just waiting on the snow

Last week, we got our first little bit of snow. Due to the fact that it had been in the 70s as recently as last weekend, the ground was still quite warm and the snow didn't stick around very long, at least around our house. This morning, we had a couple of light snow showers that mostly melted as they hit the ground. So, it is snow season. Which makes is good timing that we just received the snow pants and winter jacket we ordered for Brooklynn on Friday. Last night, we went out and bought her some snow boots.

We tried one boot on in the store, just to make sure we were being somewhat reasonable in size. It's hard to tell with her and the combination of big clunky shoes and a non-word-using child doesn't help. Brooklynn has some thick feet and we've struggled in the past finding shoes that actually go all the way on her feet. Luckily, the boots are a little bigger anyway and we're hoping they last through the spring, so we didn't have too many issues.

When we got home, we did put both of them on her feet and let her walk around for a little while to make sure that everyone in the family was ok with the purchase including the one who doesn't earn any money. At first, she refused to walk without holding onto someone's hand. I don't know if the boots were a little heavier than she was used to or the soles a little stiffer, but it almost required a short learning period where she acquired the ability to walk all over again.

And soon enough, she was taking huge steps and cruising around the house.

We haven't put the entire ensemble on her yet. We've had the coat and hat and gloves on, and the coat and snow pants, and the boots, but never all items on at the same time. It almost seems a shame to spoil the full picture before we actually have enough snow to warrant their use.

I'm not saying that I'm ready to break out my snow shovel quite yet, but we're prepared. I'd be fine maintaining this nicer weather all the way into December. But, whenever that time does come, we have a cute baby on standby, ready for her first snowman making experience.

Ok, maybe she doesn't really know what's coming, but her dad is ready. And that's really what counts.

seasons will change

From this last weekend weekend On Fire

to a decent dusting of white this morning.

First Snow 2010

Now, considering this is the first snow of the season and we're a week into November, I'm not complaining. It's mostly my own fault, but I don't feel like I fully enjoyed the color and wonderful weather we had this fall and now it's over.

(Brooklynn was not a huge fan of the snow. I think we're moving to Mexico anytime now.)

still waiting for the sun

We've had a few nice days this spring, but recently, it's been more colder than warm and more snow than sun. Hold on one second. Yep, I just checked my calendar and confirmed that it is indeed the middle of May.

I know, some people's weather involves flooding, tornados, and sinkholes that are swallowing houses whole. It could be so much worse than a little frostiness in the morning. It's really hard to complain about wet roads and white rooftops. But when you've had a taste of this as recently as last weekend...

Painter's Hat Outside does make it hard to accept cold as the forecast. We even had to cover up a few of the more delicate flowers we just planted. And here we thought we missed the last frost by at least a month.

We do have a little bit of sun left over from Mother's Day in the form of flowers on one of our end tables. As much grief as I give Rhiannon about her love of plants that are cut and dying before you even bring them home, I will admit they brighten the place up on these dreary days. I guess that will have to do for now.


get outside while you can

Yes, the weather here is turning colder again. Um, I guess no one has informed nature that it's the end of April and snow is no longer supposed to be in the equation. I know, we chose to live near mountains above 6000 feet and far away from any bodies of water that might keep our temp stable and warmer, but still. It doesn't mean I have to like it. It's my website, and I'll complain if I want to.

In honor of the warm weather we've had, Brooklynn says get outside and take a walk when you can.

Out for a Walk

warming it up

On Tuesday this week, Denver had a high temperature of over 70 degrees for the first time since November. Now, for some of our family who lives a little farther north, this may not seem like a big deal, but it has meant a long cold winter with little snow to show for it for us. Not only did we hit 70, we were at 82, a new record high. So, once again, we got out side to enjoy the spring weather.

The glasses might be a little large, but they still work.

And to those of you who might tell me to stop complaining about our cold weather, I say what's stopping you from moving farther south?

get out and live a little

First Swing We've been dealing with a decent amount of snow here the past 24 hours, and, while it is warming up and quickly melting, I really just wanted to remind Mother Nature that is has been officially spring now for over a week and we don't need the 10 to 20 inch snow storms anymore.

In fact, remember last week when it was 70 degrees and we took Brooklynn on a walk to a park about a mile from our house?

Outside, in short sleeves? And put her in a swing for the very first time?

Yeah, we'll take more of that. Thanks.

she has an opinion

We should be sitting down right about now to hear a college jazz concert. Should being the operative word. Instead, we're at home due to a canceled concert andsome uncooperative weather. Brooklynn is not impressed, not one bit. In fact, she'd like to share her opinion of how things went down today. Take That!

