Tag Archives: vermont

Enough snow!

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Well, a couple feet of snow fell on my lawn today.   I haven’t gone out, tomorrow.  I just opened the door, looked, and slammed it.  It is still snowing.   Yup!   Tomorrow it will be fun shoveling the car out of it.

Spent the day working on my first pet portrait.  By the time I went to bed last night I had the eyes, and that was enough to make me feel good.   I’ve never tried doing this before.  I have rarely, if ever, painted real animals.   Painting from a photograph that the details get blurred when you zoom it.

At least I can tell it’s a Corgi, and I think I’ve captured his big personality.  But fur?  That’s for another day.   I am learning from last weeks painting over tantrum to just leave it and relook at it in the morning.

I really don’t mind all the snow, as long as I don’t have to go out in it.  Thursday morning, I do.    That will depend on how they are doing tomorrow with snow removal.   There’s a shitload of snow to find a place for!

Had a very relaxing day, was one with myself, painting.  It was nice not to have to fight off the itty bitty shitty committee that resides in my head.  Well, a little.  But not totality.  That’s progress.

On this 14th day of March, I’m excited to think that winter is almost over.  It’s much easier to say that looking at the date then out the window.

Hope you had a great day!   Blessings!

 

“All my life’s a circle” -Tom Chapin

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I love the ebb and flow of life, friendships.   Tonight I had an absolutely joyful conversation with my best friend from high school.   Filled with laughter, and being the sap I am, a few tears, I feel so good right now.     “Old friends, they mean much more to me than the new friends, because they know where you are, and they know where you’ve been!”.    If you’ve never heard this song I suggest you get your butt to Spotify!   Tom Chapin, the late Harry Chapin’s brother wrote it.   Great song.

There is a major, positive shift happening with me.   It’s exciting.   I’ve had to take double takes and rub my eyes to see if I were dreaming.   I’m very grateful for this new upswing.  Grateful and ready!

It’s been ridiculously humid here in VT.    I remind myself what Winter looks like, what it looked like this past winter, and I stay in the air conditioning and shut my lips!   As I drove to Town today there were neighbors out chopping, splitting wood, getting ready for Old Man Winter. image   I thought to myself, wow, the irony.  The hottest day of the year and they’re preparing for the coldest.  Such is life in New England.  Such is life.

I’m painting and designing well.  Very pleased with that.  Purchased a couple new brushes today (which I just don’t do) but mine were REALLY ratty.   It’s funny how a $25 purchase can make me feel like a queen!   It really is the little things in life.

My house is not dirty but an absolute clutter hole.    I laugh at how organized I feel, and am getting, amidst it all.   To someone coming in?  What the heck happened here?  But to me, I see organization, progress.    More gratitude!

I am very pleased with the direction my life is going.    Thank you, God.

And now I’m off to watch some tv before Lilly and I retire.    I have been up for 30 hrs.   This is not good, but what is good is that I SHOULD sleep really well tonight.

Hope you are having a great day!   🙂

Shhhh, don’t talk so loud!

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Yesterday I commented on a friend’s facebook post regarding ice to stop a migraine.   “I’m fortunate that ice works well for me on migraines”.   The minute I hit send I wish I hadn’t.   Consequences… This morning I woke up with a migraine that was a bit different than most of those I have.  This encompassed my entire head, including top.   I had every ice pack out of my freezer, and a makeshift one, it did nothing.   I took a medication, refreshened all the ice and debated whether to call someone, or rescue.   Thankfully, the third shift of ice that I had my entire head and neck packed in, relief came.   This is one of those times I wish I didn’t live alone, and then again, when I have a migraine, even a delightful chirp of a cricket can sound like firecrackers.  It is what it is.

Last night I brought some watermelon up to my friends who live behind me.   I have some great neighbors.  As I was trudging up I realized, I had missed (we had missed, neighbors dig this stuff too), the annual egg laying and hatching of this huge snapping turtle that waddles her way up to my yard.   The huge hole was dug, and there were many broken egg shells.  Bummer!   I have no desire to do get close to a snapping turtle.  Memories of my cousin, Danny, chasing us girls with a snapping turtle in his hands come flying back.  But I surely DO want to see what the little ones look like.

