‘Twas the night before Christmas …

… when all thro’ the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a

Wait, Smokey, you’re wide awake.

Put your head down and go to sleep.

Well, you didn’t have to take me literally, but that’s OK, thats a good cat.

Now, where we were. Oh, yes, not a creature … Zeke? You need to go to sleep.

Go find Sam and get right to sleep. That’s a good dog.

Chloe? Why aren’t you asleep? Leave Dusty alone and go to bed.

That’s good.

chloe asleep

Lucy, cover up and go to sleep. Yes, you can use the other cover if you want.

That’s good. Sleep tight!

Now, where is Mollie? Mollie, this is your first Christmas with us. You need to get to bed or Santa won’t come. Mollie? You can’t sleep there, and you’re not asleep anyway, are you?

That’s not your bed.

That either.

No, you can’t watch the stove. And, besides, Santa doesn’t come down our chimney like that.

Mollie, just find a place and go to sleep, OK? Everyone is tired.

It’s OK if you want to sleep there, but you’re not going to see Santa. Maybe you can find a more comfortable place to sleep.

Yes, that’s good. Just don’t roll over.

Now, is everyone in bed?

Wait! Who? Mr. Owl, I think you’re lost.

Be careful of the reindeer on your way out!

Now I think everyone is in bed and asleep.

And soon, we’ll be visited by that right jolly old elf …

st dogolas

St. Dogolas!

And so, from Leah, Mark, Zeke, Lucy, Chloe, Dusty, Sylvester, Smokey, Sam, and Mollie

happy christmas

and to all a good night!

In memoriam: Zoe, gone since Fall 2014,


and Rusty, gone since 2015.


Cannas couldn’t

We planted canna lilies early in the spring in a flower bed next to the top of our driveway. They surprised us by growing much bigger than we expected from the packaging. They kept blooming for a long time. This is a shot from December 4, a few days before we got our surprise snow.

And then the following Friday we got snow. This is what they looked like then.

I wouldn’t say they liked it, but they looked OK. At least for a while. This is what they look like now.

Apparently wikipedia is correct when they say that canna lilies are a tropical or subtropical plant. They apparently are (or can be) native to this area, but obviously do not like to be frozen, which is what a coating of snow will do for you.

I assume (hope) that the cannas will come back next spring.

The green foliage to the right is some other type of lily, or, more correctly, an actual lily, since cannas are not true lilies. The bulbs for these lilies were given to us by a neighbor. They grew well but didn’t produce any flowers. In the background you can see some of the seed fronds of the ornamental grasses we planted on the slope at this side of our house. They were almost flattened by the snow but sprang back up well enough that I don’t plan to cut them until maybe early spring, just before the grass begins to turn green.

Surprise snow

We woke up Friday morning to this view out the bedroom window.

We were surprised because the Atlanta TV weathermen, who we rely on for some of our forecasts, were not tearing their hair out and running around in circles Thursday night. If there is a reasonable probability of an accumulation of snow, the Atlanta TV stations typically treat it like an invasion from Mars. Since they didn’t, we didn’t expect snow.

But we got it. It snowed all day Friday. By the time it stopped early Saturday morning, around eight inches had fallen, although not all actually accumulated on the ground.

The company I used to work for, and still do a little work for, had their Christmas party Friday night. We had planned to attend, but I was worried about two things: Lookout Mountain and Sand Mountain. The highway to Huntsville, Al, crosses both mountains, and those mountains have steep grades. At least a couple of times when I was still working in Huntsville, snow on those grades forced me to detour through Chattanooga, for a trip that lasted about eight hours instead of the normal two and a half hours. The last thing I wanted was for Leah and me to end up trapped on one of those mountains with no way off.

I took the truck down our mountain to see what conditions would be like. I made a video of the drive back up.

It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t know what to expect over in Alabama. As the day passed, the Atlanta TV stations, which broadcasted nothing but snow news all day (making up for the lack of franticness the day before), showed an expected accumulation of almost nothing to our west, where we would have to go. So we chanced it, and everything was fine.

Saturday was a day for appreciating the snow.

“I want to go outside and build a snowman!”

I took Sam and Zeke on their usual walk Saturday morning. Sam was pretty enthusiastic about the snow. I made a video of him sniffing under and around the snow. Unfortunately, I had to hold the phone vertically, so the video is not properly oriented.

Any appreciable snow accumulation is rare for Rome in December. Eight inches is very unusual. In fact, this type of snow is very rare any time in Georgia. Accumulations in the Atlanta area were even greater in some places. Damage caused by the heavy snow resulted in more than 100,000 electrical outages in the Atlanta area. Fortunately, we had no problems up on the mountain. All we had was some additional beauty plus some cold weather.