Sunday, January 02, 2011

This New Year


I packed up the memory tree a day earlier than usual. Christmas was merry, yes, but was lacking an ingredient I can’t define.


The silver and gold tree disappeared within a few hours on New Year’s Day – right on target.


Chloe and Bella shared sunny spots on the west side of the house as December was the coldest on record here. Then, I wonder why didn’t it feel like Christmas? This is a question I can’t answer right now or maybe never, but I smile when I remember skipping to the back of the house with my camera on Christmas night after I saw snowflakes falling under the street light on the front side. I called Chloe and Bella to follow me.



A White Christmas and maybe the first one here in 97 years. Sigh…and wow.


The following morning was not quite as beautiful as Ralphie’s crystalized Christmas morning but darn, I loved this.


As I write, the temperature has risen to oh, about 70 outdoors in late afternoon, from 30 in the morning. I want to raise the cold bottle of Deer Park I have here and pour it over my head in the bathroom sink. Or, step outside in my nightgown and watch the steam rise after the temperature drops another 30 degrees again. If it’s winter, let it be winter for God’s sake.

While I desire and need routine and a schedule in my life, I’ll drag myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, moan, probably curse, and head to work in my windowless office.

I recently talked about my sixteen glorious days off and my list of expected accomplishments. That ambitious list proved to be a wish list but I’m satisfied with scoring 70% on completion. My planned visits to the gym were below that, at 30%. What I gained from my time away from the gym was a realization that an hour of sweating in cardio dance or other workout is physically and mentally uplifting while it happens and exhilarating when it ends. Scrubbing and washing around the house is a good workout but how many times have I stopped to prop the mop against the door jam to rest, watch a TV segment, or check my e-mail?

2011 will be a good year for me, concentrating on good health. I quit smoking two years ago. If I can do that, I can do anything. And, I will strive to reserve more time to write and share here.

I recently saw a simple quote on a friend's blog.

"Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about." Anon

Against the snow, there isn’t a more stunning backyard bird than a Male Northern Cardinal. Due to hawk interference, no Cardinal!


The birds were in a constant frenzy and kept me busy. Rock Pigeons and squirrels were also fed well, along with others I usually shoo away.


On my neighbor’s roof, a few pictured of the eighteen. The cooing, slapping, funny birds can clear a feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds in ten minutes.


Carolina Chickadees make me smile on my worst days. That's why I want a pet Chickadee.

I regret overlooking ones who helped the Goldfinches clear the finch feeder.





A small flock of Pine Siskins had been working the feeders very well!

The sun broke through during a mostly cloudy vacation.


Wishing for sunny days in 2011, physically and emotionally. Oh, and I want to photograph an owl. Any owl in the wild. Sometime this year, more likely in the summertime, I'll tiptoe across the street in my nightie at 5:30 a.m. to get that Great Horned Owl on my neighbor's rooftop and use flash if I need it. If I don't get that shot, I'll need to get out of my backyard, somehow, because I know there are owls in North Carolina.

All over the place, this post is. Borderline jibber jabber from Christmas trees and spirit, to snow, to windowless offices, to accomplishments and wishes, to workouts, to Bostons in the sun, to birds, to owls, to nighties, and to


Bean Soup and Ham today. Yum.

2011 begins with a bang!


Ruth said...

Happy New Year! What a beautiful white Christmas you had. It looks like there is one bare footprint in the snow!?

Mary said...

Ruth, I saw that bare footprint in the photograph, too, and don't know where it came from! Odd... I was wearing Crocs that night.

Jayne said...

Happy New Year to you my friend. Glad to know you might sneak in here more often this year. And hey, congrats on still NOT smoking! That rocks!

Susan Ellis said...

I LOVE THIS POST my friend Mary because it is exactly how a new year should begin- nervous, exciting, uncertainty, hope, determination, and best of all, courage -to get up, get going and bring it on! (in a nightie at 5:30 am no less)
Have a great day-week-month-year! (and congrats on the smoking!!!!! 3 years yesterday here. Yay us!)

Susan Gets Native said...

I saw the bare foot too, and wondered about it. I thought, "Maybe Mary had one shoe off?"
I loved this post. Know why? Because it jibber jabbered. I love your train of thought. We don't think in linear ways, most of the time. Our thoughts branch like trees.
And I hope I can get down there again soon. *I* will get you an owl, if you haven't run half naked through your neighborhood and gotten your own by then.
Word Verification: hoottedd. For REAL.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Happy New Year to my friend May!
I sure hope to see you again this year.

(we have great owls in Minnesota...)

Mary said...

