Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trains,French Villas, and Japanese Gardens

 Back in December, we took Silas to see the model train display at The Blodel Reserve. Not surprisingly, he really really loved it.

He even got to talk to the conductor and help fix a problem with one of the trains.

The houses were incredible pieces of handicraft in and of themselves, though they couldn't hold a candle to the trains, in Silas' eyes.

We walked back from the train exhibit at the big house via the Japanese Garden.

Drew explained to Silas how they rake the Zen garden.

Blodel is always beautiful, year round.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowy days 2012

Don't you love snow days? In the Pacific Northwest, land of mild rainy winters, snow is a rarity, and snow that accumulates rather than melting when it hits the ground is usually a once a winter event, if it happens at all. So when it snows this much, no one goes anywhere.  The schools, the county, everything just shuts down.  I, for one, love it. Those of you from the snowier realms may scoff at us as we hunker down and cancel school for the amount of snow you see above.  In Wisconsin, this would be an average snowfall and life would continue as usual.  But this isn't Wisconsin, and trust me, all it takes is one winter in the Pacific Northwest to change your tune.  There are three factors at work, the way I see it:
 1. Snow happens so rarely, there aren't enough plows to handle clearing all of the roads.  The bulk of the snowfall happened early this morning, and our road still hasn't been plowed, despite the fact that we live a block away from an elementary school (the school driveway hasn't been touched either). For the most part, we all just wait for the snow to melt.  Some roads do get plowed, and some do get sanded/salted, but back roads, most neighborhoods? Forget about it.

2. We have hills. Lots and lots of hills. I took my main route home from work last winter up Lincoln hill on a snowy day, and I thought I was going to die. There were cars spun out into ditches all around me.  I remember lots of ice in Wisconsin, and sliding on said ice, but I didn't have to face elevation gains and dips anywhere near the magnitude we have here.  It makes winter driving about 10 times as dangerous (and then imagine those icy hilly roads without salt or snow plows).

3. Drivers are snow-challenged.  When you live someplace with the chance of snow 8 months out of the year, you learn how to drive in it.  When you live someplace with snow maybe once a year, eh, not so much.  I'm even afraid I've lost my winter driving edge, having now lived here for 8 + years.
 So there you have it.  We were all home today, and it looks like there won't be work or school for us tomorrow either. You will get no complaints from me.  Silas is happy.  We took him sledding today and he was scared and thrilled simultaneously.

Something even rarer than snow, icicles: