Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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.

March 15, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Hi there! It seems I’ve taken an unintentional blogging break! My last post was on the last day of February, and here we are, halfway through March.
So where the heck have I been? A few places and busy with a new exercise program too.
Two weeks ago, I started this:
T25
Focus T25 is a series of workout videos from pro trainer Shaun T. You may remember I started his “Rockin Body” workouts back in November. They were great for getting back into exercising again, but I was feeling ready for a new challenge. March 1st was day 100 of this new journey of mine and it was time to step things up a little. I’m feeling really good these days: my energy is high and my weight is lower than it has been in a very long time.

The beginning of March also brought an opportunity to have a breath of spring. My sister said to me, “How about going to the Spring Bulb Show at Smith College? I could really stand to stick my nose into some hyacinths!” I agreed. Here is a slideshow of some of the lovely spring bulbs and hothouse flowers we were able to enjoy:

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In the tropical room, where my lens kept fogging up due to the humidity, Jennifer and I made a special discovery. They have a chocolate tree at Smith College! No really! The source of chocolate, the cacao:
Chocolate!

Last weekend, my sister, my daughters and I traveled to Cape Cod to celebrate some birthdays. Meghan was home from school on her spring break so we took the opportunity to visit my mother. Meghan’s birthday was February 25th and my mother’s is today (Happy Birthday Mom!). We had a lovely time shopping, eating, talking, laughing and trying to visit the beach.
Lunch spot view
The view from one of our lunch spots
I say “trying” to visit the beach because the wind was very very cold, but I managed to take a few pictures of the sparkling sea on a deceiving sunny day:
Cold but sunny beach

Smuggler's Beach, South Yarmouth

I hadn’t had a photo of my daughters taken together since Christmas time and I really wanted one for my new iPhone, so Meghan and Sarah obligingly posed in the cold wind for a few minutes for this shot:
Cold beach

So, is it starting to feel like spring at all where you are? It continues to be a roller coaster ride weather-wise around here. Temperatures start to feel mild then dip back down into ripping cold with nasty wind chills. Today we are enjoying temperatures in the mid-50′s, but tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 30 degrees. Snow still blankets most of the ground, with a few sections of muddy, brown grass just starting to emerge. Hurry up Spring! We miss you!

February 28, 2014

It’s “Z” Wrap Up!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:04 pm
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It’s Z wrap up, get it? Z like the end of the letters and Z like speaking with an outrageous French accent?

Where are my Monty Python fans?

The return of the photo hunt seemed to be a popular idea as those of us in the northern climes battle our way through this very cold and snowy winter. By February, we’ve had about enough of this and I think the photo hunt turned into a welcome distraction. We had 8 wonderful participants in the
image

image

image
themed photo hunt this month.

Sybil jumped on board almost immediately! She had her photo hunt, in which she tried to fool us a bit (and succeeded!) posted the day after I announced the hunt!

Next came Dawn, with some very lovely reminders of my favorite time of the year in her photo hunt from the south. Ahhhhhhh!

Robin played in her wonderful Robin way – going far above and beyond the general photo hunt requirements. Faithful readers of Robin’s blog are familiar with Robin’s creative style and were treated to not one, not two but three pretty posts leading us to her chosen word.

Mike thought maybe his choice of words would be a little too familiar to his regular readers, so he mixed up his letters in attempt for it not to be too easy for us. He has a beautifully photographed array of indoor shots leading us to the place that I believe you would find Mike right now if you were to go looking for him!

I was happy to hear that Michaela had decided to play along. It had been a long time since I’ve posted a photo hunt and even longer since she had participated. We had no mystery to figure out over at the Daily Click because we were told that she decided to use her name as her word. Michaela showed us a gorgeous display of her tack-sharp photog skillz.

Carol’s life these days has been a flurry of household activities and get ready for her upcoming cruise (very jealous here, by the way!). She found a perfect word with perfect photos to remind us all of what she has been up to lately.

Isa decided at the last minute that she’d like to play too, and asked if archived photos would be okay to use. You know how loosey-goosey the rules are around here so I said “but of course!” Isa has a colorful arrangement of beautiful objects, but I must admit she stumped me good. Our friend Sybil from up above was the smarty who first figured out Isa’s word!

Nye also came in with a last minute submission. She tricked me a bit by using her first photo to represent two letters rather than one. In the comment section where she revealed the answer, she reminded us about the rule of thirds in photography – that’s where she wanted us to look to discover the real clue to her letters. Nicely done Nye!

If you happened to miss my own photo hunt photo hunt (no that’s not a typo ;-) ) you can find it here.

Thank you so much everyone for your enthusiastic participation! I’ll do my best to come up with some other fun hunts throughout the year.
Happy end of February too! Spring begins in just 3 weeks! Let’s hope it feels like spring really soon!

February 25, 2014

Hey Nineteen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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Thinking of you today, pretty girl:

400623_783725418323154_816107783_n

Happy 19th Birthday Meghan!

Just for fun, 10 years ago:

Meg9 001

February 21, 2014

My Photo Hunt Words

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:48 pm
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So far the submissions for the photo hunt this month have been wonderful and fun! There is still time to play. Posts aren’t due until Tuesday the 25th, and I can extend that for you if you let me know you need more time.

