Saturday, December 23, 2006

Final Installment of Storm Pictures...

A Sunny Day at Mom & Dad's House

December 22, 2006
I finally busted out of my apartment today and made my way to my parents' house. It was so hard to get there, took about an hour and a half--most of the time spent climbing and walking over and through snow and ice. I mean, there was SOOO much snow to navigate! At once point, I crossed a very busy street near my place (Colfax Ave). They've plowed that street, and on the other side, there was this huge hill that I thought was the plowed snow pushed to the side, which is usually very firm and can bear weight. In order to get completely over to the other side of Colfax, I had to climb over this wall of snow and ice, but as soon as I started down on the other side of it, horrors of horrors I realized that it was a DRIFT! And I sunk to mid thigh, and then toppled over! I was just flailing around and I could NOT stand up! I would start to get up and lose my footing from one side and then the other, and at one point almost went splat on my face! I started giggling and squeaking (and gasping for breath) because it was so cold and so ridiculous. All these cars started honking at me as they went by (I wasn't in the street-- I'm pretty sure that they were laughing at me). Anyway, when I finally managed to stand up I had snow up my pants and up my sleeves and down my neck, and I was just a mess! It was SOOOOOO cold!
Here are some pics I took at my mom and dad's place. The Backyard looking toward the alley where my dad's car got stuck (we spent part of the day digging his car out and my brother drove my dad's car back into the carport:
The backyard facing my parents' house (isn't the sky GORGEOUS??!!):
and facing the neighbor's house on the right-- just LOOK how high the snow is on the gate!
The alley facing south-- the building the the very far back of the picture with all the windows is the dorms where I lived when I was in music school! See-- how sad. For college, I didn't even make it out of the neighborhood! But that's another story, so never mind!
My mother is busy scraping off my dad's car (with absolutely no regard for what she might have been doing to the finish-- she used an old broom and a GARDEN HOE to scrape and brush snow off of it...eeek! Think my dad might be mad when he sees what she's done! But we're not telling!):
The wind was blowing VERY hard during the blizzard and created this weird and neat "wave" in the carport overnight:
My mom worried that there might be a body under there, but we reassured her that it was just snow. An artistic closeup of that thing in the carport! It was actually very beautiful and I couldn't stop looking at it:

Anyway, you know how kids always want to help you do whatever it is that you're doing, but they really create a bigger mess and more work when they do? Well, here's my niece showing up for the family effort to dig my dad's car out:
She basically pelted us with snowballs, threw herself onto the snow and floundered around, and packed it all down by running back and forth all over the place (making it harder to shovel, lol!):
She's awfully cute, though, so I couldn't stay mad even though she re-distributed snow all over the 8X6 feet space I shoveled out... Kids!
Anyway, after all that hard work, we siblings decided to go catch a bus downtown (there was no way we were going to be able to get a car out of the alley with all that snow!).
A house on the way to the bus stop:
Check out how deep the drifts were at the bus stop. No place to stand but ON the bench!
(that's my brother, my niece, and my sister)
Downtown, we ate at Mici, a "handcrafed Italian" eatery (which has this intoxicating scent of rising dough and baked bread and garlic-- yum!). Here's the outside of Mici:
Naturally, we ate INSIDE...Artsy-fartsy shot-- I love seeing how snow distributes itself!
Looking west on Downtown Denver's 16th Street Mall:
Not a lot of people out and about. Or maybe they all just went to the INDOOR malls, like Cherry Creek or Park Meadows...
Looking east at a cool building behind a lighted tree:
Anyway, getting home was hard. We decided to head back around 3:45-4:oopm. Normally, I would have reminded my brother how to get home on one of the buses (it's been more than a decade since he's riddent the bus, possibly longer!), and then taken a different one home myself. But he wasn't feeling well and was very sleepy, to boot. I decided that I better get him all the way to our folks' house and then just run across the street to catch another bus home (they pass by near the same time). Unfortunately, I forgot that our bus was late and the bus I wanted to be on had already passed about 5 minutes earlier AND the buses were on a Sunday schedule. Which meant that the next one wasn't coming for an hour. Fortunately, I didn't remember all that until about 40 minutes into my wait. Then it got dark, I got cold and anxious, and the bus was late and packed. I fought my way back through the uncharted snow in front of East High School, climbed back across Colfax Avenue, and trudged on home for another 3 blocks from there. I was so tired when I finally got home. It took me about 2 hours altogether. But the nice thing is, I discovered icicles all over my little "porch." I may not have even noticed them if I didn't have to fumble around for my keys with one hand while holding on to the metal railing with the other. I grabbed my camera and took some pictures.
These two that I like especially well:
above is without flash...below is with flash, AND extreme closeup to boot! Very cool, huh?!

