Christmas Weekend

Christmas Weekend

Christmas doesn’t always fall on a weekend, but when it does, it’s Christmas Weekend.  This year, Christmas falls on a Monday, so tomorrow, Sunday is Christmas Eve.  Tonight will be the eve of Christmas Eve. (That’s supposed to be funny.)


Today’s weather has been weird.  It started off raining, and the weatherman said it would rain all day with freezing tonight.


It rained half the day and then turned to snow.  Heavy, wet snow.

Before it got dark I went and plowed the driveway.  I really don’t want to get up early before church to clear the driveway.  For tonight, the Beckwith Mansion is a winter wonderland.

copyright 2017 db walton
After the Rain Came the Snow


Some of the gifts arrived at the last minute.  All of Elizabethe’s gifts have arrived, so I guess I’m all set here.  I also sent off eGift cards to my dad and brother.  Everything else was taken care of well in advance.  We are all set.

Elizabethe tells me she can’t find my Christmas stocking, so she ordered me a new one from Amazon.  Hers is all stuffed with the exception of some perishables.  I’ll put those in Monday morning.


We have a couple of pieces of flat bread and an open bottle of spaghetti sauce.  So, I made pizza for dinner.  It was quite good.

Temperature Drop

Temperature Drop

Blame it on La Nina, but the temperature drop last night was significant.  We got our first snow of the season (see my season watch).  I didn’t take a picture of it because it’s lack luster.  In a picture you’d think it was a heavy frost.

Tim Horton’s

We went to Tim Horton’s for lunch because I had a gift card for the place.  I’ve been a couple of times for doughnuts.  We decided to try it for lunch.  I’m not impressed, and neither was Elizabethe.

If given the choice between Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons, I think I would go to Wegmans for donuts, and Burger King for lunch.   I know coffee drinkers who like one or the other.  However, since I’m not a coffee drinker I can’t find anything at either donut shop to draw me in.

A few years ago Burger King and Tim Hortons merged.  I can’t say I’ve noticed much of a change in Burger King, and I wasn’t a big enough fan of Tim Hortons to say if anything changed there.

Well, that was our date for the day.

Shoot Tomorrow

I need to get ready for my shoot tomorrow.  I’m going to set the heater tonight so that it will be warm for the morning.  The shoot is first thing in the morning.

Missionary Discussion

Missionary Discussion

Elizabethe and I sat in on a missionary discussion tonight.  A young man we know is taking the discussions.  He has committed to be baptized, and we are sitting in to support him.

Snow and Rain

Snow and rain are a bad combination.  We usually don’t get this type of weather in April.  I worked in the studio and at times it just poured outside.  I was glad to be indoors.

From time to time I would hear a big thud as a chunk of ice hit the roof.  I’m not sure if it is falling off a tree, or from the sky.  I just want to stay inside and work where it is warm.

I had  to run to the Village Hall to get a letter notarized.  Not wanting to be outside more than I had to, I came straight home.  Because of this weather, I have no desire to go anywhere tonight.


Elizabethe bought tickets for going to San Diego while we’re in California.  It will be a day trip to see Crystali and her family.  I’m excited; it will be fun to see the boys and Crystal and Philip.

The church history guys also have a few things they want me to photograph.  Mostly, things that have to do with church history… of course.



I heard complaints about sidewalks not being cleared as early as 6:45am this morning. It got me thinking… let’s see… 1st-4th grades I walked to school because both parents worked and the only alternative was to hide somewhere outside and wait until school let out. (No thanks… it was cold in Idaho.) We had no bus service, and my neighbors didn’t shovel sidewalks, and the city didn’t plow our streets. I had nobody to walk to school with because I was the only kid on our 3-house street who went to public school. (We lived on the edge of town — the end of civilization as I knew it.) But, walking home was an adventure when it snowed, because you never knew what snowball fight you’d happen upon.

We (because I wasn’t the only one who did this) would cut through yards and fields to make the path to school more direct. I recall two barbed-wire fences to cross, and one irrigation ditch. Nobody called the cops on us as long as we didn’t stop to mess with the irrigation ditch, and even then, I think the farmer was scarier than the police ever were.

