Archives for posts with tag: weather

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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.

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I had to stay in town last night. My youngest had a doctor’s appointment, and my oldest was working the will call booth for the Def Leppard concert at the John Paul Jones Arena.

So, younger daughter and I poked about town and then went to a movie, trying to kill time before oldest daughter’s shift was over. She was hungry, so we stopped by Mickey D’s for a few dollar menu items for her and her dad, who had called and said he was hungry as well.

Upon heading home, we were traveling up a narrow, winding portion of Route 53 that passes both Historic Michie Tavern, and Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. The land on either side of the road between both of these attractions has a steep slope, with many large, old that fight to keep their purchase in the Virginia clay year after year.

That night there was a strange thing in the sky…most likely a drone, with flashing red & green lights, and we were sort of fixated on it. As my girls were commenting on it, and I was grumbling about having to keep my eyes on the road, I heard a very loud crash, and exclaimed to my daughters “What the f#ck was that?”

Seconds later my headlights fixed upon the scene above. A very large tree completely blocking the highway.

We stopped, and sat dumfounded for a minute or two. Then a small commercial truck lumbered up behind me, his headlights fairly blinding me, and so close that I found it hard to try and turn around.

A man in a tuxedo walked up to the tree and began taking photos. He asked if we were okay, and I asked him if he got hit. His car was the last one to make it past the fallen tree from the other direction, and he said, “Yeah, we got hit.”

I did an Austin Powers 15 point turn…this road is very narrow, and even with my small Kia, I wasn’t taking any chances. Once turned around, I stopped behind the tuxedo clad man’s car and got out to look.

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The entire back of his car was squashed…the tree had caught the very rear of his car. Talk about lucky…this guy and his wife/girlfriend/date literally escaped death by split seconds.

And then I realized…my girls and I had been pretty lucky as well. You see, leading up to this incident, there were several things that slowed us up, perhaps keeping us from meeting our demise, or bad injury resulting in our car being under that fallen tree.

  1. Stopping at McDonalds. Our total was 7.06 and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to fish out the 6 cents from my wallet.
  2. Red Lights. We hit no less than 4 on the way to my husband’s work.
  3. Hubby himself. He was slow to meet us to grab his burger, and some time talking to the girls about their night while I was like, “come on, let’s go!”

But all that was nothing compared to the last delay. Because I am sure that had this not happened, I’d be blogging from a hospital bed, or not at all, ever.

As we were approaching Michie Tavern, there was a medium sized commercial truck trying to make a U-Turn. This caused the car in front of me to stop, and for me to have to hurriedly stop as well. The car in front of me slid past the truck, and after making sure it would be safe, I crept by too.

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The next thing I know, less than a quarter mile up the road, a mere 45 seconds later, there is a tree blocking my path… the car in front of me was the last car to make it past before it fell. That’s how close we were to getting crushed. I’m fairly certain if that truck hadn’t been trying to make a U-Turn, thus slowing us up for just a moment, my girls and I may have been in a much different situation today.

The cause? We had some torrential rain that morning, which most likely caused some serious erosion. I guess that old tree just couldn’t hang on anymore.

It’s sobering. I remember looking at the fallen tree, seeing cars stopped on the other side, and thinking like that tree separated two worlds. Quite frankly, I’m amazed that nobody was hurt. I mean, tuxedo dude has some serious car damage, but that’s peanuts compared to personal injury.

Yeah, I’m feeling pretty lucky, and pretty glad to be alive today.

 

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.

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.”

number-300It’s funny.

My first blog post on Typical Tracy pretty much consisted of me whining about how my kids always manage to make me do stuff I don’t really want to do. Well, here I am, 2+ years and 299 blog posts later and guess what? I’m still doing it.

We were supposed to go to King’s Dominion (our local theme park) on Friday for Halloween Haunt. But, the weather was very uncooperative. Some storm front is stalled right over Virginia and it’s been cool, drizzly and utterly miserable.

We were one exit away from the park on Friday afternoon, when I pulled off the highway, turned to my youngest and said, “We can’t go today.” I explained to her how I didn’t want to spend all day and night in the drizzle, getting our asses wet in every roller coaster, and then having monsters scare the crap out of me the minute the sun went down. I told her we should wait until Sunday when there was a chance the weather would be better.

