SnowFace Cody

Seeking Life's Adventures

They're Out There!

A Happy and Prosperous Lunar/Chinese New Year to You All!
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
We now embark on the Year of the Dog! Bound to be a Good Year. Don't you think?

The folks at theanimalrescuesite.org have some fun Year of the Dog clothing and other items for sale--ON Sale even. The purchase of any of them provides several meals for shelter animals.

First Peak at the tax office has wound down for now. Hours ease off. I spent a substantial portion of yesterday puttering with little tasks, researching, calling clients that haven't come in yet, and covering the Front Desk. Only managed to actually process one tax return. I'm hoping I get at least one to do each day--naturally, I want more than one per day--but set my hopes low in an effort to not be TOO disappointed if the next week or two refuse to cooperate. Work hours start cutting back for a few weeks. Time to catch up on something other than The Job.

Gosh. Could I find SOMETHING else to pay attention to for part of the day/week for a little while? Maybe. If I try hard.

I do have quite a few rootlings that might be happy in actual soil. Once the line-up of cuttings-in-jars-of-water is properly potted and looking like genuine houseplants . . . I can clip more bits and put them in water! Can't have that kitchen windowsill empty, now can I?

The ebay list could use a bit of freshening. MyJeff recently muttered about doing more with that, himself. I'll happily teach him the fiddlybits I've learned, and let him run with it.

(we will not discuss housework/chores/etc. That would give it too much power.)

Weather swung into a lovely little warm up a couple of days ago. However, forecasts say snow showers throughout the weekend, 3 - 4 inches of snow due Monday-ish, then more snow showers Tuesday morning. Commuting on Monday/Tuesday should be quite the adventure. *cough*cough*snort*wheeeee!*oooops*

Enjoy your New Year of the Dog Day!


                           

You'll Like These . . . Trust Me
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
Great photos of Nature found at Mother Nature Network:

https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/photography-winners-showcase-beauty-gardens-International-Garden-Photographer-Year

Thanks to puddleshark, I was able to guess almost every one of the ones taken in the U.K.   ;-)

First Peak Begins Winding Down
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
The tax season has 2 distinct peak periods: from the last couple of weeks in January to late mid-February; then from late March to the end of the season (on April 17th this year!). So my hours start easing a bit these next 2 weeks, becoming clearly part time within a week of March's start. Only to ramp up a couple/few weeks later. This breathing space should help me get non-job tasks completed and give me a couple weeks of indulging in some relaxation.

Of course, the down side is then I start job hunting again! Whew! Life can be such a roller-coaster.

Oh, yeah . . . and the paychecks get smaller.

But perhaps, our lives will hold something other than work and winter for me to write about; and I'll be a better LJ'er. I hope.

During my day off yesterday, I watered and tended my houseplants. In the early morning, I took The Boys out back and marveled that the sky was already lightening at 6:30, so that I could only greet the lovely Crescent Moon, a very bright star that I think was actually Jupiter, and 2 more stars for whom I have no identification. The wind...wasn't, so the time outside in the Sunday pre-dawn quiet was very pleasant under that lovely blue sky. Later, MyJeff and I spent time in the back yard enjoying the crisp sunshine with The Boys, just talking and sauntering. We re-watched Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro and started Avatar. And we paid bills. Fortunately--once I pick up stamps and drop the bills in the mail, we'll have almost entirely caught up with our bill-paying. My next paycheck should cover the rest for now. I think we both slept better last night. Of course, that task also added to the pile of paper waiting to be filed away! *Sigh* Ya just can't win...

I mentioned wanting to tell a story regarding the dieffenbachia I posted photos of last Thursday. A few years ago, a very nice lady we knew for many years through the local science fiction/fantasy community passed away after fighting cancer for a few years. Her daughter was a particular friend of mine despite being a good deal younger than I, and was a student of mine when I taught belly dancing. At the memorial for this gentle lady, her husband displayed many of her houseplants in the church basement, asking all her friends to please take at least one of the plants home with them. Not only to spread memories of her, but because he is a baker, not a gardener, and assured us all that the poor plants didn't stand a chance with him looking after them. The blooming dieffenbachia is the plant I brought home from Judy's funeral. I think Judy would be pleased with the lovely blooms her final gift to me have produced.

Here's hoping you all have a splendid week and find something phenomenal to do, to see, to make, to share so your Valentine's Day is especially happy for you and your loved one(s).

My Early Morning Has Run Away
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
I guess I hadn't realized that dieffenbachia bloom! But they do! Even under less-than-tropical-conditions...


My crowded plant and closet-room with sprawling, pot-bound dieffenbachia.


The first pair of blooms this sturdy, stubborn plant produced under the mostly artificial light of the plant room.



The second pair of blooms unfurling on this insistent plant.

There is a story behind this plant that I hope to find time to share with you all soon.

