Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living in an Igloo

The snow has continued to fall since Thursday night so today the authorities are telling people not to leave their houses unless they really have to. Don't worry Mum; I am not going to church and brunch has been cancelled because we didn't want Nana out in this weather. It is possible that there will be a snow day tomorrow, which means no school. Although the forecast is for this to stop by 6 am tomorrow morning, there will be so much snow bank that it may be unsafe if the roads haven't been cleared. If I do go to school, I will get a lift with Kelly. Road crews and the power company are out today clearing snow and restoring power to homes where it has been cut off by trees falling on power lines.

We decided to measure the depth of the snow with this 30 cm (12 inch) ruler.

Where did it go?

Once again, it has been Kelly to the rescue, shovelling snow so we can get in and out of our igloo as needed.

It still isn't too cold to walk around outside; it feels squishy and soft as you sink into it, and it is still a thing of beauty!
love, Glennie

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Snow

Even though the official start of fall is October 1st, this is what we woke up to on Friday the tenth. It's so pretty!

I am on bus duty on Fridays, which involves being in the car park four times during the day to see the two cohorts of kids safely on and off the cliched yellow school buses we all recognise from American tv and movies. Anyway, during my twentieth year of teaching I have now done my first yard duty in the snow! It wasn't actually that cold, only a bit below freezing, so I was fine. I am sure that the snow will be less charming by the end of winter, but I am really enjoying its magical qualtiy for now. It feels quite different to be living in a place with snow, in our own home with jobs to go to, rather than visiting a place with snow.

I am quite happy for Kelly to claim shovelling snow and clearing it off cars as a man job because this is what Ruby (my raspberry Subaru) looked like this morning.

Part of the service is also to start the car and turn on the heated seat for me. What a man :) Speaking of man jobs, I think he was right to harvest all the remaining vegies from the garden on Thursday night when they were forecasting snow. Lots of the tomotoes will ripen inside and others will be made into green tomato salsa, which is reputedly very good. Look at Kelly this morning in the yard, removing tree branches from over the powerlines; they are getting so heavy with snow and we don't want the power to be cut off is this weather.

In the meantime, I am happily snuggled up inside with a huge pile of marking and abuntant cups of tea. This evening I will by enjoying some hot chocolate with a dash of peppermint schnaps. Tomorrow I will try driving (slowly!!!) to church and then out to Lockwood for the traditional McCarthy family brunch. It will be a good first snow drive for me because the ground temperature is still relatively warm, so the roads won't be too slippery.
Loving you all and wishing you were here to share the winter wonderland with me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


That's what they call it here, of course; fall rather than autumn. Whatever you call it, it is undeniably a beautiful time of year. I am reminded of John Keats' "Ode to Autumn"...
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom friend of the maturing sun"

During Mum's recent month long visit, she delighted in checking on the progress of the turning leaves daily, if not hourly. Her knowledge of each yellowing tree in the neighbourhood was truly impressive. Next year she might come in summer when I will have more time to spend with her, or just maybe she will give in to the urge and come in October when fall is in its fullness. Today the maximum was an agreeable 16 Celcius, and the last couple of weeks have generally been in the twenties. Colleagues at work are remarking on how wonderfully mild the season is, as it is not unheard of to have snow already by this time. Stores and front yards are decorated with displays of pumpkins, autumn leaves and other harvest decorations. Before long it will be Halloween and then Thanksgiving.

Kelly and I have been harvesting the bounty of the garden and giving thanks for every delicious bit of it. Today I did some canning with our abundance of tomatoes, boiling them to get the skins off and bottling them with herbs and garlic for later use. We have also had a bumper crop of zucchini, squash (I am a recent convert to squash), cucumbers that have been eaten fresh and turned into the best pickles in the world, Swiss chard (spinach, basically) chillies and Anaheim peppers. We picked our first pumpkin today, and the broccoli will be ready soon too.

On the work front, things are going well. In other words, I haven't stuffed anything up yet. I am adjusting to the multiple choice testing and using a wiz-bang computer program to publish grades constantly. The kids are getting used to me, my accent and my world view. The Friday before the grand final, I played them a short clip of Aussie Rules highlights and explained the game to them. That is a frightening concept, I realise, Glenda as ambassador of anything sporting, but I actually did a pretty good job. All those weekends spent soaking up the mania by osmosis might have been worthwhile because I now have many young converts to our great game.

As I have joined the Drama Club and volunteered to create a 20 minute multi media piece for the Fall Production in 6 weeks time, I will be very busy. It's nothing I haven't done before, but trying to achieve a credible performance without class time (4 afternoons a week from 3.15 till 5.30) is the scary part. I'll let you know how I get on.

The teachers I work with are great, and after this Drama Production is done, I hope to join in with some of the gun teachers on the committees for school improvement and curriculum development etc. I am also required to do some further study, so that might be a college course in Native American history and issues. Mum and I had a wonderful day trip to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the location of Custer's last stand during the Indian wars. I am eager to deepen my understanding of local cultural perspectives.

That's just a brief update at least. Loving and missing you all,