So, I decided that we had time, and didn't argue. Went back to the ticket counter, waited in line again, and asked the lady to put Cyan on there. She did... she added "Accompanied by 7 year old sister" on the bottom of my security slip.
This was good.
Then there was about a 4 hour lull in festivities in which we filled with playing with Alex's new chess set and putting Cyan's hair in to a ballerina bun to go along with her brand new ballet outfit.
I knew it was going to be a modest party as both my brothers were still snowed in. So just my dad and his partner with her two daughters were expected to make it... and that was questionable because of the roads. Thankfully, they made it fine about noon and I laid out a spread of snacks, quiche, and shrimp cocktail. We hung out and talked and had a sweet second gift exchange in which I got a thistle feeder for my backyard bird sanctuary. Very exciting... now I may get Goldfinch!
They left about 3pm trying to beat the snow covered icy roads and Don and Logan went down for a nap.
When I told my friend Sarah about the plan she told me that at least I didn't have to take them down right away... technically they are 'winter' decor and not just Christmas... so I could leave them up until March. Smart lady.
BTW... this is the first White Christmas we have had here in my lifetime. I have lived here for all but 2 winters of my 30. We have had dustings of snow the day before and sometimes the day after, but it was always gone on Christmas day... today, I built an igloo with my kids after gift time was over. Yes. We have SNOW. :)
It won't last much longer though.... "rain" is in the forecast for as long... well as long as they will forecast.
I was looking through my picasa albums today and found out that I have a picture of my mushroom through out this last set of snowstorms. lol... I enjoyed looking at it and so I thought you may too.
Make sure you click the captions, it shows the dates and how much snow was on the ground that day. You can see it... but by the end, we had about 15inches of snowfall with about 9 inches actually on the ground. The table in the backyard had about a foot... but it was up off the ground and stayed cooler than the ground so it didn't have as much melt. Right now we are looking at about 6 inches of snow on the ground still, and a beautifully dangerous ice crust over the top.
The worst part about all of this is that we are not prepared. Any of us. Personally we don't have things like slippers, an extra propane tank, a load of wood for the fire place, or wool blankets (downsizing is only a pain when things go wrong. lol!).
I think it is time to get prepared.
Due to the National Weather Service declaring a blizzard warning for the foothills and a winter storm warning for the rest of Pierce County (this is us), citizens are being asked to shelter in place beginning tomorrow at 2 pm (this was today). Because of the high winds also forecast, there is also a strong potential for power outages.
In response to the severe storm predicted this weekend, the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center is activating Saturday at 2 pm.
Sheltering in place means preparing your family and home to ride out the storm -making sure emergency supplies are ready in case of loss of electricity. Supplies include extra food and water, flashlights, radio, batteries, alternative heating sources, extra blankets, first aid kit. Do NOT bring generators, grills, or propane heaters inside, because of potential carbon monoxide poisoning.
Make homemade potato chips:
Stay warm and safe everyone!
I think there is some commotion going on with the red winged blackbird family... some aunty wants to eat at this table... and dad said 'no'. ;)
The newest addition to our bird records is this little lady to the far right above. She is a Savannah Sparrow. Sort of blah in color but amazing detail if you are able to look closer.
And here is our newest little buddies... two Mourning Doves... arn't they beautiful? They are rather puffy trying to keep warm, but I can't really blame them as every single one of these shots was taken through my window with the saftey and comfort of the heater blowing right on me.
This is today, in Seattle. We are guessing they are on a hill. Because people screaming 'help' means they have NO way to stop... they are just sliding.
Lately we have been throwing money at problems just to make them go away. I have bought instead of made for Christmas this year just to get it done on time (and I still have felt like it was a huge hassle to try and find the few things I could put together myself. Moving is a pain!) Mostly handmade, and mostly local, and some even used, but still, bought... with money... not made by me per-usual. There have been many things that we have needed to fix about the house (as is true with every move I have heard) and that has cost us as well. Many things have needed a bit of cash to be made comfortable. And why, oh why, in this time of giving and need of monetary things due to moving and Christmas do my children pick to have a growth spurt? ALL of them. And why, does it mean that this week both my pair of Dr Martins have broken? lol... at this point, the little things like taking shoes to repair shops and having to buy 4 pairs of pants that fit Alex and a winter coat with sleeves long enough for Logan... well it all just makes me laugh. Because heck... what else can you do?
So today, we were going to REI for wool stockings (for my feet at work, not for above the fireplace) and those pocket hand warmers, and I saw that Once Upon a Child (which is next door) was having a sale. 50% off all winter gear. Logan has one warm coat that fits (courtesy of my favorite other toddler being slightly bigger) and all of his pants are magically too short all of a sudden. So I decided to step in there and for a total of $44 I got:
One grey GAP wool pea coat with a hood size 3t
One Tommy Hilfiger red winter jacket size 4t
three pair GAP jeans with adjustable waists size 3t
one warm red track jacket size 3t
one warm track jacket in navy blue terry size 3t
one pair Stride Right shoes size 9 (toddler)
and one GAP long brown light coat size 10
The brown coat is too big for Cyan, but it was $5 and in PERFECT condition. I figure there are a few things I can store till next fall and feel like it was completely worth it!
It was a fun trip and I felt really good about insisting we went in there for the deal. Now Logan is all set. Every one else needs shoes *sigh* but at least we all have nice warm winter coats for this crazy cold spell we have been having.
I came home, and my cousin Karen had dropped off a bunch of clothes that she got from various used places for the kids. She has GREAT taste and esp Cyan is crazy excited about some of the things she was able to find. All long sleeves. All big enough.
What a fun used clothing day. :)
Here is my variety list so far:
Black Capped Chickadee
and a tiny woodpecker I have yet to find a variety for that likes hanging out in my oak tree and pulling moss off to find bugs.
This is a pretty common list for around here. In fact, there are some varieties that I had at the other house that I still have not seen here. BUT, it is the amount of birds that astounds me. At any moment each morning, you can see about 25 birds in my backyard. They come in flocks. 5 Red Winged Blackbirds that decide to raid the suet feeder at the same time. 4 Stellar Jays that come for the acorns and can be seen pecking the ground and flipping leaves up in the air. Chickadees and Nuthatches coming one after the other all morning long to the black oil sunflower seed feeder. It is amazing!
Here is a slide show of all the critters we have seen and gotten pictures of so far.
Can you see them both? It isn't a very good picture, but one is on the swing branch, and the other is up to the right on a curved branch.
It will be lots of fun documenting what types of critters we have here. I feel a unit study coming on! (In homeschool related news, come and see what we have been doing over here!)
But always the jars remain the same old trusty glass jars that I have washed and refilled hundreds of times. I think I have only ever broken two. And one was in an earth quake when Don and I were first married. So that doesn't count, but let me tell you, a glass gallon jar of rice and 4 quart mason jars of homemade applesauce can create quite the mess.
I am excited to have created this pantry in my new house. It is starting, slowly, to feel like home. I just put rub-on fairies and bugs up on Cyan and Logan's wall, I hung and filled some of our bird feeders and put out the bird bath, I put our bed side tables on the sides of our bed (imagine that. ;) ), I pulled the boxes of cloth napkins out and put them in newly fixed drawers, I did laundry with the dryer my handy husband fixed yesterday. Things are starting, slowly but surely, to feel like my home.