Sunday, January 3, 2010

new year * new decade* new season

"snowbirds" juncos and a song sparrow feasting on seeds Dave brought home

Mom in her big chair moved to uncover the fireplace

"RECYCLE" stitches by Mildred Cunningham

handsome bird bag from Jenny and Frank

gingerbread cookies

fire place rediscovered

snowy fish pond seen from the kitchen window

I am hunkered down today hiding from the cold winds in DC and the very unusual cold air that is visiting this week from the far north. My pals Charlie Hamilton in Alaska and Jonny Jamtjord in Norway know all about this sort of weather but they venture out and walk on the snow. DC's snow vanished after the big snow-apocalypse with some warmer days and a lot of rain. Now the cold air is back with a vengeance only the snow hasn't returned. Winter is predicted to be colder and snowier than usual for DC this year and so far that prediction is dead right. This kind of winter is more like the ones I remember back in the 1960's with good snow for playing and lots of cold weather gear needed to endure being outside. Jonny goes walking on snow shoes every day for exercise and meditation. I wished I had some not long ago.
I wanted to slow down on new photo picture taking and work on scanning some of my drawings over the holidays while I had easy access to our scanner. When I got home from my visit I scanned 108 figure drawings and then transferred and edited them for emailing and posting on my web site.

Meanwhile Keith was trapped at home with his family in a black out caused by the snow storm that lasted all but two days of his 14 day visit and seven days without water because the power loss shut down their community pumping station. I only spent four days with my Mom and we had a blast and did not have much trouble with the snow. We made gingerbread men my favorite cookie. We worked cross word puzzles together, thank goodness for the big dictionary for cross words she bought last year! We even enjoyed a fire in the old fireplace on Christmas day. I got a very surprising gift from her and her pal Mildred Cunningham. It is a lovely needle point that Mildred stitched for me and my mom got framed so I could hang it here at home. I had no trouble finding a prominent place for it to hang next to my desk. Reading "No Impact Man" blog I have been thinking about the holidays and how to get the most out of it and one of the things he always recommends is spending quality time with your loved ones. I wanted to get quality time with my mother this year since it was just the two of us. My brother lives there with his dogs but they spend most of their time down in his room in bed smoking, only rarely coming up to join us to eat at home. He did come up to aid us in getting the dinning room table leg repaired. One leg split in two while Mom was moving it by herself. It appeared the pressure pulled an old dry glue joint too hard causing it to give way. We got that done pretty quickly after a trip to buy clamps and sanding paper. Funny that we had to eat on a card table for this Christmas day dinner because the big table was on it's side while the mended leg's glue was drying. I remember Holiday meals as children there were so many adults (aunts and uncles) that we had to eat at a card table just for kids. This everyone ended up eating on the card table. A Christmas to remember it was in many ways. We also enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels on the deck with some seed brother David brought home. I left Manassas Sunday and came home to begin waiting on Keith to return.

Keith got home safely and was very happy to be back to our predictable warmth and hot showers and our familiar routines. We ate a nice dinner and celebrated the end of 2009 with gift exchanges and bubbling cider. This week we have been enjoying one of his Christmas gifts the series from AMC called Mad Men about advertising in the 1960's. This is the first time I have seen a TV series on DVD without the commercials
suddenly entertainment isn't so vulgar with all the advertisements gone! I read today that 30 % of American households record favorite TV programs and fast forward through the commercials which is cheaper than buying recordings of your favorite programs. This will be a happy new year and I wish the same to all my friends and neighbors.

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