Monthly Archives: January 2016

35 Inches of Snow…and Another Snow Day

The blizzard finally ended early Sunday morning. We woke to a total of 35 inches of snow, close enough to 3 feet, so I’m going with 3 feet. The wind caused the snow to drift in some places to 4-5 feet. To put the storm in perspective, my area of Maryland usually gets an average of 22 inches of snow in the winter. In this storm, we received about one-third more snow than we get in a normal year. That’s a lot of snow.

The good news is that we didn’t lose power. I heard one report that there were about 200 homes without power in the entire state, so that made the storm much more bearable. I think if you have to go through a true Nor’easter in the wintertime, having electricity makes it much less stressful. I did notice that I cooked more than I usually do. On the weekend, we usually have Sunday breakfast, which is where we go all out and cook a big meal. Saturday we usually have cereal and coffee or toast, something simple. But being off, we cooked a big breakfast every morning. I also baked a cake, which is not something I do very often, mainly because we are trying to eat healthier. I guess being snowed in makes me want to cook. Of course, the guys were burning calories removing the snow, so that counted for their increased appetites.

As for the snow, my husband and son shoveled and blew us out over two days, which was the right thing to do. My husband, after 20 plus years in the military, tackled the snow with a battle plan. Shovel early and shovel often. If you wait too long, the snow will overtake you and you will be fighting a losing battle.

It has been amusing to see the neighbors and their approach to dealing with the snow. Some of our neighbors waited until the last snow flake fell and the sun came out, which warmed the snow and made it much heavier, so snow blowers were pretty much useless. Others seemed to be playing the drinking game. Shovel or blow a row and take a drink. Shovel, drink, shovel, drink, drink, drink. Several have driveways that still aren’t completely open, but are instead rather crooked and you can tell not much thought was put into clearing away the snow. As long as one car can get out, that is all that matters. Mother Nature will have to do the rest…unless more snow is on the way.

Hot ChocolateBoth my husband and I are off work again today. The roads are still being dealt with and the Governor would prefer if people stayed off the roads. I’d prefer that too. It is a beautiful, sunny day and it makes you want to go outside somewhere, but really, it’s cold and the fireplace is cozy right now, so I think I will make some hot chocolate and curl up on the couch. Stay warm where ever you are!!!

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And The Snow Continues….

Our Back Deck

Our Back Deck

Blizzard part 2…the first round of snow came through during the night and with the winds, the snow totaled over 12 inches. So with the drifting that is taking place, there are places where the snow is up to our window. What is strange is that one of our windows that is two stories up has snow halfway up the window. It blew from the roof, but it just adds to the trapped inside feeling. Hmm, might make a good plot for a story.

Anyway, the son shoveled a path on the back deck to the yard for the pug to have a place to potty. But, believe me, he will race outside, squat anywhere and race back inside. He won’t go far to potty. The husband is currently using the snow blower to try to uncover our driveway. He is probably wishing we bought a bigger one. I did ask him that the last time we got a big snowfall and he replied, “How often do we get this much snow?” About every two years I think. We didn’t even use the snow blower at all last year. The plows haven’t made a pass on our street, but since we live on a little cul-de-sac off a long and twisty road, I don’t expect them to come anytime soon. Once they do, they will make one pass, just enough to pile the snow high and block the driveway back in.

According to the weather people, the worst is still to come today with another foot or more expected…and it is supposed to be heavier and wetter, so more shoveling and blowing are in the future. At least we still have electricity and the internet, so we aren’t suffering. It does amaze me when you know you can’t go out, you start to feel like you need to go somewhere, but when you have the freedom to leave the house, we want to stay in. Another of life’s little moments of hmmm.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend wherever you are in the world. And if you’re on the East coast, stay safe digging out!!!

Waiting For The Blizzard…So Why Do I Want Ice Cream???

Snowblower1

We haven’t had much of a winter so far. Christmas was close to 70 degrees F and we haven’t seen any snow. All that is supposed to change today as we are waiting for a major storm that is supposed to start as snow and then become a blizzard. When the weather forecasters first mentioned snow earlier in the week, it was supposed to be 1-3 inches, which became 6-8 inches. Then as late as yesterday morning, it was changed to 12 inches. Now, they have declared that my area of Maryland will get 20-24 inches of snow and winds in excess of 65 miles per hour, so in other words, we will have a blizzard. They named it Winter Storm Jonas. (Side note: Maybe it should be called Hercules or Goliath. They sound more fierce.)

