Tag Archives: new england winter



I know this is an “old cliche”, but the older I get the faster life is flying by.    As a bored little kid I would hear my mom or dad say “There just isn’t enough time in a day!”   I would roll my eyes, go climb a tree or hang out with my siblings.    I now hear my mother in me every time I say that, almost daily.

Have been reading a lot, giving my wrists a break from the various repetitive chores I make them do.   I have to have my hands busy or my head goes to some “weally dawk dawk places!”    So with splints on my wrists, I’m kind of limited right now to what I can do. And i have this sneaking feeling that when I get back from vacation I will be having surgery on my left wrist.   It has actually been a few years since I have had surgery, so why not?   Rolling my eyes.

I am trying to stay away from the news.  I find it so depressing, and some of it downright terrifying.   I don’t want to be ignorant to what is going on in the world, but what can I?  One middle aged quickly approaching Senior Citizen, creative mind do to change it?  The other day I was remembering a time in my life where it was difficult to express my opinion on things.  (Shut up, speaking to my friends, and they know who they are here!)  Now?  I just simply don’t have an opinion, or certainly not one I offer outside of my “safe circle”.    This has what our Country has become.    It’s so sad, pathetic actually.  There is no more discussions, varying opinions spoken.   I think we are nearing dangerous territory here.

Have been thinking about my mom.  She considered herself a political activist in her later years.  And let me tell you, if you were one to pick up her mail at the post office, you would agree!   My political views are not based on how I was raised.  They’re not based on my mothers opinion, or my fathers.   For decades I stayed clear of it, I just didn’t want any part of it.  And now?  I don’t even consider voicing my opinions for fear of attacks.  Who needs that?  My views are based on what I have seen, read, learned in my life.  It just so happens that for the last election my entire family (siblings included) voted the same direction.   Amazing really, if you knew us!

I guess in some ways its easier, because I spend my time doing things that make me productive.  But those sleepless nights when I pick up my phone and click on “news” i REGRET it each time I do this.   Who the hell can sleep after they read what is going on in this world?  And I’m not even talking about politics now.   There is some pretty scary things happening, and some pretty scary people out there doing bad things!  So I just stick close to home, and this isn’t good for me because I have a tendency to isolate anyways.   I am fortunate that I have very good, intelligent, caring friends who check on me, and suggest when my social life is out of balance, or nonexistent.     It’s safer!

Cabin Fever hit a couple weeks ago.   We have been fortunate (in some ways) because we haven’t had a lot of snow this winter.  It just makes winter so much easier.  But I’m reminded of the good a blanketed snow covering does, too.    But the polar vortex?  Holy hell!     We didn’t see it too bad here in Vermont, maybe -18 below or so.   I mean, that’s cold, but nothing like what they had in Midwest.   We’re talking some fairly unbelievable temps!  Add windchill on, wowser!  It was sad that there were fatalities in the double digits.

That’s about all I wanted to say.   Finding I need to pick my writing back up, and have also enrolled in a writing class for next month.  Rather excited about it.   But at 57, man I find I can be pretty stupid.   I will be writing and get stuck on a word, like “was”.   W A S ?   Really,   Sounds like W U Z.     There have been times I have asked Siri how to spell a word that I “used to” know!

Here’s hoping wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, experiencing that you’re doing it well.   We all face crap we don’t want to, and there are times it feels like a constant struggle for me, but all in all, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I do practice gratitude every day.    Did you know (according an article on the internet so you KNOW it has to be true!)   NOT!   If you say 3 things daily that you are grateful for, for a span of 28+ days, you can actually change your thinking process?  You can pull yourself out of a rut?  I find it to be true.

Here’s to you!   Have a great day!    I have been listening to A LOT of music which is helping my winter blahs!



How stupid can I be?


