Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas and snow fun, saying goodbye to grandpa

I hate to start out on a sad note, but no other way around it... Before my grandma passed, 5 years ago, she stitched these ornaments for each grandkid. She said if we were ever broke then we would always have a couple dollars. I always thought they were snowmen til yesterday. They're not. They're angels. My grandpa joined her yesterday. I'm sure they are a riot in heaven right now. He never missed a school concert or soccer game. Despite the 3 hour round trip. Always there with his camera and a firm goodbye handshake. I feel blessed to get one last handshake a couple weeks ago. His health had been declining so I took the kids down to see him a couple weeks ago and so glad I got that chance. Miss you grandpa. So much.  My grandma LOVED reading my blog to get updates on what was going on with her grandkid and then great grandkid. Both are in a better place now. 
Let's lighten the mood and talk about something fun: CHRISTMAS!  The kids were very excited this year and 2 and 5 are such a fun age for Christmas.  Evan is just starting to get it and Summer is there to help along the way. It was just the kids and Dawn and me all weekend long and it was very nice to keep it simple this year. 
We did do FaceTime with the family and it was good to check in on everyone. 
It was great to get some snow for Christmas, but MAN it was cold!  We only got to 18°F for the high, so we held off a couple days to get outside to play in the snow. 

I participated in the Gingermas run hunt this year. It’s a running scavenger hunt. This was the “Griswold house” on the list. You get different points for the different tasks or found items. Like fueling on homemade cookies or bonus points spelling out “HoHoHo” and “Merry Gingermas 2020” with your GPS track. Also, bonus points for drinking egg nog before the run. I also donated shoes for two points each pair.
I didn't win anything, but it was a blast to run around in a Christmas sweater looking at holiday decorations. Didn’t find a Mrs. Claus or a dreidel on my run. Also, coffee shop was closed to get a point for hot cider. It was a 10 mile run.  Which has been my longest run for a while.  I have been dialing back the miles a little bit as I ease back into running following a back issue.
I did get out for a half marathon around the neighborhood this weekend.  Roads were still dicey around our parts and didn't think it was worth risking it to drive to a trail. Sun came out for the final mile and it was gorgeous on the fresh blanket of snow. Definitely more sore today from minor traction slips in the snow.  It was all packed snow from the cars driving over it.  The slipperiest areas are where a plow blade packs it down to a flat piece of ice. Thankfully none of that in our neighborhood. 
Enjoy the sunshine we get today because we have clouds returning soon with some rain and the chance of a wintry mix, along with some big temperatures fluctuations later this week. Today we are starting out with generally clear skies, especially for the northern half of Ohio. Our morning temps are below freezing so watch out for icy spots due to refreeze, mainly sidewalks and untreated side streets. Sun to start the day then increasing clouds and we warm into the mid 30s with very light winds today. Mostly cloudy tonight and there is a chance for a quick evening shower, mainly to the northwest. We start around 30 tomorrow morning then warm to 48 later in the day with mostly cloudy skies and rain arriving in the afternoon from the northwest. It will be a wet evening with rain showers moving in from the northwest and heading into Southern Ohio by early Thursday. The back edge of the rain could mix with a little snow, but no indications of any significant accumulation. We see the early rain and mix move into Kentucky and we are mostly cloudy and dry most of the day on Thursday with highs in the mid 30s. Then that rain lifts back north Thursday night and the leading edge could be a little wintry mix then transitions quickly to rain as temps start warming up. So Friday morning could have a few sketchy spots with the early wintry mix before it changes to rain. Temps soar into the mid-upper 50s with rain most of the day on Friday. Rain kicks out late Friday night and cooler temps move back in for the weekend. Highs in the lower 40s on Saturday and then upper 30s for Sunday. Models are split on weekend outcome, but there is a chance of some light rain/snow possible this weekend. The timing is what is up in the air because some have it on Saturday and another model has it on Sunday. It does look light and most of the weekend will be generally cloudy with chilly temps. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Busy with projects, but taking time for the holidays & kids

The tree is up and we are in the full holiday spirit at the Michael house.  The kids are super excited and this is so fun to be a parent with the kids 2 and 5 years old. 
Every free night we have, we drive around to look at Christmas lights because it is such an easy thing to do with the current pandemic.  We did get out and walked around the lights at the Columbus Commons.  Limited Santa experiences this year, so we had to change up our holiday card photo.  The kids love the lights and we have a list of other places we want to go check out. 
Lots of projects going on as well.  A friend asked for me to build her some window valances for her first floor.  Pretty happy with how they turned out.  I wanted to do a French cleat so it could be removed and decorated, but the trim around the window would get in the way and she said she probably would never remove them anyway.  
Another friend requested a bunch of balm packs for frontline workers to help their hands from drying out.  So I made a big batch of a special recipe of the Clean version that uses more shea butter for better moisturizing.  
Summer helped me pack all of the gift packs. I still have a handful of the special batch available, if you are interested: www.BalmByBuck.com. I will be doing a special 10% off for the next 10 days, starting on December 10th. 
And I have still been running.  I am doing the Runner's World Run Streak from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  At least one mile each day. This is my 5th year doing it and it is a great motivator to get outside each day during a time of the year where excuses are very easy to stay inside. I went out to Clifton, Ohio last weekend to run along the gorge to the yellow springs and back. 
It is an absolutely beautiful area and it is really cool how the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve trails connect with John Bryan State Park that also connects to the Glen Helen Nature Preserve trails.  It is just over 5 miles from end to end if you take the lower trail along the Little Miami River.
This weekend's long run was around the neighborhood.  I tripped at mile 3, but kept going for another 7 miles.  Knee was just a little scraped up.  The funniest part is that I was running across Roberts Road and there was a line of cars waiting to turn and they all got quite the show when a grown man went flying through the air.  I bounced back up and kept running. Evan and I went for a neighborhood run last night to look for holiday decorations. 
We have some great news to share: warming temps and sunshine returning! Today we are starting chilly with temps in the lower 30s and cloudy skies, but a warm front will sweep across the area during the first half of the day and help boost our temps into the mid 40s for the afternoon with clearing skies during the second half of the day. Clear skies above us tonight, but patchy fog forming with lows in the lower 30s, so there is potential for some freezing fog. Mostly sunny tomorrow and warming to 50. Clouds moving in more on Friday with highs in the mid 50s. Rain moves in during the first half of the day on Saturday. Some areas may stay dry until midday or early afternoon. Highs in the lower 50s with rain likely for the second half of the day with a brisk breeze. Temps fall Saturday night and likely falling steadily during the day on Sunday. A few lingering rain showers early on Sunday then a few flurries later on. Then we look to remain dry until the end of next week with our next rain/snow system arriving around Thursday. It will be cooler next week with highs in the mid 30s/40s. So enjoy the warm-up over the next few days.  Looking at the long-term models... One model (and this may/will change) has snow the evening of Christmas Eve!  Stay tuned and have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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