Tag Archives: Snow Days

We’ve had the wildest winter I can remember. In Portland, Oregon, the winters are usually drippy and overcast. However, this year’s winter has been cold and snowy. It has produced some great photographs.


This is a photograph of crows sitting in snowy trees in downtown Portland, Oregon. The photograph was taken by C.S.I. Walker Berg of the Portland Oregon Police Bureau. This was his view from the Justice Center’s 12th floor.  Portland has enough of a crow problem that they have begun to employ falconers to move block-by-block, hunting the black birds.

It looks like the crows are settled in for the night, though and any hawks will just have to wait for morning.

The police department shared the image dubbed “Crows on Snow” on Facebook and Twitter where it quickly went viral.

My first thought was “Wow,” and then I thought:


From the sublime to the ridiculous in one easy jump.


Snowed In

booksWhatever shall we do?

What can we do when we’re stuck at home in a winter storm (other than housecleaning – ugh!)? Read, of course!

I’ve told you about books I love that you probably wouldn’t guess I’d like. I’ve written about my childhood reads. Now – ta da! – here are some of my favorite teen reads:

A Tale of Two Cities

Les Miserables

The Count of Monte Cristo

Pride and Prejudice (right?)



Northanger Abbey

Adam Bede

Silas Marner

Fahrenheit 451

Animal Farm

Jane Eyre


All of Victoria Holt’s books

booksI’ll grant you that Dickens is an acquired taste, and Les Miserables, Adam Bede, and Silas Marner are downers, but it takes all sorts of vegetables to make a good stew.

Victoria Holt is not deep or hard to understand. Those books are clean, Gothic romance. So many governesses falling in love with the Lords of the Manor! Just the thing to stimulate a teen girl’s imagination without delving into dirt. Both my daughters read each of them.

All of these titles, with the exception of the Holt books, have been made into films, and Les Miserables is a Broadway hit. The musical scores for “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera” are brilliant and memorable.

So, if you don’t want to take down the Christmas tree yet, read one of these books or watch the movie adaptations.

Happy reading!

A Snow Day? It could happen!

Frigid temperatures greeted me when I stepped off the train yesterday, along with a forecast for snow. Wait, what? Snow? Sure enough, this morning the neighborhood was beautifully dusted with an inch of new snow. California sunshine for Christmas and a winter wonderland too? Score!

We decided to walk to church this morning, simply because we could!

We decided to walk to church this morning, simply because we could. Pictured is Michael.

Students pray fervently for Snow Days–and so do teachers! We get snow so rarely–and it’s usually the wet, sloppy kind that does not plow well. It’s not cost-effective for the city to maintain an army of snowplows, so the prudent thing is to clear the main roads and close schools. We teachers agree!

Snow Days are the best gift ever–a true holiday. Because there is nothing planned, not one thing! (We’re supposed to be at school!) So while students play outside in the white stuff, we teachers hunker down with a book or a favorite movie. Delightful!

“Mom, we’ve got it covered.” Speaking of holidays, here’s how my guys’ “Manly Christmas” went down. A photo of their shopping cart tells  the  tale. Do you see even one vegetable?


  • Two lasagnas
  • One apple pie
  • One pumpkin pie
  • One pecan pie
  • Whipped cream
  • Twelve (huge) muffins
  • Taquitos
  • Chimichangas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pre-made gravy
  • One spiral-cut ham
  • Hot chocolate and sparkling cider
  • Firewood
Photo: Jessica Lyons

Photo: Jessica Lyons

Christmas Eve found my men at church, but back home they reverted to Guy Mode. Instead of watching my sentimental Christmas favorite ( Shop Around The Corner), my sons chose … wait for it … Die Hard.  Since when did Die Hard become “the definitive holiday action classic”? Shaking my head…

At the moment we have sleet and freezing rain, as another storm system enters the Pacific Northwest. Will the cold be scoured out before tomorrow? Or will my Christmas Break be extended  because of snow and ice?

My sweet daughter-in-law cooked Christmas brunch for my guys

My sweet daughter-in-law cooked Christmas brunch for my guys: Michael, Nathan, Don, Ben, and Jessica

Ready or not, the first work week of 2016 is about to begin. Have a good one, friends!