Solar Spring Arrives!

solar spring sun on Feburary 5 2022

Have you heard of solar spring? Since weather preoccupies most of us New Englanders, I follow several meteorologists on Twitter. Early this week, I learned from Eric Fisher that today is solar spring!

Today, Dave Epstein followed-up on Boston.com with an article about solar spring’s arrival. He describes this “happy astronomical marker” as the first of three spring markers. Meteorological spring is March 1st and astronomical spring, which I think most of us consider the real spring, will bless our timeline a little after 11:30am on March 20th. Happy happy joy joy!

Finally, the first of all the springs start today! The winter months are tough and for me January is the worst. It’s a long month and we’re usually getting snow for real. Like many feet of snow! It’s literally freezing and dark all the time. The mornings are dark. Late afternoon is dark. It’s just downright gloomy.

February has another vibe. I used to think it was the hardest month. But really it’s not. It’s still cold and snowy, but the light is different. You can see the change. It’s brighter and melts the snow quickly. It’s lighter longer too. There’s light after 5pm and the sun rises earlier in the morning. We get a visible hint of spring. We know in our New England bones that our long cold dark winter will soon end!

According to Epstein, we get more than four more hours of light between now and early May. It’s a big win and plants and animals start acting accordingly. I was thinking that I had more time to decide what I want to grow on my balcony. The plan is to have a small container garden with flowers, herbs and some vegetables.

With Mercury no longer in retrograde, and actually no planets in retrograde for more than two months, it’s a great time to start setting my garden plans in motion. The Mercury shadow period lasts until February 23rd, but after that, it’s all systems go!

The Blizzard Of 2022!

snow on balcony

For those of us who are of a certain age living in the Boston area, the Blizzard of ’78 has been the reference point for all snow storms. I’ve seen the generational shift happening in many ways, but it was even more apparent today when someone tweeted that 2015 was the year to reference. Really? I think of 2015 more as a series of storms over a month and not just one storm.

Today’s storm was a whopper though and will be remembered for years to come, so I thought it was worthy of a post. I measured and marked the snow totals by feet on my balcony window. Close to four feet because of the wind and drifts! That’s a whole lot of snow and I wonder how long it will take to melt.

Luckily I kept power through the storm, so I did a bit of blizzard baking. Oatmeal, chocolate-chip and butterscotch-chip cookies for the win!

Laundry Day: Calm Between Storms

What a week! My mom lost electricity for several days due to the first storm, on March 2nd, so she stayed with me for a few days.

I’m so glad that I had power! Especially living in Quincy, where there was crazy rain, flooding, wind damage and dozens of people had to be rescued by the National Guard. While I’ve often been jealous of those who live closer to the beach, I’ve recently been very appreciative of living on a hill.

Then we had another storm this week. I walked to and from the train for work during both storms and luckily wasn’t hit by any falling trees, wires or debris. I saw a piece of siding ripped off a house and go flying into the air. I’ve already barely missed being hit by a tree and hope my luck continues.

With all the chaos, my laundry has piled up. So today is the day.

While sipping my coffee this morning, I found an article about modernizing your laundry routine. Two sisters from Germany moved to Brooklyn and opened a really cool eco-friendly and sustainable laundromat with a cafe and backyard space. Wish there were a place like that in Quincy!

The sisters are interviewed about laundry and one of their suggestions is to use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They are cheaper overall, less wasteful and healthier. Seems like a great idea, so I found a DIY blog post and might make make my own felted wool dryer balls. We’ll see.

Have you tried dryer balls? What do you think?

Well, last I heard, we’re supposed to have another storm on Monday or Tuesday. I haven’t checked again, because it’s too exhausting at this point. I’ll just enjoy the calm between the storms. Have a good weekend!

Subway Stories: Singing In The Rain

Person wearing green Hunter rain boots standing on rain soaked walkway.

Wasn’t me singing in the rain. Didn’t break out dancing Gene Kelly style either.

I was more trying to stay warm and dry and hoping for sun again. But I walked by three people singing today! Just randomly singing.

While I was walking to the train going to work, I passed a man who was trying to stay dry, walking quickly and covered up with a huge clear piece of plastic.

After he passed me, he broke out into song —  “Oh My Love” from Ghost to be exact. He had quite a nice voice.

Then after getting off the escalator at Prudential Center, a homeless man that I always see, was singing his heart out. Into a cell phone. He was singing Always and Forever by Heatwave. Again, he sounded pretty good and I’ve always loved that song.

Then when I was leaving work tonight, I passed a man who was actually not singing, but  loudly and happily humming.

Not sure what was in the air, but it was quite a musical commute. While I was waiting at Park Street, there was a man playing a saxaphone. Something about a sax that gives such mood and ambiance. Even when just waiting for the train on a rainy day.

Another Boston Romance

Alfresco_dining_Boston

My love for Boston has returned. Not that I ever stopped loving it. But the winter makes it hard to remember that loving feeling. That special love for Boston feeling.

Like when I’ve been away on a trip. I’m on a plane and we start circling Logan and descend back into the city. No matter where I’m coming from or how much I enjoyed my trip, I am thrilled to be home. I see Boston with fresh eyes and get that loving feeling.

Each year when the warm weather returns, the city wakes up and blooms. When I was walking outside yesterday, I looked down an alley that would be very easy to miss. I saw this outdoor seating area. Empty, but waiting for people to arrive.

Imagine all the future people in this space over the next few months. Mixing and mingling. Talking. Eating. Laughing. Remembering. Maybe even falling in love.

It made me think about all the restaurants and cafes around the Boston area that have set up their outdoor seating for the season.

Then this morning, I found a listing on Eater Boston with 120+ patios officially open for 2016. They made the list, so I don’t  have to. It’s a great resource for the season. Whether you’re an area local or a tourist visiting. I’m looking forward to going to a few of these places. Hopefully you will too!