The weather in Seattle has been amazingly beautiful for the past week. Kat couldn’t believe her luck when she visited for a week, and had nothing but sunshine and warm temps. I couldn’t help but grumble. I know this will mean we’re going to end up having an extremely hot summer this year. I am not a fan of extreme temperatures in either direction. The rain has finally returned to the Pacific NorthWest though. Kat only missed it by two days.
However, the same day she returned home from Seattle, she left with her family to drive to Boston. They have a family member in the hospital there who has been seriously ill. Instead of heading back home today, though, they had to drive further north to stay with her fiance’s parents for a few days. There’s currently a lovely blizzard nailing much of New York and Pennsylvania, making it impossible for her to drive home. With her away from home, our work flow has gotten all twisted up and turned around. If we’ve missed something we were supposed to get done for you, we both deeply apologize! We’re tag-teaming to get everything done as scheduled!
I know Kat isn’t the only person ready for winter to end. Personally, I prefer Spring or Fall. I know a lot of you out there are pining for Summer, though, waiting on the hot temps and gorgeous sunshine. Are you one of them?
I was once told that it doesn’t snow that often in the Seattle area. Judging from how everything shuts down at the first sign of frozen flakes. Today is certainly no exception! We’ve been “snowed in” for a day or so, and I can’t say that I mind it too much.
We’re just a few days away from the happiest of winter holidays (for some), and it seems we’re going to have ourselves a very White Christmas. I’m hoping all of our Christmas shopping deliveries will be made on time! Yes, 100% of my holiday shopping was done online this year (thank goodness).
Baby, it’s cold outside!
Of course, I grew up in Iowa – where it snowed throughout winter. I’ve yet to go outside too far – to shovel the walk, to shovel the drive. We were caught in a heavy storm last year, and all I had was a garden spade at that point. A few months ago, I picked up one of those snow pushers (which is far easier on the arms and back). I don’t think we have the need for a snow blower, mind you.
I decided to record the moment for posterity. Not me shoveling anything, but the view from our deck. While I used one of my portable “HD” video cameras to shoot this, I was also using the digital zoom – so if details appear muddy, that’s why. Oh, and it was really THIS grey today:
Beautiful, as opposed to this Christmas Carol I squeezed out last night:
This is as close as it gets to receiving a Christmas / Holiday card from me. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that… my handwriting has gone downhill in the past decade, and everybody already knows what happens with me throughout the year – so it’s relatively pointless to do once-a-year recaps.
I’ve been listening to Christmas music non-stop (almost) since the channels came online not long before Thanksgiving. Today, we’re going out to pick up a fresh-cut Christmas tree down the street – then likely trim it with decorations and lights at some point this evening. I’ll splurge and have another half cup of lite Nog (which still weighs in at 140 calories). Last night, Ponzi decided to throw our inflatable Grinch onto the back porch, then we officially welcomed the season by watching both the classic Grinch cartoon as well as “A Christmas Story.”
Oh, and I finally found a gingerbread house kit that didn’t come with ANY hydrogenated ingredients. That’s a first! The makeshift munch-worthy domicile remains under construction for the moment. Actually, it’s still in the box – I’m afraid to open it. Those poor gumdrops will never make it to the frosting! Maybe we’ll put ‘er together in front of the live stream tomorrow night, considering we’re likely to be snowed in. It’s going to be very cold tomorrow.
Typically, only higher elevations in the Seattle area have White Christmases. Maybe I’ll just forego using shampoo and conditioner for a week, then scratch my head a few times on the front porch. I might be able to cover it!
There’s no stopping Christmas now. Even Wicket and Pixie are getting in on the action:
This is Carol Foltz’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
My motto for driving is: I drive like an old lady so I can be one. I don’t mean the drive-45-in-a-55-mph-zone old lady, just that I take reasonable care, I don’t speed and I’m more careful when weather conditions negatively impact driving conditions.
Winter driving seems to baffle some drivers, even though winter keeps returning every year. When the snow flies, common sense flies out the window. Therefore, I present “Carol’s Rules For Safe Winter Driving.”
Make sure you need to go out. If you don’t need to go out, then don’t. If you must go out, make sure you know where you are going and why. Don’t make extra trips.
Realize that the roads are slick and you can’t stop on a dime. Give yourself leeway by slowing down before you get to the intersection. Also, you can’t just start driving. Ease into it a little bit, or you will fishtail. If there is a car next to you, you could hit it if you aren’t careful.
Be careful and assume that everyone else on the road isn’t careful. Act like they are either first-time drivers who don’t know what they are doing or that they are actively trying to kill you with their cars. Stay away from the other drivers. WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!
If you are driving when it’s still snowing, drive slowly with wipers going and your lights on, even if it’s daytime. Having your lights on helps other drivers see you and hopefully avoid you.
