April Snowstorms?!

Oh Wisconsin I love your variability when it comes to weather.  It’s April and we are supposed to be having April showers so we can have May flowers.  Instead we are having April snow and who knows what May will bring.

In the last week, there are places in Wisconsin that got over 3′ of snow – yes that is feet.  Two storms of wet heavy, sloppy snow perfect for any January day but we got them in April. 

Where I am we didn’t get that much – maybe 6-7″ total.  However, driving was still difficult and people were complaining – a lot.

Weather is weather and all we can do is – weather it.  (Pun sort of intended).  The nice thing about an April winter storm – we’re all used to driving in the weather.  On my way home last night I expected heavy traffic and slip offs and slides and more problems.  Instead I got nearly empty roads and no one in the ditch.  There was a three car accident in an intersection but everyone was being cautious and courteous while the fire fighters and police were handling it. 

This morning, snow on the ground but by afternoon we are supposed to be in the mid-40s, so we are likely to lose the snow and have mud and maybe a bit of green. 

Let it Snow?

It’s piling up!  The trees are covered with white, the ground is buried beneath a blanket of white.  It is definitely WINTER.

Driving from Iowa to Wisconsin in the snow wasn’t horrible but we were on the leading edge of the storm so more whispy than heavy snow.  Looking out at the weather it is pretty but I know it won’t be once we have to go out in it.

Today will be spent watching some television and crocheting.  I have several gifts for my daughters to finish and I’m hoping to get the ones for the Atlanta girls done today so they can get in the mail.  The heater I have in the living room will go on and I’ll snuggle in to get the gifts done.

After I finish the holiday gifts, I’ll be working to finish the two big projects I have going which aren’t overly portable but I have to finish the project for the publication and get that sent in for pictures.  Once all of those are done, I’m going back to writing.

It promises to be a quiet and calm day today.  Tomorrow will be interesting and challenging with getting to and from work and in and out of my building.  Hopefully the snow stops sooner so roads and parking lots can be cleared.

First Snow

It’s December.  We got our first snow yesterday with about 3-6″ falling.  It was beautiful – white against the dark green of the pines and a variety of colors of the houses.

This was my feeling before I had to go out in it.  It’s late for the first snow.  Normally we get a little in November but not this year.  I like the white, the snow covered pines and trees.  The contrast of the colors between the snow and the buildings, trees, and so on.

We got enough snow to actually have the snow plow hit our road last night.  Usually if we have under 6″ we don’t get plowed out.  This makes driving on our road a challenge.

Something to note – I don’t have to deal with removal of the snow.  My husband does all of that.  The reason being is I have this tendency to stop breathing when I shovel or do much in the cold air.

This lack of dealing with snow removal means I can take a more positive point of view towards the snow.  I don’t have to spend time making sure the driveway and sidewalks are clear.

From a looking outside, the snow was pretty.  However, I had to switch coats to my winter weight coat.  I also had to decide which scarf to add to my jacket (which is always a choice because I have so many pretty ones).  I had to drive on roads which could have been slippery.

Since it’s the first snow, people were driving more cautiously than they needed to.  It’s always interesting with the first snow.  People seem to forget until they fishtail the first time or they drive so slowly it’s ridiculous.

I maintain the snow is pretty but I empathize with those who have to work on the removal and who work out in the weather.  Winter has begun.  I’m going to attempt to keep a positive attitude and recognize the beauty the weather brings us even during this cold season.

Welcome Spring!!

Spring has sprung and look we’re covered in snow again.  I’m laughing because this is Wisconsin and I know there are people who are cursing the weather today.  I say – it’s March and it’s Wisconsin, what do you expect.  It seems ironic that the spring equinox was last week and now we have about four inches of snow and it is still snowing.  If you ask me, I’ll tell you I’m not a big fan of the cold and snow but it is a fact of life here in Wisconsin.  Complaining about it won’t make it go away and won’t make it warmer.  It does bring the mood down and makes it harder to get through the season.  The thing is, it’s beautiful.  Yeah I know it’s March and people are tired of winter but if you look at the evergreens frosted with the white it’s picturesque.  If you don’t have to drive in it, (which really doesn’t happen) the puffy snowflakes are gorgeous, the ice on the trees looks like crystal.  It is a beautiful season even if it is cold and difficult.  Sometimes we get the best things when we deal with the difficulties in life. 
I’ve been laid up with gout.  I’m in pain and frustrated because I have a lot of work at both my day job and for writing.  I’m not able to sit at my desk easily when gout flares up.  My legs are painful, swollen, red and just plain miserable.  I need to let go of my expectations when my gout is being annoying, which I try to do.  This past couple of weeks I got through three manuscripts for editing.  I got the paper edits entered on the computer, read through the manuscript one more time, ran a spell check and essentially got it prepped for production.  It isn’t how or what I planned to do over the past couple of weeks but I made progress. 
Today it is snowing.  Tomorrow could have temps in the 60s.  It’s spring the time of new beginnings and fresh starts.  Everything is new, fresh, and bright (and muddy).  It’s a time to look around at all the possibilities and pick the ones which appeal the most and work on them. 
To the grumblers, I say just stop it.  It will be better sooner than you know.  To those who see the beauty in all the weirdness of our weather – I say go make snow angels or have a snow ball fight.  Make the most of the (hopefully) last hurrah of winter and enjoy it while it lasts.  It is Wisconsin after all and if you wait ten minutes the weather will change. 

