Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 18, 2015

Six Photos, Six Days, Day 3

ducks

“Harold, why are we stopping here? Are you sure this is even a pond?”

“Yes, dear, of course dear.”

“But Harold, this pond has such hard edges, and I’m pretty sure there is a human stalking us!”

“Yes, dear, of course dear.”

“Harold, are you even listening to me?”

“Yes, dear, of course dear.”

“Harold? HAROLD!!! I’m going to shove that beak right into that feathered patootie of yours if you don’t start listening to me!”

“Yes, dear….ughmumph!!”

Real story
As you may remember from last year (or click here if you don’t), we had to replace our pool when the heft of the heavy snow collapsed the wall of our old one. We certainly had our share of snow again this past winter, and it took its time melting in the spring. Sometime in March, I believe, my husband decided to loosen the cord around the cover of the pool to allow it to relieve some strain from the weight of the snow. As it melted and became more icky, he decided at the end of April to remove the cover in an attempt to keep the goo from falling into the water. I was dubious about this move since late April is not a time in New England when one wants to be concerning oneself with keeping a pool clean. His decision so I let him deal with it in his way and kept my mouth shut. As May progressed, as I had predicted to myself, the pool was looking quite a bit like a pond. These ducks made regular visits through most of the month, having a swim and hanging out by their private pond. By the end of May, my husband starting taking care of it and making it more like a pool again, and the ducks didn’t return.

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July 6, 2014

Al fresco

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:32 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, day 16 of summer, was definitely a day to be outside. Hurricane Arthur left behind a day with very low humidity, gentle breezes and a high temperature of about 80°.

I started my time outside by removing a frog from my hot tub! Yes, you read that correctly; a small green frog was enjoying some steamy conditions when I opened the cover. No idea how it got in there since the cover is always closed when not in use. I guess there must be some gaps at the edges of the tub. (In my shock I forgot to take a picture!) It looked kind of like this one from last summer, but bigger.
frog visitor
I scooped it up and placed it out in the yard away from the hot tub.

Later in the day it was time for mowing the lawn, followed by listening to the Red Sox game on the radio.
looking around the yard 2
Far too nice of a day to sit inside and watch on tv.

When the game was over (Sox won dramatically in the bottom of the 9th), I decided to try out my new float in my new pool for a little while.
pool float
I purchased a twin sized air mattress meant for sleeping on. The warmth of the felty side on my back while my fingers dangled in the cool water was a pleasure, and so very comfortable.

Only Sarah was home with me last night, and I wasn’t quite ready to retire to the inside come dinner time, so we dined al fresco. Perfect way to complete a lovely outdoorsy kind of day.

July 4, 2014

Simple Day #14

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 9:40 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Happy 4th of July everyone! I was hoping to have some fireworks photos to share with you today, but the weather around here is not cooperating. The next-door town of East Longmeadow had its fireworks in a thunderstorm last night! I was not willing to trek out to see them. The next near-by fireworks, in the city of Springfield, are postponed to tomorrow due to bad weather expected here – heavy rain and wind backlashing from Hurricane Arthur’s ride up the coast.

Yesterday, day 14 of my 66 days of summer, was a simple easy-going kind of day. I started the day with some yoga. My lower back is acting up for the first time in a long time, disappointingly, and the yoga seemed to help loosen up what feels like tight, knotted muscles. I found this video some months ago that works well for me.

Later in the afternoon, my girls and I treated ourselves to some homemade ice cream at Elsie’s Creamery. Wish I had thought to take a picture of that for this summer journal. It seems the time that I get with both my girls is few and far between these days, even with Meghan home for the summer.

My pool is finally full,
Finally filled
but I don’t know when I will actually get in it. Not before tomorrow at the earliest with the weather forecast.

We are trying something new with this pool.
Saltwater pool
My sister installed one of these in her pool a couple years ago and loves it. No need to add chlorine with this. Salt and copper in this system work together to form a chlorine effect, if I understand correctly.

Since I’m not expecting to have any new fireworks shots to share with you, here is a link to my little slideshow from 3 years ago.

July 2, 2014

Pool Party? Days 11 &12

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:25 am
Tags: , ,

Ah, my relationship with the pool in my backyard! It is wonderful to have, but also requires much time, work and money be poured into it – literally. The pool and I have had good times. The pool and I have had bad times. Then after all that TLC, the pool just decided to give up on us, one of many victims of a harsh winter in this area.

