mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - purple star)
2012-12-21 04:47 pm
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Winter in Texas

Today's Holidailies prompt is "Share your favorite winter memories." Mostly I've been ignoring the prompts, but I might possibly have some things to say about the topic of winter. The first thing I thought of was snow, but really I don't have much experience with snow.

The thing is (for those of you who don't already know this), I live on the Gulf Coast - currently in the south suburbs of Houston, and before that I lived in Galveston, right on the water, for many years. So my experience of winter is a bit different than many of yours. But we do have different weather in the winter - you can still tell it's winter, if you know what to look for. Today, on the first day of winter, it's chilly, but not terribly cold - my phone tells me that it's 46F. That's pretty cold for us by daytime standards, but the wind's not blowing and it didn't feel especially cold to me.

I noticed last night that some of my neighbors had their plants covered, but they have tended to be conservative about that in the past. I don't think the temp was below freezing last night. (I hope not, because I have a Norfolk pine that I have had for years and would like to keep!) We normally only get a handful of days where there's a hard freeze, even here 20 miles inland, and Galveston gets even fewer. In fact, my doctor told me when I went in about my sinuses the other day that this was a particularly bad year for allergy-sufferers because we never had a hard freeze last year - although I'm pretty sure I remember several light ones.

Some trees have lost their leaves now; others still have quite a lot. We've had a relatively colorful fall, by our standards; the tallow trees in particular (which grow like weeds anywhere they're allowed to) have been very bright. Whatever fall color we get doesn't come until November or December, but this year we had a pretty substantial cold spell in early November that was enough to get us a good bit of color.

Any time after, say, the middle of October, it's not unusual to get some cold weather - in fact, some years we'll have more really cold weather in the fall than we do in the real winter. We get "blue northers" (and the sky really does turn blue) where a cold front comes pretty much out of nowhere, if you haven't been watching the weather reports, and the temperature drops about 20 degrees in just a few minutes. Surely that's not really only a Texas thing, but maybe it's more noticeable down here because it's usually warmer to begin with. Really, we can have shirt-sleeve weather off and on throughout the winter, although it's only towards the end of the winter (meaning, y'know, March) that it becomes common. I'm looking at the phone again, and it says it's supposed to be 79 on Sunday and 70 on Christmas Day, but Christmas night it's supposed to get down to 34. That sounds like we might be getting a norther for Christmas, actually.
mellicious: pink manicure (winter berries)
2009-12-22 02:02 am

Happy (belated) Solstice!

I have said before that I usually get asked to bring the rolls (store-bought) to Christmas dinner, or fruit for a fruit salad. My aunt has told me before that this is because we live out of town, but my mom lived out of town too, and that didn't get her out of being asked to bring her famous gumbo to everything. (Which meant if you rode with her, you got to smell it for two or three hours, and half the time some of it would end up on the floorboard of the car. Ew.) So clearly, the real reason is not that I live out of town, but that I am famously not much of a cook. Somebody on some blog I was reading said lately that everybody bakes something at Christmas. Um, no. Maybe every five years I will get on a roll and bake cookies or something - and there was that time my mother guilted me into making fudge. (Actually I think she guilted me into making fudge twice. But it's no-bake fudge, anyway - the recipe is in that entry, if you're interested - so that's still not baking, technically.)

All that said, I am sort of baking something - or rather taking something that will be baked - to the family Christmas. But it's lasagna, of all things, rather than anything sweet. It's not actually for the big Christmas dinner; it will be eaten either Thursday night or Friday night. And I'm taking it assembled but unbaked, and we will bake it later. I've done that before, a number of years ago, and it worked out well. It's not actually that I can't cook, but that I don't usually bother. Rob and I don't really eat the same food (he lives on spaghetti and fish, generally) and we each cook our own, but for me that usually ends up being something frozen. I just don't care much about cooking, but when I bother to cook, I do pretty well at it. (As long as I set timers. I can burn anything.)

Possibly the funniest LJ thread I've ever read. I can't say I ever thought a whole lot about the lyrics to "Do You Hear What I Hear?" but I will now.

I thought everybody knew about the GOP military-funding filibuster, but TPM is treating it as news and TPM knows everything (politically speaking), so I guess not. Politically speaking, here's the question I want answered: what made Lieberman change his mind on the healthcare bill? It's very clear what made Ben Nelson change his mind, but I haven't heard a word about Lieberman. If I find out the answer to this, I'll report back.

I did find out the answer to why Al Franken has been presiding so much - he's the low man on the totem pole, so he gets the duty at fun times like the all-night sessions. (I knew he was the low man, of course, I just hadn't made the connection.)

