Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March Came In Like An Angry Lion

We are stuck in the house again.  Sunday afternoon was a little rainy, and that rain turned into pouring rain.  Then the pouring rain turned into pouring ice.  The ice mounded up, and snow fell on top of the ice.  And all of life as we know it came to a standstill.  We got the "real snow" I was whining about.  No church, no school, no work.  Even the mall was closed.

My brother, sis-in-law, and nephew had been visiting us for the weekend, so we hurried them out the door and hunkered down.  Thankfully, our power has stayed on, so we have enjoyed our 2-day winter vacation.  I will not enjoy it when the school district starts taking away Spring Break or adding days to the end of the year. 

We dug our high-tech sled out of the garage and spent the afternoon trying to kill ourselves.  I crashed into the house and the deck stairs about 8 out of the 10 times I took a turn. The right side of my backside is not feeling so well.  The boy smashed onto the concrete patio, and he may have to replace our wooden fence.

Is it obvious why he's a soccer player and not an Olympic bobsledder?  We took our dog on a few rides, too.  Well... we tried. 
I also tried to upload the video of me sledding with the dog, but the computer-internet is not cooperating.  What a shame.  I'll just tell you the dog jumped ship about halfway down the hill.
We are hoping to chip our way out by tomorrow.  Being stuck at home with my people is fun, but after about 5 hours, they start to eat up all the food.  I also can't afford any more injuries.

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's A Cruel Cruel Winter

When you read that title, did you start singing "It's a Cruel, Cruel Summer" by Bananarama?  From 1983? I did, but I had to Google who sang it.  Bananarama?  What kind of name is that?  I digress...

I am one of the weird people who like Winter.  But, Winter has been a booger this year.  I get sad when I hear folks talking about being ready for Spring, because Spring is still almost 2 months away.  On top of that fancy Polar Vortex, we've had ice, sleet, freezing rain, and wind chills consistently below 0.
My brother, sis-in-law, and nephew live north of Atlanta, and you have to be from Mars to not know what they experienced last week.  My poor sis-in-law spent over 20 hours in her car just trying to get home from work.  She actually spent the night in her car in an Olive Garden parking lot.  I may never get her to go out for soup, salad, and breadsticks again.

The kids here have missed 3 or 4 days of school due to ice on the roads. 
Our weather forecasts have predicted snow many times, and many times we've been disappointed.

The predicted 2-4 inches comes down as .25 inch and freezing rain.  I think snow is beautiful, and as a stay-at-home mom, I think a snow day is pure bliss. 
We just haven't had "real" snow.  We've only had flurries and ice.  No snowmen, no sledding, no snow ice cream.
If you live where the snow fall is measured in feet, I am sorry.
If your power has gone out, I am sorry.
If you live in Atlanta and spent the night in your car, I am very sorry.
I just want a few days of fluffy white, school-stopping snow.

Because of the missed school days, our school system has taken away the President's Day holiday.  The kiddos have to go to school on a scheduled holiday.  Not cool, school.
Earlier this week, schools were delayed (again!) an hour because of... you guessed it... icy roads.
The call came at 5:15.  That's AM, people.
We normally wake up about 5:30, so that call interrupted my last 15 minutes of sleep and started a nightmarish hour of torture.

5:15 AM - Phone call tells me school is delayed an hour.  I reset my clock for 6:30 and smile in my warm cozy bed.

5:17 AM - My bladder says, "Hey!  We need to go to the bathroom!  It's our normal tinkle time!"

5:20 AM - Back into my warm cozy bed.

5:28 AM - Dan/Daddy's cold medicine wears off and he begins to drown in his sleep, but he keeps sleeping peacefully.

5:30 AM - Put pillow over my head to mute snoring/drowning noises coming from 20 inches away.

5:41 AM - The boy wakes up, looks at his clock, and walks in to make sure I haven't overslept.  I whisper to him, "School is delayed. Go back to bed."  Not sure why I whispered... the freight train beside me lumbers on.

