Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Almost Hating Winter...

Outside my east window yesterday
I say "almost" because it is indeed beautiful. But I'm kind of tired of not being able to enjoy it. I feel cooped up for a number of reasons, some of them just my own inability to get out there, and some are just constraints of job and other responsibilities. 

Yesterday, we waited. And waited. And waited. Because the snow was coming down really fast - about 2" per hour, which is much more than the plows could keep up with. Pictures throughout this entry will show you that it wasn't exactly pretty. 

Well, it is pretty. If you don't have to drive in it. If you're playing in it, it's great. 

I kind of felt that IDOT was staging snow plow drivers in my parking lot because they'd come. Sit. Then go. The campus is at a pretty major set of intersections for the local highways, and I'm sure they were planning their strategy to handle this mess. 

Finally, though, we got word that night classes were cancelled, and I managed to catch my assistant before he left. He drives easily 45 minutes to an hour to get to the campus, and I didn't want to have him start off on the barely passable highways (all of them in his neck of the woods were pretty messed up) only to have to turn back. 

Even my yoga class was cancelled, which turned out to be a good call. The roads in my subdivision were not plowed when I got home. My trek home took one hour. It's normally 25 minutes, so it wasn't that this was a huge, huge commute. I know folks had it worse. But the roads on the way home were pretty pathetic.
Ice under this snow

And I had a hot-dogger... Some guy in a Yukon pickup apparently thought that going about 25-30 mph in THIS mess was too slow. Because, of course, he has 4WD. So do I. 

And you know what? There was ice under that snow. And 4WD slides really nicely on ice. He flew by me going at least 40 mph. I didn't see him in any ditches, but then again, Heaven only knows where he thought he was going.

This road is normally a pretty busy road. It seems that people finally took heed and if they didn't need to be out there, they weren't. I did leave earlier than our expected closing, but I'm not going to wring my hands about it. I wanted to get out before everyone else left work, and while it was still light out. 

Snow pack
This is a major intersection. Take a peek at the "plowing." The plows seem to have made an initial foray by just swiping 2 lanes. This is normally a 4-lane intersection, with additional turn lanes. Everyone behaved themselves, though the larger vehicles wanted to squeeze into slightly skinnier lanes. I have one of those "fat" trucks and I was a little nervous trying to get into the turn lane and not have my passenger-side mirror knocked off by an ambitious driver to my right. Everyone obeyed the lights; nobody was acting like a fool. And as far as I know, we all made it home safely. 

Of course, I went outside to take pictures. I was out a total of perhaps 2 minutes. It was mild, inasmuch as it would be when it's snowing like crazy. The wind was picking up and this is what I looked like when I came in. My sweatshirt was covered and the snow on the sidewalk was up over the top of my boots. 

Snow sparkles
My friend from IT called to see if she could come out earlier to do her updates and she informed me that "your parking lot sucks." It was at least 5" deep out there... 

Nobody came from our service to plow. I'm pretty sure we're last on their list. Problem is, our operations START when most businesses are closing down! Anyway, I hope to get that straight with the landlord sometime soon. 

I talked to Hubby about bringing my snowshoes. You know we have that area around the campus. I can take a short hike during lunch. I can't use the skis. Mainly, I don't fit into the boots anymore. But also, I tend to fall on my rear end. Not good for work!

But I can get on the snow shoes, tool around for about 10 minutes, and just get off my butt more. It's supposed to rain mid-week, and then snow again. I would like to get out in it -- I think I'm just depressed about being cooped up. Maybe a little dose of winter sunshine will help. 

I came home, made some soup and just had an evening at home, which seems to be more and more rare...


Had 2 heads of green cauliflower (not brocco-flower, but GREEN cauliflower) and I made soup. Same Cream of Cauliflower, but I didn't use any Canadian bacon. I had sliced portobello mushrooms, which I thought about adding, then I realized they'd turn the entire batch mud-colored. Not appetizing!

So I sauteed them, wrapped them in a tortilla and had a nice sandwich with my soup. That'll be dinner tonight, too. Oh, Raisa not only sings along with Kid #2 and the harmonica... She'll sing along with the stick blender. That was interesting.