I had been scheduled to be off of work today. My plan was to run a few errands and get some things done around the house to free up the weekend. My husband found out yesterday that his office would be closed today because of the storm. Then our county’s Emergency Management Agency began sending out messages about the blizzard and telling residents to make sure they have a plan in place since we are expected to lose power for several days. They have even asked for the National Guard to help once things get really bad. Needless to say my plans changed as we have to get ready for the blizzard. So my husband and I made the trek to the store this morning and joined the other people buying their essentials, which seemed to be milk and toilet paper. Those are two things I always have in the house. I wanted snacks, like chips, cookies and ice cream. Yes, I know it’s cold, and we might not have heat, but I want ice cream.

Anyway, we went over our list of things that we might need if we are trapped in the house for a few days. Logs for the fireplace? Check. Extra jugs of water for ourselves and our pug? Check. Extra batteries for the cell phones and flashlights? Check. Zero degree sleeping bags to keep warm if we have no heat? Check. Camping equipment to heat up soup and coffee? Check and check. Extra books downloaded on the Kindle? Check. Real books for when the Kindle’s battery runs out? Check.

Looks like we’re ready. Of course I hope we won’t need any of it, but it started snowing about two hours ago and the wind is picking up. I think it’s time for a cup of coffee and some ice cream.

Focus On The Positives

As we moved into the New Year, it seems the question that everyone kept asking was, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” If I replied that I didn’t have any or didn’t make them, some looked at me like I was from another planet. One co-worker replied that “Everyone makes them.” Of course my reply, with a hint of sarcasm was, “Who is everyone? I want a list.”  To me, a resolution is something that you must succeed at, and when you fail, as I have done in the past, I end up feeling like hmm, a failure. And for me, I do not want 2016 to be a year of failures.

Positive

So instead of things that I knew I would fail at, I thought of things that I would like to do or try for the new year. If I try something and it doesn’t work for me, then that isn’t a failure. It is a success because I will have tried something I haven’t done before. If it is something I end up liking and decide to keep doing, then that will just be success times two. I made lists of things that I would like to try for 2016. Some of them were to focus on the positives, find ways to relieve stress, make health a priority and focus on family.

I realized that negativity always has a way of bringing me down. I tend to focus on the negative and then it starts causing all sorts of issues, from stress headaches, stress eating and not being able to sleep. One of the ways I decided to deal with the negativity was to not focus on it. Instead, I have decided to try to write down something positive each day. Whether it is something someone said or just a positive quote that will carry me through to the next day. I have an inexpensive journal that I picked up for the holidays, so I have started to put the positive things in there. I realized that I missed a couple of days, not because nothing positive happened, but because I wasn’t used to writing things down. So I have put writing in the journal a part of my daily routine. I actually had several sticky notes that I put in my lunch box to remember to journal after work, so hopefully it will be something I can do every day.

As for things I would like to try in 2016, I want to try to eat healthy vegetables that I usually avoid. My plan is to try one new veggie a week. I know that it is all about the taste, so I plan to search out recipes that are not labor intensive and if they taste good, then maybe I will add them to our list of healthy foods. If they aren’t then I will have tried something I haven’t before. So far, I am learning to like sugar snap peas and green beans (as long as I have some low-calorie ranch dressing to dip them in). There are many foods to conquer and many weeks left in the year.

I also want to find things that help in stress relief. I had read an article a few months back about how coloring books for adults were becoming popular for stress relief. My husband and son bought me several coloring books and pencils for Christmas, but I haven’t used them yet. My son asked me why and I explained that I was stressing about choosing the right colors for the flower. His response, “I don’t think you are supposed to stress about coloring. That would defeat the purpose.” And of course he is right. I did find a free app for my Kindle that allows me to color. If I don’t like a choice, I can click the back arrow and it disappears. I finished one pattern and it let me email it to my husband, who printed it off and hung it on his bulletin board, so I have colored something, and it did make me feel better, so that is a positive.

 

 

Without His Wedding Ring

Rings

My husband admits that he is feeling lost without his wedding ring. It is currently at the jeweler being resized due to arthritis and an accident at work where his ring caught on a latch under his desk and pulled his finger, which caused some swelling. It took him 30 minutes using a variety of methods to get his ring off, which probably caused it to swell even more, so for the first time in close to 25 years, he is not wearing his wedding ring. And he says he feels lost without it. It is sweet of him to say so, but it happens. It doesn’t change our commitment to one another because he isn’t able to wear his ring.

