Ahhh….it was so nice to see the sun come out again and listen to the sound of dripping icicles.
More pretties from the Dallas/Fort Worth area December 6th ice storm.
As of this writing, it’s only December 9th, and December 6th (the day of the ice storm here in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area) is already a blur. I woke up at about 2 am that morning to the sound of freezing rain hitting the window and could.not.go.back.to.sleep!! It seemed like it took forever until we finally got some daylight, and listening to the sound of tree limbs crashing to the ground made the time go by even slower! I lit a candle and set it on my desk, just in case the power went out, so I wouldn’t have to go find one in the dark.
When daylight finally came we got to see the frozen mess outside. Everything was covered in ice (I have to admit, it did look pretty!) but there were lots of broken and downed tree limbs. We ventured outside after a while (me armed with my iPhone) and talked to some neighbors who were outside, too, and found out that they had been without power for hours! We had been lucky so far, but the power line leading to our house leads straight through a big tree, and was being weighed down by branches heavy with ice. It seemed only a matter of time until it snapped.
Just before lunch, Greg and Sara decided to walk to the nearest grocery store (about 1 mile away)….in the bitter cold…to pick up some canned items that we could easily cook on the stove if we did lose power. The freezing rain stopped sometime in the early afternoon and the roads didn’t seem too bad so we decided to go out to dinner as planned (it was our anniversary that day). Power was still on when we got back, but it was getting colder and colder outside and tree branches continued to break off from the weight of the ice.
A little after 7 pm we sat down to watch a DVD and about 20-30 minutes in everything went dark and silent and within a split second we heard a “pop” and knew that a transformer had blown. We already had some candles lit, and lit some oil lamps, too, and put them into the other rooms, then got out extra blankets to help stay warm…..then decided that maybe it would be best to try to find a hotel for a night or two. While Greg was calling hotels to see if they had power, and available rooms, I packed a few things into a suitcase. Sara has a pet fish, and her tank was wrapped into a towel and a blanket to hopefully keep the water warm enough.
We found a hotel about 40 miles (or more than an hour’s drive on very scary roads!) away and didn’t realize until we got there that no one thought to drop a 7-day food tablet into the fish tank…which of course meant that we had to make the scary drive home on Saturday morning so Sara’s poor little fishy wouldn’t starve. She probably worried about her all night, hoping she wouldn’t freeze in her cold tank.
We made it back home at about 11:30 am on Saturday. We still had no power, the house had cooled down to 48 degrees F, but little fishy was still alive….a little sluggish, but alive. More good news was that the hotel right here in town (and only about two miles from our house) had power again, AND available rooms! Sara put her fish into her original bowl, and we took her with us to the hotel.
We decided to make a quick stop at home on the way back to the hotel after dinner, and discovered that the electricity was back on! That was such a relief! But….we also discovered that the hot water pipes were frozen! We weren’t going to worry about it that night, and went back to the hotel while the house warmed up over night. After breakfast (and hot showers) on Sunday we went back home and thawed the pipes with the help of two work lights in the bathroom, aimed at the pipes under the sink, and another work light outside, aimed at the pipes leading to our tankless water heater. Thankfully after just a few hours we had running hot water again!
It was still bitter cold outside, but that didn’t stop me from going outside several times to take some pictures. I think my finger tips may have fallen off at some point during this crazy week-end, but my hands were to cold for me to be sure 😉
Sara and I took a walk through
the war zone our neighborhood on Sunday, to take more pictures. It was so sad to see SO many trees down, and we’ve lost most of what was left of our crepe myrtles in front of the house. They were somewhat carelessly “pruned” by the contractors when we remodeled our house a couple of years ago.
After writing this novel here, and realizing how long it must have taken you to read though it, I thought I’d spare you the ugly pictures of this storm and leave you with the pretty instead. Tune in tomorrow for part 2….no novel, just pictures, I promise!
Some ice pictures from yesterday.
This is the ice-covered ramp leading off the back porch. It was tough, cracking the ice with my boot, that stuff was solid!
When I was taking pictures of the cracked ice, I discovered some “stalagmites” forming on the ramp
The wind had blown the cover off the grill and it landed in the grass just off the porch. I carefully peeled the grill cover off the ice and saw this:
Ice on the hood of my car. There was actually a gap between the ice and the hood, making the reflection look even prettier
Another one from the hood of my car. See the heart?
Ice chip, found in front of my car. Greg must have knocked it off when he scraped the windshield the day before. It wasn’t a big piece, maybe about 2 inches.
