Que Pasa?

Yikes, not another cramped office space!

Yikes, not another cramped office space!

Brrrrr!  Everyone is talking about it, but no one can do anything about it, including predict it.  An announcer on our local PBS radio station threw up his hand this morning, and said, “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”  One weather forecaster says a foot of snow, another 6 inches, and a third something else.  So much for all those weather forecast models.  The best we can say here is that its colder than normal, whatever that is anymore.

David saw the first Robin this morning, on the heated bird bath.  Poor darling.  The Robins migrate further south in winter and return about now.

The snow we received over the weekend has mostly dissipated, not because the thermometer rose, but because the winds that shook the house night before last dried the ground. Out back, where it is always warmer owing to the brick walk, mulch on the garden beds, and the asphalt parking lot on the other side of the fence, the birds are clustered in the Holly tree near the feeders and bird baths.

When the birds spot David in his red hat they become agitated and call to one another. I think the word that our community is bird friendly has passed along the East Coast bird network. Certainly the birds of prey know about it.


My friend Debbi’s photo of her border collie Skye and wolf (behind Skye),  frolicking in the Bluebells last spring. They live near Yosemite.


Winter is a good time to read and do research.  Now my eyes are weary.  Thank goodness, tomorrow I have an appointment with my ophthalmologist.  I suffer with dry eyes, made worse by the indoor heat and low humidity. Also, my many meds, one for asthma, dry me out.  I suppose aging makes us dry and brittle too.

Years ago, I had a hot stuffy office I complained about.  As an experiment, one winter, I left an apple sitting on a filing cabinet.  The apple shrank and wrinkled until it looked like a shrunken head. Finally, I was reassigned a “new office,” formerly occupied by two chain smokers.  It stank.  I complained about that office also. I counted and over the years I worked for the government I was in five successive crappy offices…small, dirty, hot and dry.  But I persevered, and left when I was ready to retire.  After I left, the authorities demolished the old building and moved everyone to a new modern building with sealed windows and cubicles.  I don’t miss any of this, however, I do like my retirement benefits.


 This week, I been reading about the seventeenth century New England witch trials.  One author (Norton) suggests they should not be called the Salem Witch trials, because they occurred all over Essex county.  Her map includes all the towns in Essex County including Salem, where my ancestors lived.

Although many descendents probably destroyed many records, so far, I have found little connection between the witch trials and any of my ancestors.  However, one ancestor was a judge at a trial of a woman accused of witchcraft, and another tried as a witch.  In both instances the accused were exonerated.

The historical context contributing to the witch hysteria:

– New England at this time was ‘Elizabethan’ thus Medieval;

– The witch craze sweeping Europe was associated with the plague and the religious wars which created great anxiety.

– Indians were randomly killing settlers in surprise attacks; the settlers believed the Indians worked for the Devil, particularly because when they captured and killed a settler, they often roasted and ate him.

These days, with the help of computers, historians are uncovering additional material, and continuously revising history.  As with the weather, medicine, and computers, there are no absolutes in history and never have been.

21 thoughts on “Que Pasa?

  1. Indians ate humans? Seriously? That’s something new I’ve never heard of.

    I sure hope it warms up for you. My daughter says they may close school in Chicago again because of the cold.


    • Yes, many documented accounts say the Iroquois Indians ate their victims. Both Whites and fellow Indians were terrified of them. Another bad tribe were the Winebagoes according to a Winnebago named Joan Greendeer I worked with at the Census Bureau. As you know, I worked in the race and ethnicity area where the tribes were counted.

      Fortunately, over time, most Indians changed their ways as did most Whites. Despite some of the propaganda we read today there were many instances of cooperation. Historian Richard White’s book ‘The Middle Ground’ describes the situation around the Great Lakes area.


  2. I thought of you this morning .. NPR said all of DC was basically shut down. Hope you’re staying warm and OK.

    It’s really a wonder any of us survived those smoky offices from back in the day; for so many years, it was just one of the things we put up with without questioning. I HATE smoke now.


  3. Simply great photo. You are so photogenic. 🙂 Yes, I always follow the weather report for your area, and my response is the same every day. Not more snow! You two just stay warm.


  4. The wind is really what gets me since it bites into you. It blew so hard the other night that it caused a loveseat (covered with a waterproof cover) on the deck to slide about 10 feet. I’m amazed the wind didn’t flip the loveseat completely over and send it into the next county or the Chesapeake Bay.


      • This too shall pass. I saw an interesting image this morning — a shivering cardinal with a hat, scarf and Starbucks cup. The cardinal asked the question, “Spring forward? How FAR forward did you move it???”


  5. We are keeping warm in our home awaiting snow and more bitter cold. But we have food, books and afghans to keep us cozy. We’ll be fine as long as we don’t lose power.


  6. Don’t miss my old office spaces either. The forecasts here often are wrong. It froze here last night in E. Washington after days and days of 50+ temperatures with warm winds and then fog?! But we have had this peculiar weather since Christmas, no freezing no snow, no snow pack in the mountains. We will pay with lack of water this summer I imagine. The snow all seems to have all gone east. Don’t envy your weather at all.


  7. Our predicted low for Thursday evening is 7 degrees. WTF! I thought Virginia was in the south. And we’re in southern Virginia! Now that Obama has opened up Cuba, I think I’ll look for some good deals down there.


  8. Yuck. I don’t envy those offices you worked in. I hate smoke — tobacco, marijuana, charcoal. When I interviewed our tenant, I made a point of allowing no smoke in our rental unit. Not even from cooking. Ugh.
    I wonder what roasted humans taste like.


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