lots of kids brought phones – were only told to power them down. Those kids’ parents, most likely did not spend an hour of their Saturday sitting in the parking lot of a high school, waiting. *Sigh*

Waiting for pizza…
Waiting for pizza
Pizzaria Uno has a nice online ordering system and curb side pick up. Order and pay online, they bring the food out to your car. I pull in and….wait. About 15 minutes after the time my order was to be done, a server appears at my window explaining that our pizzas were dropped and had to be re-made, but would be out in just a few minutes. Wait some more. Pizzas arrive, I take them home. Sarah’s is fresh and hot – mine, not so much. Obviously Sarah’s was dropped and remade while mine sat under a heat lamp and waited. *Sigh*

Waiting for spring…
first daffodil
My world’s latest daffodils are just starting to bloom. I don’t think I’ve ever waited until May to have them begin. Things seem to be several weeks behind in growth and bloom around here.
I’m still waiting for lilac buds:
Lilac leaves

Last year at this time, my lilacs looked like this:
lilac
That shot was taken on May 4, 2013.

Bleeding hearts are still just little drops right now…
Tiny bleeding heart buds

Last year:
bleeding heart

Are you experiencing a similar slowness of the season this year?

My profusely blooming rhodo-azalea bush seems to be the only one who didn’t get the message that spring is late this year.
rhodo-azalea

The bumble bees just love this shrub. I tried to get a photo for you of all the buzzing going on, but I was surprised at the agressiveness of the fuzzy buggers! A couple of them zoomed out and buzzed my head until I backed off when they thought I was getting a little too close for their comfort. Once this bush does its blooming, usually the hummingbirds are not too far behind. I wonder if I will be waiting for them this year too.

This picture is from 3 years ago, but it is still a favorite despite the graininess, and definitely something good that came to someone who waited.
hummingbird edit

Wait, wait! Don’t go yet! I have something funny to share with you.
My birthday card from my sister:
Comic "relief"

Was that worth waiting for? ;-)

April 24, 2014

20×2+9-4=?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:27 am
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Did you solve my little math problem? ;-) Today is the day I find myself smack in the middle of my 40’s! Perhaps a day of a little reflection? I think it is a good place to be. My birthday finds me in good health and feeling fit. People around me are noticing the changes in me and my energy is good. A new horizon approaches in my future, and a goal that I’m going to do my very best to achieve. I will share the news of how that goes when the time is appropriate.

Spring, as most of us in northern climates know, has been slow to arrive this year. Last year on my birthday, it was a warm and sunny day, and magnolia trees were in bloom all over town. I took this shot last year:
magnolia 3

Things are a bit behind this year – those buds are out, but I haven’t seen a tree in full bloom yet. This morning there are buds on my famous weather-telling rhodo-azaelea bush:
Buds
(sorry for the slight blur, it is quite windy here this morning)

I’m on school vacation this week, but it hasn’t felt overly vacation-y. I’ve been doing lots of driving and I’m a bit weary from the road. The driving is worthwhile, however. As I mentioned in my last post, I drove to Worcester for the Sleeping Beauty ballet with my daughters last Friday. It was lovely. It reminded me of a springtime version of “The Nutcracker” – probably no surprise since the music for both was composed by Tchaikovsky. Then I drove Meghan back to school Easter night, after a great day of food and visiting with family. I made brunch for my family that morning:
brunch 1

Family brunch

Then the girls and I were off to dinner at my sister’s. I contributed this cheesecake dessert of which I’m quite proud:
Cheesecake
I wish I had a better picture for you. I took this quickly with my phone. It has a brownie bottom and was delicious!

Monday was a warm, sunny day which I spent doing some much needed spring clean-up:
Spring clean up
The work is not all done around my yard – lots more to go – but at least my front yard is more respectable looking now!

Sarah and I have begun college visits this week as well. We drove to a school in New Hampshire on Tuesday – we were underwhelmed – and have a visit planned to Hampshire College in Amherst tomorrow. The drive tomorrow is at least a bit shorter.

The weekend brings a visit to the Cape. The forecast is in the mid-50’s and windy, so we will have to bundle up. Hopefully the sun will shine and there will be time for a walk on the beach without it being too blustery to enjoy.

