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