Saturday, February 20, 2021

A Blast of Arctic Cold Knocks Us Off Our Feet

 





I hope you will forgive my disheveled appearance today. I haven't had a haircut in twelve months because of the pandemic, you know, and now many of us have experienced a long week of extended power outages, no water, no phone, no Internet, treacherously icy roads, and ridiculously cold temperatures (it dived down to 14 degrees F---madness!---and it stayed below freezing for almost 48 hours). And I don't even have a winter coat. Folks, I'm a wreck.






Snow and ice did give me lots of time to read. I finished a reread of three books, and all three were five-star reads: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (book club); Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (Classics Club); and All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (#2 in the series). I also read a book of essays connecting some of the wonders of nature with human life in World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.






All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot (Book 3 in the Series)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-Along)

Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson (Naturalist Book Club)

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiko Tanizaki (Japanese Literature Challenge)

The Narrative of Sojourner Truth (Classics Club)








My Black History Month calendar of picture books is almost full. One more week. I'm completely enjoying this month of reading.








All Creatures Great and Small (original series)...finished all seven seasons! 🖤






Four days of counting birds.
I was happy to see a new-to-me bird, this rose-breasted nuthatch.


Good Thing #2: 





Good Thing #3:








I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

79 comments:

  1. The cold wave in Texas even made it to French news, even Covid news came second ! At least your hair is longer and keeping you warm ?... (sorry for the joke !). We're going to have 17°C here today, bright sun, and we're going out for a ride all afternoon, I'll think of you and try to send you some sunrays ;)

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    1. Haha! No, of course you are right...there are advantages to having longer hair. Sadly, we here in Texas know nothing about the cold, and we have little other than central heat to warm us, not even warm clothes. I now have new empathy for those who live in places that are cold all the time.

      And thanks for the sunrays!

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  2. You sound like you are coping, though not happy! I hope your weather turns around soon, and also that the whole state is able to face the changing future to avoid this happening repeatedly. Your book lists look great!

    My Sunday Salon post this week reflects an ongoing project I'm doing to read about the English Breakfast.

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. We did make it through, and now the weather is in the low 60s, with sunshine and blue skies. We've packed up all our containers for water that we filled in preparation for the storm and taken the sheets off the garden, and we've generally gotten back to normalcy.

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  3. Can we send Ted Cruz back anyway?

    I hope you have had power and heat and can boil your water if need be. We were out of power for 10 days in 2013 at Christmas. Or most of us -- I had it; the only one of two streets in the neighborhood who did. I know this is tough going for you guys who not only are dealing with the power issues but also the roads and such. I hope the melting doesn't bring flooding with it. I really feel for you. But it looks like a good time for reading!

    Now that you've seen the original All Creatures (which I adored) I'd love your opinion on comparing the old and the first season on the new. I think you can find them online at pbs.org or if you're a station member, pbs passport. I'm glad Mrs. Pumphrey was Diana Rigg's last role (or I think it was). A nice note to go out on.

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    1. I love that, Jeanie. Can we? Let's try.

      We filled up lots of containers and were able to use these while our water was off. Although almost everyone I know lost power, somehow we did not.

      I am thinking about the difference between old and new All Creatures. So far we have only seen two episodes of the new, so I will wait until I've seen a complete season to comment.

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  4. We made it through the worst of it, and now I am sooooo ready to put it behind me. Our friends in Houston (and some of my students) still have no power.
    I definitely like the old version of Heriot better! The new one puts too much emphasis on the scenery and not enough on the story and characters. Maybe it will improve as I continue to watch.
    See you later today.

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    1. I'm so sorry that you lost power, Rae, but I'm glad you were able to use your fireplace for heat.

      After two episodes of the new, I'd have to say I like the old better. It seems much more true to the time.

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  5. Deb, so sorry for you all who are used to warmer winters. It sounds like you kept power and water so that is something. Glad you got some reading done. Awful what others are going through while First Class (No Class) Ted headed to Cancun. The Bernie memes have been replaced by Cruz and his suitcase already.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I laugh every time I see one of those memes.