I can only imagine what this will be like when she's 16. Help us all.

once more into the breach, dear friends

This winter has been decidedly unlike last year in the fact that we have had cold, snow, and an actual winter season by anyone's standards. So, also unlike last year, we actually got into decorating our tree. O Christmas Tree

Tomorrow we head out once more across the country side. Here's hoping that the snow and cold can cooperate for a couple more interstate drives this year.

Plastic Doesn't Shatter

We're only driving into a winter storm warning. I'm counting on luck and four-wheel drive to be on our side.

real icicle lights

With some of the traveling we'll be doing over the next few weeks, Rhiannon and I decided that if we were going to get lights on our house, we better do it before the Christmas season is over.  That, and the fact that last year we waited until December to get any lights and the selection was pretty picked over. We have LED light strands that allow up to 85 of them to be daisy-chained up to one outlet and they pay for the additional cost in a little over one holiday season. Last year, once we did get the lights, it was easy to put them up.  I don't think we got any real amount of snow worth talking about until sometime in February. Not so this year. It isn't Thanksgiving yet and we just had our second decent snowfall of the season.

One of the lighting decisions we had to make was if we wanted icicle lights for the house or just regular strands. Added cost and the hassle of putting up over 100 feet of lights made the decision pretty easy. Besides, who needs to buy icicle lights when mother nature will do most of the work for you?

Christmas Light Ice Sculpture

is it too early?

Last year, we almost didn't do anything for Christmas outside of put lights on the house. Kind of at the last moment, we put our fake, pre-lit tree without any decorations on it. This year, we have a baby to take pictures of by the decorations, so we're getting on it just a little bit earlier. I figure if all the stores can be in full decoration mode, so can we. We just put light strands on the back deck this evening as it was getting dark.  It was a nice day (rather than two feet of snow), so we figured we better get to it while we could.

Yep. We're Those People

I guess nobody really waits for Santa at the end of the Macy's parade anymore to ring in the season, do they?

sometimes when it rains, it pours

Literally. And when that pouring happens to occur at sub-freezing temperatures, well...

Shoveled - Finally

Best scene of the storm: watching a guy down our street fire up his gas snow-blower to clean his 15 foot driveway while a mom and two kids shoveled in front of their house across the street. Even Rhiannon was out helping me shovel during Brooklynn's naps.

So This Is What "Snow Tire" Means 20-plus inches Fall Hanging On Where We Won't Be Eating

Even Brooklynn took a trip outside. We don't really have baby-sized appropriate winter clothing, mostly due to the fact that she's not really old enough to appreciate the snow. For her, it's just bright and cold. So we wrapped her up in a blanket and took her outside for a minute to get a photo.

Snow Baby

Yes, she's actually sitting in a snow pile from shoveling. She's that hardcore about photo opportunities.

quick change

As much as I complain about the weather (either it's too hot, cold, windy, or it's just too perfect and I have nothing to complain about), I do like to live in a place with four actual seasons. Especially when they are seasonal and have a gradual and predictable progression. Well, maybe not predictable, because then I suppose weather forecasters would be right once in a while.

Last Sunday, we walked up to the grocery store in shorts and t-shirts and Brooklynn in her stroller with no blanket.  It was in the 80s.

On Tuesday, it was chilly, overcast, and rainy. I had an idea of what was coming and decided to get the raking done for the leaves that had fallen from the previous cold snap.

Time to Rake

I'm pretty sure at least one of my neighbors now thinks I'm crazy for taking pictures of a row of leaves in a cold drizzle. About 24 hours later...

Winter Wonderland

This picture was actually taken at 8:30 at night while it was still snowing. You can see the glow from the yard lights on the fence. The long exposure blurred out any actual flakes, but they continued to come down well into the evening, otherwise known as way after the forecasters said the system would be gone.

I think we're packing up Brooklynn's dresses and flimsy outfits for good at this point. She's close to outgrowing most of them anyway, which means that Rhiannon needs to do clothes shopping again sometime. (Note that I said clothes, not shoes. Rhiannon, this means you, pay attention.)

what's this stuff called now?

Just Holding On Winter seems quite determined to wring the last few dying gasps out of fall at our house.  I'm not ready for it at all.

On the other hand, we did what any new parents would do - we dressed our baby half appropriately and took her outside for a photo opportunity. I think her reaction was more along the lines of "Why is it so bright and cold at the same time?" than "Yippee for snow!"  I guess we'll have to wait a year for that type of excitement in the house.

