Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15,2009 -- Last Fire of the Season



Just a quick note -- it's been an interesting last 30 days due to the weather here in Atlanta -- a little over three weeks ago, we had that "giant" hail; then the snow two weeks ago; one week ago golf was out on the golf course in 79 degree weather; today was 46 degrees all day and rainy and cold, so golf made the last fire of the season. Actually, she made what she THOUGHT was the last fire yesterday when the weather was the same, but then there was a repeat cold, rainy day today. So today's fire will probably be the last of the season. Yesterday the temperature in the house never got over 65 degrees, even with the fire. It must have been a little warmer today, as the fire got the temperature in the house up to 69 degrees -- which is probably the highest it's been all winter because golf won't turn the thermostat above 66 (Larry keeps sneaking to it and turning it up to -- whoo whoo -- 68!).

P.S. golf made a new Rolex GMT for me today. Whaddaya think of it?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day! March 1, 2009

Well, before we get to the snow, we need to backtrack to Wednesday, February 18, when several very large storms came through Atlanta and environs. South of the city, where golf and Larry (and I) reside, was hit pretty hard and the TV weather on local stations was telling those in golf's and Larry's area that there was a tornado warning and everyone should take cover. It seemed pretty quiet at the house -- it was barely sprinkling and there was no wind. THEN the wind and the hail started in earnest! It was so loud hitting the house from all sides that it scared the cats and they all fled downstairs to hide under the bed. Larry and golf were trying to get the cameras working so they could get pictures, but everytime they opened a door or when golf went down the garage and opened those doors, the rain and hail was blowing in so strongly that it obscured the lens on the camera. And golf didn't know what to try to take a movie of so that she could at least picture up the sound of the hail hitting the house on the audio of the videocamera. So they ended up with no usable/viewable/audible video or audio of the storm.

After it was all over, though, Larry went outside to see if he could see any damage to the house. It was getting dark, so he didn't have long to look, but he didn't see anything significant. All he found was a yard littered with giant hailstones!! Later research on the internet provided the information that hailstones larger than 4 inches are considered "giant" hailstones and are fairly rare, especially in Georgia and more especially in February! However, that's what golf and Larry had in their yard. Below are pictures of a few, after some melting and thus reduction in size. What seemed unusual to golf and Larry was their shape -- like a flower with a center and then petals sticking out. Interesting how that would form . . . but it wasn't just a few of them that were like this. Most were! (Well, of the ones that got to that large size)

No wimpy "golfball size" hail for us!

As it turns out, there was damage to the roof and the screens on the front of the house. We called our insurance carrier and an adjuster came out and recommended a new roof and new gutters! That giant hail did a number on the screens on the front of the house -- probably what helped keep the windows from getting cracked or broken. Yikes! We had no idea! But we now have a new roof. Not bad in the long run, considering it was ten years old. So in this lousy economy, it certainly doesn't HURT the value of the house to have a new roof!

Then, eleven days later: Come Sunday morning, March 1, Larry is preparing to go to work. A few snow flurries have been predicted, and Larry is more worried about whether or not to wear his thermal underwear than he is about snow. Besides, it was still raining at 11 a.m. Then suddenly the rain turned to snow -- those big, wet, heavy flakes -- the really pretty ones. And it started sticking. Fortunately, it wasn't cold enough to make the roads icy, but Larry was pretty careful backing out of the garage and heading down the street. (golf's major problem throughout the afternoon was trying to keep the snow from building up on the satellite dish -- she finally figured out to put a large cardboard box on it, which kept the building snow from being directly in the line of the beam coming in.) Here's Larry, leaving for work.


video
The picture below was taken about a half-hour after Larry left. You'll note his tracks on the driveway are already covered.


Odd to have such a "winter wonderland" in Georgia! Picture below looks like New England!

If you want to watch through the video below, you may notice how the sound of the rain finally fades out to the silence of the snow falling (well, except for the TV noises in the background)
video
Note in the picture below how the nail seems to have first been coated with ice, then the snow accumulates on top.


I think perhaps the pampas grass never anticipated being snow-covered.


Much less a yellow, already-blooming forsythia bush in the back yard (though the wrought-iron park bench looks appropriate).


It snowed pretty steadily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., when it stopped and the skies started clearing -- and the snow started melting. I think perhaps it never really got any colder than 33-34 degrees all day, so it was surprising that so much snow actually stuck. But not for long. By sunset, the roads were mostly clear.

though the rooftops remained white . . . .


As full dark came, the temperature did drop down into the high 20s; fortunately most of the roads were already clear and dry by then so there were very few problems with "black ice" the next morning. But our shaded front yard kept its snow cover around for a few days.
Here I am climbing up the plate metal turtle sculpture in the front garden.



And the front steps still have a little snow.

Even by Tuesday there was still this much snow left in the back yard!
Yeah, I know, it looks as though I'm standing either in soap suds or the clouds, but it really is snow in the back yard.
And, now, as of the date of this writing (March 9), I needs must report that it was 78 degrees yesterday when golf went out to play golf in the afternoon. Quite a change from only seven days before!! It was a heckuva February!!