Here we go…a second month of 2013 in the books…
I flew out of Green Bay on the morning of February 1st – on my way to the airport I drove by Lambeau Field. As the temp registered “-1” there was a long line of fans that were waiting to snatch up free tickets for Donald Driver’s retirement announcement the following week.
Rebecca finished up her 5th season as a swim coach. She sent me this picture from when the school won the county swim meet for the 13th straight year. As the teams were at their state meet, I was able to follow their progress through app – a fun way to be connected to her even from so far away.
As the big blizzard struck the northeast, we only got a small taste of it. A few inches of snow fell overnite on Friday & by the time I woke up on Saturday, the maintenance crew at my apt. complex had already cleared the parking lots and sidewalks. Later that afternoon as I walked around the complex, my new snow boots were definitely overkill but at least I had a chance to break them in.
This Valentine cutie…my littlest girl in Texas ready for her preschool party. On Valentine’s evening, it was fun to FaceTime with the girls in Texas as well as the kids in Wisconsin.
I made it to the movies twice – both were excellent – and each movie yielded a dishcloth.
I ended the month starting The Whole 30 which means I’m spending some fun time in the kitchen making new things – among them, my first time making homemade mayo. I’ll be sharing more about this adventure in my next post.
This is my third winter in northern Wisconsin while on this project. In that time, I have seen all sorts of winter weather: some precarious drives north on snow covered highways; some near blizzard snowfalls; some slushy snow days; some icy days; some no snow days and everything in between. On Saturday morning, I awoke to the best type of snow: picturesque, weekend snow. Overnight, a few inches fell – just enough to frost everything in a white that seemed to glisten in the morning sun. First thing Saturday, I had a “quick” errand to go to a favorite pottery studio about 45 miles north of here – along the shore in the UP. After clearing the snow off the rental, I was ready to go with coffee in my travel mug & sunglasses on to minimize the sun glare.
The drive north was lovely – M-35 was dry and there wasn’t much traffic on the road. The sky was a brilliant blue, the sun was shining brightly & the snow was still white. The trees along the route were frosted and tipped in a pure white – every so often, a breeze would shake some snow from the branches. After a busy week in the office, it was nice to step away from the hustle & bustle and just take in the beauty of a winter morning. With the start of a new year, it is natural to resolve to do things differently – this drive was a great opportunity to look back on the month and take stock of how I’ve been doing with the changes I’ve been wanting to make in the new year. A good friend has property along the route of this drive. At some point on my drive, I thought “camera and snowshoes” – this snowy morning seemed like it would be perfect for exploring the property with camera in hand – zooming in on snowflakes with a macro setting, zooming out to a bank of trees or swath of grasses frosted in the light snow. Alas, no camera or snowshoes on the agenda for the day. (And never mind that I’ve never been snowshoeing – it just seemed like the thing to do.)
After an hour in the car, I came to the sign for “Rocky Shores Pottery” and turned from the dry road onto the snow covered driveway – my tires breaking through the white canvas. Shirley, the potter, was in her studio and we chatted as I picked out a few pieces of pottery for friends. After just a few minutes, I was back in the car & retracing my tire tracks on the snow covered driveway to get back to the road. I waited for some southbound trucks to zoom by and then pulled out onto the road back.
Along the way home, I pulled into a park along the shore. Again, my tire tracks broke the snow. A swing set was snow covered – a reminder of warmer days past and warmer days to come. While I didn’t have my camera with me, I did have the camera on my phone – so I stepped out of the car and each step of my boots crunched through the snow as I stopped to take a few pictures. The water along the shoreline has frozen over but in the distance you could see the sun dancing on open water.
By the time I got back to the hotel, much of the snow had disappeared. Before long, I was back in the car with a friend to spend the day shopping. But for those few hours on a Saturday morning, the stillness of a snowy route provided a tranquil respite from the busyness of the everyday.
