December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Winter Storm

Hola darlings!

This one defied all of the model predictions and dumped 8.3" (officially measured at Mitchell International Airport which is right on top of Lake Michigan in southeast Milwaukee).  It started snowing at 2:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, and another 4 inches fell during the day today, with more lake-effect snow overnight.  Sigh.

There were also strong winds (sustained 20 to 35 mph) out of the northeast off Lake Michigan, which meant big drifts.

When I got up extra-early this morning and took a look outside, I knew there was no way I was going to make it into work today. Couldn't even make it out of the house to the road (which had not yet been plowed).  My driveway and the sides of the house got hammered!  The important part is the driveway, because that is my main entrance to my house - I do not have a separate sidewalk to my front door.  I don't drive and don't own a car, but I need to shovel a 30 foot path from my front door down the driveway to the road (my subdivision does not have sidewalks, thank Goddess!)  Not something I'm supposed to do (shovel) with my heart issues.  But I had to get out of the house.  I shoveled a shovel-wide path.  The rest of the piled up snow (we had a storm last week that dumped snow) will be here until June, I think...

It was pretty though, and with mild temperatures in the 30's not unpleasant as long as you don't mind snow pelting you in the face despite hood and scarf!  I took photos from inside the house early this morning -- the snow was 4" deeper once I started shoveling.  The last three photos below are of the backyard, all the rest were taken out of my front window or front door.

Yep, that's my driveway.  Hard to tell from this photo, but there's about 3 feet of plow slush and snow
boulders piled up at the end of the driveway thanks to the plows that came through.  The fricking jerks!
Imagine a lone woman out there with a snow shovel, trying to clear that by hand...  That's moi.

I took this picture through the front door - you can see the drops of melted snow on the other side of the glass.
I loved the contrast between the snow and the red berries still clinging to the barberry shrub at the front porch.



  1. Hi Jan - I came by after you left such a sweet comment on my blog!
    ( I'm the one that posts John and I's conversations lol )
    I came - I saw - I love - and so am now happily following you
    BTW - I live in Montreal - where winters look very much like your photos - beautiful to look at - but I'm sick to death of it already!!!

    1. Hi Suzan, thanks for stopping by and for becoming a follower. I am going to return the favor today, I have a college degree so presumably my brain will be equipped to figure out what I need to do. I believe I am a follower on a few other favorite blogs, so I must have figured out how to do it in the past :) I had no idea you lived in Montreal - duh! - I should have looked at your profile because I've been a visitor to your blog more than a few times now. The John-Suzan Dialogs just make me smile and sometimes laugh outright, they have a very familiar ring to my ears :) Mr. Don lived in Montreal, his place, a very narrow so-called "two bedroom" apartment (actually one large closet was his bedroom and one teeny-tiny closet off the balcony was the other "bedroom") was in Verdun. I visited Montreal several times when we first started "courting" but my last trip there was in June 2003. Mr. D preferred to come here to Milwaukee when he could get away. I preferred Montreal because there were actually people on the streets at night and tons of stores to shop at, unlike Milwaukee's little poopnoodle downtown area. The only thing that gets traffic here at night are the Water Street bars, and those are populated by thousands of 20-somethings. Been there, done that, snore. Mr. Don liked the "small town" charm of Milwaukee and the friendly people, and my big shady backyard and rickety deck :) Montreal and Milwaukee share nasty winters with ice, snow and damp bone-freezing cold, and hot, humid summers filled with mosquitoes, and Mr. D and I would yatter on Skype and email constantly, bitching and moaning about the weather, LOL! I always felt very welcome in Montreal, despite not being able to mutter more than a few words in badly accented high-school French, and Mr. Don always felt welcome here because Milwaukeeans are usually too polite to tell a yatterer to shut up already! Mr. Don's passing was sudden and unexpected. I miss him greatly but this house, and my heart, are filled with memories of him. When I read the John-Suzan dialogs I am flooded with memories of Mr. D's and my own dialogs, and that is a very good thing indeed.

  2. Hello, I hopped over from your sweet comment on my blog! I am astounded at these pics. I have never seen so much snow. I can tell you that I live in a desert in NM and we only see that much snow at the ski resorts (and lots of that is man-made). We shut down the schools and close govt offices for a mere two inches and a two hour delay is guaranteed if there is at least one inch. Did I mention that all this happens and yet it usually all melts by noon or 2pm?

    1. Thanks so much for visiting. I have only been to New Mexico once, for a few days, and that was back in the late 1970's when I visited a friend who had moved to Albuquerque. I don't remember much about the visit now except my friend took me to an outdoor area where many craftsmen, including Native Americans, sold jewelry and other items. I purchased silver and turquoise earrings and a necklace from an older lady who had her wares spread out on a blanket on the ground. Still wear them - the necklace is stunning against black. I have been slowly clearing the snow from the storm that came through on February 27 and I now have about a 3 foot wide path from front door to the road, except the stuff at the end of the driveway is frozen solid and I haven't been able to widen that out. I will tackle more of it today. It's been very sunny here the past 2 days and that has helped a lot in softening the snow up. When I grab a shovelful it comes out in big chunks like igloo blocks. More snow is expected started tomorrow night. Ah yes, the joys of encroaching spring in Wisconsin :)