Dawn and I think it could be time for a new photo hunt soon. What do you think? Spring is here and our cameras are just waiting for a little challenge, right? I’ll be giving it some thought and I’ll be sure to let you know if I come up with something.

Even though it’s my birthday, I don’t get to take the day off from some of the things I must get done, so I will be wrapping up this meandering post now!

April 18, 2014

Finding Joy in the Simple Things

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 1:54 pm
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I haven’t forgotten my goal of trying to find joy as often as possible. I have a couple things to share with you from last weekend, as well as some joy that I am looking forward to this weekend.

My friends and I did Hike #2 of our MidState Trail hike last Sunday. That morning, as I bustled about getting ready for the hike, I paused a moment at the sight out the window in my front yard:
Misty morning

The robin is out of focus, but I just loved the look of the early morning sun on the dew-kissed lilac branches (which will hopefully be laden with flowers and deliciously fragrant only a few short weeks from now).

At the end of our hike, my friends and I and the dogs did another group portrait.
Hike #2

Daphne is absent from this one due to doing a long walk with Sarah the day before. Sarah is in the Canine Club at our high school and Sarah and Daphne participated in a 5 mile walk around town in support of “Bark for Life” which researches canine cancers. Daphne decided she was done with the walk with a little less than a mile to go back to the starting point and sat down, refusing to go any further. Hubby had to go rescue Sarah and our obstinate fur-baby and take them home! I decided a second 5 mile hike the next day was probably not the best move for my aging golden.

Tonight is a night I’ve looked forward to since Christmas time. As a Christmas gift, my father gave Meghan, Sarah and me tickets to see the Moscow Ballet perform “Sleeping Beauty” at the Hanover Theater in Worcester. In just a short while, Sarah and I will head out to Worcester to pick up Meghan and go out to dinner, followed by the ballet – sure to be a lovely evening.

I hope you have a lovely weekend in store! Tell me about your plans in the comments if you’d like to share!

April 6, 2014

A Wonderful Spring Weekend

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:28 pm
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Spring is finally sproinging around here, and it’s about time after the lousy, frigid, snowy winter we had!

Saturday brought a delicious visit to Pickity Place in Mason NH. I’ve blogged many times about this favorite lunch place of my sister, our best friend and me.
Lunch was good and tasty, but the dessert yesterday was OFF THE HOOK! Check this out:
Fabulous dessert (1)

Fabulous dessert (2)
That gorgeous thing is a vanilla flan with caramel sauce, raspberries and mandarin oranges.

Happy pansies and jonquils decorated the little cottage in the woods:
Pickity pansies

as well as the perennially sleepy Pickity Kitty:
Pickity kitty

Today brought sunshine and a high temperature around 60 degrees F! That in itself is a wonderful thing. The hike that we were rained out of last weekend was rescheduled for today. I have a friend with an interesting goal this year – to hike all 92 miles (the width of the state of Massachusetts not including the north shore and Cape Cod) of the MidState Trail. It runs from Douglas MA on the Rhode Island border to Ashburnham MA on the New Hampshire border. I said I’d like to join as often as possible, so we began our quest today! We did a little over 3 miles today, but that included looping back to the parking lot, so we still have around 90 miles to go. Next time we will strategize with parking cars and such so we can accomplish more of the route in one outing.

But for today, we enjoyed each others’ company and being out in the spring air. Our dogs enjoyed every puddle they tromped through and getting muddy!
Rhode Island-Mass border
Group portrait of Sherry, Greg and me (and Angel, Teddy and Daphne) at the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border.

Rhode Island line, Midstate Trail
The marker

78 Miles to the Ocean!
A crossing trail, running through Rhode Island. Only 78 miles to the ocean! Let’s go!

After lunch on our spring hike
One more group portrait, after our lunch break.

I’m looking forward to making my way up my home state throughout this spring, summer and fall – I hope we can find the time to complete the full trail.

Happy spring everyone! Is it finally feeling like spring where you are too?

