Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 20, 2015

I got it!

New glass

Woo-hoo it worked out this time! B&H had another one available used, so I have my 85mm f1.8 lens! Happened to glance at my email early Wednesday morning and had a notification from Canon Price Watch that one was available. I crossed my fingers that the link would take me to B&H so I could use my gift card balance toward the purchase. I got to the site and no one else had snapped it up just yet as has happened several times over the last month. I couldn’t believe how quickly it arrived – I received it early afternoon yesterday (Thursday)! I can’t wait to “play” – it is supposed to be a wonderful portrait lens (watch out my darling daughters!) and nature lens that creates gorgeously clear photos with beautiful background bokeh. Thank you B&H for super quick service, Canon Price Watch for the great notification system and Becky for telling me about this service!

I’ve been on school vacation this week and keeping myself busy with a variety of tasks, visits, shopping, exercise and the like. Snow keeps piling up outside, as I am sure you are sick of hearing about from New Englanders. Today we have the “joy” of dangerous wind chills. Current temperature is about 2 degrees outside with wind chill making it feel like -20. They are saying we are going to get another couple inches tomorrow – who can even tell the difference any more? – then rain and 40 degrees on Sunday and back down into the teens for temperatures for back to school on Monday. Sounds like a mess in the making to me!

I’ve got a few more bird photos to share. I remembered another bird feeder that I purchased last year that I thought did a better job of baffling the squirrels since it has a large “squirrel baffle” on the underside. But this morning, what did I find sitting in the feeder? Yeah, you know. But I didn’t think to grab a picture. I think the snow is so tall the squirrels are just leaping into the feeder! I did manage to get a couple shots of a Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal before all the seed quickly disappeared (have to go buy some more).
shecard

hecard

New to my feeders this year is a northern mockingbird. It seems to really enjoy the suet cake like the little downy woodpecker I showed you the other day.
northern mockingbird

I guess that’s all for now. Sarah and I will be on our way out to Worcester this afternoon to visit Meghan and go out to dinner. Need to figure out an interesting place to go. With any luck I will have not have to mention the “s” word to you again in my next blog post!

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February 9, 2015

Guess what? It’s another snow day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:46 am
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Looks like I called it right in my last post. I thought maybe you’d hear from me on another snow day, and here we are. Between the Martin Luther King holiday and snow days we’ve had, I’ve been to school on Monday only twice in 2015. And next week is February break from school, so perhaps February 23rd will be my next Monday at work.

In this post from a January snow day, I was playing with the lenses for my iPhone and I showed you my front yard with bird bath visible. Have a look at where the snow is on that bird bath now:
Snow piling up

Speaking of lenses, I was rather happy on Saturday morning when I thought I was going to get a great deal from B&H Photo on that lens I’ve had my eye on, the Canon 85mm 1.8. I received a notification from Canon Pricewatch that there was a used one available from B&H. I quickly went to their site and found it still available. I put it in my cart. Now B&H does not process web orders from Friday night until Saturday evening. According to the timer on the site, shopping checkout would be available again around 6:45pm. I left the site open all day and checked that the lens was still in my cart. I returned to start checkout around 6:50pm and the lens was gone from cart! I don’t understand this facet of doing business. Why was another customer allowed to buy something I had placed in the cart? Were multiple customers allowed to place the same item in their carts and the first one back to pay for it, gets it? If I had known that was the story, I would’ve been at the ready minutes before the checkout opened. I guess now I know better if I try again. Needless to say I was hugely disappointed.

Back to the snow day. Icicles are getting big
Icicles getting long

and temperatures are staying small.
Sigh

Birds have rediscovered my feeding area, enjoying what the squirrels leave behind. I found a cute little downy woodpecker on a suet cake yesterday.
downy2

downy1

But boy let me tell you, cabin fever is hitting me hard. Sarah just got back from Florida, my sister is on a cruise as we speak, and I know teacher-friends will be taking off for warm climes during the February break. I’ve been trolling Expedia daydreaming about making my escape. Anyone have any tips for scoring a great deal?

December 9, 2014

Two Hour Delay

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 7:44 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I had absolutely no idea this morning there was any weather in the works that could call for a two hour delay to the start of school. I got in the shower at 5:30 am like I always do, and apparently shortly after that, the phone calls came in: one for the district I work in and one for the district I live in – 2 hour delay for icy roads due to some freezing rain in the wee hours.

Too wide awake to go back to bed at this point, plus I was already showered (wet hair), dressed and had put make up on by the time I discovered the calls on my cell phone. What to do? Make a cup of coffee (darn it no half n half or almond milk in the house, have to go with regular milk) and sit down to write a blog post.

That crazy-busy time of year is in full swing. Did LOTS of shopping this past weekend plus Amazon will be making regular deliveries to this house over the next few days. The tree is up.
Tree '14

I missed having Meghan around so much last year when we did the tree that this year I used “FaceTime” on our iPhones so we could have a video call while we decorated. Sarah and I picked out some ornaments for Meghan to “hang”. Here’s a couple of them:
Hers
Snowman on the left has her name on it and the one on the right is in her birthstone color. There were various others that were considered “her” ornanments and we showed them to her one by one on the phone and then pointed the phone at the tree so she could choose where to put them. It wasn’t the same as having her here of course, but it was nicer than last year when I was really feeling her absence.

Christmas time also includes regular embarrassment of my dogs:
Yearly dog embarrassment
Daphne was a good sport about it long enough for me to get a photo. Teddy was less cooperative. He had the hat off before I could focus the camera.

