Archives for category: Weather

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The world went berserk the other day when Melania trump showed up with don the con to survey the damage of hurricane Harvey in a pair of 5 inch stiletto heels.

I was one of them. I want to try to explain why this made me angry.

It was pouring rain here in Virginia on Monday. When I was dressing for work, I thought about what I should wear, because, like I said, it was raining. I’d have to walk from my parking lot to my office, and knowing I would encounter several puddles, I chose to wear my sneakers.

So when Melania knew she was going to a flood zone, an area ravaged by 2 days of rainfall, she chooses to wear fuck me pumps. Why? Because she is totally out of touch with reality.

She’s been lavished with money and privilege for so long that she need not worry about stupid little details like stepping in puddles or remembering your umbrella. She is used to stepping directly from limo to Neiman Marcus without a drop of rain hitting her perfectly coiffed head.

She made no effort to appear humble, or ordinary, or commonplace. She feels the need to be stunning at all times. She has no clue that appearing in Houston in an outfit that probably cost more than most people make in a week is offensive.

Just like her stupid, dimwitted, lying husband, she is clueless as to what being a real American is about. Just stick to your ivory tower, FLOTUS…you don’t fit in out here with the rest of us.

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Did any of you view the solar eclipse yesterday?  I for one wasn’t sure I was going to be able to

First there was the business of finding glasses. Like usual, I procrastinated until about 9 days before the eclipse. I found glasses reasonably priced on Amazon, but with all the phonies out there, and the fact that I sort of hate Amazon (trump/Breitbart) I never ordered them. Plus, I had looked at the forecast for the 21st and saw that there was a real possibility of cloud cover and *gasp!* rain. My thought was, why spend $40 on glasses if I can’t use them?

Then I found out that our local library was giving them away. I called to find out if they still had any left, and they had given out their last pair just an hour before. Typical.

But the librarian told me that you could get a pair if you attended their viewing party at 1:00 pm the day of the eclipse! Yay! Glasses. Boo! I have to work.

My solution was to send my daughters to the viewing party and for hubby and I to wing it in town. Older daughter did not have to work, and younger daughter’s school was doing ugats in the form of eclipse viewing, so I wrote a note excusing her from school at 12:45…after all, how often do you get to skip school to view an eclipse???

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A few days before the big event, I found out that the local library in Charlottesville was also handing out glasses. This turned out to be very clusterfuckish. I showed up at the library a good hour before the line for their viewing party was to begin. In the lobby I was “greeted” by a very snarky woman who spent the next 10 minutes rolling her eyes and huffing and puffing because she had to repeat “the rules” several times. There were only 300 pair of glasses for all of Cville….rats. I was going to have to make my own luck.

Deciding to ignore “the rules” I high-tailed it up to the 3rd floor where the event was to take place and found 4 others quietly sitting in a small foyer. We began to quietly chat confirming that we were all here to try to get dibs on the glasses. After several elevator dings later throngs of noisy people were crowding the small foyer, thus drawing the attention of other library personnel who made us all skedaddle unless we had a physical impairment that made climbing steps impossible.

Busted. We all  had to go down to the children’s library and get in line. The crowd for the elevator down to the main floor was large, so rather than wait like a good sheep, I took another hallway and found the steps down to the children’s library. I was about 70th in line, and beat all my foyer buddies who took the elevator. Long story short, I got my glasses!

The line for glasses went out the door, down the street and around the corner. Poor dudes. It was hot out, and probably zero chance for any of them to get glasses. But the minute I had the sun in plain view, I put those puppies on and took my first look at the 2017 eclipse.

I was so excited! It was all working out! My girls had their glasses back home, and hubby and I could view it in town! Hooray! I was sharing the glasses with co-workers and hubby…and then…

21015836_10155144154914332_5680576542622452146_oClouds. And rain.

I was bummed to the core, but didn’t lose hope. At the time when the eclipse was to peak, I ran up to hubby’s work, in the rain, on the off chance that the skies would clear for us.

