Icy beauty, warm home, loving family, good friends

What with the snow, the family was home today. I stayed inside and worked on a short story with occasional breaks to take pictures of icicles outside our kitchen window (they fell partway through the afternoon), while my family went in and out, working on clearing the driveway of snow — with several well-earned breaks along the way. Then in the afternoon, friends came over and we had a good time playing various games, eating, talking, and laughing. Continue reading

Digging out

As with so much of the Mid-Atlantic region, we got hit by Jonas yesterday. I wasn’t expecting much, actually. I originally saw a forecast that said 3–5″, and then heard that it was turning south, so more like 1–3″. We’ve always got staples on hand to eat, food to eat, warm clothes in case of a power outage…no worries. Continue reading

More short short fiction

I posted about the one drabble that went live on January 31, but I forgot to mention that I actually sold 7 drabbles to SpeckLit to appear during the first quarter of this year. The second one, “Future Sight,” went up on Wednesday.

Future drabbles will go up on February 14, February 22, March 4, March 8, and March 14.

In other news, I think we’ve hit the part of the year where I don’t see the grass for more than a month. Fortunately, the roads are mostly clear, although there are places where the ice has built up and seems like it will never melt. (Also, some corners get to be a bit hazardous, as the snowplows pile up the white stuff and you can’t see whether a car’s coming.)

Thus, we’re trying to keep the bird feeders stocked for our feathered friends. They seem to appreciate it, even the ones who are camera shy. I’ve been trying to get a picture of this red-bellied woodpecker for a while now, but every time I moved toward the window, he would fly away. Today, I resorted to crawling below the window ledge until I got into a position where I could take his picture.
red-bellied woodpecker

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like more snow

If you’ve paid attention to the news this past week (or if you’re on the East Coast yourself), you know about the blizzard this week. I’m getting kind of tired of all the snow days the kids have had (two last week, two this week, more snow coming next week — I think we’re around twelve snow days for the year so far?). There’s no question that they’ve been warranted, though. A foot of snow and ice? Yeah, you don’t want kids walking to school in that, or school buses trying to drive in it. So, for your viewing pleasure, the latest shots of the yard. Continue reading

Today’s weather

We’re on the lower band of the current storm, which means wintry mix instead of the snow people farther north are getting. We got snow early, followed by sleet and freezing rain. That pretty dogwood I posted yesterday? Snow’s gone, and it’s coated with ice.

Shoveling’s not going to be fun today, but the college my husband works at only has a two-hour delay, which means he does have to head out. This in turn means the driveway does need to be shoveled.

On the other hand, I’m not driving anywhere on the icy streets today, and our son has yet another snow day.

How’s your Wednesday shaping up?

Not blown away

We live on the eastern edge of Pennsylvania — far enough inland that we weren’t subject to the devastation that hit New Jersey and New York. We lost power Monday night around 11, and we’re still waiting for it to be restored. Howevr, that’s all that we personally suffered. Continue reading

Snow Q & A

We’ve got a real winter this year, precipitation coming down left, right, and center, and entirely too many snow days for the kids. I figured I’d take this opportunity to clear up some misconceptions and provide my unique take on the weather.

Q: Is it true that Eskimos have a hundred words for snow?

A: No, of course not. They have words for where the snow is — falling, on the ground, in a snow drift — and they can add suffixes to modify these, but that’s essentially like adding an adjective in English. There are people who have multiple words for snow, beyond the obvious powdered sugar, powder, packed powder, and the like, especially in areas where snow shoveling is common and snowplows leave ridges across already shoveled driveways. These words, however, are not suitable for publication on a family-friendly blog.

Q: How much does snow weigh?

A: A shovelful of snow, two inches deep, at the start of shoveling, might weigh no more than a few ounces more than the shovel itself. By the end of a sixty-foot long, twenty-foot wide driveway, a shovelful weighs roughly thirty pounds.

Q: Is it true no two snowflakes look alike?

A: To prove this, you must first assume the opposite is true — that there are at least two snowflakes that look alike. If there are two such snowflakes, it is not true. Now, go examine all the snowflakes in the world and get back to me when you’re done.

Or you can go look at Kenneth Libbrecht’s photomicroscopy of snowflakes. There’s also some interesting information on growing designer snowflakes available on Cal Tech’s site.

Q: What about the proverbial “snowball’s chance in hell”?

A: Have you seen Hoth? If that’s not hell, I don’t know what is.

Flip side: heart-warming video of snowman sent to Bahrain. (It doesn’t last long.)

That’s all the questions I have time for today. I need to get some writing done so when the snow piles up this afternoon, I can take a break and go shovel again. Thanks for reading!