P.S. WordPress has nicely informed me that today is my 4 year blogoversary! Still carrying on the “when I feel like it” way, 4 years later! ;-)

March 30, 2014

Rain, rain… well, it’s better than snow!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:25 am
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Rainy day

The rain started yesterday afternoon and is forecast to continue all day today. I could complain, but I won’t. After all, it could be snow, right? Most of the snow, except for a few patches here and there, has finally melted. Oh and except for this snow too:
Collapsed pool
Yeah, did I mention my pool kind of collapsed this winter? Yes, that same pool that I had all those issues with last summer? The pool that I maimed my poor foot in while putting in a brand new liner? All for naught – now we need a brand new pool. Sigh. I’m hoping we can find someone to afford-ably install one for us this spring. I really have no interest in doing this job again. Hubby and I have done this several times and it is not an enjoyable project.

Here’s a more enjoyable project! We have several teachers retiring from my school this June, and retirement quilts are once again in the making. I’ve made quilt squares for three of them, two Red Sox fans and a yoga devotee:
Quilt squares

More joy I’ve found: my fitness journey continues and I’m making good progress! I can happily announce that I’m back down to and so far maintaining the weight that I was before I became pregnant with Meghan 20 years ago! That’s a loss of about 15 pounds. I haven’t weighed this little or felt this fit in as many years. I’m entering Week 5 of Focus T25, the last week of the Alpha round.
Alpha
That makes me just a little nervous but excited too. Week 6 of the program steps up to the Beta round, an even more intense series of workouts. I haven’t followed the program exactly as laid out here because of Zumba. I’ve been skipping the Wednesday workout and the second Friday workout listed – I do Zumba Wednesday night and Saturday morning instead, so I’m still doing 6 workouts a week and resting on Sundays.

The rain unfortunately cancelled a hike with friends today that I was looking forward to, and hoping to bring you pictures of, but it has been rescheduled for next Sunday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for that. This visually un-pretty month is over tomorrow! Bring on April- I can’t wait to see things turning green and growing again.

May 7, 2013

Springtime, Lovely Springtime!

I love this time of year. This part of the world is coming alive with green grass and leaves and the bloomers of spring. We’ve had a string of 17 days in a row with no rain, and while I know we need the rain (coming soon according to the local forecast), I’ve even thoroughly been enjoying my rides to work in the morning: the sunshine at that time of day is gentle and beautiful and lights the flowering trees and greening lawns in a way that makes me remember to breathe deep and appreciate the moment.

When I walk out to my car, the air is perfumed with these:
lilac
Lilacs – mmmmm, is there a better spring time smell? And I’m going to have an abundant amount of blooms this year. The tops of my trees all look like this:
abundant lilac
They haven’t quite opened yet, that’s why the dark color, but they are beginning.

During all this lovely weather, I’ve been outside when time allows (mostly weekends) working on my yard. I did a lot of cleaning up and pruning during the April break from school. In addition to all the usual work, I made a decision to rip out a perennial bed that had not been looking overly healthy for the past few years:
periennial bed -before
I kept only what remains of my bearded irises, – they are yet to bloom this year and I don’t know how many blooms I will get – the bleeding heart
bleeding heart and my “crazy poppy”- click here for the story of that moniker.

On Saturday morning, I made a visit to my favorite local garden center, 16 Acres Gardens. (They are called that because they are in a part of Springfield known as “16 Acres” not because there are 16 acres of gardens)
garden center 1

garden center 2

It is still just a little too early around here for planting tender annuals and vegetables (unless you’re a bit of a daredevil and willing to watch the weather each night for frost warnings!) but I was more than ready to go spend the generous gift card I received from my dad for my birthday to replant that perennial bed. I came home with 9 new perennials of varying sizes and heights ranging in colors from pinks to purple to purplish-blue and planted them that afternoon:
perrenial bed - after
(I’m rather proud of myself for installing that new border around the bed too, even if it is a less than perfect circle!)

My latest-to-bloom-in-the-neighborhood daffodils are in full bloom now:
daffodil

daffodils

daffodil

as well as the giant rhodo-azalea:
full bloom rhodo-azaleas

I’ve seen two butterflies in the past few days – can the hummingbirds be far behind? I’m excited to hang up two new, unique hummingbird feeders I received for my birthday – I haven’t taken pictures of those yet but I’m sure I will do that soon.

I finally cleaned the vegetable garden patch of last year’s debris and removed the decrepit fence surrounding it. Next outdoor projects: put up a new fence and mulch my perennial bed. I’m also trying to grow some new grass in an area the dogs have ruined. There’s so much going on in the yard! But I do love this time of year!

