This one's for my friend Stan, who asked if we had this particular weather phenomenon today. And of course he guessed correctly. With the dramatic warming trend of the past two days (as in, the temperature is sixty degrees higher today than it was last Saturday) we had a near perfect Chinook Arch, which is the arc of blue sky over the mountains that often heralds a warm front.
Unfortunately, it almost always comes with a Chinook Wind, but we'll take it anyway.
(For orientation, the video starts out looking due south, swings west, and ends looking due north)
That's our indoor arena, in case you wondered. You can see the roping boxes when I get down to the far end. And yes, if the temperature is more than about fifteen degrees, give or take the wind chill, it does get too warm in there too keep the door shut. More precisely, it gets steamy and damp, which is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which leads to things like pneumonia.
And if you just can't get enough, here's my first attempt at videoing the two A.M. cow check. The one where there were actually new babies, but the iPad ran out of memory halfway through:
Great guesses on yesterday's photo, but everybody's thinking on the large side. Our back yard shelterbelt is home to flocks of charming little Hungarian Pheasants, fondly known as huns. Which of course don't stick around long enough for me to get a decent photo of my own.
They say location is everything in real estate, so we kept
that firmly in mind when we bought a house last year. As in, it's located in
town, instead of way out in the sticks like our ranch, which will come in handy
now that our son is getting old enough to be involved in after school
activities. It's actually an apartment building, and we reserved the smallest
unit for our infrequent stays, when either the weather or our schedule demands.
We call it the Townhouse. Original, right? It is four blocks from my office,
three blocks from my son's school, and in the past month I've gotten lost twice
driving there from work. What can I say? It's a gift.
Last Sunday evening I had a meeting in town. As usual, we
dawdled around until the last minute, then threw stuff in a suitcase and dashed
out the door. I couldn't find my cell phone, so I grabbed my husband's. We
arrived at the Townhouse with a school backpack for the kid but no lunchbox,
three pairs of socks but no clean jeans. Like I said, as usual.
Ordering pizza seemed like the simplest way to deal with
dinner. One quick phone call. Easy peasy.
Except right off the bat, the girl
asked, "What's your phone number?"
Uh…good question. I don't dial my husband's cell phone
number, just click his name in my contacts list. I stammered, stuttered, and
said, "I think it's…"
"Oh—kay," the girl said. "Will that be
delivery, or carry-out?"
Wait. Delivery? I hadn't thought of that. It was three
degrees outside, so I said, "Delivery. Definitely."
"What's the address?" she asked.
I rattled off a street number and name.
"Um…." She poked at computer keys. "Are you
sure? According to my system, that street doesn't exist."
"It's right up the hill from the high school," I
"On the south side of town, then."
"Yes. Oh. Sorry. I said north, didn't I? I meant
There was a quiet sigh, the sound of a woman thinking, Why do I always get the morons? "Got
it," she said. "Apartment number?"
"Uh…" Huh. The back door we habitually use doesn't
have a number, and I've never bothered to notice which apartment was which.
"The one on the bottom," I said. "At the back."
Another sigh, but she clicked more keys and said the
delivery person should be there in forty minutes.
Thirty-eight minutes later, it occurred to me I'd failed to
specify the street was south east, and
I'd given them a faulty phone number so if the driver was wandering aimlessly
around town, she wouldn't be able to ring me and ask for guidance.
I called the restaurant again. "Hello? This is the
person who ordered a large Canadian bacon delivered…"
"Oh." You, her
"I may have given you the wrong address," I said.
"And phone number."
"Yeah. We noticed."
I hastily gave her the correct information, then hung up and
went out front to meet the delivery driver at the curb since I still didn't
know the apartment number. She pulled up and warily got out of the car, as if
she feared she was dealing with someone who might have a tenuous grasp on
"I was here before. They told me nobody lives in the bottom rear apartment." She clutched the pizza
to her chest and darted a glance at the house, her expression suggesting that it had occurred to her I might just be a hungry burglar.
"Well, we don't. I mean, not really. Just
sometimes, when the weather is bad…" Uh, not helping. I gave up, pried the pizza out of her hands and said, "Never
mind. What do I owe you?"
I tipped her extra to offset the possibility that she would dial 911 as soon as she got in her car. And next time, I'll just pick up the stupid pizza. It'll be a
lot less stressful for everyone.
We've got a high of five below today, which means it's way too cold for snowmen. I had to explain that to a friend from Alabama last winter, who has never experienced snow that's too cold to pack into a ball.
Whenever there's an ice or snow storm in the south, the southerners tend to freak out and the northerners tend to mock them. I used to be one of those northerners, until I got to experience an ice storm in Texas. I drove two blocks to the grocery store, got stuck in a dead level parking lot, had to go back in the store and buy cat litter to get moving. Then I drove the two blocks home, parked my pickup and didn't leave again until it thawed.
Southern ice and snow isn't like the stuff we get up here. It's slushy and wet, slicker than ours. Miserable stuff, basically. So for all you southerners, I wish just once you could experience squeaky snow. Believe me, it's a lot more polite.
After kid's wrestling practice. Ambient temperature- -15 Fahrenheit. *