Tag Archives: winter

Blankie Time?

by Kimberly A. Cook

The past two weeks family commitments have kept me busier than a popcorn fart, as my Dad used to say.  Nothing bad, just hectic. Plus given the news lately, sometimes I don’t even know what to write.

But here goes. Compassion fatigue is real. Back in the day we had three tv channels that went off the air at midnight, no cell phones and social media happened at the hair salon.

So feel free to unplug, turn off and give yourself a break. Take action to focus on family, friends, pets and neighbors close to you. What you can control.

Believe it or not, we are USAStrong. We’re a very big family, a dysfunctional bunch, but that is true with most families. So practice kindness and see what happens.

With that goal in mind, here are some of my favorite recent pics to focus on pleasant moments.

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The Fall colors are here. Gorgeous.

 

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A picnic lunch last week at Chinook Landing in Fairview to watch the Columbia River presented us with river breezes and the approaching storm front.

 

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This little guy was very busy storing snacks for the winter while we were on a neighborhood walk.

 

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After passing Mr. Squirrel we came upon this gorgeous view of Mt. St. Helens, our resident volcano, across the farm fields.

 

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One of my favorite roses, The Fairy, is still blooming in October. How about that magic?

 

And if you could use more happy moments, the Hallmark Holiday movies launch this weekend on their two channels. Get your blankie, eggnog and snacks and start training for the holiday movie/series marathons of your choice.

There’s nothing like a good jammie day to pick up the spirits!

 

 

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Time To Hit The Pool!

by Kimberly A. Cook            (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Snow in the East, sun in the West for today only, it must be time for a swim! For the baby penguin chicks at the Oregon Zoo, not us for Pete’s sake!

Look at these pros jump in for their first swim in the big penguin pool. Such athletes. Cute, cuddly and dressed to the nines. Can summer be far behind?

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Can You Say Snow Cone?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

So here’s the deal. Last weekend I bought a new snow shovel because we were supposed to get a few inches of snow on Tuesday-Wednesday. The prior storm I used a round-tipped shovel to try and scrape ice and it was not an effective tool. Went to Ace Hardware and bought a square snow shovel gem for $9.99. Bargain.

Then my Mom bought new snow boots Tuesday. Next my sister and brother-in-law decided they needed a new snow shovel too and got one from Ace Hardware on Tuesday. The snow started around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It dumped at two inches an hour. I apologize Portland!

So a foot of snow later and icy temperatures, I used that spiffy new shovel on Wednesday. A lot. I got to use it yesterday too. But the sun is out and it is a balmy 25 degrees which is hot for the past several weeks, so we’re good.

I’m not going anywhere until Monday when the monsoons come in and melt all this.There is a large snow drift outside my garage door which can just turn to rain, thank you very much.

But Nora our fabulous Polar Bear at the Oregon Zoo had a blast in the fresh snow. The elephants were pretty pumped too. The Oregon Zoo has been closed, but the animals are having a blast without us visitors. Par-tee!

Happy Quirky Friday! Stay warm!

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Winter Photo Wrap Up?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Optimistic headline at best, but I can dream can’t I? With another potential snowstorm heading in to the Portland area tonight, wanted to share some more pics of the season. One of the few things I’ve been able to achieve these two months is taking photos.

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Clear, crisp and sunny. East wind enough to rip your lips off. So pretty.  

 

A quick trip to Mom’s place on Jan. 7 featured clear views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. Besides the East wind blowing my skin off my face and my eyebrows turning to ice, it was lovely. Trees were in front of Mt. Hood, but got this shot of Mt. St. Helens across the farm lands.

She was such a pretty mountain before she blew her top off on May 18, 1980. She looked like a pile of sugar before, now she has a flat top. A volcanic buzz cut so to speak. But the snow still makes her shine.

The next day another snowstorm hit. I’d done my duty by refilling the birdie food, putting out the suet block and making sure the bird bath heater was keeping their water warm; a balmy 33 degrees. When it is 14 degrees out before the wind chill, bath water matters. This little feathered friend appears to be ready to throw himself in the middle of the pile of food. I do not judge.

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Since this was taken through a window, not as clear, but the bird doesn’t care. If that was kettle corn popcorn, I’d throw myself in there too.  