Winter has definitely arrived

This morning we woke up to white lawns instead of green.  It has been cold all week and we’ve had flurries but nothing stuck.  Last night we got enough and it was cold enough that it stuck.

I’m working at my desk today and looking out at huge snow flakes and chunks of snow falling from the tree.  It is pretty.  I’m also not out in the cold.  This is Wisconsin weather.

I’ve listened all week to people complaining about the cold and the snow.  My feeling is – this is November what did you expect?  Also we have a lot of winter to get through so you better suck it up because we probably won’t see a lot of warm pleasant weather until March (maybe February if we are lucky) or April or later.

There is something magical about the first significant snowfall for me.  It seems to make things slow down, cover up the bumps in the land, smooth things over.  Ken has a fire going in the fireplace and it is a good time to cuddle in to work on crocheting or reading a book (or both if I listen to a book while I crochet).

For me, it is a quieter time of year, spent inside, doing homey things and spending more time with my family (well okay Ken because the girls are not home anymore).

Like everyone else, I’m not fond of the cold but it is the other parts of the winter that I like.  The beauty of the season is astounding with white contrasting with the dark brown of the trees.  The glistening of icicles in the winter light is breathtaking.  The darkness that covers the land feels like a warm blanket, comforting and cuddling.

I don’t love driving in the snow and ice.  I don’t love worrying about whether this storm is going to be one I need to stay home for or if I can make it to (and from) work without it being dangerous.  I do love the landscape and the energy of the season.  

Yule or Winter Solstice

The year is waning, winding down to the calendar end of year.  More than that though it is a time when we have harvested all of our items – whether from the garden or from our lives.  Now we are facing the darkness of winter – allegedly this is a slower time.  However, in our constantly on the go world I don’t know that we actually get to slow down at all. 
When I cope with the craziness of this season, I struggle with all the obligations for the holidays.  What makes it tolerable for me is being with people who are dear to me.  This year that will extend to Kelly and Dominic who are far from their families but a new part of our family. 
This year in particular I am looking at all I’ve accomplished – not just this year but over the last 2 ½ years.  I’ve gotten that second degree finally.  Now I need to clean house (when it comes to my office that is literally) of the old and start looking for what will be next on my schedule. 
While my girls will be home for a few days (YEAH!!!!), I will have a week on my own with no obligations other than what I decide needs to be done.  In this week, I’m going to clean my office and look at what projects I want to work on first.  There are so many which can be a problem as I end up not being able to decide what to do first. 
If you’ve read my blog this will not come as a surprise to you – I have a list of things I want to work on and I’m hoping to focus on them during the next several months.  First and foremost, I want to work on submissions.  I want my work out there and being read.  Love it or hate it – I want editors, publishers, and readers to have the opportunity to see it. 
For this Winter Solstice, I am letting go of being in school and the focus that takes and looking forward to what paths and goals are next.  While I often think I know the path, there are always surprises with life.  This winter I’m going to focus on finding my way – whatever that way may be – editing, writing, crocheting, and just being me. 
There are six weeks until Imbolc (beginning of February).  In this time, I intend to explore all my options.  When I figure out what the next goal is I want to accomplish, I’ll start on the plan for it.  Who knows maybe there will be several goals – after all my life is multi-faceted so why wouldn’t my goals be? 
How will you spend the dark times this season?  What will you let go of at the end of the year?  


My wish for the semester was that I wouldn’t have to struggle through a lot of cruddy weather when I went out for classes.  So far this semester it has been cool to cold and I’ve had a rainy day or two. 
Today it is snowing.  We are supposed to get up to five inches before tomorrow.  We will see.  The nice thing – I have one class period left and one final exam.  If the sidewalks are challenging at least it wasn’t a full semester of being challenging. 
In nine days, I will officially be done with my second degree.  I will have earned my bachelor of science in English Professional Writing and Book Editing.  This degree was for me.  My passion is writing and to edit.  I love to tell a great story but I also love to fix writing (mine included). 
I was hoping for a grant but sadly didn’t get one.  They only awarded grants to about three percent of those who applied.  While this slows me down, it doesn’t stop me.  I’m still going to move forward and focus on my writing.
The semester comes to an end.  My second career as a student comes to an end.  However, I feel like it is a good ending.  I’ll have opportunities to expand and explore my skills, time to focus on selling myself as a writer, and make steps forward in getting more published.  

