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'Ships on a Stormy Sea' by Jan Porcellis.


Best of luck and God bless you, East Coast friends, as you brace for Hurricane Irene.

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mechtild: (Default)
( Aug. 17th, 2011 11:01 am)
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There's bears in them thar hills!

Yesterday evening, in deep dusk after a day of storms, I was reading in bed when my husband came dashing in to show me a photo he'd just taken of a black bear in our yard. Except for one that passed through the corner of the yard last summer, we haven't seen a bear in our yard for years, and have never got a good picture of the event. My husband was sitting in the dining room when he noticed a couple of young women standing in the street, snapping photos with their phones. A good-sized bear was heading into our yard. Seeing it was going to go pass between our house and the next, a narrow strip, he ran to get the camera. He snapped his photo from the side porch, just in time. "It was moving fast, all wet from the rain, and hustled into the trees at the back. I didn't get to take a second shot."

Here's the photo he took of the bear passing between our strip of river rock and the neighbour's wood pile (covered with plastic camouflage material):
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My, my, how a few splashes of orange and red brighten the palette of a garden. It's been ten days or so since the last garden post, flowers have gone, flowers have come.


In bloom in the tiny east bed are a red 'Champlain' rose, dusty-pink astilbe, orange day lilies, white shasta daisies, fiery asiatic lilies and candy-pink astilbe:




The heat wave arrived, stayed, and is being ushered out (for now) by a line of thunderstorms. It's been storming on and off today, the temperature down twenty five degrees from yesterday. The wind is fitful, lashing the trees and making the rain stream down the east windows when it's blowing, but it feels wonderful.

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It's been another week of lovely warm weather, interspersed with drenching but not prolonged rain. Ah, heaven! Read more... )

Unfortunately -- I assume because the Transformers movie just opened -- the new EE of ROTK was shown in a theatre smaller than the one in which they showed FOTR two weeks ago. As I mentioned last week, I missed TTT because of the weather forecast, but a woman in line Tuesday night told me TTT had been in a big theatre, too. Only ROTK was put into a smaller venue. Therefore I can't say just how much or how little ROTK's high definition compared to FOTR's, not with fairness. The crispness and clarity of the new FOTR was striking, sometimes stunning, but FOTR was projected onto a really big screen. For this showing of ROTK, I couldn't say the print looked better than when the film opened in 2003, except in a few places. I guess I will have to wait and compare the old EE to the Blu-ray here at home.

Whether the high definition was evident or not, it was a beautiful print of the film. Read more... )
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mechtild: (Default)
( Jun. 25th, 2011 11:33 am)
June 25, 2011

The week of storm is over (but chance of showers and storms Sunday and Monday - ah, well). The sun came out. Plants are blooming. Yay! Here are some garden photos, to celebrate....
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Boo hoo! No TTT for me tonight.

If you read my post last week, you'll know I've been terribly excited about seeing The Two Towers in the new high-definition prints that are being shown around the country tonight. After the beautiful visual and aural detail that popped out at me watching the newly remastered FOTR last week, I was really, really, really keen to see this version of TTT -- in spite of the EE having some of my most hated moments in the film trilogy. (I had planned to deal with that by taking my bathroom break just before the worst of ithem came on.) But a big swath of bad weather has enveloped this part of the upper Midwest. Thunderstorms and heavy rains are holding sway over Minnesota today, tonight, and tomorrow. Traffic advisories are flying off the weather sites like Stukas.

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Snow was forecast, again, but we didn't believe it, having seen similar forecasts during the last several weeks, one even for a blizzard. Each time we got a piddling dusting of snow, or rain, but never the predicted snow fall.

This morning, however, I woke to this:

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I just woke up, expecting a world of new snow, but it didn't happen. Apparently the storm dumped its load on areas south of here. But looking out the window to check the temperature (the thermometer is showing Farenheit), I saw two of the local deer, cute but wicked eaters of shrubberies, napping in the lee of the white spruce, out of the wind.

Awwww....
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Yep, it's cold in these thar hills! 