First Snow

how does your garden grow

I don't know that I would call it a full-fledged throwback victory garden, but we are doing the best we can in suburbia without actually ripping up any of our already limited yard.  Considering we just endured about 48 hours of rain, which is a monsoon in Colorado, I'd say our raised bed garden is draining well and staying green.   Garden

Both Rhiannon and I grew up out of town with decent sized gardens, so it isn't something completely foreign to us, but I admit that I am very uneducated when it comes to actually producing edible food in my own backyard.  Rhiannon has dubbed the garden my project, and I have been quite happy to see most of the plants coming up right on schedule.  It's almost like having many small green children before Beta gets here.  (Don't get used to the attention plants; you'll be bumped down on the priority list before too long.)

Strawberries  Banana Pepper

Ok, I don't know much, but I do know that the strawberries and peppers are not quite ready yet.  They still need to incubate a little longer, kind of like Beta.


We are attempting to produce strawberries, green and red bell peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, sugar snap peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes (4 kinds), basil, cilantro, and cantaloupe.  The garden is divided into approximate 1 foot square plots just to help me keep it organized and the tomatoes and herbs are in their own separate large container pot.  I have no idea how it will go, but I'll keep you posted as long as the birth of a small child doesn't completely fry my brain and reduce me to scavenging my next meal off the back deck.

And if the garden is my project, Rhiannon has a few flowers of her own to tend to.  Judging by how well we now care for plants, I'd say we're about as ready for a kid as we're going to get.

Flowers  Flowers

step back and maintain some perspective

Yes, I'm  a little behind.  This was from three weeks ago and I'm just getting to it now.  Rhiannon got out of school after a half day today because of snow.  When I left work this afternoon, it was raining.  No snow.  By the time I got home, I was driving through over a foot of white stuff and it is still coming down.  Amazing what an 800 foot rise in elevation will do. -----------------

Three weeks ago, on a Thursday, I left work early. The Denver Police Department had asked business to start letting employees go home to avoid a huge rush during the “Blizzard of 2009!!” [cue dramatic music].

Yes the roads were bad, but they were drivable. Yes, the wind was blowing, but it wasn’t snowing that hard anymore. And yes, I’m glad I left when I did. I talked to one person at work who took the same stretch of interstate that I did. It took me a half hour to go about 5 miles. I took him almost 2 hours to go three miles.

The weather forcasters predicted it would happen, and after our winter of mild temperatures and little to no precipitation, some of them seemed downright excited to have something dramatic to cover. One can only talk about 70 degree weekends in mid-March for so long apparently before the monotony begins to threaten sanity.

I woke up on Thursday expecting snow but there was nothing on the ground yet. Almost all the school districts chose to trust the weathermen and called of school for the day.  The pictures below are about 8:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Lot 1 Lot 2

Lot 3

So it did snow. More snow than we’ve had all year combined I think. I believe the family we have in North Dakota would refer to it as a light dusting at this point.

And of course, I needed to capture what the roads were like as well.

Highway Road 2

I guess this makes me the crazy guy taking pictures while driving 5 miles an hour on treacherous road conditions. I can’t tell you how many white knuckles were out there. I’m an advocate for caution on slippery roads, but I’m also an advocate for driving 12 miles in less than 6 hours if at all possible.

Again, for people in North Dakota this year, I think these conditions are a pleasant Sunday drive.

I finally had to work a little to shovel. At one point on Thursday afternoon, the snow decided to fight me while I was outside – there was a good half inch of snow at the top of the driveway by the time I shoveled all the way down to the bottom. The work was worth it on Friday morning when I didn’t have to clear all 15 inches at once.

I guess I just need a pickup and blade parked in the garage to push the snow off in situations like these.

DSC_4502 DSC_4507


Yes, they are driving down a sidewalk trail.  I really have to do this sometime late at night.  Maybe without the snow.


I'm avoiding shoveling right now.  It's coming down far faster than I could keep up with and I just don't feel like it.  As much as I wasn't ready to shovel in March, I'm even less excited about it in April.  Yes, we really needed the moisture.  I would have taken a nice 36 hour rain.  Is that too much to ask?  Less wind than last time but a lot more snow, at least at our house.

Next Tuesday, we're supposed to be in the 70s.

get while the getting is good

In less than 24 hours, Denver is supposed to get it’s fourth day with snow in the past nine days.  This comes after spending what seems like the majority of February and March in with days above 50 degrees. In less than 24 hours, we are supposed to be on our way to Minneapolis.  This is the one weekend Rhiannon and I are traveling together between New Year’s Eve and Memorial Day this year.

This morning, the weather forecaster on TV was excited with the news of, “Tomorrow morning at this time, we could be in another blizzard!”  Our timing is bad.