This morning when I walked the dog, and as I said earlier, a migraine, I could see something was different in Christmas tree of mine.  I know, not the official name, but I just wanted to remind me you that Christmas IS coming!  Slap me.   I was having a hard time focusing, so I walked up to it and there was a swarm of bees on one of the branches that was so heavy it was almost resting on the ground.  My neighbor is a beekeeper, and her hives are only 20-30 ft away, so I figured it was hers.   I came in and messaged her, then went into the icing process.  Come to find out, it wasn’t.    That swarm of bees had to be 18″ x 14″ around anyway, I would guess larger around.    It was kinda cool.   Did I tell you I’m allergic to bees?   I didn’t opt for pics.

So once again, as most people are asleep or heading to bed, I am just coming to life for the day.    I spent time this evening sketching, and started painting up some new designs.   The ideas are flowing and fast.  Perhaps this mornings migraine was an overload of activity that stems from being stagnant for too long prior.   I am grateful to be feeling creative once again.

Went out to get in the jeep and go to town for a creamie and saw that my friend had once again mowed my lawn.  This had been on today’s to do list.   It is such a nice feeling to know that others care, and lend a hand to help.   I really am grateful.

On the way into Town it appeared that Lilly (a terrier mix I rescued a few years ago), urgently needed to get out.  I pulled over, let her out, and wouldn’t you know it, a Canada Goose came at her, loud and obnoxious.   She liked it.   I remembered that there has been a pair of geese who every year have gosling’s (?) in this area.  That must have been what was going on.

It’s really nice to be surrounded with so much nature.  I really do love Vermont, New England.   I recall someone asking me once “Where do you get the inspirations for your paintings?” They particularly liked my landscapes.    I looked at them and smiled….  “Have you ever been to Vermont?”

Country girl…

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Having just licked my fingers for the remainder of the butter that was on my english muffin… the same English muffin that I also frosted with sugar free jelly… I acknowledged to myself the ridiculousness of this.   I like butter.  I don’t want to eat plastic (margarine) or the supposed butter clones that are healthier, I want butter!   I love butter!  It’s sort of like going to a restaurant and having French fries, fried seafood and a diet pepsi.

As a kid in grade school my best friend’s parents owned a dairy farm.   We would frequently visit the area where the vats of fresh milk were and skim the top of the milk, thus whipped cream.  It was better than ice cream.   I’m sure now the Department of Agriculture would frown on this, or worse yet, fine you.

Why am I sharing these mundane details of my day?    Well, yesterday, on my way home from running errands I was totally aware of and enjoying my surroundings.   I love going by the farms, we have such a beautiful working farm here, generations of family owned “The Miller Farm” that I admire every time I pass.   They used to put vegetables out for sale and a tin can for you to pay for them.  With my hands firmly on the steering wheel, sitting up straight, I existed and were “in the moment”.   I love the country.   The authenticity test of loving country life is a smile at the smell of manure (well, I admit, sometimes it’s enough to make me gag).   The smell of freshly mown hay, grass, the sighting of farm animals, wildlife, nature, running brooks, dirt roads, chimneys bellowing smoke lending warmth to it’s creator, wood piles, well they are not only a daily sighting in my life, some a staple in it.    I feel secure within the mountains and I love the energy they emit.  I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

I have spent time in cities, 30 other states.  I appreciate and seen many different ways of life, culture of others.   I feel the busy energy as I am first driving into Boston, New York City and the many others cities I have visited.  The fast pace hustle and bustle holds within it evidence for all five senses, smell being my least favorite.   I have been gifted with a trip to Newfoundland, Canada, a cruise in the Caribbean.  I visited the Myan Ruins in Tulum Mexico, stayed at a 5 star resort and zip lined over a jungle in Mexico.  I have climbed Diamond Head crater on Oahu, Hawaii, and while I am not what you would call a world traveler, I am grateful for where I have been, what I have been privileged to see.    Still, within the scope of all of these beautiful places, upon my return, when I start to see the mountains, signs of country, rural living, I smile,  I am home.  I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