Several bloggers have said that the hardest part of this hunt was choosing the words. I think I agree. I came up with a couple different ideas but had difficulty coming up with objects to represent certain letters. Then I realized the answer was right in front of me!

My submission includes two words. Here is the first, with 5 letters:
IMG_0743

IMG_0767

IMG_0749

IMG_0763

IMG_0753

 

 

Second word, 4 letters:

 
IMG_0772

IMG_0765

IMG_0771

IMG_0776

Tell me in the comments what you think my words are. Yes, I’m having a little fun with you! :-)
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the submissions. Don’t forget to leave me a link or a pingback in the comments of post announcing this hunt. There is a link to it over on the right of this page under “Photography Scavenger Hunt” as well as in the first sentence of this post.

February 18, 2014

A Breath of Spring in the Snow

It is snowing once again here in Massachusetts. We are getting snow-weary and cabin-fevery. This morning as I wandered the house looking for possible objects as the subjects of my photo hunt, fluttering movement caught my eye out in the back yard.

With the snow gently drifting all around them, (the morning after the Great Backyard Bird Count was completed!) I spotted flashes of red in the trees near the back of my yard.

Robins

About a dozen robins were happily singing and cavorting in the snow. The sound of their cheery song in the middle of February brought thoughts that maybe spring isn’t so very far away.

This mourning dove, however, seemed to have other thoughts, all puffed up against the cold.
Mourning dove

February 15, 2014

Three Little Birds

It is time once again for the Great Backyard Bird Count.  It isn’t too late to get involved if you are interested.  Click here for more information. I’m participating again this year. So far I’ve identified 12 different species at my front yard feeder. I managed to get a few photos of some of the birds I’ve seen so far, and I experimented with editing them in my new Lightroom program. I’ve only managed to do some very basic edits, but I’m pleased with the quality of the color and light. I think I was able to keep a very natural look to the photos.

carolina wren
Carolina Wren (of “Jimmy and Judy” fame)

northern cardinal
Northern Cardinal

American goldfinch 1
American Goldfinch

February 14, 2014

White Out

Well, here I am at home again for a second snow day this week. I bet most of the school kids are thrilled – this makes for an extended February break. Me, not so much. I’d rather have gone in on a 2 hour delay. This puts our last day of school up to June 20th, and let me tell you it gets hot up on the second floor where I work.

So would you like a look around my snowy world? Maybe not since so many of us are buried in the white stuff. There’s a few of you out there who still like it (yes, I’m looking at you Michaela, lol!)

Here’s a few peeks at the places you are used to seeing here on my blog, all whited out:
waiting for the plow
This is the spot where my perennial garden lives in the summer time. How about this spring time view instead?

perrenial bed

 

 

patio furniture
Deck furniture. Here’s a much better use for the deck furniture in my opinion:
Dinner on my own

 

 

buried garden
My vegetable garden. **Sigh** Looks much better this way:
garden looking good

 

 

snowy rhododendron
The big rhododendron-azalea bush looks sad like this to me. Here’s a happier view:
IMG_4425

Daydreaming of spring on this snowy day.  At least the boys of summer are back at it – pitchers and catchers report to spring training tomorrow!

 

February 13, 2014

Here we snow again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Silly dog! Doesn't know when to come in from the snow!

What’s that saying about not being smart enough to come in from a storm? I seriously wonder about Teddy sometimes. This picture is actually from last Wednesday’s snow day, but I am home again today for a snow day. **Sigh** School vacation is next week so today feels like a waste for a day off, but what can we do?

Here’s what I’m going to do. Right now I’m writing a blog post. Want to see my pretty breakfast from this morning?
Pretty breakfast

Remember that I told you recently that I’ve been doing my best to add good protein to my diet? By my calculations that breakfast contains about 25 grams. I recently learned about Ezekial bread as a source of good protein. Have you heard of it? It’s interesting. To me it tastes like whole grain bread but with a denser texture because it is made with sprouted grains rather than flour.

I plan to exercise later this morning too. I’ve got all this time on my hands so I think maybe I will try something new today. Thursday is usually a rest day with the routine I’ve been following, but I think I need to get this body moving. I’m intrigued by Jillian Michael’s newest video “Yoga Inferno” so I may give this a try. Amazon Instant Video is a great tool to have around on a day like today.

I should really refill my new bird feeder too. I don’t think I’ve shown you this one.
New feeder

I have a long history with bird feeders, and trying to find the right one. I’ve had squirrel proof ones that the squirrels have destroyed. I’ve had suet feeders that starlings and grackles do a number on almost immediately. More recently I bought glass tubed ones to prevent critters from wrecking them, but these are bad for the winter I’ve discovered. Any wet weather followed by freezing temperatures causes the seed to be stuck in ice. Now I’ve got this plastic feeder. It has a squirrel baffle on the bottom, and drainage holes too. It is easy to fill by sliding it down the pole you can see underneath.

Mr Cardinal

I think Mr. Cardinal is waiting for a refill! My apologies for the blur on some of these shots. I’ve been playing with my iPhone camera’s zoom. On the small iPhone screen these look fine of course, but blown up for computer size, not so much. I admit I’m drawn to the ease with which I can share these photos as well. I added the Flickr app to my phone and now I can just drop my shots into Flickr in no time.

Are you having a snow day where you are? What are you planning to do today? Working on my photo hunt is something you could try to pass the time!

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