Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snowzilla - The Blizzard of 2016

The Blizzard of 2016, or Snowzilla as it was dubbed by the Capital Weather Gang, brought nearly two feet of snow to our neighborhood.  One of the biggest snowfalls on record for DC, technically it was a bigger single snowfall than Snowmegeddon back in 2010, but that was followed quickly by a second storm with another foot of snow that gave us a greater amount on the ground.  However you count it, Snowzilla was a blast.  I started digging out the back with a plan to create a big igloo/snow-fort in the back yard, but Owen sliding down the steps gave me a better idea.  With a big pile of snow on the grass, linked to the snow covering the steps, and snow piled up down by the fence, we created an epic mini sledding run in our own back yard.  This was great of course, since we were able to avoid the trek and the crowds at Gallaudete, and the even bigger mess at the Capitol.

The timing of the storm was fortuitous.  The first rumors of a massive storm came the weekend before it hit, while we were up in Pittsburgh.  With all the models agreeing, and plenty of time to prepare for the blizzard, the area was surprised by a dusting of snow on Wednesday night (while we were at swim lessons) completely snarled the evening commute.  Between the epic forecast and the lesson from the surprise dusting, everything was closed well in advance of the blizzards start on Friday afternoon.  Elaine and I had lunch reservations on Friday at The Source, right around the time the snow was supposed to start, and Grandpa kindly watched the kids while we ventured out into the erie calm before the storm for a delicious lunch.  By the time we got home, the snow was really beginning to come down, and it wouldn't stop for another day and a half.  22.5" measured on Owen's deck (only 17" for the official count at National though, the 4th largest storm on record) fell by the time it was all over. It took a while to dig out (Dad and I did plenty of shoveling of the sidewalk and the alley), DCPS and the government was closed Monday and Tuesday, but some of the schools in the suburbs were closed all week and even into the next.  All told, I thought the city did a fine job of dealing with colossal amount of snow given the available resources.

With only six years between two of the biggest blizzards on record for DC, an interesting theory is that climate change, while shortening the snow season for DC and lowering the average amount of snow, actually contributes to more frequent mega blizzards when it is cold enough by warming the water in the ocean and providing more moisture and energy into the blizzard.  With any luck, we'll get another big blizzard before too long for all of us snow lovers :-)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pittsburgh 2016

Pittsburgh 2016

It had been too long since we got together with the Mettenburgs, so we decided to take advantage of the three day weekend for a trip up to Pittsburgh.  Originally we were thinking of a ski weekend at 7 Springs, but it was in the 70's around Christmas when we were looking into condos, and we all decided not to risk a ski weekend without any snow.  Instead, we had a lovely visit with a trip to the Science museum, a delicious dinner with just the grown-ups at Morcilla, lots of hide-and-go-seek with Hugh and the kids, and of course plenty of bridge and Catan :-)

(click here for all the pictures)

Friday, January 15, 2016


Footprints 1-14

It seems like I've been spending a lot of time in Nora's classroom this year, and not so much in Owen's. I attempted to restore equanimity by volunteering for Owen's Foodprints class. Unfortunately, Owen was placed in a different group than I, so the mother-son bonding time didn't happen, but the bean and veggie chili with cornbread did;-)

(To see all the pics from the day, click here)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pinewood Derby 2016

Owen didn't make it out of the qualifying rounds this year, but he had fun making a cool camo car, and I had fun running the finish line for the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby this year.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Family Cuddle Selfie


Another family cuddle selfie :-)

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Christmas in MD...or was it New Year's


Since we had Christmas in Iowa this year, we delayed Christmas dinner at Mom Mom's until New Year's Eve.  We were planning on opening presents in the afternoon before dinner, but Katherine & Lee were having new carpet installed in their basement, and that process ran long, so we managed to fulfill Katherine's life-long dream of delaying the opening of Christmas presents as long as possible without going into the next year.

After dinner and presents, we went over to Katherine & Lee's to ring in the New Year, and we spent New Year's day lounging around their place, watching bowl games, and breaking in Lee's new kegerator.  That of course resulted in us spending a second night at aunt Katherine & Uncle L's, making sure we rang every last drop out of our celebrations this year.  The kids were thrilled of course, since there was a new puppy to play with (Vhagar, Falcor, Suggsy Suggs, or whatever his name is), and the grownups were all just happy the weekend was long enough for all the fun.  Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

(click here for all the pictures)