Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Day 2007

The old apple tree from the bathroom window. Not an especially problematic snow, although Husband RJ has already been out once to clear the walks. More tonight and tomorrow morning.

I will work the paper. Haven't partied the New Year in ages.

Wolf Packs out tonight. For the non-upstater, that's common usage for the presence of the Sheriff's Department Traffic Random Traffic Stops. Around here that means very safe streets after midnight.

I'll probably be stopped, myself, on the way home from work. The sheriff's deputies don't know me from Adam. City police leave me alone, after a few stops in the early years.

Party safely and if you drink, stay over.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pre-Christmas

The vacation will be over soon and the rush is on. Tonight I hope to watch my much adored son in law play in his band. Don't Look in the Basement.

They will be selling sweatshirts and cds, which brings on the next issue. Husband RJ, VeggiGirl and I are the (1) Secret Santa for my also-adored brother in law, Patricio. He was also in a band, OHM of Boston, Massachusetts. I'm ashamed to admit I don't know whom he is with now, but they had a bit of success in their group, so I know he will love a few mementos from our local up and comer.

Otherwise, we recently cleared about 6.6" (16.51 cm) from our walks, in two separate shovellings. We also cleared up to our neighbor's door, since she is somewhat shut in during the winter. I mention this because on the second pass, it was clear that another neighbor also cleared her walk, coming from the other direction. Later, when her husband came home, he cleared our walk all the way around with his blower. Even later, I saw yet another friend coming from the back way, blowing the snow on the Guinnip side all the way to the corner!

God, I love Elmira, New York!

Update: and I love my Chemung River, even in winter.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In the Middle

...of my week off, and I going to do the things I usually do. Clean, check my bills, and visit with Golfer Girl in Corning.

The whole area is dark; it is raining and we are waiting for the MidWestern storm to catch up with us. The HuggaMutt refuses to get out of bed. I'll bet I could even use the whistle and she wouldn't budge.

And, oh joy, we are expecting a Nor'easter this coming weekend! Husband RJ is beside himself with worry and anticipation. Fortunately his mother has been discharged from the hospital and is resting at home. No more trips for my father in law, over the river and back.

No way to do it but to hunker down and go through it.

Hope the weather is treating you all better.

I'm afraid my
Baby Blogsister Pearlie must be caught in the messy ice storm. Our thought and prayers are with all of you out there.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rocky Start

My vacation got off to a rocky start. When I arrived home Friday night (actually Saturday morning, 1AM) there was a message on the answer machine.

My Inlaws were at a local hospital. My dear MIL was having severe abdominal pain. Mindful of my problems with MSG and other additives, they wondered if she was suffering the same.

Actually, her appendix had ruptured. I stayed with them until Husband RJ could arrive. She had emergency surgery later that morning. We have all been visiting, off and on, since then. She's going home tomorrow, and already she's bored and sick of the food.

By a very strange irony, I actually got a touch of MSG poisoning at a wine, cheese and chocolate party Saturday night. That had the effect of mostly keeping me home these last two days.

So Josephine's Journey got another chapter. Some people are just lightning rods for trouble. Some people like it that way. Josey does.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, December 02, 2007

So this is December

Tried to take Ellie to the River. Too cold and biting for her to really enjoy. We trudged through the snow a while. When she seemed a little distressed by it all--keep in mind that a few inches comes up to her neck--I threw her in the back of the car. We returned home to a warm sofa with cuddly throw, hunkering for a nasty ice storm.

And I had another disturbing dream.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Josephine is at it again.

Another trip to another tavern.

You know what they say: Fools go where angels fear to tread.
But she does learn a bit more about her roots.

This is the long-awaited Dragon Lady symbol.
It is the work of the man behind the Sebastian Cyan character in the story.

Here are links to his sites:
At Deviant Art and Xanthia. And now Josephine is off on her own adventures that should take us right up to the New Year.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All gone...

It took a day or so, but the snow is gone. Our world is brown and green and tan right now. Not a pretty sight.

More photoblogging on T-day.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Before the holidays


One of my last posts for Downtown Elmira, just as the last post for RiverDogging was sort of penultimate.

I leave wiggle room for some festive holiday shots, though.

Winter weather is just gorgeous around here, and I hope to treat readers to some Christmasy stuff. Frankly, though, a few of my trips during bad weather were very nearly catastrophic. I would like to think I'm smart enough to learn from them.

We'll see.

pb
Little Pond

(You can click on the picture for detail.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Still readjusting

...after all those seven-day weeks. Now I am almost fully rested and most of my to-do list has been cleared. Posting will begin again, just as soon as the HuggaMutt returns to her owners' house.

Yep. Been busy walking her and taking pictures. The RiverDogging blog is nearly complete, and the new year will find a new blog dedicated to Newtown Creek.

Right now, allow me to crow a little, as my favorite Super Hero takes one more step towards his inevitable apotheosis.

Ahem. One step closer to his being declared a local patron saint.

Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. This guy was seen as just a local well-to-do citizen. I especially love the way the researchers are looking into his choice of wallpaper!

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Go for walk?


Go here to see (finally) the Southside post in River Dogging. It was such a beautiful day.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Outskirts of Hell


Tuesday we cruised to Eldridge Park. It's a good place to lead a dog on leash.

We walked the bicycle path that issues east from the park proper. The bike path looked lovely at first, but we decided to hang a left onto a dirt road.

Uh, oh. Mistake.

First clue: piles of abandoned construction materials.
Second clue: stagnant, dirty runoff ditches.
It was a long, depressing trudge through muck and trash.

Even in Hell there was beauty enough.
Tangled vines and branches hid wildlife, and dirty water came alive with muskrats.

Ellie was busy smelling everything, and we bot
h got plenty of exercise.

But honestly, I felt as if I’d escaped Purgatory by the time
we were safely back at Eldridge.

We lost the leash along the path, but no way would we return for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Josephine Begins Anew

So marital bliss wasn't quite.

Quite what, she still doesn't know. Only thing she does know is that she can't face the others after being played for a fool.

No matter.

There's a whole
Planet out there for consolation and a Road Trip for amusement.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I dyed yesterday.

Update: The black, done with RIT dye, was wonderful, five pieces colored to perfection. The indigo, done with some stupid stuff from Spain, was not the right blue for denim today, was really thick on the first item, blotchy on the second and nonexistent on the third. The second item will need to be redyed with a liquid dye. I give up on the third, no big deal. Guys, I recommend that only RIT (or maybe some other American dye) be used. Quality control is apparently lacking elsewhere.

