Monday, January 31, 2011

Weather's coming

Nice layer of ice on our deck - the juncos were slipping around the bird feeder.

Preschool is cancelled tomorrow, along with apparently every school in a 30 mile radius. City's canceled trash service. Governor's called a state of emergency.

I really hope we don't lose power. That would suck. Food-wise we'd be okay, but no heat and negative wind-chills could get nasty.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Okay, so apparently we really, really need to start watching the local news every night, at least the weather forecast.

While we were having lunch today, we overheard someone at the next booth talking about the upcoming weather, but no details. Turned on the radio while we were cleaning out the condo, and heard mention of a winter weather watch - freezing rain/sleet/drizzle, "heavy snow" and cold. Okay, I thought, maybe we should stop for milk on the way home.

Then, an hour or so later, the weather alert beeps sounded on the radio, and we got a more detailed forecast. Holy buckets! No mention of accumulation on the freezing rain, but they're forecasting 12-18 inches of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a low of -7 (F) on top of that.

Holy crackers, Batman. If this does happen, there may or may not be a snow day tomorrow (depending on the freezing precipitation accumulation), but I can pretty much guarantee that 12 inches of snow will mean at least one snow day, and probably more. Heck, with that kind of depth, plus the slope on our driveway, DH may have a snow day from work.

Lots of snow this year. Just this month, I think El Burrito's had 3 or 4 snow days. Last week was a teacher workday (which I didn't realize until late the night before), and the week before that there were two snow days plus MLK Jr. holiday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


More like bird feeding, actually, but still.

One of the first things we did here at the house was to hang up a couple of bird feeders. We started off with the suet feeder, the peanut-butter-pine-cone from pre-school, and a tube feeder I'd had for a few months. I got 20 pounds of mixed seed for my birthday, and was crazy enough to put bird feed on my Christmas list, so now I've got either 40 or 60 pounds of mixed seed (mostly millet, which isn't popular) in the garage. Plus 30 pounds of black-oil sunflower seed in the kitchen, courtesy of a Westlake's sale.

I bought a thistle feeder just before Christmas, but didn't put it out until we saw a pair of house finches over the weekend, and a goldfinch last week, which led to buying 8 pounds of nyger seed. And in the meantime, noticing that the hanging feeder is pretty ignored, while the seed scattered on the deck was popular, I got a plant saucer, put some drainage holes in the bottom, and filled it with seed.

The current score: 4 hanging feeders and one saucer, plus a few piles in the snow here and there.

We had at least 12 different kinds of birds on Saturday, maybe more since my sparrow identification skills are lousy. Unfortunately, we've also got at least three squirrels, and they're bold. They've been pretty hard on the pine-cone feeder, the little rodents. I shoo them away when I can, but it's a losing battle. I did startle one enough yesterday that he didn't let go of the pine cone before he leapt off the tree. He did a little backflip when he hit the end of the yarn. I'll admit, I giggled, and I'm not sorry I ran him/her off.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I don't think I'm Wendy anymore

So, in case I forgot to mention it here, since about last April, El Burrito has been adamant that his name is Bob the Builder, and my name is Wendy. He's introduced me to people as "Wendy, my life" (we think he means "wife" but can't be sure, the concept of marriage is still something we're working on). Strangers ask his name - "I'm Bob." The library workers call him Bob, although they know it's not really his name. If we call him by his "secret" name, we get corrected. He actually asked me a before Christmas why his teachers don't know his real name. I had to tickle him before he'd call me "Mommy."

The past couple of weeks, though, he's changed his name to Caillou (although he still says "That's me!" when we see Bob on TV). I blame the Caillou Holiday Move that he's in love with. I think it'll be staying on the TiVo for a while. (Caillou irritates me a little, mostly because El Burrito starts talking like Rosie after he watches it. Rosie's 2. It bugs me.)

Tonight, I had to almost beg before he'd say "Goodnight Wendy" instead of "Goodnight Mommy." It used to be the other way around. Strangely, I think I'm kind of sad about not being Wendy. My boy's growing up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The 2011 Reading List

For the third year (yikes!), although not getting updated as frequently as it should, here it is:

(I managed to read 300+ books last year, including whatever I read to El Burrito. We'll see if I top that this year or not.)

  1. Falling Leaves, by Adeline Yen Mah (01/02/11)

  2. Beka Cooper - Terrier, by Tamora Pierce (01/06/11)
  3. The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosmary Sutcliff (01/13/11) Haven't read this series before, but I really liked the first book. It works into my interest in Classical Civ courses in college (Greek, Roman, etc.). The book's cover mentioned a movie in the works, but after the travesty that was made with The Dark is Rising, I am very leery.

  4. The Hunger Games (2/14/11)
  5. Catalyst: a tale of the Barque Cats, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
  6. Deadly Kingdom (03/04/11)
  7. The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy, by Diane Stanley (03/04/11)
  8. Catching Fire
  9. Mockingjay
  10. Compost: the natural way to make food for your garden
  11. Making Grizzle Grow
  12. Christmas Ornaments to Make
  13. Complete GUide to Orchids
  14. Deerproofing your Yard and Garden
  15. Staying Cool, by Nancy Antle
  16. Crochet Master Class
  17. Home from the Hardware Store
  18. The Complete Compost Gardening Guide
  19. Solving Deer Problems
  20. the Complete Book of Pruning
  21. The Bloom County Library, Volume II
  22. Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress goes "Boink"
  23. As Always, Julia: The letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto (03/31/11) - I want a pen pal.
  24. Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity, by Steve Dublanica

  25. Gwenhwyfar, by Mercedes Lackey (04/03/11)
  26. Why oh Why are Deserts Dry?
  27. Intrigues, by Mercedes Lackey

  28. The Problem Pony, by Lynn Hall (04/16/11)

  29. Mini Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella
  30. Murder of a Celebrity, by M. C. Beaton
  31. Show Judge, by Bonnie Bryant
  32. Wind Spirit (?) Ella Clah novel (04/20/11)
  33. Turquoise Girl (Ella Clah), by Aimee and David Thurlow
  34. Driving Team, by Bonnie Bryant (04/24/11) Saddle Club book, and I really marvel at the horse facts sometimes. I'm not sure anyone can take two saddle horses and have them ready to be a team in harness, in only 10 days (and only working after school, etc.) Oy.
  35. Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia
  36. Bert's Hall of Great Inventions
  37. Sesame Street: the Together Book
  38. Ride a Dark Horse, by Lynn Hall (05/03/11)
  39. Blink
  40. Never-ending Snake, by Aimee and David Thurlo (05/07/11)
  41. The Great Brain at the Academy (05/13/11)
  42. Miss Seeton's Finest Hour (05/13/11)
  43. You Bet Your Life, by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain
  44. The Long Ride, by Bonnie Bryant
  45. Conformation Faults, by Bonnie Bryant
  46. Shying at Trouble, by Bonnie Bryant
  47. Riding to Win, by Bonnie Bryant
  48. Ground Training, by Bonnie Bryant
  49. Track Record, by Bonnie Bryant

  50. Riding Rockets, by (Astronaut) Mike Mullane (06/01/11)
  51. Betty White autobio (06/02/11)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone.

Accomplishments for 2010: probably a few. The two I can recall are buying a house and managing to read 300 books in one year (if I include the books I read aloud to El Burrito in that total).

Abnormal weather here. High today of 68, low tonight 19. High on Saturday of 28. There were tornado watches/warnings in the area today. Bizarre.

Went to our usual NYE party with friends. El Burrito made it to midnight (fell asleep on the way home) and was very well behaved. No crying, shoving, Wii-mote hoarding, or tattling.