Thanks to “Albert”

16 11 2011

I am still dragging five loads of brush, limbs, and tree stumps to the curb every day. Thank you, “Albert,” for keeping my arms in shape, now that kayaking season is over.

Fall colors

14 11 2011
Not in CT this year

After “Irene,” many trees turned prematurely brown. Perhaps their leaves were damaged by heavy salt content of the accompanying rain and winds. A hint at the possibility of a dull fall.

Extended Indian Summer provided hope that, somehow, the maples might erase those previous weeks and resume their transformation into autumn brilliance. Mission impossible with no frost or cooling nights before “Albert” dumped heavy snows at the end of October.

Fall color is cancelled. All along the Connecticut coast, it’s the same story. Leaves either ripped away, shed, or clinging in dull browns, muted oranges, and pale yellows.

For me, it’s hard enough to say goodbye to summer’s delights. The usual cacophony of color soothes my disappointed and  cocooning spirit. Not this year. I wonder if October’s storm suggests a brutal winter. Or perhaps that was the worst of it. Ah, time will tell. One thing I love about this Earth–certain of its secrets can’t be pried loose, even by the best of scientists.


11 11 2011

Last week, we had no power, which means, for me, no water. I considered every drop of water I used. How much do I need to brush my teeth? Wash my face? How many more toilet flushes do I have before I must trek to the creek for refills?

Now that my power is back, I can easily meet my needs. But I wonder if I should pay more attention to my water consumption. According to, each of us in the United States use 69.3 gallons of water every day. Every day! England, for example, uses only 14% of what we do (

Don’t get me started on the use of bottled water (107 liters per person per year in the US) …..


The Novel Group

9 11 2011

Last week, The Novel Group had to miss its weekly meeting, because we had no power due to Storm Albert. So, today our motley crew trooped into our meeting hall, each of us with at least one story to tell about being without power or medical procedures. Or both. In fact, we were so deprived from missing our meeting, we spend the first half hour on our “I have a cat” stories.

However, we did finally get down to reviewing three submissions.  Interestingly, all  were generated by our efforts to meet the NaNoWriMo standards. National Novel Writing Month encourages writers to sit down daily for 30 days and write about 1,600 words in order to produce a 50K word novel at the month’s end. Although none of us were able to keep that schedule, we all admitted that the goal had at least jump-started us to set pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard). And two of these were brandy-new works.

We’ll see what type of pace we can continue; it’s a lofty goal. But one worth pursuing.

New Website and Blog

9 11 2011

Today, I decided to try WordPress to see if it would meet my needs for a website and blog for my writing career. I am pleased! I feel that the site is easy to use and I’ve figured out how to do just about everything I want, as of now.

Interestingly, this was much easier than the other sites I’ve tried (Google, wix, weebly). I think I am all set! I will try a few more things first and then, I may purchase my domain name!

Without power, stillness

2 11 2011

No electricity: no heat, no light, no water. No computer, no internet. Quiet. Still.

Only birds calling from tree to tree. Cats purring. Neighbors’ voices, as we check in with each other. It’s 30 degrees outside, 36 in, so no frozen pipes. I mindlessly flick on the light switch to the basement to retrieve bird seed. As aware as I might think I am, I am also still on autopilot. In the geothermal cellar the temp is 44. No wonder the cat spent the day on his cushion down here.

Meanwhile the Earth rebounds. Snow clods slip noisily to the ground and trees stretch their bent branches skyward. The creek collects runoff as the temperature inches its way upward into the 50s by afternoon.

Quiet, as we adjust our activities. Listen to the morning news on the battery-powered radio. Still 700,000 without power. My turn will not be soon. Read during the day, work outdoors on fallen branches and smothered bushes to generate body heat. Cook on the outside stove and clean up before dark. Then nestle under covers for a long winter’s nap. Back to the daily rhythms dictated by Nature. It’s not so bad.