I came back recently from a week and half visiting and caring for my mom in the Washington D.C. area, where people were carrying on about how cold it was.   Their highs were in the thirties (Farenheit).   Spring-like, I thought. 

Outside the window where I'm sitting, there's a thermometer affixed to the framing, so we can check the outdoor temperature from the safety of the house.  Here's what it said at 4:37 am (I was walking off a hot flash).   Read more... )
mechtild: (Christmas)
( Dec. 25th, 2010 08:46 am)
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Christmas cards arrived in my mail slot from [livejournal.com profile] frolijah_fan_54, [livejournal.com profile] julchen11, [livejournal.com profile] verangel and [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine. Thank you so much!

Also, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine surprised me by sending a stunning copy of the 1979 edition of Pictures by J. R. R. Tolkien. I mulled over buying one of these books all this year. It's a beautiful volume, with excellent plates, and comes in a handsome protective slip case. For those interested, here are photos of one here.

Again, to you all a very Merry Christmas!

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~ Mechtild

mechtild: (laugh - hilarious - EXTRAS)
( May. 8th, 2010 11:10 am)
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Yes, snow in May. After we went on record for having no measureable snowfall in April, and nearly the warmest March on record, yesterday it snowed. It snowed 4 inches "up the hill" (away from Lake Superior, only a mile or two inland from here), but down here not much. Well, you'll see.
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It's been about a long time since I posted a cat update, so here is some news, plus a bunch of pics, for the cat fans among you.
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"This way to California, hobbitses! Follow Sméagol!"


Early tomorrow my husband and I will be flying to the Bay area to visit our daughter and my sister. I don't expect to have regular Internet access, so I'll say goodbye for now. See you in two weeks!

~ Mechtild
~*~


Spring is here, pretty much. It's about time. For the seasonal image fans, here's a brief visual update on how things are progressing.

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mechtild: (determined-angry)
( Apr. 19th, 2009 01:30 pm)
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The snow finally melted. On Friday, it actualy made it to 72 degrees. I got so hot I put on a short-sleeved shirt for the first time. Now, two days later, it's 32 and it's snowing.

Less than forty-five minutes ago, I took these photos:

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WHAAAAAAH!

~ Mechtild
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~*~


This post just provides a link to another LJ, one in which I post entries meant to be seen by family and friends who have nothing to do with my fan life. There is not a mention of Mechtild in it. I like to keep my two worlds separate.

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Since there are a few of you who read this journal I've talked to more personally--on LJ or in emails--I'm including a link to an entry I posted today about our trip to see our daughter graduate from the US Coast Guard's boot camp. Read more... )

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The air has been getting a bit milder and people have been getting a bounce in their step. Not only have they thinking of spring, the sidewalks haven't been all covered with frozen slush and ice. The dirty mounds of accumulated snow had almost melted, revealing the detritus of the winter -- piles of sanding grit, lost gloves, abandoned toys, and plenty of litter. But the grass, although sodden and matted, flattened by months of snow, was just beginning to show some signs of life. So when the forecast came for yet another bout of snow, "Winter storm warning in effect: high winds, snow, freezing rain, hazardous conditions", we hoped it would turn out to be an April Fool's joke. Read more... )

We have had some sunshine and delight this winter, but it's from cats, not the weather. Read more... )
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~*~

Note: This is a cat post, with lots of pictures.


Back in the beginning of November, my daughter and I visited my mother where she lives in northern Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Both of us were big Obama supporters and had voted by absentee ballot back in MN, but being in the D.C. area during the election was thrilling. We were so excited we *both* wanted to come back in January to go to the Inauguration.

As it turned out, my daughter went but I didn't. As I write, she and my sister are getting themselves set up in the D.C. apartment of a friend of my brother (the friend, a Republican, went to Vermont to ski). Even if they can't get on a bus or the metro, now they can walk home when the celebration is over. Why did I not go?

Cats. Cats that needed nursing, nursing my husband couldn't perform. So when it came time to buy the air tickets, guessing I would be medicating cats, I just couldn't bring myself to risk wasting the money on non-refundable tickets I would be unable to use.
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