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.