And I will dye again today.


Yup. Dye. As in cloth. Not hair: too allergic.

But yesterday I had a successful stint with deep black for my husband's work jeans, a silk camisole and my "dragon lady" undershirt.

Today it's indigo, as in denim. A straight-leg pair of men's cut, my everyday work
"uniform," and his "lookin' good" jeans.


Total spent: less than $10.00 for all the dye. A few hours work over a hot stove, followed by gentle, warmwater laundering and cold rinse. Usually extends the life of my things a year or more. We'll see how long it affects his.

Good work for a rainy day, too.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New post to RiverDogging

This new post is simply a set of photos recording some work done on the Chemung River to upgrade sewer pipes.

Turns out they may be the only ones available.

I was asked to retrieve them for a local government agency.

But I have some pretty ones coming soon, I promise.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Layoff Denouement

Not only are we not laid off, but we can expect a raise!

New policy dictates that the positions be posted, and we must vie for them, but we've personally defined them over the last decade. In fact, our counterparts at the other papers mostly come from our department right here!

Of course, a promise of a raise, coming from some sort of district manager, means little until it shows up in a paycheck. But there is hope of more help. Before, we were expecting layoffs, until we lost three people, all of whom jumped in the face of layoffs.

Losing the jumpers left us in position to hire, but that would have been for Advertising Graphics, not for us Paginators (soon to become Production Service Specialists). We had been "granted" a part-time person, but his loyalties were to the AG side.

When they learned that I was working 7.5 hours overtime to fill in the weekends, everything changed. (Never mind that my immediate boss has been essentially donating his time and gasoline to work the other weekend night!)

The district manager was very surprised to hear it, and suggested we needed another full-timer. That means that whoever works the weekends will be receiving the commensurate night-time differential, i.e., raise. The AG people are now scrambling to see if they can cash in, only without working the weekends.

Fortunately, we have been assured that we get will get a weekend-specific worker. It's a wonderful entry-level position that essentially comprises less than a half-day's work, and the rest of the time just facilitating page flow.

Good thing the manager understands that. It will be nice to have more help around here.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Brakes

Lesson of the week in Little Pond: Brakes are good. Almost no brakes, bad.

Because I had guests coming to town over the weekend, I scheduled the repair for Monday.

Wrong move. Not only did I not have a car to use for my guests, but I also drove around on pins and needles, waiting for the darned things to fail.

My guests had to provide the transportation, and my nerves were shot by Sunday night. I can feel my neck tightening even as I type.

After diagnostics and a new brake line to the back drums, I had the pleasure of speaking with the mechanic on the Yellow Team (Don't you have a team color? Oh, you must get one...) who discussed how they felt to him. We compared notes and chatted a while, and I left feeling a little smarter and completely relieved.

And about $250.00 lighter. Geos are cheap to run, but expensive to repair in these parts.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

M my name is Mary

Middle name, that is. Been tagged by Granny J of Walking Prescott.

"...list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have. At the end of your blog post you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag."

Wouldn't I love to pick a different middle name? Can anyone guess what it would be? But let's use my real one: Mary.

Manly

I've often thought I should have been born a male. Growing up, I was held to many of the same standards as my five brothers. Someone asked me recently why I don't cry. That's why.

Besides, there're always antidepressants to take up the slack.

Action-oriented

Can't stand to just sit around. I have to be making things, fixing things, or planning things.

riter

Well, wRiter, anyway. May not yet be a good one, but I sure am prolific.

Yin/Yang

Yin and Yang. Somewhat of a dualist. Especially with people, I've learned to look for the flip side of just about anything. Life just seems to be like that.

Ahh, Granny J, while you're welcome to tag me, I decline to pass it on.

Readers (hope you're plural...) you are welcome to grab the baton yourself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nibelheim in the Mists


When the clouds rise from the Chemung River and meet the hills, it's time to haul the HuggaMutt to the strand where we can look for photos appropriate to early September.

It's cool and quiet. We find a few fishermen, human and otherwise, and some fellow dog walkers. This shot is going into my fantasy-romance when I post this weekend. Nibelheim is the town where all the action is currently based. It shouldn't be any surprise that most of my inspiration for the setting comes from the Southern Tier of Upstate New York, USA.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What I remember most.

9/11/01 was further punctuated at the Star Gazette by a series of phone calls alerting us to the coincidental death of a coworker. Carolyn was returning from Atlantic City when she was overcome by asthma.

We could have used her that awful day; she would have shared the burden of the Extra Edition. The younger workers were in too much shock to work. They whined and cried, and generally were useless. Who could blame them?

For years, not a day would go by when we didn't miss Carolyn. Lately, it's more like weeks, but we still miss her terribly. New employees work even less. I don't know if it's an age thing, or something more insidious, like culture.

When you lose an Old School workchum, things are never the same. Last night, my boss raised the question of whether or not we are victims of ageism. Left to work nights, the toughest shift of all, while the younger folk pass the day (I wouldn't much call it working) carrying less than half the load. You see, it's easier to let things slide when not on deadline. It's easy to go home, leaving unsolved problems, when the central office isn't yet demanding an immediate solution.

We would find the solutions: Carolyn, GF, and me. We were once called the ATeam. I remember. But memories don't count for anything today. They are just sad.

pb
Little Pond

Friday, September 07, 2007

Note to self:

Open my blog-BIL's site first on Fridays.

I play the podcast in popup. When I can't take the time in the morning, then I open it at work, with earbuds...

My favorite was the tribute to The King.


pb
Little Poond

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I am sick to death of the whole Iraq thing,

but that has never changed my opinion of our need to be there. Husband RJ constantly tells me that IRAQ is keeping us from being prepared for other places.

Bullcrap! I say.

So let's just pull out and prepare for the next one? The height of idiocy! There will be no next one: we are in the next one, with all others radiating from the same.

Look, we removed the stability of Saddam? Oh, I agree wholeheartedly, but his kind of stability was not better than the current slaughter. We were just able to overlook it soooo much easier. With all the sanctimonious "Tsk, tsk" we could muster over his victims.

While there are times I'm ready to let the Islamicists have all the people who refuse to fight them, there is never any doubt in my mind we will (absolutely will!) be next.

