Brrrr!

I took this photo shortly after posting the last entry here, and I loved the way it turned out…it was still not very light outside, as you can tell!

We are down to “only” one winter advisory now and that is for lake effect snow.  That shouldn’t be too bad, as we seldom get much of that, but….one never knows for sure.  The most annoying aspect of our wintry weather is that it has brought in much colder air than we were enjoying! (oh wait, it *is* winter, after all!)

The kids are expecting some company this evening for an (early!) New Year’s celebration. They will be ending the festivities at 10 pm so they can be safe at home when the clock strikes midnight!

And so *it* Continues…..

“IT”?  you ask….

This is from that cute little red banner today:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BUFFALO NY
638 AM EST WED DEC 31 2008
…GENERAL SNOW TO IMPACT THE REGION THIS MORNING FOLLOWED BY
LAKE EFFECT SNOW THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT…
.LOW PRESSURE CENTERED OVER WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA EARLY THIS
MORNING WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE TO THE EAST AND SETTLE OFF THE
SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND COAST BY EARLY AFTERNOON. WHILE THE STEADY
SNOW FROM THIS SYSTEM WILL TAPER OFF FROM WEST TO EAST LATER THIS
MORNING…COLD NORTHWEST WINDS WILL SET UP BANDS OF LAKE EFFECT
SNOW SOUTHEAST OF THE LAKES DURING THE AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT.
BRISK NORTHERLY WINDS WILL ALSO IMPACT THE AREA THROUGHOUT THE
DAY THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF TONIGHT. THIS WILL RESULT IN
WHITEOUT CONDITIONS WHERE THE HEAVIER SNOW PERSISTS THE LONGEST.

Introducing “our” world of……………………..white!

This snow is actually above the backs of the Scots.  Excuse me, if you will. Seems I have just a *bit* of work awaiting outside…..

Ummm….did I mention our somewhat “fickle” weather here?  Yeah, I thought so……..

Quiet Day and Great for Photos…

The kids went over to visit one of their friends this afternoon on the other side of the lake.  As I drove them over,  we took the high road, and I (of course) had to stop to take a couple of photos.  Ben groaned loudly as I stepped out of the Explorer…. 

With so much snow melting off in a matter of a couple of days, the runoff into the lake had to be astronomical.  In the photo below, you can see the result of all the  massive runoff in the form of murky, muddy water!

On my way back home after dropping off the kids,  I stopped in Woodville to see if there was anything to photograph.  I was surprised to see men out on the lake fishing.  Although it was bright and sunny today, the lake was rather windy and chilly!

I had to chuckle at the fshing lure hanging in the tree….

I thought I was pleased with the few photos I took today.  No more sky shots. Or, so I thought! After going outside on the porch to see the UPS man, I walked back (towards the west) and YIKES! LOOK at the sky!

*Just* before the sky grew really dark,  I placed the dial of my camera on “P” mode and braced myself against the railing….no monopod,  no tripod!

If you click twice on the photo below,  take a look in the center of the photo, and you can see a red light.  This is a red flashing light on a large tower over at the county park about two miles away! I was so psyched to actually catch that light! Especially since I held my breath and counted to 8 seconds!

And, since I was feeling so *smug*, I took another photo off the front of the porch, looking southward.  In this photo, I captured a star! (at the treetops!)

Well, that is it. I have decided that I would rather take photos of nature than Christmas lights! Much less “fussy”!

WooHoo! Hang onto Your Hat

For the past many days, every time I have looked at the weather online,  a little red warning banner has spanned across the report.  It has varied with many themes….snow warnings,  winter advisories,  and blowing and drifting snow alerts.  Yesterday, with temperatures soaring well above freezing, the banner showed up again…this time warning of flooding and ponding on roadways. 

Today, the little red banner appeared like clockwork again.  Today’s warning?  High winds!  We were advised that another front was going to be pressing in late this morning, causing damaging winds. 

When I was working in the bedroom this morning,  I loved the way the sun lit up the hill across the valley from us….

I went outside for a bit this morning, and looking up at the sky, it was hard to believe those high wind warnings!  It was so beautiful!

Michelle and I went out late this morning to power wash the truck and Explorer.  As long as the temperature was above the freezing mark, we thought it would be good to wash off the messy brine from the road that had accumulated on them.  It didn’t take long and they surely looked improved after the little bath.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to go out.  By this time, the winds were beginning to really whip about.  We went up by the mall and the kids asked if they might run in for a few minutes. While Mark and the Scotts and I waited for them, we actually had to start the truck to warm it up a bit, as the winds blew and made the truck cool off so fast!

It is easy to see in the above photo how the traffic lights were swaying like kites in the breezes!  We were certainly ready to leave the area and head home when the kids finished looking around! As we drove back up onto the main road, the lights shown above, along with several others were out! Oops….high winds often mean no electricity!

When we returned home, the house had also cooled off to the point that I needed to quickly get a fire going in the woodstove!  Wow! It is so hard deciding how to dress, whether a fire is necessary or not, etc, in this wildly fickle weather! The winds are still blasting through the woods….home sure feels so good tonight!

