Archives

Snow rules

When snow and cold temperatures are incidental, when the area you live in is snowed on every winter all winter, when snow removal is a given, when you demand snow cover to make the cold air “worth it,” life goes on.  School doesn’t close, ear flaps on fur lined hats are a fashion, muck-luck is a word, you measure the length of the season in how many colds you get, and you overshoot the driveway at least once a year.  Dress for the weather and do what you have to do to maintain normal.

It’s amazing what one puts up with. If a White Winter is what you left behind or just read about, you just aren’t prepared and it’s a big deal.  Here in Tennessee I have great respect for the severity of snow and cold’s impact on hills and curves, and people who either don’t own a winter coat at all or wear parkas in the low 40’s.  Snow is just not normal.

School was called off in anticipation of snow.  Roads were brined ahead of the first flake.  And here’s the biggie — our company actually sent people home early not just one day, but two in a row!  School kids can’t make it in but the mail gets delivered.  Even though some parents can’t get the kid to school on time, others brave their way to the malls.

The snow started mid-day Thursday with a vengeance.  We were offered the opportunity to go home early.  I left a quarter to dark allowing me to tell what was slush or dry or ice.  Just an hour later, Honey reported his entire 15 miles as glazed.  Nobody said anything about the next morning so off we all went across slippery packed snow and streaks of ice, sharing it with terrified drivers who cleaned off only the 10″ round part of the windshield they need to see straight ahead.

Again, leave early.

Saturday I parked in the recliner and caught up on 3 months of checking transactions entering them manually into Quicken.  Never put that off that long, trust me, especially if you have to go back 7 months to find an error. Honey went to the shop, carefully, confirming again that our house was surrounded by slick’n’slippery.

So doesn’t this stuff melt away by the next day around here?  Apparently not every time and not this weekend.

About 9 last night I read a comment on Facebook from the music director that church was rescheduled for one service instead of two.  We got a full night’s sleep, casually headed out in the heavier car with the better defrost system and were promptly stopped at the end of our block by a young couple a half inch from sliding backward into the ditch from a cross way position in the road.  After carefully pushing them back into a forward position and instructing them to stay the heck off the brakes (which they didn’t — fishtailed all the way to the stop sign) and just roll over anything that isn’t a dry surface, we asked them where they were going.  After all, there has to be a darn good reason for inexperienced people to venture out on ice and snow. Maybe if it was an emergency we would offer them a ride.

“McDonald’s.”

But of course.  Well, “you’re better off turning right and swinging around via the interstate.”

They didn’t.

Snow’s a big deal here.  If it isn’t on a curve or a hill, it’s hiding on a section of road that is shaded year round by pines and remains icy days after the rest is dry and temps are above freezing.

When I was in school, if one could make it, the doors were open and the day counted even if we were immediately sent home.  Now, if one cannot make it, we’re closed until all those curves, hills, and shaded spots are clear and dry.  At least that’s the impression.  No one’s denied it.  “Well, you know those mountain roads….”  I say catch them up when they can get there.  It’s what — a week lost?  People with the flu can be out a week and catch up.  Why not snow kids?

The weekend’s over.  The roads are passable in most areas, no fear of sliding or being slid into.  All is back to near normal, today and tomorrow expect to have highs of 36 — “chiiiilllly”, four syllables — to the locals, but panic-free.  After a few more days, kids without coats, wearing shorts and flip-flops will shiver at the bus stops, but tomorrow co-workers will run across the parking lot in their parkas and fur lined boots to the shelter of the over heated building, telling and retelling their nightmares of bitter cold, snow so deep you can see your foot print, piling on the blankets, two pairs of socks, and so on and so on.

Maybe we’ll get another so called blizzard this month, maybe some sleet next month.

How far south do I have to move? Even Florida was only in the 60’s.

‘Tis been a week

My Monday through Fridays are usually a crashing bore, nothing to write about that people would want to read.  This week is no exception.  I get up, I go to work, you know the routine.  I listen to radio in my ear bud, I read books on breaks.

Since the transition, re-grouping, whatever they’re calling how we were to do our jobs differently but are still doing them the same, I have had my breaks arranged for me.  Part of our new duties include phones with headsets (yuk) but not all of us are on the phones at the same time.  Prior to the change that hasn’t changed, I would be satisfied to sit through my 15 minute breaks so I didn’t miss Rush or Boortz.  Now I am shooed away from my cubie cocoon.  Since that mandate, I am actually getting some serious reading done.

I hope to revive my blog on books soon rather than add another type of ramble to this already scatter brained hodge podge blog.

Coming up in the near future— the next two days are Diana’s.  She is one of my best friends who has since we’ve known her, given birth, separated and been divorced from her husband, shown herself to be a rock to her kids, a faithful Jesus Follower, has met a great guy and this weekend is marrying him.  So tomorrow and Sunday are hers.  Honey is her honey’s best man, and I am making everybody sign the guest book or else.

Monday is a great big nothing and that’s the way we like it.

