Monday, January 19, 2009

unbelievable at 60

Yesterday was a rare day, indeed, as Juneauites experienced something that doesn't come along very often. Heck, never! We were giddy with excitement. We were calling each other on the phone, talking about it. It started early in the morning, which, in itself, is a miracle. We enjoyed it all day long. We took off our sweatshirts and vests. We had the doors open. We were outside, in our short sleeves, enjoying the heat wave! Yes, a heat wave in Juneau, Alaska, in the middle of winter! Never mind that just a week ago, it was -8 degrees and then a week of snow. Yesterday was unbelievable. We don't generally experience this warm weather in the summer months! And to wake up and have it almost 60 degrees out, was just short of some kind of miracle. Global warming, I suppose :O

Juneau is a cold place. Even in the summer months, we don't experience very warm weather, or very many warm days. One of my secret desires, is to some day live in a place where I can wake up, get my cup of coffee, and go out on the porch and sit in my jammies and enjoy the morning. And be warm. You can't do that here. Well, you can, but it wouldn't be enjoyable in 40 degrees. So the fact that we had temps in the 50's and near 60 yesterday was one of those "once in a life time" events, I'm sure. They said it was Chinook Winds. I never knew we had Chinook Winds. Chinook salmon, yes, but not winds!

Chinooks warm Juneau
Chinook winds flowed in to Juneau over the weekend creating unseasonably high temperatures. Sunday's high reached 53 which surpassed the previous high for the date of 52 set in 1981. It reached 48 for a high Saturday, which was only one degree off from the all time high for the date of 49 established in 1965. The thermometer at the studios of KINY and KSUP downtown were crowding 60 degrees Sunday morning. Meteorologist Corey Van Pelt in the Juneau Forecast Office says the Chinooks are part of an overall large scale pattern shift where warm air is coming from the south and the cold air that hung around for about a month was shoved into the Lower 48.

So I'm sorry that our winds sent the cold air down south, but what's a girl to do. We loved it! We were so busy outside, working wherever there wasn't snow piled. My husband even washed the windows. Outside. In the middle of winter! Woo hoo!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

dancing in my seat

Yes, I danced all night long. In my chair. To the tunes of the great James Cotton! Can you believe that we actually got someone like James Cotton to our little town? They said 800 people showed up to listen to him play his superharp. 800 people. In a small convention hall. Dancing in the aisles. Enjoying the moment.

But let me back up.

The concert didn't start until 7:30 but being the early birds we are, we arrived at 7:00 p.m. to ensure a close parking spot. Never mind that any where you need to park in Juneau is "close," we just didn't want to have to drive around looking for a place. Okay, so we arrived at 7:00 to find that the parking lot to the Centennial Hall was already completely full! And here we thought we were like 20 minutes too early! We found a parking place not far away and headed into the building. There we found ourselves amidst the silliest group of people we've ever seen in Juneau. The meeting hall was packed with people ; a good majority wearing Xtratufs! I've never seen so many Xtratufs in one place! Men with flannel shirts and Xtratufs. Young females in short skirts, wool tights, and Xtratufs. Children running around in Xtratufs. They were worn straight up, rolled down. It was evident everyone came wearing their finest clothes for this event!

Okay, so we're in the building. There's hundreds of people waiting in line. AND the "lines" are defined with duct tape taped to the carpet to help you find your way from point A to point B. Just like the ropes you'll find going through security at the airport or at the theater or banks to keep people in line, to help them move to the next counter only it's taped on the floor! And everyone was in their own line! We followed the duct tape as it weaved back and forth, back and forth, to the ticket line. It was the most hilarious thing I've seen in a long time. Only in Juneau!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It was pretty while it lasted

Well, it was pretty while it lasted! It's still pretty, with all the snow on the ground, but it's been raining for days now so it's melting at a rapid rate. We must have gotten 60" or more in a matter of a few days. So much we were running out of places to shovel it! You can only throw it so high, after all!
My husband and I have a system worked out where we share in the load of keeping everything cleaned off. He's more meticulous than I am about it and will do his darnedest to get the driveway completely cleaned off. "That's good enough" is my philosophy!

My husband mostly takes care of the front of the house and I take care of the back. We have a rather large driveway that he does with the snow blower. And then he does the public road along our property line so when the city plows come, they don't shove the snow right back into our driveway. This is probably the smartest move we can make as it really does save us a lot of work. Some times it seems just maintaining the front yard is a full-time job, but it's just one of those things that needs to be done. We don't want to run the risk that one of the kids, or other visitors, will fall and hurt themselves because we were too lazy to keep our property safe. Okay, so in addition to the driveway and porch, Mike also uses the snow blower to keep a path to our back yard. This would be our emergency exit should we ever have need. So he's a busy boy with his man toy.

Now, my part is the back yard. My "toy" is a snow shovel and boy do I know how to work it! We have a rather large deck that is multiple levels. All in all, it takes about an hour's time to do the deck. At one point, Mike measured the snow on this fire pit and bench (above) and it measured 43". We just left it to see how high it could get!

As if we didn't have enough snow to shovel.... we also have our dogs to think of. When you have so much snow drop in such a short period of time, they don't have an opportunity to get out there and forge their own trails. So I did it for them! Yes, we do have spoiled dogs!

You can see that the dogs are enjoying their race track as they romp and run, chasing each other.
All in all, I had three different paths for the dogs to choose from, all wrapping around and meeting up with another trail. It was fun and something I didn't mind doing. I know the dogs needed the space to run and get exercise, not to mention a path to somewhere that they could go to the bathroom :O

So as is the routine, it snows and snows and snows and everything is gorgeous. Then it warms up and melts so everything is a sloshy, sloppy, slippery mess. Then it'll freeze again and the roads and walkways will become, well, an icy, uneven mess. Then it'll start snowing again and the cycle continues. It's all part of living in Alaska. We really don't mind. Oh, we'll complain at times, but we know what has to be done and life goes on.