What an interesting night I had last night.   There are four of us who kind of look out for each other, having met at a particularly vulnerable time in our lives.  We check in with each other, and help each other as we can.  One of the four is in a bad way.   It is very hard to hear and see this.   Cutting us out slowly, which would be fine if he was moving on to better things, he is not.  He is struggling.  This kind, gentle, intelligent, sensitive man is, in my opinion, in a bad way.  Having been majorly betrayed by those he trusted and loved most in the world, it is very hard to watch someone you love go through this.

With goodness in our heart and looking out for his welfare, all with good intentions, my girlfriend and I (2/4) decided to drive up to see him, to check on him.   20 degrees out, it had snowed yesterday, not ideal driving conditions.   Also, heading out at 9;15pm at night, with a 35 minute ride ahead of us was not the smartest thing we could do.

Off to Dunkin Donuts to get hot chocolate and iced coffee we made our way north to the town he lives in.  Both of us frustrated with the hard winter we are having, alone with the responsibilities and challenges of singlehood, we validated for each other the sometimes harsh realities and difficulties in basic survival.  Living in Vermont, New England is expensive.  It is beautiful, but it is expensive.   Winter presents more challenges, and while we are both survivors, we are also limited.    I am fortunate, I have wonderful neighbors.  They help me out when they can with the yard, shoveling, salting the icy walks and drive.  It is nice to know that others care.

Now in pitch dark, with very little light from the moon, no street lights, and no lights in houses showing signs of civilization, we first took the wrong road, quickly figured out after going up this long windy drive.    We found the road he lives on, and it is very secluded there.  It’s quiet beautiful.  He enjoys his solitude and he certainly can have it there.   As we made the left into his long and windy driveway we noticed his car which obviously didn’t make it up the drive,  was in a few yards from the road.  There would be no driving up in 4wd to check on him.  In the pitch dark, in heavy 3-4′ of snow in areas, we decided to let things be.    As I backed out, which was difficult to see, we went off the side of the road into 4-5′ of snow.   Stuck.   Stuck.   Stuck.

For a good hour the two of us worked on getting unstuck.  My girlfriend who is as short as I am tall, had the idea to put twigs and branches underneath the tires.  It would have worked if we had better access to the bushes.  Thankful I had kitty litter in the back of the jeep we put that in front and behind the wheels, kicking away snow as we go.  I had on my big LL Bean boots, with no socks.   Brilliant of me…   Now drenched, her up to her waist and mine to my thighs, below freezing our efforts went in vain, sliding back down into the hole.   My girlfriend has neuropathy in her feet.  I was getting very concerned for her, she would not be able to feel the cold, thus the perilous frost bite that comes after being exposed to the cold, and soaking wet, that long.   After realizing that we needed assistance she messaged our friend who we are assuming was in bed.   This is a person who wants to be left alone.  I know when I am in that place I just want to be left to my own demise, and unfortunately that isn’t particularly healthy or helpful… Anyway he messages us “Are you kidding?  Get in the car and stay there, I’ll be down with the snow blower.    IMG_1238Jumping back into the jeep, turning the heat on, we realize there is only cold air blowing…no heat.  Great!  After 15-20 minutes he made his way down the very long windy dark drive with his snow blower.  He was not happy.  I asked if he was mad at me and his only reply was “Yup”.  And then informed us he had locked himself out of his house…   After 25-30 minutes of snow blowing a shovel was necessary to get below the jeep, the tires.   Of course I didn’t have one.   He got into the jeep to see what exactly it was doing to determine how to get us unstuck.  Not familiar with the vehicle he is seeking the 4wd buttons and hits the sunroof button.  Snow collapses in all over him.  He maintains his composure, have to give him credit for that.   This is a very kind person, very kind.  Clearly he didn’t want to see us, and obviously didn’t want to be out, now at 11:30pm getting us unstuck.  He hikes back up his driveway now going further to his barn to find a shovel.  He returns, by now I have my girlfriend staying in the jeep, soaking wet jeans, up to her waist, sub freezing temps, he shovels for several minutes, has my girlfriend drive as he and I pushed.  He, obviously with much more strength, falls flat on his face after the jeep moves but not to a point where we were unstuck.   More shoveling.  He slips into the drivers seat and we push as he goes in reverse.  He succeeded and backed the jeep rather quickly down to the road.