And you know what? They did. Right at peak coverage, a tiny hole in the clouds appeared just enough for us to view the eclipse. While it was only 87% coverage, it was still very, very cool.

Shortly thereafter the clouds blew elsewhere and we were able to see the back side of the eclipse. My girls weren’t so lucky…the clouds did not cooperate for them to see anything more than the beginning and end.

Despite all the trouble and worries I had leading up to the eclipse, it all kind of worked out. That was cool.

This is a repost from 3 years ago… it’s the anniversary of when I got stuck in the snow. A horrible thing I never want to repeat.

Bad-Roads

Let me start this post by saying I like snow. I enjoy the prospect of a storm blowing in, and me all safe and snug at home, with enough bread, milk and wine. I even like to shovel, and am usually out clearing our driveway before the flakes have stopped wafting to the ground.

Wednesday I had to endure one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Bad timing coupled with bad weather had me at the mercy of mother nature and perhaps even fate – it was 3+ hours of sheer torture.

I knew a bad storm was coming in, but it wasn’t supposed to start until the evening – 5 or 6 pm. I get out of work at 6, but there was no way I was staying that late with the forecast they were predicting. Usually you can waive a dismissive hand at our weather folk, but this was different. Even the weather channel was on board with the predictions, so I worked through lunch and left at 5.

By then the snow had just started in town. Hubby had called and said snow at home had started a half an hour earlier. I wasn’t worried…it’s only a 25 minute commute and I was confident that I could get home with no trouble. After all, the snow had just started!

There was some traffic getting out of town, which was to be expected, and before long I was on the long and winding way home. When I was around 3 miles from pulling into my driveway traffic came to a dead halt. I was right at the base of a long and fairly steep hill that I have to travel up in order to make it home. I turned on the radio and discovered that there was an accident about a mile up the road and both lanes were closed.

Now I had to make a decision…stay here and wait or turn around and find another way home. At this point reader, you need to understand something – there are only 2 or 3 ways to get to my development, buried deep in the sticks of central Virginia. Making the decision to turn around meant traveling 5-8 miles just to get to the closest cross road that I could turn onto.

But, I figured that if I waited where I was, the snow (which was getting heavier and sticking) might make getting my car up that steep hill impossible. Besides, I had no water and I knew I’d have to pee within the next hour or so. That being said, I turned my car around and made the slow drive back, all the while figuring which way I should take.

The first route I took was a huge waste of time. I didn’t get more than 1/4 mile down the road before I was told the road up ahead was closed and we all had to turn around. When I got back to the crossroads I skidded on the snow and almost crashed into another car. My heart was pounding,  my knees were shaking, and I just wanted to go home.

The next road I took taxed me to my very core. On a sunny day this road is a pain in the ass…windy as hell…the girls always get carsick on it unless I travel at 20 mph or so. But, this road is the quickest way to get to where I needed to go, so I took it.

I was only driving at around 6 mph down steep hills and twisty turns. At one point I had to drive up a fairly steep S-curve. Letting the car just roll, and barely giving it any gas, I fish-tailed my way up that hill very slowly the whole while chanting “help me God, help me God, help me God.” When I made it to the top without landing in a ditch or hitting another car, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. It was mostly down hill from here.

As I was heading down the next hill at a record speed of 4 mph, a car in the opposite direction came zipping up the road, went to make the turn and ran straight into a rather deep ditch. Although I’m sure the driver turned their wheels, the car just didn’t respond on the slick roads and just rolled right off the road. The car was now at a 30 degree angle, half of it on the road, half of it in the ditch. I thought to myself,  that person is totally fucked – and that could be me very easily if I’m not super careful.

As if just driving wasn’t tense enough, my windshield wipers decided to start icing up at this point. I had the defroster blasted so hot and hard that I was sweating bullets all bundled up in my coat, but it was no match for the weather outside. Rather than wiping the snow off my windshield, my wipers were just smearing the snow and ice – I had about a 2 inch field of semi-clear vision.

