Tag Archives: weather

Falling

So some days one is quite chuffed, and makes his way home in the ice, stopping even at Aldi and trying to get some Thai food, only to find the restaurant is closed because of inclement weather.

And then one clambers up the back steps with Circus harmony music bag, a grocery bag, and a packed briefcase from work.

And then one opens the front door, takes a look at the concrete steps, and sees no issues . . . only to find that the last two steps are ice covered.  Of course one might also have broken two bones in the same leg in two consecutive years, and be terrified of falling on stairs, and always hold onto the railing.

Taking that penultimate step, one might conceivably go down on one’s buttocks, landing hard on the os sacrum against the leading edge of a concrete step.  One might conceivably also be in quite a bit of discomfort.

After taking to bed for two hours, then struggling to stand up, one might lounge in his chair, seated on a coccyx pillow, a massage pillow perched against his lower back, with the heat on.  And one might feel a bit of relief.

One might also decide to make sausage rolls.  And watch basketball.

Posting for a friend.

Euro18: and home

I woke on Friday morning to the iPad NOAA warning about extreme temperatures at Rienosslsgasse 3 in Vienna.

Fortunately, I was home in Saint Louis with moderate weather, but more humidity.

At some point my iPad will figure out that I’m in the USA. I certainly know that I am! Witness:

  • Iced tea!! I went for three weeks without it.
  • Taco Bell. I went for 3.5 weeks without it.
  • Airport staffs who are not multilingual (except in Spanish). Such a change from Europe.
  • Air-conditioning everywhere.
  • Cellular service everywhere without having to think of turning the phone on and off.
  • A fridge and a freezer. (Small fridge only, with no freezer, in Vienna.)
  • Loudness. Americans just talk so damn loudly.
  • Diet Pepsi! I went for 3.5 weeks without it.

But as my friend Alice said on Facebook last evening, she has little compassion for the slight frustrations, given what I was able to see and do. And I expect no boo-hoos for the cultural differences and the weariness because of the seeing and doing.

And DO I did.

The research grant proposed outcomes are essentially complete. The draft report is 75% there, with some details and nuance to ponder and finesse. In other words, I accomplished the stated goals. The grant outcome was successful. Now we move to implementation.

Along the way, I was a tourist nearly every day — in fact, save for last Sunday, every single day of the sojourn in Europe.

What did I not do? Well, I skipped the Salzburg and Venice/Dolomites excursions because I just was not feeling well. Summer allergies are, I’m told, quite severe in Vienna this year. I did not make it to all the art museums I would have wished, and since concert season was over, I attended only two musical performances.

What DID I do?

Enough art to keep me happy for months. Less-frequented locales such as the Snow Globe Museum, the Freud Museum, the Schnapps Museum, the Imperial Crypt, and the old Jewish cemetery at Zentral Friedhof. Anglican Church services in Florence and Vienna. Florence. Choral concert by a British choir at the British Embassy Church. A cruise on the Danube. Cooking class. Visited Mahler’s grave. Walked in the steps of Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Haydn and so many others. Melk Abbey. Heurigerabend. Organ recital at the Jesuit Church. Churches and parks and the Naschmarkt and gelato and beer and bubbly and schnitzel and . . . well, the whole five-senses experience indeed.

And I kept up with the daily office work. My email inbox is only marginally more crowded now than it was when I left, and no decisions have been punted to next week.

Now home for a few days, and with days off this weekend with few obligations, I can rest and recharge before the onslaught of the run-up to August 20 when contracts begin.

And I can love on Auggie, who apparently did indeed miss me.

Of all the pleasures of travel, returning home is the greatest joy.

Ice day

Webster Univ Alerts

All Webster University St. Louis-area campuses are closed Fri., Jan. 13 due to weather.


That message on Thursday around 4 p.m. found me at Schnuck’s, buying the usual provisions: eggs, tonic water, cheese, meat. (Friday menu includes chili.)

I stopped by Opera rehearsal to help figure out how to manage today’s canceled rehearsals.

And then I came home.  Auggie got a long walk, since he likely won’t be getting one for 48 hours in this weather.


Even though Webster is closed today, and we have no official school activities, I’m still jet-lagged and so was up at 5 a.m.

By 6.30 a.m., some homemade bread was in the oven.  And by 8 I had fixed homemade latkes.

Recipe:

  • one Russet potato, grated
  • 1/3 white onion, grated or minced
  • one egg
  • enough floor to thicken a bit
  • freshly cracked salt and pepper
  • a healthy dash of cayenne or a bit of chili sauce

This makes three healthy portions.  Fry in oil over medium heat until lovely brown and crispy on both sides.  Top with sour cream.



Now 9 a.m.  Texting with folks around the world.  Listening to the new Ennio Morricone album. Here’s a reminder:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504556507/504590536

The fireplace is on.  Auggie is being attentive.  And a pile of schoolwork beckons.

[And a 9.40 a.m. addendum — the back stoop is iced over already with just the little spittle of rain we’ve received.  Rain and 26 degrees = a mess.]

Snow

At 7.45 a.m., mild sleet.

At 8.30 a.m., snow.

Here’s the view from the choir room at church at 11 after the first service of the day (with two more to go):

Palm Sunday show.
Palm Sunday show.

Three days ago, the daffodils were ready to open.  I cut two of them after church today, so that they won’t freeze in the snow (although I think they’re pretty hardy).

IMG_4026 IMG_4013

Dear God

Dear God,

I bless you this day for the rain that is falling from the skies, and for the nurture that your nature provides this parched earth.  I thank you for the smell and scent of rain, for the dark of clouds, and the clap of thunder.  I truly do.

Now, would you please send Samson the Feist a chill pill?  This poor canine likes not the clap of thunder, or the sound of rainfall since thunder might also be attendant.

In any case, thank you!
Yours,

Jeff

Dark and gray

7.35 p.m.  The skies outdoors are dark and gray, and the scent of rain — blessed rain — is in the air.

I don’t know if this will be reality or not, but one can hope.

And Samson the Feist is acting all afraid and a-feared, which usually means he knows something is coming.

And even as I type, I can now see big plops of water falling from the sky.  Alas, though: the weather forecast on-line shows that the City of Saint Louis is on the very northern edge of a system.  We will likely receive very little rain, despite the threatening skies.

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Samson got a new bed today.  He seems to like it.

I’m concerned for the downstairs air conditioner.  The system struggled today to cool the house, and I fear that a service call is in order tomorrow.

And this is doubly frustrating in that I must make pickles in the morning.  The kitchen will be hotter than blazes before I’m done, given the amount of natural gas I’ll be burning. (The pickles are currently soaking in an ice water bath, resting for three hours before going into the brine for an overnight soak.)

————————–

Given the heat this weekend, I decided to do some rainy-day office work.  I’m about to finish digitizing LP albums by Jim Nabors, Ed Ames, and Nelson Eddy!

 

 

Friday frying

At 7 pm., the thermostat in the shade still registers 108.

This is like living in a slow oven.

I’m grateful that we have moderate humidity, or this would be unbelievably difficult weather.

The tree doctor left this morning after several amputations.  He cleaned up the mess very well.  I hope this is all on that front for a while.

Ingrid the Volvo got a bath this morning.  She’s shining proudly now.

And I’m spending the hot Friday night in the cool indoors with a quiet movie and a cool drink and a pup who is happy that his dad is home.