Tag Archive 'weather'

Dec 28 2008

No power, angry cats.

Published by under Pets,Travel

We lost power at around 6 AM. We sat around the house all day, reading books and wearing out the batteries on all of our electronics. We were supposed to be going up north today, but with no showers, and no idea when the power would be back, we decided to wait for a day. At 5 PM, we finally got through to Consumer’s, only to hear that by their best estimate, power would be back on by noon. . . on Tuesday.

We’re in a hotel right now. There was no way I was going to sit around a dark house for three days, getting stinkier and staring at the walls. On our way into town, we saw about eight trucks working on the lines near our house, which we believe is the source of the problem. We’re hoping the Tuesday estimate was a gross exaggeration and that power will be back by tomorrow, but if not, we’re staying here for another day.

The cats are really, really unhappy. They are prowling around the room, tense. But at least I can keep my eye on them. This is like a little adventure. An annoying little adventure, but an adventure nonetheless.

One response so far

Dec 01 2008

The annoyance begins.

Published by under Rants,Snippets,Stupidity

Ever since the first snow fell, my Forecastfox addon has been showing the Severe Weather Alert icon.  Because. . . wait for it. . . IT’S SUPPOSED TO SNOW!!!  AHHH!!!  NOT SNOW!!

It’s winter. . . in Michigan. . . you say it might be snowing later on?  NO!  That can’t be true!  Not the total horror of. . . LIGHT SNOW!*

LIGHT SNOW SHOWERS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AGAIN THIS AFTERNOON AS
COLDER AIR FILTERS INTO SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN. VISIBILITIES MAY
BRIEFLY DROP BELOW 1 MILE IN THE HEAVER SNOW BURSTS. SURFACE
TEMPERATURES THIS AFTERNOON WILL REMAIN AT THE OR ABOVE THE
FREEZING MARK WHICH WILL LIMIT ANY ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS TO ONE
HALF INCH OR LESS THROUGH 500 PM.

UNTREATED ROADS…BRIDGES…AND OVERPASSES IN THE AREA WILL BE
HAZARDOUS. EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION DURING THE EVENING PEAK
DRIVING TIME.

Please also note that they were so kind as to tell me that it might be slippery, if the road I’m on happens to be “untreated”.  Perhaps those of you from out of state are unaware, but Michigan is Kind Of Poor right now.  We don’t treat roads for things like “light snow”.  We barely treat our roads when there are ice storms.  We have to save our salt for things like margaritas to stave off the cold.

And, to tell the truth, I’ve never seen a single Michigan driver exercise anything resembling extreme caution even on dry roads.

At any rate, I’m kind of annoyed with my Severe Weather Alert icon right now.  I would like to once again point out to the fine people at the National Weather Service that the months of November through February are a SEASON, not a severe weather condition.  No need to throw the red exclamation point out there every day.  Save it for something special.

*Too much sarcasm?  I can never be sure.  Better safe than sorry, I always say.

5 responses so far

Jul 17 2008

Bad planning.

Published by under In The Kitchen,Outdoors

For the past two days I have chosen to do things that didn’t mesh well with the high temperatures and humidity that we’ve been getting here in mid-Michigan.  Yesterday I went to the grocery store.  When I came out, it was 94°F, according to my car.  I’m sure the inside temperature was more like 1265°.  And what did I have lots and lots of?  Frozen food.  No ice cream, luckily.

Yesterday I also tried to use my clothes line for the first time, regardless of the fact that the humidity levels meant the clothes would be dry someone around next Tuesday.  But that ended up not mattering, because not an hour after I got them on the line, thunder started to rumble in the distance and a big ol’ thunderstorm moved in.  My stupid desktop radar lied to me!

Today, it is once again really hot.  However, I chose to try canning for the first time.  I really couldn’t put it off, as I had all this fruit, and I’m going to visit Mackers tomorrow.  So, I canned.  And I have to say, it took a long time for the small amount that I did.  I decided to stick to something very, very simple, since trying a new technique and a new recipe all at once seemed like a Bad Idea.  Hence: syrups.  I ended up with six jars of strawberry syrup and three jars of blueberry syrup.  That’s a lot of syrup for a house that doesn’t eat a lot of pancakes.  But, I’m planning on taking one of each to Dr. Mom and Moll, and I want to give some to my sister.  The Man only cares about the strawberry, so as long as I leave him two jars of that, I’m good.

One response so far

Mar 05 2008

Warning: It’s winter.

Published by under Outdoors,Rants

I have ForecastFox added on to my browser. It displays the current conditions, and the projected conditions for the next two days. It also tells me if there are any severe weather alerts for my area. I have recently noticed that there has been a severe weather alert every. single. day. for about a month. You know why? Snow, mostly. Sometimes wind. Other times cold. Not just any cold, SEVERE cold.

