So, it's 37 degrees here (2 degrees C.)
And this is what my garden looks like sans leaves.
That "sans leaves" might prove to be very important in the next few hours.
My friends in Colorado and other points north apparently decided to send a "Touch of Winter" our way.
I'm sure they will all be happy to hear that their present arrived safely and was ANNOUNCED in the supermarket this morning.
"Attention shoppers: Winter has arrived here in Kingwood. Keep your family warm with our delicious morning casserole which has just come hot out of our oven. Come by for a sample and thank you for shopping with us at HEB."
Talk of power lines going down and ice slicked streets made me inventory my larder and make a quick trip to the store.
(That, and I was out of laundry detergent anyway...)
Kingwood has no road sanding equipment.
If it ices, I'm not going anywhere until it melts.
HEB is always fun.
Pictured above is the juice aisle.
Yup, just juice.
The two in-store kitchens offer delicious samples and recipes.
You can see this month's recipes in the little paper next to the sampler.
I've gotten some great recipes from that paper.
The deli, produce, cheese, seafood, and bakery all hand out samples.
Most trips I get enough samples that making myself lunch is no longer necessary.
And sometimes Bernie and I make a quick stop and
"Honey, I'm full. Let's skip dinner!"
Today was especially fun.
Shoppers were wearing ski caps, wool shearling jackets, GLOVES etc while they shopped.
They could have headed to the slopes for a day of skiing without braving the slightest shiver.
Gotta wear your winter gear for the full two days of winter I suppose.
Actually, I am mildly concerned.
After surviving Hurricane Rita, I put a lot of thought into disaster preparedness.
We are all set for abandoning the home in ten minutes (Houston being a port district is identified as being a prime target for terrorism. Chemical/nuclear attack would mean leaving instantly if possible.)
We also are are all set to stay in place without power for a few days.
Preparing for a hurricane is a real pain in the tush.
ANYTHING that might become airborne in high winds must be put inside.
Bernie was out of town until 12 hours before Rita.
I got to drag all the stuff in to the house.
The patio set.
Stuff on the side of the house.
Small potted plants.
It is amazing how much stuff could be blown away.
All this dragging inside went on in 98 degree heat.
During the storm a tree did come down on us.
And a neighbor had his roof pierced by a broke tree.
With a hurricane, mostly the survival concern is about dealing with the heat and mosquitoes.
This time it is a little more about dealing with ice.
Will my trees break?
And naturally, Bernie is out of town.
Cleveland, where the weather is nice right now.
Last Friday my folks were under standby for evacuation for a possible tidal wave.
It didn't happen, but they got to think through their plans.
Two cats that hate each other=two cars to evacuate.
Forty years ago La Jolla was evacuated for the Alaskan Good Friday earthquake.
That was pretty funny too.
It was a nighttime event, and all the teenage boys wanted to stay down from the mount to catch the surf.
Or at least take their surf boards.
Our neighbor had a box full of kittens to round up.
My dad was the Scoutmaster of the local Boy Scout troop that was coincidentally already camping atop the designated evacuation point, Mt. Soledad.
And he and the rest of the troop were in uniform.
He rushed home to make sure we were OK, and then knocked on the door of some of our elderly neighbors, advising them that they were being asked to evacuate.
The elderly neighbors were VERY impressed that my dad was in his Scoutmaster uniform while he did this.
Others arrived at the mount and thought the Boy Scouts were just wonderful to have set up this nice little camp for all the evacuees.
The Scripps Institute of Oceanography scientists refused to evacuate, choosing rather to stay on the beach to measure the tidal wave.
Now there's a dedicated group for ya!
It turned out that the tidal wave that had earlier impacted Crescent City and other points north had petered out, and there was no measurable tidal change.
I remember the pictures of the ice storm in Canada a few years ago, with broken mangled power lines and fallen shattered trees for miles and miles.
And that recovery took weeks and weeks.
I kind of prefer earthquakes.
Earthquakes just happen, and then you deal with it.
Maybe "big time" deal with it, or just spend time asking everyone if they felt it.
The last big earthquake in the Santa Cruz area taught us a lot.
Specifically to designate a person in a different state as a contact person.
People were displaced in that earthquake, and phone service within the area was destroyed.
Calls could be made out of area however.
So you could call Auntie in another state, and she could relay messages.
For awhile I carried my Arizona aunt's number on me at all times.
Tornadoes are another concern.
We regularly go under tornado watches and warnings.
We're supposed to hunker down in the bathtub with a battery powered radio.
Daughter Laura actually did this while a tornado blew by about three miles away from her.
Coincidentally Bernie was flying home right over that tornado and got to see it from above.
I got to watch the radar screen, and wonder where Bernie was in term of in the air, and knowing exactly what street Laura lived on as the tornado tracked along a street map overlay on the weather channel screen.
Laura and I talked via cell phone while she was in the tub.
A real bonding time together.
Ah, sweet memories.
Now don't tell anyone, but every time they say to head to the bathtub because a tornado might be headed my way, I always go outside and look.
Secretly, I'd like to see a tornado.
In the distance of course.
Once when we lived in Northern California I was driving home from work and the horizon filled with a wall of pea green.
"Gee, that looks just like the videos I've seen of how it looks when there is a tornado. But there aren't any tornadoes in the San Jose area. Huh. Sure looks weird."
A tornado touched down in the Sunnyvale community in San Jose that day.
I have a healthy respect for pea green clouds, and aqua colored skies, even though they say that is not an indicator.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that point.
It's still 37 degrees, and raining.
While I was at HEB I decided that if disaster was to overtake us, I didn't want to go down without having any of this year's Kingcake.
I've had a slice, and will cut out 1/4 of the cake and freeze the rest.
Bernie has requested that Kingcake not become Queenbum.
If things get really bad, and the power goes out, and it thaws, I promise I will share it with the neighbors.
Tiggie of course has this whole situation covered.
He's staked his claim.
This comforter is his.
And he will be here for the duration.