Category Archives: Snow in AL

Provide Them with Food, Water, Shelter and Affection and They Will Think You are god, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Owners of dogs will have noticed, that if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god.”  ~ Christopher Hitchens ~

Babygirl, Watson and the Snow

We’ve had Babygirl now for about a year and a half. And it has been 18 months on one big learning curve full of ups, downs, curly-cues and banana peels – as in Three Stooges slap stick – wooo, wooo, wooo banana peels.

Just to refresh your mind – Babygirl is the adorably cute and photogenic Miniature Schnauzer in the above picture. Her “brother” Watson, our first Schnauzer is standing behind her at the bottom of the steps on the driveway.

Let me tell you – these two little dogs are as different as they look – like night and day.

I laugh every time I look at this picture because Babygirl looks like a WWE wanna be wrestler. And that’s, so far from who she is. She is still so skittish even after 18 months we find it unbelievable. She’s almost afraid of her shadow.

In the picture she actually has snow caught all up in her beard making her look a little menacing, but she’s not. We’ve had two snow events here in Alabama within two weeks of each other in late January and February and during that time Babygirl discovered she was a snow gourmand.

Babygirl and her smorgsborgd

Babygirl at her smordgasbord

Yes, you are seeing exactly what you think you are – Babygirl is “brunching” off the snow that covered our outdoor firepit. How convenient for her it was at the perfect level – mouth level.

She has come far in the 18 months she’s been part of the Burch family. Her little tail spends most of its happy little time up and not plastered to her backside in fear or displeasure. She happily avails herself to the food and water bowls – and Watson’s, too. As a result she has filled out and when she trots around the house she has a little diva sway in her walk. She is quite fond of treats, too. Marshmallow is a very special word in our house – it causes spasms of excitement – who would have “thunk it”?

But, as far as Tall & Handsome goes – well, the jury is still out on that one. We can all be up on the bed in the evening before our fur babies have to go to their “condos” (crates) for bedtime. T & H and I will be watching a little TV, reading or spending some time on the computer. Watson has no problem whatsoever establishing his rightful place, which is usually between T & H and myself. Babygirl usually lays at the foot of the bed down by my feet.

Should T & H get up and walk around to her side of the bed or room, Babygirl gets up and moves to the head of the bed next to me. When T & H nears her “personal space” it’s like a giant asteroid is hurtling towards Earth – a major red-code-get-out-of-the-way-emergency.

We still would like to meet the guy or guys in a dark alley who abused this little dog and made her so fearful of men. There isn’t anyone one Earth who has a softer heart for animals than my T & H.

Babygirl still has a few other issues that discombobulate us from time to time. Take for instance her ability to jump up on the bed. She learned in no time flat – like a high speed race car going from zero to 60 in three seconds.

Then one day a switch went off in that little mind of hers and ZAP, she no longer could do it anymore. A few days later the switched tripped again and ZAP she was hopping up on the bed again. About two weeks later ZAP – yep, you got it she started riding the short bus on how to get up on Momma’s bed. I am now her enabler and the ONLY way she will get on the bed.

And, then there’s that digestion thing. For such a dainty, girly looking little thing, this little dog could blow the walls down burping.

You have not lived until a dog jumps up, looks deeply and adoringly into your eyes and then burps. You can hear her across the house. It rocks your world – not… We won’t talk about those methane emission either or the fact that if T & H needs to pick her up for some emergency reason she emits some funky fear pheromone that rivals the best bloodhound or skunk. It is so odoriferous it strikes fear in the heart of a grown man…my grown man in particular.

She still gets rattled suddenly and will do that “running in place, getting traction, trying to get away thing” when startled. After 18 months of peaceful living you would think that would have stopped. Nope, not so far, but, there is less of it.

And, there is progress. T & H says quite often, “Honey you saved that little dog and she knows it. She is your dog. She adores you. She is a one person dog.”

I don’t really know what to say because T & H is such an animal person. Babygirl doesn’t know what she’s missing out on by being a “daddy’s girl”.

But, he is right. She is my dog. She follows me everywhere and I do mean EVERYWHERE. Let me tell you, life is not complete until you sit down on a toilet – even to just rub foot cream on your feet, and a little brown eyed dog pops up beside you and stares lovingly and adoringly into your eyes. Sometimes I’m like, “Really, Babygirl, you want to do this NOW?!”

She has gain courage in her quest to go where I am. Therefore she learned to trek up and down the stairs so she could go to the quilt room with me.

