Girls' Day 2014

March 3 is Japanese Girls' Day, Hinamatsuri. We left the large set of Girls' Day dolls (hina-ningyou) back in California with my parents. (Click here to see a (crooked) picture of it.) Instead, I displayed the ceramic version my step-mom commissioned from her ceramics teacher when Maya was born. They're one of a kind, and I love the look of them: earthy but regal, simple but ornate. (Sadly, a piece from the Emperor broke off during the move, but I think I can glue it back on.)

I wasn't thinking ahead and neglected to buy hina-arare or ingredients to make Japanese food to celebrate. We're kinda snowed in today so I think I'll postpone the celebration until March 12 when I pick up my order of sakura-mochi and uguisu-mochi from a fundraiser sponsored by the Washington-Tokyo Women's Club.

Snow :: not as much as they predicted, but it's still more than enough!

The snow probably started in the early morning, maybe 5 or 6am. Since we already knew school was cancelled, I slept in until 7 and there was already an accumulation of snow.

And it continued to snow until after lunch. Knowing I have to leave the house tomorrow to volunteer at Maya's school (assuming there's school tomorrow), I geared up to start shoveling. But, first, off to look for a plastic ruler so I could measure the snowfall. Turns out we didn't get as much snow as the forecasters originally predicted yesterday: four inches, which isn't too bad, but still enough to warrant a good investment in time to shovel.

To motivate myself, I decided to listen to music. With some upbeat pop music blaring on my headphones I got to work. Music definitely kept me going (I'm currently obsessed with Pharrell's Happy) but singing along while shoveling in cold, dry weather is almost counterproductive. But I kept at it for an hour and a half and shoveled the walkway, the sidewalk to the driveway, the driveway, around the car, and a little bit on the side of the house.

I think we need to get another shovel, though, because the handle on the one we have seems short and I have to bend over a lot. Now my back is sore. Plus, it would help if more than one person could shovel at a time! Rupert and I had put off buying a second shovel because we were (perhaps naively) hoping there wouldn't be any more snow storms. Now we know better.

We're definitely done with snow for today (there's a slight chance of snow/rain on Thursday) but it's pretty darn cold, which means the ground is going to freeze and all the wisps of snow on the concrete is going to turn into a slippery, dangerous hazard. So, the question is: will there be school tomorrow?

And, with that question lingering in the air, I'm off to do Child's Pose to relax my back ... 

[updated March 4, 2014: No school today!]


I am not happy about this!

I'm beginning to regret saying things like, "I don't mind the cold too much." This year's winter seems to be never-ending. We're expecting another storm tonight and I'm sure they'll close school tomorrow.

All this after it snowed twice last week:

And the huge overnight dumping of snow the week before (which led to water issues in our basement ... again!):

It's not like Snowmageddon in 2010 when the DC Metro area got 18-32 inches of snow in one storm, but it's a different kind of weather annoyance: prolonged low temperatures with several significant (for the area) storms, leaving us with a few inches of snow each time. 

Keeping in mind this is nothing compared to what areas in the Midwest are enduring, the expectations of living here don't entail snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. It's been quite the initiation into East Coast living.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of this storm's aftermath ... with the sincere hope that they're the last snow pictures I post this winter!


Science Olympiad :: Maryland Regionals

Ian and his partners medaled in their events at the Maryland Science Olympiad Regionals today at the University of Maryland College Park. They're on the B Team but collectively the team scored high enough to be 4th place finishers in the middle school division (large school category). 
  • Solar System: 1st place
  • Shock Value: 1st place
  • Helicopters: 3rd place
We're bummed that he won't be able to compete at the State tournament at the end of the month because he's on the B Team ... even though he and his partners have consistently performed better than the A Team. But, you know, who's keeping track? ;)