December 16th, 2008

brr, cold

Cold, Cold, Cold!!! (brr)

The cold weather is horrible! I've only been outside the house to feed the hummingbirds and other birds (and squirrels). The hummingbird feeder freezes up after around an hour and has to be washed out and re-filled.

My make-shift birdbath (using a plastic container on top of the base) also freezes up after an hour or so. Yesterday it froze solid, and I dumped the ice block in the yard. I tried to pour hot water over it and thaw it out, but it was no go! (smile)

Make-shift plastic birdbath
As I mentioned before, I took the top off our birdbath and
turned it upside down, to avoid having water freeze inside
and break it! So I took a plastic container and put it in
place, as it's not as quick to freeze -- and doesn't break.

Ice block with weight frozen inside
Originally I had an old 10 pound hand weight inside the
plastic container to keep it from blowing off in the wind.
But it was frozen solid and had to be dumped out! No
amount of hot water poured over it today was making
the slightest dent in the block of ice... (smile)

We'll probably stay home tomorrow. Our work policy for determining whether or not to close the office is based on the closing of Portland Public Schools. The weird thing is that they've half closed and half opened PPS, depending on which side of the river the school is located on! Our office is on the side that's closed, so I imagine we'll stay home. We can always Remote Access and work anyway, so it's no big deal...

Our Staff party has been postponed (it was supposed to be tomorrow), thankfully. I guess we'll do our gift exchange next week... It's good by me!
frightful weather

The Weather Forecast? Frightful. (sigh)

We went out shopping to both the Super Wal-Mart and Freddies today -- and got a lot of food for us, the cats, the birds and the squirrels. So we should be good to go.

What we forgot was BATTERIES for our flashlights, so we just had to dash to Walgrens to get them...

Why?

Because we're slated for both SNOW and FREEZING RAIN tomorrow, which means we might lose power -- and really need those flashlights in order to get around the house when it's dark. Downstairs that can be an issue, even in the daytime, considering there isn't that much natural light down there. And we've blocked off a couple of the windows with solid barriers to help keep out the cold, so it's even worse now.

We heard a report on the local news that people have been BUYING OUT tons of basic groceries from stores. One woman went to get a gallon of milk and had to buy it in PINTS, because all the gallons and half gallons were sold out. Bread has sold out, too. Merchants were reporting that the crowds were the largest of the year -- far bigger than before Thanksgiving (which is unheard of).

They're saying we'll get snow early, then freezing rain on top of that and more snow on top of the rain. Freezing rain is far worse than any snow. I dread it -- and so does everyone else, clearly. Portland is currently at 22° (brr).

Portland Public Schools have already announced that they'll be closed tomorrow. Again, it's amazing any time they announce the night before!

I don't mind the nasty weather that much as long as we have ELECTRICITY, but it would be bad without it. It's so cold it would be difficult to stay warm. I don't know what would happen with our pipes. The cats are already complaining (in their own way) about the cold. And I've already discussed the issues with keeping birds (especially the hummingbirds) and squirrels fed...

We also had an issue here today with bomb threats at several schools over in Washington, by the way. I don't know if made national news or not, but it was big news here. They don't have the automated method to contact parents, so that was also news -- and there were some angry people complaining. Here in Portland they have the automated system in place, as sister Sue got the calls about schools being closed for her granddaughter Nicole. That's a great use of technology, I think!

In photos I thought I'd share, I'm going way back to our festival Auction in October. I finally downloaded the photos I took of the set of bowls I bid on and won. I'd been bidding on them and wasn't sure whether or not to continue -- then Chairman Arthur's husband William encouraged me. He knew the artist and said he and Arthur had a number of pieces she'd done. And he told me they'd make great 'pasta bowls.' (smile) As you can see here, I took that seriously!

Cat Bowl Art - Auction, 2008
This is one of a set of four bowls called 'Tribal Cats' that
I purchased at our Auction this year (back in October).
Chairman Arthur's husband talked me into bidding on buying
the set -- and told me I could use them as 'pasta bowls.'

Cat Bowl Art - Auction, 2008
Here's the same bowl -- full of pasta!

We actually use them to eat any number of foods, although they're more plate-like than bowl-like (the sides aren't high enough for foods that need a real bowl). I can't say how much I adore this set -- nor how happy I am I won them! I was hovering in front of them telling people there was 'nothing behind me' when it came time for that silent auction to close...

I hope to eventually have some winter weather photos to share. I didn't get all that many during the last snow, because we didn't get all that much snow here, to tell the truth. I'm hopeful there will be VERY LITTLE freezing rain to photograph, however!

For now, the water is dripping loudly in my bathroom (which is right near our office) and in the kitchen, the news is on the TV and Marilyn mistressmarilyn is playing Zuma next to me. So it's all good!

(I'll think I'll skip mentioning the IT-related emergency from today, frankly. I never heard the outcome, anyway.)