Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brrrrrrrr...It's A Cold One.

For all of you who don't live in the Pacific Northwest, we are weather wimps. Yes, it's true that we don't normally have snow and ice. And it's true that we have lots of hills and bridges and lakes, and it's true that we aren't prepared for bad road conditions (other than lots of rain). But still, we do have a tendency to over-react when so much as a flake of snow falls from the sky.

Well, the news anchorpersons are having a field day. We've has snow and subfreezing weather the past few days. When it snows here the city (Seattle and surrounding areas) comes to a near standstill. The reason? No one can get anywhere. My husband who works downtown, normally has a one-hour commute home on the bus. Last night took him FOUR HOURS! There were many people who never made it home. They slept in their cars, at friends homes, or in some cases at all-night drugstores. No one went to work today, as they were advising us all to stay off the roads (which were littered with abandoned vehicles). It was 16 degrees F at our house this morning. It's now a whopping 22 degrees F at 2:30pm. The roads are sheets of ice, but the snow is so beautiful. So I've been forced to stay home and bake oatmeal/choc. chip cookies, drink hot coffee, take the dog for a walk, take care of the birds outside with food and water, and just relax.

It's hard to see, but here is our birdbath just buried in snow. I've got a pan set up on the patio that I keep refilling with warm water for them, since this is too difficult to get to today.

Here is our frozen fountain. Luckily, we kept it running so it hasn't frozen completely. It's quite pretty I think.

Sometimes It's The Small Things...

This year, 2006, we are thankful for the small things...like Plumber's Putty. Yes, on Thanksgiving morning while making the mashed potatoes our kitchen sink plugged up. Both sides at once. Did I mention I was in the middle of cooking the dishes that we were supposed to be bringing for the family to share?

Well, thanks to lots of potato peelings, hot water, and 17 year-old plumbing, my dear husband spent some time flat on his back under the sink. The good news is that with the plumber's putty and a little duct tape (the handyman's friend!) not only did he fix the clog, but also the pin-hole leak that appeared in our old garbage disposal. We figure that it's good at least through the holidays if not longer.

Anway, after that it was all downhill. We had a wonderful time at my brother and sister-in-law's home. Dinner was delicious, and the company was even better. I hope that all the US folks had a great time as well!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Let Us Give Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. As President, George Washington proclaimed the first “Thanksgivings” on November 26, 1789, “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts… the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence… for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.”

Many years later this is still the day that we all stop what we normally do, gather around the table with our family and friends to give thanks for all the blessings that we have in our lives. Some years there are more blessings than others, but even in the worst of times, there is always something to be grateful for.

I'm grateful for so very many things, not the least of which is the opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and ideas with people all over the world via the Web. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, "Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours." If you aren't, I wish you happiness and joy none-the-less. I am thankful for each and everyone of you reading these words, and I thank you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Only a few short months ago, I posted a photo of all the lavendar I harvested from our garden. Piles and piles of it ended up turning into this...30 little organic lavendar sachets to make a dresser drawer or linens smell like summer. Guess what the women on my Christmas list will be receiving this year?

Also, thank you to all the well wishers regarding our region's floods of the past week or so. While the floods were some of the worst in decades, the damage was not nearly as bad as it could have been thanks to the excellent planning and preparation our local govenrments and other organizations did in advance. There were so many wonderful people pitching in to fill sandbags, reinforce dikes, and help those whose homes and property were in harms way. Unfortuneatly, here we go again. We have another flood warning today due to very heavy rains and possibly strong winds (which pull down trees in the already water-soaked soils). Keep your fingers crossed that we can avoid that.

Eli the cat is wisely keeping warm and dry and dreaming of catching all the little birds at the feeder outside the window!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Oh No.....

We are in the midst of our first storm of the season. Lots of wind and rain. So far, in the first six days of November, we've already had more rain than we typically get for the entire month (and November is a very wet month here in Western Washington state.)

Our poor scarecrow is feeling the worst of the it all, as the wind has taken him out. He looks like we feel, since we have been getting warnings of serious flooding all day. If things go as the weatherman predicts, our local river will be at a severe flood stage late tonight. That means water breaching the levies, covering the roads, and ruining a lot of homes and businesses locally. The last time things got this bad, the farmers had to drive all their livestock up to much higher ground. The news is filled with shots of salmon swimming across roadways--always an amazing site. Of course, there are always those yahoos who think it's great fun to ignore the "Road Closed" signs, and give it a whirl with their four-wheel drives. They usually end up stuck, and embarrassed on the evening news--deservedly so.

Luckily we don't need to worry about the flooding where we live, as we are high above the flood plain--but we do need to go out and rake the leaves out of the street gutters as the clog up the storm drains and that can and has caused flooding in our area. Hope that you are all snug, warm, and dry.