Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter wonderland? I think not.

I remember when I was a kid, and later when I lived in New Hampshire, snow was so pretty. And sometimes here in D.C., it can be pretty... for about an hour or so before it turns brown. We had one of these "winter wonderland" snowfalls about a week before our blizzards. On the walk to work I couldn't resist snapping photos in Lafayette Park.

Let's look at the differences between a nice snowfall of a few inches, and a not-so-nice blizzard.

BEFORE: It's 7 a.m., there's no one around, and everything looks so picturesque. Another bonus: the Park Service had even shoveled.

AFTER: I returned to work to face this scene. Now I know I've been off for 11 days, but I seem to remember that magnolia tree being much bigger. Also, I didn't appreciate having to climb over a snowbank to get into the park.

Sure enough, the magnolia lost half its limbs. Not so pretty now, is it?

BEFORE: The White House, looking so snowy.

AFTER: It looks kinda depressing now.

BEFORE: A big 'ol pretty tree, covered in snow.

AFTER: The same big 'ol tree, with a bunch of downed limbs.

BEFORE: Isn't it amazing how the snow sticks to each and every branch?

AFTER: Lots of those branches are now laying in the snow.

While I'm on a rant, another thing that's not so pretty? No trash pick-up in the city for 2 weeks.

A very long 2 weeks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How do you save your spot?

With our alleys snowed in, us D.C. residents have no option but to park on the streets. After spending hours shoveling out our cars, no one wants to lose the spot in front of their house. Personally, I've elected to simply stop driving and walk to the Takoma farmers market, the library, and Safeway. (Besides, I really need the exercise after a week of sitting on the couch.) Here are some of the creative ways we're saving our spots.

The classic: the plastic chair.

Wicker chair.

Stool and a beer box.

Rocking chair.

Chair and a table.


Plant, bucket, and folding chair.

Broken upside-down chair.

Cafe table and chairs (perhaps my favorite).

Recycling containers (you don't need them since the city stopped picking up recycling).

Some sort of wooden structure.

Buckets and a 2 x 4.

Diapers boxes.

Little kid chairs.

Chairs neatly spaced.


Folding chairs.

Pieces of wood.

Or, you could just wait for the snow to melt.

This guy might be waiting until May.

This guy has the best idea... a tiny car!

What do cats do during a blizzard?

Each of cats had a different strategy to ride out the storm.

Charlotte the kitten loved watching the falling flakes.

Vince chose to sleep the storm away on a warm radiator.

Samantha cuddled up with her mom on the couch.

Where's Johnny? That tabby cat is hanging out on a snowbank

Scenes from the Blizzard of '10

Here are a few images from the blizzard. There were multiple storms, and in the end we had about 3 feet of snow. It really wasn't that much fun. Luckily, we didn't lose power, but snow in D.C. is never fun. When I lived in New Hampshire I used to love the snow, but after this, I think I could go the rest of my life without seeing another flake. Ricardo is permanently damaged.

The snow came quick. It started off pretty enough, sticking to the trees, for that winter-wonderland effect.

Then came the wind, and more snow.

The next morning things were out-of control.

The backyard looked pretty, but there was a lot of work to be done.

Our outdoor kitties were trapped... one on the porch, the other in the back yard, both upset and meowing for help. Ricardo (the amazing husband that he is) dug out a tunnel so they could reunite and cuddle for warmth.

We didn't leave the house for days, but finally ventured out the day before another storm was ready to strike. The sidewalks were impassable, and the streets were down to one lane, with all the pedestrians forced to share the road with cars.

After our hike to Safeway, we found empty shelves everywhere. Hope you don't need any tomatoes, garlic, onions, eggs, milk, juice, cooking oil...

To add insult to injury, we waited in line for 2 hours and 6 minutes. (Yes, I timed it.) My back was killing me, and it was a cold walk home. But at least we had wine.

After 11 days home, dealing with the snow, all we can do is hope it melts -- soon.