Monday, February 28, 2011

Wile E. Coyote of Cooper's Hawk

I took this picture with my cell phone, so I'll admit it's not the greatest and a tad too far away too but it's all I had with me at the time, so I went with what I had at my disposal. That being said care to take a guess at what is lying down there in the snow?

Well, it looks like a Cooper's Hawk; a flown-into-the-building, SMACK, fall-to-the-snow-covered-ground-in-a-heap-of-feathers-dead Cooper's Hawk, which is a shame. I would rather see something like a seagull or crow, not a beautiful bird of prey.

Ironically, this hawk is lying dead at the foot of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court building. Oh, there are SO many ways I could go with this, but I will simply leave it at that...

This Cooper's Hawk is one that we see frequently in our back yard. Always looking to take advantage of and score an easy meal from one of the dinning birds that flock to our feeders.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Morea Puzzle Making

We're knocking them out left and right and have completed a couple more 500+ piece puzzles -

550 -

500 -

and to challenge ourselves a bit we've started a 1000 piecer.

Look Both Ways Before Crossing

On snowy President's Day morning Emilie and I noticed these two deers trying to work up the courage to cross the street. They slowly worked their way up to the edge a couple times but each time an oncoming car scared them back -

Here they are, at the end of our neighbors driveway, on their second attempt, which was as far as they'd get before turning and running back into the woods -

We can only guess that plan B was to circle through our back yard, just behind the chicken pen, and work their way parallel to the street to cross further up. Perhaps, they decided to head to the ball field and the thick woods that surround it, which is on the same side of the road as our house -

Interestingly, a couple days earlier there were at least seven deers in the neighbors back yard. However, they were difficult to count since they didn't come out of the woods and were all moving about, so there could have been a couple more. I'm guessing these two somehow got separated from the others. Either way I'm hoping ALL of these dudes move on and stay away once Sping arrives and the flowers, scrubs and veggies start a popping!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've Suffered Another Blond Moment

and they're occurring more frequently these days...

I think I already know the answer to the question I'm about to ask but I'm gonna ask it anyway, even at the risk of sounding like a boob. OK, ready?!

Have you even given yourself a paper-type cut from a (toasted) bagel?! I did, just this morning, ouch! Yup, I did! Really. Not from the knife I used to cut the bagel in half but from it's toasted, slightly crispy (the way I like it) edge.

Now, it wasn't just any old bagel mind you, it was an Iggy's bagel. An Iggy's multi-seed bagel, which is topped with: organic flax seeds, organic sesame seeds, poppy seeds and coarse sea salt. They're YUMMY!

Although, the picture above it blurry, it does show my wound - evidence.

So, the morale of the story is bagels can cut. Be careful out there!

Don't Be Fooled...

Here's a opossum, playing opossum. It didn't take him too long to realize that playing opossum wasn't necessary and off he scampered. Someone else's problem now...

Monday, February 21, 2011

We're Down and Off the Air...

Hello All,

FYI - wanted to let you know what we've lost Internet access and our home telephone this past Sunday AM. Verizon unable to resolve over the phone and need to dispatch a technician, however, their first available was sometime during the day on Tuesday...

Fortunately, cable TV still works. Otherwise, we're living like in the olden days.

Emilie and I are sitting in the parking lot of a local Franklin establishment that has "free" WiFi just so we can check email, Facebook, Farmville, etc.

If you need us for any reason, please call either JoAnne or my cell phone.

Hope to be back on the air soon, and not sitting in some parking lot.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Manure Tea of Sort

Yup, I did a wee little bit of gardening this afternoon. I didn't let the just above freezing, supper windy, snow covered ground stop me, no sir! However, it didn't take too long before I was winded simply trudging through the deep snow to get to the gardens - clearly I'm a tad out of shape. Hmm, think I'll have a frosty Coor's Lite while I contemplate the possibility of doing some exercise. Or, I'll just up the dosage of my blood pressure medicine. Beer ME!

I turned and mixed (above what the hens do on a daily basis) the bedding/chicken droppings/rabbit droppings and the filled a 5-gallon bucket (7) times with the wonderful, rich garden feed. Then trudging through the crusty, deep snow I spread it on top of the snow that's covering our vegetable gardens/beds. So, some of the compost will melt into the soil as the snow melts and what remains will be tilled in when the soil allows come Spring.

See, I'm already thinking Spring! I said beer ME!

The Lucky Country: Australia, where else?

The warm weather we've had the last couple three days or so has allowed us to chip away at the sheet of ice, also known as our driveway. Most has been removed and what's remained looks like Australia, wouldn't you agree?!

Our driveway "Australia" -

The actual Australia -

It's bloom'n uncanny Mate, CRIKEY!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Snow's Melting Away, Yay!

