Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Red face, blue feet, snow...

Sunday's glimpse of warmth is in the past, and winter has joined us once again.

The forecast was for heavy snow. I'm doing well on the re-training Denise front, so I planned to work at home. Funny, I used to always head in to the office, but I've finally come to the realization that it is silly to spend extra time driving (or stuck) in the snow when I have full access to my work environment anywhere, anywhen. (Well, as long as I have my computer with me, that is. But bringing it home just in case is part of my re-training effort.)

I took advantage of being home and headed out for a mid-day walk. Daylight instead of dark... The ground was slippery underfoot. Somehow, even though the snow fell on dry pavement, it seemed that there was an icy glare under the white stuff. It was a day made for careful walking, feet clad in blue, encased in warm but walkable boots.

The only reasonable place to walk was in the road, keeping an eye out for passing plows and cars.

Walking, watching, walking, jumping into snowbanks temporarily, walking, bundled up against the cold, absorbing the quiet beauty, walking...

my face, cold, snow

snow pooled in floral remnants

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plum Island afternoon

I was hoping for a good weather day today. I woke to find wet ground and very gloomy skies, coupled with non-December warmth. It looked like a good day to visit Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island.

Warmth and wind... the temperature was just edging 60 degrees when I headed out, and the wind was absolutely howling. At one point I was standing on top of an observation tower, keeping my camera still by leaning on the railing surrounding the platform. There were times when I needed to stop walking, to take a solid stance in an attempt not to get blown away.

The skies cleared as I walked, moving from a deep gray patterned with clouds, occasional spots of blue peeking out, to a wonderful blue background decorated with wisps of white. There were people walking quietly, others running, children splashing in long puddles on the beach. It was a good place to spend the afternoon, relaxing, beautiful.

waving grass, clouds

magic flowing water

Four days

It wasn't until last Sunday that I realized I had both Thursday and Friday off this week. Thursday was a given, but I assumed that Friday was a work day. I even questioned my Notes calendar when it popped up showing Friday as a day off, checking with one of my co-workers (as opposed to believing my computer). How wonderful. I was wrong, and Friday was an official day off.

I can't remember the last time I had a 4-day weekend with absolutely no plans. And what a wonderful gift that was!

What did I do with my 4 days? I felt no pressure to go anywhere, to do anything. I relaxed, I rested, I walked, I read, I played with my camera, I visited the birds along the shore, I wandered in two very different places along the Atlantic Coast. And I feel like a new person.

I usually take chunks of days and use them to travel. But I think I'm going to need to remind myself to take some days to do nothing every once in a while.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow prints

I wonder what kind of creature left these tracks in the snow.

The pattern seems too regular to be footsteps. Not people, not animals... I suppose the tracks were created by some kind of heavy treaded machinery, but I think I'd prefer to imagine snow people leaving footprints.

snow prints

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunshine, howling winds, ocean, birds

Sunshine, blue skies, and mild temperatures happily greeting me this morning. It wasn't a quiet day though; I could hear the wind howling, and once I started walking, I could feel it too.

The coast has been calling to me the last couple of weeks, but winter weather has kept me off of the roads. No more! Today was a perfect day for walking, for watching a quiet ocean, for laughing at the antics of the birds.




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gray day

It was a gray day today, a day of warmer (but not really warm) temperatures, a day of drizzle (but not out and out rain). It was a work-at-home day, which allowed me to walk in the (somewhat dim) daylight, no blinking lights needed to make sure that I was seen. It was a gray winter day, but a good day for a long walk.

And look - I even "met" a tree that likes to wear gloves!

a tree's glove

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dances with plows

Today is the day of the winter solstice. The weather wizard presented a snowy day to celebrate with snow, limited visibility, and according to the National Weather Service, a bit of freezing fog too.

It was a good day for a long walk, quiet. No sidewalks were cleared so it was a day of walking in the road, of dancing with plows. They were active, trying to keep the accumulating snow to a drivable depth. I was happy to step off the road and into the snow when the plows approached; after all, they are much bigger than I am!

