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Missing: Winter

I am someone who enjoys winter. I like the cold temperatures. I love walking outside and hearing the crunch of the frozen grass and leaves underfoot. I love taking the dog out early in the morning bundled up in a wool throw and seeing my breath in the air. I love sitting on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate next to me. But this winter, I haven’t experienced much of that. Winter hasn’t really showed up to my part of Maryland.

1st Snow of the Winter

1st Snow of the Winter

We’ve had some cool temperatures and a few days in the teens, but most days have been in the 40’s or 50’s and last weekend we were in the 70’s. We had the windows open and I thought about putting on a pair of crop pants, but it is still February. Last year I wrote about the 37+ inches of snow that we received from the blizzard that dumped it all in one night. This year we had snow twice. The first snow was only about 1.5 inches. The picture to the left shows the snow from that “storm”. I use the term “storm” because all of the Weather people were making the storm out to be something major. Turns out it wasn’t much of one and they were even more bummed than me. The second snow was just a dusting. Neither of them covered the roads, so there wasn’t really problems from them.

The school children are upset that they haven’t used even one snow day. Of course they will get out of school earlier than they usually do, but when you want to play in the snow and there isn’t any, well, I can understand why they are upset. Also upset are the landscape companies that rely on earning money by plowing businesses during the winter. Some say that plowing is 50% of their income, so without it, they may not be able to continue. Most of all, a mild winter usually means that the summer will be especially buggy. Not a good thing for me. I am a bug magnet. If it bites or stings, they find their way to me. I’m not looking forward to being their snack.

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Hot, Humid and Steamy

Hot Humid

Well summer has finally arrived in Maryland. It would have been just fine with me if the spring-like weather stayed around a little longer. The weather in Maryland is rather unique. Sometimes in the spring we hardly get any rain and then whammy, we get days and days of rain like the month of May. So much rain we thought we would have to build an ark. We actually had rain 15 days straight, starting in late April. Then it stopped for 1 day and started to rain again the following day. The record was 17 days, so we fell short by two days. It seems that in the summer, we tend to get fast-moving storms that pop up, drop and few drops of rain and then move out, leaving behind even hotter, more humid weather. That is what we have been having lately. The grass is starting to look dry and brittle. It will green back up after some rain and a few nights with temperatures in the 60’s, but we haven’t had many nights in the 60’s lately.

Yes, I know there are those people who say they love warm weather, but they aren’t loving things right now. Apparently we are under something that the meteorologists call a Heat Dome. And of course Maryland is under the dome. I find it ironic that the same weather people who aren’t afraid to call for a blizzard with several feet of snow in the winter are afraid to say that the temperature might reach 100 degrees (or 37.7778 degrees C for JP). All week they were forecasting the weekend to be 96-98 degrees. Really? When it is 9:00 in the morning and already 92 degrees outside, you know it is going to be 100, so just say so. The humidity brings the heat index to 108 degrees, which is just uncomfortable.

We had the usual weekend errands to run and it was impossible to do so without sweating. Thank goodness the new car has great air conditioning. Today, we are staying inside, catching up on reading, maybe napping. In other words, doing as little as possible. The forecasters are calling for a break in the weather on Wednesday…the high is supposed to be 88 degrees. I’m not sure when 88 became cool, but by then I think I will be ready for it. I might have to break out the sweater 🙂 Until then it is ice tea with plenty of ice and maybe some ice cream later. Hmm that sounds good. Is it later yet?

I hope the weather is better where ever you are in the world.

 

35 Inches of Snow…and Another Snow Day

The blizzard finally ended early Sunday morning. We woke to a total of 35 inches of snow, close enough to 3 feet, so I’m going with 3 feet. The wind caused the snow to drift in some places to 4-5 feet. To put the storm in perspective, my area of Maryland usually gets an average of 22 inches of snow in the winter. In this storm, we received about one-third more snow than we get in a normal year. That’s a lot of snow.

The good news is that we didn’t lose power. I heard one report that there were about 200 homes without power in the entire state, so that made the storm much more bearable. I think if you have to go through a true Nor’easter in the wintertime, having electricity makes it much less stressful. I did notice that I cooked more than I usually do. On the weekend, we usually have Sunday breakfast, which is where we go all out and cook a big meal. Saturday we usually have cereal and coffee or toast, something simple. But being off, we cooked a big breakfast every morning. I also baked a cake, which is not something I do very often, mainly because we are trying to eat healthier. I guess being snowed in makes me want to cook. Of course, the guys were burning calories removing the snow, so that counted for their increased appetites.

As for the snow, my husband and son shoveled and blew us out over two days, which was the right thing to do. My husband, after 20 plus years in the military, tackled the snow with a battle plan. Shovel early and shovel often. If you wait too long, the snow will overtake you and you will be fighting a losing battle.

It has been amusing to see the neighbors and their approach to dealing with the snow. Some of our neighbors waited until the last snow flake fell and the sun came out, which warmed the snow and made it much heavier, so snow blowers were pretty much useless. Others seemed to be playing the drinking game. Shovel or blow a row and take a drink. Shovel, drink, shovel, drink, drink, drink. Several have driveways that still aren’t completely open, but are instead rather crooked and you can tell not much thought was put into clearing away the snow. As long as one car can get out, that is all that matters. Mother Nature will have to do the rest…unless more snow is on the way.

Hot ChocolateBoth my husband and I are off work again today. The roads are still being dealt with and the Governor would prefer if people stayed off the roads. I’d prefer that too. It is a beautiful, sunny day and it makes you want to go outside somewhere, but really, it’s cold and the fireplace is cozy right now, so I think I will make some hot chocolate and curl up on the couch. Stay warm where ever you are!!!

Waiting For The Blizzard…So Why Do I Want Ice Cream???

Snowblower1

We haven’t had much of a winter so far. Christmas was close to 70 degrees F and we haven’t seen any snow. All that is supposed to change today as we are waiting for a major storm that is supposed to start as snow and then become a blizzard. When the weather forecasters first mentioned snow earlier in the week, it was supposed to be 1-3 inches, which became 6-8 inches. Then as late as yesterday morning, it was changed to 12 inches. Now, they have declared that my area of Maryland will get 20-24 inches of snow and winds in excess of 65 miles per hour, so in other words, we will have a blizzard. They named it Winter Storm Jonas. (Side note: Maybe it should be called Hercules or Goliath. They sound more fierce.)

I had been scheduled to be off of work today. My plan was to run a few errands and get some things done around the house to free up the weekend. My husband found out yesterday that his office would be closed today because of the storm. Then our county’s Emergency Management Agency began sending out messages about the blizzard and telling residents to make sure they have a plan in place since we are expected to lose power for several days. They have even asked for the National Guard to help once things get really bad. Needless to say my plans changed as we have to get ready for the blizzard. So my husband and I made the trek to the store this morning and joined the other people buying their essentials, which seemed to be milk and toilet paper. Those are two things I always have in the house. I wanted snacks, like chips, cookies and ice cream. Yes, I know it’s cold, and we might not have heat, but I want ice cream.

Anyway, we went over our list of things that we might need if we are trapped in the house for a few days. Logs for the fireplace? Check. Extra jugs of water for ourselves and our pug? Check. Extra batteries for the cell phones and flashlights? Check. Zero degree sleeping bags to keep warm if we have no heat? Check. Camping equipment to heat up soup and coffee? Check and check. Extra books downloaded on the Kindle? Check. Real books for when the Kindle’s battery runs out? Check.

Looks like we’re ready. Of course I hope we won’t need any of it, but it started snowing about two hours ago and the wind is picking up. I think it’s time for a cup of coffee and some ice cream.

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