When I saw some strange icicles hanging from our back porch yesterday afternoon, I decided to brave the cold again, to take some pictures. Although at 26 degrees F, it almost felt warm! At least I was able to stay outside for more than five minutes 😉
Look for another bonus post sometime later today, I have even more ice pictures to share. And, it looks like there will be more bonus posts coming up in the next few days, because we woke up to SNOW this morning!
Some icicles grew legs… maybe they were trying to run away? I don’t blame them 😉
My car was/is attached to the street with some icicles!
Some more pictures from our winter storm yesterday. I went outside three times, for about 5 minutes each, and that’s all it took for my fingers to get so cold that I couldn’t feel them anymore. Wouldn’t have been so bad out, if it wasn’t for the wind!
Icy plum tree
Frozen blackberry leaves
Frozemary (aka frozen rosemary)
Leaves of whatever plant that is with the red berries. See those “snowflakes” on that leaf in the bottom right corner? If only I had seen them earlier! By the time I started editing the pictures (hours after taking them!) and went back outside to search for them, they had disappeared.
Frozen dandelion that I picked and placed on the porch railing
Half-buried leaf and dead grass
My (slightly warped) reflection in one of my car’s icy side windows. Note the lobster-red fingers that I couldn’t feel at that point and wouldn’t have known if they had snapped off from the cold 😉
snow sleet, let it snow sleet, let it snow sleet!
Seems to always be in February, that north Texas is getting ice. It started as rain last night, and with falling temperatures, turned to sleet/ice around 4:40 am (yes, I was already up!) and for once our school district wasn’t the last one to decide that schools would be closed today. I was actually a little surprised that they cancelled, because everyone around us can be closed or delayed, but we are open, and on time.
The next few days are going to be brutal, with highs in the 20’s and lows in the teens or single digits! That might be balmy for the northern States right now, but it’s pretty darn cold for Texas. No worries for anyone who is flying in for the Super Bowl, on Sunday the high is supposed to be close to 60 degrees F.
Ice on the outside of the living room window
The hood of my car
Ice/sleet on the railing of our front porch
The hood of my car again
More tomorrow (as bonus post)
More shots from the ice on the inside of the windshield.
And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, concludes the vacation posts. (Aren’t you glad?! LOL)
Proof that it does get cold here in Texas. We’ve had some rain in the last few days, which turned our back yard (and the front, too, for that matter) into a small pond. Last night the temps fell into the mid 20’s and this morning I found our little pond covered with a thin layer of ice. The grass was nice and crunchy, too.
Then when I drove Melissa to school I heard something about 1-3 inches of snow on the radio???!!! I missed when, though, but let’s hope they were right!
The kids’ windows were covered with ice on the inside, too, and you couldn’t see out of them at all. Perfect for a little fun, though! I reached back and put my hand print on Melissa’s window (talk about cold!!!!!), and then Sara did the same on hers. Must have looked pretty funny from the outside!
Some shots of the ice on the inside of the windshield.
On New Years Day, when we made our way back home, it was only 1 degree Fahrenheit outside (that’s -17 C). So cold, that we had ice on the outside and on the inside of the windshield!
I had planned to leave the camera in the camera bag, in the trunk, but when I saw the ice on the windshield, I decided to dig out the camera. I scraped the ice on the outside, but it took a long time (several hours) for the ice on the inside to melt completely.
Saw some pretty neat “ice falls” through Missouri and I was lucky to capture one, now that we were travelling at much faster speeds than the day before!
Then through Illinois and Indiana it started to snow 🙂
Ahh, the long-awaited vacation posts… and I have to warn you, I have L O T S of them!!! We were only gone for nine days, but once I get done posting all the pictures, it’s going to seem like we were gone for a month! LOL
Driving on Christmas Day turned out to be no fun at all. It started snowing here on Christmas Eve (Dallas had the first white Christmas in 83 years!!) and we got up bright and early on Christmas Day and were on the road just after 6am. It wasn’t bad at first, the local roads were fairly clear, but the highway was a different story. We had a sheet of ice and snow to deal with all the way through Texas and Oklahoma. The only good thing was that traffic was pretty light. Then as soon as we crossed into Missouri, the roads were perfectly clear!! A little wet, but not icy.
We didn’t make it as far as we’d hoped, and ended up spending the night in Joplin, Missouri.
Because of the terrible roads, it took us 11.5 hours to drive what took us 6.5 hours last summer!
All through Texas and Oklahoma we must have seen about 40-50 cars and trucks in the ditch or median.
Crepe (or is it crape?) Myrtle
Not sure what this is exactly…. probably weeds wildflowers.
The roof rail of my car
I won’t torture you with ten days of ice pictures, so I will post them in three groups, and you’ll only have to suffer for three days. I know how some of you are sick of the cold.
This first one is ice on top of a leaf. Not sure if you can tell if you don’t know what it is.