Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and those you care about. I'm looking forward to a brighter, cheerier, healthier, happier year in 2008.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions, but each year I decide to focus on something in the coming months. This year for me it will be writing.

If you've read here for any amount of time you know I'm a big believer in "signs" and I've had a lot of them lately that this is the thing for me to do. I got a large sign before Christmas and another huge one just a few minutes ago. In between the two I made the decision that this was the focus for 2008 for me. The first "sign" spurred me into making that choice and the second one assures me it's the right decision.

I hope you're able to have all you want in 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Festive Displays

I went to Paducah today to do a little shopping and lost track of time. Not sure how it happened, but I found myself there after dark. I decided to check out Bob Noble Park and see if there was a light display. I was not disappointed - there's a huge one - and it's free, although donations are encouraged.

It's one of those typical things you see in parks - but it's large and it's festive and it's there on Dec. 30 - all things to recommend it.

Cathy and I had lunch today, which was a nice treat. She was headed to Paducah as well, so we met up and ate. I really like getting to spend time with her and with Kim, but it seems we're generally all running 100 miles an hour all the time and it just doesn't happen too much. Maybe in 2008 we'll have time for more such things.

2007 has been a difficult year in a lot of ways. I'm ready for a bright, cheery, pleasant 2008 for me and everyone I care about.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Christmas Tree and an Olympus FE300

Tonight I've been experimenting with my new camera, the Olympus FE300, taking photos of Mary Ann and Jackie's Christmas tree. What better subject could there be, after all? I haven't been too impressed with this camera so far, but tonight I'm a little happier with it. Naturally - nice tree photos=happy Patsy.

This Santa was on Kim's packages a few years ago when she did red and white paper- it was a striking combo.

Mary Ann like hummingbirds and someone gave her these really beautiful ornaments.

These snowflakes were my package ornaments last year - red paper with silver snowflakes on it.

I made these gingerbread ornaments one year for everyone. BC was a little guy at the time and I had him write everyone's names on them. It's a nice little touch. Unfortunately, I can't read the year on this one. I think it was 1998, but I'm not sure.

To be fair to the camera, I haven't had time to experiment with it too much so far. These photos were taken on the candle setting. The only thing I'm not thrilled with about that setting is that it won't take high resolution photos on that setting. I'm guessing that's about the grain. So, I don't think prints would be possible, but for the blog this is great. And I haven't experimented with prints so can't say that for sure.

I'm not a professional photographer, nor do I play one on TV, but I do happen to know one. Perhaps Greg will weigh in on the intracacies involved.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Comforts of Real Quilts Made by Real People

Whenever I'm at Mary Ann and Jackie's, I snuggle under this quilt made by Mary Ann's mom, Margaurite Anderson Cooper. It's a simple design of teal and white, but striking in its geometry of curves and lines.

One of the things I love about this quilt is that it was made by a real woman making quilts for practical purposes, instead of a textile artist creating something that will never grace a bed, never warm a body, never comfort a sick loved one. Generations of women have been expressing themselves creatively through quilts, but it seems we've taken it to a dimension beyond "quilt" these days.

I certainly appreciate the endeavors of those who use fabric as their palette to create art, and have featured some of them here. But, I love a quilt made by the hands of a woman who was doing it not so she could enter it into a show, but to give to her children and grandchildren. They're both heirlooms, but the latter is more meaningful, more grounded, and I daresay more valuable. I cannot imagine anyone would trade a quilt their mother made for a piece of art made by a stranger, even though the stiches might be more perfect, the colors dyed an exacting shade of blue and the quilting done to make another piece of art on the back side.

I like the fact that the stitches aren't perfect. They weave here and there. They're not standard sizes. The fabric is puckered in places. Those things would all result in dramatic mark downs in a show, but only add to the beauty of such a piece as far as I'm concerned.

Somehow it seems that quilts should look like this. They're supposed to look homemade - not so perfect that we are amazed they were done by humans and not machines. Those seem like a ompletely different category of thing to me. A quilt is like this - sweet, homey, comforting.

Everytime I arrive at Mary Ann and Jackie's, tired after a long drive, and pull back the bed spread to see this quilt, I feel loved. You only share something precious, made by your mother's hands, with those you love. Every morning when I wake up with it around me I feel surrounded by the strength of generations of women who perservered, persisted and prevailed.