Remember my post where I talked about changing traditions? Two of my Christmas traditions seem to be going by the wayside this year. I don’t know if they are permanent changes or just temporary. I don’t think I will be sending Christmas cards or putting up my Christmas Village this year. I usually make photo cards with cute pictures of my daughters and dogs on them in November. Time has gotten away from me. I know it isn’t too late to make them, address them and send them out before Christmas, but I feel like it is one added “pressure” to my time these days at this point. So to any family or friends who may be reading this who normally gets a card from me, don’t feel I’ve dropped you from the list! I feel the same way about the Christmas village. It is a huge labor to set up and to take down. Perhaps I will find some space here and there around the house to display a few favorite pieces.

How is your December going so far? Holiday hustle and bustle for you?

July 15, 2014

Doldrumming

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 4:38 pm
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Scattered thunderstorms. Flash flood and possible tornado watches. High humidity.

The dog days are definitely not over, but they seem to have arrived. I’m not one to complain about warm temperatures as you know. I do complain, however, about any kind of weather that keeps me inside. I told Robin this morning that I was wondering if you can have cabin fever in the summer. Bearyweather said for sure you can. Things aren’t as bad here as it sounds like it is in northern Minnesota right now, but I’m definitely getting antsy. My injured back (on the mend) and now the weather are conspiring I’m sure. Tomorrow’s forecast is no better.

Yesterday, day 25, I worked on and finished the project I referenced in my second to last post. I don’t think the person this project is for will find their way to this blog post, but to be on the safe side, I’ll wait to show it to you on a different day. Here’s where I spent most of the day yesterday:
Work space

My old-fashioned but still working scanner is on the end table just past my computer. Photo albums are scattered about the table, more than you can see in the shot. I’m quite happy with the results of the project and hope the recipient likes it just as much when I have the chance to present it.

Today, day 26, is an inside-y kind of day too. I went out and did some errands to at least get out of the house for a while, but now I’m back in, looking out at the rain.
IMG_1129

IMG_1131

As I said to Robin in my comment, I’m definitely looking for some adventuring. Planning to seek some out in the days to come, weather-permitting!

July 4, 2014

Simple Day #14

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

May 25, 2013

Stream-of-Consciousness-Blogging…

It is raining here today…cold for May 25th…”the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down, in rushing rising rivlets, til the water crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet’s!”…I should write a blog post to pass the time on this rainy day…really wish I was outside planting the veggie garden…what could I write a blog post about?

Mmmmm, chocolate…that chocolate fountain I borrowed for Meghan’s graduation party looks very interesting…
chocolate fountain

maybe I should experiment with it before Meghan’s party!

Blog, blog, blog…I need some inspiration…stuff I want to talk about but I can’t go outside and take pictures…hey the rhododendron is blooming and I can see that through my dining room windows…
rhododendron

I can see the perennial bed too…
perrenial bed

Not a great picture, but more complete looking than the last one I posted…I wonder why Flickr changed their layout…have to learn how to navigate it all over again while I post photos to this blog post…finally found the link to the archives that I complained to Kate about in my comment to this lovely post of hers…I wonder if blogspot users get notifications from wordpress users…Boy I really wish I could have been outside planting today…I hope my poor little plants aren’t getting drowned with all this rain…
waiting to be planted

At least I got the whiskey barrel planter done earlier this week, but still so much more to do…so much to do coming up soon…prom, graduation, recital, graduation party…at least I got the party invitations sent out…Inkgarden.com did such a nice job…

Ooh, hey, the bearded irises are budding…not as many buds out there as I’d like to see, darn it…
irises soon!

Wait a second, I thought I bought a pink foxglove for the perennial bed…that looks white…hmmm….
foxglove

Not going to get any new pictures of the baby robins in all this rain…oh but hey! I do have a lovely picture of my baby girl to share this week…she’d probably hate it if she knew I just referred to her as “baby” girl…”Moooommmmmmm I am going to be 16 in 2 months”…oh don’t remind me…another with a driver’s license soon…so proud of her for receiving that computer award!…sophomore with highest grade point average in computer class…wahoo!…

sarahaward

Blogging, blogging, blogging…where will I find some inspiration? 😉

March 24, 2013

Desperately Seeking Springtime

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:44 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Like so many of us in the northern parts of this country, I am more than ready for springtime warmth to take over. The sun actually came out today, but the beautiful blue skies might fool one into believing that it was warmer outside than the thermometer displayed.
reaching for spring
Those blue skies and visible sunshine lured me outside with my camera in a hunt for any possible signs of spring around my yard. I was surprised to find a few.
The snow is thankfully melting and I’m hoping we are done with accumulating snow for the season.
melting snow
At the edge of my yard, where the snow banks were, I noticed an array of shapes were left behind.
snow remains
The more I looked, the more I noticed a little menagerie lined up at the edge of my lawn. Can you guess what I saw? Leave your guesses in the comment section and I’ll tell you what I saw in my next post.
snow shape 1

snow shape 2

snow shape 3

snow shape 4

snow shape 5

In addition to the melting snow, I found
daffodil shoots
daffodil shoots in snow
lilac buds
lilac bud
iris sprouts
iris growth
rhododendron buds
rhododendron buds
new chives
spring chives
and tree buds
red buds on blue sky
I’m trying very hard to convince myself that weather that feels like spring isn’t too far away. The birds that were singing while I was outside today seem to believe it is true. It is time, Old Man Winter, to release us from your clutches!

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!

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