But I’m starting to think that he must feel that I don’t care, or that my ring doesn’t have the same meaning to me because the first thing I do when I get home at the end of the day is take off all of my jewelry. My fingers usually swell during the night and in the morning, it is hard to get them off, so I don’t wear them when I sleep anymore. I put them on after my shower and throughout the day, I feel them getting loose, so when I get home, off they come so I don’t risk losing them. My husband has never said anything about this, but he does comment if he notices on the weekend that I haven’t put them on. He’ll say, “You aren’t wearing your rings,” and I’ll look at my hand and go “Nope, I forgot to put them on.” It doesn’t mean I’m not married or don’t want people to know I’m married. I’m at the age that I don’t care what other people think. I’m also of the age where reality is that you can’t really wear fancy rings out in public without fear that someone will try to rob you of them. It has happened and I don’t want to look like a good target.

Throughout or marriage, my engagement ring has been upgraded several times. The ring that he gave me when we got engaged is in the safe. It still takes my breath away when I see it, but I was younger and smaller back then, so it doesn’t really fit any more. I could wear it on my little finger, but a ring there has never really felt right. The next ring was for our 10th anniversary. It was bigger and similar in style to the original. For our 20th anniversary, a friend of ours who was a jeweler made a ring from a drawing I had done on a piece of paper. It is one of a kind and definitely noticeable, but for the past year, I haven’t felt safe wearing it out, so I have started wearing only my wedding band. My husband has asked if I don’t like my engagement ring and I find myself explaining that the comments people make when I am out have started to make me feel uncomfortable, so I just leave it at home.

Now that our 25th anniversary is coming up, my husband asked me if I want to get a new ring. I asked him if he wanted to get new wedding bands and he said, “Of course not. I’m not looking for a replacement ring.” And I’m not either. I just don’t need anything fancy. He still wants to get me a new ring if I don’t want to wear my engagement ring. I told him I might get a really thin band in blue sapphire and wear it with my wedding band. He then wanted to know if I didn’t like diamonds anymore. I like diamonds just fine. But I don’t need a bunch of them to feel married.

The jeweler offered to try to have his ring resized in one day, which was probably due to the fact that my husband kept saying the ring has never been off his finger. But my husband told him no, not to hurry. Monday would be fine. The jeweler now has two days to finish it.

Ahh…Goodbye Lottery Dreams…Until Next Time

So by now, reality has set in and we didn’t win the lottery. We can all go back to work and wait for the lottery to get big again before we start dreaming about what we would do if we were the one that won. Congratulations to those three who did. Bet you actually think your life won’t change. Unfortunately, because you live in a state that forces you to come forward and show the world who you are, you will be forced to change your life.

Seeing a picture of the couple from Tennessee that were the first to come forward, they didn’t look too happy. Of course that might have something to do with the fact that people were already giving them lists of things they “hope” they might give them out of the kindness of their hearts. This included an executive from their little Tennessee town, who instead of stopping at wishing the couple well at winning the lottery, caught a case of verbal diarrhea and proceeded to give them a list of things that the town could use, such as new fire equipment totaling in the millions. Of course he spoke of the fact that they were generous before, so that means he expects them to be generous with their winnings now. And if they aren’t, I’m sure he will proceed with the public shaming until they donate a substantial portion of their winnings.

Let’s hope that the remaining two winners are organizing their great escape. If it were me, and I had to come forward to prove to everyone that I won, I would wait until my escape plan was in place. Then I would have my press conference and that would be the one and only time you saw me. After that, I would use my winnings to disappear. There is no way that the winners, after going public, can ever live normally in public. Every place they go, they will be a target. If they think they can continue to work their regular jobs, they are kidding themselves. Comments will be made that they are millionaires now, so they should let people who really need a job have theirs. If they don’t they will be labeled as being selfish and greedy. Others will look for reasons for a confrontation and then sue because they were slighted in some way. They will either spend millions defending frivolous lawsuits or in payouts to people to make them go away. Eventually, their employer might ask them to leave quietly because they are just too much of a distraction.  They may want to stay in their nice little house, but they will have to arm themselves with the latest in expensive security systems that are monitored 24/7 because it will become a burglar’s paradise. Everyone will break in looking to steal the items that you purchased with your millions. Too bad your state just made you a target. I bet anonymity is looking good about now.

If they do anything, they should read what Mark Cuban said when asked if he had any advice for the next “billionaire” lottery winner. His advice, learn to say no and keep saying no to friends and family. Otherwise they will end up broke as so many have in the past. I’ll keep that in mind when I win….of course you won’t know I won because I live in a state that allows us to remain anonymous.

January Is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical CancerJanuary is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. A teal and white ribbon is used to bring awareness to the cancer and support those who have fought and continue to fight the battle. For more information, please go to the following links:

American Cancer Society

National Cervical Cancer Coalition

Choose Hope

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