Saturday, December 21, 2013

Icy Day

Hi, folks! Today, we’re experiencing one of the lesser-celebrated forms of wintry precipitation here in Central Missouri: an ice storm!

Fortunately, it’s not exactly stormy. Fortunately, “ice storm” is just the generic term for this kind of freezing rain. It’s rained mostly all day, and so far, here in Jefferson City, only elevated objects (tree branches and twigs, porch railings, and power lines) seem to have acquired a glaze.

But it’s after 3 pm, now, and temperatures will be falling. In the time it’s taken me to write this, the icicles have lengthened! Our yew trees are getting all splayed out from the weight of the ice.

It’s supposed to change over into snow at some point, though most of the precipitation is supposed to be north and west of us.

Even though we’re safe inside, we’re a bit on edge about the possibility of breaking branches and downed power lines. But it’s also very beautiful. I’d rather focus on that.

I feel sorry for people who have to travel through this today. Even if you manage to stay on the road and reach your destination, it’s not going to be very fun.

Here’s a view from our front windows, looking south on Broadway. (Here are some older posts with pictures of the same overall view, both from the big snowstorm in January 2011: here and here.)

So it’s a good day to stay inside! We have so much food around here I didn’t even go to the store to get the requisite “milk and bread.” For lunch, I had leftovers from Jefferson City’s new Indian (and Nepalese, and Korean) restaurant. I’ve got the lights on the Christmas tree turned on, and our little electric fake fireplace space heater is on, too.

I’m all warm and cozy. Soon I’ll make myself a nice hot cup of masala chai—thanks to my brother for sending us some boxes of easy-peasy instant chai packets, I don’t have to do anything but heat up water, dump in some powder, and stir! (Click here to learn more about this instant chai.)

Maybe I’ll even have some lebkuchen or springerles with it!

As you can guess, this ice storm is feeling like a really nice thing!

Let’s hope the power doesn’t go out! And if you’re planning to travel on these icy roads? . . . Stop it! Find a way to just stay home, be safe, and enjoy a quiet evening!

Take care, my friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Get Out the Decorations!

I’m not usually one of those people who have Christmas all “put up” the day after Thanksgiving. I grew up listening to things like “When we were kids, we didn’t get to see the tree until Christmas Eve!” (That was back when the trees had candles on ’em, and you had to keep an eye on the thing while they were burning!)

But I am a little ahead of my usual schedule, because this year my brother’s coming for a Christmas visit—early. He’ll be here tomorrow! It’ll be an “early” Christmas. I’m excited because he’ll be able to help set up the family Christmas tree—Grandma’s Christmas tree—which he hasn’t done since . . . when? Undergraduate days? I hope he remembers the German lyrics to “O Tannenbaum”!

And I’ll make sauerbraten and red cabbage while he’s here, and hopefully we’ll just have a really fun time.

Meanwhile, I’ve been baking cookies, so I’ll have a respectable tray to pass around with eggnog or sherry, and we’ve been getting the outside decorations squared away. Don’t get too excited about this, but look! I put extra lights up in our front dormer window (in addition to Grandpa Thomas’s star).

I also put a string of lights in the top side window, facing Broadway Street. (It looks better in person. My camera is not the greatest!)

The picture at the top of this post shows what our front dormer window looks like from inside. I love the way multicolored Christmas lights (the “old” kind) make the entire room glow warm orange and pink at night.

Our Christmas lights are lame, lame, lame, compared to some of our neighbors. We have two good ones across the street—on both sides! (We live on a corner.) It’s really fun to look out the windows and see pretty decorations. Yay!

Meanwhile, across town, the people who have the huge light display programmed to flash in synch with rock and pop Christmas music are “at it” again. They won one of the citywide decorating contests last year—they’ll probably get a prize again.

Here’s part of their display from last year.

To see a sample of their 2013 display and learn about where and when to see it in person, look at the Facebook page for “Holtmeyer Christmas Lights.”

Lines of cars accumulate politely on the street outside 3023 Mercedes Lane as people tune their radios to the appropriate frequency and listen to the music the yard flashes to. It’s not quite what touches me, Christmas-wise, though I have to admit it’s quite “festive”!

(Hey! Maybe we can go see that audio-visual extravaganza when Paul’s here!)