That's why I signed the petition for us to properly wage this (not THAT) war in Iraq.

Read it. You should sign it, too.

pb
Little Pond

Not an Eagle



For some weeks I have been trying to get a shot of what looked like a pair of Golden Eagles over the Chemung River, right in the city.

Not likely. This morning I saw the large wingspan, golden brown and white banded, mottled or checkered (whatever) wings of this bird.

Couldn't for the life of me identify it, so I figured that once again I've spotted some immature hawk.

Still looking for that pair of ospreys or eagles or whatever, though.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day in Little Pond

Get some hiking boots and make sure your legs are covered. We are hunting for some of the more elusive riverfront areas on the edge of town. If you are bothered by spider webs, you should stick behind me: these trails are largely unused.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Postmortem on my week off.

I learned that I am full of new sensitivities:

Bought 12 pk of Miller High Life longnecks for the week. (Two per night with a few nights off.) After three nights, I woke in the morning with hives on my neck and face, and intestinal cramps. And forget the lovely Miller Chill. The citrus goes right through me, sore all the way through, too. (Sorry about that...)

A trip to the Corning Museum of Glass was cut short by an asthma fit. Albuterol inhaler was a big help, but my whole system was upset by the coughing and sneezing, and I left, if only to allow the rest of the tourists to enjoy their very expensive visit (remember, cmog is not government subsidized) in peace. I highly recommend the glass flower exhibit because it's not what one would expect from the television ads. Amazing stuff.

Spent one rainy day cooking a huge pot of tomato sauce for the VeggieGirl. Ate one tiny slice of leftover tomato, and got a sore throat with stomach upset. Also I learned that while unripe cantaloupe tastes like cucumbers, it still rips through the system like unripe fruit.

Some day I will grow up and stop putting everything in my mouth (just because it looks good).

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Summer Saturday

A very hot, humid day replaced by a humid, stormy night. I love storms. Watched it in a darkened living room, National Geographic on TV. Lots of flashing and wind, little rain. Temps dropped down into the 60's F (18-19C) and that was that.

That was enough. Tomorrow is the last day of my break, and I hope to be able to venture out into the real world again. Running from the AC in the car to the AC in a store and back to the AC in my house does not constitute visiting the real world.

All in all the vacation was a success: I did post another chapter in the trilogy, and I am finally able to sleep 7-8 hours straight, with only one trip for the usual. As opposed to 3-4 hours sleep and done for the night!

And the house is reasonably clean. Yardwork, however, was never finished, due to the oppressive heat. Not unexpected in the summer here in the Finger Lakes region.

Same old, same old, and I'm glad.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What is it?

It had been brightly sunny at first, but when Ellie and I headed back from the Chemung River, this strange shadow caught my eye.I couldn't figure it out, so I followed it by eye, determined to take pictures until I knew.It wasn't really anything much, just a contrail over some low-hanging clouds.

It was still cool.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time for a treat

Yep, done the nasty dayside workweek. I intend to send a postmortem to my boss about it. I need closure. Things got so bad that when I left on Friday, there were still things bothering me, even though I thought I had covered two jobs as well as one could expect.

Also, the place is reeling from yet another--yes, even beyond the one mentioned this week--purge. Most of my coworkers, dayside, spent their shift trying to verify what occurred at Binghamton. Personally, I still don't know if it's true, because I was working my freaking butt off and didn't have time to participate. I wouldn't anyway. We were warned, so it's likely true. The reason I think it may have happened is that my immediate superior was totally deflated last night.

Word is they got another long-time veteran. Also another rumor was that a new hiree came from long distance, after pulling up and moving to the area, and was let go as she or he came into the building. Finally an employee found his code no longer let him into the building. When he called to be let in, he was met by a goon squad that escorted him to his desk--so he could clean it out and leave. All the same site? Who knows? It's a very large, multinational company.

All rumors. Our people were freaking out. I was too exhausted to care. Besides, we have been there, done that before. Additionally, we were warned in advance that this was coming. Jobs have been eliminated and otherwise shipped overseas. Those are actual facts.

Kinda makes one wonder if warning people was such a great idea. Legalities, maybe?

Anyway, I couldn't sleep more than a couple hours last night, and finally gave up at 5AM. I cleaned house and went grocery shopping. I tried to nap again today with no luck.

Nerves, nerves, nerves. When's my turn?

HA! I nearly forgot the treat!

My own easy-to-do chili cheese dogs:
Lite hot dog roll, turkey frank. Both Weis Market store brand.
Old Fashioned Foods, Squeeze Cheeze Nacho variety.
El Rio Chili Con Carne, no beans.

Squeeze the cheese into the bottom of the roll. Insert the frankfurt. Liberally spread a huge amount of chili on top. Microwave about half a minute.

Good with a crisp lager beer, better with a less expensive wine, say Hazlitt Red Cat or a rose.

p-p-p-p-pb
Little Pond

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some memories:

When I was quite tiny, there was a boy who visited from the wrong side of the tracks. He'd sing Hound Dog to me. We were about five, I think. After first grade, I never saw him again.

Still, I wasn't really a fan until I studied in Spain. Elvis was more than "The King" to my dorm mates. I know many songs by heart because they wanted translations. They were enthralled by his voice and phrasing.

My "muy amiga" Rosa, would close her eyes, and get goosebumps from the enchantment he wove in her psyche.

After college, my good friend Karen and I would go to Indian Ranch for country music outdoors. There was a very good tribute act, Stan Young, I think. He was every bit as handsome as Elvis, maybe even more so. There was nothing comic or tacky about his performance, either.

My brother Tom bought me a ukelele when we were young adults. I taught myself to pick out some music. Love Me Tender was my favorite.

Elvis Aron Presley died 26 years ago today.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Damnedest Funniest Thing...

We all got an emailed from our district boss, who likes to sign just his first name. As if we know who the hell he is...

Anyway, he begins by citing the damning analyses by bloggers regarding the local stocks' tailspin. Their take? Gannett is in trouble. Big, big trouble, and will be selling off stuff.

What stuff? Dunno, mostly papers, stations, the usual. Occasionally I get the itch and read the quarterly report for investors. This stuff goes on all the time, as does, I imagine, the bloggers making predictions that are accurate or not. Big, hairy deal.