Although we still have plenty of snow and ice covering the ground, yesterday was a beautiful day that warmed up well into the upper 50's low 60's. As a result the snow is slowly shrinking and melting away, yippie!

As you can see from the first picture below it was approximately 63 degrees here yesterday afternoon at 4:30. Which is a far cry from the second picture below where it was 33 degrees just over a month ago at about the same time.

What you also might have noticed is the what the lovely weather lady is wearing in both pictures. As I mentioned in an earlier post, her outfit adjusts with the temperature. The colder it is the more bundled up she becomes and conversely the warmer it gets the less bundled up she is, hubba hubba.

Warmer -

Colder -

Yet, I have this unsettling feeling that even if we heat up into tripple digit numbers, she's not going to present me with her birthday suit, alas...

Hip Hip Horray! Finally Done!

Good news neighbors, the town has finally cleared the last quarter mile of sidewalks on Lincoln Street! No need to walk in the street and risk getting hit by a speeding vehicle, of which there are plenty!

It only took just 3 calls, over 2-weeks, to the DPW to get this accomplished. However, I can not take full credit, as the first time I called the person who answered indicated that they had already received several complaints and it was on their "list".

Before you all rush to the aid of the DPW let me say that I realize this has been a difficult winter, with mountains of snow to clear. However, the last time our sidewalks were plowed was back in January before the 01/12 storm. Our street is heavily travelled with speeds well over the posted speed limit (this is another issue I have and one that does NOT get the attention it should by the police, regardless of how often I call). Not to mention that there's a ball field a couple hundred yards up the road and elementary school 1 mile up.

So, with the heavy snow removed, the beautiful warm, well above freezing temperatures are helping to get the sidewalks done to their bare pavement and useable once again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Emilie is 9!

Happy Birthday Emmie-bean!

WOW, where has the time gone?!

Pool Shoveling

Now one would think that since it's winter time here in New England pool care and maintenance would be almost nil. Typically, this is true, however, with all the snow that we've had this winter the weight on the pool cover concerns me. So, that being said and my love for shoveling snow I spent well over an hour on Saturday shoveling the heavy, wet snow off of the cover.

When I was done, I was almost as wet from sweating as I would have been if actually swimming.

It was a lot of work moving that heavy, wet snow all the while being careful not to scratch or cut the cover but it was well worth the effort. I can relax a little now and not worry as much. Also, with help from Mother Nature and the predicted warmer weather later this week, the melting should help too.

Calgon take me away...

Baby It's Cold Outside, brrrr

This is what happens when the chickens decide to lay their eggs after I've been out to tend and feed them. Since we're not getting many eggs at all these days, it's a shame to loose even one when finally laid. Thinking Spring!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One of Life's (My) Mysteries

OK, show of hands, how many of you have some flavor of a programmable thermostat installed in your house?

That's great, we do too. As a matter of fact we have two, the Lux TX500 pictured above, and have for many years now. Like Tony The Tiger says, "They're GREAT!"

As, you'll see in the above picture there are two numbers; the time on the left and the temperature that's being set on the right. Now, the time flashes or rotates every couple of seconds between the current temperature and the current time. Well, here's my dilemma, and please feel free to tell me I'm crazy -

I would guesstimate that 99% of the time when I look at units the time is displayed. However, that same 99% of the time I do not care what the time is and am only interested to see what the current temperature is.

Can someone please explain this phenomenon to me? The time I lose waiting for the display to change is beginning to eat away at my day.

Gracie The Snow Cat? Nope!

Gracie the cat does NOT like the snow but then again what cat would. However, that didn't stop Emilie from taking her outside and playing with her in the snow, hehehe. After all, the cat needs fresh air and exercise too. She's become quite the fatty...

Here's Emmie carrying her around. To give you an idea of just how deep the snow is, that dark object just in from of the cat whisperer is the retaining wall that runs on one side of our pool. The top of this wall is approx 3 feet high, so we're taking some deep snow. The pool is just behind Miss Emilie "Bindi Irwin" Frye.

If animals could only talk. Wonder what she's trying to say...

Friday, February 11, 2011

We're Jigsaw Puzzling It!

With the lovely weather we've been having here lately, we don't venture out side unless necessary. One of the activities we've been doing is jigsaw puzzles. The two shown below are the ones that we're banged out over the past month.

The first was a 1000 piece puzzle -

The second was a 750 piece puzzle -


Silly Grandpa

A man came to visit his grandparents, and he noticed his grandfather sitting on the porch, in the rocking chair, wearing only a shirt, with nothing on from the waist down.

“Grandpa, what are you doing? Your weenie is out in the wind for everyone to see!” he exclaimed.

The old man looked off in the distance without answering. “Grandpa, what are you doing sitting out here with nothing on below the waist?” he asked again.

The old man slowly looked at him and said, “Well….last week I sat out here with no shirt on, and I got a stiff neck. This is your grandma’s idea.”