Finally I made it to the next crossroad, which thankfully had a gas station. I got out to go inside and my legs were actually wobbly. The past hour and half of driving in the snow in beyond shitty conditions had exhausted me. I went to the bathroom, bought a couple of waters, called hubby and got back in the car to make my 3rd attempt at getting home.

I began to get hopeful…If I took it slow, driving wasn’t really that bad along roads that were fairly straight. I made the turn that takes me to my development and about a mile down the road, more tail lights. Hells bells, not again. One call to hubby confirmed it. There was an accident at least 7 miles up the road – all these people were just sitting there – along 7 miles of road just waiting for it to be cleared. So, once again, I turned around.

My only option at this point was to get on the highway and head East. This would take me past my house, but bring me to a pretty major intersection where there was a hotel, a Walmart and a few fast food joints. The highway was pretty good if you went slow. I don’t think I broke the 25 mph mark, but folks in 4 wheel drive vehicles were zipping past me. I also saw at least 4 cars off the shoulder with their 4 ways blinking. Again, I thought to myself, slow and steady and super careful. I was determined not to be a VDOT statistic.

25 minutes later I made it to Zion Crossroads and  headed straight for the Best Western. In the lobby I called hubby and asked if I should just get a room. It’s stupid because I was only 15 minutes from home now (in good traveling weather) but it would probably take me at least another hour of driving to get  home and I just didn’t think I had the strength. I had left my office two and a half hours before, and had been driving in blinding snow ever since. I was done.

As luck would have it, she had one room left and I took it. But before I went up, I got back in my car and drove across the road to the Walmart where I picked up some food, a toothbrush and a night gown. By the time I got back and in my room (thanks to a ridiculously slow cashier) it was 8:30. I called my family who were relieved that I was safe for the night, but bummed that I was not home.

They weren’t the only ones. But before I went to bed that night, I took a moment to thank God for getting me somewhere safe and warm for the night. I could have easily been in my car in a ditch, spending the night rationing my water and peeing in a snow drift. I decided I was one lucky gal.

The next morning I awoke with a sense of dread. One look out the window made me realize my morning drive home wasn’t going to be fun. About a foot of snow had fallen, but on the bright side the roads I was taking home were primary roads, and had most likely been plowed. After breakfast I dug out the foot high snow drift from around my car, cleared off the ice with the side of a ball point pen, and began my drive home.

The road from the hotel to the main road was horrible, and filled me with a sense of dread. But once I reached the main road I saw blacktop and my spirits lifted. This might not be so bad.

And it wasn’t. It was slow going, that’s for sure, but the roads were drivable if you were careful. The one part of my drive I was dreading the most was getting into the gate of my development. The one closest to my house is up a pretty steep hill. There were abandoned cars piled up at the base of the gate – they obviously couldn’t get up the hill and opted to leave their cars and walk home.

I made it up the hill fine, but got stuck at the top in a huge pile of slushy snow that the plow failed to remove. Ugh. Here I was a  mile from home and I finally got stuck. But not for long. Two very nice fellas came to my rescue and helped push my car out of the slush. Hooray! I was almost home!

When I reached my house hubby was there and had shoveled out a nice spot for me at the base of the driveway. I was never so happy to pull into that narrow driveway – I’d finally made it home.

After many hugs, and a hot cup of tea I took a much needed shower, put on some sweatpants and just flopped on the couch. It had been a long night and a long morning. Even though it was only 9:30 in the morning, I felt like it should be noon.

Do you know I fell asleep before 8:00 that night? I guess my body needed the rest.

I’ve come to a conclusion…I’m never taking a chance when it comes to the weather again. If my boss doesn’t like me leaving early…fire me. I don’t ever want to go through that again. Ever. Especially since I have the capacity to work fully from home. The only task I can’t do remotely is answer the phone…but really, who’s going to be calling during a blizzard?

Nope… from now on if they’re calling for bad weather I’ll just tap my snow boots together three times and say, “There’s no place like home.”

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I used to love springing forward. It meant longer days and warmer weather. But this year? It plain pissed me off.

