Pennsylvania suddenly remembers it’s winter

It appears that Pennsylvania has been a little confused about what season it is for the last couple of weeks as warm temperatures tried to move into the area. But this past week Pennsylvania said to herself, “Oh, right. We are due for some snow because it is winter. Here you go.”


So after a week of warmer temps and rain, Winter dropped six inches of snow in a few hours and another two the following day. My children had started to like the idea of being able to go to the playground in warmer weather when the snow came. Luckily my youngest decided to make the most of it and ran out into the snow and then pretty quickly back in when she got snow in her shoe. She went in and out a few more times for a couple of days and even convinced her brother to go out in it a couple of times. Apparently, since becoming a teenager he no longer tolerates cold well.  Or he is just lazy. I’m going to go with lazy, even though I’m not a fan of the cold either.

After I told my son I missed him being adventurous and getting excited to go play outside in any weather, he took off without a coat or boots and jumped off our porch into the snow.


Luckily, he didn’t break anything.



My daughter took her favorite (today anyhow) toy with her – a ragged dog I bought for way too much money for Christmas that I probably could have made for $10. The thing comes in a ball and the child is supposed to dunk it in water to unravel it. Now that Little Miss knows it can get wet and be dried fairly easily she takes it with her everywhere, from into the snow and rain, to her baths. Her brother buried it all the way under the snow at one point when she wasn’t looking but stuck a tree branch over it so he could find it later. She realized it was gone within a few moments of coming back in the house.


She pestered her brother and me all day about going out into the snow but each time we got there, she would run back inside less than ten minutes later.

“You made us come out here and now you are leaving?” I shouted at one point as she ran toward the front porch.

“Yeah, well, I have SNOW IN MY BOOT!” she yelled back.

She was so indignant about it; it cracked us up.


DSC_7548_2DSC_7592_2DSC_7627On one of the days, we had snow a friend of my son’s came over and they had some kind of wrestling match in our side yard. No idea what that was about, but I know that beating each other up is how boys relate.


DSC_7712_1Watching the kids play in the snow made me think about how this will be the last winter they play in the yard of this house since by next year we will be living 40 minutes away, closer to my husband’s job and my parents. The day before the snow hit we visited a local playground that is set to be demolished sometime this winter or spring so that a new one can be rebuilt in the fall. The playground is a wooden playground that was built more than 30 years ago and is a favorite of my children, as well as other children in the community. It will be sad to see it go, but it will be safer and easier for the borough to maintain it once it is replaced.






Winter. An introvert’s favorite season.

Winter is coming.

Though I’ve never watched it, I’m told this is something said in the Game of Thrones books and show, but it’s also something we say here in the North when the leaves change colors on the trees and begin to fall into our yards and roads and the squirrels begin to run by our windows with huge black walnuts in their mouths.

In our house, we also know winter is coming when our “escape house cat” runs out the back door and into our neighbor’s yard but then looks over her shoulder at us in shock as if it say “Did you know it is this cold out here?! Why is it so cold out here?!”


I won’t lie – those three words often set a feeling of dread in me, because I am not a fan of the dark and gloomy days of winter that seem to go on forever. I deal with depression so add seasonal depression disorder to that and I’m a bit of a mess some winters. Last winter this blog, and those I met through it, were one of the only things that kept my spirit from dipping as low as it usually does, though January and February were horribly long and lonely for me. I’m hoping that this year I’ll be able to slog through the darkest months of winter by conversing with the characters in my mind and working on my stories, as well as conversing with the fun characters I meet in “blogland”.


In addition to the dread of winter coming, though, is a sense of relief that it is coming because, alas, I am an introvert and an introvert likes nothing better than having an excuse not to leave the house. My son is also an introvert, which is probably why both our eyes lit up late one night last week when he said, “It’s almost winter.”

We were actually fairly giddy about the prospect of being “forced” to remain inside with a good book or a chance to create (him by building houses in Minecraft, me by writing or editing photos).

Of course, what we don’t like about winter is the same thing we like about winter – we’re stuck inside our house for months at a time. That can get boring pretty fast and eventually we brave the cold temperatures to walk around the block or get groceries or throw a snowball at each other, or anything, just to get away from the monotony of it all – and each other.
Looking at the positives of winter – hot cocoa, hearty soups, hot tea with honey, good books, family movie nights – helps us both feel better about the long periods of gloom and darkness. I guess looking for the positives in the aspects of life we don’t enjoy is one way to make it easier to face them. The other way is to eat chocolate and rock in the corner and cry.

There may be a little of both this winter if other winters are any indication and there is nothing wrong with that.

So, how about you? What’s winter like where you live? Cold? Dreary? Warm? Sunny? Let me know in the comments! I like hearing about the different weather where people live.

