Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Victory Garden flop

Posted by eemilla on September 18, 2013

We started the year looking forward to another productive victory garden, but we were undone with the rain and the slugs.  Below are the photos before we gave up after green tomatoes sporting rot before ripening.  One out of four our basil plants survived, and we’ve harvested a dozen leaves once.

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Posted by eemilla on December 26, 2010

I feel so blessed that we’ve got to enjoy so much snow this winter; I thought for sure after the abundance from last year, we’d be snow free for years to come.  It was pretty funny to watch the dogs go crazy because Sierra wasn’t really enjoying the snow earlier, and then they ended up knocking me over so I got to “ski” a bit.  The snow did keep us at home away from my family’s Christmas gathering, but my honey was super sweet and mulled some cider, built a fire, cooked lunch and dinner, gave me kisses throughout, and ended by baking some chocolate chip cookies; while I still cannot wait to eat the wretched excess of goodies my aunt and uncle make, it was a lovely day together.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!  I promise to complain a bunch about health savings accounts in 2011.

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I love snow!

Posted by eemilla on December 18, 2009

Our dog loves snow too!

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Posted by eemilla on October 20, 2009

Our last day in San Francisco, we awoke to fog.  The weather punished me for being so grumpy on Sunday morning and not riding across the Golden Gate Bridge.  My wonderful husband optimistically suggested that we run up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower so we could we get a good view and see if the fog might lift so we could ride across the bridge.  Rather than head down to Union Square, we walked up Leavenworth a few blocks then over to Hyde where we caught the cable car and rode it to the waterfront.  We got to ride past Lombard, but we opted not to walk down it.  We tried to catch a bus up Telegraph Hill, but much like the rest of our trip we failed to note where we to catch the bus and which number so we hoofed it.  Unlike the forced march down the Embarcadero, the chilly weather was in our favor.

Coit Tower

From Coit Tower, our chances didn’t look good for biking across the bridge.  We took the Greenwich Steps down, and although the picture I took at the top of stairs looks lush, the Filbert Steps have much better scenery.

Greenwich Steps

Filbert Steps

We meandered around trying to decide what to do in lieu of our bike trek.  Ina Coolbrith Park and Macondary Lane and the Octagon houses were on my wish list so we set off for Ina Coolbrith based on my shorthand notes but without the benefit of a map (no free wi-fi!).  We ended up finding Macondary Lane and walking through it, and then realizing that we had missed the park by a block.  The park has nice views, but for the hike I preferred Buena Vista.  After walking in circles to find the park, I forgot about the Octagon houses that were only blocks away (although most likely steep uphill blocks away) so we caught the cable car that runs on Mason and took it back to home base for much deserved shower.

On our last San Francisco night we dined at Le Colonial; it is a very lovely Michelin starred restaurant with elegant decor.  Of course we were underdressed, but our server didn’t seem to mind.  He did, however, seemed determined to sell us the most expensive items on the menu even though we did not request his opinion.  Our entire meal was delicious and eclipsed by the superiority of The Slanted Door.  I enjoyed an ahi tuna tartare with taro chips for my appetizer and spring roll dish that I was instructed to eat like the bánh xéo from earlier in the week.  Le Colonial provided the best service of any of the restaurants we dined at, and their food was good (if not divine).

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Climate Change

Posted by eemilla on October 15, 2009

The facts supporting climate change have been widely reported across numerous media outlets; I wanted to post this to add one more blog to the list in support of making drastic changes to our lifestyles.

Climate change is just one of the many ills our society suffers because of our addiction with fossil fuels.  Looking for purportedly cheap coal, we send fellow citizens to work in coal mines; once the vein dies or becomes too expensive, we raze the mountains and dump the top into the surrounding valleys creating wastelands in lieu of forested habitats.  Those stream beds supply someone’s water somewhere in the chain are then filled with poisons and waste from the mining, and during rainy years like this one the fills can create huge landslides (which if it doesn’t kill you isn’t covered under a homeowner’s policy).

Our love of the automobile has lead us to build massive expanses of blacktop.  The power of the car has allowed us to move further and further from work and commercial centers which leads to more traffic congestion then demand for less congested roadways.  The fuel for these vehicles will not last forever, and even if it did, its exhaust is killing us.  Furthermore is the fuel worth the national security risk; what would the economy do if for whatever crazy reason OPEC decided to stick it to us tomorrow?  Public transportation was squashed by domestic automakers, and many people still argue public transportation will never be self-sustaining (thanks for a good jab, Doug Gibson!).  Funny how the sweetheart lease deals we make with big oil doesn’t impugn them.  However, as our population grows the stress on the current roadways will increase while the demand for housing increases, and no one wants to live near the noise and smell of major roadway.

Our food is tied closely to energy prices because almost everything Americans eat is soaked in oil starting from the time the seeds are delivered from Monsanto to their drive to your home in plastic bags in the back of your car.  If you are eating processed foods then you have even more oil on your hands not to mention the spare tire around your middle.