My surroundings are breathtaking and the seasons bring more than a temperature change,  With it comes many chores.    I am no stranger to shoveling or raking snow off from my roofs, chipping ice, sanding and salting my driveway, my walkways, throwing wood into the pickup, throwing it out, stacking it and gathering kindling, starting a fire.   I am no stranger to the hazards of driving on what others may consider primitive style roads.  I own a lawn mower, a wheel barrel, this contraption that they call a “snake” to help unclog drains, pipelines.  I drive a jeep, and truly enjoy venturing into the woods with my furries in the back seat.  The quiet, the beauty, the sights all breathe joy into my lungs.  I have reluctantly participated in the cleaning of chickens that my father and sister just slaughtered and plucked, fed livestock and more.  I drive 40 minutes or so to the nearest mall, and 15 or 20 minutes to the closest grocery store or bank.  I grew up in and live in a town which have no street or traffic lights, that have volunteer firemen.  A flashlight is one of the survivor tools of the trade, particularly on a midnight run to the outhouse!    I own and operate a saws, hammers, screw drivers and my favorite, a wrecking bar.  My tools that may surprise you.  I have fished for dinner and brought home pizza, have camped in the wilderness in just a sleeping bag underneath the stars and skinny dipped in ponds and lakes at dusk.   I have tiled floors, wall papered and painted walls, sanded floors, dug out walkways and laid 20″ heavy blocks.   I know what it’s like to live in the country, to be self sufficient.   I also know what it’s like to be so fed up with Winter that I swore I would never live through another winter in New England.  Just when we’re all about to jump ship, put a “For Sale” sign on my house, just when we’re climbing the walls and suffocating in cabin fever, spring will show welcomed signs of its arrival, of rebirth and the changed attitude “I can do this, I can do this”.   As soon as the weather is warm enough to go outside in just a sweatshirt (well, jeans too!) the memories of the harshness of the past winter fade away and are replaced with the awe of the new season.    Our backs may heal from the shoveling but are once again tested with rakes, hoes, and again shovels if gardening.   I have grown vegetables and eaten cucumbers and tomatoes right off the vine and delighted in fresh eggs that bring with them the most beautiful color of yellow you can imagine, and the tastiest of eggs.    I have eaten venison, sugared off (making maple syrup) with family, with friends and enjoyed what we New Englander’s call “Sugar on Snow”.  Yes, I know what it’s like to do physical work, to maintain my home, my land to the best of my ability through the trials and tribulations of all four seasons, living, surviving independently and reveled in the benefits, the outcome of all.  Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

I have owned rabbits and chickens, dogs and cats, ridden horses, ponies and a mule.  I have climbed trees, rode a toboggan down a steep hill, skied the prettiest of mountains, skated on frozen ponds and once fell partially into freezing water and was thankfully rescued.   I’ve cooked marshmallows and hot dogs on a stick that I cut in the woods and dined in exclusive restaurants atop five star hotels.  I have learned, through experience, that I am allergic to bees.   I have been bit by dogs, nipped by horses, been stuck in the mud, the snow, and have walked out of a boot barefoot, from the boot being sucked into the mud with such grip that I was unable to pull it out.      I’ve walked on railroad tracks, walked in the rain and been on a lake in an aluminum boat when a thunderstorm has rolled in.  I’ve picked apples and pears, strawberries, peas, clipped pussy willows and rhubarb, made the prettiest of wreaths and florals from materials hunted in the woods or my own yard.    Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

When I take the time to sit back, to review,  and in this case write about so many things I’ve done, my cheeks pucker upward, a smile comes to my face, I have been blessed.  I am blessed.   Yes, I am a country girl and I love Vermont.