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January was a month of blah or simply: ‘Here is my February 10 on 10’

Cold, clouds and more cold and clouds. That was what our January in Pennsylvania was all about and that meant we spent most of it inside, wishing it was sunny and warm and we were outside. We did break out of the house a couple of times, bundled up, to try our best to be lovers of all things cold. We usually lasted about twenty minutes each excursion before we were back inside, huddled under blankets, sipping tea, reading books and watching our new addiction, the Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas”, which we found on Amazon. During the week-long artic freeze we didn’t leave the house at all, other than my husband who had to go to work, which luckily isn’t too far from our house.

Our cabin fever was so bad I was a little concerned my daughter might never change out of the footed pajamas her grandparents gave her for Christmas.

Our cold adventures included playing outside (20 minutes at a time), attending science classes for the local homeschooling group (learning about trees), a trip to Ithaca, NY, (cold, so not much exploring, I’m afraid) and a hike with my dad to his pond to see if it was frozen enough for us to walk on it (spoiler alert: it wasn’t).

How about you? What did you do in January and so far in February? Let me know in the comments or link to your post where you shared.

If you want to see the rest of the blogs in this 10 on 10 blog circle, find the link at the conclusion of this post.


DSC_3068Follow our circle around by clicking over to Anna Hurley’s blog.

Winter wonderland? Not exactly. . ..

I won’t lie, seeing all the beautiful photos of winter wonderlands taken in a rural area after a snowfall always makes me a little jealous.

I live in a small town but it’s not really like one of those picturesque small towns in the movies, at least in the part of town I live in. This isn’t meant as an offense to my town because it isn’t the slums either. The people are nice and the area is quiet and fairly peaceful. The houses are pretty enough but there are also a ton of power lines, a school parking lot and a couple chain link fences around baseball fields interrupting the backgrounds of my photos.

To get to the more picturesque parts of our area I’d have to drive a little and if the roads are dangerous or the temperature is as cold as it was this past week I am limited to what I can photograph.

Before the Arctic cold set in and the heavier snow of this weekend’s storm set in we were able to go outside and Little Miss decided she loved snow. She ran up and down the sidewalk with her arms out, declaring “I love the snow!” I’m glad she does because I’m really not a fan of it. First, it’s cold. Second, it’s wet. Third, it’s slippery. All good reasons to not be a fan.

Since we don’t live in the country where we can photograph lovely scenes of trees and ponds covered in a layer (or two) of snow we are left to photos of the kids enjoying the snow with houses, telephone poles, power lines and the occasional snow plow or garbage truck behind them.

Still, I love the photographs of them enjoying the snow. I will deal with the lack of rural snowy images and hope that someday we move somewhere I can photograph a more attractive scene behind my children.

What’s the weather like where you are? And more importantly, do you have a good background to photograph in?




Creative funks smell and feel funky

It isn’t unusual for me to hit a creative funk in the winter. Days are short, the sun hides behind clouds and it’s too cold to take the kids anywhere to explore.

I still try my best to take photographs inside the house, or whichever building we have sought shelter in from the nasty cold of winter, but honestly my heart usually isn’t in it until the warmth comes back.

This winter has seemed particularly long, probably because of the loss of my aunt in December and some stress my son was facing, but also the blasted cold weather and gloomy clouds.

DSC_7860With that Daylight Savings Time thing we do here in the States, we now have longer days (which simply means more daylight hours). This is a wonderful thing if you have sun and less exciting if it’s simply a gloomy, rainy or snowy day.

Last week marked the official  first day of Spring, but our weather hasn’t realized that yet and has remained cold, for the most part. This week we are supposed to have an upward trend and I’m hoping that will mean an upward trend in our moods too.

DSC_8308-2Despite the cold we have had sun and the sun makes the cold slightly less oppressive. It also creates some pretty lighting opportunities in some of the rooms of our house.

DSC_8313This week we are looking forward to mild, but still warmer, temperatures that will hopefully afford some more opportunities to escape the house and breathe in some fresh air.

So how about you, fellow creatives, or even you non-creative folk? What’s the weather like for you and what do you do when you find yourself in a creative funk?

Snow addiction | Athens, PA photographer

She’s addicted to the snow. Last year we hardly had any snow and the temperatures were in the 70s and 80s. This year the snow has fallen much more and when my toddler sees it’s on the ground she  immediately says “Snow! Snow! Outtide!” and grabs her coat and gloves. I’m not a fan of the cold and snow but I oblige and take her out and stand and shiver while she plays. Luckily she realizes the cold is only fun for so long and we’re able to go inside for “hot toto” which she blows bubbles in and I end up finishing.