Even if our elected officials refuse to act, we can each do something small like grow some food, bring your own boxes and bags to the store, do without the car, or insulate your home.  These little things when compounded will help, but a phone call or email to elected officials can’t hurt.

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Orange Day

Posted by eemilla on June 2, 2009

Checking the forecast at Ray’s, my husband noticed that tomorrow (2 June) will be an orange day for Asheville Ridgetops, which means that the ozone levels will likely reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups (i.e., those with breathing issues, the old, and the young) and outdoor exercise should be avoided during the afternoon.  Ugh, it isn’t even summer, and the ozone levels are already an issue.  On the bright side, we are still on the low side of yellow with the particle pollution.  I guess I should up my walking commuting while I can.

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Strive Not to Drive Progress

Posted by eemilla on May 13, 2009

Monday: I failed.  The rain kept me from walking, and I didn’t get any bus tickets.  Although we are almost a mile from the bus stop so even cutting the trip in half leaves a good bit of walking in the elements.

Tuesday:  I had half success.  While I did not get out of bed early enough to drive to work on time much less walk, I did roll my slacks up and walk home.  The weather was great this afternoon, and I really enjoyed the sunshine.  With the rain reprieve, everyone seemed to be mowing their yards so I sneezed most of the way home.

Wednesday looks good, but the rest of week has rainy evening forecasts.

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French Broad River Festival

Posted by eemilla on May 9, 2009

We both mentioned packing the camera at separate times, but somehow it failed to get packed.  Maybe next time.  Last weekend it rained every day, and it wasn’t soft sprinkling rain.  Needless to say everything was wet and muddy caked in mud after three days of being exposed to those conditions.  However, the rain did little to dampen our spirits.  Whoo-hoo to the French Broad River Festival!  Town Mountain was smokin’, and Jen and the Juice were fun (surprised to see Debrissa from Laura Reed).  One of my biggest regrets is leaving The Trainwreks at the end of their set to see Acoustic Syndicate; Acoustic was too mellow, but The Trainwreks were hot and fun (plus the Flood Stage had one of those funky tents that I last saw at TriNum).  Brushfire Stankgrass started our Saturday right, and I also enjoyed Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys.  I had never heard Reverend Horton Heat, and I had plenty of fun, albeit in the rain, grooving (and balancing beer and umbrella) to them.  However, I think Larry Keel and Natural Bridge were my weekend favorites.  Larry was having a good time on stage, and the energy was just right.  The worst part of the festival was missing the Unifire Theatre; due the rain, their set was moved from the end of the night to some other time that we didn’t hear about.  I love fire; watching fire, especially after a good bit of alcohol, is one of my favorite things, and when the fire isn’t isolated to the fire pit and is dancing around on hula hoops and the ends of swinging chains I become entranced.

Not only is the Hot Springs Campground lovely and beside the river, the hot tubs are right across the street.  I wasn’t as energetic as I normally would have been watching Brushfire Stankgrass or Jen and the Juice as they were post soak.  My honey booked a tub early Saturday afternoon, and he took the advice of those in the know and picked the best tub available.  It had a wooden deck with plenty of room and two chairs and  a table as well as a fan and a heat lamp.  However, the best part is the infinity pool effect you get when sitting in the tub; this is compound by the fact that the water is on both sides of the tub.  While you are close enough to hear loud engines climbing a hill, one can easily drown those noises with the singing of the river.  If you have never been to Hot Springs, you will be shocked at the velvety softness the waters impart on your skin.  

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Belated Earth Day

Posted by eemilla on April 25, 2009



In homage to Earth Day, I wanted to remind everyone about one of the easiest and cheapest ways to save electricity: the humble clothesline.  I dried three loads of laundry within a couple of hours.  Although I don’t like the way the my clothes smell after drying outside, I adore the way towels react: super absorbent and long lasting freshness.  The sunshine works wonders as a whitener, and the wind will substitute for starch and the iron (thus adding another energy savings!)

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March Snow!

Posted by eemilla on March 1, 2009

This is so typical of WNC: a balmy winter with a smattering of bitter cold, and the biggest snow event happening sometime between March and April.  I love snow.  I love watching it; I love waking up to it; I love skiing in fresh natural snow (a real treat in the southeastern mountains); I love the fresh blanket it lays on the landscape; and I love how much our dog loves eating it and dashing madly about (thus destroying the serene blanket).  I love it so much that I want more; I want to see winters in which it snows a few feet so that the office will be closed, and we can drive up to Banner Elk.  Whoo HOO!  As I am typing the snow is falling faster and heavier!


March Snow

March Snow





I posted sometime in the afternoon, and now the snow has stopped (how sad).  Below are the most recent snow photos showing how much more snow we received.  I can only hope to wake up to even more snow.





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