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Musings on a (not quite) Winter Morning

I generally love living out in the country - I've even converted my city boy of a husband - but there are some downsides to living out in the middle of nearly nowhere.  Take yesterday, for example (please!).  Most of you might view a half-hour commute to work as a long ride, but that half hour turned into an hour and a half as a huge snow storm dumped a nearly two feet of snow on top of the six inches we already had.  I made in, but it was dicey.  Getting home was even more so.  The place where I work is in something of a basin, and going out of it requires climbing hills . . . not a pleasant prospect in a city where plowed streets are a luxury even on days when its possible for the plows to keep up.  So, add another two hours onto the commute home, white-knuckling it most of the way.  My new car (yes, I broke down and bought one) was pretty good, but getting traction up a 10% grade in stop and go traffic was no easy thing.  It was snowing so hard I had to get out several times while I was stopped and brush the snow off of the side and back windows so I could see.  No fun.

But there *are* some compensations.  :-)  This was the view from my front window this morning:







And there was a great deal of traffic at our bird feeders this morning:  Cardinals, Blue Jays, Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Red and White Breasted Nuthatches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Goldfinches, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, House Finches, and White-Crowned Sparrows all partook of the banquet this morning.  Now, if only I could stay home and enjoy it! 

It's still lightly snowing, even though the clouds have broken, and we're expected to have another inch before the day is done.  Miss M has her Holiday Orchestra Concert tonight, so I'm hoping it will stop before then.  In the meantime, back to the salt mines! 

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
kellychambliss
Dec. 9th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, my, this is beautiful, and I'm glad I don't live in the snow belt. I, too, live in the middle of nowhere, but since the entire county is nowhere, I have only a ten-mile drive to work. But I'm always freaked by the white-knuckle driving, and I hate when it's necessary. When I was an undergrad in a much snowier part of the country, I took a bus to school and was always glad of it in the winter.

Great photos (and icon, too). Hope the concert goes well.
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
But I'm always freaked by the white-knuckle driving
That makes two of us . . . I would much prefer to stay home when it gets like this. No choice, yesterday, though. At least they took the plows out after everyone got home and cleared the roads overnight.

Concert was fab - I'll bore you with the details tomorrow. :-) Did you get a chance to look at my drabble?
kellychambliss
Dec. 10th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
I sent a message to your yahoo account. Google says I don't have permission to view the file. Is there any chance you could send it to me as a doc file or in the body of an email?
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
I screwed up that first posting - I was on a shared computer and it ended up being posted to my tech's google docs account. Oops. :-P So, you should have gotten a second email from me directing you to the proper account, which is showing you as an editor. Look, and if you didn't get the email (from albalark), I'll send it again. My 20-something tech (who, thank heavens, wasn't offended) thinks it's pretty funny that her 41 year old employer writes HP fan fiction. :-D
kellychambliss
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
I did use the second posting. I haven't used Google Docs before, and I suspect that the problem is that my Google account (so far used only for GoogleGroups) is not in my fanfic name. I'll see if I can set up a new account in this name. It might have to wait till morning, though -- sorry! I don't mean to slow you down. I just didn't realize how it all worked.
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
'S alright. I've still got plenty of time.

I *love* google docs for beta-ing, so I think you'll be glad you set up an account. I usually set up an appointment with whomever I'm editing, have them post their document, and then we get together and chat about what I've done, and work on it together. It's very enjoyable to work that way. :-)
therealsnape
Dec. 9th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
not quite wintermorning what does it take to be called 'winter', then? This looks arctic to me. Lovely, but arctic. I can understand about hating the commute right now. Nothing scarier than skidding over snow.

Wish Miss M all sorts of luck on the Concert.
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
what does it take to be called 'winter', then?
I was being a literalist - it's not really winter until the solstice, but weather-wise this is more winter than I prefer. ::g::

Miss M says to say your well wishes must have worked! I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
lash_larue
Dec. 9th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
That is lovely, especially from far below the Mason-Dixon line.

I spent 10 years or so in Mass, several of them plowing snow for a wilderness camp, and I recall it...

Juncos were a favorite of my mother, such happy little things.

And in regards to the Divine Miss M, I have finally realized who she puts me in mind of. And while this might not be precisely comforting to the mother of a young girl, from strictly an appearance standpoint I think it has to be complimentary, and is certainly intended as such...

Alyssa Milano, but prettier.

As a further digression, and since this past year has just flat sucked for my family, this Christmas I have simply decided without asking to kind of adopt yours, and be thankful that that beautiful little girl still has her mother with her, and that her father still has his wife.

There is always a bright light somewhere, thank you for showing me this one.

Should you decide to take issue with this, please bear in mind that I am doubtless bigger and meaner than you are. But not tougher.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
L
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
Everything is suddenly very blurry and I'm having a hard time seeing the keyboard to type. What an immense honor you are doing me - I am just speechless. Consider yourself adopted right back, my dear.

I am so sorry that it's been such a rough year for your family and you, and I am humbled by your generosity. I don't even have to try to be grateful for each day - even the ones that suck - because any day I'm in is a good one. I just wish that your cousin had been as fortunate as I have been. Leukemia has ripped holes in so many hearts. That you are so unselfish in such deep grief is astonishing. Thank you. And welcome to my family, Lash. Life will take no quarter from either of us, I'd wager. :-)

P.S. I'm so out of popular culture, I actually had to go look Alyssa Milano up. I can see what you mean when I look at the pictures of her as a youngster. I'd rather put off the day she looks like the adult version for a little while yet. :-)
dickgloucester
Dec. 9th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Wow. Good gracious! So beautiful, but it must have been terrifying driving.

Could you get some pictures of the birds sometime?
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
It did not make me happy, that's for sure.

Could you get some pictures of the birds sometime?
There's a Cardinal on the left in that first picture. I got a few of the main feeder this morning, posted here http://s1094.photobucket.com/albums/i443/AlbaLark/Winter%20Morning/ if you'd like to see a few of them. I took them, so they aren't up to Mr. L's quality standard, but they'll give you a little idea. :-)
(Deleted comment)
lash_larue
Dec. 9th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
The noble Cardinal. There is a pair in the butterfly bush outside the window above my monitor. They and the cats call out rude names to one another.

The birds are better at it.

L
albalark
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
My first winter in the US (out of two) was like that!
My sympathies! I hope you didn't have to do much driving in it!

I'll post pictures of the 6th grade Orchestra triumph tomorrow - consider yourself warned. :-D

My icon has a better look at the cardinal. They're a common bird up here in the eastern half of the U.S. We've a pair that nests every year in our 60 year old apple tree, and many more back in our woods.

Edited at 2010-12-10 05:14 am (UTC)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )