Has Anyone Else Ever Wondered…?

Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual appearance.

Once again, Punxsutawney Phil gets man-handled by Some Old Geezer. ©2017 AP (I think)

Groundhog Day:  The legend says that if the groundhog  (Punxsutawney Phil, to be precise) sees his shadow on February 2, he’s frightened back into his hole—meaning we’ll suffer six more weeks of winter.  But what happens if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow?  Does he stay topside to frolic under cloudy skies?  Does it mean spring will arrive on time?  Or early?

This is just one of the questions that perplexed me as a child.  So I did my own analysis.

If P. Phil sees his shadow, as he did this year… well, let’s see…

6 (weeks) x 7 (days per week) = 42 more days of winter
42 (days of winter) – 26 (remaining days in February) = 16 winter days in March
Therefore, spring will arrive on March 17

If P. Phil hadn’t seen his shadow?  A look at my handy-dandy calendar tells me the first day of spring for 2017 is March 20.

“Six more weeks of winter” means spring will arrive on March 17; otherwise, it will arrive on March 20.

And that, my friends, is why we don’t employ rodents to forecast the weather.

Advertisements

Knit Me a New Heart

My knitting heart is officially broken.  My favorite local yarn shop (acronym LYS) is closing.  The owner is retiring, and rather than sell the shop and its merchandise, she’s closing the store towards the end of August.  I. Am. Devastated.

There are two local yarn shops I semi-routinely visit, fibre space in Old Town Alexandria  and Uniquities in Vienna, VA.  fibre space is young and hip (you can tell because its name is all lower case), neat and spacious, and closer to my home on the outskirts of Old Town.  It specializes in locally-sourced yarns, very high end, and very expensive.  And you must pay for street parking, if you can find a spot. (This is, after all, Old Town.)

Uniquities is further away, but it boasts free parking, and stocks many well-known high-end yarns.  (Think Rowan, Noro, Tahki Stacey Charles, you get the idea.)  It doesn’t have one inch of wasted space.  And I love it!  So guess which store is closing.  Yep, Uniquities.

Continue reading

*frowny face*

The two trees at the front of my building bloom every April.

My favorite trees in bloom

My favorite trees are dying.  😦

Earlier this year I’d noticed a dead branch hanging loosely from its base.  This spring, the tree trimmers neglected to lop it off.  Our maintenance guy says the branches are hollow and they’re afraid to do any more trimming.

He showed me how the branch coming from the base of the tree on the left is decaying.  The other tree has a branch where a whole section of bark and “tree tissue” is missing.  It’s like looking at a forearm with one side of skin and muscle missing, exposing the bone.

Here’s what I wrote way back in April, 2008 at (the old) Stream of Conscience.

It’s my annual rite of spring. The trees outside my entry are in full bloom, and it’s raining.

I don’t know what kind of trees they are. They sort of look like cherry trees. And the blossoms look like “double cherry blossoms.” They tend to bloom about 1-2 weeks after the “official” cherry blossoms and keep their blooms for about one week. My neighbor (who knows these things) says they’re almond trees.

Every year, at least once during their week of full bloom, it rains. The wet blossoms are so heavy, they pull the branches down so far that I have to duck when I walk under them. That day is my unofficial rite of spring.

My neighbor has since passed away.  I was going to end this post by asking, “How will I ever know when spring arrives once the trees gone?”  But now that seem frivolous compared to the fond memories of my neighbor.

Ahead of Her Time

YOne silver spoon is engraved "MR."  The other is engraved "MRS."esterday morning I set the alarm on my watch to 10:30 p.m.  When it went off last night, I’d forgotten what I’d set it for.  Short term memory?  Not so good.

Having not thought about today’s post, the possibility of forgetting to blog was very real.  Perhaps inspired by yesterday’s list of impressive relatives, I remembered thinking, as a young child, how fortunate I was to call these people family.  Which reminded me of a few other early childhood thoughts.

Having been born before “women’s lib,” I often wondered why single and married men were addressed as “Mister,” while single and married women were differentiated by “Miss” and “Mrs.” (When you think about it, “Mrs.” isn’t even a word.  “Missus” is just a phonetic representation of “Mrs.”  Seriously??)  [See Note 1]

I also knew that married men and women shared a last name, even though they were born with different surnames.  What was the most equitable way to resolve this dilemma?  The lawyer’s daughter in me (I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time) figured the county clerk’s office kept a record of marriages (which they do), and assigned the man’s last name to odd numbered couples and the woman’s to the even numbers.  Or vice versa.  Either was fair.

When I asked my mother the question, she seemed surprised and said, “You always take the man’s name.” I replied in horror, “That’s not fair!”  She seemed taken aback.  She  probably thought That’s my daughter, the trouble-maker.

I was indeed the black sheep of the family.  My mother was the oldest of four, my father the oldest of two, and my brother the oldest of two.   At dinner one evening, I told them no one understood me because none of them were “not the oldest.”  Mom said “That doesn’t make any difference.”  Ha!  Later research would prove her wrong.

[Note 1:  Etymology tells me “Mrs.” is the abbreviation for “mistress,” yet “mistress” has been defined as “kept woman of a married man”since the 15th century.]