Monday, March 17, 2008

Can the Equinox Be Far Behind?

Now that the snow is beginning to melt, Dinah and Seamus are finding all sorts of buried treasure in the back yard...

What a time for the camera on my cell phone to fink out on me! Last weekend at this time, I was sitting behind the backstop at a spring training baseball game in Phoenix, drinking beer in the sun and cheering for the Cubbies. (They lost in the bottom of the 9th.) Because I'd decided to travel light (and thus, not lose my luggage for a change!), I'd left my camera here at home. I figured that the one on my cell phone could do the honors... but no. It failed. Here I'd been hoping to capture some shots of saguaro cactus, red rocks, and baseball in the sunshine to brighten up my miserable, wintry blog.

Ah, but it was freakin' sweet while it lasted. Spring training has been a sorta-biannual tradition for some years now. My friend Lise, a fellow Sox fan, and I get sick of winter at roughly about the same time, and we agree to converge on Scottsdale to visit mutual friends of ours who live there. Liz and Jim aren't into baseball, but they graciously allow us to crash at their place and soak up some sunshine for a weekend. We all get together in the evenings for dinner and to spoil their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. (I'm not a small-dog person, but I LOVE Cavaliers. If I ever did have small dogs, I'd have them.)

We were just there long enough to get used to relaxing in the sunshine. We saw two ball games: Giants vs. As and Cubbies vs. As, in two different ballparks. We wore sunglasses, drank beer, and cheered.

Will the Real Maine Maple Sunday Please Stand Up?

Maine Maple Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year. It comes as a sign of hope that winter is on its way out, the sap is rising in the trees, and that spring is just around the corner.

Traditionally, this day falls on the fourth Sunday in March. Unfortunately, for the past few years, the fourth Sunday in March also turns out to be Easter Sunday. Some farmers want the day off, and some want to stay open. Some sugar producers decide to open for both weekends, since many of them derive most of their year's income from Maple Sunday sales.

Greg and I did our Maple Sunday rambling yesterday, since the weather was relatively nice and we didn't have any holiday obligations. I looked forward to the maple cotton candy, maple hot dogs, maple baked beans, and maple whoopie pies -- but by the time we got to the farms, they had all run out of food. They did offer us samples of vanilla ice cream with maple syrup and some pretzels with maple cream, anyway. I'm glad for them that they had so much business, considering that some of them will want to close for Easter.

The Man's Ticket to Tune Town

Greg has been spending Saturday mornings over at church, accompanying some of the singers and instrumentalists who were putting on a concert to raise funds for the church's youth group activities. He allowed himself to be talked into playing, but didn't have time to practice the piece he really wanted to do, Ben Folds's "Philosophy." He decided at the last minute to work up "Bohemian Rhapsody", with "You Get What You Give" for a possible encore.

He ended up playing both. Turns out that the concert was also a "Battle of the Bands," and Greg -- to his surprise -- came in third. He won a $15 gift certificate to Tune Town. Not bad for a day's work.

He has just found out that his two NYC concerts have been moved. One piece (the four-part choral work) is now the first piece of the first concert in the series. The second piece appears in the second concert, along with a work from a friend of his from the composers' forum in Eugene a few years ago. Of course we'll figure out a way for both of us to go, and of course I'm bringing knitting.

Speaking of Knitting...

The watch cap factory is up and running at full productivity, such as it is. I've finally hit on something that Greg likes and will use, so I'm sticking with a good thing for now. Cap #4 is on the needles now, and I have some skeins lying around that will eventually become #5 and #6 (and maybe even #7).

I also sneaked in another scarf for Susannah out of some fantastic reddish-bronze ribbon yarn I picked up at Marden's. If the label hasn't disappeared into the black hole in the living room (apparently we have one in every room), I'll have to dig it out and identify the yarn. It's pretty, anyway.

Time for some more doggie shots...

I like to call this one "Glamour Girl Meets Punk-Haired Boy."

Tug of War, take 2:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Guess Why We Call Her Dinah Moe!

Photo by Lynn Lepley-Boschert, Gone to the Dogs Photos.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quiz Time!

What's cold, white, and enormously unwelcome right about now?

A. Karl Rove
B. the heating oil bill
C. last week's leftover mashed potatoes
D. This...

If you answered "D," you get 100%. Answers of "All of the above" are also acceptable.

Yep. We're right in the middle of getting smacked with another 8-12" of the white crap. We've gone beyond the "enough is enough" stage. I'll have to check the papers to be sure, but this latest snow dump has probably pushed our seasonal snowfall over 100". Whatever we have, it probably isn't a statewide record, or even a regional one -- but we're definitely having one of those old-fashioned winters that everybody seems to want so badly until we actually get one. Next thing you know, you'll be hearing about kids walking 6 miles to school every day, uphill both ways, and all of the other things that always seem to have happened "back when I was your age." Well, not my age. You've heard it before, though.

Right about now, there are only two things keeping me going:

1. My tickets to a couple of Spring Training games in Arizona next week (Cubbies at Ho-Ho-Kam! Boo-yeah!)

2. The possibility, however frickin' remote, that we might get one of those old-fashioned springs

Has anybody seen that groundhog? Oh, yeah, that's right. He's buried under 4 feet of snow, like everything else! Anybody for a little groundhog barbecue after this stuff finally melts?