Friday, January 30, 2015

Today's Winter

All sorts of goings on here in my area. The Mister has left his scanner on and reports are coming in from the communication center regarding the interstate and several accidents. There was just a report broadcast about a couple of chimney fires. Oh! A call just came in for more help - one of the chimney fires has spread to the inside. The scanner is screaming with sirens and I don't like to hear of all the mayhem. The wind is blowing and making whiteouts as I look out through the cabin windows. The Mister is out blowing too - SNOW. We have about 6 inches of new stuff. 

James stands stoically, braving the cold (22°) awaiting my approach to remove his Christmas scarf. I think he will be waiting another month or so... it is frozen to his beard. Removal is not an option. 

I was adventurous enough to step out on the front porch. 

My friends who are snowbirds are missing all of the experiences of our true winter in all its glory. Local Weather just gave this warning: "BUNDLE UP! Our entire area is under a wind chill advisory beginning tonight. Temperatures will be in the single digits to below zero. Wind chill readings will be between -15 to -25 at times."

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I'm resorting to reading on-line since I have no more books here to read. I like to have the actual book in my hands and turn the pages manually, and place one of my paper or leather bookmarks between the pages when I put it away for a while. I like the feel of a hands-on book, the options of reading a little bit or a lot at one time, especially when I'm having lunch. The town library is not a good idea today because we are planning to go where it is a little warmer in a week or so. 

Today I found some items that I'd like to share. First, I was learning more about tea. I like tea.
Did You Know? The tea that was thrown into Boston Harbor by the Sons of Liberty in December 1773 was a mixture of Ceylonese and Darjeeling. The same tea can still be purchased from the original blending house, Davison Newsom of London.
Then I found an interesting article in our local newspaper.
About 9 miles from me there is an old viaduct that will be having a 100 year celebration in September.
Photo by Robert Baker 1-25-15
Brooklyn Historical Society members voted to officially set the date for the celebration as September 5, about 100 years from the day of the bridge’s completion.
According to local lore and photographs at the Susquehanna County Historical Society, residents and workers celebrated the event by dressing in their most formal attire or Sunday best and dancing atop the span, in what was then called a “Cloud Dance.”
Soldiers guarded the viaduct during World War I. The soldiers slept in tents in the swampland near the viaduct. The viaduct is still used today.  
I took many pictures of this when I went on a nature walk in 2009.

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More about the town through the link below:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Past History

I just finished reading a book that took me a long time to get through and absorb. It details the living conditions in New York City after immigrants arrived in the late 1800's. I was impressed. Sometimes when I read a book I go right through it because I'm a fast reader and don't usually have to swallow or remember what I read. Reading is a pleasure to me. Well this book isn't pleasurable to read. It is history with 100 accompanying photographs taken during the time.

The title of the book:

ISBN 0-486-22012-5

I picked up this book at the laundromat several months ago. When I ran out of my usual mysteries and novels, I remembered this one that I had put away. 

It's not going back to the laundromat. I'll find someone who would like to know how times really were in those days in those places in those years. 

Jacob A. Riis has a biography like no other I've come across and I suggest a quick reading of it at:

click on link above

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Winter Reward

Yes, we had a little snow overnight. At first it looked to be about 7 inches deep, but the man who runs the snowblower said it is only about 4 inches in depth. It still is necessary for him to make some paths and clear off the truck.

Inside it is cozy and warm. A reward for his hard work is in order.

Can you guess what the reward will be? Of course it is two-fold because I will feel less guilty for not going out to help. A treat for him and a guilt release for me. These are somewhat labor-intensive to make.

Today for lunch I plan to have hot meatloaf sandwiches and... 

Now it is time to move the sneakers with the Yaktrax away from the heater and make room for the rubber boots. 

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Friday, January 23, 2015


My friend wondered why I took the picture of the abandoned work gloves on the cellar floor. I took it because it expressed bleak turbulence. This is what I felt. It struck me hard. The husband left his work gloves behind as well as his mind. Poor woman. 

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Thursday, January 22, 2015


I was asked by a good friend to accompany her to a vacant house near me to take photos for her. She lives out of state and the homeowner is planning to sell this place. My friend is considering purchasing and fixing it to her own preferences. She knows this will be a major undertaking. The homeowner has already moved into a new home closer to town and hasn’t returned to finish her move since August. The homeowner’s husband has Alzheimer’s and she is overwhelmed with his care and also the care of her two young grandchildren. There haven’t been general repairs made or positive maintenance since his illness. 

The home was built around 1990. It was built throughout with very high quality materials. In its heyday it was a beautiful and busy place as her husband had an active  business and his office was in the basement. Together they raised four children of their own.

All I could feel was dismay at how topsy turvy and disorganized the homeowner became when the going got so overpowering. If she had organization skills before, they certainly haven’t been used recently. I understand that some people are VERY organized and some not at all in the first place. I don’t know the homeowner but suspect she lacked them to begin with. 

