Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Unhappy Camper

I didn't fall off Earth, I promise.

There's been a lot of chatter in the Google Help forums about how Picasa (the program I use to organize photos) and Blogger (the host of my blog) are not working together. I have plenty of snowy pictures that I can't show all y'all because the link from Picasa to Blogger isn't working. I get an Error 503 message which essentially translates into, "you're out of luck."

So we'll have to do word pictures instead, never mind that it's been most of the month of January that this technological problem has been going on. Get it together, Google!

Okay, setting my soapbox aside. Now I am going to get it right back out again and do some more blasting.

Mother Nature, enough is enough. While some of us mind snow more than others, not a single person I have talked to or read about or otherwise encountered has had one positive thing to say about these ridiculously cold temperatures. The school children have had longer weekends than school weeks. It is only January, and we're already used up our allotted 5 snow days. At this stage, we have permafrost and tundra going on. Snow dunes. And the wind is enough to probably power the entire Midwest. If I wanted to live in below zero temperatures, I'd move my behind to the north side of Canada. However, I do NOT want to see one more snowflake or experience one more second of temperatures below the freezing point. That Groundhog in Punxy is going to be KEBABS if he says spring is right around the corner and then we get Arctic Blasted again. I think 99.99% of the population is revolted. And we still have February and March to go. Hooray.

For those of you who are blessed to live in warmer climates, let me fill you in on what you're missing. Outside my window right now are sidewalks blown clear of snow in places and heaped in others. The bushes and naked trees appear to be shivering because of the wind that is snaking through them. There are bunny hops and bird prints in the crusty top of the snow. There are icebergs along the driveways and curbs where the plows and shovels have shoved acres of white shroud. It's dazzlingly bright against the clear blue sky. Yesterday and today we've actually had sunshine. The thermometer in my car read -2 when I pulled back into the garage after lunch.

Triskal, with her double-layered coat, dashes outside, sniffs the air, does only what is absolutely necessary, and is back on the step wanting inside before I can even doctor up my cup of coffee. I haven't seen a dog being walked for days.

The kids haven't had school since last Thursday, and I'm not sure if they'll have it tomorrow. There's a planned 2 hour delay already, so at least I know we can all sleep in.

Some of the trees still have their brown, crispy leaves, because it got so cold so fast they didn't have the leisure time to drop them. Talk about shivering out there. They look so brittle that I'm surprised they don't shatter. We've even done the toss-boiling-water-outside-and-watch-it-make-snow experiment. It works.

You know it's bad when your nurse, doctor, receptionist, and other office personnel ALL tell you to be safe driving as you leave their office. You'd have thought I was in a snowmobile. I can only imagine what my best friend's mother and grandmother think as they prepare to leave the house for any reason. It's probably not fit for print, though they are much to well-bred for any of it to leave their mouths. I know that I certainly was glad I didn't have my kids in my car as I cursed out the idiot who passed me as I was passing a car that had its flashers on. Clearly they hadn't watched the same video clip of the massive pile up in Wisconsin on Sunday.

The forlorn Christmas trees are piled at the curb, losing needles on top of the icy crust of sludge. Our cut branches and storm-downed tree litter have been sitting at the curb since October, so only the tops are poking out of a pile that is mid-thigh high. They're probably solidly frozen together.

My pink plastic flamingo had been buried up to its neck earlier, but now it's shuddering and swaying back and forth like it's freezing to death. My garden gnome has given up and is staying down for the count. Maybe he's frozen to the ground as well. I haven't wanted to stay outside long enough to check. I clump out to fill up the bird feeders so that I don't get admonishing looks from the mourning doves and the sparrows and then I clump back in as fast as possible.

Since Rick Warren has declared, "it's not all about you," I guess I can't claim full responsibility for the sheer ridiculousness of the weather. I think I might have had something to do with it, though. I confess. While decorating for Christmas, I used every snowman decoration we own. I hung up the snowman windsock. I displayed the snowmen candles. I propped up the snowman sled from Grandmama.

I never put snowmen out, as a rule. This time I did, and look what happened.

So unbelievably sorry. My bad.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bracing myself

I'm crossing my fingers that this will actually post after two weeks of trying it, but I'm also bracing myself for the inevitable flak I'm about to get from my mother: it is so dangerous to let him sit like that with a lollipop in his mouth! Is he SLEEPING with a lollipop in his mouth!? I sit down to catch up on the blog after nothing from you for almost two weeks and the first thing I see is my youngest grandchild upside down with a lollipop in his mouth!?


We DID get him turned around and he woke up enough to finish said lollipop. Further proof that with the third child, one runs first for the camera...