Women built this nation from the ground up, one quilt block at a time. Of course, they don't get the credit - aside from Betsy Ross - but we all know the truth. Without women building a foundation, this country would never have come to be. Quilts seem a great metaphor for that process of building - quietly - in the background - until a whole quilt comes into being. That's not a perfect process of all straight lines and tiny stitches. The work should show through in places. Maybe that's why I love a quilt that embodies those things.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Doing the Right Thing

As the year is drawing to a close I'm reflecting on the past 11+ months and considering the lessons learned.

I think the biggest lesson for me this year is you have to do what you think is "the right thing," even if few people - or no one - agree with you. You have to know where you stand, and what you think is right, or you are buffetted by the other forces around you. It was something I already knew, and is even one of my rules for living, but this year it was tested, as it had a practical application in my life.

For more than a third of this year, I was embroiled in a situation where I was often at odds with my peers. Other groups and individuals were acting on us from the outside and the whole scenario left me continually searching my heart to see if I was doing "the right thing."

Of course, therein lies the rub. "The right thing" can be hard to ferret out in the midst of high emotion and drama. I tend to have pretty definitive ideas of what the right course of action is at any given moment. However, that doesn't mean I'm always correct. And I reminded myself of that regularly as we moved through a process. I made a conscious effort to keep an open mind, to be open to possibilities I had not considered, to be honorable in my dealings with every situation that cropped up.

By the end of those months I had some new enemies on "both sides," although it wasn't until recently that I even knew that. Sometimes "the right thing" is a dash of this and a dab of that and a healthy blending of the other thing. I find it nearly impossible when dealing with other humans to be firmly entrenched in only one side. Being honorable, for me, requires a mix. This is very confusing those who don't know where you stand when you aren't standing on just one side of a line drawn in the sand.

But, now is the time, when one has acquired a new crop of enemies, that it's important to feel you did "the right thing." If you have acted honorably, to the best of your abilities, you can be comfortable with your decisions - even if they seemed contradictory to others at times. If you followed your best instinct about the correct course of action, after being open to the options and possibilities presented, it's all you can do - it's "the right thing." And when you've done the right thing, as far as you know of course, you can be at peace with it.

It was eye opening for me to watch the process and the other people involved at all stages. There was some behavior to model and some to eschew. I was reminded that each of us has potential to be the best and the worst of humans. No human action is beyond or beneath us - we simply don't always know what the limits are because we haven't tested them. And I was also reminded that none of us is our worst moment. We are bigger than that. By the same token, we are not our best moment either.

Doing "the right thing" may not be our best moment, but it is at least a good moment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shopping the Day After Christmas

An appalling lack of shame is the only explanation for why I share these photos with you today.

I had to actually drive to the far end of a parking lot and take my purchases made early in the day out of my car and repack them neatly to get everything I bought into the car while still allowing me to see out the back window.. Then I visited three more stores.

This was the passenger seat in the front of the car, today, after I piled things from the back seat into it, so I could clear it for the tree boxes. Oh... did I not mention the trees...

These are destined to be in my front yard next year... powered by the assemblage of timers and outdoor cords I also purchased today.

I keep a lot of things in the car this time of year - a blanket, jackets, coats, sweaters, etc. At 6:45 this morning I just piled the first crop of trees on top of them. Then I bought some for Greg, too. Then I bought other things and they were not laying flat in the backseat and things were teetering and well... I had to pull to the end of a parking lot and rearrange. I believe this is a first for me and I'm a veteran of Dec. 26 shopping.

I'm not a big shopper. It's not my favorite thing. In fact, clothes shopping is a version of hell for me. Who wants to get dressed and undressed that many times in the span of a few hours? But the day after Christmas I turn into Robo Shopper. I didn't even think there were that many things I wanted today. I expect to come home with wrapping paper and some ornaments and such, but today I got more "utilitarian" things, if you can refer to any sort of decoration in that way. But photo-cell timers aren't the same as sparkly ornaments.

I did pick up a few ornaments, but nothing major. Greg was able to net the Hallmark Barbie ornaments I wanted.

OK... I know... consumerism, commercialism, etc. etc. etc. Just one day a year I want to be Robo Shopper. Just one day. It's a hobby. I'm not saying it's a reasonable one or a good one, but I'm saying it could be a worse one.

And you don't think this happens without "stuff" do you?????

And, yes, not to worry - I bought a case of lights today as backups.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas is for Puppies

Meet Drake.