We ordered a new pool and it has finally been installed. I’ve been through far too many hot and difficult pool installations so I begged my husband to please pay someone else to do it this time around! On Monday and Tuesday, a crew of hard working guys got it done with much more efficiency than what hubby and I would likely have mustered.

Monday’s progress:
New pool construction

Tuesday:
pool

It continues to fill from our garden hose as I type this blog post.
Filling

12,000 gallons takes a bit of time. We couldn’t remember exactly how long it takes, so I shut it off at bed time last night and turned it back on this morning just to be sure it didn’t fill too high over night (although I don’t really think that would have been an issue with how slowly it seems to be going).

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.

July 29, 2013

State of My Year

WordPress’s Daily Prompt today says to “Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.”

I’ve been receiving the Daily Prompt in my email for quite a long time now and often thought the idea presented sounded interesting to blog about, but I’ve rarely participated for no good reason other than being busy with other things or just being distracted by daily life. I was thinking I’d like to write a blog post today but wasn’t sure how to collect my thoughts. The prompt arrived in my email and seemed like an interesting “take stock” idea. The prompt calls it “mid-year” – it is the end of July, that’s really a bit past mid-year, isn’t it? It is also just a little past the mid-point of summer vacation from school too, so here’s where things are at for me.

Anticipation for Meghan’s move to campus has begun. We’ve been out shopping for dorm supplies.
dorm supplies
Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops have all provided us with some great deals and bargains to get her set up in the place she will live for 9 months starting on August 22nd. It is exciting and scary and happy and sad all at once. My stomach does flip-flops whenever I think about it.

My garden seems to be doing nicely. I’m pretty much keeping up with the weeding this year.
garden mid-summer
Those piles to the right of center are weeds I’ve pulled and hoed and raked, but I just haven’t removed from the garden yet. I’ve harvested some of nearly everything I’ve planted this year, including tomatoes.
garden harvest
I’m not used to having tomatoes until mid-August, so those early girls were a nice treat.

The butterfly bushes are in full bloom and the swallowtails and hummingbird moths have returned to drink their fill of nectar.
tiger swallowtail

hummingbird moth

Other plants surrounding my deck, I’m ashamed to admit, have not fared so well. During the intense heat wave most of the country endured a little over a week ago, I spent little time outside and forgot about my poor little potted plants needing water!
oops forgot to water them
Oops! I’ve never been so neglectful. I killed every one of my potted annuals, except for this mini-rose the girls gave me for Mother’s Day.
mini-rose
It was lucky enough to be planted in a “self-watering” container with a little reservoir in the bottom of the pot, so it survived. Maybe I should look for a few more of those containers, huh?

looks ok
Ah, the pool. It has been both a blessing and a thorn in my side this summer. I told you in this post about the liner tearing and needing replacing. Then, I explained here what happened when we did replace it. Since then, hoses have sprung leaks and needed replacing and parts have come loose, unbeknownst to me at the time, and drained a couple hundred gallons of water from the pool. Then last night, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I noticed the lights in the house were flickering. I looked around trying to figure out if there was a brown-out going on, when smoke billowing up from my backyard caught my eye! At that moment, a small burst of flame appeared in the area of the pool’s filter. I ran outside, unplugged the filter and turned on the hose. The flame was gone, but this was discovered:
yikes
I have no idea why but the power cord to the filter shorted out and fried. Goody, yet another pool part that needs replacing this year. I do feel lucky, however, that the flame didn’t go anywhere and cause any other damage.

Before the smoking adventure with my pool, we had just returned home from our annual camping trip. This is a tradition 20+ years in the making which you can read about here if you are interested. I didn’t take any pictures this year on our trip to Tolland State Forest in Otis, Ma, except for this pretty great one of our whole group of campers, couples and families who have been friends since we were teenagers/young adults:
da gang
We were all pretty happy we made it through the weekend without a drop of rain. That isn’t usually the case for our camping trips! In fact, this past weekend had to be one of the nicest we’ve ever experienced while camping: sunny skies, pleasant temperatures and no humidity.

I am looking forward to the rest of what summer holds. My younger daughter turns 16 this week! Party and learner’s permit coming soon. Our annual vacation to Maine is less than two weeks away.

