The end of the year is near

Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.

Is how I feel like celebrating the end of this stupid year/ decade.

Instead, a bottle of Piper-Heidsick cuvée brut is chilling in the refrigerator.

Shocking cold and wild wind yesterday. I had to move the Christmas wreath to the inside of the front door. Today it was just plain damn cold, without the unsettling wind.

This second to last day of the year feels useless and extra, like something loose rolling around inside a drawer.

Simon Winchester: The Case Against the New Year

Midnight revelry amounts to sheer malarkey; in praise of a sober morning celebration

Imbibe magazine

Sweet night

…and visions of cupcakes from Wild Orchid Bakery in North Hampton danced in their heads.

Flavors of Christmas Eve cupcake dessert: chocolate, chocolate mint, gingerbread, and spiked eggnog (in the center, with the pearls).


by: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

AVE you
ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
‘T is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you ‘ve got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below–
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground–
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I ‘ll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

Bleak midwinter

Blowing snow at Wallis Sands beach, Rye, at 2 p.m.

There was a faint rainbow halo around the sun – you can barely see part of it in the photo. (Click to enlarge.) “Ice crystals in the upper atmosphere,” said John.

Winter solstice was at 12:47 p.m. EST today. (I believe we were hoisting couple of pints at the lovely Ri Ra Irish pub in Portsmouth, apres gym and shopping, at that moment.) The Earth’s axial tilt was farthest away from the sun. Shortest day, longest night and lowest angle of the sun in the sky.

Sun rose at 7:11 a.m. and (just) set at 4:12 p.m.

Skim the surface

Let the Winter 09-10 record show: the pond was officially frozen hard on December 18, 2009.


Black ice has hardly any air bubbles in it and the surface is smooth, slick, almost clear and fresh.

He stops to pick up the stick…

…and keeps sliding.

Putting on the brakes.

Zeus has been enjoying pond sports since he was a puppy. I wonder if he thinks, “Oh yeah, I remember ice.”

It’s a beautiful day, though bitterly cold. Low 20’s now but it has been 5 to 10 degrees at night for a couple of nights.

Another successful retrieve.

Happy birthday to my husband today, who got the heart rate monitor and running book he wanted.

I drove him to the Newburyport bus this morning and I’ll pick him up tonight. He’s doing a San Juan turn.

“I’ll be on the 10 p.m. bus, I hope, if we’re on time.”

“Well, see what you can do about that. You are flying the plane.”

“Yeah, and I’m in charge of the weather too.”

I went fishing for photos

Fish houses, North Hampton.

Used to be where fisherman kept their dories and nets, now seasonal cottages.

Plaice Cove, Hampton. On Thursday, the warm and windy day.

Tonight, it’s supposed to snow.

Plaice is not an olde misspellinge; it is a flatfish, like a flounder.

Looking north, Plaice Cove.

Highest tide erased sand, and the surge made that tumble-rock sound. Scudding clouds were pale violet sheep grazing blue sky.

Splashover while ascending Little Boar’s Head, Route 1A, North Hampton.

A morning storm whipped up the waves.

North Hampton Beach, looking north past the fish houses.

Beach wrack was driftwood, including whole logs, twisted rope and and mangled lobster traps.