Winter with a Vengence

Wouldn’t you know that we had mild winter weather which I was enjoying even if other people weren’t and then the new semester starts and we are slammed.  We’ve had rain, snow, and frigid weather.  The temps without windchill have been in the single digits mostly but the windchill has been well below zero. 
The problem with this is it makes it exceedingly difficult to clear snowy and icy surfaces.  When people do their oh-my-it-is-fucking-cold rush to their vehicles, they have to also do some sort of winter waddle to avoid slipping on the sidewalks and parking lots. 
The cold is like a hot knife slipping through butter.  It makes my lungs feel like they are going to shatter.  It steals my breath and slices through layers of clothing with complete disregard for the aches I’m already feeling.  The chill cuts through every layer as if I were standing naked. 
Today they are calling for another snow bombing.  They say up to 7 inches but who knows.  This is one field where you are allowed to be wrong frequently.  The sky is low and gray.  It weighs down the landscape like an anchor.  The cold clings to everything with a dampness that penetrates my joints making me feel 90 instead of 47. 

There is a beauty in this cycle.  I know there is a lot of grumbling over the weather.  I would rather be home by my fireplace during the bad weather but looking outside you sense the cycle of the seasons.  Yes it is cold and the roads will suck before noon unless I miss my guess.  However, the snow and the cold allow the plant and the earth to rejuvenate.  The snow will help replenish the water table.  The cold, as it is meant to, will keep people inside and slowing down literally and figuratively.  If the snow is chaotically blowing and making travel impossible you can’t go out in it without a somewhat serious risk.  When we aren’t scurrying around from place to place we are forced to do more insular things like reading, crafting, cleaning house, and just being inside.

Early Case of Spring Fever

The snow has piled up.  The drift between my house and the neighbors to the north is at least 4 – 5 feet tall.  I’m not talking about a drift plowed there by the snow plows.  No I’m talking about snow that was either fallen or blown there (by wind or snow blowers).  That is too high.  I’m so ready for spring to be here and to have some green grass and leaves back. 
I am looking forward to my rhododendron bush blooming again.  I also am excited to see how my bush fence is going to come in.  I am hoping to have more lilacs this year.  The endlessness of the white snow and cold winter has finally worn me out. 
I backed up to leave my driveway and realized the drift between the two houses was so high I couldn’t see over it to tell what was coming in the road.  That is too much winter. 
I’m one of the few people who sits back to enjoy the snow on the trees, the contrast between the white snow and evergreen trees.  However, enough already, I want some warmth.  I want the snow to stop falling – I don’t care that it is big fluffy pretty flakes.  It is still cold and will just add to that damn drift. 
I look out my window both at work and at home and think – more white stuff.. can’t we have some relief from this?  Outside my window at work there is a lovely giant evergreen which is picturesque.  It is one of the darker pines dusted with a lovely layer of white on the branches.  It looks amazing. 
I want to walk up to the tree and shake its trunk hard enough that all the snow falls off.  Not that I could even if I were to walk across campus to do it.  The tree is too large.  It represents winter to me.  I am tired of winter – obviously.
I know I’ll get over this but for these moments – I just want to think of a summer breeze and the birds singing.  I want to feel the sun on my face and be WARM.  I want the breeze to cool me off not put me in a deep freeze. 
I know I have another couple months to go before we see anything near to summer like weather.. until then I’m going to huddle impatiently under my quilt with the bright colors up so I feel like spring will come eventually.

Winter weather – it is February

It snowed last night.  It is snowing today.  We are supposed to get about 18 inches of snow overnight.  I understand this is a lot of snow and that it will be compounded by the high winds we are also supposed to be getting. 
I don’t understand why the news has to make such a HUGE deal out of it.  Here’s the thing – it is winter.  In winter we get snow which may or may not be accompanied by high winds.  If you are used to Wisconsin weather then you know this and know how to handle it. 
It doesn’t make a lot of difference other than I might have to leave earlier to get to work.  Or worst case scenario, I get to stay home and sit in front of the fireplace because there is too much snow for me to get through on the roads.  Maybe that is best case scenario… look at that I’m 47 (well almost) and I’m hoping for a snow day…
It is winter and in Wisconsin this means we don’t need to be overly dramatic about a snow storm that sweeps through.  Yes we need information – like when is it going to hit, how much, driving conditions and so on.  We don’t need sensationalism that will cause panic – or in my case annoyance.

I wrote all of this above while comfy inside my work.  Then I walked out to my car and the wind nearly blew me off my feet.  It is hazardous out there but at the same time we don’t need the drama we just need facts.