Apr. 1st, 2011 05:40 pm
ar_wahan: (Default)
ar_wahan: (Default)
Even though the sky is only partly cloudy, it was very cold today and windy, and I thought, "Looks like snow."

Then outside my window I thought I saw a snowflake shoot by.

"Nah . . . " I thought.

Just got the weekly email list report from the town administrator. It began:

First snow flakes spotted this afternoon at the top of the hill!

ar_wahan: (tongue out)
We have been having VERY heavy rains and high winds the last two days, the result of Tropical Storm Nicole.

I just received the following (global) email from our UU office administrator:

The Connecticut River Source-to-Sea Clean-Up scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd has been postponed due to the high levels and potential flooding of the river.

(This is an annual event that many organizations, including my UU Society, turn out for.)
ar_wahan: (cranky)
. . . sweat not only drips from my face, but down my cleavage.

That is all.


Apr. 28th, 2010 10:46 am
ar_wahan: (Default)
I knew that Northern Vermont got snow yesterday.

Now the wind's really come up here and snow is swirling down! It's not sticking, though.

Even without this surprise, I admit I was shaking my head the other day, when I saw people buying tender bedding plants at the grocery store.

Way. Too. Early.
ar_wahan: (besieged)
We still have power, obviously, but a look online indicated a lot of people don't in our region.  Here's a snippet from a story updated at 11:39 a.m.:

Ryan said those without power should report it to their respective utilities.

Crews were still assessing the magnitude of the outages caused by the heavy snow, she said.

“If you don’t have power and you haven’t called in, you should,” Ryan said. WMECO customers seeking to report outages, should call (413) 781-4300, or, 1-800-286-2000.  [Ahem, if you don't have power, you're not likely to be reading this advice on line, are you?]

"Meanwhile, another significant, and sloppy, storm is expected to hit Western Massachusetts overnight and into tomorrow, abc40 meteorologist Eric Fisher said.

“There is the potential for it to be a little ugly in the morning,” Fisher said of the Thursday storm. “But, I think it will change to rain, especially in the valley.”

Oh, goody. I have to be in Northampton for an appointment at 9:40 tomorrow.
ar_wahan: (Default)
It started snowing here Monday night, and continued nonstop through yesterday evening. It wasn't very heavy, though - only about 8" of new snow on the ground.

Today is our weekly "curbside" trash and recycling pickup day. I use the quotation marks because the adjective suggests we have "curbs" here, and we don't! (I don't think there's a single sidewalk anywhere in town.)

We are all used to the snowplows knocking down or, at the least, denting our roadside mail boxes.

This morning I put my office's blue "Staples" brand paper recycling container at the end of the driveway, next to the trash barrel and the larger blue recycling bin that contained newspapers and such.

The big bin had been knocked about 15 feet along the road into a snowbank off our front yard. And the smaller one, still at the head of the driveway, had a rip down one corner about 12" long! The plow's shovel must have hit it just right.
ar_wahan: (Default)
We have maybe 10" of snow on the ground, it's now raining . . . and to the east I see lightning and hear thunder!

What next?
ar_wahan: (Default)
I spent a considerable sum buying the "Q-towers" and clips so we could put a Yakima rack system on Samurai's Saturn. It was her Christmas present. The boxes have been sitting in the living room by her "spot" since then. I intended to install them today and use the 48" bars that had originally been on my Corolla (but which were too short for the wider Prius). The idea was that she could use the cargo box we bought in August to cart her goods to Suffolk (on my Prius) to cart things back and forth herself in the future, as well as carry her ski gear. AND, to be able to transport our two kayaks herself (especially when she and Mai are on the Cape with us this June) without hijacking my car. In theory, she'd just have to transfer the J-bars from my car to her rack system.


Wherein I get annoyed with myself for not doing my homework )

Last night I made a recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. I'd ordered two copies at the same time I'd ordered the small rice cooker for Samurai, had everything shipped to her to save on shipping charges('cuz I'm cheap that way), and asked her to bring the second copy home with her during spring break. There are some very interesting recipes in there! It includes "small meal" recipes, which means you aren't just cooking the rice, but vegetables and meat or other proteins at the same time. Kind of like a casserole or one-pot stovetop meal, only steamed instead of baked. And then there are other recipes for the use of the above-the-rice steamer basket.

Today was a lovely spring-like day. We could walk around without our coats, it being in the low 50s. (Of course, in a few months, we'll be thinking that is chilly!) Samurai and I went to the UU service, which was unusual -- "Jazz Theology: The Creative Pulse." Alison made some fascinating analogies between jazz and Unitarian Universalism, and all the music was jazz.

