This is a ledge outside our garage. That white stuff is snow or ice. I’m not sure which?
I was talking on the phone with a friend from college who lives near Seattle. I told her it was freezing here.
“Freezing? What’s the temperature?” she asked. She sounded skeptical. I often used the word “freezing” when I lived in Palm Springs. That meant anything under 65 degrees.
“It was 29 degrees when I got out of bed,” I said. “We’ll have a high of 40 today.”
“Wow, that really is freezing,” she answered.
The other night I sat on the sofa looking out our sliding glass door as the house and sky lit up with lightening. The roaring thunder that followed was exciting. On my lap, Olive the cat, clung for dear life.Then it poured rain for hours. It was a fun evening in my perspective — real weather!
The next morning, my husband and I tried to walk. But it was too cold for us and we gave up. It was 30 degrees.
We waited until 1 p.m. for our “morning” walk. I took the two pictures here leaving for our walk. I’m not sure if it snowed after I fell asleep — or if it was frozen rain. A neighbor came over the next day and asked me what the white stuff was on our roof! I hadn’t noticed that before. It’s been so cold the ice/snow lasted for two days!
FYI, my neighbor said she had none. She’s just around the corner from us!
What do you consider freezing temperatures? What temperature is too hot for you?
While I was with my kids, my son asked me to drive to Target and buy a game of Scrabble. I’m not keen on driving in the Bay Area — really not driving anywhere. I’d walk everywhere if I could.
If you were watching the weather, a bomb of a storm was predicted. Fortunately, where we were in Berkeley — it wasn’t hard hit. There was a ton of rain and wind. Some houses were flooded, but we were fine.
Still. I wasn’t excited about driving. I walked to my daughter’s apartment, which is less than two miles from my son’s house. She asked me to walk Waffles the pug while she was at work. I asked if I could borrow her car to go to Target and the grocery store. The answer was “of course.” She left the car keys for me inside her apartment. She’s so close to her job, she doesn’t have to drive.
Scrabble wasn’t at the Target .2 miles from her house where I could walk. I had the choice of two Targets in other towns. I buckled in and found my way with little trouble except for dodging massive potholes — which must have cropped up from the storm. They were tire or car killing potholes. I avoided all but one and felt proud of myself.
Armed with Scrabble and groceries, I returned to my son’s house. He and his fiancee have been playing Scrabble online as of late. I haven’t touched the game since I was around 10 years old?
I played my son who was home alone (and doing very well after surgery FYI.) His first word he laid down was qis — notice there isn’t a u after the q. His word was placed at the center star where you get a gazillion extra points. I challenged the word.
“Look it up,” he said. “Google to see if it’s a word in Scrabble.”
I had my laptop handy and BINGO! Qis is a “yes” for Scrabble.
The next word he played was drat.
“That’s not acceptable. That’s slang!” I said.
“Slang is allowed.”
“Not in my day,” I argued.
Needless to say I lost by more than 100 points. This is not the Scrabble of my childhood.
We both broke out in fits of laughter when he built a new word and it resulted in a second built word “za.”
“You can challenge that if you want,” he said. “I’m not sure za is a word.”
“What do you think it means?” I asked.
He said it was short for pizza — but we were laughing and he admitted he had no clue what it meant or if it was a word.
I checked the laptop. Za is a yes for Scrabble. Short for pizza.
Do you remember slang words in Scrabble? What are your thoughts about what I believe are new rules for Scrabble? Is this the Scrabble of your childhood?
It’s my son’s surgery. I’m mentally preparing for the day ahead by visualizing what the day will bring. Go to the surgery center with my son. Buy him congee after surgery for a light easy-to-digest meal, buy ice, and help him get comfortable (FYI, I’m writing this on the morning of Jan. 4).
But then I got an email with friends who know I’m in the Bay area.
Here’s an excerpt from Yahoo News:
San Francisco is about to be hit with a ‘brutal’ storm so severe that a meteorologist says is ‘one of the most impactful’ he’s ever seen
The National Weather Service’s Bay Area office issued a frank and dire warning to citizens in a statement, saying the storm, which is currently forecast to begin peaking Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, could bring about flooding and the loss of life.