About tracks: I wore Crocs on the snowy Christmas night and the girls followed me in and out of the house. What looks like a toe on that one track is actually a Boston Terrier paw print. Looks like a toe, doesn't it?

Murr Brewster said...

Good cover, but I think your feet were jibber jabbering. One was in seventy degrees and the other one was in winter. You could see that as confused, or you could see that as ready for anything. I'm going with #2.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about Christmas. I didn't even decorate the house this year. (it's just me and my husband.) Christmas with his Mom and mine were at their houses. Your Christmas had more snow that ours. Beautiful. Love reading your post and seeing your photos. Thanks for sharing.
Lynda in Michigan

Balisha said...

Love your jibber jabber. Also love that picture of your adorable puppies. I too wondered about the bare footprint???

Rusty said...

I can imagine the excitement of having the snow this year. A very rare even for your part of the world. Those are terrific photos of the various birds.

Ahhhh, bean soup and ham. I can almost smell it - it's been a long time since I had that last.

Have a great new year. ATB!

Kerri Farley said...

Happy New Year Mary!
May 2011 Bring you Great Health, Much Happiness, and that OWL!

Angie said...

Happy happy New Year, Mary! Oooooh I'm so glad you (we) got a white Christmas this year!!! BEEE-U-TEEEE-FUL!! Look at those two darling girls in the sun...I still haven't quit smoking....not working out either...BUT I am spending LOTS of time outside---even in the cold :D...taking LOTS of bird photos (more bad ones than good LOL)...grinning from ear to ear that you have a post up...missing you even more...

SouthernSass said...

Happy New Year! I don't know how I missed your previous posts since fall, but I am so happy you are blogging! Your photos are amazing and I hope you get the photo of the owl! We had a sprinkling of snow the day after Christmas and it was wonderful!!

KGMom said...

Not fair--you got a white Christmas and we didn't. Here in central PA, we are practically snow-less.
You had snow in NC, and our daughter did too in London (where it also usually doesn't snow).
So that's all the convincing I need that global climate change is real.
Harrummphhhh--no snow. Grumble.
Oh, happy new year.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mare,
I'll swap you 6 cardinals and 5 bluejays for that red-shouldered hawk! (I'll even take a few pigeons off your hands if you want to throw them in too)
Congratulations on still being smoke free!
And I'll confirm Lynne's comment on owls ;-)
Happy New Year -- I think we just need to get back into a post-holiday routines again, don't you?

Julie Zickefoose said...

I feel like we just had a visit. What a wonderful, homey warm post. I'm guessing that the missing ingredient in your Christmas was cardamom. I left the nutmeg out of mine. Oops.

Appalachian Lady said...

I love your decorations. And, your new year sounds like mine--full of resolutions and trepidation. Congratulations on quitting smoking for 2 years--you have lengthened your life.

We ended up driving through your snow storm on our trip back from Costa Rica Christmas night. We ended up with quite a bit of snow but like yours, it melted quickly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mary, you do work magic with your camera!

Happy New Year!

PS. . . possible snow coming up...?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mary, you do work magic with your camera!

Happy New Year!

Glad to see the girls looking good.

PS. . . possible snow coming up...?

Wendy said...

My goodness, has it been 2 years since you quit smoking? Wow!!! Amazing. I remember when it was only a few weeks, then months. Now years. You go girl!!!

Your bird shots are so clear, are you sure they're not posing for you? LOL!

Happy New Year, I hope you get your owl this summer (nothing wrong with going about in your nightie!)LOL!

nina said...

That soup looks magnificent.
I think 2011 will be the change so many of us are looking forward to. And although I'm the guilty one in setting myself up for disappointment by comparing new times with the old, new ways can be just as good.
New Years, even better.
Make it wonderful any way it happens.
And share it with us here.

Yolanda said...

Mary ,
These are so pretty. My fav is the hawk.STay warm and have a good day.

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, so glad to hear that you really did quit smoking! Now you can go birding until you are 101! Lovely Christmas living room. The fireplace looks cozy. Perhaps you are missing family members who have passed away? Love the shot of your deck with snow and the hawks of course! Love you too! Double hugs!

p.s. so sorry about having a window-less office! Sounds like torture and abuse to me!

Dawn Fine said...

I thought for sure I commented here already..but i just checked twice and didnt see my sunflower I guess I didn't..must a flubbed up the word verification or something..anyways..
I think I remember saying something like I LOVE you living room! Then..I said something like I love the birdies too...and well..your pups are real cute..
oh ..and I want a chickadee too...If i can catch one with my net I will send it too you:)

JeanMac said...

HNY Mary - sounds like 2011 will be OK

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