29 December 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

In a bout of schizophrenia, the weather decided to turn springlike this weekend, as in 50 degrees and deluge of rain. I kid you not, we got about 2 inches worth of rain over our snow and frozen ground. And, since the water didn't have anywhere else to go, it ended up in our basement.


Having been through this before, my husband pulls out the fans, the electric blower, and the bleach spray, and goes to work. The problem? He refuses to acknowledge that the carpet beneath his wrestling mats has gotten wet, and will not pull them up so that it will dry.

The result? An increasingly strong mildew smell, so strong it's making me ill, that he tries to cover up with various air fresheners. And when I try to go downstairs to do something about it, he yells at me to leave it alone.

Well, I won't let him make me sick. As soon as he leaves for work, those goddamn mats are coming up; both they and the carpet beneath are getting sprayed with bleach water, as is anything else that got wet and could be growing spores.

This macho "I know how to fix things and you don't" shit has got to stop. Now.

24 December 2008

It's a Miracle!

I know you're tired of hearing me whine about the weather. But it's my blog. Deal. ;-)

As a little background, the Frozen Tundra has been hammered with significant snowfall almost every day for the past week. Not only are we growing weary of driving in the white stuff, but my husband's fast running out of places to put it all when he clears the driveway.

Today was no exception. Since the bank closes early on Christmas Eve, I wanted to get in my hours, and so I left for work well ahead of schedule. Good thing I did - the flakes were already falling hard and fast, making the world look like a giant snow globe. The roads were slick, but that's been SOP of late.

For days we'd been inundated with dire predictions of heavy snowfall, so by this morning I was pretty much resigned to it. After all, it's nothing I can change, so why am I getting so upset over it? So when I left work early this afternoon I was fully prepared to go through the now-familiar ritual of clearing off my car and driving home through treacherous and visibility-limiting snowfall.

Wonder of wonders, my car was clear - not a trace of snow covered its lustrous purple surface! More startling still, the roads were wet and completely snow-free! Working in a basement with no windows leaves me guessing as to the weather outside; while I was toiling away, the temperature was rising, melting the nasty icy coating on the roads.

What a lovely surprise! I was all but dancing as I made my way to my car, and I sang with my iPod all the way home. See? Christmas miracles *do* happen!

To all of my readers, friends and loved ones, have a wonderful, wonderful holiday. Be safe, stay warm, and may similar miracles come your way.

20 December 2008

Lost - and Found

Wow. This is now officially the winter that Just Won't Quit. Now that we've dug ourselves out from the over 12 inches of snow that fell yesterday, I've learned that we're due to get smacked with two to six more tonight. Followed by a few more on Tuesday.

For f*ck's sake...enough, already!!!!!!!

Winter doesn't officially begin until Sunday, and already I'm sick of it. Yes, the snow is lovely and pristine, but trying to drive in it can be anything from annoying to (as I found out yesterday) downright dangerous.


I apologize for all the weather-related whining I've been doing lately. And yes, I do suspect I have at least a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I know it's bad when I can't get into the Christmas spirit until the week before, and even then it's lukewarm. That, combined with angst over whether or not my full-time status at my job is in jeopardy (my boss assures me it's not, but can't commit until next year's budget is approved), and I've been a right mess.

What else is new?

Perhaps, with the advent of the New Year, it's time for me to take the principles of Buddhism to a higher level of practice. Enlightenment is a journey, not necessarily a destination, and I've been so focused on material things that I feel I've lost my way entirely. Time to go back to the beginning, methinks, and get a fresh perspective. It'll probably be accompanied by some fresh snow, but c'est la vie. This *is* the Frozen Tundra, after all.

See? I'm better already. :-)

19 December 2008

Well, THAT was interesting...!

Let me 'splain.

Since bank operations never close, we're expected to try to get in to work, even during a winter storm warning. They just say, "Oh, take your time and be careful." Yeah, right. Sometimes, even time and care don't mean jack sh*t when there's a blizzard blowing through.

I tried to get to work. Really, I did. Although our subdivision had been plowed (a miracle unto itself), the main roads had not. I was literally crawling along in 2nd gear, unable to see more than 15 feet ahead of me, hoping to keep my car's tires in the existing ruts.

And then it happened. I turned onto the road that connects to the main drag between where I live and where I work, and discovered it was in even worse shape due to the winds. I thought "What the f*ck am I doing out here?" and tried to turn around.

And promptly got stuck.