Santa brought him to BC... a few days early. Drake has been the center of attention all day long. And no wonder. He's the cutest thing around.

He has chewed on paper and boxes and people...

But no one minds because he's just so cute... and efficient...

At only seven weeks old, Drake can already retrieve a duck, even though it's bigger than he is.

And that is why the men of the family are already in love with this pup. The women just think he's adorable.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

In just a little over an hour it will officially be Christmas - the culmination of my favorite time of year. I hope that your Christmas is full of wonder and magic. If you're celebrating with family and friends, or enjoying the reverence of solitude, may it be all you're hoping for plus some.

Merry Christmas and Happy Whatever Else You May Celebrate!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Angel from Long Ago

Today has had a series of ups and downs in it, but one of the perks was running across this little angel Christmas ornament. She's plastic, and about two inches tall, with a wire you use to attach her to the tree.

I remember my mom buying these when I was a little girl. There was a whole set of them. I'm sure some of the others are around somewhere, too.

You can probably tell there's not a lot of detail in her face, but I loved the graceful nature of them even as a little girl. Funny the things we remember. I guess I've been loving Christmas ornaments for a long time now.

This is now the oldest thing I have on the tree - at least that I have a personal connection with. I have some vintage ornaments I've picked up here and there that I don't know the age of.

I'm writing this after midnight so it's now officially my birthday. I guess I'd best get about deciding what I want to be when I grow up, as I get on the other side of the mid forties.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wrapping Up

I spent the day rushing from one thing to another, trying to tidy up end of the year things for the MHA and also get last minute Christmas cards out. I know they probably won't get there by Christmas, but so it goes. I used a different system this year, and it had some flaws. Ooops.

We went out to look at Christmas lights tonight and capped off the evening with a moon burger at Skaets. The moon burger was named in honor of the moon landing, back in 1969, and is still on the menu. I guess that's how you know something is a classic. It comes with bacon, cheese and mayo on it. I like grilled onions with mine.

Lisa is one of my favorite people at Skaets. Tonight she, along with everyone else working there, was sporting one of these cool Santa hats. They have some definite spring to them.

I really want more Christmas season. I want more time to enjoy the lights and music and decorations. This is why I always want to start early - it just ends too soon for me.

I've been wrapping a couple of last minute gifts tonight. No matter when I get started, I'm still wrapping on Christmas eve. I can always think of one more little thing I'd like to get someone.

Well, I need to sleep a bit. I'm so glad tomorrow is Saturday. I have accomplished a ton of things this week.

And I just finished a cup of hot chocolate, complete with little marshmallows, so my Christmasy evening is wrapping up.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tired of Winter

I am officially tired of winter. Unfortunately, I don't think winter has officially started yet.

I'm one of those people who's always cold. And from the first time there's a cold snap I'm cold until spring. The one time I get warm is at night, under my electric blanket. But, as soon as I throw back the covers in the morning I'm cold again. And I stay cold all day.

My home office, where I spend a huge amount of time, is on the north side of my house. I have storm windows and plastic and weatherstripping and every other device I can think of and still my legs and feet are cold.

There's one thing about the 80s I miss, and it's not the music. I miss the leg warmers. Remember leg warmers? They're a genius invention. That is the part of my body that is the coldest - from the top of my socks up to where my jeans start to flare.

Often at night what prompts me to go upstairs is not that I'm exhausted, it's that I'm frozen, and I want to get under my electric blanket.

I'm tired of winter. Oh, and did I mention snow is in the forecast for tomorrow?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Six Years Ago Today

Six years ago today I closed on my house. It was terrifying and exhilerating, all at the same time. Many things were going on in my life at the time and making such a huge decision seemed overwhelming. But, at the same time, so much had happened in the months preceeding this, that it seemed like just another step.

I've been very happy as a homeowner. I've done a lot to the house, although not much in the past year. Generally I've taken photographs every Dec. 19 to illustrate my progress, but it hasn't changed much in the last year. Maybe next year there will be reason to take a lot of photos.

This is one I took this summer. The hardwood didn't look this way when I bought the house - it had dried on glue from various carpet installations. This was under the powder blue carpet that was accented with grease stains where a previous resident had worked on his motorcycle in the dining room.

The question I always want answered is why the dining room. I know of four such cases, in addition to mine, of people working on motorcycles in the dining room. It's just not one of the uses for a dining room that jumps immediately to mind for me, but it obviously is for others.

