Tori’s Bucket List: Build a Snowman

We had to wait much longer than we had anticipated to finish this adventure because we didn’t get any snow until this weekend!

The neat thing about this is that Tori first experienced snow on January 24, 2015. Now she got to see it again on January 24, 2016!

Harrisburg was “blessed” with around 30 inches of snow in less than 24 hours and we are still digging out.

The snow wasn’t good snowman snow, but Brennan did a great job of building one for us to decorate!

Tori doesn’t love the snow – but neither do her parents ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks to Zander, one of her Krabbe buddies, for the snowsuit! And thanks to our dear friend, Karen, for the snowman decorating kit!

 

 

Day Fourteen: I’m Thankful For…Seasons.

Preface: I thought it was fitting to express my thanks during the month of November for something new each day, as so many others have done before me. I’ve never taken the time to do this, and it will be a challenge to blog each day, but it’s so important to recognize the blessings God has given us! ๐Ÿ™‚ These are in NO particular order…

After living in Southern California (i.e. the land of eternal summer) for seven years, I was (and still am) enamored by the distinct seasons that Pennsylvania offers. I love the transitions that happen between each season. I love the variety of colors that God gives us to enjoy.

I appreciate each season for different reasons:

Winter, for the opportunity to rest while the ground is frozen and the air is frigid…

Spring, for the wonder of watching the earth come back to life and for the colors that bloom…I have learned to appreciate Spring more than ever before because Winter feels so very long at times.

Summer, ย for the adventure, the warmth and the lush green trees that cover Pennsylvania…

Fall, for the beautiful, glorious transition into Winter, giving us a month or so of beauty before the bleak sets in…

We serve such a glorious, creative, loving God who has created all of these things for our enjoyment and wonder…just another way that He shows the world that He exists and that He loves us.

Winter…

I used to blog all the time. Lately, I write posts in my head all the time but they never end up on the blog.

I was thinking today about one that I wrote in January 2010 regarding Winter, and I thought it was worth re-posting a portion of it:

My most recent pondering has been about Winter. As this is only my second โ€œtrueโ€ Winter (since I lived in California for 25 years), I am still adjusting to months of frigid temperatures, white powder covering the ground, and salt on the roads. Winter is bleak, yet beautiful. More than anything, Winter has taught me to fully appreciate Spring, Summer, and Fall. Someone recently described Winter as a time when God allows His creation to restโ€ฆa time for the ground to cease growth, and even a time for humans to spend time inside resting, enjoying the warmth and the time not spent tending gardens, mowing lawns, etc. Winter makes us more passionate about the other three seasons, and gives us greater joy at their arrival. I still marvel at all four seasons, recognizing that God didnโ€™t have to create fourโ€“He could have kept things constant and thereby boring, and we would have never known the difference. This is yet another way God shows us that we are loved.ย :)

I post this mostly as an encouragement to myself, because I am not enjoying winter this year. It was 11 degrees when I left for work this morning. Bitter cold. I long for warmth…

It’s amazing how quickly my sentiments toward winter have changed. This is shown through the amount of pictures I have taken each winter since 2008 (slowly decreasing), as well as the amount of times I have blogged about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

In January 2009, I posted this about my experiments with freezing liquids:ย http://lesaclose.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/the-results-of-my-experiments/

In December 2008, I was thrilled with new weather terminology:ย http://lesaclose.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/lesas-list-of-winter-weather-terms/

Now I am taking Vitamin D3 and hoping that it’s a mild, warm winter.

All in all, I still know that I am called to be here, and that God never gives us more than we can handle. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yet, I still don’t feel like embracing this frigid season…thankfully it’s only three months out of the year!