Fortunately, two police officers were driving by just about then, saw that I was stuck (I'd put my hazard flashers on while I was trying to rock myself out of the drift I'd landed in), and very kindly helped me out. A third good Samaritan (a guy in a 4WD pickup truck) arrived with a shovel and helped dig out my car.

I should have known. I drive a Saturn coupe, which rides very low to the ground. When I opened up my door to talk to the nice officers, I couldn't get it open right away - there was too much snow.

F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ckity f*ck f*ck!!!!!!

Well, they did eventually get me out, and the senior officer looked at me very sternly and said, "You're never going to get very far - it gets even worse to the west of here. Go back home and stay there." (I had explained where I lived and where I was trying to go.) At this point, I agreed with the very nice officers all too quickly.

I'm home now (obviously), and I just called in to say that the police told me to stay home. What a great excuse, right? Anyhoo, the gal I talked to in my department said that the only people who made it in were the ones with 4-wheel drive, and the ones who lived very close to the bank (as in 2 blocks). I feel somewhat vindicated, but dammit, I *still* feel guilty for not making it in! Even after getting stuck and having the police push me out! How whacked is that?!!!

What a mess.


I guess the only thing to do is make another cup of tea and settle in, and get a jump on my weekend chores.

To all the police, fire and rescue workers who have to be out in this gawdawful stuff, bless you all. You're wonderful.

Oh, the Weather Outside is...

...bloody f*cking awful.

The snow's coming down so hard you can hardly see five feet in front of you, and the wind's not helping.

They're predicting up to 12 inches of accumulation, and if I know our local highway department, the plows won't get to the side streets until tomorrow, which makes even getting out of our driveway problematic.

As much as I would LOVE to stay home, I can't - my boss made the rounds yesterday and told all of us to take lots of extra care and time getting in to work, because we need to be here; our department cannot close, even in extreme weather.


Anyone got a spare snowmobile or dogsled I can borrow?

18 December 2008

Jedi Master Now Am I...

Or at least, look like one now do I.

Let me explain.

In the winter, I am almost always cold. Cold nose, cold fingers, cold feet - you get the idea. My husband constantly complains about my icy appendages, especially when I get into bed and try to warm said appendages on the furnace that is his body. (Heh.)

So this year, he took action: he got me a Snuggie. Now, for those of you who haven't seen the TV commercial, a Snuggie is basically a fleece blanket with sleeves. Warmth and mobility. Gotta love it. So does the cat; no sooner do I wrap myself in the Snuggie and sit down - no matter if I'm at the computer or on the couch - the cat is right there, demanding lap rights. It's amazing.

Not only that, it's provoked much hilarity in our household. The first time I wrapped myself in my new cocoon, my husband started chuckling and asked me how I liked my "Jedi robe." I, of course, being a smartass, immediately took this ball and ran with it. In my best Yoda voice I addressed the cat as my "padameep" (instead of padawan), and told her that pouting for more chicken is not the Jedi way. Things only went downhill from there.

Yeah, we know we're geeks. But it was damn funny.

Just had to share. *grin*

17 December 2008

Oh, (S)No!

My most abject apologies for my lack of blogging lately - between work, the weather, and the holidays, I'm worn out!

Last night we had (yet another) snowstorm, and it took me twice as long to get home as it normally does. Driving white-knuckled, with my shoulders bunched around my ears, 'cause the roads aren't plowed, I can barely see anything ahead of me for all the snow, and the other drivers are reckless idiots.

Aaaand we're supposed to get socked by another major storm in another couple of days!


One of the weather sites I frequent says that this December is supposed to be the harshest month by far all winter. It had damn well better be; if our entire winter was this awful, I'd renounce the outside world completely and become a recluse.

At least the cat would be happy; she'd have a full-time lap! *grin*

10 December 2008

Take This Snow and Shove-l It!

Have I mentioned that I'm already sick of winter? And it's not even officially winter. But that doesn't seem to matter to the weather gods, who are inundating us with frequent snow storms. Last year at this time we got a whopping 17-20" in one snowfall; this year it's coming in 3-4" increments every 3-4 days. It's like being nibbled to death by ducks - ducks you have to clean up after with a snow shovel.

Case in point: yesterday, we had a nasty mix of snow/sleet/freezing rain turn to all snow by mid-morning. The slush began to freeze. The snow was wet and nasty, especially with the growing layer of ice underneath. Since I had garnered some overtime this pay period, I persuaded my bosses to let me out of work early. Man, I'm glad I did; it took me fifteen minutes to un-bury and de-ice my car, then another 45 to get home. (It usually takes me 20.)