I've always wanted a big old two story house. The feel of a house that's been loved by others is special. I don't need perfection. I need history. The idea of settling in where others have loved, lived and laughed and adding my own energy appeals to me. This house suits me for this time in my life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I'm completely giddy over things like heat, lights and working appliances. What can I say? A week without them makes one appreciate them even more.

I've been enjoying my own Christmas decorations, as well as other people's. Greg took this photo a couple of nights ago of Christmas lights peeking through the snow on a bush. Doesn't that just look like some sort of confection?.

Tonight we went to CiCi's for dinner and happened to catch The Grinch on The Cartoon Network. Maybe I've not mentioned my love of the Grinch before, but it's substantial. That is one of the things I have to see every year for it to BE Christmas. Oh my... that part where his heart grows...

I also have to see Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life. I like to see Rudolph, too. That Burl Ives snowman - genius.

Gary came this afternoon and picked up the generator. My porch looks bare without it, but I'm so thankful to no longer be in need of it. And I am SO thankful to them for the loan of it. I must try to model their kindness to others.

I wish I had another few weeks before Christmas. I need more time to enjoy the holiday season. Of course, I think this every year.

I'm still on a campaign to move Thanksgiving to the end of September, then have Halloween at the end of October and then officially begin the Christmas season on November 1. I think it has merit. Who do I talk to about that?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Then There Was Light

Then there was light and all other things electrical. My power came on this afternoon - a full week without electricity.

They were down to only 150 pelople left in Hutchinson without power and our two blocks were part of them. When no trucks were working in the area all morning I called, yet again, and explained that while I was caling from a specific address there were two blocks of us without power. And, given their system of doing the areas where the most people were affected, it seemed that we should be high on the priority list.

For the upteenth time, I explained there were two blocks. For the upteenth time they acted like this was completely new information to them and they would note it on the work order. But, unlike the other times, we had power in a little over an hour.

Ruth (Bob's wife) from next door called and told. I was soooooo happy to get that call. As soon as I got in from work I started the washing machine and the dishwasher. The dishwasher filled a little slowly - I think the lines were about frozen - but it did fill - thank goodness.

I brought home a lot of the stuff I had taken to the office. Tomorrow I'll get the rest of it.

Other than my own stress and the financial hits, it seems there's no long term damage.

I was very happy to have some time with the Christmas tree on tonight. I've got a few more days to enjoy it now, so I'm going to make the most of it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Accomplishment by Clean Underwear

This is the way we dry our clothes - on a borrowed coat rack and the hooks on the back of the door. This is after we go to the gas station to carry jugs of gas home to fill up the generator to plug in the washing machine.

But, it serves two purposes. 1. The Obvious - I have clean clothes. 2. The pipes going to the washing machine have been used, clearing out any pesky ice crystals that might have formed overnight when it got down to FIVE freaking degrees.

The generator ran a little space heater all night in the kitchen, keeping the washing machine lines - and hopefully the dishwasher line - from freezing. Greg, bless his heart, came over in the middle of the night and checked the generator - decided it needed more gasoline and went to get some at 3 a.m. so he could fill it up. I swear, he is the BEST ex-bf a girl could have. Frankly, the kitchen was pretty toasty when I walked in today. I was surprised at how warm the space heater kept it. And I was mighty glad to turn on the water to the washer and have it flow freely - hot and cold.

I was reminded today of sitting with a coworker many years ago who didn't care for computers. She looked at me exasperated and said, "If the typewriter had been invented after the computer we'd think it was great - it gives you hard copy immediately and it never crashes." I thought of Mary today when - just ever so briefly - I thought maybe our ancestors might have been onto something with that board and washtub thing. However, I quickly pushed that thought aside. I don't want to go back. In the words of Amy Winehouse, "No, No. No." And in one of the many ways life is funny, Mary is now a graphic designer who spends the majority of her waking hours using a computer.

Even doing laundry, and other daily chores, is odd for me at the moment - day seven without power, in case you're counting. It's weird, but you start to have this incredible sense of accomplishment over having clean underwear. Maybe a sense of accomplishment is proportional to how complex a task is. And without our modern conveniences, lots of things get complex pretty quickly.

This continuing power outage has illustrated for me who I can really count on in a pinch. There's a group of people that I think of myself as "close" to, but it's not them, by and large, who have offered help during this time. Of course, some of them have been dealing with their own difficulties as well.