“Will you come to one of our houses, we will bring you back in daylight?”   NO.   Good grief, all of our good intentions turned into more work for him.  We ask again “No, I have a long day tomorrow”.   With that he made his way back up the drive to the snow blower and headed back, in the pitch dark, on the long windy drive.

As we jumped into the jeep to head back home we were both quiet for a couple of minutes.   What a disaster this has turned out to be.  And how stupid we, intelligent, obviously educated to the dangers of winter, went off in the middle of the night to very rural back hills Vermont.   I apologized profusely.   My girlfriend is very cool, and like any single female who lives in Vermont and owns your own home, you have to be tough or very wealthy to hire things done.    We had both maintained our sense of humor through it all, and that continued on the way home though now our moods are a bit more somber.  Assuring me we’ll all be well, she is a good friend.

The 30 minutes drive back to her house with soaking wet jeans, no heat was long.  Both of us were shivering.    I asked her to message me in a few minutes as to how she felt, again concerned for her with all the challenges she has physically.  Both she and I have compromised immune systems.   This was really not a good thing.    It took me another 20 minutes to get home, now past 1am, I read a message from her that she is okay, drinking tea, dry and we bid each other a good nights sleep which we both had no doubt, was not going to happen.

Both of us having two dogs to take out before bedtime, both of us doing so with our already wet clothes because the last thing you want to do when you get out of them, when you peel the jeans off your body, is go back out again.   With our dogs taken care of, we went to bed…

About 5am the chill started to dissipate my tired body.  Covered with 3 comforters, surrounded with animals whom serve as little space heaters, I laid and thought about how stupid I had been.  I grew up here, I know better than that.  I let my concern for a friend taint my better judgment.  I really screwed up.  I put not only myself but my two friends in harms way.  THINK Donna… THINK.   My therapist is not going to be happy with me regarding this one, having discussed and worked on making my own welfare first.  I failed last night, and I failed two friends.

I fell asleep about 6:30, woke up to the phone at 8:30.    Off to help out my mom as a good daughter would.   I’m just arriving home, tired, very somber and very grateful that we are all okay.

I’m not sure when we will hear from our friend again.   We surely pissed him off more.   On the trip home we discussed how he must realize how much we care for him, and that now it was time to step back and hope he makes his way out of the darkness.   We are not totally helpless, we surely can pray for him, send good thoughts his way.

I haven’t heard from my girlfriend for 9 hours.  I know she had two doctors appointments.   I am hoping that I will find her in good health though undoubtedly fatigued.   I am about to set up the vaporizer in my bedroom to hopefully stunt this cold coughing that I picked up overnight.  She was coughing prior to our trip, so obviously there is concern for her there. Update: I just spoke with her, she is doing alright, encouraging me to let it all go… it’s over, done…IMG_1239

I guess the lesson,  todays lesson…. we cannot help someone who doesn’t want the help.  We can reach out our hands to offer our support, but we can’t fix this for him just as he couldn’t fix it for us, had it been one of us in this place.     I do believe it will be a while until we hear from him again.   I do want to believe that when he comes out the other side we will sit in our favorite diner, laughing about last nights adventure.   I do hope he is able to take away from this that we are his friends, that we care, very much so.    If wishes were horses, we would all ride….

Am now heading back to the warmth of the comforters piled on my bed, grateful that we are all okay.     The fireplace that normally offers penetrating heat, well the tank is on “e”.   My fuel gauge is at 1/4, and we still have a couple months of cold winter weather so I’m keeping the temperature at 62.  My house made some very loud and scary sounds, twice now. I am concerned about the roof. Tomorrow we are getting freezing rain, ice… this could prove to be interesting. The older I get?  The older winter in Vermont gets.  As I sit in my house with now four broken windows, portable air conditioners that didn’t make it out of the windows before snow fall, a door which will not open…I’m thinking maybe it’s time to give it up, give up winters in Vermont…My beloved Vermont.

