The caption I saw for the above picture said that it was Bear Grylls and apparently, it’s from his Twitter account. However, that’s not really what this post is about. If you can see past his really nice derrière., you’ll see he’s standing on rocks and green grass while the stream in front of him is half frozen and there is snow on the ground across the stream. Vermont is a bit like this right now. Yesterday, we got up to 49 degrees, and today, we are expecting a high of 46. While it will be colder next week, this isn’t the weather I’ve come to expect during February in Vermont. It’s basically mud season and people are already beginning to tap their maple trees. I was outside today without a coat. I don’t think that has ever happened in February since I moved up here.
This type of weather usually doesn’t come until April at the earliest, and more often than not, it isn’t like this until May. Everyone I know is afraid that the worst is yet to come. Not that they think it will continue to be warm, i.e., above freezing, but they think we will get slammed with lots of snow and bitterly cold temperatures before spring finally arrives for good. It’s strange because two weeks ago, we had windchills of -40 and -50 degrees. Vermont weather is always unpredictable, but usually you can count on not seeing grass from late-December until mid-April. It just hasn’t been that way this year. It’s been very mild, other than those two days at the beginning of February. The ski resorts are struggling because not only is there a lack of snow, but it’s barely cold enough on the mountains for the snow to remain.
Anyway, talking about the weird weather right now was a good excuse to post a picture of a naked Bear Grylls.
Even if I had not seen the forecast and already knew the temperature was going to plunge over the next 24 hours, I’d have known there was drastic weather changes coming. Since I started taking Vitamin B2 and Magnesium Oxide to help with my migraines, I have had fewer headaches, even when we had changes in the weather. However, last night there was so much pressure in my head that f felt like it might burst. I guess when the temperature drops over 50 degrees n less than 24 hours and quick moving snow squalls come through in the middle of the night, my sinuses are going to know it’s coming. When I head out for work in the morning, the temperature is supposed to be -7 degrees (-22 C) with a windchill of -27 degrees (-33 C). By the time I leave work tomorrow, it will have dropped to -16 degrees (27 C) with a windchill of -40 degrees (-40 C [yes the numbers are the same at that temperature]). I had to get out my heavy parka for today. Once I get home tonight, I will not be venturing outside again until Sunday when we will have “warmer” temperatures with a high of 34 degrees. It’s amazing how drastically the temperatures can change in Vermont.
Groundhog Day is a popular North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada and Australia on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den, and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. I’ve never taken much stock in Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, probably the most famous of the groundhogs. However, this has been a very weird winter. We’ve had many days above freezing, and then this weekend we are expecting temperatures as low as -22 (with a windchill of -40) on Saturday and then 40 degree temperatures on Sunday. We’ve had days throughout January with barely any snow on the ground and then have two feet of snow the next day before the snow melts again by the end of the week.
The weather is weird all over. Over Christmas when I was in Alabama, it was 50+ degrees when I landed, 18-22 degrees while I was there, and then went to 70 degrees on the day I left. They said I brought the cold with me, and maybe I did since it was “warmer” in Vermont on some of the days while I was gone. It was the coldest temperatures Alabama has had in decades.
Most people in Vermont believe that the worst of winter is yet to come, so if Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t hide from his shadow, I suspect all the Vermont’s woodchucks (what groundhogs are called in Vermont) will. I’ll never understand how people can see these extreme swings in the weather and the shorter winters and not believe the scientists who tell us global warming is a major danger and most certainly real. Most climate scientists say that the ski industry in Vermont, our major industry, will not be viable in a few decades because winters won’t be long enough to justify opening the resorts. It will also affect Vermont’s second major industry, maple syrup production.
If you’re in an area experiencing extreme cold this weekend, please stay warm.
I have an appointment this morning at the Headache Clinic. It has snowed all night, but it’s not too bad, so as long as I drive carefully, it shouldn’t be a problem getting down there. The snow has mostly stopped for now and won’t start back up until later this morning. The snow that is still to come is supposed be fairly light. According to the weather report I saw this morning, the roads are pretty clear and that was confirmed by checking out the Vermont Transportation Authority’s road cameras.
I need to go to this appointment or else I would probably reschedule. I need to talk to my neurologist about the issue I’m having with my headaches when there are weather/air pressure changes. Most of the time, the headaches come as the weather is changing before any precipitation, but as soon as the precipitation starts the headache usually eases. Hopefully, she can offer some advice or a solution.
I am so glad it’s Friday. I’m not sure I could handle it if there were more days in this week. I had to take a sick day yesterday because I woke with not only a migraine but also with bad muscle spasms in my back. I ended up laying on a heating pad most of the day. Thankfully, by last night, I was feeling better. I hope I wake up this morning still feeling better, because regardless, I have to work today. I’m off Monday and I have things I need to get ready for an 8 am class on Tuesday.
Also, if you pray, I hope you’ll say a prayer for the people in Alabama devastated by yesterday’s tornadoes. Luckily, my family is fine. Whereas the tornadoes were all around them, the tornadoes were west and north of my parents. They lost a huge tree and did not have power when I talked to them, but they had their generator going and were doing fine.
Even when I’m not there, tornadoes and hurricanes always trigger strong emotions. I’ve experienced too many of them firsthand. It was always a traumatic experience. The noise alone is something that I’ll never forget, whether it’s the roar of a tornado or the howling winds of a hurricane, the noise is deafening.