Courage, one step at a time. That’s all it will take and who knows where she will be 18 more months from now. But, I do know one thing. What Christopher Hitchens said is true. I have fed her, watered her, sheltered her and given her love and affection and when she looks at me I can see I am her everything – for lack of a better word – her god, her provider. (T & H does the same thing and hopefully one day she will see this in him, too, and not continue to unjustly reject him – hummm – what a word picture we have here.)

It made me think – about the word pictures. Where do we look for our needs, concerns and worries? Do we look up? Or are we on a hamster wheel spinning, spinning, spinning wearing ourselves out? We do have Someone to look up to, also.

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’ ~ Matt. 6:26 ~ NIV

© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


 

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Filed under Babygirl, dogs, Matt 6:26, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Snow, Snow in AL, Watson

Men Can No Longer Live as Strangers, by Beverly Hicks Burch

On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers.” ~ Adlai E. Stevens ~

Backyard view 1-28-2014

So, what does the “Great Snowing Dusting of 2014”, today’s quote of the day, the pictures of the day, my 81 year old Daddy and a love affair with my Sweet Home Alabama and my little local community have to do with each other?

Well, allow me to explain…

I’ve made no secret how much this East Tennessee born gal loves her Sweet Home Alabama and the spot where she lives in particular. In part, because the natural beauty reminds me of my ancestral roots. But, mostly you just can’t find better people anywhere – no, really.

For the past few days we had been warned of an impending winter storm headed our way. Yes, Virginia, not only does it get down right cold in the Deep South, but we do see single digit weather and even see the big “S” word. That unique white, frozen, multi-sided wonder called snow.

And, when we do, we are thrown into chaos. Not because we are bumpkin, Dilberts who think the sky is falling, but because it’s a fairly infrequent occurrence and therefore we’re not equipped to handled major events like our Northern cousins.

Now, the forecast was a strangely odd one. The most severe and heavy snow was going to be south of the Birmingham area to the coast – yes, the warm coast, the Gulf of Mexico where they were expecting two inches or more of snow. The Birmingham area was to expect a dusting of snow. Temps were going to be frigid everywhere – and this was our third or fourth blast of frigid, Arctic air.

Having been through this before, I had a sneaking suspicion the dusting could turn into something else if Mother Nature decided to turn just the slightest fickled – and she did.

Here’s what she graced us with at our house (that foggy look is actually snow still falling):

Front Porch C 1-28-2014

Front Steps 1-28-2014

Jeeps in the Back Driveway 1-28-2014

Sundeck 1-28-2014

Return of the Cold Schnauzer 1-28-2014

And, this was at the very beginning of the “Great Snow Dusting of 2014”. It “dusted snow” – heavily – from about 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM. Sooooo, it got pretty “dusty” around here – and icy. We were socked in with two Miniature Schnauzers, our electronics devices and no where to go. In other words, life was pretty good, until…

My little 80 year old Momma calls and after “momma” chit chat drops into the conversation my 81 year old Daddy went down the mountain at 10:30 yesterday morning to go to Walmart to pick up some groceries. This is a man with a pacemaker and meds he keeps on an Excel spreadsheet. (That’s the mechanical Project Manager in him.)

I wanted to say, “Oh, no, he didn’t.” But, as the first born daughter always trying to be the good daughter, I said, “He did WHAT?!”

She confirmed what I thought I heard, and then went back into to chit chat mode – while my brain starts doing wheelies – NO KIDDING.

Daddy was stranded at Walmart. He was planning on spending the night in his Durango and alternating time between there and inside Walmart. He was concerned the soda he had bought would freeze and explode in the back of his SUV so he was going to go out and warm it up periodically. Seriously, Daddy?! I’m sure there are endangered baby condors who aren’t worried about as much as Daddy was worrying about those groceries.

I am also the family tech support agent and certified techno geek. And, it just so happened a week or so ago I had joined a group on Facebook geared toward what’s happening in our community of Springville.

So, I hopped onto the Springville community page and before I knew it, a whole community was mobilizing to move my Daddy either home if possible or to a warming station. Mayor Isley and his wife, Lynda got involved and before I knew it Daddy was tucked warm and safe into the Methodist Church in Springville. He was provided with warm food and a cot and a hot breakfast this morning.

Like Adlai Stevens said – our globe has shrunken – even more so in this day of instant news, Skype, tablets, smartphones, texts, emails and social networking. We can let that consume our lives and let it isolate it from our families or, we can use it as a valuable tool and use it to do what Mr. Stevens said – to no longer live like strangers. I prefer to do the latter.

I also like the advice another Man gave us in the Good Book. He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31 NIV

Neighbors, here’s a really big thank you and a really big God Bless my neighbors.

