Posts Tagged With: Cold

The Longest Two Days

Ice, Snowstorm, Dallas, Lost Kitty, Pets

What, Mom?! It was fun!

As many of you know, Matt and I adopted a kitten when we were living in Spain. His name is General McFluffybutt and he has been the topic of many blog posts. He’s quite the traveler, making his way with me across the Atlantic Ocean to our new home in America. He’s adapted so well and travels amazingly.

While in Spain, he spent many days outdoors. Since he started his life as a street cat, I decided it was only fair to let him venture out and explore. The forlorn looks he would give me as he sat at our large windows was enough to make me cave. At first, his visits were supervised, and then over time, I knew I could trust him to stay close to the house and he always came back at the end of the day, ready for dinner.

Just this past weekend, Dallas experienced an ice storm that many have dubbed “Icemageddon.” Rain accompanied freezing temperatures, turning the trees and streets into a not-so winter wonderland. Something like 260,000 homes lost power due to falling trees taking down the power lines. My parents were without power for three whole days.

Ice, Snowstorm, Dallas, Lost Kitty, Pets

The end of Icemageddon…

Our plight had nothing to do with the loss of power, however. On the morning that Icemageddon was set to roll in, the General slipped out the door, was promptly spooked by gardeners when they started their leaf blowers, and took off. Matt searched all day for him, thinking he’d come home, to no avail. When I returned from work, our little man was still nowhere to be seen, and as the weather started to take a turn for the worse, I started to panic. While everyone assured me that cats are smart and that his fur would keep him warm, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to less desirable scenarios.

That first evening, I slept down in the den by the sliding doors leading to the back porch. If he wandered back and meowed, I was going to be down there to hear it. Alas, morning came without power and without kitty. Day two of the ice storm was stressful, because without power, we were unable to make “lost kitten” fliers. I felt like everything was working against me.

It was also difficult to go out looking for him – we slipped and slid our way around the neighborhood checking every nook and cranny we could find. When we eventually got our power back (we were one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to wait too long), we printed small fliers and went door to door chatting with the neighbors. Late in the afternoon, Matt’s brother and his wife came over to help with the search, but as darkness descended on us, we were forced to come back in and hope he’d find his way home alone.

Lost Cat, Pets, Dallas, Ice, Snowstorm

Our little flier that went out to the neighbors.

I’ll tell you, we went for every trick in the book to help our little bugger find his way back. I put his litter box on the porch, we put little salmon pods out around the yard…I even put out a single candle on the deck after reading that the glowing light helps bring curious cats home. Matt and I stayed up quite late that second night, because the General sleeps all day and is quite nocturnal. If he was going to make his way back, it was going to be in the dead of night.

As Matt helped me prepare my bed on the couch in the den for another night downstairs, I asked if he would whistle one more time. It was after that “one last time” that he heard what we’d been waiting to hear for two days – little meows from the porch steps. The General was home! Matt immediately called out, “Em, he’s home” and I popped up from my makeshift bed to see the little fluffybutt looking at us with his big eyes.

I cannot put into words the feeling of relief I felt when I saw him; I immediately burst into tears and the minute he was in the door, I had him up in my arms. I could swear he walked around the house smugly that night and since he’s been back, he’s picked up a few new habits, almost like his adventure made him more courageous.

Even though it was exhausting and emotional, this doesn’t mean that he will never be allowed to go out again. He is born to explore and after this experience, I feel more prepared for that inevitable time when he doesn’t come home as promptly as we’d like. We will, however, wait for the cold front to move out and I’ll be supervising his first trips outdoors come spring!

Ice, Snowstorm, Dallas, Lost Kitty, Pets

We suspect that he may have been under this deck the whole time.

Ice, Snowstorm, Dallas, Lost Kitty, Pets

Home safely and soundly, cuddling with me in bed. 🙂

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Tie and Christmas Cheer

I’m sad to say it’s been well over a week since my last post. Between my work at Suas, submission of my first published article (yea!), events, and Christmas extravaganzas, I’ve been a very busy gal. I’ll try to hit the key points as best I can, especially our main event of the season, because it’s officially time to rededicate myself to my readers. Why call this a “series of Emily’s European adventures” if I don’t chronicle them?

Standing outside in the freezing cold collecting for Suas!

Last week held a variety of activities for me, including drinks with girlfriends, fundraising for Suas by way of street collecting in Christmas hats, an appointment with a dress designer to pick the perfect one for Matt’s company Christmas party, and pampering galore for the same gala. Not to mention that Christmas is just around the corner, leaving me with very little time to shop before heading home for the holidays. By Friday I was pretty exhausted, so a night in with Matt to rest before the big party was in order.

