Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crepuscular rays over the Industrial Park

Driving home today from school I noticed some gorgeous crepuscular rays streaming over the pastures at the Industrial Park. I stopped the car to snap a few photos.

Wikipedia explains crepuscular rays

"Crepuscular rays in atmospheric optics, are rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from a single point in the sky, specifically, where the sun is. These rays, which stream through gaps in clouds (particularly stratocumulus) or between other objects, are columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud-shadowed regions. The name comes from their frequent occurrences during crepuscular hours (those around dawn and dusk), when the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Crepuscular comes from the Latin word "crepusculum", meaning twilight."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

All Things British

For Downton Abbey fans, the time in between seasons may be too long (a year). Even the time between  episodes may be too long! (6 days). If you enjoy British programming, you might enjoy several other series.

Monarch of the Glen is a series that ran in the UK and Australia from 2000 to 2005. It is about a young up and coming restauranteur who is called back to his ancestral home (read: castle) in the Scottish Highlands by his ailing father with the news he has just inherited the whole shebang. The same problems the Downton Earl faced in 1922 the 'Laird' faces in 2000: how to maintain and keep relevant the castle and how to uphold employment for the many people who in turn support the dwelling and grounds. In the first episode the financial situation is dire and the castle is pretty crumbly. Monarch of the Glen was the most popular show in Australia in 2002 and 2003.

Monarch of the Glen actually is the title of a most famous animal panting by Edwin Henry Landseer, Monarch of the Glen, 1851."

If you miss Doc Martin (I do! I do!) then another British show about a doc may tide you over. This one's a vet, in 1930s Yorkshire England. All Creatures Great and Small ran from 1978-80 and was based directly on writer James Herriot's books (the real name of the vet was Alf Wight). The second series ran from 1988-90 and featured original scripts that departed from the beloved books by Herriot but kept the spirit of them alive.

In a different aspect from Doc Martin, in this case the vet is the normal one and the people around him are the quirkies. (Mrs Pumphrey and Tricki Woo!)

If you look hard enough, there are still quality shows to watch with out the profanity and immorality. And just like in Downton and Doc Martin, in both All Creatures and Monarch, the views are stunning! Pastoral Yorkshire and Scottish Highlands, castles and humble farms, greenery and craggy mountains, we surely do live in a beautiful world. It's nice to see some tv shows where the landscape is just as much a character as the people. Not to mention Big Eric, the elusive stag in Monarch!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Icy ice

We are getting a bit of freezing rain here today. It's cold, really bone chilling through all our clothes kind of cold. It is dark and gray, and the small 'ticks' of ice on the awnings reminds me that it surely is winter.

However the great thing is that in a few days the temperatures will slide up to the 60s and to 70. Whenever there is a deep cold in north GA, it doesn't last but more than a few days and then we get a reprieve.

In Maine where I used to live, this was posted on WGME News 13 Chief Meteorologist Charlie Lopresti of Portland Maine's Facebook page:

"A barge motors through arctic sea-smoke on its way out of Portland Harbor, where the temperature at sunrise was about -5 degrees Fahrenheit, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)"

BRRR!! I have nothing to complain about, nothing! Have a nice weekend everybody!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book buying binge

I'm at home today, relaxing. No school due to Martin Luther King day.

It started off cold but the temp is now 60 degrees and it is sunny, finally!

I spent the morning making quinoa salad, extra quinoa for breakfast oatmeal, three pans of roasted veggies (peppers, carrots, potatoes), a sweet potato pie, cut up a cantaloupe, and boiled 6 eggs. I think I am set for the week's meals!

I love three-day weekends. I don't have that hurry-up feeling of getting everything done. I vacuumed this morning and did the dishes. Organized some things, and of course, did the cooking. I finished at 1:30 and now I have the rest of the day.

A friend bought me an Amazon gift card! What a surprise! It was for $100! I was bowled over. I hurriedly went to Amazon and purchased:

Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur (about the 12 Apostles)
Twelve Unlikely Heroes (bible heroes)
Drive By Pneumatology (50 lectures about how the Holy Spirit works,Woot!!!)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
God's Wisdom in Proverbs (a gift for someone, pay it forward)

and I can't believe this, TWO secular books! I never buy books, but I'll pass them along too:

Grisham's newest, The Racketeer, oh boy, oh boy, can't wait, and When Crickets Cry, by Charles Martin. A friend had recommended that one to me. I'm hopeful that Martin will be a good author added to my list of 'safe' and readable authors to enjoy.

They will all come in at staggered times so it will be like Christmas for a long time. That was totally unexpected and one of the very best gifts I ever received. The very best was similar: my dad had bought me a $200 gift card to Borders many years ago. Same thing- happiness abounded.

Books are great!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Warm January days

It's crazy warm this weekend. Our week started off cold like it should be in January. Each successive day has gotten progressively warmer until we ended up on Friday in the 70s. Yesterday driving home from school I rolled down the windows in the car. When I got home I turned off the heat and opened the windows. It was 73 degrees. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be even warmer, in the mid-70s.

I went for a walk just to enjoy the swooping birds and their songs and to hear the leaves and bushes shake in the warm breeze. Here are a few snapshots of the view--

This weed patch at the local farmer's yard had a nice spray of yellow tipped flowers:

The curve at the end of my road. The road passes a subdivision and then any obvious human habitation  pitters out to instead curve around gentle pastures and large tracts of farmland

A neighbor's windchime

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I'm going crackers

Happy New Year! 2013 should be the year of "I'm getting poorer and there's nothing I can do about it!" LOL.

I've mentioned before about the creep. The creeping decrease of portion sizes. Of box sizes. And the creeping increase of prices. A nickel here, a dime there. We're being nickeled and dimed to death! Death by a thousand paper cuts!

OK, anyway, I like faux-Ritz crackers. They are only $1.50 $1.60 a box. Oops, there's that dime again. And to boot, the box underwent a "re-design." Oops again, it went from 12 oz to 11 oz. It's smaller.

Grr. Like we don't notice. And blog about it. LOL!

But the sad truth is, we need food to eat. I already abstain from buying processed foods. I make all my soups and baked goods and casseroles from scratch ingredients. I buy on sale. I buy the reduced items. I skimp. I don't eat out and I bring my lunch to school. I've used every trick I can think of. But when stuff like this happens, consumers get a double whammy- a ten cent price increase plus a diminishment in size means the cost of items are even higher. We're paying more, for less.

Oh, well. I can cope. I really feel for families and people without work. I just hadda blow off steam.