Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy birthday

Happy birthday, Zoe & Mom. Maybe I should have knitted one for Mom, too!

I have been eyeing this pattern for Z's birthday for a few years now, so finally for her 10th, I managed to do it! It is knitted with blue crepe paper and while ribbon with white & copper ribbon streamers. Abbey donated beads for jewels. I lined it with blue fleece, so it won't itch. I hope Zoe likes it. I know I enjoyed trying it on earlier!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a poem for Christmas

little tree

by E. E. Cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Ice Storm, Part II: Afternoon

After thawing out a bit by the woodstove, the sun came out. A little surreal after all the snow, ice, and greyness of the morning. I had a migraine, but I couldn't resist going out anyway. No wonderful shots, but interesting...

Iced basket.

Chilly birdbath.

Cage back in the veggie garden.

Perennial garden from the roof (much of the downed trees were down before the strom, my dad took down some dead branches).



Rosehip leaf.


Looking toward the Catskills.

Still more to come...stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Ice Storm, Part I: Immediate Aftermath

It was a raw 27*F all day Wednesday, December 10. It was grey and somehow rained all day, despite below-freezing temperatures. Ice was building up.

By 10:30 pm our power flashed intermittently a few times (I had just mailed out an edited file to meet a deadline the next day, Ryan had just hopped out of the shower!) and then went out.

We saw this coming (how could we not, the way the weather forecasters went on about it?), so we were fairly prepared: coffee roasted and ground (we have priorities, you know), drinking water at the ready, flashlights with fresh batteries.

We tried to sleep, but it was a restless night, branches cracking and crashing down all around the barn. It was curiously light out all night, too.

A bleary-eyed Ryan was up at the crack of dawn, if not before, surveying the damage. We made coffee over the backpacking stove. He and a couple neighbors got out some chainsaws to clear out the driveway. I stayed in bed, drinking coffee and reading, ensconced in much fleece.

Looking across the driveway.

Soon the rain changed to snow as I scurried up the driveway to shoot some photos. I had to be careful not to linger beneath any trees. There was a din of crashing, cracking branches and limbs.

Snowy orchard.
(If you click on the photo, you may be able to see one of many branches broken off.)

For all the coffee we had ground, we were still without heat. With the snow falling fast, we were lured over to my folk's house where a wood stove was cranking out some warmth. Our road was down to one lane, and we just narrowly squeaked under a downed line. At one point we had to find an alternate route, because a tree had fallen across several lanes of highway. When we pulled into their road, we saw more downed limbs.

More to come...

Monday, December 8, 2008

a typical squint....

from my dad.

snow on snow on snow....

Went out walking in the season's first snow yesterday, of course. Some pics of my snowy saunter...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

poem in progress again....


After all these years
we’ll meet again.

The whole week before,
I remember
in glaring Polaroid flares,
faded and stained
around the edges.
Brittle little memories
in disregarded leather covers,
crumbled corners of this fiction,
crack and flake to sift
through fingers.
They settle in the floorboards.

Still, here you are—
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

wishing for it

How Is It That the Snow
by Robert Haight

How is it that the snow
amplifies the silence,
slathers the black bark on limbs,
heaps along the brush rows?

Some deer have stood on their hind legs
to pull the berries down.
Now they are ghosts along the path,
snow flecked with red wine stains.

This silence in the timbers.
A woodpecker on one of the trees
taps out its story,
stopping now and then in the lapse
of one white moment into another.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the song of cracked wood


by Patrick Phillips

Touched by your goodness, I am like
that grand piano we found one night on Willoughby
that someone had smashed and somehow
heaved through an open window.

And you might think by this I mean I'm broken
or abandoned, or unloved. Truth is, I don't
know exactly what I am, any more
than the wreckage in the alley knows
it's a piano, filling with trash and yellow leaves.

Maybe I'm all that's left of what I was.
But touching me, I know, you are the good
breeze blowing across its rusted strings.

What would you call that feeling when the wood,
even with its cracked harp, starts to sing?

Monday, December 1, 2008

spring seems far away, and yet...

In Early April

by Melissa Green

Forsythia foamed for us fifty miles ago, but the farm is stark, a wintry Serengeti.
My nieces' cello, viola and violin beguile us in the parlor where we celebrate
a birthday, their coltish poise poised to—

My father, long dead, would have loved them.
We—their passionate triptych—those upwelling melodies—have already disappeared
as chickadees' crosshatchings on the last of the north-facing, smoke-colored snow.