The weekend of June 6th, Honey will be at a trade show in Portland and I will be joining him and the Seattle Kids Saturday night.  We will be annoying them for a full week.

After that, it’s go to work, pay the bills, weed the garden-ette on the deck. Oh, and maybe I’ll paint the living room with the paint that is still being stored in the can, currently being used as a door stop to the screened porch.

Our lives are so riveting.

I still have a date with Cardio Man on the 17th.  Hope he’s cute.

Great wall !

I love it!  I make these declarations before the mantle is reattached, before any family pictures smile from their frames.  It is just plain right.

Since blogging each brush stroke could get a tad boring, I’ll simply post a few pics when it’s all done.  That should be around April 5th.  Check back!

In the meantime, on my 1/2 hour lunch breaks, I am reading a timely to the season book, The Incomplete Church by Sid Roth, a Messianic Jew, host of It’s Supernatural.  You can scoff the supernatural all day and I won’t say much past “it’s your choice” but his lessons concerning the church and the applicability of Passover to Easter and vice versa is astounding–brand new information to me, backed up by scripture and written world history.

The other book, completed in the car last Saturday while Honey deplored sitting in weekend  Pigeon Forge traffic, is a novel The Shack.  Can’t tell you much without revealing too much.  I will say it’s really hard to put down.  You could experience a few really, really late nights saying to yourself  “just one more chapter.”

It’s late right now.  Do you suppose if I went to bed earlier like Mom used to say, I wouldn’t be so wiped out in the morning?  (I think I hear Mom’s laugh-snort, that way she had of covering her mouth with her hand and her too short arm bouncing on her bosom.  Laugh on, Woman-Who-Just-Turned-101-on-March-16!)

I signed up for the Passover Seder with my Messianic friends on Tuesday the, Wed the, sometime during the week before Easter which you know I prefer to call Resurrection Day.  I will be nutshelling Mr. Roth’s book by then as well.

Talk to y’all later.

Missions Accomplished

The Blanket mission, the last pick-your-blanket-pattern blanket is ready for the ribbon.  It would be cradling the infant intended for it but for one thing.  I’m viral.  I decided to stay at home rather than breathe on the mommy while I hand it over.  She’s going to have to wait another week.  Hopefully the child will not have grown two diaper sizes waiting.

The Quicken Books CD mission is still in queue, maybe today.  I was distracted yesterday which seems to happen a lot lately.  I’ll pick up something that needs to be in another room and when I’m on my way to that room, I pick up something else to drop off on the way and when I get there, “as long as I’m here”  I see yet another unfinished project from who knows when, remember my coffee cup is over there and not hot anymore, set down the first two things now out of place in a different place, go get the mug and head for the coffee pot but on the way I have to push aside dishes waiting for their turn in the dishwasher but that uses a bunch of hot water and energy to dry them, what the heck, I set down the cup and fill the sink so Mom can hear the dishes rattling. She wanted silence in church and dishes rattling at the house.  As I empty some popcorn hulls into the garbage I see the M-1 wallpaper remover and remember that removing the border was one of my missions once upon a time.  Five hours later the border is gone all but the border over the chair rail in the dining room.  After all, I searched for the perfect paint to go with that particular border.  I felt obliged to leave some of it somewhere. Oh, and there is the strip left at the top of the fireplace wall.  I didn’t want to trudge through the rain to the shed for the step ladder and had only the two step ladder in the house.  I ran out of height.

In the meantime, I am annoyed with a nagging tickle in my throat.  I wrote it off most of the day as a result of a coughing fit from 3:12 am when I swallowed wrong in my sleep and woke up choking.  Damage.  Okay, I’ll get over it with a couple more glasses of water but it won’t go away.  It got worse.  Oh, dang, a virus after two years of dodging that little bullet.  Where’s the Zicam?  I see the nasal spray but where’s the throat spray?  I haven’t been viral in so long it could be anywhere including gone.

From Mission Control:  Zicam run.

As long as I’m here at (the) Food City, I may as well pick up supper and some firewood to take the gloom off the rain.  Hey, I forgot to eat today, I could put away a T-bone. The baby portabella mushrooms are over there, these oranges look pretty good.  And smoked oysters for my cracker snacks, I’ll get two cans — one for tomorrow too, we’re out of yogurt, smoked turkey, need some cheese with that, how about some healthy broccoli, omega-3 eggs, they’re how much?, and my pocket is ringing.

“Hi, Honey.”  (He’s out of town and checking in.) “I think I’m coming down with a cold and am at (the) Food City looking for Zicam.  Sheesh, it’s pricey! I’d better get the Zicam swabs too as long as I’m at it.  What flavor yogurt do you want? Do you want the whipped or the thick and creamy?”

Back at the house, I haul in the goodies, it’s still raining, I mentally licked my chops for the T-bone, but first reached for the Zicam.  They, (the) Food City people, didn’t have the throat spray so I got the spoon-on-the-go variety.  Ten minutes later, after locating the scissors to get at it, I’m licking the spoon-on-the-go.  Weird.

