- My husband got his braces off this week. Now too bad he has to wear a mask…
- I’m grateful for a warm fire on a cold day.
- I’m grateful for pajama days.
- I’m grateful for my new followers (and the ones who have stuck with me for awhile).
- I’m grateful that I was able to do a lot of writing this week. It’s been a rough week emotionally though. I’m not sure if it is because I’ve been thinking and writing about things a lot…or that this time of year is triggering…or a massive amount of stress…or that we are not getting together with family for the holidays this year. But here I am with the hope that things will get better…
- I’m grateful for my husband’s work Christmas party tomorrow so I have a reason to get dressed up and polish my nails. It’s hard to want to look nice when so many plans have been cancelled. It’s like, why bother? Pajama day every day…well not quite but you know what I mean.
- I’m grateful for Christmas lights.
- I’m grateful for my grandparents. Today it’s been 20 years since my grandpa passed away. 20 YEARS! I lit some candles for him and told my kids a few stories about him.
- I’m thankful that my son installed some sort of music app on my computer. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make my own music. I’m thankful that my kids can help show me how to use it because it seems very challenging.
- I grateful for a really good appointment this past week with my counselor.
It’s winter again in Wisconsin.
Since last winter, we had about 5 months of April. It rained, and rained, and rained until Lake Michigan was ready to overflow into Minnesota. We broke the record for wettest year ever. It was cold too. In July, summer finally arrived for about 6 weeks. Then we had a couple of weeks of fall. Now we are back to winter again.
The picture says it all. Actually it is rather deceiving. I took this photo in October. Since then it snowed 3 more times. We actually had wind chills below zero this past week. Can you believe it? Was it because I signed up to run 5 miles on Thanksgiving day?? Somebody is certainly giving me the bird!
Our foreign exchange student from France is beside herself freaking out in excitement about the snow. Her winter is like our October. I wonder if she will still be excited in April when the snow falls? I’ll let you know.
This year I broke down and started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween when it started playing on the radio. In my mind, the holidays are very distinct. After Halloween you start celebrating thankfulness and Thanksgiving and all that stuff. Pumpkins are still okay. The day after Thanksgiving is when you start celebrating Christmas. Then it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music. Not before then.
It is so dark, dreary, cold, and snowy it feels like January. It’s like skipping the holiday season and going right into seasonal depression. I just cracked. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Might as well accept it.
Today I ran on the treadmill. I know, I know. I was trying to run outside to get ready for the race, but the roads are so icy. I almost fell yesterday on my sidewalk. I will save breaking a leg for community theater.
My son’s buddy hit a deer and slid into the ditch already. But not to worry. My son always says if he sees that he is about to get into an accident, he will slide on his seat belt super quick. Why not just wear it?? Now it makes sense why car insurance costs more for teenage boys. I will be finding that out since my son got another car today. I also found out the DMV is a really popular place to hang out on a Friday afternoon if you are looking to find a new place to meet people.
I have to tell you that the car is a God send, literally. I don’t have to drop off and pick up my son from work anymore. Hopefully I won’t even be called to pick him up in the middle of the night when his friend goes in the ditch either.
Seriously though, God send. This morning I went to the mechanic to get new snow tires for my car. I figured it was time since my 16 year old daughter called me freaking out about driving on bald tires through the snow already. I was hoping to wait until actual winter. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, like all of this unexpected snow. While I was at the mechanic, I asked if he had any cars for sale.
Sure enough, underneath the glistening snow was a rusty old Honda. It was perfect. The last time my son got a car it was an overpriced piece of crap we bought for sale in someone’s driveway. It looked sharp, but was garbage inside. I seriously don’t even think the salvage yard wanted it. The good news was that my son’s car was technically totaled the same day we bought it because it stopped running 6 weeks later.
I can’t even make this crap up. He was out the day he got his car squealing around town with his friends when some losers my age chased him down and smashed his car with a tire iron. The good news was that the money he got from the court case pretty much covered the cost of his new to him car. I probably won’t see my son until spring now. Whatever, just as long as his car isn’t totaled today. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
I told my son God was providing for him. We tried to find another car but don’t trust private sellers. Our friend that sells used cars didn’t have anything under $6,000. We didn’t know where else to go. But we trust our mechanic. If it didn’t snow early, I wouldn’t have needed snow tires and would’ve missed out on the car.
That’s winter in Wisconsin! My husband is thinking about ice fishing this year instead of hunting. I have a feeling that it is going to be a long hard winter. Time to wax my skis. But that it all since I celebrate no shave November.
I told you this was going to happen!
Earlier this week, we had the warmest day of the year. It was a windy, sunny day with temps topping at almost 70 degrees. I was able to go for a long run in shorts and a t-shirt!
Today winter is back. I think some schools must be on their 12th snow day this year. I actually lost count. This year we had the most snow days that I can ever remember.
We got the wet heavy snow mixed with a little ice. During the night it was tapping on my windowpane. This morning we had thunder snow. Tonight we are supposed to have thunderstorms with rain.
