Thursday, March 10, 2022

February’s End - Still Waiting

February 15-28, 2022                                                 Most Recent Posts
Still in Virginia                             February 2022-Birthday and Hot Chocolate
Day 174 & Counting                    January – It’s All About the Weather         

I’m posting this on the 10th of March and as you will see, I’m feeling stuck but no matter what frustrations I have, it is nothing compared to the brave people of Ukraine.  I’m almost embarrassed to post this rather whining account.   How thankful I am that Vladimir Putin is not my neighbor.  Enough politics.   The other bad news is that Winnona is still waiting.  She’s in the shop which is backed up.  She’s taking turns with too many RVs with too many problems.  Supply chains are broken.  Or at least that’s what they tell me.  She’s waiting, I’m waiting.

It’s 6  months and counting since I returned to Virginia from Vermont thinking I was only staying 6 weeks and would be heading toward my hard fought for reservations in Florida where I would not be shoveling snow.  HA!  Little did I know.

February 15 temp
This is how the 2nd half of February started.  Yes that’s 17 outside and 64 inside.

Meanwhile, back in Silver Springs where I was this time last year it was 72 on this date this year.  

17 or 72, hmmmm which would I rather have.

IMG_0305Some things I can count on regardless of place.  Mid month, the full moon shone brightly here in through the crisp cold leafless trees just as it has above the warm sands of the Atlantic in Februaries past.  It’s beautiful wherever I am.

I do feel like I’ve been marking time as I struggle to get the work done on Winnona and get her back home and fit for further adventures.   I thought I would have this puzzle completed before I wrote this post but it didn’t happen.  Here’s what I’ve done so far and what it is supposed to look like.  I find that I don’t have the patience to concentrate on much of anything but reading and keeping warm.  I am very tired of winter. 

And of the lower back problems resulting from my excess of January shoveling.  In fact, as I am typing this my phone rings and it is my chiropractor wanting to know where I am when it is 15 minutes after my appointment time.  Writing my blog I tell her sheepishly.



I’m not at all sure why I got my hair cut except that it was falling down onto my forehead and requiring more “care” than I’m interested in but I like the “before” better than the “after” so I’m putting the pictures here to remind me that the cut was


For the most part,  I am spending my hours reading, taking a daily walk of 3 or 4 miles and trying not to consume too many comfort inducing carbs like pastries, popcorn, potato chips and candy.   Eating lots of warming soups but somehow they don’t seem to comfort quite enough.

One thing nice about being stuck is that I can walk to the sweet little local library which is my very favorite place.  Its picture was also in my previous post.  In these days of consolidation and bigger is better I hold my breath hoping that my tiny library, and it is tiny, does not get replaced by something newer, bigger and less cozy.

On the way, it is fun to peek into people’s yards and look for signs of spring like these snow drops. 

The houses in the neighborhoods I walk though are all unique and I love their dormers and colors.  I could post pictures of dozens but two will do.

This one had an interesting play spot though I happen to know there are no children living there. The owner is clearly having fun.

Among the other walking routes I take, one cuts through McIntire Park which on this day was looking very wintery.  But then it is February, I don’t know what I expect.



The leafless tree shapes show how they grow together, giving each other the room they need.  Don’t we wish people were as accommodating and generous.


One bright spring spot in all this brown and gray.


On one route, I go by several ‘little libraries’.  Four or Five actually.  These two are on the same street.   They make me smile when I walk by which is why I arrange my route to go by them all.  And of course I stop and see what’s up for loan.


Probably the best thing in the last half of February was my friend Laurie’s birthday which we were actually able to celebrate OUTSIDE on a freakish very warm day.  Hallelujah!!   We were finishing our discussion of Louise Erdrich’s The Round House and having lunch.



Laurie opens her present and card.


It’s the perfect thing for her.  A one person game called Cat Crimes.  Laurie is a veteran cat lady with two felines she serves named Kima and Twig.


Laurie sent me this picture of Detective Twig on the job solving the crime.

Detective Twig

Last day of the month -  journaling, reading, and waiting.  Spring IS coming!

Feb 28

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

February 2022- Birthday and Hot Chocolate

February 1 – 14, 2022                                                    Most Recent Posts:
STILL stuck in Charlottesville.       January 2022: It’s All About the Weather
                                                               December 2021 & Happy 2022 Hopefully

First and most importantly February is


We couldn’t get together but we did Facetime when she opened her presents from me.  These are terrible pictures of my screen but they are all I have of her in the fuzzy zip up I gave her which is a light purple though you never know it in the picture.

The other gift was a photo book I made with pictures our visit to her house for her son Colin’s first Christmas and her father’s last.

My baby is 42.  Unbelievable.  NOT POSSIBLE!   She sure doesn’t look it.


Since I could not bake THE family birthday cake and eat it all myself (well I could but I shouldn’t) I baked chocolate chip cookies in her honor and did eat them all myself.  Half of them right off the tray as the evidence shows.


February is also HOT CHOCOLATE month!! 

About Darden - Life in Charlottesville | UVA Darden School of Business

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t find that out until 3 weeks of it were over. I immediately headed for Mariebette for Dark Cherry Hot Chocolate and asked if there was any way pretty pretty please that I could get some of the flavors from the first week of the month. 