That’s the “now” of my life at this little-more-than-mid-point of the year. How is your “now”?

June 28, 2013

Party Prepping

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:01 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Tomorrow is Meghan’s graduation party. Party supplies are invading my dining room.
party supplies (1)
There’s a borrowed crockpot in the foreground with a bunch of serving utensils I just happened to find in my basement yesterday. (How weird is that?) And yup, there’s a box of Legos there too. Not for the graduate (although Meghan did say she wouldn’t put it past her friends to want to play with them, lol) but for younger guests we are expecting. We decided to rent a church hall for the party since I really don’t have room for 50 party guests in my house if the weather is bad. New England weather is just so unpredictable in summertime. So I thought it would be good to bring along toys and games to keep children amused. My dining room has become the collection area for everything we have to remember to take with us tomorrow.

party supplies (2)

There’s a big ol’ bag of chocolate for the chocolate fountain, which I never did experiment with before the party darn it. The bag with the frilly stuff sticking out has balloon weights which I actually thought would make cool centerpieces.

party supplies (3)

Decorations, disposable pans and trays. I can’t tell you how many visits I’ve made to the local dollar stores! Turns out they are a great place for party supplies. Today I’m going to go do the grocery shopping for all the food we are serving. Wish me luck that I actually remember it all in one trip!

In other news, the girls both made the newspaper about a week ago in our local section for the prom:
kids in the paper
I thought that was kind of cool.

And our pool has been returned to up-and-running status:
pool restored
It was a hot and nasty job, but we got it completed with the help of the kids. Unfortunately, we did not get it completed without an injury, dang it!
foot injury
Lovely, isn’t it? Actually, I am extremely grateful that’s all that it is – a bruise, a little swelling, small cuts. It happened when our pool ladder collapsed with me on it! I was climbing out of the empty pool after laying out the new liner in the center. When I turned to go down the outside of the ladder it gave and tumbled forward into the pool, taking the side of the pool and me down with it. Parts of the ladder crashed on to my foot. Hurt like a son-of-a-“B” at the time! I feel pretty lucky, actually, that is all that it was – very happy not to be spending the summer in a cast.
Well, I need to get moving on my errands for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to leave me links to your June-Photo-Hunt-Thingy in the comments of this post!

June 22, 2012

What I’ve Been Up To

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 12:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve been out of school for a week now and I thought it was about time to show you what I’ve been up to and what’s going on around the yard lately.  Of course we had recital this past Saturday, so getting ready for that took up time but I’ve been puttering around taking care of other tasks as well.

garden progress

The garden is progressing along nicely.  I’ve had one major weeding session since planting everything a few weeks ago and I’ve been pretty good about remembering to water in the morning when needed.  Fairly low maintenence so far, and I’ve got…
baby cucumbers

baby cucumbers,

baby summer squash

baby summer squash,

baby zucchini

baby zucchini, and even

baby cayenne pepper

a baby cayenne pepper!

The raspberries are coming along too..
raspberries

..I’ve already eaten a few!

As for those flowery-type thingies that I love so much, the bee balm is back..
bee balm

..and I’ve purchased and re-potted a few others, like this geranium,
geranium

and this cute purple, puffy algeratum:
IMG_8395

In addition to weeding, watering and repotting, I’ve been scrubbing and conditioning too. No, not me! Well, okay, yes me, but I was referring to this:

pool finally clean!

After quite a bit of opening work, the pool is finally ready for use.  Just in time too!  Here in the northeast, as is much of the country, we’ve been experiencing our first official heat wave of summer with temps in the 90’s for 3 days in a row.

I’ve also been taking care of this little patch:
yard work

This past spring, hubby finally finished burning all the debris that was left behind by all the violent weather we experienced in these parts last year. Unfortunately, we had to use a spot in the middle of the lawn to do it since the fire had to be a certain distance from the house but within reach of the garden hose.

I shoveled out the pile of coals, loosened the earth beneath and planted this patch of new seed: watching grass grow
Scott’s tells me I’ll have nice thick grass here in about a month.

I won’t let you think I’ve been doing nothing but work over the last week.  I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy myself in my happy place, too:

My happy place

Happy summer everyone!  So what have you been up to lately?