Tag Archives: snow

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!

The Non-Snow Day

Our front lawn looks a little too green.

When is a snow day not a snow day? When there’s nary a snowflake in sight!

Our Houston meteorologists almost had been giddy with excitement all week, virtually promising us that we would have a rare snowfall last Friday. Our schools even closed an hour early in anticipation of the nasty weather we were about to have last Thursday evening. Soon we received the news that thrilled every kid: All the schools in the Houston area would be closed the next day.

That especially was good news for my #2 son, who stayed home from high school Thursday with a bad cold and a fever. He really need another day to recuperate and sleep in late . . . well, after he woke up early to see the one to three inches of snow we were supposed to have.

Ice was plentiful on the plants’ leaves.

So what did we wake up to last Friday? Ice on the plants, grass, and some roads after a night of freezing rain. But that fluffy white stuff? It totally missed the Houston area, spreading its joy and woe north of our fair city.

My younger son can hardly believe what he doesn’t see!

Talk about disappointing! All those wonderful snow-filled photos I was looking forward to shooting?

Ice dots some delicate leaves.

I had to settle for snapping away at our icy environs. Yes, they’re pretty in their own way.

Icy patterns form on our pool’s waterfall.

But it ain’t snow!

Sidebar: It’s tough being a weather forecaster in the Houston area. During the summer, every day is pretty much the same: Hot and humid with a 20 percent chance of rain. Not much to get excited about. So when a hurricane or a blizzard comes close, every news station in town mobilizes its team to bombard us with complete, hours-long coverage of what all too-often turns into a silly nonevent. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost!

Icicles hang from an outside storage bin.

Of course, I lived more than half my life in the Chicago area, so I don’t ever have to see snow again. But my #2 son has rarely experienced the flakey stuff, and he was so looking forward to building another snowman.

A disc that my younger son left out in the grass overnight is covered in ice.

Still, the kid managed to have fun with the ice that was everywhere except on the ground (thank goodness!).

Breaking up the ice on our garbage can is cold work!

But next time the forecasters say it’s going to snow, I hope they get it right. Snow fooling!

Looking Back at 2009, Part II

Snack time! (July 14th blog post from Seattle)

Happy one-year blogiversary! It’s hard to type while there are streamers and confetti flying all over my home office, but I’ll try my best!

Today I’m continuing to look back at my 2009 blog entries. Yesterday’s post took care of the first six months. Now let’s check out some of my favorite posts and pix from July through December.


"Palm trees" swaying in the air

I had fun taking photos on the fourth of July in our community: Fabulous Photo Fourth!

Purple hydrangeas on Bainbridge Island

Flower power was in full bloom while we vacationed in Seattle: Flower Fix.


The happy #2 son during a good round.

My #2 son competed in the disc golf world championships in Kansas City: Lessons Learned at the Disc Golf World Championships.

The #2 son and his good friend Marcus talk.

The Mister and I actually managed to embarrass our 14-year-old #2 son: Partying With the Dinosaurs—A Night at the Museum.


"You looking at me?"

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed shooting with my beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens until I used it at a disc golf tournament: Visiting With an Old Friend.

Who can resist #1’s baby blues?

A somewhat-heavy envelope addressed to my #1 son left me feeling suddenly blindsided and teary-eyed: A Large Envelope Makes Me Sad.

Our team celebrates a good block.

I shot a lot of high school sports photography this month, from cross-country (documenting my #2 son) to volleyball to football. The toughest to shoot? Volleyball! Photo Friday: Meeting the High ISO Challenge.


Christin, Cameron, and Grace take their bows at the end of the play.

Readers’ eyes probably were rolling, as I discussed using exposure compensation when shooting a high school play: The Non-Delightful Light Battle; Warning: Eyes May Glaze Over (what a long title!).

The #2 son shows off his team and seventh-place medals.

The #2 son’s high school cross-country team won its first freshman title: We Are the Champions, My Friend!


Victor tries to outjump the defender for a potential winning touchdown pass.

My sons’ high school football team almost won its first game amid the distractions of Homecoming: The Many Facets of a High School Homecoming Football Game (yet another long title!).

There's my boy!

This was the first of a three-day series about giving thanks. Here I was very thankful that my #1 son has a part-time job at the public library: Giving Thanks, Part 1.


Snow in my backyard.

