Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big Snow – the Sequel

"Here we go again," I thought as early reports predicting another Southern snowstorm started appearing on the Weather Channel last week. Sure enough, at 2:35 p.m. Friday afternoon, a wall of snow swept over our neighborhood as The Ice Crone struck again.

We were well prepared with groceries, back-up heating, well charged electronics, and a positive attitude. Snow depths were varied over the area, according to our local paper's web site. We had nearly 8 inches on our deck and deeper snow in the yard, I just didn't venture out to measure. I got wet and cold enough measuring on the deck railing; I didn't feel like slogging through the deeper snow.

I've spent time doing some house cleaning, reading, watching television, web surfing and relaxing. Last night I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. Yummy! Yes, I know I didn't need to make and eat a bunch of cookies, but hey, snow makes me hungry!

I also downloaded a neat history book for my Kindle Reader for PC™ and spent time brushing up on American History last night. The book is A History of the American People, by Paul M. Johnson. It starts before the actual discovery of America with coverage of events in Europe leading up to the voyages of discovery. I haven't gotten that far into it, and it is a long book, but at this point I recommend it.

I love my Kindle Reader for PC™, I can have books on as many as 5 devices (computers or iPhone), and take them were ever I go. I really like it for reading at night, because reading from the laptop lets me read without lots of additional lighting, thus avoiding bothering anyone else who is trying to sleep. I just wish Amazon would get their Kindle application for the Blackberry™ ready to go.

It hasn't been a bad weekend, being snowed in isn't too bad if you are prepared and the power stays on. Tomorrow will be a bit dicey as everyone attempts to go back to work on roads that still aren't in the best condition, but we'll make it.

Meanwhile, we may get some icy conditions mid-week and another snow storm toward next weekend. It looks like the Ice Crone is enjoying Her rule this winter.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rain and Storms

I'm sitting here in the cottage, snug and warm, protected from the rain outside. High winds are predicted as the cold front passes through, and I do worry a bit about that. Who wouldn't, with all the huge trees all around?

Thinking about the rain and wind caused my musings to go back in time to some other places I've lived and the war of the weather we fought on a regular basis.

Once upon a time I lived in an older mobile home. It served the purpose quite well most of the time. Then one spring day we had a terrible storm. There were tornado warnings out, but as is the case with many people, we had nowhere to go. We had to ride it out.

The storm winds hit the mobile home broadside. As the winds howled, my then husband and I walked the floors, waiting. Suddenly the full fury of the gale hit. The blast of wind and rain sucked open the windows and door on the westernmost side of the trailer and simultaneously blew open the windows and door on the eastern side. Rain came through the open doors and windows as if from a fire hose.

I grabbed one door and pulled it shut with much difficulty. The wind did not want to relinquish its prize. At the same time my ex-husband was struggling to close the door on the other side. It seemed like forever before we had the doors closed. We each held a door closed for the duration of the storm. The windows still stood open from the force of the wind. Rain blew through drenching everything in its path.

We stood for an eternity it seemed, wet and cold, scared the wind, rain or constant lightening would take a further toll. We each held fast to our doors.

Finally the storm passed. The rest of the day was spent repairing broken windows, mopping up rain water, and straightening up the clutter caused by the wind as it passed through the trailer home.

It has been twenty years since that storm blasted the South Carolina Upstate. We were lucky that day. The storm caused much destruction in the surrounding area. I left that place not long after and made my way to Shady Hollow.

It's raining today at Shady Hollow and tonight and tomorrow the winds will blow. Maybe they will blow in another memory. If so, I may tell you another story.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birthdays and Time

Tomorrow is my "baby" son's birthday. He will be 31 years old. (Thinking to self that I am NOT a spring chicken anymore.)

Yesterday said "baby son", his older sister and her son, came by to visit. I had not seen this particular grandson in about 3 years. My grandson is man grown and mighty fine. They are all mighty fine to me.

It never ceases to amaze me, when I look at my children and grandchildren, at how grown-up they are and how mature they are. It seems like only yesterday that each of them were just babes-in-arms.

