Posts Tagged ‘winter’

It felt great to get outdoors for my walk today. I’ve been going round and round inside the house instead because it’s just too hard to see the icy spots in the early morning dark. The barista at Main Streets Café, who always waves at me, must think I have wimped out for good.

My husband went skiing (what a good winter it’s been for cross country!), but I went around town to see what I’ve been missing. I especially liked the Valentine tree that a new neighbor put up for the 14th. An idea to keep in mind.



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I lived in Minnesota for a few years, so I really shouldn’t make a big deal out of cold weather, but it sure has been hard to pry myself from a warm building this week.

Today I went out to take a picture of salt water starting to freeze in Fort Point Channel, something I hadn’t seen before. I got a bonus for my effort — a colorful bubbly sculpture in a tree in front of the Children’s Museum. Was the nearby Boston Tea Party Museum throwing its bales of tea into the channel as usual? Probably the tea would have bounced right back.

The flowers are by the wonderful landscaper in the building where I work. They make you feel like you are in a greenhouse (“växthus” if you are Swedish or have a bilingual grandson).

Note the weather outside the window.

Update 2/6/14. Today the ice in Fort Point Channel, covered with snow, reminds me of chicken fat when you take homemade soup out of the fridge. I added the photo up top.





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Ice Lanterns on front stoop






My scientist brother makes ice lanterns, a useful skill for lighting friends to your door in a cold Wisconsin winter.

Here’s how. “Large 9” water balloons are frozen out on my deck, then emptied of liquid water, candled, & lit.

“The only tricky part is knowing when they are ‘done.’ Ice should be not too thin, and not too thick. Also, you need to blow air into the balloon after you fill it with H2O, so there will be a nice flat surface on top. That’s where you punch a hole in the ice to empty the liquid H2O & place the candle.”

You gotta grab all the gusto and try to enjoy the cold weather we have been having. I remember that when we lived in Minneapolis, it was a hoot to pour water off the balcony and watch it freeze in flight.

You might also want to check out how Asakiyume makes her frozen soap bubbles, here.

Closeup Ice Lanterns

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Portland, Maine, has a reputation for being welcoming to immigrants and refugees. As a result, newcomers have been giving back, taking seriously their training in how to start a business, for example, hiring people, and boosting the city’s economy.

In this story by Jess Bidgood at the NY Times, we learn about Portland’s “class intended to help immigrants from warm countries cope with the cold.”

Bidgood writes about newcomers “squeezed into a plain conference room at the city’s center for refugee services … to be schooled in a central piece of Portland’s cultural curriculum for its growing population of new arrivals, many of whom are asylum-seekers from Central Africa: the art of handling a Maine winter.

“The instructor, Simeon Alloding, a human services counselor here, sat at the front of the room, ticking off winter’s many perils as clip art images of a penguin and an elephant decked out for cold weather hovered in a PowerPoint presentation behind him. ‘Everyone here has fallen, right?’ Mr. Alloding asked as he began a discussion on how to navigate the city’s icy sidewalks. ‘You don’t walk too fast, you don’t take long steps.’ …

“On this slushy morning, there were more attendees than could possibly find seating, and late arrivals clustered around the entrances to the room, many still wrapped in winter coats and hats despite the stifling heat of the room.”

The refugees help each other with translation, but some questions are hard to answer, like how to know what tomorrow’s weather might be.

“Miguel Chimukeno, from Angola, rose to ask a question in Portuguese, which another student translated to French, which the French interpreter, Eric Ndayizi, posed to Mr. Alloding.

“ ‘He’s low income — zero income — and you said they should watch TV and know some information. How does he get TV?’ Mr. Ndayizi asked.

“ ‘There’s nobody that’s going to issue out TV’s,’ Mr. Alloding said. ‘My only suggestion is that you talk to your neighbors.’ ”


Photo: Craig Dilger for The New York Times

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A building gets wrapped with a bow, friends volunteer to hammer in some color along Greenway walks, South Station digs out its toy trains (display by these folks).

We don’t have snow, but we’re pretty festive anyway.

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