Holy cow! It snowed here in the Houston area; that’s a rare occurrence (it was only the third time my sons had seen the white stuff): Let It Snow . . . For Real!

Both sons smile at the halfway point of Chanukah.

Chanukah lasts eight nights, and I was able to squeeze five blog posts out of the holiday! This one was the second of those five: At the Halfway Mark.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this sentimental journey as much as I have. I really had fun blogging in 2009, and I’m looking forward to even more random snippets and apertures in 2010!

Snowbo, We Hardly Knew Ye

The patriotic Snowbo the Hobo II Saturday

Remember Snowbo the Hobo II, as constructed by the #2 son Friday night? He didn’t look all that great when he was built, due to a lack of nongrassy snow in our backyard. Several days of warmer weather plus rain did poor Snowbo no favors.

Help me, I'm melting! (Sunday)

Snowbo is going . . .

The very grassy Snowbo yesterday

Going . . .

No more Snowbo today.


Snow Much Fun!

The #2 son is anxious to get started.

The end of Friday’s blog post read that I hoped that it was still snowing by the time my #2 son got home from school at 3 p.m. As you may recall, it had been snowing most of the day, which is fairly unusual in the Houston area. In fact, this was only the third time my sons had seen snow in person.

I heard the school bus at the corner Friday afternoon and watched #2 as he came running up the sidewalk and flying into the house. Throwing his backpack into a corner, he yelled “Hi!” and just about leaped through the house and into the backyard. He couldn’t wait to play in the snow!

#2 flings a snowball at me.

#2 immediately began to gather snow to make a snowman. This was what he had been waiting all day at school to do.

Sidebar: You know snow is a rare event when the high school teachers take the kids out of class early to play in the snow. #2 said that happened in two of his classes, plus the students all went outside at lunch to watch the flakes fly.

The #1 son directs the action as the snow falls.

My #1 son was excited about the snow, because he and my “third son” Chase were filming their version of “A Christmas Carol.” The video would be so much more authentic now!

Chase is the videographer.

#2 and our neighbor Jonathan, who also is a high school freshman, were recruited to be two lads throwing snowballs at each other.

#2 is stylin’ in matching kneesocks as he readies a snowball throw.

That doesn’t take any stretching of the imagination for 14-year-old boys!

#2 and Jonathan probably discussed their Spanish 2 homework between takes.

I was having as much fun taking photos of the boys as they were videoing the scenes. Who doesn’t enjoy being outside with all those fluffy flakes falling?

#2 would rather keep his ears warm than see clearly!

Later on after the videoing was done, #2 set out to build his long-awaited snowman in the backyard. By this time, the snow had stopped, and what was left on the ground was becoming icy. The temperature was about 30 degrees, but that didn’t deter the young snowman maker.

The patriotic Snowbo the Hobo II

As you can see, there’s almost as much grass as snow in the patriotic Snowbo the Hobo II.

He may not be very big, but he provides a wonderful memory for the #2 son. Not that Snowbo lasted for very long, though!

Let It Snow . . . For Real!

Snow in my backyard. (Nikon 105mm lens)

I’ve been thoroughly distracted all morning. But it’s hard to blame me—it’s actually snowing here in the Houston area! And that’s a mighty rare occurrence.

Snow falling past the front of my house.

My sons, at ages 14 and 17, have only seen snow twice in their lives. So this is really a treat; I hope they’re able to see the snow out the window at their high school.

Snow and palm trees . . . an odd combination!

Of course, growing up in the Chicago area means that I’ve witnessed enough snow to last a lifetime! It’s fun seeing the fluffy, big flakes that are falling right now, but that’s all I want to see. No long-lasting, dirty snow that’s covering up ice for me!

Snow and a swimming pool—also an odd combination!

Some of my mom friends have been wondering whether the schools will close early due to the snow. It makes me laugh, because where I went to high school in Waukegan, Illinois, they prided themselves on never closing the schools. Even when we had a foot of snow!

The snow sticks to the grass.

It’s nice to see the snow actually sticking to the ground, but I don’t think we’ll have much of an accumulation. Which will disappoint the #2 son. The last time we had snow, he was able to build a snowman (Snowbo the Hobo, he named it). He shielded Snowbo from the sun and made it last almost a week! I’m sure he’d like to do that again, as well as have a snowball fight with his older brother.

The snow starts to accumulate on the plants.

I just hope that it’s still snowing by the time he gets home from school at 3 p.m.!