A walk in the ice and snow (a preview of driving in it)

We got a big old snowstorm (by our standards) in Atlanta last night. We had 4.5 inches in the first hour and a half or so after it started snowing. We ended up with up to 6 inches in our yard (depending on where I measured). Then, we had some freezing rain. That turned the snow slick, and the streets didn’t benefit at all, as you might imagine.

One of the folks I follow on Twitter had to drive through downtown Atlanta this morning. She lives near Chicago. She said “this storm would put Chicago under.” She was gracious enough not to say that in Chicago they have the equipment to clear the interstate (and every other road) so it wouldn’t be an ice skating rink. 🙂

What’s making this so bad is that the sun won’t come out until Wednesday. (The screenwriter of “Annie” must have lived in California.) It won’t get above freezing except for an hour or two tomorrow. It won’t get above freezing much all week. The lows several nights will be in the teens.

Our office was closed today, and I learned late this afternoon that our office will be closed tomorrow. Knowing that eventually I’ll have to drive to work in the ice and snow, this morning Ed and I took a walk along the route I’ll take to get out of our subdivision.

Our street

P1105609_tn

I have to stop at the stop sign below. Good luck with that, I know.

P1105613_tn

The turn at that stop sign

P1105614_tn

P1105616_tn

The street after I’ve turned right at the stop sign

P1105620_tn

The street ends at the stop sign. It’s on a hill.

P1105622_tn

In order to make it up the hill and onto the “main”ish street, this car (after a failed first attempt after which it went in reverse back down the hill) got a head of steam, didn’t stop at the stop sign (which was dicey as a car was coming), and turned left at the stop sign.

P1105631_tn

He fishtailed a bit shortly after he turned.

And this is the “main”ish road that I travel on for about a mile before I reach the U.S. highway I use until about five miles from work.

P1105608_tn

Yes, I’m standing in the middle of the road.

Ed doubts this road will be plowed tomorrow, though I expect that the U.S. highway will be plowed. Not sure about the road I drive on the last 5 miles.

So, yes, the next few days are going to be interesting. I’m grateful that the office is closed again tomorrow, so I don’t have to worry about it for awhile.

In the meantime, we’ll stay inside as much as we can. (The dogs vote “no” on being outside. What’s the weather like where you are?

My nephew Francis turned 6 today

Francis, 1 day old (January 9, 2005)

He was born at just under 32 weeks gestation.

francis_one_day_old

Francis, 11 weeks old (March 2005), and me

francis_11_weeks_old2

Francis, about 20 months old (September 2006), and me

img_2110

Francis, November/December 2008 (from a post about his 4th birthday)

img_3363

Francis, December 2009, and Toby (the next time I saw Francis after September 2006)

RC288993_tn

Francis, Fall 2010 (1st grade — he skipped kindergarten: smart boy!)

francis_1st_grade_fall_2010

Today is his 6th birthday.

How did he get so big? My sister says he looks like he’s about 13 in this photo, and I have to agree.

And, I should be an aunt again this summer. Francis and his new brother or sister will be 6 1/2 years apart.

Happy birthday, Francis. I love you.

Tonight is a total lunar eclipse

I wish tonight’s lunar eclipse weren’t in the middle of the night — or that I didn’t have to work tomorrow.

This is my favorite shot from the last total lunar eclipse (on Feb. 21, 2008).

Saturn, moon, Regulus

And this is my favorite artsy shot from that eclipse.

I looked back at my whole post from that day, and I am still pretty pleased with the shots. However, I don’t yet have the better lens with which to photograph the moon that I was hoping for. Sigh…

If you want to photograph the eclipse — or the moon any other time — a post I wrote for Blissfully Domestic two years ago might help. It offers three tips for photographing the moon. Have fun!

The 2010 Reindog Parade

Yesterday, Toby, Ed and I went to the Reindog Parade at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. (Fox doesn’t like this sort of event, so he stayed home.) Basically, it’s an excuse to dress up your dog (and, sometimes, yourself) and take your dog to the Gardens, the only day they’re allowed.

Victoria Stilwell of “It’s Me or the Dog” was our emcee. (I’ve never seen the show, but I hope to catch its next season.)

PC113809_tn

There were more than 100 dogs in the parade.

PC113827_tn

Hey! It’s Toby!

PC113844_tn

Victoria said that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make excellent Reindogs. A judge agreed, apparently, and took his photo.

PC113846_tn

Here’s another Cavalier. We saw six or seven throughout the day.

PC113859_tn

This gal won an award.

PC113904_tn

As did this dog.

PC113932_tn

And this one.

PC113935_tn

Lots of other dogs won as well, including a group of rescue dogs who, along with their humans, dressed as the folks from A Christmas Carol. They also took the Best in Show prize.

PC114030_tn

After the parade, we put Toby in a Santa hat for a few minutes.

PC114047_tn

Then we looked at some of the other sights at the Garden.

PC114050_tn

PC114072_tn

PC114086_tn

PC114103_tn

All of the photos from the day are on my Flickr page in their own set.

If Toby’s up to it next year, we’ll take him again. And if he’s not, we’ll go without dogs. It was that much fun.

It’s my Toby-versary again

Last year on this day, I told the story of how I came to adopt Toby on the 8th anniversary of my doing so.

I can’t believe a year has gone by since then.

These photos are from this morning.

PB283668

PB283661

He’s not changed much in the last year in how he looks physically. And, his heart seems to be stable. However, in the last few weeks, we’ve noticed that he’s moving around a little more slowly. Cold laser therapy is helping, but it’s obvious he’s getting older.

We’re off to enjoy a five-mile hike at the Elachee Nature Science Center. We may have to carry him for a bit of it, but the dog loves to hike, and we want to get this in while we can.

I wonder what the next year will bring?

A beautiful day at Cloudland Canyon and Rock City

Ed has wanted to go to Cloudland Canyon State Park forever. Actually, we went last year, but for reasons I can’t remember, we weren’t able to really hike.

The park is about three hours from our house, so I haven’t been much inclined to go. However, my parents went last weekend and reported it was GORGEOUS. So, I decided to surprise him, and we went yesterday.

It WAS gorgeous!

PA302495_tn

PA302518_tn

PA302524_tn

PA302527_tn

PA302534_tn

PA302539_tn

PA302544_tn

PA302561_tn

PA302568_tn

PA302574_tn

PA302580_tn

PA302581_tn

PA302582_tn

PA302584_tn

I was pooped after the five-mile hike. We were glad we hadn’t brought the dogs, as it was pretty strenuous, and we have old dogs. In fact, parts of it reminded me of the Panther Creek hike. There were some STEEP drop-offs, which made me nervous, especially on the way back when I was so tired. When I get tired, I get stupid — and clumsy.

Next, we went back to Rock City. It was also gorgeous.

PA302603_tn

PA302604_tn

PA302607_tn

PA302614_tn

PA302626_tn

PA302633_tn

PA302634_tn

(This self-portrait was taken on the swinging bridge. A couple of years ago, I took one with our shadow on the rock in the photo above this one. You can see that photo here. Also, the “pooch” you might notice? It’s my terribly attractive fanny pack/two sweatshirts tied around my waist, NOT a baby bump. 🙂

PA302641_tn

PA302673_tn

You can see the rest of my photos from the day on Flickr. These are also my Weekly Winners. Go see Lotus for more. 🙂

It was a fun day. 🙂