Assuming everything is running on schedule and we do indeed fly out tomorrow morning as planned, we will be gone for all of about 36 hours.  Back when we bought the tickets, it sounded like a great plan.  We save a night of hotel costs and we don’t have to frantically rush out to the airport after work while worrying about traffic and whether or not to take the toll-road.

Our plane boards at 6:15am.  Right now, I kind of feel like rushing and taking the toll road.  We need to be on the road almost as early as I get up for a normal day at work.  That does not make for a relaxing start to the day, especially a weekend day.

Many people have told us to sleep now while we can before the baby is born, and for the most part, we have taken that advice to heart.  Nine to ten hours of non-alarm interrupted sleep has become somewhat commonplace over the past month.

Rhiannon is already planning on sleeping on the plane.  And in the rental car on our drive out of the city.  And maybe taking a nap before we go the wedding reception.  I’m just going to try and stay awake on the plane to make sure we get off at the right stop.

winter, huh?

I realize that everyone has an off day at work from time to time, but the weather people around here missed one. We were suppose to have a dusting over the course of a few hours.  Try several inches right during the morning commute.  I realize that we won't get much sympathy from anyone living in an area that has had record snowfall amounts during September, but this has been the first decent snowfall on a weekday this year.

A little over a week ago, we washed cars outside and it was warm.

Car Wash Car Wash

Car Wash

Why yes, that is a new vehicle now that you mention it.  And on a day like today, it came in handy.  I drove Rhiannon's car and she took the new all-wheel drive vehicle with the snow mode.  Considering I passed a few cars stuck on an uphill stoplight on my way to work this morning and the traction control system in the Mazda was blinking, it's nice to have the option.

Snow - 1/12/09

lack of white

Over the end of last week and this weekend, I keep hearing these words like “snow”, “blizzard”, “winter weather”, and most strange of all, “The Dakotas”.  I’m really not familiar with that last term - maybe it’s a new ski resort up in the mountains that I didn’t notice.  Wherever it is, they have been getting something we haven’t - snow. This will be my 8th winter living in Colorado, and I can’t remember any time that we haven’t had snow by the middle of November.  Now, just to be clear, I’m not asking to be dumped on.  In fact, after writing that first sentence, I will now proceed to knock on any wood surface that I happen to pass by for the next few hours.  And I certainly don't mean to insinuate that we have ever had snow stay for the entire winter.  That type of storm is reserved for Christmas time when we're gone and have to spend 4 hours shoveling into our own garage.  I just mean that outside of a few frozen flurries one day at about 34 degrees, I haven't seen anything resembling a snow flake yet, which is unusual.

I know that the ski resorts have had some snow, and there is suppose to be more white stuff falling in the mountains over the next few days, but nothing for us.  And, considering I still need to buy a new shovel (ours cracked last year in one of the big heavy snow moving days), I hope it holds off for a little while longer.

this is why we're not outdoorsy people

It’s been a little warmer than usual for September as of late, and we’ve had days in the mid to high 80s with strong sun.  I’m not going to complain about this weather, but it has made the house get warmer than expected.  Luckily, unlike July, it cools down in the evenings, so we aren’t faced with the decision to choose between running an air conditioner all night or opening windows to blow warm air into a warm house. We open up windows and it cools down nicely.  I was doing a few last minute things on the computer before we went to bed when Rhiannon called me into the room.

“There’s a bug on my arm and it flies, grab it.”

As I paused to look at the tiny beetle looking bug, it flew away onto the lamp.  Of course, bugs are attracted to light, right?  So I grabbed it from there and threw it in the trash.  One bug down, one happy wife – my day was looking pretty much wrapped up.

Until I heard, “They’re everywhere!”  Yep, same little bug, times about 57, crawling around on the ceiling. Now, right before you go to bed, in your bedroom, above the bed you’re planning on sleeping in is not the place you want to be spraying bug killer.  The whole “Do not inhale” warnings and the thought of dead bugs slowly dropping down onto you in the dark doesn’t make for a good counting sheep substitute.

Luckily, we’re resourceful and we also happen to keep the vacuum cleaner in the upstairs spare bedroom closet.

Those bugs never stood a chance.

In case you’re wondering how I got the 57 stated above, that’s how many bugs I sucked up off the ceiling (or would that be sucked down…?)  The best I can figure, the tiny beetle things were smaller than the openings on our window screen.  Comforting, right?

Before I turned off the lights, I asked Rhiannon if I got them all.  She told me from her cowering position under the covers that she didn’t see any and to turn off the light before she found more.

Last night, there were a few more on the ceiling.  At this rate, we’ll have mosquito netting draped over the bed before the week is out.