Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pussy Willow

 After the unexpected late snowfall last week, it was fun to see the neighbor's pussy willow popping out with its fuzzy little catkins, so soft like a kitten's paw.



   Pussy Willow

      By Kate L. Brown

Pussy Willow wakened
From her winter nap,
For the frolic spring breeze
On her door would tap.

"It is chilly weather
Though the sun feels good.
I will wrap up warmly,
wear my furry hood."

 Mistress Pussy Willow
Opened wide her door.
Never had the sunshine
Seemed so bright before.

Happy little children
Cried with laugh and shout,
"Spring is coming, coming,
Pussy Willow's out."





Sunday, February 14, 2021

Snow Day!

 Up until now we have been experiencing a relatively mild winter.  The passing days have been filled with lots of chilly rain, but the temperatures have rarely dipped below freezing.  That has all changed with a late winter snow that has been falling throughout the lowlands for the past couple of days.  It snowed much of yesterday, so we stayed inside snuggled up by the fire. We are fortunate as we only had a few inches compared to the possible 6-8 inches that was predicted. Today however, I put on my hiking shoes and wandered outside to snap a few photos.  I had hoped to walk down to the lake, but the hill was very slippery so I decided to stay up by the house.  

It was still snowing as I walked up to the side gate that takes us out into the neighborhood just north of us.  Surprisingly, while the snow has accumulated on the lawn, only small amounts have been sticking to the bushes and trees.  It must be warming up.



 There is something about walking on fresh virgin snow.  Any  imperfections are just covered under a blanket of white.  I love to listen to the sound of it crunching under my feet as the swirling flakes land on my face and hair. 

This photo reminds me of a quote I read once by Lowri Williams

"The future lies before you like a field of fallen snow

Be careful how you tread it for every step will show."


Time to go inside!  As long as we are staying indoors, it has been a good opportunity to try out a new recipe, garlic and butter steak bites with assorted fingerling potatoes...Yumm!

It turned out very tasty and now that I have two in the family who are gluten free, this will make a nice addition to my list of dinner ideas.

There is not much else going on around here.  I know there are many places around the country that are much colder than we are.  May everyone be staying safe and warm on this frosty winter night!   




Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Caribbean Memories

How hard it is to believe that one year ago today we were on a cruise ship sailing in the Caribbean!  There were rumblings of the virus circulating at the time, but after a great deal of discussion we decided it was still safe to travel in spite of the president having recently closed the borders to travelers from Asia. Our cruise line was one that took safety precautions very seriously early on and we had a wonderful experience.  Two weeks later we returned home to a much different reality as our state was one of the first places hit hard with the virus.  In all the challenges of preparing for an imminent shut down, I only found time to share a handful of photos from that time on Facebook. Now sitting at home listening to the reports of the temps dropping down below freezing tonight it has been fun going back and remembering those wonderful balmy days of relaxation just before the world went crazy!


The first day, we departed from Tampa, Florida as the sun was beginning to set and followed another ship out of the channel to the ocean.

We shared seven days of sparkling blue waters, golden sunshine and white sandy beaches.  Bliss!

Snorkeling, followed by a walk on the beach sipping ice cold lemonade in Honduras was one of our favorite days.


 I think probably the best day we had though was in postcard beautiful Costa Maya.


Perhaps because we got to swim with the dolphins, something I never imagined I would ever do.  That is a day I will always remember, to actually be able to touch one of these extraordinary creatures.  It was truly an amazing experience. 


Such a wonderful memory that we will be able to look back on and smile over again and again.

Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!





Monday, February 1, 2021

Leaving the Winter Blahs Behind!

 I have been feeling remarkably uninspired these past few weeks.  Between, the constant rains, the depressing news coverage and the inability to really get out and see friends, I have definitely been suffering from a bit of the winter blahs.  Last week however, I decided it was time to shake myself off and get myself moving.  The sun came out a couple of days ago which helped to boost my mood.

I tried a new recipe for Italian Orzo soup. There's nothing like homemade soup on a chilly winter day.  It turned out pretty tasty so I shared a couple of bowls with my mom and my 90 year old neighbor who has no family living in the area.  We try to look  out for her.


With the coming of the sun, the Inspector and I also decided to get out and try a couple of different spots along our local walking trail.  First, we found a trail head a few miles north of us. It was pretty quiet, just lots of bare winter trees and cold blue sky.  Still it was good to get out after a few weeks of hibernating.


We ventured out another day, driving south to the town of Snohomish which is where the Centennial Trail begins.  We found this area by the town library to be a very popular spot for both walkers and bikers.

This part of the trail took us along some of the old railroad tracks and into the town of Snohomish which has always been one of my favorite places to meet a friend for lunch or to wander through the various antique shops.



We stopped in the local bakery to pick up a couple of scones to take home with us.

Like everywhere else the local restaurants have to improvise with makeshift outdoor eating areas.  Even so, we thought it was still a bit chilly to be sitting outdoors so we just kept walking.

During the summer when all the "demonstrations" were taking place in the big cities a large group of protesters came to this little town to make mischief.  The citizens came out in force, armed and ready to protect their homes and businesses.  Our youngest lived just a few blocks from here and said it was a pretty unnerving.  He and his friends stayed up all night watching their home.  Happily there was no violence and no damage done in this community and so we can still come and safely enjoy this family friendly little city.

After picking up our treat from the bakery we made our way down to the river.

There is a nice little walking path that goes along the river from one end of town to the other.  By this time, however, my hip was telling me it was time to turn back and head for home. 
Here we were back at the library which is just left of the trees.  Next time we will head up north to Arlington to pick up the trail there and see what we can see. We are turning the page to the beginning of a new month.  Come rain or come shine, it's time to send the winter blahs on their way!