I saw very few people outside as I wandered, but all of the people I saw were smiling at the quiet snowy day...

snow on a bench

Saturday, December 20, 2008

White, all white

The snow started with flurries early yesterday afternoon. It picked up, a slow, steady fall, diminishing visibility, coating everything in white. Today, I woke up to see a thick coat of white, snow, snow everywhere. The sky wore a stole of gray occasionally decorated with flurries. The air? Brrr... cold!

"A return to death" journal? Finished!

Phew! I've finally finished uploading photos to my A return to death journal. The writing was complete almost as soon as I returned home, and my photo galleries have been available for viewing since the end of November. But somehow...

If you're someone who likes to see photos along with words, you might want to jump over to my completed journal. There is some overlap between the photos in my galleries and those in my journal, but there are some unique photos in both places. Curious? Click to jump to my journal A return to death. If you have any reactions you'd like to share with me, feel free to leave a message in my journal guestbook.

A traveling home...

...for my computer

Does your computer ever insist that you buy presents for it? Mine does! As winter is descending on us I decided that I needed the safety of a bag that I can carry on my back. My computer is coming home with me even when I don't plan to work at night, just in case bad weather in the morning keeps me away from the office. And I just know there will be some slippery sliding days...

I went looking for a backpack from my laptop; a Google search for laptop backpack delivered links and links and links. I started perusing options, looking, looking a bit further. And then, I clicked on a link that took me to Spire. Their smallest bag, the Volt, jumped out at me. I clicked buy, and my computer had its new home in just a couple of days. The Volt is well-designed, with plenty of space plus the ability to cinch everything into a non-moving state. And, it's comfortable. It feels as if it is floating on my back.

My computer is happy with its traveling home.

backpack for my laptop

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowing, freezing...

The storm marching across the country has arrived, with snow, wind, and cold. I was able to escape for a nice long walk in the early afternoon. As I was walking, the snow started falling. Light flurries, then steady snow, getting heavier by the minute. The world will look a bit different tomorrow, wearing a fresh coat of white.

snowing, freezing

And yes, those streaks you see across the photo really are from the heavily falling snow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Color my world

The winter solstice is about to jump out, and winter weather is clearly making an appearance here. The "quick glimpse at the weather" map on the Boston National Weather Service page has been showing alarming colors all week, from the entire state colored in purple on Tuesday signifying a winter weather advisory, to the bright pink of a winter storm warning, looming, coming tomorrow.

As much as I'd like to skip the cold and snow, I do live in the northeast, and both are a fact of life here. There does seem to be a bit of a strange winter pattern brewing though; did you see the reports of 3 and a half inches of snow in Las Vegas yesteray?

Today? Perhaps a calm before the storm, blue sky decorated with chunks of white, clouds, not snow.

sky painting

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A couple of inches of snow topped by freezing rain makes for slick surfaces. Slick, slippery, mist hanging, a white blanket, a winter's day.

encased in ice

icy evergreen

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wind-driven shimmer

Ah, a day of warmth in the midst of winter chill... The wind was howling, but with a temperature edging over 60 degrees it was a treat to be out walking.

reflections in windblown water

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Today is my brother's birthday. It was always a time to chat, to catch up with each other. Now? It serves as a time to remember him. It seems like yesterday when Neal lost his battle with cancer, and yet that day of death was over a year ago.

Neal touched many people, family, friends, colleagues. Our dad has stayed in touch with Neal's boss, and she recently shared the description of a Spirit Award the company has created:

"In memory of Neal Goldberg, this award will go to the individual who epitomizes the spirit and heart exhibited by Neal. Despite the many challenges he faced with regard to his illness, Neal not only remained committed to our company and ready to assist his associates when asked, but did so with a fun loving spirit and a good heart. Neal demonstrated a resilience and strength that is worthy of being recognized and remembered."
That brought tears to my eyes. And it brought the realization that Neal was special to more than just his family and friends, that he brought his gifts to others in his world too.

