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Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

photo 4

It is cold. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be something to talk about in January–it is winter, after all, and we sort of expect it to be cold, right? But here in Central East Texas we define cold differently than the rest of the country. For us, “cold” means that it’s below 60 degrees. We start to panic when it hits 40, and we start stocking up on rations when it looks like it might actually freeze. If we see a snowflake it’s an event, and ice is something we put in our drinks.photo 3

But so far this year we’ve had not one, but TWO storms (well, one and a half–the second one is moving in as I write this) that include snow, ice, and temperatures well below the freezing mark. That makes a really ugly combination. I know that all of you Northerners who have parkas and snow shovels and ice scrapers readily at hand are laughing yourselves silly at us canceling school because we might get an inch of snow, but we are seriously unprepared for freezing temperatures and subsequently icy roads. My sister who just moved here from California is equally amused by it all. But here’s a traffic map from the morning of the last storm (the one we fondly refer to as #iceoftx):

Houston on Ice

Houston on Ice

Note the number of traffic accidents. There were 200 accidents that morning because they were driving on icy roads and overpasses and bridges, which is why everyone is buckling down for this next one.

You see, we don’t have giant snow shovels and large bags of salt or whatever it is you arctic people use to make your roads drivable in this kind of weather. And to get from one place to another–especially if you live in a rural area like we do–you HAVE to travel on those roads, and go over those bridges and you have to do it in your own car because we don’t have efficient public transportation systems because this is Texas, Damn It, and we believe that freedom equals having a giant truck of your very own that you don’t have to share. So when the roads are closed or stopped up from crazy 10-car pile ups because someone slipped on the ice or have a sheet of black ice on them that make them too scary to contemplate we’re stuck at home with our substandard leftovers, a half of a bottle of vodka, and whatever we DVR-ed the night before for entertainment. It’s enough to make you crazy. Which is why we make national news when there’s a threat of freezing sleet, like tonight. We act like the world is ending because…well, it kind of is. At least for a few days.

So…I’m going to go and stock up on my groceries and DVD’s and buy some firewood for the fireplace. It may be a long two days. Y’all enjoy the lists, and stay warm!

top 20

  1. My niece Olivia, who turned NINE today (How did that happen so fast??)

    Olivia (in the middle), sitting at the park with her cousins. I can't believe she's nine already!

    Olivia (in the middle), sitting at the park with her cousins. I can’t believe she’s nine already!

  2. snow hysteria
  3. my dad calling to tell me that Huntsville made the national news because we had snow on the ground
  4. the National Weather Service
  5. a husband who builds me a warm fire on demand
  6. hot toddies
  7. my winter coat, which I’ve been able to wear regularly this winter
  8. welcoming my sister Kellie and her family to Sugar Land last October (it’s been a while since I posted–sorry!)
  9. the fabulous Pin Lim of Forest Photography, who did my new head shots and made it a relatively painless experience
  10. The Disney film Frozen. It’s a fantastic movie with a great plot, clever dialogue, strong female characters, and that damn song that won’t get out of my head (Let it Go, Let it Go!)
  11. eating out when we should be eating leftovers
  12. The Blacklist on NBC. SO good.
  13. the smell of my husband’s body wash (Bleu de Chanel)
  14. getting to watch my nephew Jaxon’s Pinewood Derby event last week–he won “Best Design” for his Batmobile
  15. planning a summer cruise to Alaska
  16. Peyton Manning
  17. cardinals (the birds, not the sports teams)
  18. lazy Sunday mornings
  19. Raven Lake at sunset
  20. this exceptionally friendly squirrel at Huntsville State Park who decided to talk a selfie with Jamey’s camera

bottom 10

  1. everything cancelled because of the weather (although I’m sure the kids love the day off)photo 5
  2. losing my favorite gloves
  3. Driving on icy roads. It really is scary.
  4. my slow computer
  5. impending allergies
  6. people who stop for no apparent reason in the middle of the road
  7. cold feet (the literal kind)
  8. abuse of political power
  9. burnt popcorn
  10. Parks and Rec sans Ann and Chris
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Hello! Look at me posting two blogs in one month. Looks like 2013 is off to a running start! 

All in all life the past few weeks has been good, with just a few small things to complain about and make it interesting. I started a new job on February 7 as the acting Director of the North Houston Economic Development Council, a job I think I can really enjoy. As some of you know, I have been in the economic development world for several years, and I’m looking forward to broadening my horizons and helping to grow the economy of the north Houston region. Watch for new economic-development type blogs coming in the next few months–I’ll expect all eight of my regular readers to follow them!

What my commute looks like on a rainy day.

What my commute looks like on a rainy day.

My job comes with an hour-long commute, something I’ve not had before and I am slowly getting used to. So far it isn’t too bad, except when it’s raining. For some reason everyone driver in Houston turns into an idiot when faced with any kind of precipitation. There’s a stretch of several miles of my commute that is a two-lane construction zone, and I drive through it with white knuckles on the best of days. So when it’s pouring outside it just stresses me out–particularly when there are large trucks on either side of me, which there often are. I have no idea how Jamey did an even longer commute every day last year. I have it much easier than he did because (a) my commute is half an hour shorter, (b) I don’t have to drive through downtown Houston, (c) my office doesn’t even open until 9 a.m., and (d) I’m only in the office three days a week.  I also know that it’s all temporary until we find a place in between our two jobs. And yet I complain. I’m the ultimate wimp.

But apart from my commute, life is pretty good. Huntsville continues to be beautiful and charming, the job is interesting and challenging, all of my bills are paid, and our little apartment is becoming more homey as we put things into their places and hang our art on the walls. It’s been pretty cold here lately, so Jamey has been making use of our little fireplace. I can’t tell you how lovely it is to come home after a long day to a warm cozy fire and the soft pretty light of our living room with Jamey and the cats waiting for me. If only I had a chauffeur, a live-in maid and a personal chef my life would be complete. 

I have to say just a quick word about football: While I have enjoyed this year’s playoff season much more than I have in the past (mostly because I actually understand the game), I have to admit that I’m a little footballed out. Also, I’m tired of the commercials. So I, for one, will be very happy to see the Super Bowl on February 3 (even if the Texans couldn’t quite get it together this year) because it will mean that football is done for a few months. 

I hope all of you have a fantastic week. Enjoy the lists!

top 20

Eat your heart out, Norman Rockwell.

Eat your heart out, Norman Rockwell.

  1. home sweet home
  2. hot cocoa
  3. using the stairs as an exercise tool
  4. having time off each week
  5. Henry and Patrick, the guards at my work who make sure I get to and from my car safely every day.
  6. my new hair salon
  7. the HEB store in The Woodlands (I refer to it as the “VersacEB”)
  8. Silver Linings Playbook
  9. new challenges
  10. Jon Stewart. How many other comedians does Paul Krugman take to task in his column?
  11. the inclusion of poetry in the inauguration ceremonies
  12. sleeping in
  13. the Twitterverse response to Manti Te’O’s fake girlfriend revelation
  14. Tina Fey and Amy Pohler hosting the Golden Globes
  15. good examples
  16. bed linens from Restoration Hardware
  17. flexibility
  18. Evernote
  19. reconnecting with professional colleagues
  20. Google Chrome commercials

bottom 10

So cute. And so cruel.

So cute. And so cruel.

  1. the return of cute, cruel shoes
  2. being cold
  3. having skin problems all of the sudden
  4. Lance Armstrong. I hate being disappointed by people I admire.
  5. baking disasters
  6. insipid arguments
  7. sneezy cats
  8. inconsistent wireless signal
  9. commuting in general
  10. commuting in rainy day traffic

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