I don’t like to break it to the National Weather Service, but in certain parts of the country snow+cold+wind=winter. It’s a season, not a severe weather situation. I can understand if I lived in Arizona and the temperature dropped to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and there was ice, but this is Michigan. What did they think was going to happen from late October – early April? Sun? There is no sun, most of the time. It’s overcast because it’s about to snow, or it just finished snowing, or because there’s a cold front moving in off the lakes.

You can’t bother us by putting out an alert that it’s going to snow. This is not news. It’s nothing to get excited about. It’s normal. You can warn us that there’s going to be an ice storm – we appreciate that. We need to know that it will take us an extra half hour to chisel the ice off the car in the morning. You can warn us that there are unseasonably WARM temperatures, and so it’s going to rain and because the ground is frozen there’s nowhere for the water to go, so watch out because it’s going to flood. We appreciate that, too, because we don’t like to be surprised. Rain in January is a surprise, because we’re expecting snow. That’s why you don’t have to warn us that it’s going to snow. We know that.

We also know it’s going to be cold. That’s because we live in the north. It gets cold up here. We all own several winter coats, and a pair of boots, and forty scarves, and six pairs of gloves, and at least three hats. We’re prepared for cold. We don’t need to be warned. We came prepared with wardrobe options. We own long underwear. We have thermal socks. We know how to dress in layers. Not just two or three layers, but four or five layers. Did you think we dressed this way because we enjoyed it? No, it’s because we enjoy our fingers and toes, and don’t want them to freeze off. It’s COLD outside. It’s easy to tell that it’s cold because of all the snow on the ground (see previous paragraph).

So please stop issuing these alerts. It’s not helpful. In fact, it’s rather annoying. It’s as though you, who all studied the science of weather for years, have not grasped the simple concepts that any one of our children understand. They all plan Halloween costumes that can be worn over a snowsuit because they know that it gets cold in Michigan early, and stays cold for several months. They know that this is called “winter”. They know it’s nothing to fuss about. Why don’t you?

One response so far

Mar 04 2008

Antsy.

Published by under Outdoors

It’s March, and that means my thoughts are turning toward my yard and what I will do in it when the weather warms. This year I can’t wait to see how my two new trees fared over the winter – will the linden bounce back from its “pot shock”? Will cedar waxwings find my ornamental pear and make my yard their home for a few weeks while they feast on the tiny fruits? Will the tiny spruce grow an inch or two?

These are fascinating questions, but what’s really been on my mind is the new bed/berm I’m planning in the front yard. We removed the mess of brambles that claimed to be roses, and there is now a bare patch waiting for a load of soil to be dumped on it. I have big plans for this little mound of earth including:

  • Moving the terribly abused holly bush from the front of the house. I can’t believe this thing is still alive, but we’ve had nowhere else to put it. I’ll move it and get it a friend so it can berry out again. I love holly for being an evergreen without being needled, and it’s red berries.
  • Moving the iris and tulips that were hidden in the front shrubbery. There’s only a few of each, but they are lovely and deserve a better home.
  • Moving the mystery bulbs behind the shed. Once these were probably in a prime spot, but now they receive no sunshine due to the two large lilacs and the enormous weeping willow. They sprout but do not flower. My mother claims they are daffodils. I hope she’s right. I love daffodils.
  • Getting some grape hyacinth from my sister. Every year I mean to dig some, and every year I forget until the ground is frozen.
  • Putting in crocus. I love crocus. I need that small amount of color in the early spring.
  • Putting in mums. Like crocus, but for end of season color. I used to hate mums, but now I respect them for their hardiness and cheerful color.

But those aren’t the only plans I have, oh no! Because The Man cleared a large portion of our “new” property last year, and that means I have more room to play with. Part of it will be dedicated to two or three berry bushes – blueberries and raspberries, specifically. I will also need a rhubarb patch to satisfy The Man’s cravings for pies. I’m going to add in a nice fat butterfly bush somewhere in there, and a wildflower patch with stepping stones. My peony needs to be dug up and divided, and part of it will go here as well. The Man says he wants some grass, but that just has to be mowed, right? Much better to seed it with flowers. Besides, the whole rest of our yard is grass!

Speaking of planting flower seeds, I’m going to have a row of sunflowers behind the garage. They will get the full sun they crave there, and dress up a rather utilitarian part of the yard while they’re at it. Plus, the birds and chippies will enjoy them.

I really need to sign up for some seed catalogs. Dr. Mom and Moll always have three or four laying around, and it’s so nice to look through them for things that I can’t find in the local greenhouses. Especially heirloom plants.

Mostly I can’t wait for spring. I have enjoyed winter, but now my thoughts are turning towards sunshine and digging in the dirt.

5 responses so far

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