Winter wonder is upon the land

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A chickadee is slightly larger than a snowflake.

Another weekend snowstorm. The photo above was taken on Sunday (two days ago). Unlike the recent blizzard and snow- rain followup, this was picture perfect, stick to every twig snow, painting a winter wonderland that caused Facebook to fill up with everyone’s backyard shots.

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Moon through white pines.

Last night’s full moon was the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon. Here is a great site for keeping track of the sky: Sky & Telescope.com.

More wintry weather is heading our way tomorrow.

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Winter breakfast at Hampton Airfield Cafe.

I am here, now, signed in and blogging. I just posted this photo to Facebook. (It’s edited with Camera Awesome app for iPhone.) I recommend the two egg omelet with your choice of meats, cheese and veggies. Comes with home fries and 4 half slices of bread (I always get anadama and add orange marmalade or apple jelly).

There is a painting of Charles Lindbergh right above my table.

I owned the world that hour as I rode over it… free of the earth, free of the mountains, free of the clouds, but how inseparably I was bound to them. – Charles Lindbergh

The writing process

You are writing something for writing class. The closer to deadline, the more like a nervous cat you are coughing up hairballs of cliché. When you have coughed up the last one (“everything old is new again”) you can begin to write what you are actually writing. Later, you think you are finished. It’s not bad. Then your writing instructor is there, a good fairy of reminder. A cardboard cut out several inches tall like a Victorian valentine, with scissoring wings and a sharpened pencil for a wand, she rises and falls in the air before you. She has read your small piece in which you have described something as having the flavor of a fresh gingersnap cookie and she asks, “Why fresh?”

She tips her paper head on its tiny gold hinge. “Class, do we need the word fresh?” At the other end of the writing workshop table a man in a white suit with a cloud of white hair unlinks his hands from over his paunch, removes a stub of cigar from lips and says: “When you catch an adjective, kill it.”

“Exactly, Mark Twain,” says the fairy. “We want to kill that adjective.”

Then she adds, “Of course, you can do what you like because you’re writing it. But we think – don’t we, Mark? – that you don’t really need that word.” So you bow your head to the white page and laser away the ink spot that is fresh. The gingersnap cookie flavor comparison will be judged on its own merits, without your amateur salesmanship.

Strange breakfast for one

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It’s flatbread. With blackened spinach?

What I did was lightly pan-cook (wilt) some fresh spinach leaves in fruity Ascolano olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh garlic, and a tablespoon of my favorite hot chili powder. Then I spread it on store-bought, rollled-out, garlic pizza dough. I squeezed a little lemon on top (because there was a wedge of lemon on the counter from my tea the night before) then sprinkled some sea salt and parmesan cheese, then baked for about 11 minutes in a 450˚ oven. The spinach was deliciously crisped (think kale chips but thinner and spinachy) and the whole single-serving flatbread was an awesomely savory breakfast.

I had a glass of freshly-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice with a few ounces of coconut water and a few ounces of ginger kombucha tea for fizz.

Dog and I went to White’s Lane woods for a walk but didn’t get too far. The rained on and frozen over snow is nearly impossible to walk on. You either slip on the slick top of the snow or crunch through 5 inches of granular crystals, and you never know what will happen with each step. We made it to the old quarry before doing a u-turn.

A weather watching friend on Facebook says a system is setting up that could bring four more storms into early March, oh my.

Souvenirs

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This is my favorite mug. It’s a souvenir.

When I breathe deeply, I cough, therefore I have brewed up a cup of licorice root, eucalyptus leaf, ginger, cinnamon, thyme, elecampane, peppermint and cardamom tea.

I quit drinking alcohol for Lent and I’m coming to know my herbal teas like I knew my New Hampshire wines last summer.

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This is right now. The wind is calming down a bit from 50 mph gusts yesterday evening and overnight.

That cold wind blows icy crystals of powder snow down our necks, cracks limbs from old trees, fingers its way under doors and around windows.

Let us leave the cold wind and go elsewhere…

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This was February a year ago, on Big Pine Key.

I wish I could take a walk HERE on Old 7 mile Bridge right now.

More posts from last year: Tiny deer on Big Pine Key; Bahia Honda State Park; Groundlizard day; Back to Fla.; Cats in the afternoon. I feel warmer and sunnier now.

Home is wherever (I’m with you)

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Home sweet home sweet home sweet etc. Looking down 1st Street, Hampton, near North Beach.

John had vacation this past week. We didn’t go anywhere because there’s no money for it. But we were very domestic and together-y. It was nice.

And I’m not just saying that to put a good face on it.

He goes back to work on Tuesday, commuting from Logan Airport Boston to fly the 767 and 757 out of Kennedy, NYC. More time away from home is built into the new base, and the new contract. But at least they have a contract now. And the merger has been announced and it is a hopeful thing… for travelers too.

The years since the 2003 pay cut (a giveback by pilots to help keep AA flying without a merger or bankruptcy, doh) and then the executive bonuses, no pilot contract, stagnation and bitter internal war since 2005 (then bankruptcy declared Nov. 2011 anyway, and still going), have been hard financially and emotionally on airline families like ours. But the pilots are on board with the merger, and are part owners (well, creditors) of the company now, and we have mostly made adjustments to “the new normal” (hateful term) in the industry and economy as a whole.

“But at least he has a job.” How low can your expectations go, fellow citizens. I’d like to give you a smack.

We are redefining the American (Airlines) dream. I could write a lot more about that, but I have to go feed the chickens, email my daughter in Boston and inbox my daughter in Berlin, read an essay for Food Writing class, and get ready to go to church in the snow.

(I got feedback on my first food writing assignment, a 1,000-word memoir piece, and it was deemed “terrific” with no revisions needed. Woot!)

How sweet is this.

Steps of stone

North Hampton State Beach

The weather has been all over the place. Warm, cold. Snow this morning, then a little sun. Rain predicted but none came. Now maybe a big snowstorm tonight and tomorrow, or maybe not. Wind. Rain, sleet, sun.

One good thing came out of last week’s mega-blizzard: the sand is higher now at this beach. Among other things, that will help hold these recently re-set large granite “stepping stones” in place. Last summer they were all tumbledy.