Saturday finally rolled around, bringing with it Matt’s company Christmas party, a night that was highly anticipated as I was absent the year before. Held at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, the party was a black tie gala complete with a poker tournament and 4-course meal. For the event, I wore a one-shoulder, long, midnight blue dress with matching roses stitched into the strap. My hair was pulled up into a classic chignon and I completed the look with a mix of pearls and gold jewellery. Matt looked extremely dapper in his black tuxedo, bow tie, and pocket watch (a gift from yours truly).

Matt playing in the poker tournament.

Matt played in the poker tournament, drawing the attention of the entire crowd when he made it to the finals and eventually won it for his team. After the tournament came dinner in the beautiful winter-themed dining hall. The meal itself started with a goat cheese appetizer, potato leek soup to follow, a choice of chicken or beef main course, and a multitude of desserts.  The whole time the wait staff kept the wine flowing, while classic Christmas music mixed with an array of soft jazz completed the ambience. Matt and I sat at a table with a few friends and made some new ones, and by the time dinner was over, we were ready to move onto round 2 – of 3 rounds – for the evening.

Following dinner, DJs took to the stage to provide music for dancing, while an open bar made itself available to all. Cuban cigar rollers, who were actually flown in from Cuba, rolled unique and individual cigars for anyone interested. That was something even I, who is not an avid cigar smoker, could not pass up. Matt and I rotated between the throng of smokers outside, to watching the dancers inside until it was time for round 3.

At dinner - unfortunately this was the only picture I got. But a friend took a better one that I'll post when I receive it!

Round 3 was an after-party at the club downstairs. I can only say so much about this aspect of the evening. What I will leave you with is a mental picture of people in formal wear, thumping music, expensive champagne, and extremely good times. We didn’t head home until 6 in the morning – that’s right, 6 in the morning. Needless to say, Sunday was spent either in bed or on the couch and I was asleep very early Sunday evening. It was well worth it though; I had a fantastic time, enjoyed spending it with Matt and our friends, and I now have a gorgeous gown to wear to another event!

Categories: Musings, Nightlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warm and Cozy

Cozy and warm Saturdays are becoming my thing. This is thanks to Matt, who after a long, hard week at work, prefers to relax and unwind. Now that I am busy every day with either Suas or Women’s Club activities, I’ve joined him in his desire to recuperate. Even more so, the weather has really taken a turn for winter, so our warm apartment set at the bottom of foggy mountains, keeping me safe from the rain, becomes more and more appealing with each day. Yesterday, warm and cozy took on a whole new meaning, as Matt and I celebrated our very first Christmas tree unveiling as roomies!

Like most days this month, Matt and I awoke to very cold, very rainy weather. I wanted to stay huddled under the warm comforter all day, but I had plans to make one of my favorite meals, courtesy of my favorite cook – my mom. The closest grocery store is part of a major department store in the mall – Marks and Spencer – so to the mall we went in search of ingredients. I’ve mentioned prior that Christmas season is in full swing here, so when we took the escalator down towards the grocery store, we were bombarded with lights, decorations, and seasonal deals. I could literally feel Matt’s irritation rise, since the area was packed with people and noise. Realizing that it would be next to impossible to drag Matt back to mall again before Christmas, we decided to purchase our Christmas tree early. Add the fact that we will be back in Texas for awhile in December, shortening our time to enjoy our own decorations, and it was a no-brainer to get Christmas started early.

We plan on going back to get even more lights 🙂

Thus began our cozy and warm Saturday. Once back at home with groceries, a Christmas tree, lights, and ornaments, we put college football on the television, changed into our college jerseys, and popped open a couple of beers. The Christmas tree was first, and actually didn’t take us too long. We purchased a green and bushy artificial tree and got to work spreading the branches so as to make it look fuller. Matt strung the lights and I started placing our silver ornaments in just the right places. One thing I learned from my mom is that you can’t just put an ornament on a tree; it takes care to make sure they are spread out evenly and hanging just right. Once finished, we admired our handiwork in the darkness of the apartment.

I then went to work making a hearty and heart-warming dinner. My mother’s chicken and rice recipe is so easy and I’ve been craving a bit of home lately, so that landed on the Saturday evening menu. It’s a simple combination of butter, celery, carrots, onion, flour, chicken broth, rice, diced chicken, and a dash of cream to make a stew that really sticks to your ribs. The smells emanating from the kitchen while I sauteed the vegetables and added the chicken stock was enough to make my stomach grumble. The best part was that the final product tasted exactly like my mom’s, making me feel like I was having a meal in Texas.

Dinner followed with football and red wine, a win for both the Sooners and the Trojans, and a beautifully lit Christmas tree in the corner. Matt really liked the meal, adding a successful tick on my cooking resume. Like I said, I’m getting used to these comfy and cozy Saturdays. I have a feeling next weekend will be no exception.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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