For the record, the same day, a very longtime maintenance employee, and another editor got their hats handed to them, in an effort to restructure (I think that is what we were told a few weeks ago) and keep on doing the stuff that's "good for Gannett." You know, like outsourcing our jobs to India--with sometimes hilarious results. (Like the illustration they chose for the dancing club ad! Just guess.)

Not coincidentally, I suspect, we also got the notices of two other employees who are abandoning ship before, well, whatever.

Don't want to be one of those bloggers...

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

St. John W

If you frequent Little Pond, you already know our patron saint:

John W. Jones came to Elmira as a runaway slave. He facilitated the flight of some 800 fugitives like himself through the Underground Railroad. My dorm room in 1975-76 was right over one of those passages.

During the Civil War there was a prisoner of war camp on the banks of the Chemung. My beloved river was probably the cause of thousands of deaths from diseases exacerbated by the dampness and flooding.

Jones personally oversaw the burial of almost 3,000 of those unfortunates. He kept meticulous records that allowed their grieving families to find closure in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Sunday we had a couple of pieces in our newspaper about Jones: an editorial detailing his life; an update on the restoration of his home and creation of a John W. Jones Museum; a series in the Gallery section with photos of the museum.

Icing on the cake! St. John W was a gentleman. (DUH! or DOH! Actually they mean "prosperous")

And sprinkles! Did you know?

Love it!

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chilling

Well, as much as one can chill in almost 90 degrees F (32C). Ellie and I are visiting the Chemung River every day. It's just too hot for little, low-down doggies to walk the streets and sidewalks of our little city.

Ellie was attacked by another dog a few weeks ago, so we tend to go earlier than before, before 9am. Then I return home very tired, cruise the blogs and share a little breakfast with my little buddy.

Most of my writing energy is going to the Dragon Lady Trilogy, and the rest of me is going to work, resting or getting ready to do so. Work or rest, that is.

Keep cool.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, July 19, 2007

RiverFest2007


This is the last RiverFest post for this year.

More Ellie stuff soon, for you who eagerly ask.

And for those who couldn't care less if they tried with all four paws, sorry. That's just what happens before the grandkids arrive.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tagged!

Blogsis Karen of Scottsdale tagged me, and I responded. However, it's on the MS Companion by mistake. No time to sort it out today. Go there.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Almost as promised.

I promised a video of Ellie Fishing, during which she almost catches a few fishermen, but it is longer than I want to post and will need significant editing.

In the meantime, we have Ellie getting lost in the knotweed on the Chemung River.

If I can ever figure out what takes her there we can have a video of her hunting. She's definitely after something, because her excitement gives it away.

I cut out the middle, where I lost her, and the end, where she comes far enough to see me watching her and loses interest. That would be cute, except I do a Beavis and Butthead laugh, and it sounds stupid.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Duck Hunting HuggaMutt


Actually I have a few videos I am trying to upload, but Google Video is not cooperating. We'll get back to you all when we have one of our wiggly wonders uploaded.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, July 09, 2007

www.dogsdeservebetter.com

This is a problem I discussed last week with RJ. We often hear a neighbor's dog outside whining for hours. People leave them while they go to work.

It's so sad, because dogs are pack animals.

There is something we can do.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Special Birthday: Robert A. Heinlein

Some centenary notes:

· With Heinlein, the narrator is often middle aged. When I was little, we were instructed in survival in case of nuclear attack, so I never expected to see 50.

· A search of the Internet turned up my hero with his wife, Ginny. They are appropriately middle aged.

· Ginny was the inspiration for many of his heroines. They were strong, lusty women, and I identified with them completely.

· One of my coworkers reacted oddly when I said Heinlein was my favorite science fiction author:

"Guy's a pervert." I responded that he was dead.

"Well, he was a pervert." I didn't say anything else.

"He was a nudist." Anyone who read Heinlein would know that was a distinct possibility. Apparently it was a huge disappointment for my friend.

· In my twenties I suffered overwhelming homesickness for New England. At the very worst of it, I remembered this poem, and took comfort.

[It begins:]

Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth…

[A spaceman describes his life and concludes:]

…We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the friendly skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

· I thank my stars our home is lush and green, and absolutely overrun with crazy people who make for good stories.

Happy Birthday, Lazarus Long. May you live forever!
Happy Birthday, Robert A. Heinlein, godfather of my writer’s soul.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I just had the most extraordinary dream.

In it, I was led into a room by my parents (who in reality live six hours away in Mass). The room was filled with Great Cats. There were tigers, leopards, lynxes, ocelots, and I don't know what else. There were lots of black ones. But no pumas, because I was asking for the pumas. It was all for my birthday, even though that was in April!

We had to be careful, because scratching at them, even behind the ears, made them over excited, and they could turn on us. I was scratching and stroking them anyway, and the handlers had to intervene. Some of the cats went under the furniture (so it sure wasn't my tiny little house).

The reason I'm posting this silly little dream is this: When I told my husband about it, he said it wasn't a dream, it was a premonition. That's what he's getting me next year.

Just to get it on record. I'm going to hold him to it.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trapped!

It's 80 in the shade (26.66 C)! Even the birds are getting quiet.

Can't go out, even to drop a letter in the mailbox. I had wanted to put the cats in the Kitty Walk today, but won't because, I can't be out there with them. No HuggaMutt to protect them: Ellie's home with Mamma and Poppa Dog, having a full week of poolside vacation. I can't even go there to visit, because there's no air conditioning.

This spring has been such a bad one for the MS, I won't take any chances in the hot weather.

I can remember when I wasn't such a wimp, and I miss it.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Again!

For the third time in 25 years, I have been summoned for jury duty.

The first time, before the MS diagnosis, I was simply dismissed due to plea bargaining.

The second time I was very sick with MS and excused.

This time, I don't know. I will once again go to my Neuro and present the papers. He will likely give me another document. I am hard of hearing--but they offer signers and listening devices!--and tire easily, within two or three hours at best, and am unpredictably incontinent. My guess is that the last one will probably convince them.

The fact that I work nights isn't any sort of factor. It makes me available to serve days, and as far as Gannett is concerned, I can also work that night, too. No compensation offered. That is the policy for night workers.

It gets really old really fast.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Living with a smoker who lives with a forgetful jerk.

I was sweeping the carpet (yes, sweeping, with a carpetsweeper, so as not to frighten the cats) when I found a huge pile of ashes, and two--two!--new burns. Good thing it's a dark carpet.