I'm holding on to my memories of Neal.
A part of him remains with me. Always...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

After the storm

The remnants of Thurday night's storm are still with us. There are still hundreds of thousands of people in the area who are still without power, and there are many trees (and parts of trees) waiting to be picked up off of the ground.

I feel very lucky. I lost cable access, but my power stayed on. Warmth at home is very important on these cold cold days.

encased in ice

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wonders in ice

Rain was still falling early this morning. As I peered through the raindrops I could see trees coated in ice. Icy beauty...

I wasn't willing to subject my camera to the rain but I did manage a couple of shots while juggling an umbrella plus trying to hold the camera steady. I think I need an umbrella that I can wear like a hat, or that can be balanced on my shoulders.

encased in ice

encased in ice

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Listening to the rain

Today was a day of heavy rain, freezing rain, beginning to coat surfaces with icy wonder.

It's really been a roller coaster of a week. Tuesday night I was out walking, bundled up to handle an air temperature of 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrr... It was cold, but I was walking, warm. Wednesday brought warmer conditions, with an increase of 30 degress in temperature. It felt like I was walking in absolute warmth, although I know that a few months ago I would have felt chilled waltzing through air at 47 degrees. It's amazing what you can adapt to, isn't it?

Tonight I came home to pouring rain with the temperature just below freezing. That sounded like a very good excuse for a rest day.

My cameras? Hiding! I'm really missing my late day walks or rides accompanied by my toys. There's just not enough light in the early morning or evening hours. I'm walking adorned with flashing lights to make sure that I can be seen, but there's just not enough light for camera play. Here's hoping for some good weekend wanders.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Winter slapped us in the face this morning!

Yesterday there were flurries in the air for a good chunk of the day, flurries, not accumulating snow. A seasonal feel, if a fleeting one.

This morning? As I drove to work, the thermometer in my car showed a very chilly 11 degrees Fahrenheit, converting to -11.6666667 degrees Celsius. Now isn't that interesting? I knew that the temperature scales match at negative 40 degrees, but I didn't realize there was a positive to negative flip (an almost backwards match) at 11 degrees.

But brrr... cold! And I live in a relatively mild section of the northeast thanks to the ocean influence.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A photo a month

It was a day of wandering through photos, a day of selecting photos for months, a day of building calendars. And yes, I did say calendars, plural!

My friend Caroline started using RedBubble a little while ago. My curiosity was piqued by a post on her blog so I wandered over to explore. I set up a RedBubble site of my own last month, uploaded a few photos, and then wandered off, busy with other things. I didn't head back there until today, when the urge to create a 2009 calendar struck. I really meant to create a single calendar, but at the end of the day there were two.

Wandering from northeast to southwest contains images from several trips, to Acadia National Park in June, to New Brunswick in August, and to Death Valley National Park in November.

2009 calendar Wandering from northeast to southwest

Glimpses of Acadia contains images from my trip to Acadia National Park in June, as well as a quick stop there on my way home from New Brunswick in August.

2009 calendar Glimpses of Acadia

I not only didn't manage to create a single calendar, I couldn't decide which one I needed, so I ordered copies of both. I'll report on the quality when they arrive.

If you'd like to see (or order!) one of my creations, just click on the photos above. You will be able to page through the calendar's on my RedBubble site. Or - if you'd like to choose photos from my galleries for a custom calendar, please use the email link in my guestbook to contact me; I would be happy to work with you.

Just a dusting...

Snow flurried, white floating, coating leaves and grass. Yes, winter is edging closer.

snow, ice, water, reflections

stream meandering, snow on grass

Saturday, December 06, 2008

An icy reflection...

...a sure sign that winter is here.

reflections in ice

Do you ever wonder... prices are set? Grocery prices, that is?