Wow. I'm suddenly much happier that I've never been much of a Prairie Home Companion fan.
mellicious: pink manicure (fall foliage)
2007-11-14 10:59 pm

Seasonal color indoors

Even though it's been 80 degrees here in the afternoons, part of me seems to think it's fall - at least, I went and took the bright colored batik quilt (which is my mom's handiwork) - and the purple-dotted sheets I bought to go with it - off of the bed last night, and put on the one I consider my winter quilt and slightly more subdued sheets instead. Although then it occurred to me that I also have Mom's big Christmas quilt, so I guess I will have to switch to it soon. Or just add it on top, if it ever actually gets cold. I had better use it, one way or the other, because I went through a little mini-drama to get to keep it. I had told a certain extended family-member that she could have some quilts, and she tried to take that one with her and I said "Oh no, I was intending to keep that one," and removed it bodily from her pile. I felt sort of bad but I was perfectly entitled to do it, and I would be kicking myself now if I hadn't.

We got the easy part of the unpacking done pretty fast - the dishes and books and things like that that had obvious places to put them. Now we're down to the hard part. I think I probably need a filing cabinet for all the papers - between estate stuff and our own finances, there's a lot of stuff I'm going to want to keep for the near future, at least. And I need to get back to all that scanning and shredding I was doing before the move. We still really have papers out the wazoo. The sewing room is a mess, too, because on top of all the sewing stuff I have all of those quilts - some of mine, some of Mom's, and some that came from my grandmother's house that I don't even know who made them! (Although I'm pretty sure it wasn't my grandmother.) And clothes. Jesus, I have a lot of clothes. I hung stuff up in the half of the closet that doesn't have quilt stuff in it, and filled up all the storage things I bought for clothes (several of them) and I still have clothes overflowing. And I already threw away/donated a whole bunch of stuff! Who knew I had so many clothes?

Oh, so that was the Catacombs of Kathandrax I was babbling about at the bottom of my entry last night - not that anybody but Col cares, and he probably knew what I meant, anyway. I shouldn't post when I am sleepy, I either go off on some incoherent rant or just plain babble incoherently! Anyway, it's a GWEN dungeon with three levels and it was pretty difficult. We had six people from my guild and two monk heroes - and later five real people, because one player was in Europe and I guess he didn't realize it was going to take so long! It took... well, I'm not sure because I don't know what time we started. Two and a half hours, maybe. (They almost went off without me in the beginning. Apparently nobody was paying attention when I said "brb"!)

It is supposed to actually get cold(ish) sometime tonight. Rob said it wasn't here yet when he went for his walk an hour or so ago.
mellicious: pink manicure (agnostic)
2006-12-21 10:18 pm

The dark of winter

I may not be a christian, but I am not much of a pagan, either. I like the idea of celebrating winter solstice, but as far as actually doing that? It just doesn't feel right. Christmas may technically be a christian holiday, but somehow it's my holiday just the same. I don't really understand why I'm that way about it, but I am. I guess it just has to do with family and tradition and all that good stuff, except that I tend to blithely ignore tradition the rest of the year. What makes it different from, say, Easter, which I am massively ambivalent about? However, I loved Christmas growing up in a way that Easter could never approach, and I associate it with a whole lot of good family memories and very few bad ones (at least until recent years) so maybe it's not all that surprising after all.

It is cooler here today, which is good because it means we shouldn't have any more fog for a while, and also, it does make it feel more like winter. Although we only have the fog in the winter, usually, so I guess that means it's winter weather too. In fact our winter weather varies wildly - probably more than the rest of the year, which is just mostly hot. My version of seasons, Gulf Coast style, is: hot (spring), really fucking hot (summer, of course), hot again (fall), and then cooler (winter). Winter is not cold here, or not very much. It's just not-hot.

We had a nice holiday lunch today, and exchanged gifts, and now we are off work for 10 whole days, til January 2nd. Woo. I know it will go by before we know it, though.

Holidailies gold
mellicious: pink manicure (spring flowers)
2006-09-01 03:16 pm
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A coupla things...

It makes me irrationally gleeful that the FBI is investigating Thomas Kincaide's business dealings - partly because I loathe his crappy paintings, but also because, god help me, I already knew enough about him to know that he engages in some awfully shady practices. Mostly by that I mean retouching prints slightly and calling them "original" and selling them for outrageous sums of money. It may be technically legal, but it's not very ethical, especially for somebody who pitches himself as a Christian. (Of course, at some point you also stop feeling very sorry for the dummies who buy such things, but that's another story.)

I'm glad to hear that other people besides me are glad when September gets here. Sometimes I think I am the only person who's not sad when summer is over.

Oh, also, I would like to point out the Astros' lack of suckitude lately. They have won, I believe, six games in a row and can legitimately be considered to be in the wild card race.

(Suckitude? Where did I come up with that one? I blame Joss Whedon.)
mellicious: pink manicure (nautilus)
2006-08-30 05:50 pm
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Not autumn just yet

I saw the two signs of fall today - dragonflies and love-bugs. (These kind of love-bugs, not the Volkswagons.) Now I know it's not actually fall yet, and believe me, it doesn't much feel like fall here, but still, those are signs to me that fall is on the way.

(Anybody who points out to me that it's liable to be hot here until well into October is inviting violence. Let me have my dreams!)