Tag Archives: winter weather

Have You Hugged An Easter Alpaca?


How cute are these two? Still in the paper bag when they arrived home. I’m keeping the pastel one and have named her Rainbow. She has moved into my office. Easter alpacas on sale. Is this a great country or what?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Bought two alpacas yesterday. Don’t freak, they were stuffed toys. Gotcha! The last thing I need is something else to take care of, as cute as alpacas may be. I like having the excuse to drive up the Columbia River Gorge or over to Sisters to make personal alpaca visits.

They were a complete impulse buy. I was on a mission for potting soil and ended up with these two cuties as well. One is a gift, one is for writing inspiration. Seems the next fiction book in my Vintage Vets series involves alpacas. Animals just keep showing up in my writing. I am not in charge.

But first I feel I should apologize to the USA residents in the East. Sorry about all the stupid snow. It was 69 degrees here yesterday, a fluke and we loved it, hence the potting soil trip. Rain again today, so back to our regularly scheduled weather.

When you live on the West coast, for me everything past Montana is back East. I have been told by Midwesterners that is not correct, but it works for us out here. Imagine that is why in Hawaii we are all “the mainland” because the rest of the country is East to them, except for Alaska which is North and East.

Potting soil bags does mean Spring is on its way. I’m downing the allergy pills to prove it. The two toys were on sale as Easter alpacas. Never heard of Easter alpacas, but I fell for it. Sometimes you just need an Easter alpaca.

What Spring rituals are you looking forward to?


Filed under Garden

White Christmas Memories

by Kimberly A. Cook

Happy Boxing Day! It’s a balmy 28 degrees here in Oregon and the ice and leftover snow are still on the roofs in my neighborhood. The unexpected freezing rain on Christmas Eve turned into fluffy snow in the late afternoon.


The glare of ice crystals on the bird bath on Christmas Eve, lit by the street lamp reflection. Birds will need ice skates!


Geared up with crampons on my boots and cookies and eggnog in my backpack, I hoofed it over to my Mom’s house at 2:30 p.m. for Christmas Eve eggnog and cookies. Walked carefully since one does not want to fall on their eggnog. The Army did teach me to find my feet on the ice. The walk back home through fluffy white snow and the quiet that only a holiday with a blanket of white can bring was magical.


The bird bath on Christmas Day. Since the birdie bath heater died, it’s now an ice rink. Must get to the store to replace the heater.


An emergency run for take-and-bake pizza on Christmas Eve morning by my sister worked out well to pre-position food for the holiday. We went with super easy Christmas dinner this year. Christmas pizza a first for us. It was wonderful with eggnog and cookies, plus some salad thrown in for good measure. Plus dark chocolate. ALWAYS dark chocolate.


This is the winter camellia blooming while hit by the freezing rain. Note my fabulous mini pink bunny trellis in the background. Did that this summer for color in the garden for the winter.


So I played with my camera and thought I’d share some pics from our little weather event. Forecast for more freezing rain, snow, sleet, locusts tonight. Something like that. So here are pics from a lazy photographer who basically stands on the front or back porch and takes photos. I blame the pizza and eggnog.


One of the last rose blooms attacked by the ice.  Spring will come again!




This is my laziest photo of all.  I’m a big Music Choice fan on Comcast. I love the holiday music which comes with fabulous rotating pictures. This is my favorite photo every year. Cookie conveyor! It dawned on me I could take a picture of the tv from my LaZBoy and share it. Truly the laziest pic of all. Almost Happy New Year! 


Filed under Photography

Got Snow? Ice? Locusts Wearing Parkas?

by Kimberly A. Cook                         (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The best laid plans of mice and women. On Dec. 7th I picked up a load of artwork and plants from my sister and brother-in-law’s house to help them move into their new mini-house; they are in my neighborhood now.


Comet on his commandeered pillows in the new house master bedroom closet. Waiting for Mom and Dad.


On Thursday they made two early morning car loads. I was at their new house babysitting their cat and baking lasagna when the snow storm hit about noon. So with a full moving truck, they were stuck at their old home with everything packed except two LaZBoys and food in the frig and freezer.

The moving crew barely slid up and off their hill but the 150 foot difference in elevation made for an auto slip and slide. Their old house is on the top of a steep mountain. They watched one neighbor’s car get to the side of their house and then slide backwards down the long hill. Not a trick to try with a full moving truck.

Waited for the oven to finish cooking the pasta. Five minutes after I took the lasagna out at 2 p.m. I heard it on the window. Tink, tink. Crap cakes! Freezing rain.

Threw the still hot lasagna in the frig, said goodbye to Comet and hightailed it home. Long story short, I babysat Comet on Friday while they were still stuck. Saturday they were able to get the truck off the hill around 11 a.m. and the moving crew unloaded in the afternoon and evening.

Long day Saturday but got the second load moved and unloaded too, the lasagna ate and Comet got to see his parents again. He’d been in kitty solitary in a new place for more than 48  hours but was doing fine since he was wearing his kitty calming lavender collar. We all needed one.

Sunday I watched three NFL games in a row from my LaZBoy. Barely moved. Forgot what it’s like to heft a few boxes. Spec Ops Cat made up for missed lap time. Monday and Tuesday spent grocery shopping and meeting a friend for lunch. Finished up chores in time to get ready for the next snow storm due in yesterday.

Which became quite interesting because today I had jury duty. Snow started at 1 p.m. Wednesday and dumped. So everybody and their brother, co-worker, relative and favorite enemy ended up bailing onto the highways at the same time. Gridlock ensued!

Basically Portland shut down. The freeways shut down. But my bird bath heater is working great. Iceageddon ensured my jury duty was finally cancelled today, so I’m home playing hooky. Trying to catch up on blog posts.

So here’s a video of Nora the polar bear and the river otters at the Oregon Zoo enjoying their second snow. Last week. This last storm was our third. We might have more this weekend. It’s going to be one of those winters!

The rest of the country has been hit hard by bad winter weather too, so we are not alone. Since we don’t use salt to treat our roads and we have hills, snow turns to ice and it amounts to toddlers trying to drive cars on a hilly skating rink. Does not end well.

A HUGE thank you to the law enforcement and medical first responders, road crews, mass transit folks, electric line repair personnel and “essential personnel” who go out in these messes and help us all. Plus the UPS driver who just drove through my neighborhood with chains on the big brown truck. Wishing you donuts and hot chocolate or coffee!

Everybody stock up on food, books, cat litter, blankets, soup, cat food, chocolate, chips and dips now. Good luck this winter. We might just need it! Go Nora!

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