Sunday, April 03, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - April 3, 2011

It's a sunny Sunday morning in April. The birds are singing outside and the local television news is on in the background. The really big news is that it's not snowing and the temperatures are actually supposed to be spring-like here today -- in the 50s! It's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken.

This past week was yet another adventure in winter wonderland around here. Oh, not so much snow perhaps. But the cold temperatures hung in there. Between cold rains, winds and brief snows, I'm getting really tired of this. I've lived in New Jersey over fifteen years now and this is the coldest spring I've seen here. Usually by this time trees and flowers are in full bloom and it's a joy to walk to the train station. Not so much so right now.

I want to retire my winter coat. I want to see flowers and fresh new green leaves on the trees. I want inspiration for my photos instead of just taking shots because they're there. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Huh. Charlie Sheen's "concert tour" is NOT A WINNER. Duh. I could have predicated that one. And, in New Jersey news, a coyote jumped through the basement window of someone's home in Bergen county. Animal control came, captured her and relocated the pregnant coyote in deep woods -- but not before the homeowners took some photos.

Me? I'm still watching for bears. Now, that would be a good photo opportunity! The last time I saw one around here (in my Dumpster in North Plainfield) was before I started carrying a camera with me all the time.

Onto this week's shots. Once again, I'm really wanting for inspiration. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

Look around, there's a patch of snow on the ground.

The snow from the week before lasted in patches confined to shady places well into this week. On Friday a predicted snowstorm ended up being mostly rain. However, while I was trapped in my windowless office for a few hours, the snow started coming down. Sticking to vehicles and grassy areas, it quickly added up to two inches with only slush on the roads. Then it turned back over to rain and washed away before I left for home. Bridgewater, NJ.

Obviously I'm bored

This is one of the lamps at the Bridgewater Train Station. I used GIMP's "retinex filter" to do odd things to it.

Bunny alert! Bunny alert!

A rabbit grazes in the field of geese (and robins and starlings). Bridgewater, NJ.

Feed me! FEED ME!

Not quite the Little Shop of Horrors, this crocus should be in full bloom by now. Instead, it's almost scared to fully open up. Plainfield YWCA, East Front Street.

Hanging in there

The crocuses aren't drooping like many of the other flowers wounded by the weather. They're just in some sort of waiting pattern.

I am Squirrel. This is my pedestal.

Well, it's not really a pedestal. He was posing on the steps of a nearby church on East Front Street, Plainfield.

Drooping Forsythia

After the cold weather, snow and ice, the forsythia doesn't seem as exuberant this season. Plainfield Train Station.

Drooping Daffodils

In the cemetery at Church and East Third Street behind the Friends Meeting House in Plainfield.

Some even more so ...

Berckman Street, Plainfield.

Not drooping.

Hardy souls that they are, the squirrels are fat and active. I think they must be thrilled not to have to be digging through snow cover for their goodies. Last year was a big acorn year, too. So they seem to be happy. East Front Street, Plainfield.

In which I continue my linguistic knowledge.

Hmm ... it's easier to say "keep out" than "prohibido la entrada." My Spanish continues to flourish by reading signs and eavesdropping on folks. Cleveland Street, Plainfield.

Back to shooting curly twisty dead vines

Bridgewater, NJ.

Just before the dawn

Plainfield Train Station way early on Monday morning.

A goose watches his field of geese in dismay as it's covered with bunnies and robins. Bridgewater, NJ.

Aha, I found out the mystery!

I took a shot sometime ago of a weird message on my NJ Transit train accompanied by some sort of alarm chimes. It happened again this week. Thanks to a (rather loose-lipped) conductor's announcement -- "Some rocket scientist found out you can't exit through a closed door." Of course, the rocket scientist was off of the train by the time.

Apparently this is what that little red emergency button by the doors does. What would possess someone to push that button while others are walking out of the open door not eight feet away, I don't know. Oh well. At least he didn't pull the emergency brake.

A bit of color

The cemetery behind the Friends Meeting House in Plainfield is usually a vibrant place in the springtime. The daffodils and forsythia are both suffering this year due to our extended winter.

Slow but sure

These trees are usually in glorious full bloom by now. Church Street, Plainfield.


Interesting homemade trailer on this bike on East Front Street. Alas, the owner was more than annoying as I was stuck behind him in Everybody's Food Market. I was on my way to work. He was there buying a gazillion lottery tickets and praying to hit the big one as he needs the money so badly. I don't know. I think a job and working for a living is probably more of a sure bet.


His scar on his nose really shows in this close-up. I often find myself wondering about his life previous to the one he has here.

On a related note, my thoughts and prayers go to blog reader and commenter JeanneMarie as she continues to fight the effects of her infected cat bite. It almost cost her life and she was hospitalized for ten days. Something that all cat owners tend to shrug off as innocuous -- just a little bite from a loving pet -- became a life-threatening infection. Hang in there and get healthy again, JeanneMarie!

My thoughts and prayers are also with my cousin John this week as he undergoes chemo for numerous brain tumors. No one can rock that shaved head with a long ponytail look quite like him, though. Still crazy after all these years.

Sorry for the downers, but that's what's been on my mind. How was your week?


RiseandShine said...

