Snow stake 12-8-13The sun will “rise” this morning at 10:39, and set barely 4 hours later at 2:45 this afternoon. The short days of winter are definitely here, with the sun getting only 5 times its own diameter above the southern horizon at noon.

We’re still getting winter storms. Not cold and snow, we’ve had a huge slug of warm, wet air aloft that has given us a few more sprinkles of freezing rain! But the air near the ground is still below freezing, so the result is mostly slippery roads. The depth of the snow pack has actually decreased over the last couple of days though the water content has increased, and we’re now below a foot of snow on the ground.

Santa&MeI’m very glad I was able to trade tickets for The Nutcracker Ballet and the Christmas symphony concert for transportation to both. I have a medical appointment (cancer doctor) near noon later this week, but aside from that and can’t-put-it-off shopping (which I try to get done on the same trips as medical appointments) I’m staying home and writing or watching Christmas DVD’s while riding the stationary bike. I watched 3 versions of The Nutcracker last week in preparation for the live ballet, and have to say that the live performance held up well. I hope to finish The Hogfather today. I’m happy to say I’m back to 2 hours or more of exercise a day, even if my balance is still shaky.

The upper left photo, by the way, was taken out of my south window with maximum optical zoom shortly after sunrise Sunday.The one on the lower right was taken by the University photographer, Todd Paris, at the Christmas concert. What did I ask for? Hair and a clear health check on the pesky cancer!

P.S. We had another 3″ of wet snow after dark Sunday night, so when it got light enough to see the snow stake, it was back at 14″ again, with the temperature up to 30° F which is ridiculously warm for this time of year. Far too slippery to drive unnecessarily.