We are expecting our first major snowfall today. They are predicting 4-8” but a lot of it may be slushy snow which is the worst in my opinion. It’s heavy and hard to clean off my car or drive in. I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I think I’m getting a cold. I wish I could just stay home today, but that’s not an option. My appointment to get my snow tires put on is today and if I were to cancel, it would be another month before they could do it, so come hell or high water, I’m getting my tires changed today. I’d wait at the place while they do it, but they don’t have a waiting area anymore. They did away with it during the pandemic. So, my boss is going to pick me up and take me to the museum where I will likely feel miserable all day. I hate feeling like this.
We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, and it’s been terrible for my migraines. Yesterday, I had to come home at lunchtime because my head was hurting so bad. I will be seeing my neurologist on Monday, and we’re going to have to have a discussion about this.
I try to write something every day. On Sundays, it’s my devotional. On Mondays, it’s whatever comes to mind, if anything. Tuesdays are almost always a poem that I want to share. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are again, whatever comes to mind, if anything. On Saturdays, I usually take a break from writing and post my “Moment of Zen,” which is occasionally accompanied by a short explanation, though most are self-explanatory. Each night, I post a Pic of the Day, which is always whatever picture strikes my fancy for that day. I have kept to this schedule for most of the twelve years I’ve posted to this blog. There are days, though, when I just don’t know what to write. Today is one of those days. It’s days like today that I just ramble about different stuff.
I’m just glad that the week is half over. It’s been a hot week, and that’s not likely to change. Vermont has been lucky so far this summer. Most of our days have been in the 60s or 70s F (or about 15-25 C). It’s been pleasant, but like what seems like the rest of the world, our temperature is up this week. We are expecting near 90 degree high temperatures for the five days. I’m ready for it to be back in the mid-70s.
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the ‘Respect for Marriage Act,’ a major step toward protecting the rights of married couples who could face future threats from discriminatory forces eager to overturn U.S. Supreme Court precedent on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and interracial couples. Only 47 of the 211 Republican Representatives votes with the Democrats to pass the legislation. It now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are uncertain, as it requires at least 10 Republican votes to defeat a filibuster. So far the same-sex marriage protections have only one GOP backer: Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. The puts GOP senators in a bind, caught between their minority culturally conservative base, which opposes same-sex marriage, and a large majority of the country that wants it to remain legal.
Now that I’ve moved, my commute to work is about thirty minutes, which I quite enjoy. It means I can listen to audiobooks on my way in. Yesterday, however, was a different story. The drive in was hell. The first ten miles was actually fine. No problem. I had decided to not take the interstate in because I thought the other would be slower and safer. We got several inches of dense wet snow Tuesday morning, and I had expected that the roads I took, which are major roads in this area, would be plowed and easier for my commute.
It was definitely slower. It took over an hour and a half to get to work. Safer, it was not. There was one wreck, no less than five trees down over the road, and a snow plow and a tanker truck were playing chicken on a narrow bridge. The cell towers were also out when I was stuck at the first down tree, so when I texted my boss, it would not go through. Finally, when I was stopped at the bridge incident, I was able to call him. I’m not sure why I could call and not text, usually that’s the other way around, but the texts finally went through after I got to work. Most of the down trees were small trees, but there was one huge tree down when I got into near the university. Luckily, the police and fire department were rerouting people around it through the parking lot of a gas station.
Needless to say, it was a slow commute in. While a few times on the way in, I regretted not taking the interstate, my coworkers who did take the interstate said it was a mess and there were numerous accidents. Some people had prematurely already changed out their winter tires for their summer ones. I never have my changed out until the end of May. I’ve seen too many April and May snow storms to get it done any sooner.
The weather conditions and the long commute caused a headache, so I went home shortly after lunch. The drive home was much easier, but because I don’t have blinds on my windows yet, it was too bright in my apartment. I have a consultation Thursday about the blinds. I can’t wait to have them put up. I basically have to either be dressed when I’m anywhere but the bathroom or give everyone who’s around a peep show that I’m sure they don’t want to see.
Today, I’m hosting one of my public programs. I’m not the speaker at this one, but I will have to do the introduction and make sure it is broadcast virtually. I expect this one will be very interesting. It’s going to be about New England artists, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope we have a good crowd that shows up.
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I slipped and fell on the ice again yesterday. This time it wasn’t down my stairs. At least when I fell down the stairs, I landed in snow, and while going down the stairs was still painful, especially hitting my arms trying to grab the railing, the steps were covered in snow and somewhat cushioned my fall. Yesterday, I hit a solid sheet of ice that was on top of our parking area.
I have a set of spikes that fit into he bottom of my shoes, which I thought were in my apartment but when I went to look for them as I was leaving, they weren’t where they should have been, so I knew they were in my car. I was doing my best to be very careful, but all it takes is one misstep and as slippery as the ice was yesterday (it was lightly raining which added to the slipperiness), it was way too easy to misstep.
I’m not in as bad a shape as the guy in the picture above (nothing seemed to be broken), but one butt cheek is pretty sore, since that’s what I landed on. I also hurt my shoulder and neck as I was going down. I’m either going to have to be much more careful or learn how to fall correctly. My poor body just can’t take this crappy winter weather.