(S)no(w) Kidding!

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For a few mornings, I had been hearing on the radio that NY state was expecting or getting snow – north of NYC. But big deal, right? Doesn’t upstate NY always get snow earlier than we do?

This morning, I realize what the big deal actually is…it is snowing right now, here in central NJ. It’s only October 29th…not even Halloween yet!

I know hundreds of years ago, like when George Washington was living right up the street in what is now Kingston, snow was common in October. Has it snowed this early in recent years? Someone told me today that it hasn’t snowed this early in NJ since the Civil War, perhaps that is the case?  (This may be a good question for our friends at NY NJ PA Weather!)

It doesn’t look like it will be good “snowman” snow, but hopefully you will be able to sit back, get comfy and experience the October NJ weather that George Washington once knew.

(I’m headed over to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival today in Somerset, but after that I’m heading back home to enjoy my fireplace!)

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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An Eye on the Sky

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I know that the rain and winds from hurricane Irene aren’t supposed to reach us until tomorrow night, but I’ve been watching and waiting for signs of her arrival. Earlier today, I couldn’t help but think about and appreciate all of the technology that has made it possible to warn us and give us time to prepare for such a storm.

What if we didn’t know? What if we didn’t have time to get ready? If we watched the sky enough, would we be able to sense that such a big storm was on the way?

This photo is of the sky tonight…both beautiful and ominous, and I’m going to keep watching it – as the storm gets closer.

-Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Rutgers Gardens Spring Flower Fair

Yesterday afternoon, the weather was just perfect for outdoor activities!  Today, I’m  hoping it will be again because I’m taking the students in my Environmental Club at school outside to do a little “Spring Clean Up” around the school grounds.  Soon, we’ll be planting in our school gardens and in the recycled herb garden projects we’ve been making.

If the breaking weather isn’t enough to inspire you to work on your own garden, maybe this notice from Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick will give you the nudge you need.

Check it out!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Waking up in a Winter Wonderland

The winterized version of the small stream in back of my house.

It snowed again.

We got about another 17 inches of snow in central New Jersey, from the storm that came overnight.  Now, we’re pushing record-setting numbers for snowfall in the month of January.  As much as I would like to see the crocuses come up and hear the birds chirping again, I have to admit that all of this snow is kind of fun.

In fact, yesterday’s storm was complete with thunder, lightning, and freezing rain, as well as lots and lots of snow.  With my fireplace ablaze, I got to catch up on reading some of the fascinating books about New Jersey that have come my way recently.  I’ve certainly added to my list of upcoming destinations (weather permitting, of course).

Loving the lines that the trees and snow formed this morning.

While shoveling out this morning might have been an unplanned workout, the relaxing snow day that followed was a very nice treat.  (And brought with it plenty of great photo opportunities.)

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

January 12, 2010 ~ More Snow

So, the predictions were correct and we got some more snow (about another seven or eight inches of fluffy, fresh snow here in central New Jersey.)

Though I especially love the summer months (and have been daydreaming about the warm sun and being able to wear flip-flops and tank tops again), I do enjoy snowstorms.  I like the snow not only because it turns everything in sight into blank coloring book pages, but also because of the sense of calm it brings with it.

As it falls quietly, the snow gently forces everything (and everyone) it touches to slow down.  The familiar, fast pace of New Jersey is temporarily replaced and we move in slow motion…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Some (Don’t) Like it Hot ~ Support your local library!

Lately in New Jersey, it’s been hot.  Or humid.  Or hot and humid.

I can tell it’s hot because I typically resist turning on my air conditioner for as long as I possibly can, and it’s definitely been cranking this week.  Temperatures have been up around 110 degrees.  Humidity up around 90%.   To intensify matters, we haven’t gotten any rain in a while and the weather forecast is only predicting a few scattered thunderstorms this Saturday and a couple into next week.  Not too much relief there!

Many people choose to stay indoors to escape the heat, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay home to do so!

I’m pretty sure that wherever you live in New Jersey, your local library has air conditioning.  And you know what?  They have lots of other things there too. Like books.  Crazy, I know!  Books, magazines, computers, and other people with whom you can have conversations.

The East Brunswick, NJ library now even has a cafe!

But, as with all good things, be careful if you think this is something you can take for granted.  Here in New Jersey, budget cuts are threatening to dramatically impact our libraries.  So, get out there, New Jerseyans, and visit your local library soon.

If you like what you see and want to make sure it stays around for a while (even if for no other reason than as a reprieve from scorching summer heat and humidity), ask the librarian about what you can do to help support our New Jersey libraries.

Happy Reading!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Let it rain, let it rain, let it – enough already!

Trying to navigate the flooded roads in Somerset County (don't worry, I wasn't moving when I took the photo!)

Those of us in the Central New Jersey area are experiencing quite a storm!  Thunder, lightning, strong winds, and torrential rain have shaped this weekend for many of New Jersey’s residents.

It started raining on Friday and (with only a few short breaks here and there) is still raining heavily now as I type this entry on Sunday night.  According to The Weather Channel, we won’t see the sun until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

We’ve had winds over 45 miles per hour and downpours causing much property damage including leaking roofs and flooded basements, power outages, and road closings due to both flooding and fallen trees.

The Raritan River flooding local roads. (photo courtesy of Andrea Dulow)

When this storm finally ends, we will have gotten over 4 to 6 inches of rain.  I can only imagine what we would have done if it was cold enough, as it often is this time of year, for snow…

Luckily for me, my adventures this weekend have been close to home and mostly indoors.  In the next few days, I will post entries about my trip to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival and Pi Day in Princeton, NJ.

Please keep in mind those who have been impacted by this storm and the damage it has caused.  Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to see how you can help.

March 2010 flooding in Central New Jersey (photo courtesy of Andrea Dulow)

Additional and related sources:
http://mobile.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100313/NEWS/100313012/-1/WAP&template=wapart

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100314/NEWS/100314035/-1/newsfront

http://www.njredcross.org/contactUs/index.asp