I've been touched by the offers of help and the actual . Andrea asked on the first day if I wanted to come and stay with her. Sondra offered me her bedroom for as long as I needed it. Kris and John tried to get me to come to Wichita this weekend and stay with them. It was Gary and Peggy who loaned me a generator, which has been a God-Send - if it weren't for them I would be facing the additional trauma of busted pipes now. My next door neighbor, Bob, is fantastic. I know I've mentioned him here before. He has been amazingly helpful, even though he doesn't have any power either. Terry has called to check on things multiple times. Greg, of course, has been a jewel - in more ways than I can count.

He and Peggy, in particular, have been very understanding that part of the "trauma" to me is not being able to enjoy my Christmas tree and other decorations. I put trauma in quotes because I realize that if this is the worst thing that happens to me this week/month/year, that I'm leading a charmed life. I "get" it. I'm disappointed, but I get the difference between disappointment a real problem.

This week I learned of a real problem that has just broken my heart. One of my leadership classmates lost his four month old son this week. They found out they were going to have another baby while we were in leadership class last fall, and he emailed us when the baby was born. They were so excited to be having another baby, and thrilled when he arrived. I don't know the details of what happened, but my heart breaks for them every time I think about it.

That is a "real" problem and I want to remain mindful of what's serious and what's just a passing disappointment or inconvenience. I know that family, and many others, would trade places with me in a second. Like most people, I have much to be thankful for.

Check for the blog, art, and more.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I took a quick spin through Eastside Cemetery today. It's not too far from my house and has some old tombstones in it. I loved the undisturbed snow on these benches.

And, as always when it snows in Hutchinson, people let their kids sled on the embankment of the overpass at K61 and Avenue A. This seems incredibly dangerous to me, but I guess it falls into the category of "my parents let me do it and I'm gonna let my kids do it." In fact, it's not a matter of "letting" the kids - the adults are driving the kids there. They park along the road (a somewhat major artery), then walk up the hill and hurl down it on plastic disks toward the traffic that is coming down the ramp and can't see them.  Like I said - it doesn't seem like a great idea to me - but it seems to work.

And, I'll admit... there's a part of me that wants to do it!

Check for the blog, art, and more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fraese Drug in the Wiley Building in Hutchinson Kansas

The snow is still coming down at 1 a.m. It's supposed to continue until a bit before noon. It's a beautiful snow. I snapped this photo of the new municipal Christmas decorations - this wreath outside of Fraese Drug in the Wiley Building - with the snow still coming down.

The other night when the ice storm started, Greg took this magnificent photo of one of the decorations on Main Street.

Greg's a professional - I'm an amateur - as these two photos make crystal clear. You can see more of Greg's work at

Friday, December 14, 2007

How about some Snow to go with that Ice?

The snow started in Hutchinson, Kansas about 3 this afternoon. Huge, fluffy white flakes. We still have significant ice in places, so the worry is that this will cause more power outtages. I snapped this photo about 4:30 out my office window on Main Street. It has continued snowing. They expect 8 inches. We have angered the weather gods.


We had sun today... it felt like a heat wave with temperatures near 40 degrees. Lots and lots of ice melted away. And things were very pretty while the sun was shining.

Of course, some trees are pretty much gone...

At various stoplights around town you'll see city trucks parked. If you look more closely you'll see generators running stop lights. It's the latest thing. What? Your town is doing it the old fashioned way?

While today was warmer and sunshiney, tomorrow the forecast is for snow. Hutchinson is expected to be in the worst part of the storm, getting 6-8 inches. That isn't exactly what I would have asked for if anyone had inquired what I'd like. I generally love snow, and if I could be tucked into my warm house with the Christmas lights on enjoying it, it would be OK. But, the idea of trudging back and forth in it and never having a place to really get warm is less appealing. But whatever will be, will be. We'll see what the morrow brings!

Lies Recordings Tell

When you call to try and get someone interested in the fact that you have no power in your home in the middle of December, when there's ice on everything and snow in the forecast, you get a recording that says crews are working "around the clock." That's comforting, until you realize it's untrue.

How do I know this? Because by happenstance last night I drove by the Convention Center and found 48 trucks from various entities, mostly our own power supplier, parked there.

Now, of course, everyone has to eat and sleep and do all the things humans do. But "around the clock" implies that one crew works a shift, then another crew works a shift, then another crew works a shift. This, obviously, is not happening when at midnight 48 vehicles with power company logos on them are parked at the nicest hotel in town. If there is equipment available, work could be happening. Thousands of people are employed by power companies - the recording says they're bringing in crews from other places - so they could just bring in more people because we have equipment sitting here idle.

