Sunday, January 31, 2016

Meanwhile back in Austin

Tom says: Owl enjoying our backyard on a balmy record breaking 85 degree day. 

Pat says; It' looks unreal!

Mary Sends Her Sunset

Having seen Fran's sunset, Mary shot her own.

Buddha Still Buried

This is Fran's Buddha from her walk... in NYC, the snow is almost gone. It's 54 degrees going on 6 pm today and supposed to be 58 by Wednesday.

Sunset over DC (taken by Fran through a screen)

My Boring DNA

Now waiting at 8 weeks (it was supposed to be 6 to 8 weeks for the results), I looked back at the original brochure and saw that the results are posted at the site, and not mailed. Which makes sense.

So I eagerly went to and was sorely disappointed to see that I am just a boring white girl. I was so hoping for something -- anything! -- more exotic than what I am.

Here's my DNA breakdown:

50% Eastern Europe
[Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia]

40% Scandanavia
Sweden, Denmark, Norway

5% Great Britain

5%: Western European, Finland/Northern Russia, Ireland

I got temporarily excited when the website said "Click here for FULL report" and the first words my eyes saw were "Ivory Coast" and I got all excited for one second until I noticed the big ZERO next to that. So I'm zero on everything interesting and so this report confirmed what I had been told about my ancestry. I guess I should go eat some sausage or herring.

The other thing the report gives you is relatives (4th to 6th cousins) based on other people who have had their DNA tested. I'll have to go back and look at that more carefully, but I can't say it interests me that much. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lane's Brush with Greatness

Lane is in California with her husband. Last night they attended Australia's version of the Academy Awards. We had discussed how we are not that celebrity-driven and exchanged a few names of people we'd actually want to have a photo with.

Of course the Universe loves to show us up and today I got this email from her:

The event turned out to be far more intimate this year, and we were seated 2 tables away from ... Hugh Jackman! So I actually went over and talked to him, told him I'd been so impressed when I saw him in Oklahoma, years ago, because it's such a worn, overdone, vanilla musical, but that he'd actually managed to make it new, and different, and made his character (Curly) believable, 3-dimensional, and interesting ... which I thought was really hard to do. He laughed, said thank you, and Ed asked if he could take our photo, and he said sure, so .
When I asked Lane permission to post the photo, she replied, "Sure - but if you say anything about him, make sure you say I thought he was very nice and extremely gracious."

Lane thought Hugh Jackman was very nice and extremely gracious.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Almost a Problem

When Marilyn came this morning, she told me that my block was closed and that the manhole cover directly in front of my building was smoking and there was a fire truck and a Con Ed truck. When she returned from errands around 12:30, she said she didn't want to alarm me, but there were now more emergency vehicles in the street which was still closed. She inquired if there were cause for concern and was told no. Not exactly proof positive.

She thought I should pack a bag and be ready to go. I made a quick list and she packed a bag which has sat there (thankfully) unused all day. I guess whatever the problem was is now solved. I am grateful I didn't have to go, but I think I will unpack the bag later but make a list of what should go quickly. I think I had it all in the bag today -- wallet, medicine, cash, underwear, nightgown, pants, two tops and my computer. I later thought I didn't have any toiletries so I think a comb and toothbrush/toothpaste should be added.

I am not a real "prepper" type person. When NYC was threatened with anthrax and you were supposed to cover your windows is plastic, my plan was to lay down on my bed and die with dignity. I really didn't want to crawl over thousands of dead bodies to find a can of peas.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fran's Monday

Loved this sign in front of the building next door. The snow ignored the warning.  Nice sunny day and many folks out and about. It's challenging to cross corners (side streets still not plowed except for those at traffic lights, but most of the sidewalk pathways are clear (seen looking south on Connecticut). Was able to take a nice long walk today.

