Thursday, July 31, 2014

From Facebook Photos to Snow Jam 2014

The Georgia January 28, 2014 snow storm started out like any other snow oddity in Georgia. As the ground started to be covered and snow collected on decks, regular TV programming was preempted so that Atlanta TV news coverage could be extended to cover all the snowball fights, fender benders, and Facebook pictures of rulers stuck in two inches of snow.


My personal ruler photo.
I didn't post it on Facebook, but I did post others.

This is Georgia. It's what we do when it snows, okay?

It did get redundant, yes. For awhile. Until it turned treacherous.

This was not our typical dusting, but an actual snow storm. Georgia only has a limited number of salt and sand trucks and snow plows. Even if we did, we still probably wouldn't do snow storms well.

Except for the higher elevations where it really does snow on occasion, in North Georgia we are accustomed to The Rule of Atlanta Snow Forecasting. The Rule states that if the meteorologists predict two or three inches of snow, absolutely nothing will happen. Nothing. Nada. It might rain, but that's it. If they say a few flurries or a light dusting, ninety percent of the time nothing will happen. In that other ten percent, we may end up with an inch or two. It's almost always a surprise.

The forecast called for a light dusting from Atlanta northward.

11:20 a.m.
There had been a little light
snowfall since before ten a.m.


2:28 p.m.

That "light dusting" quickly turned into two or three inches or more. The news coverage shifted from Facebook photos to treacherous road conditions, accidents, and roads and exit ramps clogged by motorists unable to get up the hills. Everybody at work in Atlanta all left for home at 12:30.

Doom came quickly. At 12:16 p.m., the interstates in Atlanta were clear and traffic was flowing smoothly. By 12:36, traffic was at a standstill.

No one went anywhere.

Hotels filled rapidly. Many people spent the night at work. Some took refuge in stores or restaurants.


My road at five o'clock, a time I normally have a hard time getting out of my driveway.


Friends of mine who were stuck in this mess spent twelve hours getting home. Many people were stranded in their cars for over 24 hours. Some abandoned them and walked miles in the snowstorm to refuge. Temperatures fell from the 20s into the teens.

The area school systems, which are sometimes ridiculed for cancelling school at the slightest chance of snow, uncharacteristically relied on the innocuous forecast and made the decision to dismiss early rather than close school for the day. By the time they released students, traffic conditions were already treacherous. Many school buses were in accidents, including one driven by a friend of mine. He and the kids on his bus were stranded in the ditch for hours. Other kids spent the night on their bus, and many, many more were returned to their school to spend the night.

So grateful I work at home.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Snowing! Well, Not Right Now, But it Did in January

During and after the Georgia snow storm that resulted in Snow Jam 2014, I posted a lot of pictures on Bubblews. After all, snow like that only happens in Georgia once in a blue moon. I work at home, I had plenty of food, and I didn't have to get out in it, so I had a ball going out, taking pictures, then coming back inside my warm house to sit in front of the computer and get paid for writing about it. I love my job!

Unfortunately, when Bubblews redesigned their website recently, all but a few of those pictures went poof! I'm working hard to repair all those posts. To make the photos that those posts are about visible to readers again, Guiness and I are uploading them to our blogs.

Here are some of the early pictures. The captions are as I originally wrote them on January 28, 2014.

Not shoveling it.
The walk isn't covered yet, so I brought Guiness out and put him down where there was a good patch of snow to get some pictures. Before I could take a single shot, he took off for the porch.
This was the best I got.
"Let me in!"

Here is the original post:

It's Snowing!

Monday, July 28, 2014

2010: My One and Only White Christmas

White Christmas in Georgia December 25, 2010

Living in Georgia, I only rarely see snow. When it happens, it's magical. When it happens on Christmas, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event.

At a church cookout last fall, several of the men opened up a persimmon seed (yes, it took several) to reveal a spoon-shaped image inside. Supposedly, this predicts lots of heavy, wet snow. I didn't have a picture of the seed at the time I wrote the post "And the Persimmon Says … Snow!", so I used photos from the last significant snow storm I had.

If you want to see the picture a friend of mine took of the persimmon seed with the spoon image, you can find it here: "The Spoon in the Persimmon Seed".

Here are some other pictures from the Christmas snow of 2010, my only white Christmas.

I have to admit that I was like, well, a kid at Christmas. Guiness, however, was not impressed.

Guiness never made it farther from the door than halfway up the walk.

Hungry reindeer.



Let it Snow!

I have been making my list and checking it twice. My list of my posts on Bubblews, that is.

The recent website redesign on Bubblews no longer supports more than one photo per post. That means that all the photos other than the title photo--and sometimes the title photo as well--have vanished from all my photo essays, most of the time taking some of the text with it.

And between the two of us, Guiness and I had a LOT of photo essays on Bubblews.