I didn't walk in last night to see if anyone was having a beer at the sports bar. I didn't have time after driving through the parking lot to count trucks. I was on my way to my house to blunder around with a flashlight to get my plants to bring them with me to the office where I slept on an air mattress, i.e. not in the nicest hotel in town.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ice Storm Continues

I'm at my office, where I will be taking up residence tonight I guess. My house is now far too cold to stay in. I'm worried about the pipes freezing, but I have no options that I can figure out to protect them. I took a shower this morning by turning on the hot water and letting the bathroom steam up first, then hopping in. It was far less miserable than I expected it to be.

The power company has now changed their minds from 1-2 days to "several days," and have defined that to some residents as "10-14 days." That would be Dec. 22-26 for those of you counting. Goodness knows I'm counting.

I have events scheduled at my house every day for the next week. I am cancelling things for Thursday and Friday and hoping to be surprised with power and feel sorry I cancelled. But I think it's the safest thing to do. I cancelled Creative Sisterhood tonight - the first time in five years - we didn't even cancel the day I got out of the hospital. But, only three of us could get together anyway.

I'm not really getting to enjoy that Christmas Tree I spent 80 hours putting together. It's my finest one so far, too. Pity. And it seems I may not get to enjoy it at all before Christmas. That is really disheartening.

What's really frustrating is that everyone in all directions from me has power except for two blocks, one of which is mine. We are the only ones without in the neighborhood.

But, people have it far, far worse. I can afford to eat out, while the food in my fridge sits there and rots. I don't have children that are cold, and I have a warm place to go that even has a high speed internet connection. Nonetheless, it's very, very frustrating.

Whenever there's a power outtage, whether I'm involved or not, I always think it's ridiulous that we have these lines we're so dependent on exposed to the weather. And, of course, there is a solution, but power companies and cities are unwilling to enact it. That does mean that when they say it's an "act of God" that that's not really true. An act of God means it's unavoidable and this isn't - the lines could be buried - but they've chosen to not do that. But, I'm betting that no one is going to take any responsibility for it nonetheless. Poor God - blamed for every bad thing that comes along.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I tried to sleep at home and did doze. It's a weird deal. I'm more than comfy under the covers. In fact I got too warm. But my little cheeks and nose are cold. Now the forecast is for only 31 today. It's 26 now and cold in my house. I'm dreadig getting out from under the covers but glad morning is here.
(sent from mobile device)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm Photos from Central Kansas

I believe the reason I don't have power is related to this sort of problem. Hutchinson Kansas, where I live, is full of scenes like this today. This was taken on Severance, around 9th street, but similar sights are all over town.

You can follow the power line here and see that it's a bit "strained." Power lines are not meant to form angles like this, or to be so heavily laden that they're draped like Christmas garland.

Power lines are also not designed to be a support structure for tree limbs.

That one, I'm sorry to say, is very near my home - less than a half a block away.

This one is in the opposite end of town, near Derenda Drive. It's a little hard to make out the line on the far side of the branch, but it is still attached to the pole. Well, at least it was this afternoon. That may have changed.

As far as I can tell, no area of town escaped this storm.

Storms are indiscriminate - they even damage mangers. But, if you're a religious person, note how that manger saved the roof. I'm just saying...

There are still some of us without power. It's really frustrating to me - the next block up from me - three houses away, has power. The people across the street have power. But, not me. Yet. However, the most expensive part of town (which is NOT where I live) is still without power, too. So, I guess I have some company.

There is damage everywhere.

Even tonight there are roads barricaded off because of downed limbs. In some places there are physical barricades and in some just caution tape tied to what's left of trees.

When you're driving around, you're always considering if the branches above you are going to hold out. Except this guy... All I can figure is that he feels secure in the deal he has made with the ice gods.

This was the only vehicle on the street and it was right under a heavily laden tree. But, in his defense, there wasn't a branch on the truck. Maybe he knows those folks with the manger that saved their roof.

And... finally... a little bit of irony... Yes... one should BE AWARE...

Fire trucks have been going everywhere all day but I understand from the radio reports that there have been no structural fires here from downed power lines. I hope that continues to be the case.

Well, I'm off to get some dinner and then to try and sleep in my chilled home.