Just Chatting
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
Vinnie and I stepped out back about 4:45 a.m. Despite overcast skies, our lovely, waning gibbous moon managed to glow through the cloud cover, providing a single point of interest in a plain, pale sky. For those with a clear view overhead, Grandmother Moon is currently a little over 70% visible.

My Jeff discovered an interesting website last week. A few minutes ago, I noticed they have a link to video of last week's Super Blue Blood Moon for those of us who had no luck actually seeing it. I don't have time to watch now, but plan to do so later. Here's the link to the main page:  https://www.timeanddate.com/

Yesterday was housework catch-up, then rest, day. Laundry took its toll on the day with navigating up and down stairs several times getting a few loads completed. Watered houseplants on both floors. Cooked a little. Shuffled piles-O-stuff in an effort to organize SOMETHING! Watched a little TV/Video and read my current library book. Took a little nap. Not an exciting day . . . but I'm having enough excitement at work these days. This week is another week of starting at 8 a.m., but only 6 days in a row. So I get to have Sunday off again. I appreciate that.

Saturday (after work) MyJeff and I drove to the western suburb where he grew up to join cousins of his for supper, conversation, and Silver Screen Trivial Pursuit. The meal was excellent, as usual. Conversation provided fun and laughter. We played the game as couple-teams. MyJeff and I were seriously out-classed by the two teams of videophiles with whom we competed. Nearing 11 p.m., we managed to tie with both of them at 3 pie wedges each and ceded our pie to our competitors to take turns completing it while we headed home. An email from the hostess last night indicated that we actually won! Talk about gracious hosts!

MyJeff is actively pursuing connections and job hunting via Linked In. He has managed to touch base with old acquaintances we haven't seen in years. Still applying for jobs and studying online seminars.

No Cheer in Snowville
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
Super Blue Blood Moon?



Sorry about the blurriness, but I hadn't had any coffee yet. And I was rather disappointed. And it was 4:30 in the morning. The tree in front of the house across the street is the one that held yesterday's morning moon in her branches. Clouds came between them this morning. Apparently, after dumping an inch or so of fresh snow.

Ah, well . . . I'm sure I'll be able to find great photos online after work tonight. MyJeff watched a television program yesterday that featured a San Francisco photographer that specializes in moon photos. I can't remember his name, but will find what I can after work tonight.

I hope others have better luck than I. Enjoy your day, my friends!
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Super Blue Blood Moon SOON!
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
Here's a very quick reminder that the rare Super (because closest to Earth and appearing up to 14% larger--I think it's 14%) Blue (because it's the 2nd Full Moon in the month of January) Blood (because of an eclipse that allows sunlight through the Earth's atmosphere causing a red reflection from the Moon) Moon (because . . . well, it IS the Moon) happens tomorrow early in the morning.

I just stepped outside with The Boys and checked out Moon's position. At 6 a.m., she's pretty low in the west, a little to the northerly direction. At 4:30 or 5 tomorrow morning, hopefully she won't still be obscured by that big tree across the street. ;-P

Information from NASA and the people there who know much more about this than I do:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/super-blue-blood-moon-coming-jan-31

And HERE is hoping we all have sufficiently clear skies and opportunity to observe and enjoy!

Gotta move along in my quest to get to work on time! Have a GREAT DAY, my friends.
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Not That I Really Have Anything in Particular to Write About...
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
...but we all know--don't we?--that I need to build-back this blogging/journaling habit. So, if I post up some uninspired ramblings while my life is, well, uninspiring, just hang in there. Eventually, I'll get back to the scintillatingly fascinating and exciting revelations, observations, calculations, and photographications of past days.

(What do you mean: How far back in the Archives do you need to look to find those exciting posts?!! HUMPHF!)

First Peak of 2018 tax prep is beginning to find its stride. I'm thinking we're getting about half and half pre-set appointments to walk-ins. Most of the day yesterday was busy with only a short period or two of no clients in the office. I had to send a couple of clients out to get proper documentation. We'll see whether they come back; and whether they have the correct documentation this time. I seem to have hit a run of clients who want to, umm, provide altered/edited/incomplete data to the government. I can't and won't do that so they leave. Today I'm working 9 to 6, tomorrow only 3 to 6, Monday begins a stretch of 8 am to 5 pm or 6 pm or 8 pm. To quote my boss' comment from a few months ago: Buckle Up, Buttercup!

Minneapolis is ramping up like mad for the Super Bowl extravaganza while St. Paul is swinging into this year's version of the annual Winter Carnival. Everything/everyone is going a little bit mad, I think. Activities and entertainments galore explode into place all over the place. From big time sports to big star concerts to big river zip lines (right over the Mississippi!), the Twin Cities are a very excited and exciting place to be right now. My tired, jaded psyche-self has been rolling her eyes and shaking her head quite a bit lately. Grumpy old lady.

Weather has rolled on up to unseasonably warm temps again. Never fear. The weather roller coaster is going to drop down; and back up; and back down; and back up throughout the next couple of weeks. Always a valid topic of conversation in the Northland, Weather has the bit in its teeth and is indulging in a bucking, shying, runaway romp through the season. I'm just hoping Spring has reasonable warmth and precipitation. I'd like to plant a few more pollinator-friendly and me-edible plants this year. We'll see what I can afford to pick up and put in.