Okay so I’m not stupid… I just didn’t exercise my best judgment!

If you want to bet on anything today, bet that I will not share this experience with my dad…. he taught us to be smarter than this!

Tea? Chai yes!


My furry kids have been ANGELS the past couple of days.  I think they were aware of how overwhelmed I was feeling.   Yup, both little and big angels.  Nice break!   Thank you for the suggestions guys… I made notes and am heading to youtube!  ♥

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t socked in the mouth or face, therefore I am afraid I have a sinus infection.  My upper teeth hurt, my cheek feels like it was punched and I am tired…tired…tired.   Knowing that my thyroid is also out of whack, I am actually looking forward to seeing my doctor.  Okay, well not looking forward to, but certainly not dreading it.   I was going to go have bloodwork done today, but because of the snow, stayed home.  I have spent far too much time the past couple of days, sleeping.   You will know when I am feeling better as I will start to post today’s lesson, gratitude and artwork.  At the moment it just seems like too much work!

Yah, we got 4-6″ of snow today, and more is coming tomorrow.  Yep, February.   I don’t want to think about how many weeks we have left.  I am trying hard to stay positive and remind myself how beautiful it is.   That is fairly easy to do, just look out the window, but when I see the piles of snow, a couple feet of snow blanketed over my flower beds I wonder… will we ever see ground again?  Seriously sick of it.  Ready for mud!

I am off to go enjoy my cup of chai tea…ultra spice!   I foresee tomato soup in the near future [dinner]…  Have a good one!




And the beats goes on….


Today’s Lesson:   Practice, patience, practice patience, practice patience….eventually rears progress!

Today’s Gratitude:   That Miss Sophie did her business outside and is obviously trainable.   Smart dog!

Hallelujah!   Sophie didn’t poop or pee in the house!   I got up with them at 7, brought them out, fed Sophie so she is not obnoxious while I try to catch a couple more hours of sleep.    Yesterday I found out some crucial information that I think is going to help this house of ill repute!   First off, the cellar was like a mine field, so I now know when she goes down there she needs to go out.  I have also added another lock to the cellar door in the form of a shim and nail….Man does she get ticked off when she tries to get down and can’t get there, but it also alerts me that she needs to go out.  While disarming the mine field I made the decision that she was getting WAY to much food, so she is going to be cut back.

Well, further investigation I learned that it wasn’t the amount of food I was feeding her but her talent to get into things that she shouldn’t, like a 25 lb bag of cat food!   She has just been self feeding, snacking at her own convenience.   The 25 lb bag is down to,  I would say 10 lbs!    So now this has been corrected.  I put a plastic container over the tops of each bags and the poor baby can’t get into them, at least without hearing her!     One more thing, she will not do both businesses in one trip.   I take her out, bring her back in, then take her out again…   Apparently she’s smart enough to know that trip one is #1, trip two is #2?  🙂    Suffice to say, I am happy today with the progress I see.    The cats, however, aren’t yet feeling any love for her yet.   2 out of 3 are still double in size and Sophie has figured out that they have no front claws.  I think she finds it entertaining when they swat her across her nose a few times.   Fearless!

So last night I decided to put a color rinse in my hair.  Typically I have a hard time breathing when I’m subjected to these chemicals but having a cold and sinus issues I thought, oh what the heck, I can’t breathe anyway!  So away I went.   Being the only member of my family who wasn’t an athlete (major klutz) I missed my head entirely on the first squirt.  Couldn’t see where it went so I figured I’d clean it up later.  Once the crap was all in my hair and timer was set I went back into the bathroom to find where the squirt had landed.  First know, I have medium brown hair, so the color I put in is “medium brown”…..  Well, it splatted on the back of my new toilet seat cover, (opened), and seat.   Because I didn’t clean it up immediately (it was white I couldn’t see it yet), it ran down the cover.   Oh God!    Off to get some bleach which only dried it.    I’m looking at it thinking, my guests will take a look and think “she needs to cut down on fiber!”      I’m going to try other things this week when I can get to Walmart….

