Remembering

celebrate newExactly ten years ago, we experienced the worst ice storm, ever. The devastation of that ice storm looked like a tornado had swept through the land. Trees were broken bodies bent by the weight of the ice. Power lines snapped and fell to the ground. We had no power for seven days. Many were without power for over two weeks. It was a struggle to get through each day without our electricity. After a few days of cooking soup on the barbecue grill in frigid temperatures, we gave up and headed to my father-in-law’s home. He had power and the roads had been cleared of the ice.

All week, the weatherman warned that we were in the path of another ice storm. People began scrambling. Generators were sold out at the hardware stores. Gallons of water disappeared from the grocery store shelves. Schools cancelled before the first drops of rain fell. Homes prepared for the worst.

The temperatures hovered around that magic thirty-two degree mark. When it dropped, ice began to encase the trees. As the temperature climbed, icicles formed from the melting. The rain continued to fall most of the day. However, this storm did not lead to devastation. Yes, some lost power, but only for hours, not days. img_1181-1

Soon this front will pass and we can breathe easier knowing that our power lines remain attached to the poles. Life will continue on until the next storm sends everyone into panic mode.

I celebrate the people who work tirelessly to keep our power lines intact.

Stanley, the Roadrunner

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

An umbrella propped in the corner of a covered patio has become an evening-through-the-night roosting place for a roadrunner at my brother-in-law’s house, outside of Phoenix.

Every afternoon between 3:30 and 4:00, a roadrunner wanders in from his (we think it is a male) day of hunting for food. He ambles about the patio, freezing into position if he senses movement behind the glass doors. When he feels safe, he continues his patrol of the patio. My brother-in-law reports that occasionally, he will tap on the glass doors. Sadly, he was not in a tapping mood during my visit during the holidays.

After taking stock of his surroundings, he may fly up to the back of a chair to study his final destination, the top of the propped umbrella. Or he may decide to fly right to the top of the umbrella.

Stanley is all puffed up trying to dry off. Believe it or not, it rained the days were were in Arizona.

Stanley is all puffed up trying to dry off. Believe it or not, it rained the days were were in Arizona.

Once perched, he faces out so he can keep an eye on his surroundings. His tail is straight up and flush with the wall. That is his pose until he leaves in the morning. Departure is usually around 8:00-8:30.

Since this bird has been roosting on my brother-in-law’s patio for several months, he was given a name, Stanley. Stanley does not take flight when you go out to view this curiosity. He views the intruder with an unblinking steely stare.

Stanley, settled in for the night. He has become the finial of the umbrella.

Stanley, settled in for the night. He has become the finial of the umbrella.

This is the tidiest bird ever. He has never left one dropping on the umbrella or patio. Now, I find that amazing! I’ve never known a bird not to leave a little disgusting reminder of their presence.

Every morning, the patio corner is checked to see if Stanley stayed the night. Each evening his arrival is anticipated and noted. It will be a sad day when Stanley decides to relocate.

Frosted by Fog

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

A bit of phoetry today. I am entranced by the fog that freezes on plants for a short period of time.

Fog moved in while temperatures dropped.

Fog moved in while temperatures dropped.

Tops of some leaves were frosted.

Some leaves were frosted by the fog.

Other leaves are outlined.

Some leaves were outlined in white.

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Crisscrossed lines of webs were revealed.

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Sugar-frosted berries on the burning bush.

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Frozen Blue Atlas Cedar needles created a flocked flower.

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No time left to linger, I must journey on through my day. Until the next time Mother Nature paints the world white with fog.

 

 

Knife Tale

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Forty years ago there was a wedding shower given after school one day. If I remember correctly, the gifts were to be kitchen tools I wish I had. I can’t really remember any of them, except for one item.

It was a very thin blade knife with a plastic brown handle. I think it said it was a fruit and vegetable knife. I’d never seen a knife quite like it before. I wondered how I’d use it. For a long time, it sat in a drawer with other kitchen implements.

One day I decided to peel a grapefruit, but I wanted to get under the white pith of the peel, but not cut too deeply into the fruit.  As I searched for a tool in my kitchen drawer, I discovered the wedding shower knife. Hmmm, maybe this will work, I thought. It worked like a charm. It was the perfect tool to peel and segment a grapefruit!

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This knife is forty years old. Look closely at the photo on the right, see where the missing piece of metal broke away.

Year after year, it did the job. However last year a small piece broke off where the blade meets the handle. Now the blade seems a little wobbly when I cut. I don’t know what I will do when it finally breaks apart. I guess I will be haunting the kitchen implement stores looking for a replacement of a knife that was given to me forty years ago. Wonder how long it will last (assuming I can find one).

Never Again! (Maybe?)

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Circumstances required me to do some grocery shopping outside of my normal day. No big deal, I thought. I will just run in and get what I need. Ha! That was a dream.

Negotiating the course was tricky. Carts and people blocked pathways through the aisles. I peered down the aisle wondering, do I really need something here? Unfortunately, the answer was usually yes.

Not only were the stores filled with shoppers, but they echoed with the wailing of small children who did not want to be shopping and I’m sure they needed a nap. Their squalling made me want to cover my ears. By the time I had gathered all my necessary supplies, I had a pounding headache.

Finally the car was loaded, I sank into the driver’s seat wishing I could just close my eyes and rest, but there were items needing refrigeration in the back of my car. Onward I pressed, vowing to NEVER go grocery shopping on a Saturday again!

Thankfully, most of the time I can select another day since I am mostly retired. I’m sorry for those who work all week and that is the only day you have to shop. One day you too, will be able to abandon Saturday shopping.

 

 

Decision Day

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

It’s decision day!

The sun shirking its job, slept in.

Gray skies, misty drizzle

 A breath of coolness

 Greeted bare arms.

News media reported

 Long lines wrapped around the building.

Not so, in my polling place.

 Twenty minutes later,

 Decision recorded

I walked back out into the gray day,

But lighter in heart.

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 My civic responsibility completed.

 

 

 

Bumfuzzled!

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Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

“What’s under your vanity?” my husband inquires.

I am totally clueless. There’s nothing under my vanity but the bathroom rug. I get up to investigate. The room has been stripped of the rugs, only beige tile can be seen, except for the dark spot under the vanity, close to the shower door. I kneel down to get a closer look.

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How in the world did that creature get in here? My husband goes to get a cup to scoop it, I go to get my phone for a photo.

Once I have a photo, I use a paper plate to nudge it into the cup. It doesn’t move. It is stuck to the floor. Ewww! I cannot dislodge this critter from my floor with the paper and plastic tools I had planned to use to capture it. A razor blade is needed to pry the dried out body from the tile floor.

Now we are left with a mystery. How did it get in? When did it get in? This bathroom floor is cleaned every week. The rugs are never left outside or set on the ground. To say we are bumfuzzled is an understatement.