The White Stuff



Feets Don’t Fail Me Now!, originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

The white stuff hit with a vengeance today.

The snow reportedly started up between midnight and 1am, by 8am we were getting 1-2″ per hour it was almost impossible for me to back out of my driveway. And Burton Street – which is by no means a low-traffic road – was nothing more than a two track each way. Even The SUV People were respecting others and leaving a good 4 or 5 car lengths between them.

Weird.

Driving down the Burton Street two-track with little more visibility than say, half a block, I realized that the radio was blaring that song that goes: “IT’S THE MOST WONDER-FUL TIME OF THE YEAAAR!!!” and I was singing along just as loud as could be, slipping and sliding along without a care in the world.

Weirder.

Story of my life.

R.I.P. Four Friends

Sit With Me…, originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

I finally made it to a GR Flickr meetup again last night… my first in weeks, if not months. It was excellent and awesome seeing everyone, even though the main reason for the meetup was to get our last coffee at Four Friends Coffee Shop.

Four Friends has always been “that place” for the GR Flickrs. It’s where we meet before/during/after ANY and EVERY downtown photowalk, GR Marathon shoots, Blues On The Mall…

It was cool without being exclusive, beautiful without being perfect, displayed and sold some great local art, served some of the best coffee in the greater metropolitan area, and most importantly it was the only coffee shop where I could get a stroopwafel with my double mocha.

You can’t buy perfection like that. It just… IS.

R.I.P. Four Friends. Others will imitate you, but they will never replace you.

[ cue: mournful dirge music ]

Did you feel it??

Moving Traffic

So I have this cough. It started up over the weekend and finally got so annoying that I saw the doctor yesterday and she gave me meds for it. Still, I couldn’t sleep tonight. Every time I’d relax I’d start coughing again. GAH! So I ended up pulling an all-nighter. Hopefully that won’t cause me problems at work today.

Anyway, I’m sitting here at 5:30am or so chatting with friends in all parts of the globe when my desk began to sway gently from side to side like I was sitting at it in a passenger car on an Amtrak train. At about the same moment I heard a movement behind me, and when I looked at the other wall my great grandmother’s picture was hanging cock-eyed. No trains going by, no trucks passing, not so much as an airplane going overhead.

Turns out it was a bonafide earthquake!

Midwest Quake Felt In Grand Rapids

5.4 Earthquake Rocks Illinois; Felt 350 Miles Away

Funny how I so expected to experience my first one in New Zealand (one of the hottest earthquake zones in the world) last year and nothing happened the whole two weeks, then I come back here and BOOM! Earthquake in Grand Rapids.

Who’d a thunk it? 🙂

Fashion For The Not-So-Frigid

Bootie Call
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

So I showed up at the Baldwin sled dog races in a sweater, jeans, a Columbia jacket, and my tennis shoes. It was February 13th and the temperature was a balmy 3°F in the North woods.

Alaine’s mom was shocked and appalled that I intended to go out and enjoy myself in city clothes. She obviously knew better than I did – I was blissfully oblivious to the inadequacy of my dress. So before I was allowed out of the trailer she saw to it that I had a warm pair of overall snow pants and an old pair of her Columbia boots to keep me warm. I’ve never been warmer.

I know now that people who hate winter because of the cold simply aren’t dressing right. Honestly. I see people huddled against the cold now and when I look closer I realize that they’re wearing a thin “coat” that is often flapping open and tennis shoes or little non-thermal “boots” that are so small and thin that they’re packed with snow and ice the minute they walk out the door. All of this in the name of “fashion”.

Know what I say? To Hell with fashion! Get yourself a proper coat and boots. You’ll be a happier, warmer person and winter will be just that little bit more bearable.

Now, if I just had a solution for potholes….

Of Pleasant Surprises

Silent Observer
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

The Man had a teleconference meeting this afternoon/evening (I should be a poet!) so I decided to go out and stretch my legs before our big V-Day date. I ended up driving over to Ken-O-Sha park which is only about 5 min. from our house.

I haven’t been there since I was a little girl, and I keep meaning to take the camera over but I never remember it when I have time. Yeah, we’ve lived here 13 years now, it’s 5 minutes away, and I haven’t gone! Sad, isn’t it?

Anyway, the trail is about 1.2 miles long and I wore my old boots because I wasn’t sure how clear the trail was.

Funny thing about those old boots— I forgot that the right boot is broken on the inside heel. I had my woolies on so I didn’t notice it rubbing my heel until I literally got to the other end of the trail.

1.2 miles from the car.

Damn.

So I favored it on the way back and stopped often. At one point it felt so bad that I sat down on one of the less-snowy park benches and tried to adjust my wool sock to relieve the pain a bit — I still had about a half mile to go!

I sat there quietly for about 5 minutes, and when I stood up I heard a noise behind me. Lo and behold, three deer were standing there staring at me like I was an alien from another planet. I managed to get only one shot off before they decided I was a threat (Who? ME??) and took off into the woods.

I’m home now, the boots are in the trash, I have a large bandage wrapped across the back of my heel and a bloody wool sock to show for it.

But you know what? It was almost worth it for the encounter with the deer.

Live in Michigan? Vote Today! (365 Day Challenge – Day 15)

Live in Michigan? Vote Today!
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

We’ve been royally screwed by both parties with regard to the Michigan Primaries. That said, every vote DOES, in fact, count.

If you’re Republican you’re in luck because 1/2 of your delegates will be seated at the convention – your vote counts for 1/2! If you’re Democrat your vote will not count at all at the convention (unless the party goes against it’s own rules and seats our delegates anyway) but the Press will be all over the results, declaring a win for “uncommitted” to be a blow to Hillary, and visa versa.

I’m not going to tell you how I vote or how you should vote. Thats between you and your Conscience. I’m just telling you to vote.

That’s not much to ask.

Reprieve (365 Day Challenge – Day 9)

Shelf Life
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

I was sitting at my desk this morning wondering why it was so hard to read my monitor. Turns out I’ve forgotten how bright SUNLIGHT is!

Yes, actual sunlight. In Michigan. In January.

I KNOW! I was shocked too!

So I bundled up and headed out to Aman Park in Standale for some back-to-nature photography and a good long walk in the sun.

I was surprised how much green there was. Granted, the snow has all melted in our little mini heat wave this week, but I thought everything would be dormant, brown, and dead-looking. Not so! First off, there was a great deal of moss. Everywhere. There was also a lot of more or less green grass, and the odd plant or two trying desperately to poke through the carpet of dead leaves and soak up some much-needed radiation.

It was all good. I’d probably still be out there now if I hadn’t split my pants crawling (literally) over a log that had fallen across Trail B. That’s a humbling experience, let me tell ya! And a drafty one…

I’m glad I got out of the house today. The National Weather Service is predicting… well, in a word, CRAP through next Wednesday.

Remember, the next time you see the sun, run for it!