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Unavailable Till Further Notice

**** Attention Visitors / Customers ****

Due to the recent snow storm our famous and delicious "Frost Bite Burgers" will be unavailable until further notice. We truly apologize for the inconvenience and promise to prioritize having the back deck and grill cleaned of any and all future snow accumulation in a more timely manner so to avoid this regrettable situation.

We thank you for your patronage and patience and look forward to serving you in the very near future.

The homeowners

Roof Shoveling - Oh the Joys...

I've spent the last couple of days shoveling snow off of roof tops and man-o-man was there a lot!

I took care of removing all of the snow from our family room roof, right down to the shingles. I borrowed the neighbor's roof rake and was able to reach and clear the second story roof. Although, that just allowed me to remove the first foot or two from the gutters up but it made a huge difference just the same.

Then I headed over to my neighbors to help shovel off his roof. He has a ranch style house so it wasn't too bad from a height perspective. We worked well into the darkness to get it done and ahead of the heavy rains that followed later that night.

Yesterday morning, Saturday, I picked up my son Christopher and headed over to my dads. The plan was to shovel the snow off of the shed and chicken pen roof. The picture below gives you an idea of just how much snow there was!

Here is what the back of the shed looks like. This is where we pushed some of the snow - it's up to, and in some places higher than the gutters!

Shoveling snow in general is a lot of work but this roof shoveling is just too much!! It really kicks my ass. However, I can sleep easier knowing this has been taken care of. My dad, well, I don't think he gives this a second thought and doesn't worry about it one way or another. Can't wait till the house sells...

Confused Robins I Think

Here are four Robins sitting in one of our ice covered Maple trees. I was always under the impression that Robins were Spring-type birds, and they'd arrive when the weather was on the upswing but clearly that's not the case. However, if it is someone should let these dudes know.

Now, same tree a couple days after the above picture was taken. The cool thing about this picture is that there are two Robins, one Cardinal and a Blue Bird! Yup, there's been about six to eight Blue Birds hanging around. They're one of my favorites and welcome to stay as long as they'd like.

* These pictures were taken through plastic that we have over our bay window, so they're somewhat blurry.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Snow Blower No Workie, waaaaaaa

As I'm sure you're all aware by now the North East has been it with another snow storm - ENOUGH ALREADY! This one going on day 2 and turning to rain.

So, last night after work, I bundled up and headed outside and do some snow blowing. The snow blower started on the first pull, awesome, and away I went. However, when the machine hit the first pile of snow nothing happened. Nope, nothing. No snow came a shooting out of the discharge chute, none. That damn Murphy.

Ah, but I wasn't worried. After seeing the commercials on TV I knew just what to do and began singing, "Like a good neighbor State Farm is there" but nothing happened. So, I tried again, "Like a good neighbor State Farm is there" and still nothing happened. Cmon, now I'm getting frustrated and give it one more try, "Like a good neighbor State Farm is there" and uugh still no-workie.

Just before I begin to go off and throw a fit it hits me and I realize - I don't have State Farm insurance. Well, that explained it. Of course it didn't help my snow blower, which still doesn't throw snow. Need to convince JoAnne to get out there with the shovel but how...

Snow, Snow Go Away...

Before -

Following my blood donation, I changed cloths, loaded the snow blower into the back of my pickup truck and took off for my dad's house. Although, one of the neighbors takes care of plowing his driveway, there is still a lot of shoveling left to do. I use the snow blower for this, which makes a world of difference but still back breaking work.

I headed over with the intention of cleaning up where the plow is unable to reach, cutting back the corners and clearing a pathway to the back porch, the back basement door and to the shed from the driveway. This way, and in case of an emergency, access is cleared. I also wanted to get up on the house roof and shed roof to clear the huge mounds of snow that have accumulated. The shed, I'm worried about the roof collapsing in and the house, I'm worried about water getting inside and doing damage.

Well, the first part wasn't too bad, using the snow blower. I had already taken care of cutting these pathways following the last storm we had, so really they just needed to have the latest snow removed. However, the clearing of the roofs was the real test/chore. Of course, not only is it difficult shoveling off several layers of snow but doing so while trying not to slip off the icy roof was challenging. Of course before I could get the ladder in place on the back porch, it too needed to be cleared of several layers of storm snow, uggh!

Just when I thought the hard work was done, it was then time to clean up the snow that was pushed off the roof. Naturally, the majority of this snow landed on the front and back decks, front walk and stairs and part of the pathway already cleared. I tried to toss it where I wouldn't have to touch it again but keep in mind that I'm balancing myself on a slippery, ice coated roof.

I wonder if watching someone clean snow off of a roof is similar to watching someone mow your lawn, just a different season. Keep in mind I was a pint of blood short too! In either case the pay is the same...

After -