Tuesday Reviews Day: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

This time last year, I started reading spooky books. I honestly don’t remember reading anything scary before then. But within a span of a few months, I made plans to go to a book reading/signing with several authors—including Cherie Priest, whose book Maplecroft had just come out—and then found a horror omnibus for $3 that I couldn’t resist.

And so I became a horror reader.

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Ice Storms, Earthquakes, and Any Excuse Not To Write

I’m sure you remember the Snowmageddon That Wasn’t. It was great! A nice day to work from home, chill with my pups and my husband, and just generally take it easy. (Yes, I did manage to get quite a bit of work done, thankyouverymuch ^_~ )

Well, last weekend I went to Vegas for a convention (Look for a post on that soon). The day before my flight home, the weather here started to turn nasty again. Winter storms were predicted and people started looking to and laughing at Atlanta once again. Crazy ol’ backwoods Southerners, don’t know how to handle a little snow and already panicking. Most of us assumed it would be like the week before. Hubs made sure we still had enough charcoal to grill in case we lost power and washed as much laundry as he could stand while I was away. (He hates folding laundry.)

And then the storm hit.

It was clear from the beginning this was worse than the measly 2 inches of snow we got last time. This time, predictions called for 2-3 inches of nothing but ice. And we’ve gotten ice before. But keep in mind we get ice once every — what, five or six years? I don’t know. I remember the last time this happened but I don’t have any idea what year it was. I was in high school and I just remember how devastated our little town was and how horribly long it took to get home.

Trees fell and transformers blew all over the neighborhood. Kris tried to keep one tree from pulling our power lines from the side of the house. And while we had our money on the pecan tree or the tree over our power lines being the first ones to go, the cedar on the other side of the house had other plans. I struggled to find a picture of it, and I was kind of sad to realize I don’t have any except this one, from a snow day back before Kris and I were married:

Snow day selfie :3

It’s back in the corner. See it there, all stately and tree-ish?

Aaaaand here it is now, post-Icepocalypse:

Broken tree!

Sad 😦

I’m hoping we don’t lose the tree entirely, but Kris isn’t very hopeful. The trunk is split and from the looks of things, the top was already dying before the storm came through. But now we have a lovely piece of cedar wood inside, a bit Kris brought in after chopping up the branches that fell on our fence. (No major damage there, though, thankfully.) It’s actually quite pretty. And it smells divine.

All in all we escaped fairly unscathed. There’s some minor damage to our chain link fence, but nothing we can’t fix/replace on our own. Our power was only out for around 24 hours, if that. It came on after we’d abandoned ship and headed to the warmth of my aunt’s house. Before we chickened out, though, we tossed on some of our warmest clothes (it’s all hunting gear; no one here has winter jackets, you guys) and wandered around the neighborhood snapping pictures and breaking ice and being children. What else is there to do in weather like this?

And then, because ice storms and snow and power outages and downed trees aren’t enough, we went and had an earthquake. Seriously! Sheesh.

I’ll leave you with this interesting CBS News coverage of the damage in my little corner of the world, and then some of my less-than-professional shots of the aftermath of WINTER STORM PAX [cue dramatic musical score]

A tree! Not my car!!

Oh nooooooo


Somehow, no damage to the car

A narrow miss!


Icy sign

Just angle the shot up a bit and suddenly it’s ART


Prissy Dog

Prissy Dog! Now with jacket accessory.


Frozen garden flag

Our garden flag froze to the fence.


K, cheesin'

The husband in his natural habitat.

The Snowmageddon That Wasn’t

So. I’m from the South. (Surprise, y’all.) Despite its myriad faults, the longer I stay here, the less I want to leave. I’m sure you saw the headlines about gridlock in Atlanta, the horror stories about some woman giving birth in traffic, people spending double-digit hours in vehicles for commutes that normally take 30 minutes, and more. We aren’t that bad at driving, you guys, we just do not have the infrastructure for all this. Plus, our urban sprawl is massive, y’all. We want the NYC lifestyle but the Dixie scenery. So we build these ridiculous highway systems and then don’t know what to do with them when things like this happen.

Anyway. (That sidebar was free.)

Snow in SC ©Jessica Hoffman

I posted last about how much I love nature and I really can’t express just how true that is. So I was pretty stoked when I got to work from home today. I didn’t run out and play in the snow, but I did take a few pics. I know that isn’t a great shot. I snapped it to send to a friend in Sweden via Snapchat, so I wasn’t really going for pro-quality. But how could I resist? We get exactly one snowfall every four years or less, so it’s kind of a big deal for us. (Obviously.)

Leo ©Jessica Hoffman

Massive Dog agrees.

I also know I don’t have the most photogenic neighborhood, but man, something about snow just makes everything look so pretty. Like my adorable car. Observe!

Snowy cars ©Jessica Hoffman

I love bad weather. I love violent thunderstorms, I love snowfalls, I love power outages and camping in the house and candlelight takeout dinners and whatnot. I love rain and wind and thunder and lightning. Nature is awesome, people; take a step outside and just really look at it.

Iced Berries ©Jessica Hoffman

Snowy berries ©Jessica Hoffman

I want to close with a shot that is not mine but is so quintessentially Southern I simply cannot resist sharing it. I live about five minutes out of the downtown area of undeniable horse country. It’s beautiful and perfect for horse farms, not to mention being the site of some pretty important horse races and other equine sporting events. There’s a road there, a little street called South Boundary, that is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life. Admittedly, I’ve not been to lots of places, and I’ve been out of the country only a handful of times. But this town and this street exemplify nearly everything I love about the South.

South Boundary ©Aiken Info/Facebook

Get outside and enjoy the view.

Sun, Snow, and Shots of the South

I’ve always loved photography. Even before I really understood the ins and outs and particulars of it all, I’ve been drawn to the art form. I don’t remember when I got my first digital camera, I took a digital photography course in college (and promptly forgot everything I learned) and have even toyed with the idea of selling some of my shots on Etsy. I love it. And lately my medium of choice, despite owning a pretty stellar Canon, has been Instagram,of all things. Like a lot of people I freaked out with that change in TOS and deleted my shots (not before exporting them to my computer, of course, as I am not a total moron) and, also like a lot of people, I regretted that within a week and came crawling back. I’ve reposted a few of my old shots but not all of them. Oh well. They’ve been replaced by some pretty worthy successors. Including one of my favorite shots I’ve ever taken.

Sunrise over Snowfields, ©Jessica Hoffman

My dad was visiting, and I’d stayed at my grandparents’ house, sleeping in my old room for the first time in nearly four years. For some reason I couldn’t eat breakfast without my phone and I ran back upstairs to grab it, and I saw this out my old bedroom window. I’m not the next Ansel Adams by a long shot, but sometimes nature just demands to be noticed.

I started this out intending to write about the hilarity that is the impending Snowmageddon (or Icepocalypse, depending on where exactly in South Carolina you might be) but I found this photo and just really wanted to share it. (I’m pretty proud of it.) But, in the spirit of Snowmageddon, I’ve got another shot for you, also from my personal trove. It’s another tree on the farm during the last Snowmageddon we had here, an astonishing 2-ish inches back in 2010. Cute, right?

Snow! ©Jessica Hoffman