digging out

This morning we are digging out from a major snowstorm. We got about a foot (350 cm) of snow with a layer of ice buried in it from a period of freezing rain in the wee hours of the morning.

B and I went to work after a sustaining breakfast of steel-cut oats. He wrangled our big orange Ariens snowblower. It’s old, having belonged to my dad for many years; we inherited it when they finally hired someone to clear snow a few years before they moved into an apartment. Despite its age, it is still very powerful, so B set to work clearing the driveway and walk, as I tackled finding the buried Bolt.

B pulled out a large pushbroom for me from the garage; no little snowbrush was going to do. I brushed snow down onto the driveway that B had cleared and then used a shovel to get it onto the snowbanks.

The snow and ice combo was so heavy that I cracked a plastic shovel and had to move on to a metal one.

The freezing rain had coated the car doors, but I eventually was able to get into the Bolt and start it up so I could blast both the front and rear defrosters. Later in the day, we plan to move the Pacifica out to the driveway and put the Bolt inside so we can plug it into its charger to keep the battery conditioned, as we are expecting temperatures below zero Fahrenheit (-18 C) tonight and only single digits (-15 C) tomorrow.

By the time I had gotten the Bolt free, I couldn’t feel my toes, despite my heavy socks and boots. B wasn’t done, though. He raked the snow off the metal garage roof, used the snowblower to clear that away, and then took the snowblower across the street to help a neighbor who was attempting to clear his driveway, including the area that had been plowed in from the street, with a shovel.

We are both back inside for the rest of the day. The roads are still snowy and there is a state of emergency in effect, which means that there should be no unnecessary travel.

Maybe it is time for some hot coffee for B and white hot chocolate for me…
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Join us for Just Jot It January! Today’s pingback link is here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/20/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-20th/
More information and prompts here: https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/31/what-is-just-jot-it-january-2019-rules/

SoCS: breaking news

So far, I have written posts here and here about my recent trip to Northampton to sing Brahms Requiem at Smith. There will be a couple more short posts about that weekend, but now I interrupt with breaking news.

Nine-month-old granddaughter ABC is dealing with her first cold.

She is very, very stuffy and her nose is running. Despite that, she is being generally good-natured – except when we need to wipe her nose, which she does not enjoy at all.

She has slowed her activity level a bit. While before she wanted to walk with someone holding her hands, although sometimes only one hand and every once in a while taking a couple of steps on her own, she is allowing people to sit with her. She even will nap sitting astride my tummy, either leaning back against my legs or forward against my chest. Bonus:  being on an incline makes it easier for her to breathe.

We are hoping she will recover quickly so that she can visit with Nana and Paco again soon. ABC and her mom leave on March 20 for a three-month visit in London with daddy/spouse L. Maybe we will do a skype call with Nana and Paco tomorrow as a practice run for the months she will be “across the pond.”
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “so far.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2018/03/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-10-18/

 

 

getting away

With E, L, and T all at home to hold down the fort with Baby ABC and to be on call for Nana and Paco, B and I went up to Skaneateles for an overnight getaway last week.

Although it was short – and cold, although not quite as cold as today – it was nice to be away with just the two of us, visiting some of our favorite little shops and restaurants and enjoying a suite in a favorite B&B, thanks to a weeknight holiday special.

The roads were a bit snowy due to lake effect as we drove up and it was nice to be seated near the fireplace for lunch at Elderberry Pond. We wound up having the dining room to ourselves! Dinner at Rosalie’s was more crowded, but, again, we were seated near the fireplace. I wonder if we looked cold…

We had a bit of a walk in the morning to go to breakfast at the Sherwood Inn, which is now affiliated with the B&B where we stayed. The snow squeaked under our boots as it does when it is significantly below freezing, but we were able to warm ourselves next to the fire before going into the breakfast room, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, and amazing pastries from the French style pastry shop on the property. As usual, B drank coffee; I made an exception to my habit of drinking only water, indulging in two cups of hot peppermint tea.

The drive home was clear and everyone back home was fine – and all enjoyed some pastries that we bought for them.

Maybe B and I will make arrangements for another getaway to recharge when other adults are available to cover for us.

Maybe in the spring when it is warmer…
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Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out more here:
https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/05/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-5th-2018/

 

Cold

Here in the lower 48 of the United States, we have been experiencing unusually cold weather.

Some people, including our president, have been taking this as evidence that there is not global warming going on, but our cold snap is actually a predictable part of global climate change.

Some points on this topic:

  • What we experience day to day is weather; global climate has to do with the whole world over a longer time period. Weather of all sorts continues to happen as generally appropriate to one’s locality.
  • Global warming does not rescind seasons, which occur due to astronomical conditions. It is still winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The disruption of global warming impacts different regions in different ways rather than uniformly. For example, the arctic regions are warming more quickly than other regions, which disrupts the upper level winds and changes the temperature and water-carrying capacity of weather systems. The cold air that has made its way into most of the lower 48 states has been able to do so because the mechanisms that have historically kept these winter air masses confined to Alaska and Canada have broken down. It is a symptom, not a refutation of global warming – and part of the reason that the term global climate change is used more often than global warming.
  • If the climate system were in equilibrium, one would expect roughly the same number of record high and record low recorded temperatures. There have been significantly more high than low temperature records globally in recent years. This article has a good explanation, along with a graphic that shows the proportion in the US for the last 365 days. In some regions in the world, the disparity is even greater, as high as 5 to 1.

