Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow, snow, and more snow

Well, it's 8:18pm and all is well. The tiniest snowflakes are falling - but in abundance. This is not the big, wet, fluffy snow that I'm used to around here, but tiny little crystals. When I look outside in the dark, at first I don't even see that it's snowing....but if you step outside you quickly realize that it's snowing hard. We went to dinner at Heather & Randal's (thank you!) and by the time we came outside, 3 hours later, our car was completely covered in white and the steps were coated in a fresh blanket of snow. (We drove the five blocks because it's COLD. Last I checked, it was 25 degrees out.) It's breezy, and though the wind isn't strong it's cold, and wet, because the tiny flakes blow at the slightest breeze, and so snow is flying off rooftops and trees in addition to falling from the sky. I'm glad to be inside now.

Tessa is being tucked into bed, the cell phones are charging, and I think I'm going to have a nice cup of hot tea soon.

My deepest wish tonight is that everyone will find safe refuge from the storm, and be able to feel peace and comfort indoors. This is no time to be outside.

(Our cat doesn't usually use his litter box, preferring the outdoors, but he's grateful for it today. Shep is joyful in the snow...but comes back in pretty quickly. Yes, we're stocked up on dog and cat food, too.)

Much love,

Safe and warm

Well, Winter Storm 2008 is supposed to get a lot worse tonight, so we are battening down the hatches and getting ready. Laundry is caught up, the dishwasher is running, and Ryan is picking up extra groceries "just in case" because we're expecting more snow, wind, and ice - brrrrr!

We are hopeful that we will be unscathed, and that we will enjoy family time with board games, hot drinks, and reading. Maybe we'll read "A Christmas Carol" aloud by candlelight, fi it comes to that.....rumor is that the power might go out. We have a propane BBQ with a side element, so I figure we can at least make cocoa on that.

I am so grateful for warm clothes, warm food, and a warm house. I am grateful for caring friends and family, and a neighborhood community where i can walk to get what I need.

If any of you (our friends) locally find yourselves without power, call us, and if we still have power, then you can stay with us of course.


PS Probably 6-7 inches of snow on the ground, temps in the 20s, and the breeze is picking up now....but so far today, nothing remarkable, no precipitation of any kind. The predictions I saw said that at about 4pm we'd see the storm, and the storm weather was supposed to last for about 24 hours. Only time will tell what happens next!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A real snow day!

The view from our front porch... Another front porch view...
And from the kitchen door, the deck and back yard...

Well, after yesterday's false alarm, we awoke this morning to another winter wonderland. Just about every bit of snow had melted by yesterday evening, but as you can see from these pictures we have perhaps 4 inches right now, and it's still snowing.

I love love love it!

My only concern is that our dear friends the Wards probably on a plane at this very moment, headed to visit our area (and us!) from Panama. Fingers crossed that they will be able to land and get to their hotel. I'd planned on delivering a basket of goodies to the hotel for their arrival, but at this point I hope to give them the goodies in person....I'm not driving anywhere!

Happy snow day, everyone. Please stay safe and warm.
Edited at 9:30: Ryan swept our front walk to prevent ice at about 8am, and now you can't even tell, because it's really snowing now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow day, but no new snow

The official announcement was made that there will be no school today in Seattle Public Schools. Still, the weather pattern is creating a donut with Seattle in the middle: snow all around, but no snow on us. I love snow, and I am still hoping for some nice fresh powder, but we will see. I suppose that anything is possible.

And in the meantime, Tessa has discovered how to belch and (ahem) fart on demand, and I am going to go insane today if that keeps up. She is in hysterics with, not so much. This could be a long day! (She belches. I say, "Tessa, that's not polite." She does it again. I say, "If you do that again, there will be a consequence." And so it goes.....ugh. Giving consequences all day and dealing with her potential fits as a result does not sound very winter wonderland-y. Wish me well, please.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The new armoire

Our 70s basement got an upgrade - love the new armoire. Thanks, Eileen!

Not cozy for everyone

Another cozy day for the Surface family. I don't think Mo has been outside in days (thank goodness for kitty litter), and Tessa and I haven't ventured outside today. If we get fluffy snow tomorrow, we'll go out to enjoy it, but today we are not interested in the rough ice.

But I'm thinking of others less fortunate.

I read an article in the Seattle Times about the plight of the homeless at this time of year, and my heart sank as I thought about it. Emergency shelters are being set up all over the city, and nobody is being turned away. (The UU principle is "the inherent worth and dignity of all people" and I think that this is an EXCELLENT time to practice that principle.)

Because this is not a good day to be homeless. In fact, it's the worst. Seattle's homeless are probably more ill-prepared for this kind of weather than most, because we don't expect it.

I am still involved in Family Promise, and will be helping out Christmas week as our church has several families staying with us that week. This time, there are four children in the program. Christmas is a hard week to be homeless. I am so, so, so grateful for this program, because the children (and their parents) may be homeless, but they will also be warm. We don't have checks to write this year, so I'm giving time, and we sorted through Tessa's toys for some to donate. I'll bake some special things to bring, too.

Because I am grateful, and I know how blessed I am.

If you have a chance to donate to a food bank, or a homeless shelter, today would be a great day to do it. If you see a homeless person on the street today, consider delivering them a cup of cocoa, or popping into a drugstore to buy them an extra hat or gloves or protein bars. I have to imagine that every tiny little bit helps right now.

Home again

This morning I was thinking about how to get Tessa to school, and she solved the problem for me.

"Mama, my head feels so heavy. It is very sad when you're sick on a snow day!"

Yes, honey, it is. But we'll be fine. Home again today, and wondering about more snow tonight.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not frightful

As far as I'm concerned, both the weather outside and our cozy home are both delightful today.

On Saturday night, as Ryan and I cozied up on the couch in front of our beautiful new entertainment center armoire (hold on for more details about that) watching The Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!"), we looked outside to see flakes falling. By morning, several inches of powdery snow had coated everything in sight.

We kept the car in the garage, piled into snow clothes, and headed outside. Snow angels were made, snow was eaten (Tessa thinks this is marvelous for some reason), and Shep was gleeful despite his silly dog-boots and coat (gotta protect that injured foot, and if we only put one boot on him then he refuses to step on it, so we have to put them on all fours). We walked to C&P to hang out with the C&P crowd, then we walked to church, and on the way home from church we stopped and picked up some necessities (okay, are chocolate chips a necessity?!) so that we could be snug and carefree upon arriving home. Neighbors S&S came by for hot beverages, and Tessa alternated between playing in the snow and warming up outside.

And today? We're keeping Tessa home from school even though it's only two hour delays, because school is allllll downhill and we decided it's not worth it. Hours on the phone discussing the weather, and we're snug inside in warm clothes, with squash baking in the oven for squash soup this evening.

So it's icy and slick outside, but we're not feeling frightful. We're feeling grateful for a working furnace, a snug home, hot coffee or cocoa. I'm feeling grateful for a day with Tessa. I'm feeling grateful that Ryan can work from his office away from the office (aka C&P).

Stay warm and safe!


PS Armoire: Boy did we get lucky with this one! Susan's kind friend Eileen was upgrading to built ins and a flat screen, and so they gave us their beautiful wood entertainment armoire and their bigger-than-ours TV. I really love it! We had a decent TV but a piece-of-junk entertainment center, and this is a major upgrade. I'm incredibly grateful for their kindness and generousity, and I'm also grateful to my parents for helping to pick it up and transport it in their van. I'm ALSO grateful that we changed the schedule to get it on Saturday, instead of Monday as planned, because the weather wouldn't have allowed it today.