When the snow would start to melt, by morning, the sidewalks were icy. I didn’t care. I’d run and slide to the other end. If I fell, so what? It was no use crying because nobody was around to garner sympathy from. You just got up, brush yourself off, and continue on to school.


Years ago I took my younger children to see my childhood home in what is now Chubbuck, Idaho. I told them I would show them the route I took to school. After a bit of driving, my youngest daughter, Crystali, said, “Dad, I think you’re lost.” I assured her I knew the way as I probably walked it a few hundred times. Sure enough, I hadn’t forgot.

She was very surprised at the distance. (Of course, we stuck to the roads, and as a child I cut through the fields, but it really didn’t make it that much shorter… it only seemed that way.)

I’ll be the first to admit the world is a scarier place than it was in the early 1960s. But, to coddle a child because there’s snow on the sidewalks? Please, you’re not getting any sympathy from me.


I got out at the crack of dawn, and I measured the depth.  21 inches with zero deviation.  That’s official.  The Beckwith Mansion official snowfall for this storm – 21″ exactly.

copyright 2017 db walton - Sidewalks
Studio in the Snow

I even made a path to the studio.  It’s the Grand Canyon of the Beckwith.

It took me nearly 4 hours to clear the driveway and sidewalks, but it’s done.  Nobody can complain about their precious child having to walk through the snow.  (Okay, I’m being sarcastic.  I probably shouldn’t be so sarcastic.  I did it for those who might be in a wheelchair, using a walker, or have other mobility issues.)

copyright 2017 db walton - Sidewalks
Sidewalk Cleared





I can’t stop laughing.  While this isn’t the worst storm I’ve been through, for around here, it is pretty big.  I can’t stop laughing because I have never seen my BBQ buried so deeply in the snow.

My yardstick says it is around 20″ deep + or -.  While NOAA says the record for Palmyra in a midnight-to-midnight period is 19″.   I found a website that claims the record for Palmyra is 28″.  It doesn’t say if that is accumulations or not, but I suspect from NOAA data it is accumulation.

copyright 2017 db walton
Snowdrift Against the House

NOAA uses the melt-method of measuring snowfall.  It collects snow in a container.  A heating element melts it, and they measure the water.  1/10th of an inch = 1 inch of snow.  That’s why on some weather reports you see something like, “precipitation 0.10 inches”.  Translated that means 1″ of snow.

The yardstick method measure the actual depth at a specific spot.  I usually sample 3 spots where the snow hasn’t drifted, and then I average them.

copyright 2017 db walton
Patio Furniture

Stuck Inside

It is too nasty out and we’re stuck inside.  We rented the new version of Saturday’s Warrior.  Excellent moving.  I didn’t realize it is such a tearjerker.

They removed the songs Dear John and Will You Wait for Me.  They added a couple of new songs.  I missed not hearing the song Dear John.  Will You Wait for Me… not as much.

An Attempt

I made an attempt to go blow the snow off the driveway.  It is still coming down like mad, and it seemed futile to remove the snow only to have it back-fill with new snow.  As a result, I quit and decided it will wait until tomorrow morning.


copyright 2017 db walton
Snowblower in too Deep

I came inside and watched it to continue to snow.  It appeared to stop around 7pm.  That means it snowed for about 30-31 hours continuously.  That’s a lot of snow.

Is This Hype

Is This Hype

Is this hype, or are we really in for the storm of the year?  It appears to be starting off a little weak.  You never know if it is TV weather hype, or if it is really going to come to fruition.

According to my weather app on my phone they are saying it is going to snow steadily from 2pm today until 6pm Wednesday, but at the rate of about 1/5th of an inch per hour.


It’s snowing, but not a lot.  I went to the bathroom (in the house… I’m working in my studio) and when I returned for my next potty break, we had got about an 1″.  That’s 1″ in about 1 hour.

Update 2

Okay, it’s coming down steady.  I’m calling it a day and going inside.

Update 3

After eating dinner and watching a show with Elizabethe, I decided to check on the progress.  Holy Cow!!!!  It has drifted against the back of our house and I had to force the door open because of the drift.

I have never seen it drift like that here.  And, I haven’t seen it this deep very often.  Tomorrow morning will be a surprise.