I pull into the driveway to find that the bloody ^&*#$! wind has left an 8" drift right in front of our garage door. Rather than leave it for my husband to take care of, and because I didn't want to have him do all that work after what was sure to be a horrible commute, I went inside, changed into my snow gear (including my rabbit fur-lined Russian tank commander hat that comes complete with ear flaps), and went out to do battle.

45 minutes later, I'm soaked with sweat, my glasses are iced over, and the driveway is only 3/4 done. And it's still snowing. My husband drives up, shoos me inside, laughs at my sweat-soaked pigtails as I take off my hat (hey, I had to get my hair out of the way somehow!), suits up, and goes outside to finish the job - which he does in 15 minutes.


Have I mentioned how much I hate winter?

06 December 2008

File That Under...

...what was I thinking?

A little background: I'm a very stubborn person. Once I get an idea fixed in my head, I'm gonna go through with it come Hell or high water. This morning's idea? Finish my Christmas shopping, which involved driving 30 minutes down to the big, new, as-yet-unspoiled Target.

The problem? Snow. The forecast called for an inch or so to fall overnight, but what greeted us this morning was more like 2-3". *sigh* But I wasn't going to let the white stuff stop me - no way, no how! So I bundled myself up and set out.

The roads were *awful.* At 7:30 AM, nothing was plowed yet, or if it was, it was a half-assed job. I clutched the wheel in a white-knuckled grip, thinking, "What the hell am I doing out here?", but kept going. That damn stubbornness of mine, again. I drove well under the speed limit to stay safe, but now and again some jackass in a pickup or SUV had to play quien es mas macho and either ride my bumper or blow past me like I was standing still. Whatever. See you in the nearest ditch, asshole.

It took me a while to make it down to Target, but I arrived safely, parked, and went be greeted by a huge crowd of parents with kids, along with an equally large number of uniformed sheriff's department officers.

Oh, crap.

Yep, for two years in a row, I've managed to hit the store right at their "Shop with the Sheriff" celebration. The local sheriff's department takes donations for underprivileged families, then invites the kids of said families to go shopping for Christmas presents; each kid/family gets an equal amount of money, and one of the deputies accompanies them around the store, helping them shop for gifts for their family. And Santa's there, of course. A neat idea, but one that made for a totally PACKED store! I hastened past the assembled throng, smiled at the nice officers, grabbed a cart, and desperately hoped I could finish before the masses hit the checkout lanes.

The gods of karma must have been smiling down on me, because twenty minutes later I'd managed to find everything on my list (mostly stocking stuffers, plus a couple of things for me) and got out before things got totally crazy. Then I loaded up the car and headed home. By this time the roads were decently plowed and salted, so travel was wet and sloppy, but not slippery, thank goodness.

Dang. Glad that's over. A successful trip, one that marked the official end of my Christmas shopping, but why in the heck did I have to go *this* morning? Any sane individual would have taken one look at the weather, said "Maybe tomorrow," and gone back to bed. But no, not me.

What was I thinking? That I'm a stubborn idiot, that's what. :-)

05 December 2008


It's 12 degrees this morning, and it's not even officially winter. As I sit here in my chair, huddled in my robe and clasping a steaming mug of tea for warmth, I wonder what the %^&*! I'm still doing in the Frozen Tundra.

And then I realize - I have a job I love, friends who care for me, and a husband whose career is really starting to take off in the right direction.

All that, plus I will have my very own copy of Carrie Lofty's What a Scoundrel Wants to heat things up come Monday.


Being here isn't so bad, after all. ;-)

02 December 2008

What a Scoundrel Wants

It's here! It's here!

Carrie Lofty's awesome debut novel, What a Scoundrel Wants, goes on sale today.

Long ago, I read the first ten pages of this book as a judge for a writing contest, and the story blew me away. Well-written, intelligent, with unique and unforgettable characters, this book is sure to earn a place on your keeper shelf.

I already have a place for it on mine.

01 December 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

...winter, dammit.

For the past two years we've had a major snowstorm smack us on December 1. This year is no exception - 3 to 5 inches of blowing and drifting white crap, plus a layer of ice underneath, with 1 to 2 more inches on the way.

Three years in a row. Sheesh.

I remember when I used to love snow - when I was ten. Now, I just mutter invective under my breath as we shovel, and shovel, and shovel, and prepare to go to work on slick roads populated with multitudes of idiots who can't seem to remember how to drive in winter conditions.

And it's not even "officially" winter.