April 28, 2013

My Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:25 am
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Hello  everyone!  I can’t believe it has been two weeks already since I posted the color photo hunt post and that I haven’t posted anything in between!  Spring has definitely arrived to this part of the world and I’ve found myself quite busy with all of the spring yard work that goes along with it!  I had a birthday a couple days ago as well, and toss in all of the everyday life stuff and I just haven’t had the chance to be here at the computer.  I feel like I have lots to write about, but since today is my deadline for the photo hunt, I will get on with telling you about my color.

I have always been  drawn to the color pink in all of its varying shades.  Heck, I even love the artist who calls herself Pink!  I think she’s a fabulous singer.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ve seen pictures of my kitchen and dining room.  Ever notice the color theme that runs through both?
IMG_3994

IMG_6716

When I received a Kindle this past Christmas, I ordered a case for it. Here’s the color:
kindle case

With spring busting out all over, it was time for me to start putting my feet in my favorite style of shoes – sandals! But you can’t wear sandals without first getting a pedicure, right?
pink pedi

And you knew there would be flowers didn’t you? Could there really be a spring blog/photo hunt about color from me without flowers?
unknown pink tree blossom

hyacinth

birthday bouquet
(I bought myself a bouquet on my birthday!)

Here in New England, magnolia trees are blooming like crazy this time of year. They are simply gorgeous. I don’t have one of my own, and I envy all of the yards I see with these beautiful trees. I drove around town looking for one where I could take pictures without stepping into someone’s yard, then found one at our public library. I took these shots on my birthday, which just happened to be about as lovely a day as you could ask for.
magnolia 1

magnolia 2

magnolia 3

magnolia 4

I found a webpage with the psychology of pink. Here are my favorite lines from that page:
“The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing. Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity.” If you’d like to read more, click here.

I hope you all enjoyed this photo hunt! It is not too late to jump in! You can post all day today, and if you’d like more time to be included, just drop me a comment to let me know. I’m looking forward to coming around to see all of your wonderful color posts! I’m hoping to do that later today, and to write a wrap-up post in a few days.

March 31, 2013

Spring’s Arrival

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it today. Easter is a day that is low key for me. We celebrated secularly, more so in the past when the girls were little and believed in the Easter Bunny. Now that they are nearly grown up, I still buy them a chocolate bunny, and I saw these donuts that I thought would amuse them, so I bought them too:
Easter donut
but that is about the extent of our Easter celebrations.
In the spirit of a lovely, long spring weekend Mama Nature has been fairly cooperative in that respect. Yesterday was a sunny day with temperatures in the 50’s so the dogs and I went out for a nice walk.
Daphne had her first “swim” in the little creek that crosses our path:
Daphne's first "swim" of the year
I only had my 75-300mm lens with me, so with the dogs on their leash, I couldn’t get far enough away to fit all of her into one shot. This shot, taken while I was trying, amuses me:
relaxing in the water
In addition to Daphne’s little swim, I had another first of the year. I heard peepers for the first time! Here’s a short video I took with my phone so that you could hear them too:

While we ambled by this small spring time swamp (it dries up come summertime), I saw a cute little couple:

 swampy ducks
I don’t know if this is their temporary home or just a stopover on their way elsewhere.

As we continued on our way, a hawk lazily soared in circles above our heads:
soaring hawk
The blue and the warmth and the peepers and the birds and Daphne’s swim: it all added up to a peaceful feeling of spring really being on the way. I may not celebrate Easter religiously, but this was my own little feeling of the rebirth of springtime.

I could easily end this post right here, but I have two other bits of news I wanted to share. First of all, Meghan has made her decision about where she will attend college in the fall: Clark University.

Clark is in Worcester, MA, a medium-sized city about 45 miles away from here. It is far enough away for her to live on campus, but close enough to come home when she would like. This decision is kick-starting the excitement of the end of senior year and planning for the future. Plenty more about all that in the days to come!

The other little bit I have for you is a rare “selfie”. I went to get my hair done yesterday, and at the last minute decided to have it highlighted. I decided I wanted a little change for spring, and I’m very happy with the results. I worked very hard yesterday afternoon trying to take a self-portrait of myself that I didn’t hate, and finally came up with this one that I like:
highlights3

However you spend this day, celebrating Easter or not, I hope it is warm and wonderful where you are.

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