Some of the posts are fine with only one photo after a little editing. But for the photo essays that were about the photos … nuh-uh. Many of them no longer make sense. Some of them have been mostly or completely gutted.

I can edit the text, but I can't edit or replace the photos. To salvage them as much as possible and make the photos still available to my Bubblews readers, Guiness and I will be uploading the photos into companion posts that link to the original post, and then publishing them either on this blog or The Guiness Blog by Guiness the Cat.

It's a massive salvage job, and it needs to be done as soon as possible, so please be patient with us.

So where better to start in the middle of summer than with a little polar vortex?

Merry Christmas, and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

History in the Closet

There are definitely good things about being a second generation packrat. The clutter can sometimes yield treasure.

I was going through the hall closet this past winter, cleaning out coats to give to a homeless ministry run by friends of mine, when I came across a jacket I didn't recognize. Pulling it out, I saw a Foremost Dairy patch on it, and realized it belonged to my mother's father, whom I never knew.

My mother's mother was the only one of my grandparents still living when I was born. The other three died within weeks of each other a little over a year before my birth. I was an adult when she passed away, so I knew her well. Many of her things, treasure and clutter alike, migrated to my parent's house after her death, and are still here long after my parents are gone. I've always had plenty of little things that belonged to her, or that belonged to her and him, but this was the first time I had a personal tangible connection to him.

It was so cool pulling it out and finding the jacket probably just as he left it. Pa was a driver for Foremost Dairy, and died suddenly from a heart attack while on the job.

There is just something touching about finding out that your grandfather wore a size 46 M.

His name is hand embroidered on the chest. Did my grandmother embroider it?

Stapled inside the coat is a small slip of paper with the number 1640-3 handwritten on it. Is that a dry cleaning tag? Did he leave it in there, or did my grandmother or mother have it cleaned after his death, then hang it in the closet?

Why am I thinking about cleaning the coats out of the closet in January when it's July? A website redesign on Bubblews recently changed the photo platform, removing many pictures and some of the text associated with them, and severely cropping others. Since I had many, many multiple photo posts, I was going through my Bubblews posts looking for damaged posts to repair, and to upload the missing photos to one of my blogs, and found "Time Capsule in a Closet".

The above photo is the uncropped cover photo I used. The one below is a typical 1920s/1930s photo of my grandparents and my mother when she was about two years old.

My brother, Bob Craton, wrote a follow-up article to this one, filling in some of the blanks for me. The website changes chopped Pa's head off in the title photo, and the rest of the photos are missing, but I still recommend reading "Memories of a Grandfather".


Jacket photo (c) 2013 Debbi Craton. All other photos from our family collection.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guiness the Cat Launches The Guiness Blog

My cat Guiness has been writing his own journal posts on for over five months now with his own particular cat-centered outlook on life. Now he's bringing his opinions--and yes, his cute pictures--home to his own brand new website, The Guiness Blog by Guiness the Cat.

Besides his journal, Guiness likes to do tutorials and restaurant reviews, and wishes very much that I would bring more food home from restaurants for him to review.

Guiness will still be contributing his take on life on Bubblews, but not so many pictures. A recent website redesign on Bubblews has completely changed the way photos are shared there, making it not so photo-friendly. Multiple photo posts are no longer possible, so Guiness will be reserving his photo essays for his blog.

Guiness can't wait to interact with everyone, so head over and say hello.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yahoo is Shutting Down the Yahoo Contributor Network and the Yahoo Voices Website

My first paid writing experience was with the Yahoo Contributor Network on Yahoo Voices. A year later, Yahoo has announced that it is closing the Yahoo Contributor Network and shutting down it's accompanying website.

I have eight articles on Yahoo Voices. If you haven't read them, this will be your last chance before the site is shut down on July 31, 2014.

Seven Springs Museum in Powder Springs, Georgia
5 Life Lessons I Learned Teaching Piano Lessons

Putting Toothpaste to the Test

What is the Book of Kells?

Little House on Rocky Ridge by Roger Lea MacBride

Little Farm in the Ozarks by Roger Lea MacBride

Cathedrals Family Reunion Brings Together Former Cathedral Quartet Members

7 Things Not to Do when Your Cat Has Diabetes

I'm Back With a Promise to Try to Stay More Up-to-Date

It's appropriate that my last post was entitled "Maybe You Should Consider Joining Bubblews". I've been concentrating my writing there as that is the best-paying writing website that I have found. But I'm making a renewed effort to get back into blogging, and hopefully I will be able to organize my time better between all my online pursuits.

I have a lot of things to bring you up to speed on, but many of them deserve their own post.

Look for more new history posts here soon, but in the meantime I've got two new blogs.

I have spent the past year learning more and more about how to earn money online, both writing and other activities. My new "My Road to Earning Online."

Guiness has really come into his own as a kitty blogger since he began posting on Bubblews in February. Now he has his own blog titled "The Guiness Blog by Guiness the Cat".

I'll tell you more about those in separate posts.