Category Archives: Winter

Last of Winter – I Hope

Today our temperature here in the northwoods should get to 55 degrees. I went outside this morning to take the last, I hope, pictures of our mounds of snow. I know not all of it will disappear, but I sure hope most of it does. Yesterday I heard and saw the red-winged blackbirds for the first time and cranes were flying over. I heard a robin this morning, but haven’t seen one. Progress.

Last weekend I tried to shovel snow off our decks, but there was a nice layer of ice on top and I couldn’t even make a mark in it. This week, I’ve been able to make a dent in the pile on our front deck. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally be able to open the front door today for the first time since – well, I don’t know when.

Snowshoe trip with fourth-graders. Shortly after this was taken there was a ten-kid pile-up. They fell like ten pins.

Snowshoe trip with fourth-graders. Shortly after this was taken there was a ten-kid pile-up. They fell like ten pins.

I have a feeling this snow pile is going to be here for awhile. In the background you can see the neighbor's shed that collapsed under the weight of the snow this winter.

I have a feeling this snow pile is going to be here for awhile. In the background you can see the neighbor’s shed that collapsed under the weight of the snow this winter.

At one time this pile of snow covered the entire deck and went to the bottom of the door window. I've been chipping away at it this week.

At one time this pile of snow covered the entire deck and went to the bottom of the door window. I’ve been chipping away at it this week.

The back deck may take longer, but hopefully we'll be able to get the grill out.

The back deck may take longer, but hopefully we’ll be able to get the grill out.


As the snow is receding, the spring flowers are popping out.

As the snow is receding, the spring flowers are popping out. Brave things.

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Filed under Flowers, Reflection, Uncategorized, Winter

First Run of Spring

My first run went well. I walked/ran three miles, which included ten thirty second sprints. I’m sure I’ll feel those tomorrow. Most of the time I was on a side road which still has wet, icy, slushy, muddy spots. The road isn’t traveled much, and most vehicles passed me at a nice crawl. All except for the last one. I saw the car barreling toward me and realized he wasn’t going to slow down. I had just enough time to jump to the side, turn my back, flip up my hood and hunch my shoulders before – splat. I hope seeing me get soaked made his day. And I just finished doing laundry.

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Filed under Health/fitness, Nature, Reflection, Winter

Winter is Losing – Yay!

I’m sitting at my desk, listening to the snow melt from our front deck. Every once in awhile a crash resounds as a chunk of ice or snow hits the ground. The sun is shining and it’s WARM – well warm by our standards here in Wisconsin – forty-one degrees. I can begin to see the tops of the rose cones we used to cover our small trees. Flocks of geese heading over are increasing. The birdbath in the back yard is partially uncovered, but the one in front is still buried. The grip of winter is sliding from my soul.

bluebirds at birdbath 001 (5)Yesterday gave us a hint of spring. Shoppers were out in mass sans gloves, hats or winter coats. Small puddles of water grew into small ponds. People’s steps were lighter, smiles brighter as spring fever hit with a vengeance. The air temperature was a balmy thirty-two degrees, but the sun’s rays were intense.

I bought a bird book several years ago called “For the Birds.” The author, Laura Erickson, wrote aCode B12 daily journal about birds and nature. At the bottom of each page are lines for the reader to write his/her own notes. And, yes, I’ve written notes. And, yes, I am a bird geek.

Today, with the snow slowly disappearing, I got the urge to take the book down from the shelf and see when our birds started arriving in the past. I don’t remember why, but didn’t make too many notes from 2013. But I made plenty in 2012 when we had a very early spring. On the 11th of March of that year, spring bulbs were creeping up. The red-winged blackbirds and bluebirds arrived. Cranes were flying over heading to the nature reserve not far from our home. It was a busy day.

I’ve always wondered how birds know when to start their migration home. How do they know if there is still too much snow and no food to eat? Do they send out a scouting party? Well, if they do, the message they will send back to their families should be, “Let’s just stay where it’s warm for a bit. They’re not ready for us, yet.”

So, based on my notes, I will start listening with excitement for our birds over the next few days and weeks. Even though we will surely get more snow, the end of winter is near. I’m going to head out for my first run of the season. (It will be short, as I’m not one of those that runs all year round.) Then I’ll chip away at the ice in our driveway and simply enjoy our warm, wonderful day. I’m much happier than last week. Enjoy.

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Filed under Flowers, Nature, Reflection, Uncategorized, Winter

My Brain is Frozen

For the past two weeks I have been trying to think of something to write. I know I have ideas floating around in my head – but – I think my brain has frozen. Probably won’t thaw out in the near future. revised pompas 1093

Yesterday morning I was hopeful when I went out to my van to go to work at 7:00. The sun was shining. The air felt warm. There was no wind. I got into my van. It was -5 degrees. Was I actually thinking that -5 was feeling warm? Was my brain crazy or frozen?