I am surprised at how I was impacted with such waste and just don’t understand it. It’s me, I suppose, because through living frugally and carefully all of my life I simply CANNOT waste - anything. I don’t hoard at all. That’s not what I mean. It’s hard to describe. 

I took 108 photos throughout the house about five in each area. There are porches and decks, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a foyer, kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, and a full basement and full attic. My old bones and muscles got an extensive workout, but I discovered I liked the documentation aspect of my camera work. 

It almost made me physically sick, though to see so many home-canned foods left on the cellar shelves, clothes still in the laundry room, and boxes, boxes, boxes everywhere. There weren’t many pieces of furniture, but a conglomeration of items throughout the place were still in good and usable condition. 

My friend now can study and make a list of pros and cons. 

I’ll only post a few of the photos and you will understand my feelings. I think. 

 So Sad!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I woke up this morning and felt a memory story coming on. It’s a return back to my very happy childhood. Here goes…

I was around 4 years old, I think. Daddy came home from work in through the side door with a very secretive expresson when he greeted Mother and me at the bottom of the kitchen stairs. Normally, he would go directly to the cellar to remove his “barn” clothes. It was a rule because Mother didn’t want cow odors in the upstairs area. He had a short and hushed whisper in her ear until she smiled and looked at me. There was something in his barn jacket pocket. He gently pulled it out for me to see and it was a tiny golden KITTEN! With amber eyes! With a damaged tail! Aww…..

Mother and he operated on the tail, removing the end which was hanging loose and dangling by skin. They explained to me that it didn’t hurt the kitten very much and needed to be done. The kitten had been trapped by its tail under a big tractor tire and my dad couldn’t find any one to move the tractor so he pulled the kitten free in the best way he could. He was unsuccessful after searching around the area to find its mother or siblings and just brought it home with him. Farm cats and kittens are often considered inessential but he really saved its life. Individual cats and kittens are continually replaced through the numerous ones that live and reproduce on farm properties. 

She was named “Goldie.” As time went on, Goldie herself had families born in the house; in my brother’s bed, on top of the coal pile in the cellar, in the laundry basket of unfolded clean clothes, and we were able to find homes for all. 

At about age 6, my twin sisters were born. Mother wasn’t well. The care of four children and a cat with a new litter of kittens overwhelming. Dad decided to find a new home for Goldie and her kittens. He put them in a burlap bag in the back of the car and took them all to a farm to live. My understanding now is that the farm was about 50 miles away where his occupation of the state dairy tester took him that day. It was traumatic for me. I loved Goldie way too much for her to be taken away, but he reassured me that she would have plenty of room and food to live well and be happy.

Then, life went on without her. Mother recuperated and all was good. One day two years later, as I was returning home from school (we walked to and from school) I saw a bedraggled cat on the sidewalk of my street and knew it was Goldie. I screamed, picked her up, and dashed home to tell everyone that she had returned. Her paws were raw and her coat was patchy and crusty. She smelled bad. It WAS her! There was no doubt, due to her immediate purrs and half tail. She was happier than I was. It took about a year for her to regain her golden beauty and she never had kittens again. 

The cat came back - I thought she was a goner, but the cat came back (about two years after she left.) Check out the origin of this song here:

Monday, January 19, 2015


A fellow blogger sent me four nice photos and was wondering how I'd play with them. Well now he will see. 
Original Image

My Interpretations


My Framing


My View



I got carried away here...

and my own of the ice fishermen.....when I ran out of new material
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Icemen Came

It is up to 34° as I write on this bleak and dreary Sunday morning. The sun never did shine at all and the TV news reports say there are serious freezing conditions on the roads in the Northeast area. Well the roads aren't too bad here and many men and their gear have arrived to fish on the hard lake ice. They park on a small "point" where the road comes into the lake and drag their equipment on plastic or wooden sleds to their hand-picked spots. It looks as if most of them are jigging for panfish. There are a few tip-ups being used to catch larger fish. I regret that I can't go away from my safe spot here to see what they are catching, but it's not prudent for me to venture out. I'm afraid of falling. Soooooo...I took these from the cabin's front porch.

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All of the Mister's ice fishing equipment lies dormant in the shed. There are ice cleats, sounding weights, tip-ups, jigging rods, buckets, skimmer, bait containers and more. He sold his gas-powered auger several years back. His warmest clothes and boots remain, unused now, in his closet.  Time has moved on.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter Scenes 2

Since I found a window frame just like the thirteen that are throughout the cabin, I can't seem to stop looking out the window! More manipulations, of course.  I live in fantasy land.

That's because it's so cold here. Today at 8AM - ZERO!

We travel past this cut when we head to SC. There are many of these about 80 miles south of where I live. I never could get a good photo of one but Ray did. (The original image was taken by Ray Fannock, Tamaqua PA) I colored it a bit. 

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