I hope everyone will stay warm – or cool – as needed in the location where you are. I also hope that people will look to see what changes or adaptations they need to make to deal with current and expected changes to our climate.
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Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out more here:
 https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/04/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-4th-2018/

 

 

triple threat

My mom, known as Nana here at Top of JC’s Mind, has been having some cardiac issues and has been going to rehab twice a week. Last week, she had to miss because of the giant snowstorm and because she seemed to be suffering from a cold.

She had already been to the walk-in medical clinic once for her cough, but on Friday, her condition worsened, so she went back. They were concerned that she might have developed pneumonia so they ordered a chest X-ray from the hospital. The plan had been for her to stay at the hospital until the X-ray was read, but they were so busy, we had to take her home to wait for the results the next morning.

When the X-ray came back positive, we went back to the hospital. We spent the day in the emergency room, while they ran more tests. We were shocked that Nana’s “cold” had actually been type A influenza. The extra-strength flu vaccine that she had received last fall had kept down the usual fever and body aches that one expects from flu.

The other factor involved was some continuing problems with congestive heart failure symptoms. We are hoping to get a better understanding of the cardiac factors involved so we can chart the best possible course going forward.

Nana has been improving steadily with intravenous antibiotics and diuretics. We are hopeful that she will be able to come home in a few days, in time for Paco’s 92nd birthday this weekend.

We would all appreciate any healing thoughts and/or prayers that you might send out on Nana’s behalf.

 

SoCS: coat

A lot of places in the US are under a coat of white from snow.

Not exactly a surprise in January, except that, while there is snow in places one expects, like Colorado, the Dakotas, and Vermont, but also in some places where it is more unusual, such as Alabama and the Carolinas. Seattle, Washington has also recently had snow.

Weirdly, we don’t have much here in the Binghamton, New York area.  While some parts of the state have had massive lake effect snows, the wind pattern is preventing them from reaching us here. The storm systems are coming up the coast and we are too far inland to get major amounts of snow from them.

Also weirdly, the cold and snow dipping into the Southern US are caused by the warming of the Arctic region.  This pushes the polar vortex south.

This weekend, we are having some of our coldest temperatures of the winter. I am pulling out the heavy coats.

Postscript: You can tell this is stream of consciousness because I misused a correlative conjunction and couldn’t go back and fix it.
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It’s a double dip! This post is both part of Linda’s Just Jot It January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt is “coat.” Join us! Find out more here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-717/

 

cold

The middle of last week, I came down with a cold.

In my younger days, I would have kept going full-tilt and powered my way through – which sometimes worked and sometimes resulted in developing bronchitis or a sinus infection or another not-so-fun complication.

Now, being older and not having so many other people depending on me, I decided to do the wise thing and cancel some of my activities, rest more, eat soup and drink warm beverages, not push myself to work out with my Wii Fit, and generally take care of myself and let B help to take care of me, which, I might add, he does superbly.

I thought I could get well faster and be back to normal strength and activity level in a week.

It’s not quite working out that way.

While I have been able to do more over the last few days, I’m still tired and cold and sniffly and achy and a bit hoarse.

I had hoped to go to poetry open mic tonight. I have been AWOL for months due to travel and other conflicts, so I had hoped to go tonight and read before the next batch of obligations hits.

But, no.

I don’t want to drag myself out in the cold (and possible mixed precipitation) and go on a coughing jag in the little bookstore and mess up the other poets’ readings.

So, I’ll curl up under a throw and rest and try to take it easy for another weekend, hoping to have some voice for chorus rehearsal on Monday. I missed rehearsal last week and can’t afford to miss again.

Don’t I deserve some reward for trying to take better care of myself?

SoCS: tired

I am really tired. I got up at 3:45 AM because I have a cold and started coughing.

And I am too tired now, forty-five minutes later, to write much of anything cogent.

I doubt I’m going to catch a nap later, so SoCS is going to be short and sweet.

Not quite as short and sweet as One-Liner Wednesday, but close.

Well, close on the short side. Not on the sweet.

Did I mention I am really tired?

Wishing everyone a good weekend. I hope that no one else has a cold or is tired…
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “tire” – alone or as prefix or suffix. Join us! Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1316/

SoCS badge 2015

sorry numbers

I have mentioned before that I have a Fitbit to track my steps. My daily goal is only 5,000 steps. I usually make it, and often exceed it, but I have a cold and the last few days have been a lost cause. On Saturday, I didn’t even make 1,000 steps.

The more unfortunate thing is that my brain is not operating at full capacity, either. Today, we have a publication party at Sappho’s Circle. This afternoon, we are going to eat munchies and work on online submissions of our poems. I need attention to detail and a certain level of discernment to do this properly, but I’m not sure I have it. It will be a help to have Heather and the rest of the circle there to help me match poems to journals.

Wish me luck…