 

Last but not least was this pic I took on Christmas Eve. Spec Ops Cat and I were watching the Hallmark Channel’s Yule Log presentation with Happy the Cat and Happy the Dog. SOC became quite interested in Happy the Cat. Think he thought there was an invasion.

When the kittens showed up for Happy the Cat to play with, SOC had to go investigate. He even went so far as to look behind the flat screen tv to find one of the kittens. Stealth kitten was not to be found. Once SOC was sure there were no additional felines in the house, he cuddled up for a long winter’s nap.

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Spec Ops Cat always on perimeter patrol, in case Happy The Cat tries to invade from the tv.

 

No idea how long this crazy weather is going to last all over the country, but we can be sure Spring and Summer will come again; not soon enough for me!

Happy winter photo taking. Wear your mittens!

 

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Looking For A Warm Spring?

by Kimberly A. Cook                         (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Living in the land of denial is high on my list. Especially right now when the majority of us in the good old USA are freezing our giblets off. In the Pacific Northwest we get cranky when it gets down to 32 degrees in the city, so these 20 degree temperatures plus wind chill are a force to be reckoned with this week.

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Took this picture of Mt. Hood on Dec. 28 while on a quick photo field trip in my neighborhood. Wanted to work with the fading light and my zoom lens. Clouds came in faster than expected and mucked up the visibility.  Snow belongs on the mountain, not in the city. Just say ‘in.

 

Our Mt. Hood snow skiers might find this face freezing cold fun, but I do not. My days pulling 4 a.m. post guard at Fort Carson, Colorado wearing full arctic cold weather gear pretty much gave me all the thrill I needed with high altitude cold weather training.  You haven’t lived until you’ve tried walking in Army Mickey Mouse boots in a snowstorm.

If I wanted to live in these temperatures I’d move to Antarctica or someplace colder, like Wisconsin. (Go Packers!) So I’ve taken precautions. Moved the Gardenia plant into the garage for a balmy 37 degree spa experience. Duct taped the foundation vent hole blockers to ensure they stay put in the high winds forecast for tonight.

Bought four more holiday blankets on clearance to hang over the big windows; plastic blinds are not the best for insulation. Stocked up on goodies from cookies to beans. Got myself a plug in Warm-Me-Up Heated Pocket Wrap to cuddle into while in the LaZBoy.

My sister got Mom one for Christmas. I beat feet to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought one using my 15% off coupon. When I combine that with the heating pad, will be toasty as long as I don’t trip the breakers.

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Spring Bunny Squad! It’s just around the frozen corner.

 

So you can imagine how excited I was at the store today when I spied this row of new merchandise on the shelves. Spring bunnies! We will make it through this cold and the daffodils will rise again. They started peeking up last month then all this cold hit and they went back down into the ground. Smart move.

Stay warm, stay safe and keep any important body parts covered. Words to live by this New Year. Happy 2017!

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Had to take this picture before Christmas. How happy are these giant bears? If you can find one on clearance, snap it up. Big teddy bear snuggles will keep you warm!

 

 

 

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Got A Squirrel Snow Plow?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Sunday before last on Jan. 3rd we all woke up to snow. It was quite the surprise since we were expecting freezing rain at 4 p.m. not snow at 7 a.m. But Mother Nature doesn’t like to disappoint, so we got freezing rain later in the day too. Fantastic!

Us Portlanders who listened to the weather reports swarmed the grocery stores on Saturday; one must not be iced in without snacks and junk food. I’d filled the bird and squirrel feeders too, just in case they had those YakTrax non-slippy things for their feet.

Spotted bird tracks in the snow, but no squirrel prints. Until I saw this video, little did I know he might have been out working the power lines with our PGE crews. How good is this squirrel at plowing? Would you do this for peanuts? He did! Bet his nose was cold too.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Who Is Your Snuggle Bunny?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

The leaves are throwing themselves off the trees and the temperature is heading lower. With tons of Halloween candy in the store, thoughts turn to snuggling and baked goods. These two guys seem to be old friends and are enjoying a leisurely cuddle on the floor.

Wishing you all warm snuggles and furry friends this coming weekend. Happy Quirky Friday!

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