Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The word for blizzard in Russian:  метель (pronounced MEH-tel).  We had our first big one over the weekend.  It snowed and snowed and snowed some more.  The wind blew the snow around making it almost impossible to see across the street.  It started Friday night and didn't really stop until Monday night.  There was a break Monday morning, but it didn't last long.  The visibility on the roads was so poor that they shut down the main road to and from Yuzhno, meaning that Shane thought he might not get to come home.  They finally reopened it and he made it home safe and sound.  Today is the first day with no snow falling...so now we can start the digging out process.  The snow in the backyard is now higher than our porch, and the snow on the side of the house is up to the window sills.  So far I have only managed to dig a path for the dogs to go out in the back.  My neighbor and I decided to go skiing today...and found out exactly how much snow fell - in some places the powder was up to my hips!  Needless to say we ended up skiing in the street!  And I have heard that round 2 is coming this weekend...

In the car on the way home from school...very poor visibility but the road was still open

Hard at work clearing the roads in Olympia

Our back yard

Walking down the sidewalk to Russian class...in the snow...very fitting!

Yes, I have skis on...snowshoes would have been a better choice!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow!

We have been here for almost 5 months now, and almost 3 months of that has been with snow on the ground.  The novelty still hasn't worn off, and going outside to play in freshly fallen snow is still one of my favorite things to do.  I had been hoping to do some skiing this weekend, but making tracks in this much snow just didn't sound appealing to me.  Maybe tomorrow...in the meantime, I guess I can get my exercise by shoveling the back yard...

Of course Buster wanted outside to play

Our front porch in November...

Our front porch today...

Digging out...

Grilling in a Snowstorm...only in Sakhalin

News flash:  it's snowing!  It started up sometime Friday night and still hasn't stopped as I type this Sunday afternoon.  According to the internet weather forcast, it is going to continue to snow for the next few days.  We were invited to dinner at a friend's house on Saturday night for steaks and chicken (yum!).  Their house is only 6 houses down from us, but we took a car.  The sidewalks were nonexistent and the snow was really coming down.  I got a shot of Mike outside with his grill just for my readers in Mississippi (Hello, Mike's Mom and Dad!).  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Skiing around Olympia

I have a new favorite thing:  cross-country skiing!  My neighbor Kate and I went both days of the weekend for a few hours around the compound...we both left the hubbies at home with the kids!  We just start skiing from the house and go through all the trails on the compound.  It's fun, but definitely a workout.  I can feel it in my arms, legs, shoulders, and stomach.  That's a good thing, right?  Anyway, we are going to keep at it a few times a week and maybe get good enough to venture off the compound...but this is good for right now.   Another neighbor, Cheri, went snowshoeing with us one day and took a few photos...enjoy! 

The hardest part was making new trails...the snow fairly deep in some places

Kate and I and her pup, Brinkley

The snow felt sooo good...we were both sweating bullets!

Okay, now we had figure out how to get up!