Good Morning.
I'm adding my thoughts and prayers for JeanneMarie and John. I hope their treatments go well and good health returns.
Although the weather isn't quite as it should be, the temperatures are climbing into the steady 40s and finally the 50s, and I'm becoming optimistic that it will get better. However, if I were a crocus, I'd be scared too.
A misplaced sense of entitlement is my guess for the train passenger's malady. It's like the person in line behind you who jumps over before you when a closed register opens up and the cashier says "next please". Entitlement should be one of the 7 deadly sins, although it probably fits well within one of them already.
My week? It was good. My classroom team and I have been struggling with our current group of students to develop a sense of team, of family, of acceptance. We had many great moments this week finally. Historically, this indicates the tide has turned. I'm grateful since no one in this current group should be leaving us anytime before September at the earliest.
It had looked like it was going to be a long, long, long spring and summer for them and for us. Whew!

Jackie said...

We should add blog reader/commenter DonnaInAlabama in our thoughts and prayers as well. Her beloved cat Fluffy is fighting for his life in an animal hospital due to an accidental poisoning with flea drops.

My heart goes out to Donna.

Sally said...

My best wishes to JeanneMarie, John and Donna's little Fluffy. I hope modern medicine and good doctors/veterinarians can work wonders for all of them.

It's another cold, damp, dreary day here. I've seen some of the earliest shoots of spring, but nothing that looks like a bloom. I'm ready for spring too, and they're predicting more snow. Enough already!

Have to just shake my head at the rocket scientist on the train and the finanical whiz at the grocery store. Some people assume that the world revolves around them. They're wrong and annoying.

Becky said...

Good afternoon, Jackie. Ah, no matter the life of pre-Vincent, he is living the life of Riley now. Or, as they say in the South, he has a "bird nest on the ground".

Jackie, I am sorry that the idiots or trolls (same difference) posted such negative things on your last commentary at TV Squad about last week's TAR. They missed the point completely. I think when Margie and Luke were first on the last time everyone was pulling for them. However, as the weeks went by we saw Luke crumble whenever the going got tough and each time he did it Marge would be overly protective. The kid needs to grow up. Mom won't always be there for him to smooth the way and baby him. JMHO.

My prayers have been added for JeanneMarie and John. I remember when my children were small that Laurie became very ill. The cause was diagnosed as Cat Scratch Fever (this was long before the song). The doctors said that the infection entered through a scratch on her arm from the family cat. They said the cat had probably caught a sick bird and the infection was in the claws of the cat. They warned that she would probably test positive for TB and CSF for the rest of her life. This was during the time when they did TB screenings at the school each year. They had to do a different type of TB test for her. Anyone who's cat bites or scratches them, even in play should wash the area immediately and use an antibacterial ointment on it.

I was disappointed that TAR was not going to be on tonight, but then I learned that our nephew is coming this afternoon. So, I guess I will see you Wed for Survivor.

Becky said...

Adding Fluffy to my prayers.

SueGee said...

I will add everyone into my prayers this week! Please keep us up to date on how everyone is doing.

I was invited (through a friend) to attend a TAR viewing party tonight with Kent & Vixsin in a Hooter's Bar in San Francisco. My first thought was that this is their week to be Philiminated - but now I believe the whole thing to be a big April Fool's Joke because there is no show this week!! I feel so taken LOL

Sue on the Left Coast

Lifeguard Laurie said...

Bunnies and squirrels and geese, oh my! Of course, my fav is the closer, Mr Vincent.

I have a friend who nearly died from a bite from her cat. Good of you to warn all of us about the danger of this.

Spring is definitely here in San Diego, although it did cool down to the 60s last night. Hope you see your bear soon!

Donna in AL said...

Thank you Jackie for the prayer requests. My Fluffy needs them badly. He is still not awake and they won't know until maybe tomorrow afternoon if he has too much brain damage. This unknown is just driving me nuts! Thank you again.

Bernice said...

My formerly feral cat Mousie, aka Mau,sunk a talon into my right thumbnail on Dec. 28, causing a blood blister under the nail. I was using hydrogen peroxide constantly and somehow avoided an infection. The nail is now halfway grown out, but is deformed just below the three-cornered tear. This cat is unpredictable about biting and scratching. He can be purring and a second later going for blood.
Thoughts and prayers to all who are dealing with health problems.

monty924 said...

My thoughts and prayers are also with JeanneMarie, John and Donna's kitty - Fluffy. Bernice, my cat is also a feral rescue and she does the same thing. One minute playing and the next minute acts like I'm the devil. She's a wonderful pet, but I never can discount her lineage. She's from a long history of feral cats that my Mom fed and took care of for years. She adapted well to being an indoors only cat, after the first month or so, but she is still feral in many ways. This is a great lesson for cat owners. Love them, but protect yourself too.

meb said...

Finally got over here to see this Jackie. One of my grandsons is a tech at an animal hospital here and he tells us all the time that we have to be careful. We have four cats in our house.

BTW, you asked if anyone was watching Castle a few posts back and I do... good show. I'm usually having to tape it and then see it later, as I did tonight .. watch it that is.

Hopefully I'll be able to 'talk' during Dancing With the Stars tonight.

Loved the pictures, especially the one of Vincent.

Petals said...

Good thoughts going to JeanneMarie too. Yikes.
And DonnainAL! Oh no!
Jackie, your photos are always so amazing. You should do a calendar.