Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Snow!...

...And, hey, it's staying around this time! It snowed again yesterday and this time it was a snowfall worthy of the first fat flakes of the year up north. There was enough of it, and it stayed around long enough for hordes of people to stream out of their houses to fight or construct with it. Snowmen and snowballs abounded. Jessie went to a birthday party yesterday afternoon and we arrived to find everyone on the front lawn of the party house (and strewn across the two adjacent lawns) either engaged in smashing each other (adults and children alike) with gobs of melty cold smushy stuff, or rolling a big wheel like a huge cheese across the yard. It was glorious.

I came as "Montana" in my cosy sweater over a t-shirt, jeans and crocs with no socks. "Cold? Snow? This is NOTHING! Why, back in Montana where I'm from...". You get the picture. The truth is I didn't have time to change as we were late getting out the door and habit drove my dress. But I, and my cold wet toes, survived.

For my last pedicure (a New Year's treat with Jessie during the winter break) I had them done frosty cobalt blue. I figured it was winter and no one would see them but me. Hah. when we went inside at the party after the snow play I took off my shoes and there they were in all their corpse-like, goth glory. (There is just something wrong about blue on toes--it's a beautiful color, but it makes me think of dead people--though that could be because I just finished reading "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" by Max Brooks.) My toes were note-worthy enough that I became the last destination of the scavenger hunt at the party: "Find the person with the blue socks" became "Find the person with the blue toenails". And I handed out candy. And it was good.

Today it started out at 17 degrees with the eventual goal of 38 degrees. As it's 11:30 am and still only 20 degrees, I don't know if we're going to make it. Looks like a few more days of snow on the ground in our future. Huzzah!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


It's snowing, SNOWING! Jessie was lamenting just this afternoon that she never gets to see snow and then wham, it snows! I must admit that even I got excited and had to go outside and take pictures of the snow. I took a picture of the house in the snow (see the little white fuzz? that's SNOW). I took a picture of the camellias with their fat red buds dusted with snow. I took a picture of the gardenia bushes that had optimistically set buds back in balmy December and that now shiver and huddle in the leaves that won't protect them. I even took a picture of me in the snow!

And I had written more, more lovely--or at least enthusiastic--prose about the first snow... and Blogger ate it! I was diddling with the placement of the photos and accidentally deleted some text and Blogger jumped in and autosaved. this is the second or third time I have lost a good post to an autosave! How the heliotrope do I turn that "feature" off?!?

On the radio as the snow began to fall they were telling people to go to the store to stock up on "bread and beer". Hoo boy. Do I live in the south or what?

And I don't see it warming up and going away by morning. I bet it freezes solid and then I will wait by the phone in the morning with my school phone tree in hand ready to pass along the message that school is canceled for the day for the 1/8 of an inch of snow and the 1/4 of an inch of ice on the ground. They don't salt or sand the roads down here (I'd be surprised if they even had a truck for it) and it would be worth more than my life to go out where southerners are driving on the frozen stuff. Then again, it might be 75 degrees when I wake up. Anything is possible.

Even without the snow I'd have to post today: Sue Masterson sent me a link to an absolutely wonderful blog called Daily Coyote. The same author has another blog called Vespa Vagabond, and today (mixed in with all my work projects) I managed to read all of the posts in both. Thank heaven she is not as prolific as I am or I would never have made it through. And what a life she is having!

The cynic in me says it can't be true--someone in Birmingham or San Diego or Cincinnati or wherever is writing these two blogs and pretending to be a a hip young blond who crossed the country on a Vespa, fell in love with Wyoming, and up and moved there to a one-room cabin with a woodstove and no running water in a town of 300 people where she now drives a truck and is raising an orphan coyote. The truth is probably just that I am insanely jealous to be past that time in my life and to not have that kind of door opening for me any more.

As I sit typing, in the other room my husband coos over the beauty of a flash drive half the size of a domino whose spots indicate free space, and my daughter--wearing dirty socks on her hands for mittens--throws snowballs at the door. Our friend Keith--when informed of Jessie's activities via instant messenger--says she is like a poor Appalachian child. *sigh* I could not be farther from a one-room cabin in Wyoming... Montana... 30 years old... unencumbered.

And yet, I do not lament. I traveled my own long road to get where I am, and if part of where I am now is being the possessor of enough stuff to fill the largest moving van Allied Moving has, well, so be it. Not that we're moving. Never again--not with all this stuff! Maybe when I'm 58 (*58*) and Jessie has gone off to college, Dave and I will give away all our *stuff* and join the Peace Corps--or some other possession and comfort-less activity--for a couple of years,.

For now I sip my sauvignon blanc and contemplate the joys of a hot bath with L'Occitane lavender oil and epsom salts (the winter cocktail for me). I think I'll head up there now with either the new book I got from Amazon today, "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen (it has the words "art" and "stress-free" in the title--it's clearly written for my demographic), or "World War Z" by Max Brooks (an oral history of the first zombie war and wicked fun)... No brainer (no pun intended), zombies win.

Oh yes, and J and I are *very* greatful to Grampa Tom for the matching sweaters he knit for us. It may not be as cold and damp here as it is in Chicago in the winter, but we are much more cosy now that we have these sweaters!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Winter in Atlanta

J and I headed out the front door yesterday to run errands and I was stopped in my tracks at the end of the porch. It's January. It's butt-cold again here now (yeah, yeah, Montanans and Chicagoans will snicker at that, but when it's in the 40's and 50's here it's COLD) and yet the Texas Scarlet flowering quince has burst into bloom. Just seeing the delicate blossoms fluttering in the chill winter breeze lifted my spirits. Our flowers look like the ones in the photo, but they are more sparsely scattered on bare branches--the leaves don't dare the weather.

Apparently a couple of weeks of mild temperatures have fooled other plants into thinking it's a different season than it is. As I was getting into the car I looked to my left at the fragrant tea olive and it had little clusters of creamy white flowers peeking out from between leathery evergreen leaves. It's even more weird that it's blooming now because--unlike the azaleas, cherries, and quince--it's a fall bloomer. It should have done it's little happy dance in August and been snoring gently now. But I'm not complaining, anything in bloom right now is a welcome sight.