On a final note, I've been thinking about how thankful I am for the gift of a White Christmas, lots of snow, the delight on my niece's face over said snow, and for all for the extra days off from work! Most of all, I'm thankful that God has created such a beautiful world for us to live in. I hope that you all find a moment or two to stop and really see the wonders of this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas, everyone! May you be surrounded by the love and laughter of family and friends, and may you experience the profound peace and joy of the Savior!

In Him,

A Few Intermittent Photos of the Storm

The Desperate Boredom of an On-going Blizzard & Living Alone...

I took these on day 2 of the storm right when the snow started to slow down. I was getting very sleepy and sluggish from looking at all that white... but I couldn't stop taking pictures. I finally figured out to put on some music while I examined my photos and uploaded them into my online album. It was a perfect moment in time-- I was listening to English classical guitarist Paul Galbraith's ethereal version of Bach's Ciaconna (Chaconne) from Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, in E minor...

Quietly yours,


Day Two of the Blizzard of 2006...

The view from my window...

December 21, 2006
Snowed in! No work! What a happy day this was! I woke up early in the morning so I could take pictures before any of the locals could strap on some snowshoes or skis and mar the clean blanket of snow that covered our city. It was still dark, but I managed to get some pretty nice shots as I quietly and carefully made my way to the front of the house to see what had happened while I slept through the night.

First of all, take a gander at my living room windows-- you can see the snow had really started to pile up on the roof-- I couldn't take a good shot of the view outside the window because all that blinding white-on-white does not give my camera much to auto-focus on...

I didn't even bother to try to navigage the stairs. After taking these pics, I just swept the snow off as I gingerly walked down the icy metal steps. Taking a diver into the concrete below would hurt despite the 2+ feet drifts--better safe than sorry!

My bike...

The yard...

...and the latest view of those hootin' mushroom chairs from yesterday, lol!

It was so hard to get the front gate open!

Love how pretty the falling snow looks!

I didn't try to get the back gate open because the drifts back there was about 4 or 5 feet high. Plus, I thought it'd be nice to leave my downstair neighbors a little untouched and pristine snow to play in when they got up, lol! Here is the shot that I took from my steps--I could look down and over the fence that way:

Uh...this is my bus stop. I guess I'm really glad there's no work today!

Standing on the front porch of the house, looking across the street at a buried car:

Here's a pretty shot of the fence:

Ok... I was starting to wish that I could go somewhere, like to my parents' house to play with my niece! It's kind of sad and lonely to be snowed in all by yourself. Not even a friendly neighbor to spend an afternoon with... And it's so quiet around here-- I think I want some of the hysterical chaos which is ALWAYS going on at my parents' house when my brother comes home for a visit. TVs blaring, mom yelling in Japanese in the kitchen, my niece shrieking to be heard above it all, my dad cranking HIS tv up in his bedroom so he can hear the game, my brother talking to one of us or on the phone in his deep, booming voice, me trying to get my niece to sing Aggalina-Haggalina* with me, my sister trying to talk to my brother or just staring in shock and awe at all of us (probably has her hearing aids cranked down, lol!)


*Aggalina-Haggalina was a song that I learned in the 2nd grade that I've never forgotten. It goes like this:

Aggalina-Haggalina Oka-Poka-Woka-Toka-Ocka-Tocka-Wocka was her name!