All last week the forecast was showing that new snow would be here for the weekend. On Thursday, the forecasted snowfall totals for Friday/Saturday were stepped up a bit. It quickly became evident that this weekend might be a good one to hibernate at home. Friday morning’s commute was a bit longer than normal because the first round of snow was coming in. Thankfully, the rest of the snow held off until I was back home before dinnertime.
(click the picture for details)
I woke up on Saturday morning to quite a bit of snow on the ground and it kept falling all day. The neighborhood soundtrack throughout the day was filled with shovels scraping the pavement, wheels spinning in the snow/slush and the whir of snow blowers. Before long, lawn chairs were out in the street as parking spot placeholders.
My “goals” for the weekend were simple.
- Never ending pot of coffee: The french press was in constant use all weekend – the It’s a Grind Winter Blend is my current favorite. A bit of Italian Sweet Cream creamer & my sheep mug made it perfect.
- Finish holiday cards: Umm, I had good intentions of getting cards out at Christmas and then life got in the way. So I’m going with a “New Year’s” approach instead. Signed, sealed & ready to go in the mail tomorrow.
- New knitting project: I cast on a for a new “big” knitting project & have been making great progress on it. As the inches of snow increased, so did the inches of blue garter stitch. More details later this week.
- Order 2008 pictures for scrapbook: It’s January – time for a scrapbooking retreat in 2 weeks, so I had fun going through the past year & figuring out what pictures to be ordered.
- Catch up on Netflix: Ladies in Lavender and The Ballet Shoes were perfect knitting flicks.
- Make a pot of soup: At the grocery store on Thursday evening I decided that I was in the mood for a pot of cauliflower soup. I found a couple of good recipes on a few food blogs & ended with my own hybrid that hit the spot (roast the cauliflower, onions & garlic before going into the pot, add some walnuts in with the ‘normal’ ingredients – blend it all together- yum!). Since I had the big pot out from the back of the cabinets, today I decided to make a big pot of chili for this week & the freezer.
- Read: Between Christmas gifts and library books I had no shortage of reading material. This weekend it was The Reverend Guppy’s Aquarium and The Lace Reader.
I had hoped to head over to Jen’s for a bit of knitting this afternoon; however, I feel like I’m fighting off the start of a cold so I’ll continue to hibernate. (And be very grateful for a building mate who shoveled my side of the garage!) The snow is definitely getting old this winter – there have been too many long commutes in the snow, slush & slick. It was nice to enjoy this snow storm from inside my cozy home.
Over the weekend we had a glimpse of winter with a quick snowfall. Yesterday afternoon through today we were treated to a real taste of snow. In a few hours the world was transformed from the “ick” of the gray end of fall dormancy into a winter wonderland.
While driving home from the north suburbs last night in the storm wasn’t that fun at least people for the most part had remembered how to drive in snow (slow down). By the time I went to bed the neighborhood was covered in several inches of white frosting with more on the way.
At one point this morning I looked out the back door and saw a neighborhood gathering of pigeons on the line. Several times throughout the day today they were back on the line keeping watch over everything.
The sidewalks are being cleared by neighbors – the scrape of shovel on pavement is a soundtrack of the day. When I went out to the alley this afternoon to “dig out” my garage I was pleased to see that this is a very fluffy snow & while it looked like a lot to shovel it was a rather lightweight task. While outside it is fun to see the snow art that is created by the combination of snow, wind, nature and other objects. A few of my favorites from this snowfall:
The neighbor’s patio table looks like a snow cake…
Lounging in the deck chairs seems like a distant memory…
Reserving your dug out parking space with a chair…
The garden gnome is almost lost in the snow…
A neighbor’s christmas ball decorations have become snowballs…
The trees have captured the snow in their crooks…
Snow balancing precariously on the fence…
(all pictures here)
Even though I haven’t decorated the house for Christmas yet, nature’s frosting in the neighborhood only adds to the holiday spirit!