You see, I realized about two weeks ago that it was starting to get light out at right around 6 am. So, I set my alarm earlier and head out the door to do my 2+ mile walk right at daybreak. But I wrote about that last week, and am boring you, dear reader, with repetitive nonsense.

So when I woke up on Monday morning, after the obligatory spring forward, it dawned on me that now the sun will be coming up at 7:00 am rather than 6:00 am. Curses! Just when I was so happy to get back into the swing of things, we have to go and spring forward.

I am not a happy camper. Now I’m largely stuck walking at lunch, which usually is no problem. But, it’s getting warmer here in good old Virginny – even though it’s only March, walking at lunch is getting to be uncomfortable.

It’s supposed to be 80° tomorrow….like I want to walk in that!

I guess there’s nothing much for me to do except wait for mother nature to catch up to the government mandated time change.

This post is in response to today’s daily prompt; Sorry, I’m Busy telling about a time when you should have helped someone…but didn’t

angel in the snow.

A few years back we had a super bad snowstorm that came on hard and fast right at rush hour. After attempting to make it home for over 3 hours, but finding every route to my development blocked by accidents, I lucked into a hotel room about 20 minutes from my house.

The next morning I faced the task of digging out my car and attempting to drive home. While eating the free breakfast, I was talking with an older woman who had spent the night in the lobby. She was horribly worried about her dogs, which had not been walked or fed since the afternoon before.

She was hoping that her daughter would be able to come and get her, but she was having trouble digging out herself. Where I live in Virginia, a storm like this cripples the region because crews are not accustomed to dealing with feet of snow. Things can practically shut down with just a few inches.

This woman lived just outside my development, and I thought to offer her a ride home. I thought to offer.

But I didn’t.

Because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it home myself, let alone chauffeur a stranger to her house. I was taking a route home that I knew had few hills along roads that were widely travelled. But looking out into the parking lot and the hotel access road, I was skeptical if I would make it home at all.

The night before I had seen dozens of cars fly off the road – I was still worried about that happening to me. It would suck ten fold if I managed to do that with an old woman in the car. I’d feel like I was responsible for her safety.

So I wished her good luck and headed out to dig out my car. Getting out of the hotel lot was no picnic, but once I was on the main road, it was easy going.

It was easy. And I left that woman sitting there worrying about her dogs. It still bums me out that I didn’t help her.

pregnant-woman-in-snow

It’s been pretty cold the past few days, but I haven’t minded at all. You see, cool to cold weather is my favorite climate to walk in. Here’s why…

  1. Being hot sucks. Unless you are at the beach with a cooler full of beer, being hot just plain sucks.
  2. I always have pockets. When I walk in the warmer weather, I don’t always wear clothing that has pockets. This means I have to hold my phone and my iPod while walking 3 miles…not fun. Or worse yet, I have to shove them in my sports bra, which I’ve heard can be hazardous to your health.
  3. Disrobing is an option. If for some reason while walking I begin to feel warm, I can take my jacket off and tie it around my waist. Let’s face it…in the summer whipping off my T-shirt isn’t a viable option.
  4. It’s Refreshing! There’s something about feeling that chilled air on my cheeks that is truly invigorating! Plus, taking a deep breath is so cleansing…unlike when it’s hot and muggy.

I’ll admit, walking in the cold isn’t all moonlight and magnolias. If you head out ill prepared, it can really suck. For example, the other morning I started my walk before the sun came up, and it was cold. I had gloves on, but they weren’t the greatest. My poor fingers were frozen a mile in…even shucking them up my sleeves didn’t help.

So even it means bundling up like Nanook of the North, as long as it’s below 55°, I’ll be out there pounding the pavement.

earlybirdI’m a morning person. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I find that I do my best work in the morning, exercise better in morning, and have a better attitude in the morning. Mornings are magical.

Take this morning for instance. The alarm went off at 5 am, and I’ll tell you I did not want to get out of bed. I had just rolled over and became comfy when the clock began its incessant beeping. Ugh…the thought of resetting the alarm so I could get another half hour of z’s was tempting.

But I got up and made my tea, trolled facebook, used my 5 lives in Candy Crush (stupid level 437) and then began my morning freelance work. As I sat there typing away, I heard a bird making the most incredible song. He was singing “Figaro” – those three notes sung in Figaro’s Aria – over and over. Figaro! Figaro! It was so sweet, and nobody up to enjoy it but me.

There’s a smell and a feel to the morning that you don’t get at any other time of day. The air smells clean and cool. There’s a dampness you can almost feel and see as the morning light begins to kiss the earth. It’s the time of day when you see bunnies in search of sweet clover, and some times a turtle or two if it’s been particularly rainy. It’s so beautiful and the best part is the whole day is still ahead of you – filled with possibilities.

I’m one of those people who are up with the sun. Even on weekends, if I wake up and see that it’s light out, I’m out of bed in an instant – I don’t want to waste the morning! It may be because my dad was a morning person. If we were sleeping in late as kids he’d come up and roust us out of bed as if we were committing a horrible crime. I guess I learned that lesson early on.

When we would be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard each summer, my dad would pick one morning for us to go fishing. When I was a little squirt everyone would go, and I rarely got a fishing pole. But as the years went by, I was the only one who was still interested in this early morning ritual – everyone else opted to stay in bed and sleep. Not me! What a waste!

Beach Road BridgeWe’d wake at 5:30. Dad would pour me a glass of cranberry juice, we’d eat some toast, and off we went! We’d head to the Edgartown docks or the bridge along beach road, and drop our lines in the water. The air would be cool – you needed a jacket – and the water was so still. All you heard was the sounds of the seagulls, the water lapping against the pylons, and the occasional splash of a fish. I always caught sea robins.

When I was in my twenties, I used to go to my friend Paul’s home near Hunter Mountain – what they call “going up the country” in my old stomping grounds. When we’d head up there for the weekend, we’d party late into the night on Fridays, but on Saturday mornings I was always the first one up. I’d dress, and head out to take a walk down the road – not so much for exercise – but just to start my day peacefully. I’d gaze at the scenery, peoples homes, the farm animals that might be out in the pasture.

It’s like I was all alone in the world because for the most part, the world hadn’t woken up yet.

That’s why I love mornings. The world gets so busy during the day with cars and people and sirens and radios and screaming kids in shopping carts. Yet when I’m out in the morning, I might only see a handful of people. You pass them on your walk and you think to yourself, “Yep. They get it.”

 

 

Bad-Roads

Let me start this post by saying I like snow. I enjoy the prospect of a storm blowing in, and me all safe and snug at home, with enough bread, milk and wine. I even like to shovel, and am usually out clearing our driveway before the flakes have stopped wafting to the ground.

Wednesday I had to endure one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Bad timing coupled with bad weather had me at the mercy of mother nature and perhaps even fate – it was 3+ hours of sheer torture.

I knew a bad storm was coming in, but it wasn’t supposed to start until the evening – 5 or 6 pm. I get out of work at 6, but there was no way I was staying that late with the forecast they were predicting. Usually you can waive a dismissive hand at our weather folk, but this was different. Even the weather channel was on board with the predictions, so I worked through lunch and left at 5.

By then the snow had just started in town. Hubby had called and said snow at home had started a half an hour earlier. I wasn’t worried…it’s only a 25 minute commute and I was confident that I could get home with no trouble. After all, the snow had just started!

There was some traffic getting out of town, which was to be expected, and before long I was on the long and winding way home. When I was around 3 miles from pulling into my driveway traffic came to a dead halt. I was right at the base of a long and fairly steep hill that I have to travel up in order to make it home. I turned on the radio and discovered that there was an accident about a mile up the road and both lanes were closed.

Now I had to make a decision…stay here and wait or turn around and find another way home. At this point reader, you need to understand something – there are only 2 or 3 ways to get to my development, buried deep in the sticks of central Virginia. Making the decision to turn around meant traveling 5-8 miles just to get to the closest cross road that I could turn onto.

But, I figured that if I waited where I was, the snow (which was getting heavier and sticking) might make getting my car up that steep hill impossible. Besides, I had no water and I knew I’d have to pee within the next hour or so. That being said, I turned my car around and made the slow drive back, all the while figuring which way I should take.

