Category Archives: weather

Chilly Appreciation

Liar!

Liar!

See what my iPhone 5S’ weather app showed this morning?

Reality

Reality

Compare that to what it really looked like outside. Although it did rain last night and early this morning, I didn’t see any snowflakes at our house. Plus it had stopped even drizzling by the time I took the weather app screenshot.

When it’s cold and windy, as it is right now (30 degrees but feels like 17 degrees), I always think we might as well have some snow to remind us that it truly is winter. It makes for such a great photo op!

Yikes!

No thanks!

But then I’m reminded that I experienced enough snow and frigid temperatures during my 30 years in the Chicago area to last a lifetime.

Right now I’m appreciative of our “milder” Houston winter, with or without snow!

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But the Water Doesn’t Look Deep Purple

Steam rises in the cold air from our swimming pool.

Steam rises in the cold air from our swimming pool.

Check out this smoke on the water!

The sun intensifies the effect.

The sun aids the effect.

I know what song is stuck in the heads of those of you of a certain age.

You’re welcome!

From Brrrrr to Ahhhh!

Although it’s getting a bit warmer in Chicago, it’s still too brisk for me.

Chicago is too brisk for me.

Today I’m flying home after a wonderful visit in Chicago with my beloved relatives and a couple friends. I’ll return from being a temporary Midwesterner once again and resume extending the Texan part of my life (hopefully, for a loooong time).

I’m looking forward to the milder temps.

I’m looking forward to the milder temps.

Just consider me gone (back) to Texas!

My Half & Half Anniversary

Gosh, I hate the cold!

Gosh, I hate the cold!

Thirty years ago tomorrow, I made a momentous decision: I left Chicago, where I had celebrated my 30th birthday in mid-August, and followed a guy to San Antonio. Like pioneers in the 1800s, I put a “gone to Texas” sign on my apartment door (well, not really, since I didn’t know my Texas history back then), and off I went on a wing and a prayer.

Much better!

Much better!

After spending about a year in San Antonio, I moved to Houston, as did the guy. It was there on August 25, 1988, that my life changed for the better: I met the Mister on the Rice University bike track as I trained for a duathlon (run-bike-run). The rest, as they say, is history. I traded icy, cold winters for ridiculously hot and humid summers. But I also found a warm and welcoming home.

Ironically, today I’m in Chicago, my old stomping grounds, visiting my mom and freezing my butt off. Karma perhaps?

Brothers and besties

Brothers and besties

Looking at all that I’ve gained over the last 30 years—the Mister and our sons, as well as my wonderful in-laws and lots of cherished friends—I’d say I have a lot to celebrate tomorrow.

On Sunday, I will be more of a Texan than a Midwesterner. As much as I adore Chicago and Illinois and always will, my true loves live in the Lone Star state.

And so will I, probably for the rest of my life. I’m truly and wholly thankful!

Rainy Day Players and Photographers

My younger son lasers in his birdie putt amid the raindrops.

My younger son lasers in his birdie putt amid the raindrops.

According to the Southwest Handicap Mini’s fearless leader, Eric, it should never rain on Tuesdays during the 18-hole disc golf tournaments. So we were all surprised when Mother Nature had the audacity to defy Eric and briefly dump some drops on our heads during this week’s contest at Community Park in Missouri City.

Mike keeps the basket in his sights.

Mike keeps the basket in his sights.

As much as I don’t like getting my photographic equipment wet, I went with the flow (literally) and just kept on shooting while hoping for the best. When I looked at my pics in Photoshop later, I loved how my fast shutter speed had captured not only the action but also the rain.

Glen hams it up with his no-look putt.

Glen hams it up with his no-look putt.

Talk about your spray and pray!

Winter’s Last Gasp . . . But Not Really

My younger son hopes his jump putt hits the chains.

My younger son hopes his jump putt hits the chains.

Yesterday was the first day of spring. Here in the Houston area, all that means is that March 20th’s weather was virtually the same as on March 19th—beautiful.

And not cold at all, thank goodness!

Hiral shows his serious putting side.

Hiral shows his serious putting side.

The last day of what passes for winter here found me at Imperial Park at our weekly Southwest Handicap Mini series. This is the best time to play disc golf there, because the foliage is beaten down and thinned out. Discs don’t get lost as often as they do during the summer when the park regains its lushness and is more challenging.

Purple power!

Purple power!

Of course, I’m drawn to Imperial as much for the nature as watching the kid play. As I approached hole seven, my eye immediately was drawn to bright batches of phlox. I’ve seen that wildflower here before but never in such abundance.

Maybe this is foxglove?

Another purple park inhabitant

My Nikon 105mm macro lens captured the few flora that were ready for prime time this early. We should see plenty more, though, in a month or so when the series returns to the ever-blooming park.

A wee spider peeks out from his lantana perch.

A wee spider peeks out from his lantana perch.

Wonder if this guy will stick around?

Returning to What Passes as Normal

That’s much better!

That’s much better!

When I last left all of you, I was kvetching about the bone-chilling conditions in Chicago.

I returned home yesterday from my short visit to my hometown and was greeted by a glorious final day of spring break. Of course, we know that before long I’ll be kvetching about how flippin’ hot it is here in Houston. But let’s not go there right now.

I enjoyed a splendid time in the windy city, where I was reminded of what I miss and don’t miss about my kind of town.

Just so ugly!

Just so ugly!

Number one with a bullet on that don’t-miss list? Dirty snow! As well as constant temperatures at or below 32 degrees. No, thank you!

This iPhone 5 photo does NOT do this magnificent work of art justice.

This iPhone 5 photo does NOT do this gastronomical work of art justice.

Can you tell what I miss second-most about Chicago? Yep, it’s the great food. During my four days there I managed to consume a Portillo’s hot dog, Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza, half a corned beef sandwich on rye, and ribs at L Woods. So delicious!

My mom (right) and her twin sister sandwich the birthday girl.

My mom (right) and her twin sister sandwich the birthday girl.

Of course, what I miss most about Chicago is family. So it was wonderful being able to spend quality time with my mom as well as her twin sister, who also stayed with her. It also was great sharing dinner with my brother (the hot-shot Chicago lawyer) and his family at L Woods.

The marquee event of the weekend, though, was helping my mom’s younger sister celebrate her 70th birthday last Saturday night. Believe me, this gal looks terrific! And she’s as beautiful inside as she is outside. I also got to spend more time with my little bro as well as my cousins, who I don’t get to see often enough.

All in all, it was well worth braving the cold; I’m really glad I visited. And I’m looking forward to making another trip north this year . . . probably in September.

When the weather should be ideal!