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Author: Jessica Stapf
There’s an old song that talks about raindrops falling on heads. If you know what song I’m talking about, it’s probably stuck in your head now; it’s quite catchy. (If not, I think it’s definitely worth a quick internet search.)And when raindrops fall on your head, umbrellas and raincoats can be rather helpful. However—they don’t actually keep the rain from falling. They just (hopefully) keep your hair from getting wet.Rain can lead to more damage than just wet hair and it isn’t the only hazard.There are earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes,...
Posted On: March 17, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
I’ve written before about how I grew up in upstate New York and how much I dislike snow and the more I think about this storm and the potential it has to bring some not-so-nice weather here as well as in my hometown, the more I keep thinking about the term “nor’easter.” It’s one of those words that if you say it several times in a row it starts sounding more like a garbled bunch of syllables than an actual word.But according to my dictionary of choice, Merriam-Webster, it is still in fact a word, and its first known use was in 17531. Another interesting fact: the...
Posted On: March 13, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
While much of California has been faced with historic drought, the last few weeks have been full of heavy rains and severe storms—a 180 degree turnaround.This week, we’ve been focused on the spillways of the Oroville Dam—about 75 miles north of Sacramento—along with much of the rest of the country.Spillways regulate the flow of water into or out of dams and when they are damaged by erosion, impacted by debris, or hindered in any way, there can be serious consequences—including potentially dangerous flooding.The Oroville Dam’s primary spillway was damaged by...
Posted On: February 16, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever rushed out of the house without my keys or wallet. I’m also sure that I won’t be the last one.When I’m trying to leave the house for the day, I’m constantly running through a checklist of all the things I need to bring—and sometimes there are very important things that accidentally get left behind. (My keys and my wallet are two very common ones.)But, with the job I have, sometimes I think about what I would have to do if I weren’t packing my backpack just for an 8-hour workday. What if I were...
Posted On: February 16, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Being a newlywed comes with a lot of responsibilities, one of which being to make Valentine’s Day a perfect experience. A fancy dinner at a favorite restaurant, a movie outing, flowers and chocolates ordered expressly for the occasion, and strategically placed decorations. It must be perfect. Scripted straight from a greeting card.And just as I hoped, it was shaping up to be exactly that.The flowers and their accompanying chocolates were scheduled to be delivered that day. Movie tickets were ready to go. Dinner reservations had been made at our favorite restaurant weeks in advance....
Posted On: February 13, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
I’ve never been shy about saying that I hate winter. I hate it with a fiery passion that could melt all the ice and snow in the Alaskan tundra. I hate everything about it. The cold, the wind, the salt, the ice. All of it.I’ve never liked it. Not even when I was a kid. I grew up in upstate New York, on the eastern side of the state (read as: not Buffalo) so it snows, but not as much in other places. But a snowflake is a snowflake and they’re all terrible if you ask me.When I think of snow, I don’t think of pretty, picturesque scenes. I always think of the leftovers. The...
Posted On: January 13, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Scrolling casually through my Twitter feed during the last week of December and first week of January is always the same—filled with “year in review” pieces. Prolific publications, government agencies, popular bloggers, even my friends and family members. Everyone has one.Somehow, we all end up waxing nostalgic about the year that was. Maybe it’s because during the holidays most offices are a little emptier, and we end up with a little more time to fill with some reflection. Maybe it’s the eggnog.And here we are, one more year done and over with. I find myself,...
Posted On: January 9, 2017
Author: Jessica Stapf
Merriam-Webster, widely known to be my dictionary of choice, defines nostalgia as "a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition." Or more simply, "the state of being homesick."1This time of year—the “holiday season”­­—brings about a nearly nauseating degree of nostalgia. For when we were kids, for our hometowns, for traditions our grandparents started or upheld. That kind of nostalgia.This time of year also brings about a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings. You know, those happy,...
Posted On: December 22, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
A famous late-night television host takes part of his show on Friday nights to write out his weekly thank you notes—complete with some “thank you note writing music.” It’s part of his routine and essentially a tradition. When I still lived with my family in New York, one of my own traditions was watching that skit with my brother every week.It appeals to me because I’ve also always been quite fond of the tradition of a handwritten thank you note. There’s something about writing one that makes me feel like I’m showing just a little bit of extra...
Posted On: November 22, 2016
Author: Jessica Stapf
Bravest and finest. Two words you’ve seen associated with police officers and firefighters. (In fact, that’s what they’re referred to in New York City. New York’s bravest are those with the FDNY, the finest are with NYPD.)Those are also two words we’d often use to describe the first responders with know and work with.As floodwaters leftover from Hurricane Matthew continue to rise in some places, we have deployed some of the country’s bravest and finest into those waters to help impacted communities.Over the last several days, the ten teams we’ve...
Posted On: October 10, 2016