Random Thoughts and Happenings…

  • This is my third winter in Pennsylvania, what I consider to be my third “real” winter ever. And I’m already finding that I’m not as excited as I was about the first two. It snowed a little last Friday, and rather than be thrilled and overjoyed–as I was the past two years–I found myself saying things like “oh great”. ๐Ÿ™‚ Amazing how quickly the newness of snow can wear off.
  • We are busy. Way too busy for our liking! Starting tonight, we have something to do/somewhere to be every night until the 28th. How does this happen?
  • I really wish we were going to California for Christmas…especially because Papa Fay has Alzheimers, and we don’t know if he’ll remember us next summer. But, I’m excited about possibly having my first “White Christmas” ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Our apartment is finally feeling like a “home” as we slowly unpack, rearrange, and get rid of cardboard boxes. ๐Ÿ™‚ We caved in last week and turned on the heat a bit, because 54 degrees is about fourteen degrees too cold for us.
  • I started the “thank you note” process the other night…I have 150 cards to write–and while we are both thankful that we get to write these (because we were so blessed by our friends and family!), the number is a bit daunting…as is the etiquette rule that says you have eight weeks to get them to people. We’re at six weeks now. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • The band that I am a part of is recording a demo this weekend, as there are a few venues that have opened up to us, but they require a demo CD. Thankfully, our “leader” has a recording studio in his basement. It’s been SO fun to play/sing in this band–but it has definitely challenged me and taken me out of my comfort zone at times. Three gigs last week alone…and more to come.
  • I have raised 9% of the $2,300 for the 3-day walk that I am doing in October! Still selling calendars!
  • All in all, life is good. We are loving being married, and have determined that it is far better than engaged life. There is nothing like starting and ending every day with the one you love most. ๐Ÿ™‚

Of Taste Buds and Winter…

I often wonder about strange things…I love pondering, hence the name of this blog.

My most recent pondering has been about Winter. As this is only my second “true” Winter (since I lived in California for 25 years), I am still adjusting to months of frigid temperatures, white powder covering the ground, and salt on the roads. Winter is bleak, yet beautiful. More than anything, Winter has taught me to fully appreciate Spring, Summer, and Fall. Someone recently described Winter as a time when God allows His creation to rest…a time for the ground to cease growth, and even a time for humans to spend time inside resting, enjoying the warmth and the time not spent tending gardens, mowing lawns, etc. Winter makes us more passionate about the other three seasons, and gives us greater joy at their arrival. I still marvel at all four seasons, recognizing that God didn’t have to create four–He could have kept things constant and thereby boring, and we would have never known the difference. This is yet another way God shows us that we are loved. ๐Ÿ™‚

I often think about random things, and most recently it’s been taste buds. What a wonderful creation they are! Without them, we wouldn’t experience the pleasure of different spices and flavors, and eating would be tedious and a chore. Yet, God gave us these little dots to bring us pleasure and happiness while doing a necessary thing like eating. Taste buds are little things, but they bring great joy–or great disgust if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating.

How are these things related? I have come to believe that I may be going through a different kind of Winter right now–being unemployed. I left (well, was forced to leave) a job at which I was thoroughly unhappy, and a job where I was not able to use the talents, gifts, and passions that the Lord has given to me…and I am beginning to wonder if this extended period of joblessness is occurring so that I might more fully appreciate the “Spring” that is to come.

God made us all differently, with different talents, skills, desires, passions. Like tastebuds, certain things might leave a “bad taste” in our mouths, while others thoroughly enjoy them. I’m trying to figure out what it is that will leave me hungering for more, the “job” of which I just can’t get enough.

God has wired me so that I have to be passionate about what I do (for those who have studied StrengthsFinder, my top one is Belief). When I am doing something about which I am passionate (photography, singing, serving other people and gaining nothing in return, etc.), the joy that fills my soul and my life is incredible. ย I can work for hours and not even notice. However, when I am doing something that goes against everything that I am (i.e. working in politics, strangely enough), I am unfulfilled, drained, longing for 5 o’clock to come.

I’m holding out for something more, to find the purpose for which God created me, and the purpose for which He brought me to Pennsylvania. I know in my heart that He has a specific purpose for me here, and I cannot wait to figure out what it is!

Lord, show me the path…lead me to the place where my thirst cannot be quenched, where I am meant to be…

The Results of My Experiments…

So, in order to make these absolutely frigid months bearable, I decided to have some fun. It all started last night when I decided to put a water bottle out on the porch to see how long it would take it to freeze (at 15 degrees): it took 3 hours. I put a water bottle in the freezer at work today, and it took 4 hours and 2o minutes.