As my joints grow painful, my back amiss, and the cost of living rises, I am not sure that this is where I will always live.      I sometimes long for an easier life, a house on a lake equipped with a rocking horse on the porch and a partner carrying in the wood to start a fire in the stone fireplace.    I sometimes long to have less responsibility, to be able to go back to the archaic “women’s work” and let someone else to the labor.    I sometimes long to trade in my wool lined barn coat for a long cashmere coat, my sorrels for fashion boots, and my hats and gloves for regular, more frequent manicures and pedicures.  I sometimes want to bolt from the challenges that comes with living in the country, and trade my house in for a condo.  I sometimes want to live where I never have to do these chores again.  But you know what?   I will always own cowboy boots, I will always hold dear, of my upbringing and years living in New England, in Vermont.    Don’t get me wrong, however and visual me being a hick from the country who picks my teeth at the dinner table.  I can dress to the nines and hold my own while socializing, and have many times, shocked others when they find out I am a Vermonter.  Not sure what the Vermont stereotype is, but I assure you, while we do have “country folk” who talk with a back hills drawl, many of us are or can be sophisticated, abiding proper dress and etiquette when necessary.  When all is said and done, when I climb into bed and pull the covers up to my neck, I smile, I thank God for the life I have known, living in rural New England.  I am a country girl, and I love Vermont.  I so love Vermont!   ♥♥♥

 

The wise woman

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Ran errands and met appointments I had scheduled today.  Hallelujah.  On my way home I decided to take the back roads, the scenic view to remind me why I live in Vermont, how I love Vermont, how beautiful it is.    Winter has overstayed its welcome and I’m walking on the edge of Can I?  Do I even want to?   It’s been a hard winter and its far from over.  Yes, I know, always weather talk.  Sure beats politics. Besides, weather is a large consideration in my daily life.

New England is beautiful.  I love Vermont.   As I drove beside the brook I smiled.  THIS.   THIS is why I love Vermont.   Not the snow shoveling, the heat or plowing expenses, the flooded cellars… I love nature.   I pulled my car to the side of the road and sat there, as if meditating, while glancing at the view.    A foot thick of ice with a foot and a half of snow on top where the running water has broke away from it’s center.  All that ice on a small brook.

I needed to get back in touch with this.  I have been feeling very discouraged with all the challenges this winter and also being sick.  Finally got antibiotics today. Am hoping this will do the trick.

Walking into the hospital this afternoon for blood work I paid particular attention to this tiny, frail older woman.     She was smiling, smiled at me, and was walking around apparently waiting for more tests, or someone to pick her up, though I think more tests given where she had left her coat and purse and the vicinity in which she was perusing.    I would guess her to be in her late 80’s.    So much this woman has seen, societal changes, government, schooling, parenting… the list goes on and on.     I wonder what her dreams, her aspirations were when she was a teenager?  What was her upbringing like?   Did any of her dreams come true?   I looked down, not wanting her to see that I was studying her.   She happily greeted others as they came into the lab area.  She walked around with her hand knit wool sweater and hat on, the smile never leaving her face.    Wow.    Every day is a gift.  How quickly I can forget that when I’m caught up in the crap.

Of course I was curious and had pointed questions because this…this is what I am asking myself.    What were my dreams?  What have I accomplished in my life?   What makes up the story of my life?

Watching her was nice.   Who knows what she was having tests for, but whatever it was, it didn’t stop her from enjoying the day, the moment.   She didn’t seem anxious, not at all.  She was serene, peaceful, she was happy.   Wow.   Are you done bitching today, Donna?  Learn from your elders.

After my blood work was taken I bundled back up to go outside again.  She was still there, now speaking with a nurse, smiled at me and waved ‘good bye’ to me as I walked out of the building.  She was a ray of sunshine, answered prayers from asking for help with the tude and challenges I am encountering.   Got it!  As I walked back to my car, trekked over the snow bank to get there I looked up and said “Thank you!”

What were her dreams?  Her aspirations?  Did she expect to live this long?   What else does she want to see, accomplish in her life?    As she walked around with her hand knit wool sweater and hat on, the smile never leaving her face……What a wise woman!