I made a quick trip to the grocery store last night. I always keep seasonal fruit around for snacking, and I always have some fruit that is a good topping for my morning cereal. The cereal-topping fruit? Always bananas, and whenever possible, some kind of berries. If I can't find berries then sweet red grapes provide a very nice substitute.

I remember many many years ago when it was only possible to get fresh berries during our spring and summer. That's not true any more, but last night's view of the produce aisle still surprised me. Instead of the normal price of $2.99, blackberries were selling for 99 cents! Yes, it's a small container, but oh! so good! Two containers jumped into my bag to make this a blackberry and banana week.

Now that's a nice out-of-season treat!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sense of humor required!

Laughter is a good thing. Hanging up on the president? What would your reaction be if you received a call from Barak Obama? A Florida congresswoman hung up on him twice, sure that the calls were spoofs.

No, it really was Barak Obama. It took a call from another representative to convince Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that it was the president-elect who she hung up on - not once, but twice!

Florida representative 'flabbergasted' Obama call wasn't prank

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter approaches

As much as I'd like the ground to stay dry and uncovered, winter creeps in on quiet feet.

quickly flowing water

peering through snow gaps

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No stopping!

Sometimes it is very difficult to behave.

I was driving west on the New York Thruway, heading to my parents' home for a weekend visit. Driving, down a long stretch of road, when my camera eye was drawn by reflections in the quiet water of the Erie Canal.

Sometimes, it is so hard to not follow those camera desires. I would have loved to have pulled over, to have tromped down closer to the canal accompanied by my camera, to have grabbed a few images. It was a very gray day, and yet there were still distinct reflections in the water. A beautiful sight, captured by words instead of pictures...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ghost town art

Rhyolite beckoned, an abandoned town, ghosts of the gold rush. I gave in to my curiosity and left Death Valley, heading over the Amargosa Range to visit a ghost town. Little did I know that I would also find some amazing art there.

"Just outside of Rhyolite, Nevada, a spectacular ghost town off the road leading to Death Valley, California, a group of prominent Belgian artists, led by the late Albert Szukalski, created a self-described art situation consisting of seven outdoor sculptures that are colossal not only in their scale, but in their placement within the vast upper Mojave desert."
...quote courtesy of the Goldwell Open Air Museum

goldwell open air museum ghosts

goldwell open air museum mosaic sofa

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jumping into my camera

Visions of the desert, intense colors, sand, rocks... My too quick trip to ramble in Death Valley National Park lives on in memories, and in photographs. You can follow my ramble in words in my journal or in pictures in my A return to death photo galleries.

In the valley... Badwater to Golden Canyon:

In the valley... Badwater to Golden Canyon

High... Zabriskie Point & Twenty Mule Team Canyon:

High... Zabriskie Point & Twenty Mule Team Canyon

In the valley... Furnace Creek to Mosaic Canyon:

In the valley... Furnace Creek to Mosaic Canyon

Sand Dunes sunrise:

Sand Dunes sunrise

Rhyolite... ghosts & sculptures:

Rhyolite... ghosts & sculptures

Red Rock Canyon:

Red Rock Canyon

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seeing things?

The first time these two planes passed over my head as I wandered the sand dunes in Death Valley I thought I was seeing things, that my imagination was working overtime.

The second time? I knew they were real, my first view of a stealth fighter in the air.

Yes, the images are really tiny. The planes were moving quickly, and I had to just use the lens that was on my camera at the time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A return to death...

Death Valley, that is! I'm heading west today for a short wander in Death Valley National Park. I hope to be updating my journal from the road, but whether I will have web access is questionable.

Please look in on my wanderings in my journal, A return to death.

I'm wandering with my camera, happy...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A windy day

Morning brought an end to yesterday's endless wet. Instead of rain, the wind prevailed, a howling wind, a wind that swept clouds across the sky. It was a day of cooling temperatures, a good day for walking...

painted sky

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Patches of green

The leaves are down, the colors have faded, and yet... there are still visible patches of green.

meanders, green surrounds flowing water

Will the light change?

