Well, here we are in the last hours of the last day in January. Yesterday we had a bright and sunny day where the afternoon temps reached 47F. Today the weather took a turn for the worse with the temps dropping and the sun fading from sight. A little while ago I let Mlle. Renee out for her last call before bedtime. When she didn’t return after a reasonable time, I went out onto the back deck and call again. When she didn’t respond, I decided to go into the yard and see what she was doing. Now the deck doesn’t have steps into the yard. Instead of two steps into the yard, it has a ramp that was put in when my Mom was in a wheelchair. I never had the ramp removed because it was easy to wheel things out of the house and dispose of them. Anyway, I started down the ramp … and have you ever heard of BLACK ICE? You don’t see it, but it’s still there lurking for you to walk on it. Well, have you ever heard of the ballet term Grand Jeté? That’s when the head guy in tights goes leaping across the stage with his legs high in the air. Well, I might not have been wearing tights, but I quickly discovered that my legs were up in the air in front of me. Unfortunately, my butt was soon on the ramp and I was doing an graceless impression of a “bob” sled taking out several of the railing posts with my feet as I slid down the ramp. Mlle. Renee was on the asphalt drive sliding around trying to get to me. Well, I stood up on the rubber mat at the bottom of the ramp and checked to see if any thing was broken besides my pride. I happy to report everything was in place. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t walk back up the ramp without sliding backwards. Rubber soled sneakers were not made for walking on ice. I finally resorted to taking my shoes off and climbed up the ramp in my stocking feet while holding onto the side railing. That’s where I sustained my only injury … a skin scrap on my left hand. I got to the top only to realize that Renee couldn’t walk up the ramp either. I went into the basement and got the rock salt out and sprinkled it on the ramp. Then I had to coax her into walking up the ramp without licking up the salt. Then I had to wash the salt off of her feet before she came into the house. That was when I realized that I left my sneakers at the bottom of the ramp. And that’s where they’ll stay until tomorrow!
A pretty good swan folding job, too.
This is my dapper Alleycat Mug and I had it filled with a bracing hot cup of pomegranate green tea.
Well, today’s high temp of 27F was recorded at 12:ooAM and we didn’t reach the predicted morning low of 6F. But never say never, because who knows what will happen before the day ends. Don’t know what the wind chill is, because I haven’t even been tempted to stick my head outside today. I will have to brave that external excursion sooner or later because I have an empty trash cart waiting to be pulled back into the yard. Mlle. Renee did the Gunga Din routine showing that she was a better man than I, by making on one or two, but THREE brief sorties into the frigid wastes. More out of necessity than exercise. I actually got up rather early this morning and get my butt out of the refrigerator. Ok, it was a pork butt and I had to put it in the crock pot for a day of slow cooking.
Can show you what it looks like until I take the lid off at 6:00 tonight. Also haven’t decided on pulling it or slicing it yet.
Last night I watched the Grammy Awards Show which was much too long. I also think Yoko Ono put at least three hex signs directly on me. My major question is why do the producers insist on doing musical production numbers combining the musical talents of two individuals or groups who share no common musical talent or abilities. The one with the least talent always drowns out the other one. I mean when you combine a Wagnerian soprano with a tongue twisting rapper, you’re not going to please fans of either one. And why did Madonna show up dressed like the chorus line of Chorus Line. I’m not even going to comment on Taylor Swift’s spastic hair tossing. Taylor’s Swift Hair Enough said.
WHERE, OH WHERE, HAS MY ORIGAMI KANGAROO GONE? I haven’t given up on the origami kangaroo yet. I also haven’t made an acceptable version yet either. And I haven’t given up on origami either. Why just this morning I was wondering, what if Peter Parker had been bitten by an atomic ant instead of a spider? That inspired me to fold … THE ATOMIC ANTMAN!
Hopefully, he doesn’t have a taste for BOOKWORMS!
In yesterday’s post I featured my Sherlock Holmes’ mug I used at breakfast. Not wanting to slight any of my other breakfast mugs, I decided to give them a daily appearance of their own. So today, I had a hot mug of EARL GREY TEA in my Saint Louis Art Museum Mug.
And the pork butt I’ve been slow cooking all day … it was tenderlicious and I forgot to take a picture of it before I started eating it. So now, who takes pictures of leftovers.
And in case you were wondering, THE ARCTIC MONKEYS were a British rock group.
Surely, it’s not a return of the brain freeze earlier in the week. No, I just realized that I no longer had a calendar on the desk to prod me into doing something each and every day on this blog. Then a heard a small voice from the corner of my desk. “Psst!”
“Be creative, I asked?” “Just because you ran out of calendar doesn’t mean you’ve run out of ideas. There must be a gazillion origami things they never even thought about putting in the calendar.
“You’re right, I said!” And I reached in my origami box for a piece of folding paper. Within two minutes I had created …
A BOLDLY BOVINE BULL HEAD!
“Nice work! And if you ever need more ideas, we’ll be around with more buttons.”
And in a flash, they had disappeared.
Boy, that NyQuil can really mess up your head. We’ll, after I got my chili cooking yesterday I went out and shoveled a mini-path from the edge of my lawn to the middle of the street where a single car-width path had been plowed down the right lane of the street. (Which was unfortunately the wrong side of the street to provide access to the cleared walk on my property.) It seems like the USPS mail carriers were refusing to deliver mail to occupants who failed to provide such a path this snow storm. So, I didn’t receive mail delivery Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s why I had been looking for snow shoveling boys on snow days breaks. Anyway, It snowed yet another inch of snow last night, which recovered the mini-path I had made yesterday. Also the temps stayed above freezing all day and the melting returned my pathway around dark. I don’t know when the mail carrier arrived, but when I looked outside around five … I found a four-day collection of mail filling my box.