IMG_2695This morning it is -15 with -37 windchill. The only thing I can think about is “When will this winter end?” It’s all everyone is talking about. The cold, the snow, the wind. Buildings collapsing due to the heavy snow (including my neighbor’s shed). Worse winter since 1903 or 1876 depending on which part of northern Wisconsin you’re from.

Like everyone else, I’m sick of winter. I want it over. It’s March 2nd. Farmer’s Almanac says 30 more inches of snow in March. Where will we put it all? I think I hear my flowers crying. Will our trees survive the deep, deep frost? How have the deer survived? Will the bears be able to climb out of their winter homes? Are the birds smart enough to stay away until things thaw?

Will my brain start functioning again and give me something more interesting to write about next week? Man, I hope so. Meanwhile, back to editing my Work in Progress. Code FL13

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Filed under Flowers, Nature, Photography, Reflection, Uncategorized, Winter

On With the New Year’s Resolutions!

IMG_8524 redoneEarly in January, I wrote a blog about my 2013 New Year’s Resolution. Most of you probably don’t remember it, but I was not going to vow to diet, exercise more or any of those other healthy things. I do them anyway, so using that as my resolution was a moot point.

I pondered for awhile. One day after walking past my shelves of Nora Roberts’ books, I decided I would read all of her books that were on my shelf. I would not buy anymore until I did.

I keep track of all my books in Excel and upon checking my list I found had 157 of her books, fifty-three of which I already read through the years. That left 104 to be read in 2013. I calculated I’d need to read two of her books a week to make my goal.

Well . . . I didn’t make it. I made a valiant try, but of the 123 books I read this year only 90 were hers. So close, yet so far away. As much as I enjoy her books, I found I needed a break once in awhile. I also had so many authors I wanted to read and enjoy.

It was interesting seeing how her writing evolved, how styles changed and society changed from her earlier books. The first time she had a character flick a cigarette over a railing (boat, hedge, window, car, etc.) I couldn’t believe it. But in the early and mid 80’s that was the norm, people smoked in books – and they weren’t the bad guys. As the years went on, Nora did this less and less.

One problem I encountered with reading so many of her books was how it affected my writing. Nora is known for her head-hopping. She even brought in the thoughts of very minor characters. The more I read of her, the more I found myself writing like that. I have to go through each of my scenes, paragraph by paragraph and mark whose point of view I wrote in. All-in-all reading her books was a learning experience.
Besides Nora’s books, I read several books for fellow Soul Mate Authors for review, some books by other authors I couldn’t resist and some I had to read for research for my history books.

There were some books I started and for one reason or another, just couldn’t get into and donated them to our local library for their annual book sale. I will have to be careful when I go to their book sale next year and don’t buy the Nora Roberts’ books I donated. (That’s why I bring my book list along.)

My favorite book so far has been “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” simply because I’m reading it with my nine and a half year-old granddaughter. We then watched the movie and talked about what was left out from the book and how some scenes in the movie were changed. It was fun. We are going to continue the series throughout the year.

Riding for Love CoverSo now for my resolution for 2014. It will definitely be to have more books published. 2013 was very good for me with “Riding for Love” coming out in May and my short story, “A Year and A Day,” published in Soul Mate Publishing’s anthology, “All I want for Christmas is a Soul Mate.”AllIWantforChristmasisaSoulMate

In 2014 I know I will have two children’s books released – they are currently in the hands of the illustrators. The titles will be “Uncle Bill’s Farm, True Stories of His Crazy Animals” and “The Hat Trader.” I don’t have covers, yet. I hope to have another romance published. And I definitely want to get much more writing done.

I’ve been working on my photography and will have ten of my pictures hanging in a new coffee shop in our town. They are also going to sell my photo cards. I hope to promote more of my photos and eventually get them on my website to sell.

As far as reading goes, I will finish the thirteen Nora Roberts’ books on my shelf. Guess I have to make that fourteen as my husband bought me one for Christmas. I went through my book list and found several authors that I have several copies of their books. Some I have over ten. So for 2014, I’m going to slowly and enjoyably read through those authors. I will continue to read my fellow Soul Mate authors’ books and, of course, the Harry Potter books with Alli.

IMG_8510I hope everyone’s 2014 resolutions are as fun as mine. Happy New Year.

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Filed under Christmas Anthology, Photography, Publishing, Reading, Reflection, Romance, Soul Mate Authors, Uncategorized, Winter