Mary's Monday

I took a little walk down to Military Road, over to Wisconsin and full circle back home.  The sidewalks in the direction have been cleared all the way - a narrow path but easily walkable. People have cleared the intersections well too. The picture of the path in the snow is the entrance to the alley near Military Road. That will take time to clear. A bunch of us are willing to go together to pay to have the alley cleared, but since there's no place in the alley to pile the snow, we'd also have to pay to have the snow hauled away. The estimate is in the thousands so I guess we'll wait for some thawing. I can't shovel any of the back until I can get back there and the snow is still way too deep for me to get there. Maybe after some others shovel I can walk around through the alley near me. Anyway, although the streets and sidewalks are mostly clear, it's a huge amount of snow.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pat's Morning After

I didn't go out to the street, but here's the garden. Unfortunately the snow blew into the space between the door and the screen door so that should be a mess when it melts. I can't move the screen door to sweep this snow out. Oh well. I can deal with it.

Mary Gets Plowed

While I was clearing the walk I heard his engine growling and I couldn't see where it was. Then this appeared! Amazing.  I think the city us doing a pretty good job with this storm, all things considered. Now I'm having some homemade chicken soup from the freezer with left over bread from last night.  Nice.

Fran's Morning After

These photos taken of Ellicott St. (Side street of my apartment building), picture postcard shot of trees outside Methodist Home and a long view down the street  Cars are buried  under the sloping snow to the right.

Mary's Morning After

The white area under the tree in the first picture is a whirl of snow.  It's beautifully sunny this morning.  I'll start shoveling again in awhile.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Adelyn's First Snow

A few hours ago in DC

Mary says: It is too cold to be outside long. The wind is howling.  Luckily the snow isn't too wet although it's very deep now. I remove the snow in layers so I'm not lifting too much at once.  And of course it's still coming down. Maybe 15-16 inches?

A Better Idea

Valentino takes swift action to avoid the dangers of a blizzard.

The View From Here

When I went to the front door to take some photos, a woman who lives in this building was returning and I asked her what it was like and she said, "Not bad." Here is the definition of an optimist: she described conditions as "breezy." As I stood there, the icy snow was hitting the canvas awning and making noise... just one nasty day today.

Fran's Report

This blizzard inspector went outside to survey the land. It's beautiful. 
The icicle shot is from the liwer corner of my bedroom window. Then we have views looking south on Connecticut Ave  (group of men shoveling snow next door) and a solitary figure in what once was the six-lane roadbed. Then some views looking north. And my boots sinking in the snow. 
Snow us still falling and at times horizontally with the strong  wind gusts. Temp right  is 35 with real feel at 27. It aint over till it's over. According to accuweather, blizzard warning will remain in effect until 6am tomorrow. 

Mary in Full Bloom

Friday, January 22, 2016

One more time from Mary

The wind is really picking up.  I didn't step outside for these and the ones in back are through the screen so I hope you can make them out. I would guess 4-5 inches.

Fran's View at 8pm

Storm is intensifying, with snow falling at rate of 2 in per hour at Dulles. Visibility has deteriorated; I could barely see the buildings across the street. Wind is expected to whip uo, but so far it has been fairly calm. 

Why We Need Proofeaders

Last Mary Pics for Today

Mary says: Here's the deck and my annual angel in the snow. It is coming down fast. I'm not sure my sweeping and shoveling makes any difference but it is at least a few inches that won't be there tomorrow. These are my last pictures today as it's getting dark.

Back on Connecticut Avenue

Fran says:
Roadbed filling up rapidly....still several cars out and about.
Pat says: Look at the tire tracks... someone changed their mind or skiddded??

DC Snow Continues....

Mary says:

Here are several views. I swept the front steps and the walk, part of the back deck, and I did a cursory job on the two cars (mine and Mike's).  In most places I think it's a good 2 inches. The sky is completely white. I think I'll sweep every time I take pictures just so I don have to shovel two feet. It is cold. I would enjoy this more if it were 8-10 degrees warmer. My phone says it's 25 degrees. So far the snow isn't too wet or heavy (hence the sweeping instead if shoveling) but I think tomorrow that will change.