We went to the Route 9 Diner for a late breakfast, brainstormed places she might check out this week to see if she can get an application in for a summer job now (and came up with the same place at the same time, which she said meant we were reading the other's mind again; in this case, I think it's just because I know her interests). I shared [ profile] starseeking 's comment about her not getting the RA position -- that something bigger and more suitable for her was waiting -- and she appreciated that. She is already planning to do some training with PFLAG in Boston to be someone schools or other places could call to get youth to come in and speak about their experiences, and was wondering if she could get a paid job doing filing or something for them this semester. She's also going to talk to a law professor who taught an undergrad course last semester who thought very highly of her, and who might have some connections.
After we came home, I basically sat around reading because my blood glucose had dropped and I felt shaky (was waiting for the treatment to kick in). She kindly did some "spring cleaning" on my laptop, removing a bunch of "temp" files and also doing something to prevent some never-used programs from loading when Windows XP starts up (such as Kodak Easyshare, which I never use). This thing would take forever to load, and now it springs into action! Arigato, Samurai!

It was just too nice to stay in, so once glucose was up, I went out and started picking up some of the smaller sticks that are littering our front yard from the December ice storm and subsequent winter winds and ice. It looks a little better now. (There is still some snow on the ground.) I don't know what we're going to do with all the larger branches. The main parts we can use for firewood, but not the parts with twigs. The tree guy who came twice after the storm to do work said he could come back to take down the dangerously damaged pine in the spring, and bring his chipper with him to get rid of everything. Or, I could get a brush burning permit and start burning some of it. I see several of our neighbors burning brush now.

It's been a low-key weekend here, which is good. I've been deligent with my physical therapy exercises, and can feel the difference. Spouse played the guitar a bit this afternoon (I could hear him playing inside the house when I was outside picking up sticks). He finally did the dishes (his job) and is now taking a little nap. I think I'll brown some ground beef for spaghetti, then take a quick shower before continuing the rest of dinner prep (I'm not doing the shower first because I don't want the cooking smell to get in my hair!).

That's about it. *pokes you if you've dozed off*
ar_wahan: (Default)
Another night on CVS version of Tylenol P.M. produced another great fasting blood glucose (88), but I am still reluctant to do a lot of this pain med stuff. Tonight we'e had an early enough dinner, and no late meetings, that I'm willing to try just the muscle relaxer (which I haven't taken at all at this point). I need to be able to be up for a phone interview at 10 a.m., so hope that doesn't interfere with that!

The NE is supposed to be hit with a big snowstorm tonight, but it looks like our part will be spared the brunt of it. (Sorry, [ profile] k2katie !)

I made major progress on tax prep today, which felt good. Hope to get everything over to the accountant early this week.

I'm going to read a bit while my Amish Bread bakes (someone gave me a friendship starter batch, which in a way was a pain in the ass, but it was also a nice gesture), and then take the muscle relaxer and crash.

Whatever PBS fundraiser we are watching, John Meyer  (sp?) just came on. Will watch.

Digging in

Feb. 18th, 2009 06:02 pm
ar_wahan: (Default)
Snow was forecast for today and tomorrow, and in fact it started up this afternoon.

I've been sick since about, oh, Friday; probably shouldn't have even gone to visit MIL in hospital on Saturday, but at the time I thought I was getting *over* this endless cold that everyone has been complaining about. Wrong. I got worse on Sunday, and by the end of an otherwise lovely visit with SIL M (up from North Carolina -- hadn't had a real conversation with her in a couple of *decades,* in fact, because I've always seen her at big family gatherings where the negative energy gets in the way), I was feeling pretty miserable physically.

Well, Spouse started coming down with The Bug on Monday (so I did the driving to the RR station and back when we took Samurai down there). Today he stayed home from work and slept ALL day. (He is not one to take sick days unless he is really, really ill.)

I decided this afternoon before the snow/ice came to rearrange the cars (Samurai's was parked in a place where it would be best for the snowplow guy to push the mountain of driveway snow), do some minor things in the barn I've been putting off (like installing a new salt block holder), fill bird bath and feeders, empty compost jar while I can still easily make my way to the bin, and check that I still have enough grain to last until Friday. (I do.) This way, I won't have to go out again tomorrow at all, and can throw myself completely into a challenging assignment due ASAP.

When I came back from the Co-op about 4:30, Spouse was still in bed. It struck me that I hadn't even heard him get up to pee (heck, I know *my* bladder won't last that long!), and I was thinking of looking in on him just to see if he were breathing. (Yes, I've been a bit spooked by MIL's heart attack.) Just as I was heading up the stairs I heard him cough. And now he's up and downstairs.

I also spent part of yesterday and today . . . washing Legos. Yes, Legos. And wooden blocks. And a cloth bag (printed with "Bag o' Blocks") that the said blocks originally came in. Samurai had given me permission to take the Legos, at least -- and I'm assuming the blocks will be ok, too -- to the hospice shop, which is looking for kids' toys to sell. Some of the Legos had what were probably 12-year-old remnants of chocolate chip cookies embedded in them!