Saturday Skies…

We decided to go up to Henrietta,  a suburb of Rochester (also known as a shopping mecca to Rochestarians) today.  Mark was wanting to shop for some stain for a table he is refinishing.  Since we weren’t going to be anywhere to take awesome photos,  my family watched me drag along my big, bulky camera bag and collectively shook their heads….

Well, all I can say is that even when there isn’t really anything to photograph,  one *can* find something! Case in point today is the awesome sky!  I took photos at different times throughout the day and I just bet there is one in this series that might catch *your* eye!

I really like the photo with the traffic light.   What a terrific day this was for sky shots!

We Get Weather….Whether or NOT!

Mark and the kids were getting antsy yesterday afternoon, so the three of them set out to Canandaigua just to get some fresh air.  I stayed home with the Scottie boys and enjoyed some total quiet. Ahhh!

Before Mark left, he called me outside to have a look at the top of the driveway.  Can you say “icy sliding board”?

Yes, I know….what a strange thing….how did I happen to have my camera handy?  Well, in all honesty, I didn’t.  I went in the house and got it after everyone left.  After all, I know a good photo op when I see one!

With the “up and down” weather we have here,  we now have what I call “miracle snow”.  I call it that because people can now miraculously walk on top of the snow!  It fell so beautifully, then was “polished” by winds, strengthened by freezing rain and sleet,  then the final burnishing winds gave it a nice “lustre”! Oh, and by the way?  If  one plans on walking upon this miracle snow,  they would be well-advised to wear some of those spiky little things on the bottom of their shoes (you know those metal spikes advertised in magazines)…..this stuff is *majorly* slippery!

It was growing late and the sun was wanting to head on over the hills.  As I looked at it, I was uncertain what today would bring….that sky looks very, very unsettled to me!

Oh, and Hey! While I was out in the driveway, I noticed that someone in the family left me the coolest little ice sculpture! Yes, I *am*  an opportunist with the camera!  Apparently, someone left thier ice water in a cup holder in the truck and it formed such a beautiful little gem!

Lucky me….the sun steaked across the sky for one last “hurrah” before heading over the hills.  It gave such a pretty sparkling effect on my subject!

Hmmm….so you don’t like the look of our weather yesterday?  HA! No problemo!  This morning,  Mr. Murphy decided I should get up before 5 am and feed his little rumbling tummy.  As I gained consciousness,  I heard rain.  No, not just a gentle rain, but harsh, pounding rain on the roof!

I washed a few dishes that were left on the counter, then fed the ravenously hungry little boys.  As they finished up,  I put on my winter jacket.  We headed out the door and it “hit” me!  Instead of freezing cold breezes slapping my face,  I was faced with much warmer air than I expected!

As we trounced down the steps to the ground below,  all of the ice on the driveway has been washed away! It looks like a new day with a completely different set of scenery!  Ah, you really gotta love weather…..whether, or not!

He is Still the Reason for the Season!

Yesterday, we spent a considerable amount of time in the living room, so I switched on the little light on the nativity scene.  As I did so, I carefully looked at the little manger scene…..

My father-in-law had given us the set as he was moving from his apartment into a nursing home in October of 2004.  This was one of his little “treasures”….having grown up in the Catholic church, every year at Christmas,  the very important nativity set came out.

Mark told me that his dad had crafted the little stable from plywood, bark, and moss.  He drilled a small hole in the back so he could mount a nightlight bulb in the stable to light it up.  In looking at the figurines, I spotted a little “Japan” label on the bottom of one of the wise men.  The original Mary figurine had broken, and he replaced it with one that is unbreakable.

When we took the box containing the manger scene home on a very cold October day, we had no way of knowing that Mark’s dad would leave us in just a few short months, in January, 2005.  I am glad we took that little nativity scene,  as we never had one before.  It is very pretty, and sitting on a table near the front door,  it is a good reminder for us about the reason we celebrate at Christmas!

It’s Almost Here!

Even though some radio stations have gone to “72 hours of Christmas music” with no interruptions, it seems hard to believe it is almost Christmas!  Harder still to believe we will be turning the page on a new calendar in just a few days!

The kids had two of their friends over this afternoon and for dinner.  I always enjoy having the kids over as it is fun talking to them.  They went sled riding through our woods for quite a long time before coming in to get warm and watch an old movie. (Holiday Inn)  The weather was much kinder today than yesterday, with not only warmer temperatures, but also decreased wind!

Mark didn’t feel very well this morning when he woke up. His stomach was feeling out of sorts.  As the day progressed, he did feel better.  I made him a tiny portion of rice and he ate that and sipped on water that I flavored with a small amount of raspberry iced tea.  He also ate one of the rolls I made for dinner.  In between taking sips of the water, he slept some and I think that helped a lot!

As I treaded up the stairs tonight, I was disappointed I hadn’t taken any pictures today.  Just as I was about to flop onto the bed, I noticed a beautiful flower on my white Christmas cactus.

While my other cactus has had many flowers on it, this cactus seems like it is having a hard time producing even one flower!

A busy but enjoyable day.