5:49 AM - The cat drags an iPod cord into the hallway to kill it, and she begins serenading us.  "Mrrroooowww!  Meeerrrrrroooowwlllll!"

5:52 AM - Take pillow off head and fling it into the hallway at the cat.

5:55 AM - Start to wish I had kept the pillow to put over Dan/Daddy's head.

6:00 AM - Begin to feel sleep washing over me.  Instantly get sad because I only have a few minutes left.

6:07 AM - Remember 392 things I need to do today and 374 I didn't do yesterday.

6:15 AM - Clock goes off.

I am grateful our school officials are concerned about safety.  I really am.  They are not, however, concerned about my sleep or my sanity.

The forecast for the weekend is calling for more snow.  Another forecast, another disappointment.
I may not even make a mad dash to the store for milk and bread.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mama Don't Play

When the boy was about 4 years old, he would play a little "game."  If you asked him what his daddy did, he would say,
"Daddy plays!"  In his mind, his daddy's job was to play with him.
If you asked him what I did, he would say,
"Mama don't play."  He wasn't saying I never played with him... I did that ALLDAYLONG.  He was actually saying I didn't let him "get away with" bad behavior, but his dad did.  It's no secret I'm the main disciplinarian in the family.  And Dan/Daddy is the party animal. 
We pretty much continue in those roles to this day.  I even forgot he used to say that until one day last week... when it came rushing back to me.

We were driving to a dentist appointment, and when we stopped at a red light, the boy tossed his gum out the window... onto a sidewalk.
I said, "Did you just throw your gum out onto the sidewalk?!?"
"Umm... Yes."   (At least he's honest.)

I broke into a speech about gum on the sidewalk and how I have taught him better and "Have you lost your mind?"
He tried to justify his behavior, and I said, "Get out and pick it up."  (The light was still red.) 
He looked at me like I was crazy.
"Are you serious?"
"Yes, I am."

"Why do I have to pick it up?  No one is gonna step on it."
"That is exactly why you are going to pick it up... Someone is going to step on it.  It's rude to throw gum on the sidewalk."

"We've been sitting here a long time.  What if the light changes?"
"If the light changes, I will drive around the corner and wait for you.  Get out, and pick up the gum."

With a big huffy breath, he grabbed a Kleenex, got out, and picked up the gum.
He said, "I can't believe you made me do that."
At that exact moment, I remembered his funny little phrase from 10 years ago, and I said,
"Mama don't play."

Don't you just love it when your own words come back to haunt you?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Run And Fight? Or Eat Cheese?

You may have heard the news by now.  We are on the verge of a Velveeta shortage.  There was some sort of "issue" in the moving of production from one plant to anther combined with the holiday demand and boom... less Velveeta.  Did someone tell the Velveeta boss we are only a few weeks away from the Super Bowl?  Could there be a worse time for a melty cheese(?) crisis?

Sadly, in our house, there is usually a small stockpile.  This week, however, there was none!  When I was at the store yesterday, I grabbed these babies before the stampede started.  Well... There was no stampede, and there was a good bit of Velveeta on the shelf.  Thankfully, there is now Velveeta in my pantry.

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to get fit enough to outrun and/or kill zombies in case of a zombie apocalypse.  Do you like my motivation?  Not to "look good," not for "good health"... But just to be able to fight or run from a zombie. 

I have a feeling that this whole Velveeta thing is going to undermine that resolution.  Who am I kidding?  The candy in the jar behind the cheese(?) was going to do that.  Thanks, Santa.

Maybe the zombies will wait until the cheese(?) crisis has passed.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

7 Days In

Welcome to 2014.  I have to keep saying "2014" out loud to remind myself.  I've also written "2013" on several things.  I like to keep people guessing.

