Tag Archives: life

in the rain room

A few weeks ago, I posted some photos of views through beautiful sparkling ice. Beautiful sparkling ice that was on our windows and screens and indicated that water was coming in under the roof due to ice dams. One surprisingly warm day in February, we came home from a relaxing weekend away to find that the ice was melting. Oh glory day! And then we walked into this:

Our breakfast nook was raining. The hardwood floors were puddled. Naturally, I felt this was an opportunity to make a slo-mo movie. (Clearly the water had been coming in for at least an hour. A few seconds delay to cleaning it up were hardly going to make a major difference to the damage.)

This wasn’t even the first time we had water coming in. It was just the most dramatic. Other leaks were a bit more slow, and a range of buckets and beach towels kept things more-or-less under control.

I think the beach towels add a cheerful summery look to the room.

John also spent many hours breaking through the ice dams to release the water. Once the water had another way out, it stopped finding its way into the house. (Until the ice dams reformed the next time. And the next time.)

Another view of the summer beach decor, and a view of the ladder where John spent many hours dreaming of summer.

And so ends April, and I did manage to post something here every day for the whole month. Not much of substance, but it still felt good. Hopefully I will manage to continue to post.

what a difference 2 months makes

This was the mountain that we had out front on February 5th. I don’t remember how many more feet of snow were added to it after this.

It’s funny looking back at my photos of the last few months. Given how much my life was dominated by the record-breaking quantities of snow we got this winter (mostly all dumping on us in the month of February), I didn’t take very many photos of the snow. (I mean, of course, “very many for me.”) Take the giant pile of snow at the end of our driveway. This gargantuan mound towered about 8 feet high. The town did a good job of clearing the road and the cul-de-sac so that the school bus could still make its rounds, but all that snow had to go somewhere. And that somewhere turned out to be on either side of our driveway. While the driveway itself wasn’t blocked, the towering mounds of snow extended a good 10 feet into the road from the curb. What this meant was that our mailbox, while we had dug out the mailbox and the driveway, was not still accessible to the mail carrier. (They aren’t allowed to back up in order to maneuver to reach a mailbox.) Our mail stopped being delivered, and we had to go collect it at the post office. Eventually, we set up a temporary mailbox in a bucket which we placed about 8 feet in front of the regular mailbox.

This was the shrinking mountain on March 11. Still well over 6 feet high at its peak.

I think it was last week or the week before when I finally retired the temporary mailbox, after scooching the mailbox bucket back bit by bit over a few weeks as the giant snowbanks receded.

Now we’ve had sunny and warm days, and there is hardly any snow left on the ground. Looking back at my snow photos, I can almost feel nostalgic about the snow! (Almost.)

The last remnants of the snowpile of doom, yesterday. I kind of like how the lens flare looks like rainbow shining down.

distorted views through ice

Part of what was keeping me busy over the last few months was winter. It was a long hard winter. There was so very much ice and snow. Record-breaking quantities of snow.

I love to take pictures of ice and snow, but I had more than my fill. Today was the first day since the first day of spring when it actually felt a bit like spring. Now that the thaw is under way, I can look back at some of my ice photos without whimpering. As much.

These are some photos I took through our breakfast nook windows. This ice was due to some early stages of ice dams. (I’m sure I’ll have more to say about ice dams.) The ice was really quite beautiful, sparkling in the morning sunlight, bending and molding the grid lines of the screen into curves and whorls.

It’s really quite hard to reconcile this sparkling beauty with the knowledge that it was the herald of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the house.

It’s beginning to look…marginally more like Christmas

I love the festive trappings of Christmas–the trees, the bright decorations, and especially the lights. In the long dark nights, it is so cheering to see the bright and colorful displays. However, getting things to look festive takes time and energy. These are things that I don’t have in excess just now. We managed to get our tree on Sunday, before rushing off to a recital, but had no time to put it up. (As I headed out to the garage before driving in to work, I was happy that John had remembered to take the tree off my car.)

We also picked up a little dangling ball of Christmas greenery. These probably have a name, but I don’t know what it is. I hung it out on our front porch, on a hook helpfully left by the previous owners. If I had to do anything more than that, the festive ball would probably be dangling less festively from a doorknob.

Our new neighborhood is much more of a neighborhood than our previous one, which was really more of a road through the woods with houses on it. And the new neighborhood apparently goes all out for holiday decorations. I feel like the neighbors might be a little disappointed that we aren’t joining in the spirit. But I can point out the ball, right?

In this photo, I was trying to capture the drips of the oh-so-festive freezing rain we had today.

And in zooming in to check the focus on my drip, I was amused to see my reflection, awkwardly hanging on to the porch pillar as I tried to get a better angle on the ball without stepping out onto the treacherously icy steps.

Ah, ’tis the season.

a decorative dusting of snow

I commuted into Boston again today, for a long day of running subjects on a bunch of different experiments. We are trying to get as much data as we can before a couple of upcoming conference deadlines, and also before our subject pool leaves town for winter break for a month.

I haven’t been taking many photos of late, largely due to being busy and often rushing around. This morning, I arrived and parked with enough time to get coffee from my favorite independent coffee house. On my way, my eye was caught a few times by patterns made by the very, very light dusting of snow that had fallen that morning. Most of the ground and surfaces were bare, but the the tiny dry snow flakes (more like little grains of ice-sand, really) had been blown around, and caught here and there in cracks and crevices.

I liked the way the snow filled in the cracks of these bricks in the sidewalk.

Here, I thought it was cool the way the snow had caught in some sort of fallen plant stems, which seem to have been arranged by a little whirlwind around a parking meter post.

Also seen were students attempting to have a snowball fight from the deeper piles of dusty snow that had caught along the curb. It was really not the sort of snow that you can make snowballs out of, so really people were just throwing poofy clouds of snow at each other. It was very cute. (I didn’t get any good photos. It did make me smile, though.)

sweet dreams

Screenshot from the animated short “Sweet Dreams,” by Kristen Lepore.

I’m feeling burnt out after an especially busy week (I commuted into Boston 4 times, which meant probably about 12 hours on the road, given how bad traffic has been.) After poking through my photos, I couldn’t find any that felt like they followed much from what I’ve been posting. And all the things I’ve been meaning to post will take too long. So, instead I’ll share a video that came to mind after posting yesterday’s images of buildings made out of candies. So, here is “Sweet Dreams,” a stop-motion short by Kristen Lepore. (And I wish I could say I was heading to bed now, but I still have my work to do…My own sweet dreams will have to wait. But maybe I’ll eat some candy.)

beautiful inedible fruits

Here are three photos I’ve taken in past years of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. The continued clinging of these fruits to their branches well into December and even into March suggests to me that no birds found these fruits to be palatable.

One of my ongoing projects came to bear fruit today, again of the inedible kind. But not the photogenic kind, either. I got notification that some funding I applied for, my first research grant application that was all my own, is likely going to come through.