“To put it simply, this will likely be one of the most impactful systems on a widespread scale that this meteorologist has seen in a long while,” the warning read. “The impacts will include widespread flooding, roads washing out, hillside collapsing, trees down (potentially full groves), widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce, and the worst of all, likely loss of human life. This is truly a brutal system that we are looking at and needs to be taken seriously.”
A lovely evening after a Sunday sail–earlier this year.
Our good friends, Rob and Deb, were on their normal Sunday afternoon sail in and around Santa Barbara Harbor when a freak “microburst” hit. Read more about the storm here.
Rob grew up sailing as a young lad in Australia and he and Debbie are skilled sailors. The first time we visited them in Santa Barbara, we found ourselves in a yachting race—and my husband and I had no clue what we were doing.
Here’s Debbie’s account of their harrowing ordeal:
She said the clouds were white and puffy above the mountains and she remembered pointing them out to their three guests. She watched as they turned from white, to gray to black. Then, she remembers Rob pointing out a line of rain coming at them across the water. One of her friends said, “Look there’s more coming behind it!”
The next thing she knew they got hit by 80 mph winds and their boat fell over flat. At the time, Debbie was standing on the bow pulpit—that railing that extends beyone the bow. She said she was hanging on for dear life but was able to push herself upright while the boat was on its side.
During this frantic time, one guest fell overboard and the mainsail flapped around in the air and water.
Debbie said there was zero visibility with pelting rain, hail and wind and they had lost control of their boat. When the microburst hit, they were turning left into the harbor by the pier. Debbie’s thoughts were for the group of kids who had been sailing in the harbor. There were dozens of kids as young as 10 in a youth sailing group capsized and hanging onto the centerboards of their boats. Debbie was afraid they would run over the kids as their boat spun this way and that. She said they did hit a paddle boarder, who dove off his board to avoid them.
Unsure how long the ordeal lasted, she said Rob was able to gain control of the boat eventually and sail it with the jib since they had no motor power. They avoided hitting large yachts, the rocky breakwater and various other hazards. Debbie said the harbor was filled with floating items like shoes, umbrellas, boat cushions, ladders, etc. She wanted to get towed, but Rob said no, that they were okay and other people needed to be pulled out of the water and rescued. After the storm passed, they were able to dock at Marina One. Their overboard companion called and said he had been rescued by people in a dinghy and for some reason his cell phone was still working.
Rob, Debbie and their guests worked for the next hours cleaning up the mess inside their boat with it taking on water and everything tossed around. Later that night, Rob returned to their boat with their old mainsail and with the help of friends returned their boat to their slip. Debbie said her friends all said they’d go sailing with them again.
Debbie and my daughter on a sail in August.
I’m so thankful they survived and that even though dozens of people capsized or fell overboard, everyone was well and accounted for. We almost joined them for the weekend but decided instead to escape the desert heat up at Big Bear rather than trekking to Santa Barbara on a holiday weekend and fighting traffic and the fire through Los Angeles.
Am I grateful for that decision, especially after hearing Debbie’s harrowing account of their afternoon sail! I don’t know if I could have stayed calm like Rob and Debbie were able to. When we drove home from the mountains on Sunday, we got hit by a flash flood in the high desert–at about the same time as our friend’s storm in Santa Barbara. I was so freaked out driving into blackness, thunder, lightning, and rain pelting down in buckets. We lost visibility and I was afraid we’d be swept away. And that was on a highway in a car—not out in the ocean on a boat! I think watching all the devastation in Houston has me hypersensitive to disasters.
My nervousness has been memorialized by Rob during a sail years ago in a video with me repeating in a frightened voice to my kids, “Here comes a wave!” The sea doesn’t back up my fear—it’s glassy and calm.
Like I said, I’m thankful my friends and everyone in Santa Barbara are okay!
Have you been caught in a storm or natural disaster? Did you stay calm?
Rob at the helm, giving my daughter instructions in August. Below are dolphins we followed a few years ago.
Debbie on the bow pulpit, exactly where she was when the storm hit.