We're only one week into a new year, and so much has happened.  I may not be able to remember most of it due to frozen brain cells.  The "Polar Vortex" descended upon us, and it is too cold to think.  I love that name... "Polar Vortex."  How cold did it get at your house?  Our lowest low was 1 degree.  Mercy.
The news stations told us how to prepare for the extreme cold.  Drip the faucets, wrap the pipes, bring in the pets, and crank the cars.  No one told me to prepare for smoke detector Armageddon. 
Apparently, extreme cold can cause smoke detectors to malfunction.  It's true.
I spent half an afternoon trying to find a chirping smoke alarm in my house.  When I finally figured out which one needed a new battery, I discovered we had no 9-volt batteries.  I had to let it chirp until I could run out to the store and buy new ones, because smoke detectors which are hard-wired into the home security system will CONTINUE to chirp and/or SCREAM even without a battery.  It's like they're possessed.  There's nothing like standing on a ladder in your 12 degree garage while the smoke detector above you blares a high-pitched tune.  Because my hands were so cold, I dropped the battery and had to climb down, pick it up, and climb back up again.  Twice.
Today, another one started beeping. 
Then, when I went outside to warm up the car, I heard an unmistakable sound coming from the vacant house across the street.  Every smoke detector in the empty house was beeping.  It's like a nightmare I can't wake up from.  I can even hear the neighbor's alarms from our house.  Because my own weren't enough.  I may have to move. 

The "Polar Vortex" has also kept school from starting back on time.  It's been too cold for buses to crank and too cold for kids to be out.  Now, we have another day of vacation due to broken pipes and heating systems in the schools.

All this extra time at home is making the boy love me more.  I made him clean out his closet yesterday.  The start of a new year always makes me feel the need to purge our house of unnecessary stuff.  It's funny how 14 year-olds don't share that vision.

In honor of all the cleaning and purging, I turned over a bottle of soy sauce on the top shelf of the refrigerator today.  Soy sauce went everywhere.  I had to take everything out of the fridge - including all the shelves - wash it all off, and put it all back again.

If some soy sauce would spill on my front porch, maybe I would have an excuse to get the last of those Christmas lights and garland put away.

Hopefully, life will be back to normal in a few days.  We may see temperatures in the mid-fifties by the weekend, and it's safe to say I will see someone in shorts and a tank top.  I have mentioned this before, but folks dressing "out of season" is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I want to go up to them and ask, "What do you wear when it is 105?"
Then they can say to me, "Why do you still have Christmas decorations on your house?"

Happy New Year, friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Tale Of Two Cities

Well.  We have hauled out the holly yet again.  Didn't we just have Christmas?  Is it really only 2 days away?
Every year I go through at least 28 decorating dilemmas.  Should I use the same old lights?  Do I put out the Santas in the same place?  Is the wreath too worn out to hang up?  Should I pack up and protect the handmade ornaments?  Or hang them? 

How do we ever survive the holidays?  I have a knack for turning the smallest decision into a huge headache. 
The traveling, the gift buying, the decorating, the entertaining... I can make it all much more stressful than it has to be.
A few years ago, I received a beautiful new nativity set.

I love it, but now I have two.  Actually, I have 4 or 5... most of which are safely stored away in layers of paper.  I still display the one we bought the first year we were married.  This set is old, and the folks are a bit worn out... kind of like us.
So instead of packing up the old sentimental set, or not using the new fancy set, I put them both out.  Two Marys, two Josephs, two babies, six wise men, two donkeys, two shepherds, two sheep, and one cow.  I told you I like to complicate things. 
The more I look at them, the more I like having two.  I suppose the scene in Bethlehem is one thing we can never have enough of.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

If I Run Away

For the boy's Fall Break, we went to The Happiest Place on Earth.  Again.
If it were up to me, I would go to Disney every year.  Maybe twice.  Three times a year isn't inconceivable.  But I'm not independently wealthy, and Dan/Daddy says we need to go on other trips and see other places.  Blah, blah, blah.  Tell that to these faces...

 It was a fantastic vacation, and there was only one sad moment... The day we had to leave.
If I ever go missing or run away from home, you will know where to find me.