It occurs to me sometimes that I have not accomplished much in life. I sometimes think I have made so many bad choices and squandered my resources.

Then I see my children, grandchildren and yes, the great-grandchildren. And I know I did alright after all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Car Inspection Time

I have to get my car inspected. It's one of North Carolina's ways to get cash for the treasury. If your car fails the emissions test you have to get the problem fixed. If you try and it won't "fix" you can still get your approval on the car, for a hefty fee. So what point is the inspection? To get cash for the treasury, not to keep polluting cars off the road.

So, as my car ages, I dread inspection time with a passion. One way or another, my wallet is going to be lighter or my credit card debt heavier. You just can't win.

Later this morning I'll make my way to the inspection station and wait while the technicians hook my baby to the computer that's linked to Raleigh and hope for the best.

Wish me luck. Who knows, maybe there will be a story in the trip.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Visit with an Old Friend

It had been over twenty years since I had seen Andrea. We reunited last spring on Facebook, a reunion that also included her sister and father. Yesterday, we finally had a chance to sit down face-to-face.

The teenager I remembered has turned into a polished, articulate woman who knows who she is and has a mind of her own. I'm proud of her.

We talked for hours. I'm glad our husbands were able to find things to talk about with each other. If they hadn't I'm sure they would have been bored to tears.

It was a wonderful visit. Thank you, Andrea and Doug, for taking time to stop and visit with us. The time was precious, a memory we will cherish. We look forward to another visit someday, when time is no obstacle.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I've not been sleeping well this past week. Part of the reason is my old bones don't like this cold weather and I'm having a hard time finding that comfortable spot that lets sleep come and allows it to stay. I think I managed 4 hours last night, and that may be an exaggeration. Needless to say, my body aches and my brain is numb.

On the bright side, there's something to be said for a numb brain. It prevents you from paying too much attention to things that would otherwise annoy you. It lets you slip into that twilight zone of not awake and not asleep when the news commentators on television go on and on about whatever the topic of the moment happens to be. It allows you to write long run-on sentences like the last one; and not care.

A numb brain enables the wearing of slippers on the wrong feet and not noticing until you are half-way up to the street to get the paper. Oh, and it allows you to go after the paper in your pajamas and not care if a neighbor sees. It makes it possible to make a pot of coffee and not turn the burner on, so that when you go for the second (much needed) cup; the coffee in the pot is getting cold.

Although I am suffering from "numb brain syndrome" this morning, I am a wee-bit functional. For instance, I noticed that the warmer day yesterday did melt some of the snow that has been hanging around since December 18th. We still have some piled here and there, but the areas are shrinking. Maybe by the weekend it will be history at last.

I noticed that the lone robin that arrived last week does not look so miserable today. I'll bet he is really glad for the warm-up.

Yesterday I had sprinkled out about a half bag of popped popcorn for the robin. Jim told me that just before dark a possum came along and ate the popcorn. After having his snack he went on his merry way (probably looking for a car to walk out in front of).

I put my wish in for a full night's sleep tonight. Numb brain syndrome can be fun, for the people watching you try to fumble through the day, but I'm hoping for a rapid recovery.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Passing Time Away

I had the weekend off. I could have tackled some projects at the cottage that are begging to be done. I could have, but I didn't.

The cold weather had attacked my husband and me to the depth of our being. Stiff and sore, we decided to stay inside and do nothing. He watched movies and I read. I'm reading the Mists of Avalon series of books again. When things get turbulent in my world, I feel a tug in my soul to go back to world of Avalon. I need to visit again with King Arthur, Morgaine, and the Merlin of Britain. I feel at home there on Avalon, under the apple trees or on the Tor among the standing stones.

It was a restful weekend. I needed one.

It is the wee hours of Monday morning now. After I grab a few hours of sleep it will be time to return to this time and place and the modern day trials and tribulations we all face. I'm well rested. I'll sleep tonight with dreams of the Isle of Apples, Stonehenge, and the blue robed priestesses of Avalon. It can't get much better than that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Freezing Friday

The threatened snow passed us by, but the cold air behind it arrived on schedule. Yesterday was almost balmy, with temperatures in the high 30's. This morning it is 10° and windy.

