New Year here, Christmas is a wrap


Today our snowman melted away into a box in the garage. Christmas got put away, except for the tree.

I got this snowman at Home Depot a few weeks ago, and put him together myself. I try to avoid buying too much Christmas Crap, but this fellow appealed to my bird-loving aesthetic. Plus he lights up at night. My husband and I enjoy walking the neighborhood after dark and looking at everybody else’s lights, so I thought it would be nice to add to the cheer this year.



“First bird of the new year” is a thing with me. This year I had two.

I heard but did not see Fish Crows while having morning coffee on the screened porch. Then I walked out the front door with my bird camera and immediately spotted a Red-tailed Hawk in our Norfolk Island pine. Crow landed in the same spot 10 minutes later and cawed, impossible to ignore, until I came out with my camera again.

I blogged the birds in my bird blog. Hawk spirit and crow spirit for this new year! The old year was vultures, I’m not even kidding.

I had the urge to bake something today. With all the ingredients on hand, I made Easy Rosemary Focaccia, from a recipe on kitchn. It was easy, and pretty good. I sprinkled it with my favorite sea salt, Maldon, and that was probably the best part.

In the cabinet with the flour I also found an old bag of wide egg noodles and had an urge to make a casserole. When it was done I said to John, “Can you believe I just made a Chicken Noodle Casserole topped with buttery ritz cracker crumbs?”

“You must really have a hangover,” he said. Why, yes. Yes, I do.

I texted photos of my focaccia and my casserole to my daughters. We had such a nice Christmas visit with them last week. I wish they didn’t live so far away. They flew in from New England and we celebrated on the 26th, when John got back from London.

John was here for New Year’s Eve at least. We attended a lively, champagne-y party at a friend’s house in nearby Palm City. We ate Alaskan king crab legs too, which is a tradition among the friends in that neighborhood called Four Rivers.

I bet John’s been home for half, or less, of New Years since he started flying for American in 1987. Ditto Christmas. But at least we can open gifts a day before or after, feast and make merry on “airline pilot Christmas.” The New Year does not wait for the pilot to come home. The ball drops, the year comes anyway, on time.

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” – old-time American newspaper columnist William E. Vaughan

It was a good year

Ocean moon in May

Looking back on my life in 2012 (because, through the miracle of blogging, I can)…

Jan. 2: Eldest daughter levels up

Feb. 9: “Key deer are small, and tame, and cute…” “…they’re really best when served en croute.”

Mar. 11: Riding in a ring, a 50th birthday dream

Apr. 11: A walk through an old quarry

May 6: Super moon! and May 10: The coop is a playhouse and chickens are your (smelly, funny, noisy) dolls. The fresh eggs are your excuse to be playing with dolls… at your age.

June 3: Fun with sparks and June 20: It’s a boy

July 5: Air. Show. and July 23: July by the numbers (including 25th wedding anniversary)

Aug. 11: It’s a tragic fact of life that summer doesn’t last forever and Aug 21: I drink wine and write about it

Sept. 16: The blue ocean beyond the blue door is a volcanic caldera.

Oct. 22: The Daily Egg and Oct. 31: Sandy

Nov. 14: Chickens’ first snow and Dog walk into Hampton marsh

Dec. 14: I’m sad about a dead chicken. Dec. 18: The sunrise has friends.

Ring in the blue year


Approach St. Thomas

Most people on the plane don't get this exact view.

My husband is a 757 and 767 captain for American Airlines flying out of Boston to parts south, east, sometimes west, and sometimes north if it's the Great Circle Route to Europe and Great Britain.

He welcomed in the new year somewhat to our south (and east), on a Virgin Island.


Window view, layover hotel St. Thomas, USVI

"You think I'm on vacation. You think I'm having fun. You don't understand… it's a hard, stressful job like any other."

Mm hm.

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Beautiful blues and greens are a treat for the eye when we are living in a world of gray and white. He brings me photos and he brings me rum.