I was thinking, "If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have married him."

Then I thought, "I am a liar. Of course I would still marry him. For the very same reasons that have kept us married despite the smoking, and other things."

You married people understand: I have my own shortcomings. I'm very forgetful, and just terrible with dates.

Earlier today, before he left for work, I found an envelope for me.

Inside he had written:

"What would I have done without you these past 27 years? Love you very much."

Happy Anniversary, Husband RJ, from the forgetful jerk.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, June 16, 2007

First in a Series

Called Ellie Visits.

Boring videos by an adoring GrammaDog. This is what happens when we don't have grandchildren.

Ellie wends her way through the underbrush of the Strand along the Chemung River.

This is the best we can do for now. It's raw footage. I haven't even installed the editing software yet!

pb
Little Pond

Friday, June 15, 2007

We are just not well

... here in Little Pond.

Tuesday afternoon my younger daughter called to tell me she was being taken to the hospital with stomach pain, vomiting and cramps. She'd been violently ill for the last four hours, unable to even sip water.

At the hospital she was in a bay within a few minutes. It took two hours before they began to stabilize her. The place was preparing for an influx of ambulances, due to a crash on the highway.

Once she'd been stabilized, I left it in the hands of Husband RJ and went to work. Turned out that our other daughter, and our son-in-law, also were violently ill, as was one of their friends.

We still don't know for sure if it was a virus (I didn't get sick like that) or food poisoning. Naturally they wonder if they got tainted food, with leftover taco sauce being the primary suspect.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling well, and later turned up at the doctors' offices with the worst UTI ever in my life. Better today, but it will probably take the weekend before I am fully recovered. We are all back to work today.

Update: other picnickers were also taken ill. NOT ALL had eaten the supected food. Probably a virus.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm still here.

Just outdoors more while I still can. Off and on this Spring, we have already had days when I really had to hide from the heat. There is no air conditioning at work, so I go out early in the mornings to enjoy what sun I can. Then I rest, as usual, in the middle of the day. Finally I get ready to go to work. In the heat.

We have threatened to arrive in a bathing suit, but I fear I would suffer throes of conscience as soon as they started screaming, "MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!" just as they are struck blind. Or turned to stone, or whatever. Did I mention that we are working in the heat?

The Little Pond is being recorded on video at this point, but I have truly put the "rank" in "Rank Amateur." Never fear, though, soon you will be (forced to) able to watch boring videos of HuggaMutt wading in the mighty River Chemung!

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Silent Summer

at the paper. We had our little meeting and we know what will happen.

This isn't to say that we know what's going on. Only that the place is getting quieter and quieter as the meetings are convened in the different departments.

Looks like the supervisors are all quite happy. Guess they will keep their positions. We grunts will just have to take it as it comes.

Like I said. The place is very quiet these days.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, June 02, 2007

This is a picture of my pets getting their Advantage


There is nothing wrong with your computer or Blogger.

Ellie is the only one to stick around. The cats especially are underfoot all the time, except when we take out the flea treatment.

Didi is first, because the last time, she went missing for two days as soon as the first treatment went on Bubba. Got her by surprise. She's under the bed, sulking.

Patches won't hide, but she won't let me do it. I'm covered in her fur now, and she is sauntering to the basement. Sweet little Patches turns into Hell Cat Horrific each time I approach.

Bubba is still too stupid to evade or elude. Got him. He's not happy, but he's treated.

When Husband RJ gets home we do the Kitty Taco thing with the towel. And she will be treated, come Hell or high water. And here in Elmira, high water is no joke.

Then RJ can mow the lawn, and we can set up the Kitty Walk. So it's not all bad.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too Hot

I'm so glad I went photoblogging yesterday. This is the only one worth keeping.

A little story: My coworker from Troy, PA, hates Elmira. He was crowing that there was a mention of Elmira in a television program. CSI, I think. Definitely one of those investigation shows. They mention that they are going to Elmira to interview someone about a crime. When they get there, the people have a cow on their front lawn. He absolutely chortled with glee.

Well, I can tell you there are no cows in the city of Elmira. It's against the local ordinances or code or whatever. Can't even have a chicken or a kennel. The surrounding Town of Elmira may allow it in some districts.

The above photo is taken a tad down river from my usual stomps, although it is still in the city. Because of the "Great" flood of 1972, there is a lot of land that, while not pristine, cannot by law be developed for business or residence.

Already it is so hot and so dry that I was able to stand in the river bed and take this shot. I also took several small video clips. Without a tripod, they are not good enough to post. Not sure how I would include them, anyway.

That's a story for another post.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, May 28, 2007

God Bless the Martyrs of Our Freedom.

Armistice - And Irony

I can see them yet, as they marched away,
So debonair, so brave, so gay!
I can see them yet, as they turned to wave,
The smiles erased from their faces grave.
And as I stood there, turned to stone,
The sun's last glint from their rifles shone.

I can still see my Mother, with face so white
And my Father, standing so still,
Trying to think that all was right,
Trying to feel like it was God's will.
Yes, we all tried to be as brave as they,
As my husband and brother marched away.

After many a weary month and long
Came the news, more cheering than the happiest song.
The whistles were blowing, the bells were ringing.
Everywhere people were shouting and singing.
"The War is over at last" cried they,
And the sad old World became hysteric'ly gay.
We looked at each other through tears of joy
And Mother murmured softly, "My boy, my boy!".

Happy plans for their return we made.
I tremble even now, as these mem'ries fade.
"Killed in action", the telegram bore.
"Killed in action"; weary brain repeated o'er and o'er.
Yes, the bells were ringing,
They should have tolled!
The sound of bells will turn me faint and cold
Forevermore.
My brother had died the day before.


Josephine Abby Lamb Baker

They also serve who remain at home and suffer loss.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Just a quick greeting to you all, in case I don't get another chance. Worked a 13 hour shift last night and am a little incoherent. Three hours' sleep doesn't cut it anymore.

I just soaked and pampered my legs, in preparation for the bare leg season. A little blogging, and then a glass of beer and more rest, alcohol inducement intended. I have no holiday this year, since we have four people out of a 10 person department gone to have babies or take vacation.

It just fell to me this year to do the work of 2 supervisors on top of my own duties Memorial Day. That's why I worked around the clock yesterday. No telling what will await me Monday.