At this point, standing up doesn’t feel secure.  I’m steadying myself with counter tops and walls on my way to the sofa.  It’s cold in here.  I see the fireplace and wood.  I see the cape.  The cape wins.  Where’s the cell phone?  Oh, yeah, the coat pocket.

“Angie, I won’t be singing tomorrow.  My throat’s on fire, I’m in the house and wearing a coat….”  People who know me know that I’ve been plagued with hot flashes since July of 2000, so my wearing a coat in the house is significant and a real signal that something is afoot… or athroat.

While down, you would think I’d be setting up the Quicken on the laptop.  Sorry.  That was way long ago in the day, before washing the dishes, before the border removal workout, before the annoying little fever.  I’d already called 3 people the night before, tried to contact the Seattle branch twice, so I instead reached for the Netflix d’jour, The Orphanage.  It was marked as a thriller and I’m not big on slasher crap, so if they don’t say it’s horror, I can bite.  But, being a scary movie weenie, I took advantage of the special features to take the edge of suspense off.  I know, what’s the point of a thriller if you take the surprise away?  Easy.  I’m a scary movie weenie.  And there was plenty of suspense and surprise in spite of knowing how it was made.

I liked it.  It’s not bloody.  It’s filmed in Spain so they speak Spanish.  Logical, huh?  So there I am, riveted to the screen so I can read the subtitles and can’t look off to the side and use my peripheral vision like I usually do or I’d miss part of the plot and have to rewind anyway.  The story is of a woman who was adopted from an orphanage.  As an adult in a happy marriage and having adopted a special needs son, she bought the abandoned orphanage to restore it and care for 5 special needs children.  Then spooky things start to happen.  I’m going to watch it again this afternoon to catch things I missed when I actually did glance away.

As if a Spanish subtitled movie wasn’t enough in one day, later in the evening, after determining there was nothing on TV …. again …. I fired up the Netflix online option and watched a French movie set in post WWI.  Maybe I’ll go looking for something in Russian or Chinese next.

This morning I have all the TVangelists on.  Ed Young, John Ankerberg, Jim Tolle — never heard of him before, but they all have something to teach that I need to hear.  Nothing beats live, however.  There’s something just too casual about doing church in my bathrobe.  but consider it merciful that I’m not in the church building hugging you and/or breathing toward you through a cloud of cold germs.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to work tomorrow.  In Cubie World, you can sit there quietly and keep your germs to yourself as long as you tap all the Purell stations they have set up in the coffee rooms and copy rooms.

You now have the dates and times of when I took the Zicam.  Let’s see if it works.  If it does as it says, reducing the viral experience by at least half in duration and intensity, I’ll be a walking endorsement and should get royalties of some sort.  We’ll see.

Have a great few days.

Basking

It’s 3:20, the rain is steadily coming down for the second gray day in a row, the air temperature is on the 50 mark, great for Canada, chilly for Florida, the TV is off, and the two clocks in the living room are ticking away.  I am basking in the afterglow of paying into the government half of what I thought I was going to pay.  If anyone had told me during the furniture store years when we were getting nothing but refunds that I would be near tears thanking God for this tax bill, I would have committed that person.

Anticipation is better or worse than the actual event, depending on what that event is.  Anticipation of happily ever after the wedding is an example of the former.  Anticipating the loss of all one’s goods and any kind of future resulting from doing one’s taxes is a palpable example of the latter.

The taxes are done.  We knew we were paying in but didn’t know how much.  We’d set aside as much as we could, but the torture was that it very possibly wasn’t enough.

Our culture has convinced us through advertising that if we pay less than the seller said we’d have to pay if it weren’t on sale, we were saving the difference.  Is anybody out there still not getting it?  It’s a cold, hard fact that if you don’t PHYSICALLY PUT the difference into savings whether it’s a bank or a china pig (the two are now eerily related) you haven’t saved a thing, not a red cent.

This year, we set aside the amount we thought we’d have to pay without giving thought to the concept that the very money we drew out of the IRA would push us into a higher tax bracket. Honey being over the age line required to avoid penalties, we weren’t worried about that, only the overall rate.  Our primary motivation was to find our favorite kind of car, Paid For.

I’ve told you before that I have guardian angels on rotation.  Some days they have to draw straws to see who gets the duty.  Drinks on the house for those who don’t draw the short one.  We were indeed pushed into the next bracket, but because last May, Honey insisted I clean out those closets for the church garage sale, because Tennessee’s sales tax is high and deductible, and because TurboTax assigns a generous value to my rejects, I was able to deduct more than we normally do and offset the Feds’ insatiable appetite.

I could list the projects and chores that I now feel free to attack with force.  That would be boring.  As a matter of fact, they’re boring me just looking at them.  The laundry, at least one load, will get done the next time I feel like getting up.  But for now I am basking in the sounds of steady rain, clocks, embers, and when is that refrigerator going to stop?