If you are driving and get stuck, stay with your car unless it’s falling into a river or something. Don’t get out and start walking to your destination, especially if you are in the country. Don’t make law enforcement start looking for you “between Moorland and Rockwell City,” for example. (Those two towns are about 20 miles apart.)
The usual: Have a winter survival kit in your car, including a shovel. When a bad winter storm hit Iowa in February 2007, I prepared by bringing a suitcase of clothes and things I would need into town when I came to work, with plans to stay at my mom’s apartment until it was safe to go home. I left our only shovel at home, thinking that maybe my family might need it. I could always go to Wal-Mart and get one before going to stay the night at Mom’s, right? Wrong. They closed Wal-Mart. They closed Wal-Mart.
In winter, snow happens. It rarely happens without warning, however. Keep up to date with the weather on a daily basis so you can be prepared. In that memorable storm of 2007, the weather warnings had been in place for days ahead. I had time to think about my plans, pack a suitcase, do extra shopping and so on. I even came into work the night the storm hit, even though I wasn’t scheduled to work that night, so I wouldn’t be driving during the heavy part of the storm. If I had not, I would have been stuck at home for four days because travel was prohibited.
If school is out and businesses are closing, don’t get into your little two-door car and head for the mall. Stay home. (See rule No. 1.) When authorities say that travel is prohibited, take them seriously. As I mentioned before, weather reports can give you an idea ahead of time when the bad storms are coming. If on Saturday, you hear that a bad storm is expected to hit your area on Wednesday, and that warning is repeated on a daily basis, maybe you should do your emergency grocery shopping on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Don’t try to go out Wednesday night after the blizzard hits because you are out of groceries.
Have a cell phone handy. In these days of prepaid cell phones, everyone can afford one. Have a cell phone even if you only use it when you have an emergency in your car. Keep your cell phone charged. Like a spare tire that you have to check periodically to make sure it’s not flat, a cell phone is only good if it’s charged. Be familiar with the basic functions of your cell phone. Which leads to No. 10…
Know where you are. If you absolutely must travel in bad winter weather, have a good idea where you are in case something happens and you have to call 911. It will be easier for law enforcement to find you if you can say you are two miles west of Moorland rather than “somewhere between Moorland and Rockwell City” (see rule No. 5).
Some of these tips are specific to winter driving in climates where snow is the norm. Some of these tips are good year-round no matter where you live. I can’t stress too much the importance of wearing a seatbelt. There have been several accidents in my area this past year with preventable fatalities: the people involved didn’t wear seatbelts and were thrown from their vehicles. Some of these accidents had survivors who could have avoided serious injuries by wearing seatbelts. All of these accidents involved people in their teens and early 20s.
Above all, be careful. Drive like an old geek so you can be one.
Winter not only brings Christmas, it also brings bad weather for much of the United States. Snow, sleet and ice are prevalent, and can wreak havoc on your car. Here are some excellent tips to help you deal more effectively with your car in bad weather.
Store your car (if it’s possible) always in a garage or in a “closed type” parking. It is very important to keep your car from the snow because it will be always clean and you will not waste your time to clean the snow from it. It is best to you to keep car in a warm place to help the snow to thaw after driving.
Keep your gas tank as full as you can. The temperature difference between cold conditions outside and warm conditons inside the gas tank causes the process of water condesation which can cause an “ice fuse” in fuel hoses. You then suddenly may not be able to power on your car engine, because fuel is not able to reach the engine. But, if your tank is always filled with gas, it will supersede all water drops and they simply will be burned in the engine with the fuel.
After washing your car, “blow” all locks of your`s car doors with a hair drier. Remember how many times you tried to open a frozen door of your car after washing? So, after washing your car, park it in a warm place (in a garage), then take a simple hair drier and blow car locks with it.You must blow warm airflow directly inside the lock for a minute ot two to make it totally dry. Then, take a dry cloth and wipe out water from the lock mechanism on the side of the door.
Keep an eye on your “window washer” liquid level. It`s dirty outside, isn`t it? So, to drive safely, it’s very important to have clean front windows. Go to your closest store and buy a good washer liquid for your car. Do not buy cheap products, because they can contain chemicals, which can be dangerous for you life. Do not buy liquid which contains methanol (CH3OH), because when in the air, it transforms into deadly Carbon Dioxide which can be very dangerous if inhaled
How to drive your car safely during winter? There is an ice on the road! So increase speed slowly! I said slowly!!! Give some time to your car`s wheels to hook on the ice. Remember, that the “stopping-distance” of your car varies from the weather conditions. In winter, it becomes much bigger than in summer because of the ice. So, brake in advance, to prevent collison!!! A good braking technique in winter is a “repeatedly braking technique”. Try to push on a brake pedal repeatedly, so your “brake lips” can clean the brake disk from dirt and snow and effectively stop your car.
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