She had two eyes in the middle of her head-
One was green and the other one red!

Aggalina-Haggalina Oka-Poka-Woka-Toka-Ocka-Tocka-Wocka was her name!

She had two teeth in the middle of her mouth-
One pointed north and the other one south!

Aggalina-Haggalina Oka-Poka-Woka-Toka-Ocka-Tocka-Wocka was her name!

She had two hairs in the middle of her head-
One was alive and the other one dead!

Aggalina-Haggalina Oka-Poka-Woka-Toka-Ocka-Tocka-Wocka was her name!

A big red truck hit Aggaline (howl)--
So the man had to buy a new machine!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Twas Four Days Before Christmas...

The view outside my living room window...

Oh how I love it when it snows like this in Denver! I honestly cannot remember the last time we had fresh snow just in time for Christmas; I can't remember the last time snow felt this pure and magical, or the last time a steaming cup of tea was so deeply satisfying! Here's the progression of the Blizzard of 2006 (presumptuous, maybe, but I'm 99% sure that's what they're going to call this storm) so far:

Around 1:30 in the afternoon, it was really coming down, but the snow wasn't really that deep around here-- about above the ankles and higher in some places. It was the wind, really, that made it almost unbearable to keep my eyes open while I was outside.
I love the gum-drop appearance of the chairs:

Around 4 in the evening, the drifts were really started to rise against my windows. Looking outside made me feel a little bit like Half Pint in Little House in the Big Woods. Whatever was going on outside, I felt safe and warm inside my tiny apartment.
Scene from my side-yard.

Around 6:30 in the evening-- I went across the street to find out why Papa's Grocery was still open! (Cuz they're making a killing, lol! A lot of folks feel the need to stock up before hunkering down in their homes to wait out the storm...) The atmosphere in the store was very cheery -- very damp, humid, messy, and full of laughter and silly snow puns and jokes. Sean and Stephanie, the owners, are just so full of fun and cheer despite the long drive home on treacherous roads that they'll have to face when they finally close up for the night.

A couple of grown people were goofing around in the snow, their giggles both amplified and slightly muffled by the huge mounds of new snow in the eerily empty streets. There is no traffic down 12th Avenue, and I can almost see all the way down to Colorado Blvd to the east and Cheesman Park to the west. I walked as carefully as I could down my metal stairs so I could take pictures. I took several shots before I finally realized that there was enough light reflecting off the snow to turn the flash off. In doing so, I captured this image of my stairs:

Once I was across the street, I decided to take a picture of the house that I live in (well, technically I live in the upstairs portion). See the colored Christmas lights in the twin windows? That's my place! It looks cold, but it's very toasty inside. I hope we get another day off tomorrow-- it'd be the perfect opportunity to sew, take photos, and set up a new doll display or two...

Happy Snow Day!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hana Soah and the Christmas Harp

Wendy, our COBJD Meetup hostess, has a beautiful home full of harps and wide open spaces. After glancing up at the angels and gargoyles near the vaulted ceilings, the pure tones of Bach's Prelude in C-major began to fill Hana Soah's head. She sat down at one of the many harps in the house and began to play...

Elfdoll makes these hands, called Optional Fist Hands, and they are just so amazing, so beautifully sculpted. I hope he sculpts many more for these amazing dolls!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 2, 2006 COBJD Meetup Pictures

Working BACKWARDS, here are the pictures.

First, the White Elephant Gift Exchange. Who knew that "stealing" would ever be sanctioned anywhere??? Heh!


U: Bragging over how she got Michele Hardy's great gift!

R: "Now, WHAT were
the rules again???"

U: hmmm... I SPY a gift I wanna steal!

Can't get it open fast enough! Can't...can't....CAN'T!

Meeting the dolls and each other once again...

Playin' under the table...

Finally, the resin folks themselves...

Merry Christmas, everyone-- thanks for a GREAT meetup!