I also managed to get a paid work job done, too; best of all, the mail carrier picked up an invoice addressed to the client!
ar_wahan: (Obama women)
Yesterday I went to Amherst for the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. This event, held at the middle school, was started by a local black woman to raise money for scholarships for African American graduating high school seniors. I think they said they've given money to 68 students over the years. I went for the first time last year with some other UUs, and was very impressed by the speeches made by local dignitaries and the scholarship winners themselves. I was also rather horrified to see that in the program, a lot of other churches and the Jewish Community Association had big ads (one source of financial support for the scholarships), but my UU had NEVER placed an ad, even though we've always had our folks attend. I told the board last year that we should place an ad this year. However, I wasn't at December's board meeting to raise this issue again. So last week I cobbed together a 1/4 page ad for our UU and paid for it myself (a business-card-sized ad was $40, but you could go up to a 1/4 page for only $20 more! Seemed worth it to me.) I might be partially reimbursed later, but if I'm not, it's no big deal. Betsy from our UU (who always attends) told me she and her husband might help pay for it too.

I'd say the audience was half POC and half white. The MC was white, and the panel of speakers was all POC. With the inauguration pending, there was of course a lot of talk about Obama and hope and change and commitment and promise -- that this is a man who will really listen to us, and we have to prepare ourselves to work hard WITH him, because he can't do it all himself. There was one woman who teaches women's studies who also spoke about how great it is to see a couple who respect each other and see each other as equals and a unit -- and that historically (because of slavery and other factors), this has not been the experience of most black families. It was very moving.

I arrived just before the breakfast itself at 9 a.m. (Doors opened at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and mingling.) Our friend Stan was the MC, and he apologized to the audience during the breakfast itself (the speeches and awards were afterward in the auditorium) for some "delays" that I hadn't known anything about. It turns out it was so cold, some pipes had burst. I don't know if this was in the kitchen or if it affected the heating system. Everything seemed fine by the time I got there. (Going through a hallway to the auditorium, though, there was a VERY VERY cold spot. There was even ice on the floor!)

Michael B., who was the Early Transition Program coordinator last year at the high school (this was the program that let Samurai spend her senior year at the community college) was there, and afterward I told him how Samurai was doing, and that she credits her success fall semester to her "head start" on college work through ETP. He was pleased to hear that. (She had been posting before the winter break how so many of the freshmen had been freaking out about studying for finals, and she was not -- because she'd experienced college final exams already.)

And how cold was it?

The answer and other stuff )
ar_wahan: (Default)
The roads are eerily silent outside. There are a few inches of new snow on the ground and sleet is falling on top of it, so it crunches when you walk on it. No wind to speak of. At this point, I'm hoping power will not be a problem.

I just printed out Rantie's two recipes for Saturday's open house, but of course I don't have the ingredients! So I can't make them in advance on this probably home-bound day.

Ah well, I have other things to do!
ar_wahan: (snow)
OK, granted, that's a contrived way to introduce this photo. I wish my (relatively) cheap camera, a 2005 Kodak Easyshare, had done a better job on the colors. They were spectacular! Much deeper than shown here.

Anyhoo, I went out to refill the bird feeders in the front yard (and yes, [ profile] kayre , they finally have customers! Whee!) and was struck by the colors in the sky behind the old barn across the road.


The weather warmed up considerably the other day, and as you can see, the deep snow is almost gone. It was 55 today! Sheesh. I have work to do tomorrow, and the piano tuner (rescheduled from the time of the ice storm and five-day power outage -- she was out of power, too! And no phone at all!) is coming in the morning. But if I have time, I'll try to power-wash the front of the house... parts of the white aluminum siding are green! Ugh.

I'll do a post about Christmas eventually. ;-P As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was quite nice.
ar_wahan: (snow)
Four guys came yesterday to cut down the trees that were threatening the utility wires to the house. One of them went up the two smaller trees (a birch and a small maple) to lash ropes around them. Then two of the others would pull on the ropes to guide the trees away from the house/wires while their buddies were cutting them down. Finally the climber went up on the dead trunk of the big maple to start cutting the branches off before they tackled the trunk itself.

I'm rather impressed that he could climb as far up the birch as he did without it snapping under him!

Let the show begin! )

ar_wahan: (Default)
Before the utility crews could come in, the roads needed to be cleared. Spouse took these photos of the firefighters, the state Dept. of Conservation and Recreation people, and the Mass. National Guard who came out to chop up the downed limbs and trunks and feed them to a chipper. The green bus carried the National Guard members as they followed the chipper and other heavy equipment from blockage to blockage along the road.

If you go back and read the newspaper article I posted last night, you'll read how the Fire Chief said that because trees were still coming down, the way they had come might be blocked again after they'd cleared it.

I don't have any photos of the fleets of utility trucks from all over. But since I'm sure they're still working here (we still had 150 homes without power as of this morning), I'll try to get some.

Here )
ar_wahan: (Default)
First batch of storm pictures. These are the "artsy" ones, first two taken by Spouse.

Under here )


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