Say a prayer for the safety of our soldiers, and a thank you for our veterans.

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RiverHagging

Ellie is at her new home in Elmira Northside, so I went without her. Just me, so this isn't RiverDogging. Got a few photos, and am tweaking a post. It's up, but I am just re-learning Blogger, so the photos are coming out the size I want just yet.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tell me I'm not alone...

Am I the only housewife in the Northeast who simply cannot get the spring cleaning and storage done this year?

Mid-May and all I've done is pulled down a few jackets and stored a few coats. Forget the cleaning, forget the summer things, forget the attic entirely.

If it were not for birthday money and Mother's Day, I wouldn't have anything to wear on the warm days.

Another frost expected tonight. Looks like the spare bedroom will stay full of seedlings for another week.

Hey. Can anyone tell me about small ceiling fans, with light kit AND remote control? We have a very small dining room and our antique hanging tulip lamp is beginning to seem unrepairable.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, May 14, 2007

Got fooled.

Now I wish I kept the photo. But any Googling of Ridgeback will turn up similar dogs. Why would anyone want to breed for that sort of thing? Looks just like an abused dog...

Don't ever fool yourself (Hah! Learned a valuable lesson.)

The rest of the post stands.

...into thinking that pit bulls enjoy fighting. All dogs will fight to protect themselves. And to do their jobs for their masters. Cesar Millan says that pit bulls are bred as gladiators, and that's true, but they simply want to belong to their masters and will fight when properly encouraged.

We received a very terrible photo, that I will not publish, from Dennis and Shelley, who frequently share anecdotes, jokes and photos with us. The dog looked like the HuggaMutt, only larger, with a horrible burn down her back. It looked deliberate, and must have caused her excruciating pain. No doubt she will need to be euthanized. Not. Should have published the pic.

The phrase "Hang the last dog" to mean stay out to the wee hours, sounds suspiciously like it comes from the fighting pits. The losers would be hanged by their owners, if they survived, as were the winners, if they were too wounded to fight again. I remember seeing this years ago, long before the Internet. Can we get a verification or mythbuster on that?

pb
Little Pond

I am descendant from French Canadians, and fighting pits were something I heard about from others. Not just dogs. French fighting was kicking, with the arms crossed in front. Too much violence for a young mind.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring Visitors


This is our latest visitor, waiting for her new owner to claim her. It's already too late, she loves us and we love her. We don't have the privilege of naming her: that goes to the VeggieGirl. She will be the inhouse companion to Inzie, her first housecat, who was to be a companion to Kiwi, the hedgehog.

Another visitor this weekend was a baby squirrel, left by a neighbor who found it in the street. We were a little non-plussed by the assumption that our yard was the place to bring orphan animals. Still we dutifully fed the little critter, who came out to cuddle with Husband RJ while he was gardening. We will continue to watch for it, but don't want to further the damage done already by actively encouraging interspecies fraternization.

And yes, if you were wondering: the robins have returned to Little Pond. Husband RJ has been chasing away the marauding crows.

St. Francis, be with us! We could use all the help we can get.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No Excuse

Brand new Compaq Presario this weekend, so technically we have no excuse for not posting.

Heheh. Well, technically, we suck.

So, no photos yet, and no promised posts at dragonladyjo. All that stuff is still on the old machine. RoadRunner has deemed it necessary to disconnect it, although we specifically stated we wanted to prevent such an occurrence.

Oh, well. Wednesday we should be back up with everything.

Monday we will post the next chapter of the Dragon Lady.

Right now, I want to play. No excuses, just reasons.

I want to play. I want to celebrate. I want to imbibe.

And will do so.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Real Superheroes

Our department, being filled with video gamers and comic collectors, was taken aback by this column in the Star Gazette. It is a lovely, sensitive column by a woman who is raising lovely, sensitive boys. Until she gets to the last line: there are indeed supervillans, but no superheroes.

This lady won't allow her children to read The Story of Ping, where the little duck gets a swat with a switch for being late. She specifically states that it has the duck being BEATEN, and refuses to read them stories where there are beatings. Guess that would interfere with raising lovely, sensitive boys.

I respectfully submit: not only are there supervillans in our world, but let's not teach our kids that there are no superheroes!

The Virginia Tech massacre is full of them.

For superheroes of the massacre, go anywhere on the Internet. But for specific instances of heroes at VT, not to mention elsewhere in our world today--sweet puddy photography as well any day--head over to visit our everloving Blogmother Sissy Willis, my own personal hero as well.

And don't believe for a minute that there are no superheroes in the real world.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, April 22, 2007

So busy.

Been visiting the Chemung River with Ellie. It helps me forget the awful strain at work. One artist is on maternity leave, and our layout person went to Florida for a week. It's been hell on everyone.

So I'm lost in my fantasies. I spent way too much time, for a grown woman, designing my dragon for Dragon Lady; Josephine's Journal.

I can hear the voices now. Grow up.

Not this week, please.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, April 15, 2007

St. James Callan of Rochester?

James Callan is back in the news.

A priest excommunicated after he became the pastor of the schismatic Catholic community of Spiritus Christi, Father Callan has said that the loss of his pastoral duties was the most painful experience of his life.

For him, excommunication is a null concept. Holy Orders are forever. Callan was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. He will be a priest for all eternity. So, he still consecrates, transubstantiates and distributes the Holy Eucharist. What more could he want?

I can tell you what he doesn't want. He doesn't want the Church to exclude gays, women, divorc├ęs, and other Catholics whose souls long for the Seven Sacraments.

As a cradle Catholic who loves the Church, I can imagine how hurt he is, the psychic pain he must feel at his own exclusion. Still he follows his conscience, ministering to the Church's outcasts in Spiritus Christi.

The Star-Gazette states that he "formed" Spiritus Christi. I object. Callan did not "start" his own church.

It sounds as if Spiritus Christi was inadvertently formed by the Roman Catholic Church herself.

Spiritus Christi began with people cast out of Roman Catholicism. Jim's flock are married Catholic gays, Catholic women called to the priesthood, remarried Catholic divorc├ęs, and many others who want to receive the Holy Eucharist, but are not "in communion" with Rome.

These are not simply "issues" that haunt Rome; they are people who feel cruelly kept out of the Church.

And Father Callan doesn't need Rome to be a real hero, i.e., a saint.

Canonization does not create a saint: it only recognizes the fact.

