Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No Excuses

So, the ice storm did come through our area, but luckily we did hit the warmer temperatures, so most of it came down as rain. Thankfully, we did not lose power. Which means I have no excuse about why I have not posted for a week.

Christmas knitting is almost done! I just have the foot of one sock left to knit, and finishing to do on three projects. I am hoping to get all of that done tonight, so I will have plenty of time for blocking and, most importantly, drying, before we leave for my Mom's on Friday.

Because the gift knitting is almost finished, I have actually started my next projects, so I can have knitting to work on with all the traveling we will be doing for the holidays. Hopefully, I can get some pictures today of those small beginnings to share.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The magic numbers

28, 32

Here in KC, we will be getting precipitation tomorrow - but whether we get rain or freezing rain depends upon the temperature. And we are not talking about just a small amount of precipitation, but somewhere between 1.5 and 2 inches. If the temperature today gets up above 28 degrees F, then it is more likely that tomorrow our temperatures will get at or above 32 degrees. Great, this means rain. If not, and the temperature tomorrow stays below freezing - we could get up to two inches of ice. *

So tomorrow, Tuesday, is potentially going to be a really messy day. Or, it might not be. As a result, I have decided to work from home tomorrow instead of driving over the large bridge across the Missouri River** . I don't want to get stuck at work. . . I used to think I was a complete wimp for not going into work on bad weather days. After all, lots of people have to go to work and risk driving in the dangerous conditions. But upon reflection, I am really thankful that, as an academic, I have a job that allows me to honor the limitations imposed upon me by winter weather. I can stay home tomorrow; no one will die or be sick if I am not there tomorrow. But it is more than that - I don't have to worry that my boss will fire me if I don't show up. I don't have to risk life and limb to go to work because I don't have any vacation days left.

Hopefully we will get plain, boring rain instead of ice tomorrow. If we get ice, I hope that people in the area will be safe.

*This is according to my favorite news Channel in KC - 41. Both the of the main meteorologists are terrific. They tell you like it is without predicting gloom and doom.

** Incidentally, I also drive past a landfill everyday to work. Lovely, no. Often the song "Over the river and past the landfill to biology class I go" runs through my head.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Busy, Satisfying Days

The last few weeks have been busy - both in terms of work and getting ready for Christmas. Thankfully, the busy days have also been productive. My biggest accomplishment this week has been finishing preparations for a seed germination experiment. In preparation, I needed to till my plots (there are 35 of them, each about 3 meters long). There have been a few roadblocks in getting this tilling done (mostly my fault), but Wednesday my field went from . . .

to . . .

with the help of . . .
I have never used a tiller before. At first, it was difficult because I was fighting the machine. Once I got the hang of it - the work went quickly. It was a cold day - about 20 degrees F, with a stiff wind. Luckily, the area I was working in was protected from the wind, and the work was physical enough that I actually shed some of my layers.

I finished the tilling just in time, as the following day looked like this . . .
Since last Thursday, we have had light snow, sleet, or freezing rain. Thus, I still don't have the actual experiment in the ground - but I am hoping that we will have a day that is warm enough before Christmas to get my seeds planted. Though, it does not look hopeful for the next week - we are supposed to have "ice pellets" all week.

I have also made good progress on the Christmas knitting. Since they are secret projects, I am only sharing sneak peaks - I plan to share full project details after Christmas.

We have also been doing holiday decorating - fir the first time in about 7 years we have a real tree. It is small, only about 4 ft, but it smells wonderful and I am so happy to have a real tree. We have a lot of our shopping done and most of those presents wrapped (I have to wrap in stages or else I get so sick of it). The other large project for this week is to get the Christmas cards out. Another task I can only do in small doses.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season - and staying warm.