While my hair was processing I decided to soak my feet in sea crystals which works great on calloused winter feet.   So I gather things to do, drink on the corner of the couch, and stick my tired feet in this heavenly mix.   Sophie is watching me.  A couple of times I pulled my feet out, wiped them, and went to get something else to entertain me for the half hour.   Over comes scoobette.  She sees that my feet are in it, and I take them out on occasion.  Well, why should she miss out on all the fun?  Yup, anything but delicately she smacks her foot in the basin, claws on top of my feet and water everywhere.   I sigh.    The cats look at me with an expression that says “Well momma, have you figured out yet that she’s a n absolute maniac?”

Soon we will have a family meeting.   I’m sure the girls will want it while Sophie is upstairs napping.   The three of them have gathered in the living room, as if having the family meeting without me.   I know what they are going to say….I just don’t know what I am going to do!

Off to see what the big shit is up to!     Have a great day!  ♥

Today’s artwork:  “Winter’s Snowman”Winter's Snowman

Cold inside [head] and outside


Today’s lesson:   It pays to keep my house organized, go grocery shopping regularly because I am not caught short if I come down sick, but quick

Today’s gratitude:   Vick’s Vapo Steam, Vick’s Vapo Steam, Vick’s Vapo Steam

So, I dialed the number….  “Hello”….. “hello”……’hello?……”Hello”……”hello”….. “DONNA?”   “yes”…. “Oh my god you sound like a man!”  I gently reach down between my legs …. “Nope, still a woman!”

I’ve slept again all day, this time with the vaporizer blasting smelly stuff into the air.  What a difference that has made!   I’ll spare you the details from the salt water rinses and share with you the success I have had with Vick’s Steam stuff.    Seriously, good stuff.   I used to get the generic brand but no longer.  It is worth the extra dollar for this.

Even with the barrage of animals being chased up and over my bed from the mischievous Sophie, I was able to get some quality rest.   This dog has come into this house like a “hurricane a comin!”      In the past two days she has managed to open and eat the entire “Mega Mega pack” of cat treats, chewed the cord off my new computer (which was unplugged so I could clean the rug) and chomped on a cushion of my couch which I caught her instantly so there was little damage.  Still, I have waited 10 years for a new living room set.   Though used, you would never know it, and I love how comfortable it is and how it looks in the room.    Now she is treading on VERY thin ice!  The printer a friend bought me, which I have had absolutely no problems with it, and it has made my life/job so much easier.   I have yet to accept this one.    She also has managed to jump up and eat the cat food which is currently on the island because I just don’t know where else to feed them.  She knows how to open the cellar door and does so every few hours and runs around down there.  Not sure exactly what she’s doing but I’m about to find out as I make my way with this big head down to change the kitty litter.  May the force be with me!   She is certainly more work than I wanted, with that said I am not saying this isn’t good for me.  At the moment she is barking ferociously at who knows what.    I think she might have seen the squirrel that’s hanging around in the cellar/walls because the last trip down she went ballistic barking.  Maybe she’ll scare it right out of the place!

With the area rug in my art room still cropped up (it seems I’m cleaning it every day), I know if I can’t get over to get the crate soon, I will end up killing this dog.   I am, of course, a blow hard because I barely have enough energy to come down a flight of stairs to feed the little shits!

Not much to talk about today.  I have a lot of gratitude that I am safe from the cold, have a comfortable bed to rest in, and a vaporizer that I think I just may ask to marry!    Plenty of soup, animal food in the house, juice…for an unplanned cold it surely feels like I expected it given all the supplies on hand.   Gift!  Such a gift!

Well, I’m off to the cellar, wish me luck.   I’m almost afraid of what I will find down there but if I don’t get down there today my cats will disown me, or worse…

PS  Back from the cellar.    All I will say is her food intake is being cut IN HALF!

Stay healthy !   This cold’s a bitch!

Today’s Artwork:    “King of the barn!” Chicken