Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 20, 2013

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

I had big photography and blogging plans for this week, my winter break from school.  Here it is Wednesday, mid-week already, and do you think I’ve followed through?  You can probably guess the answer from the title of this blog post!

I fully intended to participate in the Great Backyard Count like I did last year, and I even had a list of the birds that I saw this past Saturday afternoon. I looked for it Sunday morning and >>POOF<< it was gone! Don’t you hate it when that happens? With the loss of the list, I decided not to participate, but I did still take a few bird pictures.
downy woodpecker and carolina wren

downy woodpecker and carolina wren (2)

The little downy woodpecker (the bird on the left) has been a very regular visit to the suet cake. Now that I’ve identified the carolina wren, I seem to notice them all the time. Does that ever happen to you? You identify something new that you are interested in and then you see it all the time? Best example I can think of for this phenomenon is when you are thinking about buying a new car. You start researching the possibilities that are in your price range and decide what you think you are going to buy, then all of a sudden you see that type of car everywhere. Or is that just me?

One of my other so-called excuses for not getting out there to take pictures is getting ready for my daughter’s 18th birthday party this coming Saturday. I’m finding it difficult to believe that I will be the parent of a legal adult! Did I ever show you any of her senior portraits?

Image (2)

We are also awaiting workmen in the house this week. I have a double gas wall oven that I have loved for a long time.
Goodbye old oven!
We actually re-did the kitchen when I was pregnant for Meghan so many appliances in the kitchen are also 18 years old. You probably remember my dishwasher woes from Christmastime, right? Well, the top oven stopped working last summer. To make a very long story short, it made horrible high pitched beeping noises and the control panel has been melted in our efforts to muddle through. We’ve been using the bottom oven only for months now. Replacing this oven has been quite the ordeal because apparently double gas wall ovens are now a rarity. To find one comparable in size to the one we have would cost somewhere in the ballpark of $6000! No, that’s not a typo on the number of zeroes there. So, we’ve had to purchase an electric double wall oven instead.

Of course you can’t just shove an electric oven in where a gas one used to be. We’ve been jumping through hoops to find an electrician who would run the line for us at a reasonable price and finding installers who would cap the gas line and coordinate with the electrician for a time to pull the old oven out. We had an appointment at 8:30 this morning for workmen to arrive. It is 10:00 while I’m typing this post – we’re still waiting.

The sun is out today and I’m hoping perhaps the wind will be less brutal than it has been over the last few days. I’m still hoping to get out photo-hunting. If I do, I’ll be back with another post before I head back to school on Monday.

February 16, 2013

Here We Snow Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:57 am
Tags: , , , ,

"Bark"a-lounger?

Would this be called a bark-a-lounger? 😉

I didn’t even know it was in the forecast, but this is what I woke up to this morning:
IMG_9449

IMG_9447

IMG_9446

Yesterday, it was 49°F.  The snow from Nemo was melting.  I ran errands in the afternoon without wearing a coat.  The snow out here today is nothing to cause any concern – its only an inch or two of the gently falling stuff.  But its February now.  My patience is wearing thin.  At Christmas time, I was wishing for a little bit of it, but now I’m ready for it to be done.  Robin was showing pictures of crocuses this weekKate has a beautiful bud of some sort featured in a gorgeous week of photos.

Have you all met Kate?  I’ve recently discovered her blog and her gorgeous photography.  She has inspired me to want to get out there and try to do more with my own photography.  I’m on school vacation this week, so I’m hoping to spend some time driving around looking for interesting photo subjects, rather than wallowing in the fact that I’m not off to some wonderfully warm locale for the week.

This could be happening to me!

rr130211

(above comic from Rose is Rose by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady)

February 9, 2013

Morning Views from Nemo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:23 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Western Massachusetts turned out to be the lucky ones this time around. It is a little after 10am on Saturday morning as I type this blog, and the power, internet and cable are still on. The snow seems to have finished and the winds are diminishing. The snow plow still has not been down my street, so I won’t be going any where any time soon (although hubby has a 4-wheel drive vehicle should we really need to get out). It is hard to tell exactly how much snow we have because of all of the drifting from the wind, but of course I have some photos to share with you to give you an idea.

Walking into the kitchen first thing this morning, this is what the dogs and I saw:
After Nemo: first look

When I first opened the slider to let them out, the dogs really weren’t sure what to do when faced with snow nearly as tall as them. Then they jumped into it and plowed their way through:
After Nemo: dogs trying to get thru the snow

After Nemo: deck

Here are some views of my deck and back yard:
After Nemo: deck/grill

After Nemo: deck/table

After Nemo: backyard

You can see in that last shot that the trees are not coated in snow. I’m thinking that must mean the snow is more of the light and fluffy type rather than the heavy and wet stuff.