The older I get the more I understand, it isn’t about WHAT happens to you, it’s about how you deal with.

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

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Today’s lesson:   Routines are grounding for me.  It’s a good thing!

Today’s Gratitude:   That I don’t have to go out in this storm

In lieu of this big old storm, I wrote the first paragraph in white!   Wasn’t that a great opening?  Because we are in the middle of a “winter storm warning”, and have gotten a foot so far and it’s still coming…. I have a one day reprieve on the deadline I’ve been working for.   Yippee!   I like when it snows because it’s warmer, it has to warm up some to snow.

This year I made it to February until the snow plow took out my mail box…. Every year…..     I see these people who board up theirs, some even put springs on theirs.   So far the mail box is still in tact but it’s hanging off the post… Will go get it later.

The snow really is beautiful.  Having to move my jeep [for the snowplow] I went around the block with the dogs.   I love seeing fresh snow.  It is so clean, and quiets the earth.   Cars do not sound as loud, nothing does.  It’s serene.   Shoveling, not so much!  It’s a reminder for me to make quiet reflective time for myself available more often.   We all need quiet time.  We all need our alone time… today is mine.

In the quiet of the morning when I was painting I sat smiling.   There is no phone ringing, no one knocking at my door, I am one with the furries and it is so peaceful.   I have found myself in a routine in the morning which makes me feel good.   Probably sounds miniscule but trust me, my chaotic mind made that impossible.  So grateful my a-d-d meds are working.  So very grateful.

Only two months to go until Spring!  Though I shall never forget the snowstorm we had in April 1977.  I think we got a two to three feet.  We were without power for days, schools were cancelled, the world stopped.    So, until the end of April, I walk lightly and keep my boots accessible.

I hope you are having a good day, and if participating in this snow storm, that you are safe.   I appreciate our police and firemen who are out and about to protect and serve us in rain, sleet or snow.  Thank you!  ♥

Today’s artwork:  “The old shed”Image 

My tree of life………..

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In the coziness of my small little abode, the fireplace providing penetrating heat to my tired body, I am grateful tonight.  Grateful that I own my own home, even with as much work as it needs.   I grew up believing that the only way I would own a home is to marry.  Well, guess what?  Not the case.

One of the proudest days of my life was when I went to the bank and closed on my house.  I bought it out from my ex-husband.   It’s where I have done my most growing, actually maturing.  I have been here 25 years, moved here in my 20’s.  Upon moving here we sold the large acreage of land we owned, finding it too expensive to build on (had to put in power, a very long drive, etc.).   From that piece of land I dug up a small maple tree.  Well, it wasn’t even a tree then it was 4 or 5″ tall, very fragile.   When we moved in here it was planted in the back yard.   This tree now stands 40 (?) feet tall, I call this my “Tree of Life”.    Many a night I would go sit out under that tree, pondering whatever, wherever I was at the time.   I have lit candles underneath that tree, I have buried the ashes of my beloved furry children, and above that resides perennials, a memorial for those I loved (and still love) who have since passed.  

It has stood strong and grown with me, offering shelter not only from the sun but also rain, sleet, snow.   I love this tree.   There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look at it and smile, either out my kitchen or porch window(s), or as I drive into my yard.   A few years ago the heaviness of a snow storm broke off a fairly large branch.   As I picked up the pieces, bringing them to my burn pile I remember thinking “How ironic”, or was it?  I, too felt like I had one of my limbs broken off,   I healed alongside this tree.  Afraid that it was going to die on me, it proved to hold its own and heal, and continues to stand tall, healthy and proud.   

Today I went and visited a dear friend.  It is a couple hour drive and a beautiful drive at that.  We have been having unbelievably beautiful weather, while foliage is passing it is nonetheless beautiful.   I love New England, I love Vermont, I love where I live.   I hope I can always afford a home here.   My hometown isn’t home for me, though it is settled only 25 miles away.  This small town which probably has more cows than residents, this small house which has provided shelter and many times like the safety of a womb, this is my home. 

I love being home! 🙂