Current weather reports tell us to expect heavy rain on tomorrow and Saturday that should wash away most of the foot of snow covering the landscape. Now all we have to worry about it the water that will be leaking into our basements because the storm sewer system is frozen solid with snow. Some times you just can’t win!
IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT MEANS UNEXPECTED TO YOU.UNEXPECTED to me is walking outside in the middle of the afternoon to discover that everything more than twelve feet in front of you has disappeared … suddenly been swallowed up in a vast creeping blanket of fog. If you look closely at the stoplight and one of the car’s taillights, you realize that this is a color photograph
Last summer the heartland of the country suffered from a drought. This year we are becoming totally waterlogged. Locally we are in the midst of a week or two of wet and rainy weather. Actually it has been raining non-stop for the past twelve hours. My home is West Walnut Manor is halfway up a block on a hill and the cross street at the foot of the hill is currently under standing water. No flooding problem … just too much water for the storm sewer system to more.
Notice the water flowing across the slope of my back yard. The soil is fully saturated from our spring snowstorms and all the rain in recent weeks. My lawn is zoysia grass and what you see now is the brown winter thatch. I won’t start greening up until the temp rise in May.
The grass in the back of the yard really suffered from the drought and basically dried up by summer’s end welcoming all sorts of nasty ground covers to take root. And they are currently growing like … weeds … which they are. The area is in dire need of a quick trim, which I can’t do until the rain stops and the ground becomes solid again. Which means Mlle. Renee had better get ready for a foot bath every time she comes in from a yard visit. Does anyone have a spare ARK?
Thursday’s WINTER STORM actually arrived ahead of schedule with sleet beginning to fall a little before nine in the morning. That was followed by a heavy snow fall coupled with strong winds that reduced visibility to practically zero. And it continued through the entire morning and afternoon and into the late evening. Thankfully the temps stayed below 30 all day until evening. So a good snow base was on the ground before the freezing rain began. The result was just a hard crust on top of the snow.
Electrical outage was minimal in the area. (I had recharged my cell phone and my Kindle reader on Wednesday so I had planned ahead for all eventualities.) OK, I’ll be honest! Mlle. Renee got up around six for her morning yard visit. Then she came in and we made like slugabeds until almost noon. Then she wanted to go out and see what was pinging on the windows. She told me she did not like sleet at all. So I made us a hearty brunchfast and we spent the rest of the day loafing around the house and never did change out of my PJs, robe and faux-fur lined slippers. It was like a snow-day we never had when I was a kid because the schools never closed because of the weather back then.
Anyway the total damage for the storm in my area was a little over six inches of sleet, snow and ice with the emphasis on the middle layer. Friday I limited my snow removal to the back deck and ramp and my front steps. Trust me, it was VERY HEAVY snow weight-wise.
And guess what? The long-range forecast has yet another snow storm coming in right after Monday’s rain storm.
You could say Thursday was a King Lear kind of day! It started with thunderstorms at midnight. That was followed by a rapping and a tapping at my chamber door. No Raven, it was Mlle. Renee seeking sanctuary in my bedroom. [ ASIDE -- since I live alone, I never close my bedroom door. But Renee, being a stickler for common courtesy and protocol, never enters a room without asking for permission to do so by tapping on the door frame. Either that, or she's a canine vampire .] So she ended up staying the night and sharing my bed. Yes, she allows me a small portion of the bed.
During the night the winds started blowing and rattling the windows. The Weather Bureau recorded winds as high as 67 MPH. Then the temps started dropping and the rainfall durning the day turned to snow. It looked like we were having a blizzard at times with the snow flakes falling parallel to the ground. Fortunately the flakes melted before they touched the ground. I spent the entire day inside the house, and Renee didn’t go out until nature’s calls started getting insistent.
So yesterday, I went outside to check for and wind damage. Fortunately, my roof survived … again! Which was, most probably, the third and final time for it this year. Unfortunately, I did receive a lot of unwanted leaves and branches from neighboring yards and lawns. I also got this …
The wind was blowing so hard that it drove the seed pods from the Catalpa trees right into the ground. [ANOTHER ASIDE -- back when my uncles were kids they called the pods "lady cigars" and they actually used to smoke them out behind the outhouse. I know; sounds like something lifted out of Tom Sawyer, but then that's how kids were here in Missouri. Besides, it was hard times and they didn't have money to buy cigarettes. Yes, and they all got sick just like their mother told them they would!]
I also noticed that a couple of the lower branches have dried up because of the drought this year. Now, I’ll have to find someone with a chainsaw as soon as I find out if you prune a spruce in fall, winter or spring. Even though it is now officially winter, the yard work never ends.
It’s my life …
And welcome to it!
Well, I had planned on going to the Zoo today to take a walk with the penguins. It’s something they do every Sunday at 2:00 from December 2 until February 3. Unfortunately, the walk today was cancelled because of the weather. The temperature skyrocketed to 75F! Since the penguins are native to Antarctica, they can only leave their air-conditioned 24/365 home when the temperature is less than 50F. Surely this almost winter heat wave has to let up some time before February 3.
Penguins on ice!
Look at that dumb bozo over there! Where?
Here’s a video-clip from a Penguin Parade a couple of years ago …
Well, maybe next week?