Steve Raible, who wishes his name was Bluster Winblower, just said that "winter is most definitely here". Darn these weather people. This time I give him permission to be wrong. The sky has been weird today. Bright and shiny one moment, pelting gloppy raindrops the next, then back to the shiny. Pretty.

Some of us (uh, me) have been conditioned to react to the slightest hint of bad weather with an odd sense of panic. When I lived in Chicago, the snow piled up and school was never canceled. Your breath froze in your nostrils, your pony tail resembled a tree branch, the wind blew tears down your cheeks and you got your butt to school. When it snowed, you just dealt with it. Here, the fact that we see it so rarely has turned us into a bunch of wimpering whiners every time the rumor of weather is coming. Yeah, we are accustomed to the rain. But the volumes we have seen this year have really been the cause of our problems. The big wind storm would have had lesser consequences had the ground not been completely saturated and perfectly willing to release it's grip on trees that had happily resided there for decades of drier seasons. My neighbors' landlord has offered to take out two of my trees (one apple, one pathetic peach tree). It was nice of him to offer (guess he's coming back with a chainsaw). I could tell he was worried about the ground's hold on their roots and their proximity to his roof and from what I know about him, he was probably waiting for my husband to come outside so he could talk to him about the subject until he realized that that was never going to happen. Nice nonetheless.

The snowstorm earlier this season wouldn't have been such a big deal had I already been at home. So when the news said to expect snow, the plan was to get home and wait for it. I stopped off at the store to get milk and eggs, not really because I needed it but because that is what you do when a storm is coming. The power went out for a few minutes but fortunately, I was not at home losing my mind while that happened. This may be the first winter weather I am going to enjoy this season. I'm going to build a fire and make sugar free hot chocolate and sugar free cinnamon toast. Party at my house.

There's other weirdness going on. I was called into the office at noon today for an emergency office move. I knew a move was coming but was scheduled for the end of the month. Turns out that the fact that someone was moving into my office tonight was going to be a problem then. I'm kind of glad to leave the office that was a reminder of the evenings spent sleeping there on the floor (and just a little too close to the garbage dumpsters). I'll be in what people at Microsoft refer to as the "Staffing Building". I've been there before. No big deal. But the fire drill was interesting. I've lost count of offices...I think we are at nine.

The people that live across the street from me had to put down their dog last week. I really liked that dog. He was the subject of Jonas' most enthusiastic barking episodes. He would come across the street if I was working in the yard or garage just to say hi and soak up some good petting. Sweet doggy. He seemed to lose his hearing some time ago because he would get out and didn't respond when I told him to go home. I knew that if he heard my voice, he'd at least stop by for a chat. Now he's gone. I didn't see him that frequently but knowing that he's gone makes me sad.

In other planetary news, the little dog next door has one of those alien collars on right now and we don't need to discuss why but the poor little thing looks like he's just landed here from Pluto, intent on explaining to us that it is indeed still a planet and we've got it all wrong. And also, he enjoyed the anesthesia but would have been perfectly content to skip the whole episode. He thinks that Bob Barker has it all wrong.

My friend PatBlue had his last day at Microsoft last week, as did Maria, on my team. Pat has a talent for telling a funny story in a way that extracts every bit of funny. The story is at least 10% more funny when Pat tells it. So his going away lunch was funny; which is weird because it was also a little sad, but fortified with extra Pat.  I had almost gotten to the point that I was settling back into my routine, but not quite. I'm a creature of routine so I am looking forward to things settling down for a while (I'll unpack my new office later).