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  6. Deb! I'm so sorry you and everyone down there is experiencing this awfulness. My in-laws and my brother-in-law and his family, and another friend and her family all live in Texas and it has been just as nightmarish for them. Big hugs. And Ted Cruz...OMG. He's the worst. Let's send him out to sea on a rapidly melting ice floe...

    Glad you got some amazing reading in. I picked up the Herriot series on Kindle a year or so ago. Looks like I should get reading them. GLad you are enjoying your picture book a day. You are keeping up with your reading challenges! Nice. I'm starting to fall behind but hopefully can make that up soon.

    May you stay warm this week! and happy reading!

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    1. I like the idea of the ice floe.

      The Herriot series is a pure delight to read. There's no real drama, just clever little stories about the author's work with animals.

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  7. I'm coming up for my haircut anniversary in 6 days! I hope you can get warm soon. We have come out of our cold snap here and back to endless rain ...

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    1. First thing I'm doing after I am fully vaccinated is to get a good haircut.

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  8. Our power was out for ten hours during the coldest part of our recent experience. The temperature dipped to 10 degrees, but as far as I know never got into single digits.

    At least Ted Cruz has performed one service for us: Texas have never been so thoroughly united. It just took their unanimous loathing of this one odious person.

    Congratulations on your sighting of the Red-breasted Nuthatch. I've had several of them as well as their Brown-headed cousins at my feeders this week, along with what seems like much of the avian population of the area.

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    1. That is rough, Dorothy. I wondered how you were doing in your part of the Houston area. I figured you were probably a bit cold there than we are nearer the Gulf.

      I hope you'll send the brown-headed cousins my way.

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  9. Deb, good to hear how things have gone for you guys. We were without power for 36 hours in our Central Texas location near Austin. Many others were out longer. Our water did not completely go out, but we only had a tiny trickle. Power and water pressure are back, but we are still under a 'boil water' order. Hoping that will go away next week. We have propane gas, but we could only use our fireplace as other things are fueled by gas, but have to have the 'spark' from electricity to fire up. We lost all our fridge and freezer things, but a small price to pay. Our temps were 3 degrees at the lowest and that was the night we didn't have power. Brrr!! Things are improving though. Our daughter did 6 days straight at her local hospital, staying over to sleep, and not leaving the facility. They had power, but lost water on the 4th day. Imagine a hospital without water. And she's in labor/delivery. Babies will come when they want to regardless of weather or pandemics. I'm totally worn out from stress, but others had it a lot worse. I will be thankful that my husband was able to get our daughter home in his 4-wheel drive truck and she was very grateful to be there. Love your bird picture. We've had a bunch sipping on the melting ice and snow puddles. :-)

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    1. Kay, I had no idea that folks up your way lost power. For some reason, I had the impression that the outages were confined to the Houston area. My goodness. Three degrees! That is unbelievable. I wish I could send an award to your daughter. I cannot imagine a hospital without water. I send a mountain of thanks to her for her commitment.

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  10. LOL. I'm Canadian and we definitely do not want Ted Cruz back. :) I hope you're keeping warm in the company of your wonderful reads.

    Happy reading!

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  11. I have been praying for all of you in Texas over the last week. It is tough when you are not used to this weather and are not prepared for it. I am glad it is warming up. I did not know Ted Cruz was born in Canada, I went to google to look it up. We do not want him back, sorry, not sorry. Enjoy your upcoming reads Deb. I have to say, I love your calendar of picture books for Black History month.

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  12. I've been thinking about you this week and hoping you are doing alright through the freeze. What a crazy week of weather; I think only So Cal and Florida are doing ok weather-wise. I love those two weather-related memes. What was Ted Cruz thinking?!

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    1. I want so much more from our leaders. Maybe I am asking too much?

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  13. I am so sorry for all you are going through. The news coming out of Texas has been terrible and I've spent more time on FB recently just to get updates on my friends there. I am glad you were able to read despite the cold and conditions. Had you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn before? I still need to read that one. Take care of yourself and I hope you have a much better week than the last!

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    1. I read A Tree when I was a child, and I thought it was wonderful then, too.

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  14. Wow! I'm so sorry for all you are going through. I've been watching the news in horror. My brother and his family live in Texas and it's been tough for them too. I hope things start getting better and soon! Take care and stay safe.