Go, Jim, go!


pb
LIttle Pond

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Day, Old Memories


Blue, blue sky over Foster Island
I did not even crop the photo, let alone tone it. I repeat: blue, blue, blue! When I first came to this area as a college freshman, I remember the skies as blue, but not this blue. Elmira in Upstate New York, USA, was solidly industrial and the skies showed it. There was a dome of pollution, visible for miles away from the highways.

Hoffman creek is totally clear today, even where it feeds into the Chemung. See the shadow under the water? That is a small tree trunk that washed down under the city. Later this summer, it will still be clean, but not clear. I let Ellie poke on the bank a while, then we moved back into the island.
Even the stray trash looked like Spring. When I was a little girl, growing up in Central Massachusetts, we would run through the soggy fields and woods in the Spring, getting soaked and cold in the process. Being very little and full of imagination, we would invent stories to go with the very rare pieces of trash we would find. Often we wouldn't even recognize their function. No doubt there were some pretty old items from earlier settlements. But we would hide them again, to keep them for ourselves, never to retrieve them.

This little bit of greenery was the real treasure, today. Lovely lime and chartreuse buds, and tiny leaves. Everywhere.

All soon to be covered by a fresh blanket of snow.

pb

Little Pond

Monday, April 09, 2007

What would we do without Easter or Passover?

Having raised both a Roman Catholic and an agnostic (don't even ask...), my answer is final: we would attach ourselves to whomever does celebrate them. And no, we wouldn't celebrate the Equinox instead. We celebrate the Equinox in addition to them.

My wonderful daughters brought me Easter Luncheon for Sunday. In turn I provided fixings for club sandwiches, including lunchmeats, bacon, rye bread and rolls. Husband RJ backed it all up with chocolate rabbits, brownies and white cake from Wegmans.

The VeggieGirl brought a huge salad that also gives me leftovers to augment my lunches for the first half of the week. Mamma Dog cooked a lamb shank in a vegetable sauce, of which I made short work, handing off the baton (so to speak) to the HuggaMutt who left nothing unchewed or unlicked. My number one daughter also whipped up my favorite, zucchini bread, that I hoped to enjoy the rest of this week. Alas, however. The bread did not survive past breakfast, and I will wear it proudly at my waist and hips. At least until I can get outdoors to exercise my walking stick later this week.

Daughter number two repaired to the spare bedroom to begin the proper stripping and spackling to turn it into a haven for future guests. She ended her work in the bathroom being tenderly nursed by Husband RJ, after she partly removed a knuckle trying to pull down old mirror panels. She will be sore, but fine. Or so I'm told, since she refused to let me see the wound, either before or after her her father administered first aid.

Otherwise we all had a wonderful visit punctuated by a presumptuously delightful California rose. Yes, I am ashamed to admit drinking outside my state. But Bill of Westside Wine and Liquors insisted it was the best sipping wine for the price. I really only want the best, but sometimes my purse has other ideas.

Back to bed, to rest before I start the workweek.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, April 07, 2007

More than a day late and several dollars short!

My little blogsister, Digital Karen, has tagged me for What happened on your birthday?

And I am tickled pink to comply:

I just happen to know that (in order of how they interest me) and verified on Wikipedia:

1--in 1945 on April 30, Adolph Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin bunker. Rumor has always been that their butler doused their bodies with gasoline and burned them to ashes. (Correction thanks to Nick in comments!)

2-in 1975, on April 30, the US lost the Viet Nam war. South Viet Nam surrendered to the North, who then began to call it Liberation Day.

3-in 1803 the US signed the Louisiana Purchase, thus expanding the country's borders almost exponentially.

4-in 1006, Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appeared in the constellation Lupus. Bet it scared the you-know-what out of everybody...

5-in 779 AD, The Saxon Princess Walpurga was declared a saint, her day to be celebrated on May 1, the day she died (and thus became a saint), according to the old calendar. Today, many people recognized Walpurgis Night as the exact opposite of All Saints Day's Eve or Halloween. It was said that all the evil wandering the world was permitted full sway on that night. People stayed home and shuttered their windows. Those who dared ventured forth found huge bonfires, as well as little lights by the roadsides, to ward off the evil.

Of course, way, way back in 1954, my mom gave birth to her first daughter, after three boys. I had some sort of birthmark called a storkbite, or starberry mark, that also later showed up on my firstborn daughter. Who knows what that symbolized, eh?

When I was little, it was the first day of baseball, but as you know, that is no longer the case.

Here in Little Pond, we don't much celebrate it, unless it comes on the weekend. I've even forgot it some years! Better at remembering now, after more than a half century...

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Girl Can't Help It

Sorry about the dearth of blogging entries lately. We are experiencing brain drain.

My coworkers are joining me in my story. After weeks and weeks of picking on me about being a fangirl, someone finally went to the site and read the blog. Now my work pals are characters in
Dragon Lady: Josephine's Journal. It takes a few informal meetings, and lots of rewrites and that is using up my time and brains.

But the bottom line is: I am not a game geek. Or if I am, I am no worse than anyone around me. It is normal for geeks to gather at a night job. The advertising department is a draw for artists and comic collectors.

I am neither. Or rather, I wasn't, when I came to the paper. Now I do collect comics, but rather specialized ones. The Fables series and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (yes, one book was made into a movie starring Sean Connery), to name a couple.

As for Fables,
you can learn about them here.

My childhood was rather bereft of such things, and I am making up for it now.

My story is fanfiction, that is to say, a it is based on some else's publication. In this case, a video game by SquareEnix.

A person who is willing to spend hundreds of hours playing (and toying with) a video game could eventually write her own version of some events, or even a spinoff. I would also point out that Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes work spawned many imitators, some of which are quite good. Nicholas Meyer's Seven Percent Solution is one example.


I am enjoying myself immensely. Much of it seems to write itself, and the characters sometimes take off without me. Especially given the parameters supplied by my coworkers.

Once I get past the hump of these chapters, all set in the same fictional town of Nibelheim, then I will slacken the pace and return to blogging.

So go outside and enjoy the Springtime weather. Grab an umbrella, or put on a raincoat, if you are in the Northeast. You are not made of sugar, and you won't melt.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Seen that before. Right?

Wrong. Snowdrops on the levee, March 24, 2007. I cropped Ellie's butt out of the shot. Same as last year. We visited the Chemung, same as last year.

