Sunday, February 10, 2013

Digging Out, Part 2

The big blizzard that hit New England has passed, but left quite a mess in it's wake.  My brother and sister-in-law were still without power at home and at their business last night.  Power was finally restored this afternoon. 

While their fish and corals survived the first night, they did not fare as well last night.  The temperature dropped drastically, and without heat, it just got too cold inside the store for tropical fishes and corals.  Sadly, they have lost a lot of fish, including some they'd had for the last 15 years, and some corals.  I feel so terrible for them and for the critters they lost.  I can't even imagine how they must be feeling.  I still cry when one of our goldfish dies.

So, now they continue to clean up and dig out.  To add insult to injury, after having a couple of feet of snow and high winds to make large drifts, their area is forecast to have heavy rain tomorrow.  People are being told to get the snow off the roofs today, before the rain comes and adds so much more weight and brings the danger of collapse.  New England just can't catch a break right now.

Thankful my family is safe, but so sad for their losses.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Digging Out

My brother and sister-in-law, Jeremy and Ruth, live and work in the Providence, Rhode Island area.  They took a beating yesterday during the big New England blizzard.  Their power went out last evening, and still hasn't come back on.

The view from Jeremy's front door at about 8 p.m. EST last night. He said they were having 50 mph winds at the time he took this photo.

They own a store, Coral Reef Aquarium, and they risk losing the fish and corals they sell if the power goes out.  The critters will eventually run out of oxygen in the water, and they'll die.  Cold temperatures from having no heat is not good for them either, since they are tropical fish.  It was a huge concern with the power being out.  Jeremy does have a gas-powered generator at the store, but he has to be able to get there from his house, normally a few minutes away.

Dug out, and heading to check on the store at about 2:30 p.m. EST this afternoon.

He did manage to dig out at home and get to the store.  He said it's cold, but the fish are still alive.  That's a relief!  It looks like he has some digging to do, though.

He made it there. This is the front of Jeremy and Ruth's store, Coral Reef Aquarium.  Looks like he's got more digging to do!

I am thankful that my brother, his wife, and her mother were all safe at home yesterday and last night during the storm.  I am thankful that the livestock at their store is still alive.  I know Jeremy will be thankful when the power is restored...whenever that will be!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lots of Cousins

Yesterday was a day of cousins for me. First cousin, Sue; second cousin, Maria; and third cousins, Cordelia and Elise, traveled a couple of hours over from their town to visit my Auntie Grace (their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother).  My mom and I got to spend some time with all of these ladies at my aunt's house.  This was a complete girls' day, ranging in age from 6 months to it's-not-polite-to-say.

It was a lot of fun to see them, but I missed out on quite a bit of the conversation.  It's okay though, because I was being entertained by the cutest 3-year-old girl on the planet.  Her name is Cordelia, and she is a whirlwind! 

Cordelia, with mom, Maria and baby sister, Elise in the background. It's kind of amazing how well this picture turned out, since Cordelia was in motion, turning her head from side-to-side. I'm so glad my cell phone's camera has good stop action!

Usually when we get together, Cordelia takes awhile to warm up to people she doesn't see often enough to know really well.  I may get a shy hello, or nothing at all.  But now I know the secret!  Before the gathering yesterday, I was looking for a certain book, and came across a couple of sticker books.  I don't know for sure where they came from, but I suspect they were some freebies that came with some other things I'd gotten when I worked at the elementary school.  Since they're geared for preschool aged kids, I never used these sticker books.  I thought they might be something Cordy would enjoy.

When we arrived at my aunt's house, I gave the books to Cordelia, and she quietly worked on them, with the help of her Grandma Sue, for quite awhile.  When she started to get bored with the books, quiet time ended!

Cordy had decided I was safe (bribes do work!), and she proceeded to hug me, squeeze me, kiss me, and climb all over me.  I was pretty much her jungle gym.  She giggled constantly and was the silliest little thing, but we had a lot of fun.  It's been a long time since I was so thoroughly wrestled by a small child.  My own daughter is now 15, but when she was 3, she was the same kind of active ball of fire, and I kind of miss that.

For a short time before they left, I managed to get some sweet time with the baby girl, Elise.  She is cute as a button!  Too soon, it was time for them to go.  Their return drive was planned to take place during afternoon nap time, so when the little girls started showing signs of winding down, they loaded up into the car and headed home.

While the party was a short one, it was a good one.  I love all of these cousins of mine, and was glad to get to see them!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Raven Lunatics

My family isn't into football at all, but for some reason, it has become our tradition to watch the Superbowl every year.  Since we don't watch any other games during the season, and we really could care less who's playing, we choose which team to cheer for in very interesting ways.  This year, we decided to be Ravens fans for two reasons.

1.  Megan loves ravens.  She's been captivated by them since her first trip to Yellowstone National Park when she was 8.  We saw a raven unzipping and getting into a duffel bag strapped to a parked motorcycle, and it was love at first sight.  She began calling any raven she saw "Raven Buddy".  We found and purchased a book all about ravens and how extremely and uniquely intelligent they are.  Now, it doesn't matter where we are.  If she sees a raven, or even more than one, they are all Raven Buddies. She has a t-shirt with a raven on it and the words "raven lunatic".  She wore that shirt last night to cheer on the Baltimore Ravens.

Michael Oher and his adoptive family, the Tuohys--Google Images 

2.  Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens #74.  The movie The Blind Side is the story of Michael's life.  It is an excellent, very touching story.  If you have not seen The Blind Side, I highly recommend it.  It was so much fun to watch Michael playing in the Superbowl, and so exciting to see his team win!  I'd read an article about how his adoptive parents were at the game, and his biological mother was cheering him on at home.  She is now clean and sober, and says she gives God all the glory for how well she and her son are both doing in their lives.

We watched every minute of the game, only changing the channel during halftime to watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, another tradition of ours. After halftime, we returned to the game, where we nearly screamed ourselves silly as the Ravens' Jacoby Jones received the kickoff after halftime and ran the ball 108 yards for a touchdown.  We fretted for our chosen team's momentum during the power outage, and felt stressed and a little panicky as the opposing team came on strong and scored several times, narrowing the Ravens' lead when the game resumed. Finally, we celebrated joyfully when the Ravens held on to their small lead to win the game!

Even though it was the only football game we watched this year, I think it was the best!