The first route I took was a huge waste of time. I didn’t get more than 1/4 mile down the road before I was told the road up ahead was closed and we all had to turn around. When I got back to the crossroads I skidded on the snow and almost crashed into another car. My heart was pounding,  my knees were shaking, and I just wanted to go home.

The next road I took taxed me to my very core. On a sunny day this road is a pain in the ass…windy as hell…the girls always get carsick on it unless I travel at 20 mph or so. But, this road is the quickest way to get to where I needed to go, so I took it.

I was only driving at around 6 mph down steep hills and twisty turns. At one point I had to drive up a fairly steep S-curve. Letting the car just roll, and barely giving it any gas, I fish-tailed my way up that hill very slowly the whole while chanting “help me God, help me God, help me God.” When I made it to the top without landing in a ditch or hitting another car, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. It was mostly down hill from here.

As I was heading down the next hill at a record speed of 4 mph, a car in the opposite direction came zipping up the road, went to make the turn and ran straight into a rather deep ditch. Although I’m sure the driver turned their wheels, the car just didn’t respond on the slick roads and just rolled right off the road. The car was now at a 30 degree angle, half of it on the road, half of it in the ditch. I thought to myself,  that person is totally fucked – and that could be me very easily if I’m not super careful.

As if just driving wasn’t tense enough, my windshield wipers decided to start icing up at this point. I had the defroster blasted so hot and hard that I was sweating bullets all bundled up in my coat, but it was no match for the weather outside. Rather than wiping the snow off my windshield, my wipers were just smearing the snow and ice – I had about a 2 inch field of semi-clear vision.

Finally I made it to the next crossroad, which thankfully had a gas station. I got out to go inside and my legs were actually wobbly. The past hour and half of driving in the snow in beyond shitty conditions had exhausted me. I went to the bathroom, bought a couple of waters, called hubby and got back in the car to make my 3rd attempt at getting home.

I began to get hopeful…If I took it slow, driving wasn’t really that bad along roads that were fairly straight. I made the turn that takes me to my development and about a mile down the road, more tail lights. Hells bells, not again. One call to hubby confirmed it. There was an accident at least 7 miles up the road – all these people were just sitting there – along 7 miles of road just waiting for it to be cleared. So, once again, I turned around.

My only option at this point was to get on the highway and head East. This would take me past my house, but bring me to a pretty major intersection where there was a hotel, a Walmart and a few fast food joints. The highway was pretty good if you went slow. I don’t think I broke the 25 mph mark, but folks in 4 wheel drive vehicles were zipping past me. I also saw at least 4 cars off the shoulder with their 4 ways blinking. Again, I thought to myself, slow and steady and super careful. I was determined not to be a VDOT statistic.

25 minutes later I made it to Zion Crossroads and  headed straight for the Best Western. In the lobby I called hubby and asked if I should just get a room. It’s stupid because I was only 15 minutes from home now (in good traveling weather) but it would probably take me at least another hour of driving to get  home and I just didn’t think I had the strength. I had left my office two and a half hours before, and had been driving in blinding snow ever since. I was done.

As luck would have it, she had one room left and I took it. But before I went up, I got back in my car and drove across the road to the Walmart where I picked up some food, a toothbrush and a night gown. By the time I got back and in my room (thanks to a ridiculously slow cashier) it was 8:30. I called my family who were relieved that I was safe for the night, but bummed that I was not home.

They weren’t the only ones. But before I went to bed that night, I took a moment to thank God for getting me somewhere safe and warm for the night. I could have easily been in my car in a ditch, spending the night rationing my water and peeing in a snow drift. I decided I was one lucky gal.

The next morning I awoke with a sense of dread. One look out the window made me realize my morning drive home wasn’t going to be fun. About a foot of snow had fallen, but on the bright side the roads I was taking home were primary roads, and had most likely been plowed. After breakfast I dug out the foot high snow drift from around my car, cleared off the ice with the side of a ball point pen, and began my drive home.