But the feeling is new every year. The snowdrops look new, every year. Their delicate beauty is striking, each and every time.

Y sigh Y

I'm such a sucker for Spring.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Noon: Reuben Wrap and Frosted Mug of Beer

Green napkin in my lap and Ellie at my feet. The Reuben wrap is unexpectedly a hit with her, and we are sharing it while I blog. St. Paddy's day special.

City is pretty, and I've been out three times in the Tracker. 4WD is a must on our side roads. Took the HuggaMutt to walk atop the levee. Nothing else is plowed down near the River. Poor little thing has to push the snow as she goes. Tires her out. Me, too, but it was good exercise. Husband RJ has already done the walks and is off to Southport to visit the inlaws.

We dropped the leash on the way back to the Tracker, so out again to retrieve it, stopping for beer at the convenience store. Finally, out to pick up the wrap. We are in for good.

Sorry, no photos. Whiteout conditions with drifting and blowing.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Aha! Spring is springing...

Sorry, I didn't check to see the species. Except for Canis domesticus, scientific name HuggaMutt cuddlebum. No denying it now. Spring is in the air. The ice dams are breaking up, and the silly gulls ride them downriver, craning their necks to watch us as they pass.


Just what are these things? Size-wise, they are about six feet tall, and about the width of a garage. They are massive, to prevent them being swept away during the plain's frequent flooding. I'm guessing they are some sort of valve. By the way, the valve, or fireplug, or fire hydrant to the right is manufactured by Kennedy Valve, right here in Elmira, NY, USA. Actually McWane International. If you check the valves in your town, they might just say, Elmira, NY on them, too.
pb
Little Pond

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Just about two weeks ago.

Ellie was playing on a hard crust of frozen snow. It was so deep that, when she got caught in a depression left by my footprints, she couldn't climb out. I wound up carrying her to a place where she didn't sink in. The stuff was frozen crust under a drifting powder cover. It was slow-going, and we were exhausted after our run.

Anybody got an ID on this thing?

I have no idea what plant this is. An interesting seed-bearing organ. Just love this sort of thing.

Another quiz: What's wrong with Ellie?


If you said, "Nothing," you are correct.

She's nakey! For the first time in months. It is now warm enough to run around in just a halter or collar.

We are both grateful.
No guarantees, though. This is March in Upstate New York.
Here's an interesting followup to my photos regarding the ice dam. Never mind my old photos, this is a video that really expands on the whole mess.
pb
Little Pond

Friday, March 09, 2007

Think Spring with Criminal Grace


Feels a tad early for this around here, but Five on Friday wants us to Think Spring:

1. We don't celebrate the arrival of Spring in Elmira. Just its very occurrence is a celebration in itself. And around here Spring is a very long, on again, off again, process.

2. No other holiday says Spring as much as Easter. Even when it snows during the Mass. Just think of all the wasted "Easter" dresses that never get worn!

3. While I wouldn't call it interesting, Spring means cleaning the house, putting up the proper wreaths and decorations, and beginning to stow the winter coats.

4. There is a certain green, chartreuse maybe, that I see in the tender shoots and the earliest leafing of the trees. Since I think of summer being dark green and gold, that bright, yellowish green would be spring, at least here in the Northeast.

5. Can't wait to open the windows again. Our porch is getting a good cleaning and the awnings will be repaired. This year, MammaDog and PoppaDog will move a little closer, into a place of their very own. We'll let them set the pace and be the center of attention this year.
(BTW, those are snowdrops from last year, right around the same time. Don't expect any this year, but hope Springs eternal in the human breast.)
pb
Little Pond

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cranky Chemung Winter Blues

This picture was posted with a caption indicating that it was too dangerous to cross the river on foot. Well now it is just too dangerous to live near the river at all. Take a huge pile of these little babies and stuff them nice and tight together and you have an ice dam. Right where we don't need one, and big enough to flood nearby homes.

Just a little upriver from the site of this photo is a huge ice dam threatening the Town of Elmira. Where the levees inconveniently come to an end. Money ran out, and so did the Army Corps of Engineers project.

Let's hope the predicted cold snap eases the situation. That, combined with careful management of water releases up at the Hammond Tioga Dam, may prevent a disaster. But the Town and the County are scrambling to prepare for possible disaster.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Expanding Little Pond

Got an email from our local historic district. I got really excited this week:

If you visited Walk Elmira Downtown, you can scroll down the Historic District' site and take note of one of the photos: the Community Bookstore is a frequently-visited corner of Little Pond. They never had a website before. I hope the owner gets around to posting photos of the regulars, including the pets.

Around the middle of the District's site is Barb's Soups On. While I haven't blogged it before, it is relevant because the VeggiGirl works there. If you ever get the chance, the roll-ups are heavenly. Never had a bad one there, and not just because my youngest often makes them.

Good job on the site, Sam!

pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grand Finale BHM

Been watching the local paper for some good Black History Month stuff. Terribly disappointed. The best was a great full page quiz, but it turned out to be from an advertiser. Not available to link.

Today looked promising. A wonderful link to Info Please.

Until I scanned the entire site and never found my personal hero and saint at all.

No matter. Let's go to the common blogger's OED.

Ah, yes. Wikipedia's got the goods.

And if you type John W. Jones, Elmira, New York into Google, you get a whole day's tribute to him.

Happy Black History Month.

pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Update to Mid-Winter Troubles

Last night the only difference from Friday was umbrellas. The random dripping has been staunched, but the tarps, garbage bags, and buckets remain in place.

As does the scratchy throat and skin that only arises at the workplace.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Midwinter Troubles

Legend in Our Own Time? Or future recipient of a Darwin Award?

Actually, by definition we wouldn't qualify. Neither of us could reproduce, anyway. Both for the same reason. That's right, we were "fixed" ages ago.

Okay, so that's stretching it a bit. We were not in any real danger, except possibly from severe scolding and ragging. But Ellie and I got ready to walk along the Chemung River this morning.

Ready to go Riverdogging in February

No, we didn't wear the MuttLuks.

She hate, hate, hates them!
But we did go to the Grove Street Fishing Access this morning. Just as soon as I crested the levee, I knew we were going to experience some difficulties.

Here are the first signs of trouble ahead. Yep, that's ice.

We still had a lovely walk. No sense losing the solitude. No one was around the entire time. Good reason: the entire area is inaccessible because of the ice.