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    1. It's especially frustrating when we see reports that the power grid was told to winterize ten years ago and it was not done.

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  15. Hope you make it thru the Storm! Sounded awful. Gather up the blankets & don't go out! I think I want to read the Sojourner Truth book ... I have not read that one .... so thanks for mentioning it.

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  16. Oh, Deb. My heart goes out to you and all those in Texas (and elsewhere) who are suffering from the frigid temps and snow/ice storms. 14F in Texas is unheard of! It is madness. My friends in Nebraska were at NEGATIVE 26 the other day, but they do have winter coats and are used to those arctic blasts. I hope life returns to normal for everyone suffering this past week. (Ah, I see you are now enjoying sunshine and temps in the 60s. Phew!)

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is such a good book. I did not care for the movie, but the book is worthy of multiple readings.

    Lovely photo of the nuthatch. We see quite a few of those as they compete with the chickadees for seed. And, I love the Good Thing #3. :)

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    1. I complain about heat and hurricanes, but I see now the awfulness of the cold.

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  17. I passed my one-year haircut anniversary on February 7. I flew home for my uncle's funeral the day after my dad's birthday last year and got my hair cut while I was home. One of the worst things about traveling full-time is finding a new hair stylist every few months. And my hair is really curly so it feels like most stylists want to shear me like a sheep! By the time I get my next haircut, they may have to! Baa! 😂

    I'm glad life is getting back to normal for you. My brother-in-law is in San Antonio. They lost power but not for *too* long. Their water heater did freeze, burst, and flood his studio (He's a ceramic artist/professor). What a headache to deal with but we're just glad they're safe. My uncle is a trucker and he got stranded in Houston for a few days but he's back home in NC now.

    Stay warm and safe!

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    1. Your family has had some struggles with the winter storm. I hope your brother-in-law is able to get things repaired smoothly and quickly.

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  18. I so wish I could tell you to hop on a plane and come visit me! We have lovely weather. A bit windy today, but all our locals know and believe that the wind gets made here in Jeffreys Bay, so we don't mind it all that much anymore.

    I've heard about the dreadfully cold weather. My thoughts are with you. I also hate the cold and we don't even get that cold weather here.

    Luckily you have some really awesome books to keep you company.

    Have a good week and stay warm!

    Elza Reads

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    1. We rarely get the cold. I can only remember two snows with enough flakes to build a (little) snowman.

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  19. I haven't had a proper haircut in a year either! Not including my inexpert snipping here and there.

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    1. Yes, I've been snipping on mine, too. Probably just made things worse.

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  20. I’m glad to know you weren’t affected too badly by the insane weather, it seems so many really struggled with the chaos it caused. I hope the weather remains mild for the rest of winter.

    Wishing you a great reading week


    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. I looked at weather predictions here through May and I see no more freezing weather predicted.

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  21. So nice you reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, what a great book

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  22. I am laughing about sending Ted Cruz to Canada. Poor Canadians, if that happens.

    Hopefully things will improve there!

    I recently got a hair trim, as our stylist was allowed to return. Who knows how long that will last, though? The last time between hair trims was eight months!

    I noticed your Nonfiction Reading Challenge with your other challenges...and I am going to start reading for it soon!

    Have a great week. Stay safe and warm.

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    1. I'm so glad you are going to join in the Nonfiction Reading Challenge. Shelley-rae hosts that one.

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  23. No, thanks, we don't want moron Cruz back here. I am dying for a haircut!!! Been in lockdown 2.0 since November so nothing is open. Lockdown extended another two weeks.
    I have been wishing for a good snow storm and we haven't got one.

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    1. I think I am going to go ahead and make an appointment for a haircut in March.

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  24. Hope the wreck is righting itself now or at least somewhat. At least, you must have power if you're able to put up this post and comment back.

    And no offense :), but I'm not crossing the Mason-Dixon line for you...or truth be told, for anyone else. I love y'all, though. :)

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    1. Haha! It all could have been so much worse. My sister's father-in-law is bedridden and on hospice and he and his wife had no power for days. My nephew and his wife and newborn baby also had no power. Those were the people I was most worried about.