She was crushed, and both cried and pouted for the rest of the day. I scolded her for this…I told her earlier in the week that the only things that could keep us from going were weather and illness, and I can’t control either, and therefore shouldn’t be punished or blamed for them. As for me, I was actually proud that I put my foot down – and the call I made was a good one.

Well here it is Sunday morning, and it’s just as wet and dreary as it was on Friday. On top of that, I woke up with a backache that copious applications of Icy Hot and doses of Tylenol are having little to no affect on. I’ve contemplated telling her that we’re not going today, but the thought of crushing her for the 2nd time in one weekend is just too much for me to bear.

Just like Dana Carvey as former President Bush would say, “not gonna do it…”

So, I’ll get my ass wet on roller coasters and spend all day in the drizzle. I just hope by nightfall I’m not too crabby – there may be a zombie or two who are in grave danger of getting kicked or punched if they catch me off guard.

My 300th post? Yeah, I used it on my kids, same as I did my first one.

to_dance_around_the_sun_by_schakoyanaSo this week I found out that I’m not Lowe’s material. As stupid as it sounds, it bummed me out when I read the “thanks, but no thanks” email. I mean, I wasn’t going to make it my career or anything, but I was hopeful to at least get a steady paycheck for a while. I tried to brush it off with thoughts like “it wasn’t meant to be” I still felt really miserable for that day – like the world’s biggest loser.

I can’t even get hired at Lowe’s.

But then the weather changed. Cool and fall-like with crisp blue-skied mornings and you have to think “who has time to be mad?”

I woke up at 6:30 or so this morning after my cat Dodger licked and bit my rather fleshy upper arm to rouse me. It’s one of his many tricks he uses; hell, he’s anxious to get out the door! His enthusiasm was infectious. I wanted to get out and do something too! It was gorgeous out there!

I woke up my youngest and said, “Let’s hit the farmer’s market!” So we dressed, ate some toast, and drove into town. One the one hand it was sort of a waste because I’m not really a farmer’s market kind of gal. I feel totally out of place with the throngs of people in their Crocs and wicker baskets. I don’t buy home grown produce! I don’t know what to do with half the stuff anyway – there were some veggies I couldn’t identify at all.

But it was nice to be out and about, looking at all the herbs, sampling the jellies and jams, and spending the morning with my girl. Afterward we got bagels and went for a walk. And tonight, we are going to the cheap-o $1.50 movie theater.

Yeah, the weather’s too good. And therapeutic. I have no time to be bummed – I’ll save that for a rainy day.

rainy-day-window

Next Saturday is my daughter’s high school graduation. We are having family come up from Florida, down from New York, and in from Pennsylvania. My house is very, very small, so we are relying on our yard/garage/deck to make the after party festive and roomy. The only thing that can ruin it is rain.

The ladies in the front office at the high school said they have never, ever been rained out. It may have drizzled for a portion of the graduation, but in all the years that they can recall, Fluvanna County High School has never had to move the ceremonies indoors.

Rain would suck. I would only be allowed to have 7 people attend the graduation ceremony in the event of rain, and I’ve got 14 coming. After that I’d have to host a party for 16+ in a 12 x 20 room. Sound like fun?

And here is the forecast…

Picture 7Thanks, Mother Nature. You suck.

But you know what? It’s still a week away – jet streams could shift, right? RIGHT? I mean, it may not actually rain during the the ceremony or party. It may rain the day before, or at 8 pm that night. Right? RIGHT? I am just going to focus on that 40%. It’s less than half – the odds are still in my favor.

I went through this when I held a Halloween party for my youngest last October. It was an outdoor party, and if it rained I was screwed. Early forecasts called for rain, but it held off until later that night. Question is, can I dodge another bullet?

On the upside? Most of the company coming is my family, and they will excuse/help/pitch in for anything and everything. It will be alright even if it does rain.

But I don’t want it to. I really don’t want to see any rain.

“Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!”

Keep your fingers crossed.

WEATHER UPDATE!!

As of this morning, Saturday, May 18th the forecast is as follows…

Picture 9Now, I’m singing That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh!

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.