Snow Storm Jaxon--January 2018
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
I'll just start with a couple of photos. Shall I?


Yup. That is The Mighty Steed of Smoke and Shadows under that snow bank. The time was about 5:30 this morning and I was out there, standing in knee-high snow just inside the back yard fence wearing my sweatpants (which, of course, are too long for me; thus, rolled up at the hem; thus collecting a load of cold-and-wet to bring into the house!). Okay. So sometimes I don't think things all the way through before doing them.


Although this doesn't do justice to the snow sculpture hanging off the edge of our garage, I wanted to give you an idea of some of nature's graffiti that snow, wind, and cold have been collaborating on all over the northern part of the country. Of course, mostly it shows how deep the sculpture got before part broke off and fell, still cool though. I obviously didn't want to show you snow sculpture badly enough to trudge through more snow to get a closer, better angle. Ah, well. Deal with it. It's cold, snowy, and early in the morning. So there.

Hmmm...I sounded kinda grumpy there. Maybe I need more coffee. Hang on...  Ahhhhh, that's better!

Apparently, we received full measure of the forecast "up to 8 inches" of snow from Winter Storm Jaxon yesterday. Maybe more. I'm wondering how southern Minnesota--where warnings reached something like a foot to a foot and a half--is doing this morning.  thespian15, are you digging out there? Did you get to (and from) work okay?

MyJeff did multiple rounds of shoveling during the storm. That way means more shoveling, but more manageable accumulations to shovel. Especially when the snow is the wet, heavy type like this. I helped with one of the shovel expeditions. And, yes, my friends, I was Very Careful. I shoveled a couple/few feet; stopped to breathe and straighten my back; shoveled another scoop or two; stopped for a moment; shoveled... and so on. I needed to get out there and help. It kind of felt good, although at one point, I did feel a NEED to breathe slowly and fully for a moment or two. Then the feeling eased away, so I can handle some reasonable physical exertion. MySweetJeff definitely did most of the work. But I feel better knowing I participated and COULD participate. Of course, even with the little bit I shoveled, my chest muscles are a tad sore this morning. Go figure.  ;-}

I know that many people around here stayed home yesterday rather than deal with insane driving through a blizzard to get to and from work. That said: yesterday evening's "rush hour" as reported on TV was still horrendous. I was certainly glad I had the day off and didn't need to make that decision. I just heard a radio report on current traffic that mentioned a spin-out. At--what?--6:15 in the morning? Sigh. It is going to be a Looonnnnnnnggg commute today. After MyDarlingHusbandJeff excavates The Mighty Steed for me...

I am scheduled 9 to 5 at the office, so will be heading in. Just might be late--going AND coming. I'm curious to see what the activity level will be at the tax office today and tomorrow. Technically, this should be a busy day, but I'm thinking it might be rather quiet while people deal with blizzard-aftermath and recover. Opportunity for me to start studying my next batch of Continuing Education credits, perhaps. Our office plans to shoot for getting our CE done in the first 3 months of this year so we won't have to be at all concerned come this autumn. (And we'll beat out EVERYBODY else! Hah!)

BTW: I bowed to peer-and-management-pressure and took the next level certification test this past Saturday, after my work shift was over. Since it is an open-book-open-resource test and I had an office full of encouraging, experienced co-workers plus stacks of notes to search, I did pass. Now, I want to study to make sure I KNOW what I said on that test, before I need to actually use the information for a client. I'm DEFINITELY going to work on the 2nd case study that was part of the test. THAT part I failed miserably. But now I'm motivated to figure it out. Oh. Yeah. Passing to the 2nd level of certification means a small increase in pay, but I don't yet know just when that takes effect and don't remember exactly how much more. Of course, every little bit helps. Yay!

MutterMutterMutter . . . Darned Ninja-Time Snuck Away Again!
SnowFace Cody
seekerval
My morning couple of hours for "stuff" zapped itself away. I just looked at the clock to see I need to feed The Boys, wake MyJeff, and get some breakfast before taking off for work. Today, MyJeff and The Boys will be dropping me off at the tax office and going on some adventures of their own, since they've pretty much been stranded at home all week. Then I actually have tomorrow and Monday off work before stepping into what looks to be at least 14 days in a row. Not sure if the sequence will be even longer, but we're a bit short-handed at the office and The Powers That Be require certain levels of staffing.

Anyway . . . the weather site indicates a definite week or so of nice, warm temps. Warm for this time of year and level of latitude, that is. Rain is also in the offing. Our pretty, white snow is doomed already. I'm quite sure we WILL receive more; but what we have is melting away, even as I type.

And--sadly--we don't get any Snowdrops or Crocus blooms for weeks and weeks yet.

I hear some oatmeal and almonds and cherry calling. Gotta eat and run!

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