In my front yard, you can’t tell where the yard ends and the street begins since the plows are yet to make their way by.
After Nemo: driveway

After Nemo: front yard

Happy to report we are all safe and cozy and warm here. I have family and friends who are still not out of Nemo’s grips just yet. Eastern Massachusetts and other parts of northeastern New England are still under assault from the storm for a good part of today, and power is out for some. I’m hoping for the best for them, and that power is restored as soon as possible.

February 8, 2013

Waiting for Nemo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:23 am
Tags: , , , ,

imagesCAN3YTT6

No, no not that Nemo of course! It is Friday morning in western Massachusetts. School has been cancelled across the state, and probably across most of New England as we await what is being called “possibly the most dangerous winter storm of all time.” Right now the snow is yet to begin. My area has 18 to 24 inches predicted.

We’ve been through heavy snow plenty of times around here.
IMG_6852

It really isn’t anything new, and we are used to the quirks of forecasting for this area. The media builds it up: It’s the BIG ONE this time!!! And it may really and truly be. But all we can really do is wait. By all reports, this storm is to be a doozy and to be taken seriously, but it is difficult to take in all the information and know what to expect. It really doesn’t matter to me how much snow we get AS LONG AS THE POWER STAYS ON!

I’ll be charging up my Kindle
Words with friends
Anyone want to play Words with Friends? Email me and maybe we can start up a game!

I bought plenty of snacks for my likely-to-be-housebound-family
Snow Day Snacks

I’ve washed and dried additional blankets and checked the batteries in the flashlights. I know where the candles and the matches are. And now I’m writing a blog about the impending storm. What else can I do, but wait?

February 3, 2013

Just Winging It!

Hey there! It’s been a while! My last post was almost 2 weeks ago now, and the blogging muse in my mind has had enough silence. So what’s been going on you may ask? Life, the universe and everything has sent me on a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

Meghan actually did get to go on several rollercoaster rides! Last Saturday morning I dropped dear daughter at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT for a school computer and technology department field trip to Disney World! She was gone for three nights and came home Tuesday. They got to stay at the Disney Port Orleans Resorts

participate in two Disney Y.E.S. programs

and visit all four of the major parks.

While she was in Florida, the temperatures were in the mid-70’s. Around here we were in the middle of that nasty cold snap when the daytime temps struggled to get out of the teens. Needless to say I was just a tiny bit envious!

After I dropped Meghan at the airport that morning, I travelled north on Interstate 91 back into Massachusetts and stopped to visit with my sister for a while. The previous day she had pretty much the same surgery that A-Rod, reviled NYY player, had recently. She’s been couch bound for over a week now, and this, I believe, is a rather regular daily view for her:

That’s Ozzie, her faithful cavachon, which is a mixture of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.

While Meghan had a wonderful time in Disney World, life continued here. I made some more progress on Sarah’s birthday quilt:
quilt progress
Um, yeah, Sarah’s birthday is in August, and, uh, yes, that was supposed to be a 15th birthday gift for her. So far I’m only 6 months behind schedule…got something to say about that? 😉

When Meghan got home from Florida, New England weather was showing its weird side again. We went from bitter cold to strangely warm temperatures, had rain and thunder and wind, and even lost the power in the middle of the night during the windstorm. I got up and went to work the next morning, hairdryer in tow! It hadn’t come back on by the time I had to leave so I went to work with a wet head. Thank goodness the bitter cold hadn’t returned just yet.

I don’t think all the wild swings in weather did Meghan much good. She had been fighting a cold before she left, but seemed to be getting better. Upon her return she didn’t sound good to me. Off to the doctor’s office: upper respiratory infection. I felt bad for her one evening and on a whim made her a cup of hot peppermint tea. We’re not really tea-drinkers in this house, but on this occasion it seemed like the thing to do. And what do you know? She gratefully took the cup and seems to have taken a liking to it.
daughter's discovery

The cold has returned, and so have the birds to my feeders. I’ve been practicing some more with my heavy new lens, and I’ve been doing okay. I have to shoot in manual focus on this lens because autofocus doesn’t allow the focus ring to be manually adjusted – one definite downside to this lens – and that adds a bit to the challenge of quick moving birds!
dark-eyed junco
Dark-eyed junco

white-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch

sparrows
Sparrows

A birdy conversation?
Male house finch and sparrow

Male House Finch
Male house finch
That finch looks like a friendly chap, doesn’t he? It almost seems like he could strike up a conversation. How about you? Strike up a conversation in the comments section if you’d like!