The seed catalogs are here though, and when I have a chance this weekend I may start deciding what I want to plant and where. It will make the cold much easier to take. While the landscape is barren and gray is a great time to look out and imagine the spring and summer blooms.

Maybe, just maybe, the long period of intense cold will kill off some of the slug population. Probably not. . .but I can always hope.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting on More

That's what my Daddy would say. "If snow lies on the ground for 3 days, it's waiting on more".

Daddy left for a better place in February of 1979. Almost 31 years later I can still hear his dire predictions when I was a child and snow would persist in staying around more than Daddy's 3 days. The snow that still lies across the hillside at Shady Hollow has been here much longer than Daddy's limit. The cold temperatures have caused it to linger since it fell on December 18th. It has blessed us with its presence for 2 ½ weeks now.

It's waiting on more.

Today's forecast tells the tale, with snow predicted for Thursday and Thursday night in the Western North Carolina Mountains. That's us.

The ground is frozen solid from many days of sub-freezing temperatures. The remaining snow had turned to white ice. It waits, with the patience of Job, for its reinforcements to arrive.

The little birds have been in a feeding frenzy during the cold spell. I've been putting out pieces of bread for the little chipmunk that lives under the patio. The birdseed and bread disappear quickly, most welcomed by the small creatures.

Later this morning I'll make a quick store trip to get needed supplies and a few extras in case we get snowed-in again.

After this snow, I am praying the weather warms up a little. I don't want to be counting down those 3 days again for awhile.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It is cold. I mean really COLD!!! At 10 a.m. the temperature has managed to creep up to 13 °. It was 12 ° an hour ago. Only 1 ° per hour, nope, it is NOT going to get warm today. I find myself wondering about this global warming stuff. I'd love to have a word with Al Gore this morning and say "OK big boy, explain this!"

The pine needles are drooping with the intense cold. The ground crunches when walked upon. The wind cuts bare skin like so many tiny razors. The birds are in a feeding frenzy and are becoming aggressive with each other at the feeders. The dog does not want to go out and has been seen eyeing the catbox with a thoughtful look in his eyes. He is probably wondering if it would be ok to use it if the cats aren't looking.

We still have snow on the ground from the December 18th snow storm. It is waiting on more. Oh no! My Daddy always said snow that stayed around for 3 days was "waiting on more". Well, this has been here far longer than that. It must be waiting on a lot more. I hope not.

We are snug and warm in the cottage. We have back-up heat ready to go in the event we lose power. The plan is to stay inside as much as possible and just enjoy a lazy day. Maybe I can get some reading done on the novel I'm reading today.

Be Blessed!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers. If you were out celebrating last night I hope you had a great time. We did. Pa (my pet name for my husband) went to bed early. I curled up with a book and read until 2 a.m. Midnight came and went with only a few local shotgun blasts by the neighbors to mark its passing.

I took notice of the sound, checked the clock (they were a few minutes late getting those shotguns out) and continued my reading.

I'm way past standing out in the cold to celebrate New Years. Being in the mountains, there is no ball to see drop, and the shows leading up to the moment of midnight in New York bore me.

I did watch a big ball sail overhead last night though. The moon was full and bright enough to shine through the layer of fog that engulfed Shady Hollow. I stepped out on my deck and braved the North wind to blow her a kiss. I said a prayer for my husband, myself and our families. I prayed for all my friends and those brave souls who are scattered around the globe fighting for our freedom. I prayed for our country and our leaders.

My prayers sailed on their way, borne on the wind as it whipped around the cottage. The misty halo around Bella Luna grew brighter. I came inside with the feeling that my prayers were registered and would be noted by the Goddess and God.

This first day of the new year has been uneventful at the Hollow. We have watched television, surfed the web, and done household chores. Nothing exciting. Nothing to cause worry or strife. I hope that's a good omen.

I and all the entities at Shady Hollow would like to thank all of you for reading about our adventures. I hope you enjoy reading the tales half as much as I enjoy writing them.

Happy New Year, and Blessed Be.