I'm back to trying to cut out the sugar and refined "stuff" in my diet, and it's working so far. Lucky for me, I can eat the same thing time and again. I know it makes me feel better, but jeeze - when Kid #2 starts baking, I can barely stand it!! 


The Nephew Afgan is DONE!! Well, almost. Here's a picture of it. I ended up calling my LYS and having them set aside 2 hanks of the yarn for me. I'm going to crochet an edging around it. It needs something because one edge curls. It's 75% acrylic and 25% wool, so it won't "just block out." So I talked with my friend D and we agreed: crochet around, once, in each color. First off, it will pop the colors out, since as you can see, it's marled now. Second, it'll straighten out the edges. Third, it'll add a little length and width to the piece.
Nephew Afghan

It's on my California King bed. It takes up, I would say, about a twin-sized section. The extra edging will, I think, make it a tad fancier, and a bit nicer. My nephew is a biggish guy - this will make it more his size. 

I've started Teal Sock #2 and I also made a list today of the projects I'd like to do for 2014. I have to see if Blogger lets me set that chart as a sidebar on the blog. This may require some research and some tweaking. 

I don't want to move to WordPress, but I do want a little more freedom to design this space the way I want to. 

As for the nephew and the fiancee -- as you may recall, I was upset about her behavior at the shower. An hour late, no explanation... many things. My mom got the pics back. I took them, with Sis's camera. She says that Fiancee looks VERY impressed with my gift. Which is nice. I try to pick something that I think people will like. 

But that still doesn't excuse ill-mannered behavior. I worry about him. He's a soft soul. And I'm not so sure about her. Maybe I'm over-thinking this.


Is fitting in nicely. We are all off-leash now. Yesterday, Quinn snapped at her, but that stuff will happen, and from what I'm told, Raisa deserved it. She's taken to giving the Elkhounds a big slurpy kiss. This is usually pack behavior, and in her situation, it means, "I'm so happy you're my friend." She also likes to lick Tippi's ears. Tippi tolerates this much better than Quinn, mostly because Tippi is more emotionally stable.

Training last week was a joke. As a typical Husky, she's nuts. We did several things... Except that Raisa and I had to concentrate on ONE thing. Loose-leash walking. Which was mostly STOPPING for us. You let the lead out, they pull. You stop. Wait till the dog gives you slack till you move again. Stop when she pulls.

Raisa the cat
Go ahead. Imagine. Yeah, it took us most of a half-hour to get down one aisle. Bobbie used her as the "bad example." I think I may have to move closer to Hubby & Quinn. I was trying to keep us apart so that she could concentrate, but I don't think it's working. She seemed almost frantic to get back to them. So I don't know if that means she's bonding more with Hubby, who's with her all day, or just sees Quinn as "hers" and she's not happy unless she can see her. 

I took Quinn briefly and she freaked out. She's definitely a Daddy's girl. Which is fine. 

And I know - Raisa is not even 6 months old. We have to have patience. Well... I have to have patience. She's not Tippi and she's not River-the-robo-dog.

She is, however, as you can see here: Raisa the cat-dog. This morning, before we got Arlo up, she tried to climb onto Arlo's table for a better look. 

Oh my. 

She hasn't tried counter-surfing yet. I don't think she will. I shouldn't say that. 

Back door
Random Picture...

The snow outside my back door yesterday. It really was poetic. Simultaneously swirling and dumping, the snow had a ballet all its own. 

Backing up to a forest preserve, we have this wild area where we can just enjoy the scenery. There's a service road back there, but mostly, it's just us and the hawks. We have a lovely paved patio area and the concrete planters hold Coral Bells in the spring/summer/fall. The trees directly out back are pine trees; I have no idea why they were planted, but I would have preferred they keep it just to the native plants. Right behind those pines, it drops off pretty steeply. I haven't been back there and I won't do that while I'm at work. Maybe Hubby and I can explore that; it's Park District land, so maybe there's a trail in there somewhere.

As you can see, it's piling up. And I still maintain it's pretty. 

I think I've just got cabin fever. 

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