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  25. I was thinking of you all as I watched the BBC News in disbelief and saw the snow coming down. Glad to hear that you are in the process of thawing out! I managed to get in a haircut between the 2nd and 3rd lockdowns just at the end of November, but it's looking shaggy and unkempt now... I hope you have a good reading week and there is no return of the snow!

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    1. I am going to enjoy myself now with looking at possible haircuts.

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  26. I have Narrative of Sojourner Truth on my list to read.

    I'm watching All Creatures Great And Small and may read the books.

    Glad you made it through the storm ok and that your temperature is a lot better.

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  27. I am so sorry you are having such cold winter weather. I am glad the warmer temps are coming back for you.

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    1. It probably won't be long and I will be complaining about the heat again!

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  28. i feel for everyone in texas, but it sounds like you had some great reads and a fantastic attitude about it all. we had the cold, but no snow here in the florida panhandle. today, the sun is shining and we have a warm spell. yay. hang tight and stay safe
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  29. We feel your pain here in Arkansas. It's 48F but my driveway hasn't thawed yet??? Crazy. Also I heard on the news that Arkansas has been providing hydro-electric power to ya'll since we have an abundance of lakes, being The Natural State and all, so, you're welcome! Ha ha.

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  30. I love the All Creatures shows, the birds and your memes about weather and Ted Cruz! Wish I could send you some heat and good hot comfort food, better yet, I ought to put you up. Hoping things get better soon.

    Tina
    xo

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  31. This unpredictable weather is rough this year, and you without a proper coat! I have A Tree Grows In Brooklyn on my shelf and have been meaning to read it for a long while. This is a reminder to pick it up. I hope that you have a good week. Stay warm!

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  32. Yes, Deb, you could use the ear buds when walking. Mine are Samsung and they are used with a phone app.
    White Tiger is on either Amazon or Netflix.

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  33. Oh, i'm so glad that you got to 'a tree grows in brooklyn' again. that book was one I always refer to when talking about books-its that memorable! I hope you have a fantastic book week.

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  34. The Ted Cruz meme is funny. it's been cold in a lot of places. it really doesn't get all that cold in Vegas.

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  35. Several years ago we lost power for over two days during a freezing rain episode that brought down trees and power lines. It was miserable. But we didn't lose water or our Natural gas so we sould heat up food and water for tea. I can't imagine how miserable it must have been in Texas this past week. And then Ted Cruz...so tone deaf. I hope everyone remembers his lack of leadership skills when he decides to run for President. Take care.

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  36. Oh Deb, I'm sorry you've had such a tough week... there is really no excuse for all the misery Texas is going through. LOL on the Ted Cruz meme! The Makioka Sisters is a wonderful book. I even added it to my all-time favorites list. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I hope this is a much better week for you.

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  37. loved the three good things :) and hope it warms up soon.. i tried to do some bird watching as well for the backyard bird count but only started on the sunday (so just two days of conscious efforts)
    I already have the book by Aimee Nezhukumatathil on my list to read (from seeing it here before!) and love how your Black History Month calendar is filling up..

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  38. Haha, I love your weather memes. It did look like Colorado’s weather went down to Texas and had too much fun. I hope you’re able to get everything cleaned up quickly. Have a good week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  39. Thanks for the shout-out for The Makioka Sisters.

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  40. You poor thing! I would not do well at all in those weather conditions. Not at all. So many have been struggling and there is damage all over. My ex boss in Houston is still without water and only has power for about 30 min a day. She has a plumber coming on Thursday!

    I did giggle about your haircut reference. I have been without a haircut since April. My hair is long with layers so it's more forgivable than other cuts but my husband tried to trim it and then my daughter had to fix it but I am in need of a cut soon. My stylist hasn't called me though and they are able to open again so maybe her salon is no more. I hope not.

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  41. So glad you all are on the other side of that storm and weather! What a nightmare.

    My hair is getting so long it is ridiculous. My husband has been cutting Wyatt's hair every four weeks or so at least so he is good, otherwise his hair would be down to his waist.

    World of Wonders is on my list!

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