Just teasing, Mommee. ;) Kind of.
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I haven't forgotten to blog, I promise. I keep getting "Whoops! That's an error." messages from my photo processing site, and I am getting really angry. It's adding to my list of things I really hate, right behind Winter and snow days. I'm only half- joking. Please know that I'm working on it. Bear with me!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Lazy vacation days


It happens rarely, so I love it when they're all on the same page and playing nicely. I am not the slightest bit surprised that as I'm trying to blog this particular post, I have to stop to break up a fight involving tears, two angry big kids, and fixing a picture frame. No harm done. Just kids who need a much shorter Christmas break. They're sick of each other and I have a feeling it's to get worse. They're supposed to go back to school on Tuesday, but another storm is headed our way. Right now the forecast is for less than one inch tonight, 2-4 tomorrow, and 5-8 tomorrow night. Yikes. Then the high on Tuesday is supposed to be negative three. The HIGH. Double yikes. Anyone going to Hawaii, today? Can I fit in your carry on?

The blocks have made an appearance. Carrie took these of her tower. It's bit the dust since, but it was about as tall as Liam. Pretty impressive architecture!
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Happy New Year!

Grandmama and PaPa came out for New Year's to stay a few days. We had saved up some jobs for PaPa, including making peppermint whoopie pies. Aunt Chris, this is the post for you. Here's Liam, trying to decide if the ingredients would yield the correct results:

Must have turned out right! Look at those faces.

And look at that icing. Hurk.

Grandmama kept the little guy clean and out of the kitchen.

Triskal looks very puppyish in this shot. Don't be fooled. Our fuzzy girl turned 8 in the weeks leading up to Christmas. She's officially a gray Newfie, not black, but you can really tell by her muzzle in that picture.

PaPa loves to play in the snow. Haha. Be careful, PaPa. Virgil Eugene, my garden gnome, is under all that snow. He'd given up and toppled over months ago, probably in disgust at the frigid wind!
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Christmas come again


Somebody got a new hat from Grandmama and we made him do Y-M-C-A, naturally. It doesn't stay on well, but he likes wearing it all over the house anyway.

Carrie got the camera, so these were taken by her.

I love how Damon snuggles in with his thumb when you read to him. He and Grandmama read wotsa books. ;)
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Zoo lights


I didn't think we would make it this year because it's been so bitterly cold, but we managed a trip to see the zoo lights in 2013 after all. Grandmama and PaPa protested that it needed to be a QUICK trip, so we did the briskest zoo walk I've ever been on. It was C.O.L.D, but we had a good time, especially at the singing trees. PaPa got the kids going in a circle dance, and Grandmama danced alongside. I'm not kidding. I have pictures to prove it!

Damon has perfected the same expressions Calvin displays for photo shoots in the Calvin and Hobbes comics. You can see for yourself if you click on the above picture.

Anyway, I don't think we saw a single live animal, but we did enjoy the lovely lights!
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Christmas morning

Somebody got new lipstick from Santa, hehe.

And I'd been teasing Dada about asking for another dog for Christmas, so he got me a puppy. A paper puppy. Not quite what I had in mind...

The reactions are always fun at Christmas. This is Liam realizing he got the Skylanders he wanted this year, and Grandma Barb opening her abominable snow-feet (slippers!).

We figured Damon would have fun with the water painting tablets that Liam loved at three, and Carrie received the rainbow loom she'd been hoping for. We're now buried in rubber band bracelets.

Santa's note back to us said he'd run into the tooth fairy. The kids couldn't figure out why as none of them had lost teeth within the three days around Christmas. Then Liam spotted this gift under the tree:

And he also got Legos. I think we may rival Legoland in quantity...

Dada got to do quite a bit on online shopping for himself this year since he's kinda hard to shop for, so he got these... things. They're for ... holding other... things. Haha! You'll have to ask him about his presents.

And once again we had our tree "up high" to stay out of the Damonater's reach. I think next year the kids will do the tree themselves. But then there's the question of where we'll put Triskal..........
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Nights before Christmas

It's been a little cold here. Someone warm and fuzzy doesn't even want to go outside.

We made sugar cookies for Santa, again. When we make sugar cookies, we make SUGAR cookies. They WERE better this year than they have been in the past, as in they were edible and not a diabetic's worst, worst nightmare. Carrie especially is a sugar fiend when it comes to decorating.

Yes, that's right. Santa got dinosaur cookies along with his traditional bells, trees, and gingerbread people. Carrie gave the above T-Rex a pink mani/pedi and earmuffs. When scrolling down, you'll see Liam's with fangs and claws.
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