Posts Tagged With: Ice

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. 🙂

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

Where’s Rudolph When You Need Him?

Does it look like a plane could take off in this? Didn't think so.

In August, I delighted you all with my traveling tortures. Though I’ve already been home a full day and a half now, I think it’s worth it to keep you posted on International travel, in case you need some tricks for traveling overseas someday. I doubt there will ever be a dull moment at the airport or on an airplane for this world traveler. Don’t get too excited just yet, though; there are no nauseating stenches or facial injuries this time around. However, my traveling adventure with Matt is definitely worth reading.

Finally, for the first time since Matt moved, we traveled across the great Atlantic Ocean together. I’ve been alone on every other flight up to this point, so it’s easy to say that I was a tad more excited for this trip than those of the past. Matt and I booked on Delta/Air France (more on them later) and for a month leading up to the flight, we tried to upgrade to Business Class. For those of you who have met Matt or noticed in pictures, he is an exceptionally tall individual, especially where his legs are concerned, so extra room is a must for comfort on such a long journey. Well, a certain friend, who will remain unnamed, told us we had a better chance if we waited until the last minute to try an upgrade, as unsold seats pop up at a lower price. Not only was that not the case, but we couldn’t even get exit row seats. The look on Matt’s face when we got to our row was one of dread, despair, and downright depression.

Which brings me to my next point: I will never fly Delta again – EVER. Sorry Delta. The seats are so cramped and uncomfortable! It looked like we were getting on a domestic flight…for 9 hours. Add a couple more hours to that due to the Arctic Tundra that is Dublin right now. We had to wait on other flights to leave and for the ground crew to de-ice our plane before we could get out. And from what we learned upon landing, ours was one of the last flights to actually make it out before Dublin airport shut down due to weather. I guess this is where our luck turned, because we had a nice time watching all of Season 3 of How I Met Your Mother, taking naps, and reading. The food was okay and the wine was free. For me, that was a definite upgrade from body odor, vomiting neighbors, luggage falling on my face…you get the drift.

Me and my sister the last time I was home!

We landed in Atlanta, our connection, 2 hours late and about 40 minutes outside of our next flight. We thought there was no chance in hell we would make our flight, but we gave it a shot anyway. Atlanta did just about everything in its power to keep us from making it, too. On an International flight, you must pick up your bag from baggage claim to then go drop it back off before you can head off to your connection. Matt’s was the last bag off the conveyor belt. From there you have to go through security again. For some reason, a security worker thought Matt’s Ipod was left behind, even though he was standing right there about to put it back away. She took the Ipod to lost and found and realized her mistake when Matt asked loudly, “Em, do you have my Ipod?!” She sent us over to lost and found where we had to collect it, wasting precious time. From there, we found out we were in terminal E and had to get to terminal B, so onto the concourse we went. I officially became the “airport sprinter” when the doors opened.

I got to our gate to see that the jetway was closed. Completely out of breath I stammered that we came in from a delayed Dublin flight and the kind and gracious man behind the counter unlocked the doors and rushed us down the jetway, yelling “don’t shut the doors!” And they did not. Thank God, too, because Matt and I are here in Dallas now, visiting with our families. Sure, it wasn’t the most pleasant 13 hours of my life, but it sure beats my experience in August. Most importantly, I’m so happy I’m home, visiting family and friends, and celebrating Christmas!

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

White Frost and Glittering Gold

Christinabelle Jewelry

Yep, that serving platter has some of the pâté I devoured at the Christinabelle Jewelry party!

Ah, the 1st of December. For many, this indicates the end of beautiful autumn and the beginning of snowy winter. Christmas trees have now become an acceptable centerpiece in homes across the world and children dream of the day that light sprinklings of snow will descend upon the thinning trees. For this young individual, snow is becoming a constant force to reckon with in my daily proceedings. We’ve been receiving sporadic downpours of it since the early end of November, and by now I’m becoming slightly irritated with the slush and my freezing ears. My cold, wet, and tired feet are paying the price; recently, my socks got completely soaked through my shoes and I had to dry them on the radiator at work. That’s not embarrassing.

Yesterday was the worst weather by far and I found myself stranded at work at around 4. My mode of transportation, the LUAS, was closed due to iced tracks in 2 stops, and I was no where close to home. When I finally found an unoccupied taxi, the snow was coming down like rain and hundreds of people were walking on the LUAS tracks in an attempt to use the shortest walking route home. At one point, our cab got stuck on a small hill, wheels spinning, and I was still far from home. With the help of a bystander, I got out and we pushed the cab to the top of the hill. I hopped back in yelling thanks to my helper and crossed my fingers that there were no more hills en route to my apartment. With a little luck on our side, I got back to my warm and cozy abode, dinner waiting thanks to Matt. 🙂

Christinabelle Jewelry

Christinabelle Jewelry - so pretty! And there's Karen at the end 🙂

Yet, amidst the gloom and extremely icy conditions, it hasn’t been all bad. Last Monday evening, when the weather was just starting to take a turn for the worst, a Women’s Club charity event was set to take place. Combine a cozy cafe with custom-made Christinabelle Jewelry, free wine, free appetizers, and I would’ve braved most weather conditions to participate! The event took place at Barista’s Cafe and Wine Bar just 2 LUAS stops away from my apartment and at that point it wasn’t experiencing any problems. I bundled up in my peacoat, boots, gloves, scarf, and grabbed my umbrella to make my out in the cold.

Christinabelle Jewelry hosted the event, with 20% of her sales going to our charity, the ISPCC. Karen, our Philanthropic Chair, was there and even baked cupcakes for the ladies in attendance. Unfortunately, only a small handful of us were able to attend, thanks to the weather, but it was still a successful event. I enjoyed two delicious glasses of red wine and ate my weight in pâtĂ©. For the first half of the night, I sat with the other women chatting and enjoying the hor d’oeuvres. The second half was spent browsing through the beautiful jewelry. There was a good mix of classic and funky jewelry, and the prices ranged from very affordable to “I think I’ll just gaze at this for awhile.” I purchased 2 beautiful pieces for 2 lucky ladies (Christmas gifts, I can’t spoil the surprise!). As far as I could tell, none of the ladies in attendance could say no to the glamorous display, each leaving with a piece or two of their own.

So, Dublin, bring it on. Bring on the snow and the cold, because you haven’t stopped me from attending an event. I’ve even dried my socks on the radiator and helped push a cab up a hill. I won’t let the winter blues get me down, not when I’ve got all kinds of Christmas parties coming up!

Christinabelle Jewelry

Christinabelle Jewelry

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

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