No I was told by the girl in the scarf.  They are only made once a year.  But they will be back next year. 

OH WOE IS ME!  I hope I won’t be here next year in January or February. 

So I determined to have hot chocolate at least 3 times during what was left of the month.  Some of the flavors don’t really appeal to me.

Here’s the schedule of flavors.  Hope you can read it.  Oh my salted carmel!  And I’ll take February 1-4 please.

I did go  for Dark Cherry the day after I found out that February is Hot Chocolate Month.

I LOVE to sit and read with a cup of hot chocolate.  The Dark Cherry was fabulous.  It even had a montmorency cherry in the bottom.  At one time, the farm had 2 montmorency cherry trees.  THE ultimate pie cherry and the source of cherries for David’s reknown and not to surpassed cherry pie.  But I digress…..  at $6.12 for a large which was “maybe” 12 oz, I’ll have to limit myself. 

I returned on the next Saturday for Raspberry with my mouth watering.  I have no idea what happened but this chocolate, which I didn’t try until I got it back to my house and my book since they have no indoor dining, only outdoor and it was in the 40’s, was thin watery and tasted neither like chocolate or raspberries.  I was SO disappointed.   Still I soldiered on and came back on the very last day of the month for White Chocolate Pistachio which was very good.  Not as good as Dark Cherry but WAY better than Raspberry.

Technically this post is about the first half of February but well, hot chocolate month was all of February.

Back to the first half of the month which unfortunately much of is still winter as these pictures of frost on the plants and snow coming down attest.  Nature is beautiful in all her dresses but the cold temperatures keep me inside and not doing a daily walk on many days.  This is just not good for me and makes me grumpy.




20220208_082757On the days I spend inside, I pamper myself with my favorite indoor activity – READING with hot chocolate!

Here is where I hang out in my comfy chair, with an afghan made by my mother, the sun streaming in the window and a cup of my favorite hot chocolate, after Mariebettes Dark cherry, in my cup. 

The book I set down in the chair to take this picture is the one Laurie and I discussed this month in our book club.  It was excellent, a great story beautifully written.  The Round House by Louise Erdrich won the National Book Award and it was well deserved.  It’s also the book in the Mariebette picture above.


Land O’Lakes Vanilla hot chocolate is my make it yourself preference.  I try very hard not to have it every day.  WAY too many calories, WAY too much sodium and WAY WAY too much sugar and even too much fat for one cup of it.   No wonder it tastes so fantastic.

The temperatures do start to at least vacillate as in one day the high is 35 and the low 23 and 3 days later the high is 69 and the low 48.  Oh that 69!   This must be very confusing to the plants.  I know it is to me. 


On the 10th I saw these snowdrops which hopefully indicated spring was actually coming.  I was so excited

Thus encouraged, the next day  I took a hike out to Ivy Creek Natural Area where I found the creek frozen.


.Nothing was blooming, everything was leafless, the river was icy, the ground on the other side still had snow.  Don’t get your hopes up in the first half of February is the lesson.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done a winter in Virginia.


But still, it was great to be outside hiking even in the 50’s before heading back to rain and snow tomorrow.

The beavers have been around recently despite the chicken wire put up to protect the trees.

The geese and ducks have managed to find some open water to hang out in together.


I enjoy the beech toes and the lichen art.



Another non rainy, non snowy, reasonably temperatured day found me walking over to UVA gardens in hopes of some flowers.

There wasn’t much.  Some flowers had clearly tried to come up but been wilted out or frozen by the weather.  So when I saw these, one in each of 3 of the 6 gardens, I was surprised.  They brought a smile to my face.  Any signs of spring are so welcome.  I’m beginning to feel desperate.



The serpentine walls and gates of the gardens have withstood whatever the weather for over 200 years.


20220212_135735As has the University’s famous Rotunda.

  Today, I come upon it from the side and though I saw it almost daily for the 25 years I worked at the university,
the beauty of its design never fails to move me with awe and admiration for its designer.  There are things not to admire about Mr. Jefferson,  but his beautiful home Monticello and this Academical Village both of which he designed are not among them.



Walking through the columns above I see some first signs of spring near the rotunda.  They are like little buds of hope.


Although most of the historic statues in this town, made infamous by the 2017 Unite the Right rally, have been removed.  This statue of Jefferson, the University’s founder currently remains.  I’ll leave the decision of whether either of these is good or bad to you.


20220212_141538Another walk I do often is to my favorite place in town, the Gordon Avenue Library.  With all this time on my hand, cold temperatures and wet trails, I’m doing a lot of reading.  I’ve always been an avid  reader and library user since I was first able to sign my name to get a card.

Seeing what seems like a carpet of snow drops again makes me hope we are finished with snow.



But no, the very next day, it snowed again.  Way to bust my bubble.

It’s difficult to take a picture of snow falling.  This was my attempt.

This snow certainly didn’t  match what we had in January when shoveling the heavy snow for too many hours to free Ruby hurt my back and the pain remains.  Lower back yoga poses help but don’t eliminate it.  An appointment with the chiropractor is on my list.

This is what I looked like Valentine’s Day this year

February 14 walk.

Here’s where I was on Valentine’s Day last year, the Silver River in Florida  SIGH!


Hope you had

                                         How to pamper yourself this Valentine's Day
                                                                                           a Happy One!