I haven't been able to turn left into or out of my drive since the end of May. A relatively short chunk of road has been under construction for far too long. And finally... yesterday the left turn restriction was removed. How nice! Now I no longer need to go in a circle when I simply wanted to turn left.

The new puzzle? I noticed signs on the pavement that imply a bicycle will trigger a change in the (currently non-existent) traffic light. It looks like a new light is about to be installed. And there are bicycle "spots" on the pavement, indicating that my bicycle and I will be able to get the light to change. I've been suspicious of these pavement markings for a while, thinking that they were just a placebo as opposed to a way for me to get a red light to turn green. It will be very interesting to see if this set of markings really hide a trigger. That would be a real change; I can't tell you how many times I've had to go through red lights because there was no way for my bicycle to trigger a light change. In fact, one of the locations where I regularly stop, looks, and ride across on red is right in front of a police station.

road sign

Monday, November 10, 2008


Sometimes there isn't anything you can do except to be there, to offer silent support.

This past weekend was consumed by a quick trip to upstate New York. It was a time to be with family, and a time to be frustrated by not being able to help. My dad had emergency surgery last week, and what he needs now is time to heal. It was hard to accept that there isn't anything I can do that will speed the process of getting better. Time will help, time, good medical care, the presence of friends and family, time...

I was there, a silent observer, there to offer aid if needed, there to send healing thoughts. Each day brings more strength, more healing.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

From salt marsh to ocean

I felt a need to wander today, to hear the ocean, to see fading autumn colors. I headed to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for some walking and camera play. I haven't been back since my first visit in April; somehow visits to the ocean feel right in the cooler seasons. There weren't too many people there when I visited before, and there were even fewer today.

Walking, peering through the plants to see flitting birds, stopping to chat with the few other people who were wandering too. The trail, really the boardwalk, near the Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area kept my attention for a while. Then I headed out to the beach, a beach I wasn't able to see on my last visit. Why? It's a piping plover nesting area, and as noted on the refuge's web site:

"Each year the entire 6.3 miles (10.1 kilometers) of refuge beach is closed to all public entry beginning April 1 to provide undisturbed nesting and feeding habitat for the piping plover, a shorebird species threatened with extinction. Portions of the beach not being used by the birds may be reopened beginning July 1. Typically all sections are reopened by mid-late August."
It was a joy to walk to and on this very deserted beach. As my feet covered the boardwalk leading to the beach, I could hear the sound of waves crashing. I found an almost empty beach, miles of sand with only 2 other people within view. Sand, birds, waves pounding, water making shapes in the sand...

autumn leaves

ocean patterns

Saturday, November 01, 2008

From colors to bare branches

I'm not ready for the change in seasons, for cooler temperatures, for shorter days.

Change is coming though, and there is beauty in the changes. Bright colors are fading, lingering flowers pose against autumn-toned backgrounds, leaves are falling leaving skeletons of trees.

daisy against fall colors

yellow leaves

bare branches

Morning painting

Sometimes it looks like someone has been painting the sky. Early morning, sun rising, backlighting, clouds...

sky painting

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm counting the days to the election, and I'm hoping. Hoping...

It's not my habit to jump into politics in my writing, but I find I need to. We need change here, big change. We need an individual running this country who has integrity, who shows respect for others, who is in tune with the reality of the need for change, for peace.

It's time to stop talking, time to do, time to vote for change, time for a new administration. Let's put this country back in touch with reality.

Let's vote for Barak Obama.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Choochy roams Logan Airport

This morning an article just jumped off of the Metro section of the Boston Globe at me. Choochy, a toy poodle, escaped from her carrier aboard a flight to Logan Airport on Saturday night. According to the article she had seventeen hours of what must have been scarey (and lonely) freedom.

I wonder how the airlines accounted for their late departures... flights delayed as airport personnel chased a little white dog across the runways! The story did have a happy ending, with Choochy reunited with her family.

Curious? Read the article - 8 flights at Logan delayed as poodle toys with freedom.