Front Porch B snow 1-28-2014

© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Daddy, Neighbors, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Snow in AL, Springville AL, The Great Snow Dusting of 2014

Perfect Soul Mates, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“How coffee and cold winter mornings are two of the best soul mates who ever did find each other.” ~ Terrie Guillmets ~

the burden of cold

How do 70 degrees December days sound to you? Well, we’ve had a few of them lately, but never fear they are not for these climes for long. Our top notch meteorologist is promising the coldest weather of the season is headed this way and will be pushing into this area by Monday.

Oh, goodie…

No, really, I mean it because you know how I feel about hot weather (I hate it) and warm weather at Christmas is just wrong!

Two years ago we had what has been called a “generational event” for this area. That was a White Christmas in 2010. Can we shoot for two?! I mean the Crimson Tide is going for its third National Championship, so what would be so bad with two White Christmas in the life of kids in the South? It would probably give birth to the next generation of Tennessee Williams, Harper Lees and the next great Southern writer…

This picture was taken of a shrub at the end of the house under the burden of snow and ice during the “Snowpocalypse – Jan. 2011” right after our White Christmas.

It was awesome Winking smile

And, yes, it was then I discovered that cold mornings and hot coffee (or even hot tea) are perfect soul mates…the best in the world…

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Alabama, Central Alabama, Photography, Picture of the Day, Snow, Snow in AL, Winter

Yes, Virginia…it Snows in Alabama…Even in December, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Yes, Virginia…it Snows in Alabama…Even in December

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Overnight we had a weather event here in Alabama…in other words it SNOWED!! Yes folks it does snow in Alabama, sometimes even in December. Most of our snow tends to hit after the first of the year and we’ve had big snows (4-8 inches) as late as March or April. And, snow can make people do the “funniest” things…

One year back in the 1980s a late spring snow came through while I had an apple tree in bloom. The weight of the heavy snow uprooted the tree…and caused a rather humorous incident later that summer… In an effort to save the said apple tree, Gomez got the Eureka idea to tie the tree up with the garden hose.

Unfortunately whenever the sun came out and warmed up the hose it would stretch out and the tree would start to lean again…and he would have to go out and retie the hose. So, that hose stayed tied to the tree for a long time. How could you forget that, right…a big ol’ garden hose stretched across your back yard…?

Well, Gomez did! He was out in the back yard one afternoon (I should say the far end of the back yard) and the phone rang. Hoping to catch the phone, Gomez took off running toward the house, and you guessed it. He ran smack into the garden hose “guy wire” and clothes-lined himself, knocked his feet out from under him and landed smack on his back and bum.

Down here snow makes people irrational at times. We develop the undeniable urge to run to the grocery store and buy lots and lots of bread and milk and stand in hours long checkout lines for the privilege. I’ve never quite understood why we do that. I try to avoid that compulsion…if I get wind of the “S” word a few days in advance, I head to the store before everyone else and do my “bread and milk” buying… I tried to explain this phenomenon to Tall & Handsome yesterday when he needed to run to the store for us just because we were out of stuff. I advised him to get to the store early and he saw why as he was leaving…there was a major rush of bread and milk buyers!

Momma called me at 7:30 AM and said, “Look outside! It’s a winter wonderland!” Of course up on her little mountain I’m sure the snow was a little deeper than down here in suburbia. I felt bad when I told her we had a head start on awareness. T & H had to let Watson out at 2 AM and when they came back to the bedroom he told me the deck was covered in snow and Watson had left little paw prints in the freshly fallen snow. Need to know info at 2 AM!

As I was talking to Mom I grabbed my camera and began taking pictures. I thought I’d show you what snow in December in Alabama looks like…and I’ve given you a 360° view…from all sides of the house.

Hope you enjoy the closest thing to a White Christmas these parts will see!

Snow 12-5-2009 A

Looking out the Front door from the front porch…

Snow 12-5-09 B

I left the “frozen” North with no snow and come home to this?

Snow 12-5-09 D

Are they Crazy?!

Snow 12-5-09 F

Looking out back…

Snow 12-5-09 G

The deck…a long, cold walk for Watson…

Snow 12-5-09 L

Warm fire sounds good to me…

Snow 12-5-09 H

Winter Beauty

Snow 12-5-09 M

Hopeful Holdout…

Snow 12-5-09 P

Snow Sculptures

Snow 12-5-09 Q

I’m ready for hot chocolate…

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Alabama, Birmingham AL, Photography, Snow, Snow in AL, Weather