Saturday, January 31, 2015


Another week ends, along with the first month of the new year.

The river, when I stepped outside a few minutes ago to toss a few scoops of cracked corn to my ground-feeding birds, was a lovely luminous green and full of slush, like a slow-moving margarita. No surprise, since the thermometer reads a measly 13˚F.

It's also sunny, and the warm-looking light coming through the tangled limbs of the big sycamore at the bottom of the driveway, belies the cold—though only temporarily. Wishful dreaming is no lasting match for bone-jarring shivers which threaten to shake an underdressed fellow's spine apart.    

The latest word from the weather wizards is that it's supposed to rise to near 40˚F by early afternoon, then start getting nasty—with rain and sleet overnight, more of the same tomorrow plus snow…3-10 inches, according to which prediction you give credence.

Myladylove, bless her trusting heart, has her hopes set on a "snow day" Monday. I'm more pessimistic and will believe anything over 5 inches when I shovel it.

I awoke yesterday feeling awful, with a very sore and swollen throat. Lots of strong lapsang tea, liberally laced with honey and lemon, homemade chicken soup for lunch, plus keeping a cozy warm fire in the woodstove, all had me feeling pretty good by evening and I'm back to what passes for normal today.

Providing my morning's under-insulated bird-feeding foray doesn't trigger a setback (yeah, I should'a known better) it's shaping up to be a dandy day by the riverbank.



George said...

Love that first photo of the tree's silhouette against the sun. With a squint of the eyes, I thought for a moment I was seeing one of Jackson Pollock's drip paintings (don't be offended; I like Pollock's work).

Sorry to hear you're a bit under the weather, so to speak, but I wish you well as you brace from the oncoming snowstorm. You're a man who seems to prefer winter to summer, so I'm sure you are up for the task.

Penny said...

Keep warm, here we are unseasonably cool but the heat reappears by the end of next week, I was just getting used to this pleasant summer.

Grizz………… said...


Even a momentary comparison to Jackson Pollock is taken as a compliment—though it wouldn't have occurred to me to take such a monumental visual leap. But I like some of Pollock's work, especially his stuff that's like a frenzy of colors. Which might surprise some given my usual images.

Thank you for your well wishes. I'm feeling fine today. We just had an eagle pause in one of sycamores overlooking the pool directly in front of the cottage—which is enough to make me feel great no matter how sick I was…eagles still being an extraordinary presence in my Ohio birding pantheon—what we Irish might deem a winged taibhse.

And you're correct, I do like winter—in part for the minimalist landscapes lit by lovely low-angled light.

Grizz………… said...


We're quite comfortable—cozy even—thanks to our little woodstove radiating its delicious heat. The expected storm has not arrived, and may not, at least not in predicted form. But who knows? Weather can always change.

I guess you are cool and looking for more seasonable warmth. Always so strange to me to hear of weather on the other end of the globe. I can never imagine Christmas, for example, as a hot-weather celebration.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ -Happy Sunday.
I love the pictures - so detailed, real, enticing. I wanted to snap off an icicle and feel the cold water as it melted against my lips and tongue. Brought back memories of childhood when I did jut that.

Sorry you are battling a cold. Yuck. You have all the best ingredients to remedy it. So tuck in, cover up, drink up and rest. I can feel and smell the warmth from your wood stove/hearth. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

We had almost 2 feet of snow here last Tuesday and tonight another foot is expected. We are cooking some sweet Italian sausage and simmering some marinara sauce and will cook up some ravioli later for our Sunday dinner. Skipp picked up a nice bottle of Italian red wine -

we are not sports fans but will flip around to see some of the game. So many blessings in your post and so many in my comment too. We are very lucky on so many levels.

Love Gail

Grizz………… said...


Hey, I'm not much of a sports fan, either, and as usual, today's Superbowl will be the only football game I've watched since last year's Superbowl. But I enjoy the game.

I'm doing platters of baked wings and two homemade dipping sauces. Potato/parsnip salad—like standard potato salad, with all the usual stuff and seasonings: chopped hardboiled eggs, onions, pickle relish, and a slightly sweet mayonnaise/vinegar/mustard/lime dressing, plus added parsnips and paper-thin slices of radishes. Really pretty tasty. A basic coleslaw I made up yesterday. A friend who's coming over is bringing pecan pie. Starvation is not in the cards!

BTW, I never did have a cold, just a really sore throat, which only lasted the day. I could probably count the head colds I've had throughout my life on the fingers of one hand. It's been a decade or two since the last one…can't really remember. I hated the few I had, though!

I don't know whether we're going get much of a storm or not. The weather folks keep revising their forecasts from a "winter weather warning" to a "weather advisory" and sometimes throwing in the word "hazardous" to try and confuse the issue. It's 39˚F here at the moment and drizzling. So tonight and tomorrow we may get rain, sleet, snow, a mix, and a little or a lot. Myladylove's snow day is not looking encouraging, however.

Finally, you are so right…we are both—individually, as friends, and throughout our families—very, very blessed. I treasure every day, and do my daily best to never ignore all the good things, gifts, pardons and protections I've been given—the life I enjoy. So much more, so much better, than I deserve.

Take care, keep the faith, and squeeze every drop of beauty and laughter you can from every single moment.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ your super bowl foods sound so yummy. I love wings and dipping sauces. And cole slaw w/parsnip and radishes, yum.
And the dressing? Divine

We actually watched the whole game and really enjoyed it. The ending was a real thrill!!

Glad your cold was not a cold :-)

We got about 4" of snow but we are coated in ice - would prefer just snow. It is very dangerous out there on all surfaces. Glad Skipp and I are home bound.

Enjoy your week

Love Gail

Grizz………… said...


Our big storm fizzled out. We got maybe 1/8 inch of snow, barely a dusting. Turned colder, though. But today was at least sunny.

Yesterday's wings—the whole meal—was better than the Superbowl, though the last couple of quarters of that game were pretty good. I love 'em when they come right down to the last minutes and last play or two. I think, if I do say so myself, that yesterday's potato/parsnip salad turned out the best tasting ever…certainly the best I've ever made. Definitely a prime keeper!

Stay warm!

KGMom said...

Life is keeping you busy, eh?
Trust you are completely recovered from your ailments--and that you are keeping warm in this winter from the great North.
I love the photo of the woodpecker.

Grizz………… said...


Busy, yes, but not so busy that I can use it to excuse the lack of posts. That's just laziness or irresponsibility…or mid-winter inertia. I'm feeling pretty good, too, except for a bit of arthritis in one hand—nothing new, and no excuse for my lack of posts there, either. But the woodstove is indeed keeping us cozy warm, and there's an abundance of wood remaining in the pile.

I'm glad you liked the woodpecker shot. I think they're just stunning in their black-and-white houndstooth and crimson caps. Good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well.