The road from the hotel to the main road was horrible, and filled me with a sense of dread. But once I reached the main road I saw blacktop and my spirits lifted. This might not be so bad.

And it wasn’t. It was slow going, that’s for sure, but the roads were drivable if you were careful. The one part of my drive I was dreading the most was getting into the gate of my development. The one closest to my house is up a pretty steep hill. There were abandoned cars piled up at the base of the gate – they obviously couldn’t get up the hill and opted to leave their cars and walk home.

I made it up the hill fine, but got stuck at the top in a huge pile of slushy snow that the plow failed to remove. Ugh. Here I was a  mile from home and I finally got stuck. But not for long. Two very nice fellas came to my rescue and helped push my car out of the slush. Hooray! I was almost home!

When I reached my house hubby was there and had shoveled out a nice spot for me at the base of the driveway. I was never so happy to pull into that narrow driveway – I’d finally made it home.

After many hugs, and a hot cup of tea I took a much needed shower, put on some sweatpants and just flopped on the couch. It had been a long night and a long morning. Even though it was only 9:30 in the morning, I felt like it should be noon.

Do you know I fell asleep before 8:00 that night? I guess my body needed the rest.

I’ve come to a conclusion…I’m never taking a chance when it comes to the weather again. If my boss doesn’t like me leaving early…fire me. I don’t ever want to go through that again. Ever. Especially since I have the capacity to work fully from home. The only task I can’t do remotely is answer the phone…but really, who’s going to be calling during a blizzard?

Nope… from now on if they’re calling for bad weather I’ll just tap my snow boots together three times and say, “There’s no place like home.”

092210Power1

Winter storm Saturn came through my neighborhood Wednesday, and it sucked.

I’ve been wanting a good snow storm all winter long. The kids and I like walking in snow and sledding and even shoveling. I love sitting in my glass-front house watching the snow drift down. I love knowing that I’m stocked up on food and booze and have nothing to do but watch the snow and make cookies and hot chocolate.

But this storm was different. It was heavy, wet snow that bent pine trees over, some of which snapped. Some of which landed on power lines. By 6:40 am on Wednesday, only a few hours into the storm, we lost power. I was naively hopeful that the lights would come back on before nightfall. We have no fireplace in our house, and the heat is electric, so it gets very cold very fast.

With nothing to do but sit and wait, we did what every other family does when the power is out. We lived like the Ingalls family – it was a day to pretend we were the Little House on the Prairie with no modern conveniences. We had to entertain ourselves the old fashioned way.

First we took a walk in the snow. We needed to take umbrellas though. Snow was falling in big clumps from tree branches and I was not in the mood to get a pile of wet snow down my neck. After hearing the crack of breaking branches a few times in the distance, I figured it was just not safe to be out at all and made the kids come in with me.

We played games – Uno (which I love) and Monopoly (which I hate) and finally I was able to play a game or two of Solitaire, which I love, but my kids hate because it doesn’t involve them. And I read, which was something I had not done in a long while. I meant to do some crocheting too, but I somehow never got around to that.

Cooking was a challenge. After we lost power for almost 3 days back in 2010 I made my husband buy us a grill with a side burner. I never used it even once before yesterday, but I’ll tell you that thing was a Godsend. I was able to make tea and hot chocolate which really helped keep us toasty. I made us soup for lunch, and for dinner I made burgers and dogs, and even managed to fry bacon on the side burner.

When the sun went down we used our portable DVD player, which I had wisely charged, to watch movies, but by 8:30 we were all bored and tired from trying to watch a 4 inch screen and decided to go to bed. We all crammed into one bed and drifted off to sleep. Every time I woke up I prayed that the power would snap back on – there had been times in the past it had been restored in the middle of the night – but sadly, by 6 am we were still sans power.

It was cold – 48 degrees inside our house – so I trudged out to the garage to start the grill and make some tea. After it was done I sat and read until the rest of the family woke up. I managed to cook bacon and eggs on the grill, and then washed the dishes by hand in very cold water.