Tonight, I put out six bottles (salt water, Gatorade, Raspberry Acai juice, Sunny Delight, milk, and water without a lid).

dsc_1732

dsc_1735In the meantime, I tried the boiling water trick someone had told me about. It didn’t freeze in midair, so that was a bummer, but it did freeze VERY quickly.

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When there’s ice on the INSIDE of your door, you know it’s way too cold! ๐Ÿ™‚

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After 2 hours: water without lid was solid.

I blew bubbles, but it wasn’t really exciting. Nothing happened–except I got VERY cold since it was 8 degrees! ๐Ÿ™‚

After three hours, the results:

dsc_1758Water and milk: Frozen solid.

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Juice and Sunny D: Slushies

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Gatorade and salt water: not even close!

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So there you go. I am going to leave them out overnight (since it will be around 2 or 3 degrees tonight) to see if they will all be frozen in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been interesting!!

Lesa’s List of Winter Weather Terms…

Prior to my move to Central Pennsylvania, I thought that there were two main types of precipitation: rain and snow. I was very wrong. LOL. This is a list of the terms I’ve heard/experienced thus far, and I’m sure the list will grow!

Freezing Rain
Freezing Drizzle
Freezing Fog
Ice Fog
Sleet
Wintry Mix

And there are even more (taken from USA Today):

  • Blizzard: Winds of 35 mph or more along with considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than one-quarter mile for three or more hours. Extremely cold temperatures often are associated with dangerous blizzard conditions, but are not a formal part of the definition. The hazard created by the combination of snow, wind and low visibility significantly increases, however, with temperatures below 20 degrees.
  • Blowing snow: Wind driven snow that reduces visibility to six miles or less causing significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling and/or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
  • Drifting snow: Uneven distribution of snowfall caused by strong surface winds. Drifting snow does not reduce visibility.
  • Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or just a light dusting is all that is expected.
  • Freeze: Occurs when the surface air temperature is expected to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below over a widespread area for a significant period of time.
  • Freezing rain or drizzle: Occurs when rain or drizzle freezes on surfaces such as trees, cars and roads, forming a coating or glaze of ice. Temperatures above the ground are warm enough for rain to form, but surface temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the rain to freeze on impact. Even small accumulations of ice can be a significant hazard.
  • Frost: Describes the formation of thin ice crystals on the ground or other surfaces. Frost develops when the temperature of the earth’s surface falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but because frost is primarily an event that occurs as the result of radiational cooling, it frequently occurs with air temperatures in the middle 30s.
  • Graupel: Small pellets of ice created when supercooled water droplets coat, or rime, a snowflake. The pellets are cloudy or white, not clear like sleet, and often are mistaken for hail.
  • Heavy snow: Depending on the region of the USA, this generally means that four or more inches of snow has accumulated in 12 hours, or six or more inches of snow in 24 hours.
  • Ice storm: An ice storm is used to describe occasions when damaging accumulation of ice are expected during a freezing rain situation. Significant accumulations of ice are defined as one-quarter inch or greater. This can cause trees, utility and power lines to fall down causing the loss of power and communication.
  • Sleet:Rain drops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet usually bounces when hitting a surface and does not stick to objects. However, it can accumulate like snow and cause a hazard to motorists. Heavy sleet occurs when a half of an inch of sleet accumulates.
  • Snow showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
  • Snow squalls: Intense, but of limited duration, periods of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by strong, gusty surface winds and possible lightning.
  • Watch: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but the occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain.
  • Warning/Advisory: These products are issued when a hazardous weather event is occurring, is imminent or has a very high probability of occurrence. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. Advisories are for less serious conditions that cause significant inconvenience and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life and property.
  • Whiteout: A condition caused by falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to nothing or zero miles; typically only a few feet. Whiteouts can occur rapidly often blinding motorists and creating chain-reaction crashes involving multiple vehicles. Whiteouts are most frequent during blizzards.
  • Wind chill: The wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. This temperature is the reading the body “feels” given the combination of wind and air temperature. At wind speeds of four mph or less, the wind chill temperature is the same as the actual air temperature.
  • I had no idea how complicated Winter is! ๐Ÿ™‚