Lunch with the Miners

Lunch with the Miners

Elizabethe and I had lunch with the Miners today.  Brent and Karen Miner work in the temple with us.  He is one of the counselors in the temple presidency, and prior to that, he was my shift coordinator.

copyright 2017 db walton
Brent & Karen Miner

We met for lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse in Victor.  We have a favorite waitress there who works on Fridays so we asked to be seated in her section.

Someone assumed we were coming with 20 guests.  (I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion.)  It was just the four of us.

We had some nice conversation and some great food.  It is Elizabethe’s favorite restaurant.  Plus, the chef knows how to cook a steak rare. Unfortunately, many restaurants don’t have a clue as to what rare, medium and well done mean.

We also had a couple of coupons which we shared with the Miners.

Cold Sweep

We have another cold sweep moving in, and it is coupled with high winds.  They have set up a Red Cross emergency shelter in Macedon.  Many homes are without power and that’s not good when the temperatures are dropping in to the teens tonight.  It is also supposed to snow tonight or tomorrow.

Wet Dump

Wet Dump

We got a wet dump of snow last night.  The blown snow came out of the blower like a stream of Slurpee mix.  It lacked the flavoring and coloring, but it looked like white Slurpee mix.

I break out the ManPlow still.  The snow blower doesn’t do a great job on large open areas of pavement.  So, I do what I can, and then get the ManPlow to clean up the rest of the mess.

Family Home Evening

On Monday nights throughout the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, families gather for an evening together.  We call it Family Home Evening, of FHE for short.

The temple missionaries serving in Palmyra gather on Monday nights for a Family Home Evening too.  They invited me to talk on Israel.


My presentation on Israel was in three sections:

  1. Book of Mormon Insights
  2. Traveling to Israel
  3. New Testament Insights
copyright 2017 db walton
Peter Denies Knowing Christ

My presentation went smoothly.  I didn’t have technical glitches with my equipment.  In all, the night was a success.

Puzzle Books

Elizabethe sold a dozen of her puzzle books.  Once people see the quality of their book, they tend to purchase one.   As she comes out with new volumes, I’m sure they too well sell well.

They are available at Amazon:

Winter Again

Winter Again

It’s winter again.  After a break of spring-like weather, it is cold and snowing again.  While Palmyra hasn’t been hit hard, some parts of the area have had a lot of snow and wind.

Elizabethe had her macular degeneration shots today.  We drive to Geneva for those, and Geneva’s weather was really nasty.  While there, I drove down the street and got some winter pictures.



copyright 2017 db walton
Snow on a Grave
copyright 2017 db walton
Winter Barn Scene

CSM Meeting

My team had its meeting after our CSM Meeting.  It went well.  Rather than using NetMeeting, I let the folks at HQ show my PDF while I talked.  Cisco’s NetMeeting for some reason locks my computers (plural) up when I try to host a meeting.

I trained my team about the advantages of Adobe Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop.  I also reviewed my workflow.  They asked some good questions.


We got to the temple and it was slushy and nasty.  By the time we got out, the snow had stopped and while still slushy, it wasn’t bad driving home.

Elizabethe’s eye is still hurting.  I can’t imagine how painful it must be to get a shot in the eye.  She has to do this about every 5 weeks or so, and until they find some better treatment, she will for the rest of her life.

Bitter Cold

Bitter Cold

It is bitter cold today.  Many people think it is bitter cold all of the time in this part of New York.  It isn’t.  What is true is we get lots of precipitation, which equates to snow in the winter.  The usually warmer winter weather keeps that snow melted much of the time.

While it is in the low teens today, they are saying in a couple of days it will be near 60F.  That will melt all this snow and then the cycle will begin again.  Until then, it is bitter cold today.

Hearing about the storms in Utah and the west, I’m thinking… they sure have a misconception about our harsh winters.  One big difference is this… they will get a harsh storm, and then it will be sunny and 18F for a few days.  We’ll get a harsh storm, and then it will be overcast and 53F for a few days.


I’ve been painting all day.  It is both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.  With practice, I’ll overcome the frustrations.  Until then, I keep trying.

Digital painting is as real as oil painting (as an example).  Oil painting if you goof up, you might take a rag or a spatula and scrape of the paint.  Digital painting you press the ctrl-Z key until you’ve removed your mistake.  Thus, digital painting goes quicker than oil painting.

I do, however, miss the smell of linseed oil and turpentine.