I was miserable by now. I changed my clothes and tried to do something with my disgusting greasy hair. After trying to fluff my bangs I found they stood straight up – yes, they were that greasy. Ick. I made two neat braids, and washed my bangs in the sink. Afterward I felt better. At least I was making an attempt to look presentable.

I thought of another day without power, and it bummed me out. I noticed that hubby isn’t at his best without the modern conveniences – he seemed lost without the TV. I should’ve suggested sitting in the car listening to Howard on Sirius…even if he is on vacation this week. We were all getting very grumpy. I was seriously considering getting a hotel if the power was not back on by nightfall, even if it was just to take a hot shower.

I sat at the table shuffling cards for another round of Solitaire, the girls were rediscovering their love of Pokemon, and hubby was watching The Odd Couple on DVD when suddenly the garbage disposal began grinding loudly. We all jumped up and began screaming and dancing. I immediately turned on the computer and set the kettle to boil for a cup or 5 of tea. It was 11:05. We’d only been without power for a little over 28 hours, and it felt like a week.

I can only imagine what the folks who had to endure hurricane Sandy went through – going without power for WEEKS. Here it was just a tad over one day for me, and I was ready to throw in the towel. It made me realize something…I need the power. I really do. I am not a rustic gal who can make do, at least not with a family to take care of. If it were just me, maybe. But having to cook and entertain and keep peace between 4 people without the distractions of television or internet was more than I could handle for more than a day.

I’m no Mrs. Ingalls, that’s for sure.

I’d love to get a generator, but they are soooooo expensive. I’d be better off investing in some battery powered gadgets and some really good board games for the next time we lose power.

012413_lw_weathermen

All week long our local weathermen were forecasting snow for Friday with a 1-3 inch accumulation. Try to remember I live in Virginia – folks here fly into a total panic at the mention of snow. Our schools will close with an inch’s worth of accumulation, and along with it go any school related activity.

So let’s flashback to Friday morning. With a forecast of 1-3 inches of snow, many schools closed entirely. Our school wisely opted for the early release so buses didn’t have to drive kids home in the snow. However, that early dismissal came with a price.

My oldest daughter had a forensic speech competition the following day. It’s the last competition before regionals and she really wanted to get in some more practice. She  placed 5th & 3rd in her first two meets, and was looking forward to the chance of improving her scores. But with the early school closure, their trip to New Kent to compete flew right out the window. Apparently, the half day made them ineligible to make the trip – some stupid school rule.

While she was bummed, my youngest was super excited. With the predicted snowfall, she may get the chance to use her sled for the first time since last winter. Once off the school bus she settled in with a cup of hot chocolate and waited for the snow to start falling.

She didn’t have long to wait. The snow began falling in tiny little flakes, that at times you could barely see. It kept up for about 2 hours and then stopped. I had heard in an earlier weather report that we would hit a dry spot for about an hour, and then start up again.

By 5 pm we had a generous dusting – perhaps an eighth of an inch – and the weatherman declared the storm over for our area.

Are you kidding me? Seriously? That’s it?

I was really mad. On the one hand I understand that weather is not an exact science, but come on. They couldn’t tell the storm was going to just brush by our area by that morning? Then I had the kids to deal with – both furious for different reasons.

So Mr. Weatherman, let me spell out why you suck. These are the reasons why you need to say “fuck it” to the ratings and actually give us an ACCURATE forecast.

  • People run to the store and buy stuff they may not need in case they can’t leave the house for a few days. You have wasted their money.
  • My husband, who works an hour away, needed to get a hotel room so he didn’t have to worry about a hideous commute the next morning. Anyone, including my daughter with her learner’s permit, could drive on these roads.
  • Think of all the concerts, meetings, plays and other activities that were canceled or postponed because YOU got it wrong.
  • Parents who to work had to adjust their schedules, and therefore lost hours of pay or vacation time because of the forecast YOU predicted.
  • I was forced to spend the night with two crabby kids because you are an utter failure at your job.

Chew on that the next time you see snow coming our way, you incompetent boob.