What a mess!
This snow storm happened just as the last of our snow began to melt. I just heard we are supposed to get another snow storm this weekend. And that is why I don’t like spring! The warm weather got me to thinking about getting out my summer clothes and spring cleaning, all that fun stuff! I was just starting to sneeze and sniffle.
It seems like I didn’t get much done today. Plan A was replaced by Plan B and now I think I am operating under plan J.
I don’t feel overwhelmed though like I did before. Summer is just around the corner. We got a peek at it this week.
Please don’t tell anyone, but I think the snow is kind of beautiful. Oh, I am losing my mind!
Good-bye winter! Spring comes today.
It’s been a long winter in Wisconsin. My kids had 8 days off of school for inclement weather. The average is 2-3. We’ve had heavy snowfall followed by subzero temperatures multiple times this winter. The salt doesn’t melt the snow on the very cold days. Some towns ran out of salt. The roads were horrible for an extended period of time.
A lot of people died on our roads this winter. A couple of weeks ago there was fatal pile up on the highway that involved 131 cars. It wasn’t even snowing that day. There weren’t any warnings or advisories in that area. It just happened to be very windy and blew snow across the highway causing white out conditions.
There were some days that school wasn’t called off when it should’ve been because we used up so many snow days. What are we to do when we live in a climate that has the potential for nasty weather half the year? We drink! Which pretty much makes our roads hazardous year round. We lock ourselves indoors chronically depressed from the lack of sunshine and stormy weather that cancels our plans.
Okay, I will try to be more positive. Winter is beautiful. I had to share some pictures of the big snow this year. I was able to go out cross country skiing a couple of times. It was a great year for winter sports such as snowmobiling. Most years we don’t get this much snow.
Do I think that winter is over because the calendar says that it is spring? Probably not. Last year we got a huge blizzard in April. That is what I hate about spring (besides seasonal allergies). It fails to deliver. Spring is my least favorite season. I like summer best followed by fall then winter. At least with winter, we know what we are getting.
The trick is to try to enjoy every season while it is happening. That is sometimes easier said than done. The first few warm days gives me a feeling of false hope. But it won’t be too much longer. Last week we had a day in the 50’s. People started putting on shorts and were driving around with their windows open. But I know we will probably get more snow in April or May.
I can’t wait for the first run outside in this new year. It won’t be too much longer. I have to keep telling myself that at the end of a long grueling winter. The days are getting longer. The birds are coming back. The bugs will soon follow. But I won’t complain, winter makes me enjoy summer more. You need a few dark days to enjoy the light.
This is a new series of our British Virgin Islands sailing charter vacation..
We weren’t sure what was going to happen, even if we were going to be able to leave.
The night before we left, shortly after I posted, Paul and I had a meeting at the sailing club to plan this summer’s cruises. Paul was tying up loose ends at work and ended up plowing out our driveway and my parents, so he did not start packing. Not to mention his trip to the ER the night before. The next morning I was planning on getting up at 2 AM to shower and depart.
After the meeting, I started receiving texts from our group. My friend Cara planned the whole trip. Paul and I were traveling with Cara’s husband Tim and their friends Angela and Stan. Cara was concerned because the weather forecast was predicting rain, snow, and freezing rain for our flight departure time.
We tossed around the idea of leaving at midnight and driving a couple of hours to the nearest major city’s airport that had a direct flight to Puerto Rico, our layover location. That plan was rather iffy too. We wouldn’t get any sleep and still might have to drive through bad weather. In the end we decided to keep things as planned and risk it.
It was a slow drive to the airport. Our flight was delayed by an hour due to a mandatory rest for the flight crew. The roads were icy. It was hard seeing through the windshield. The streetlights looked like cars coming towards us in the wrong lane down the dark highway. The roads were empty and icy, I drove slow because I didn’t want to go in the ditch. What would we do then?
Before we left, I received calls from the school saying that school was cancelled due to an ice storm. We ended up sitting on the plane for over a half an hour for them to de-ice the plane. They told us 15 minutes, it is never 15 minutes. Once they de-iced, it seemed to ice back up again because of the ice storm.
The only way Cara and I could sit by our husbands on the plane was to take seats in the exit row. Cara jumped at the seats before I could say no. I decided not to take any anti-anxiety meds because I didn’t want to be dopey for our overnight stay in Puerto Rico. Plus I had to be responsible to save people in the event of an emergency landing. It was only a 3 hour flight to Atlanta. What could possibly go wrong?
The drink cart just made its way over to me. I ordered a ginger ale, Paul ordered coffee. I got my drink, and as Paul was getting his we hit a really rough patch of turbulence unexpectedly. The drink of the lady in front of me hit the ceiling. I poured my soda onto Paul’s lap. The flight attendant packed up and ran off before the coffee had a chance to scald my face. I screamed and held on tight to anything I could grab onto. I started to hyperventilate and scream that we were all going to die. Perfect exit row material right there.
The flight to San Juan from Atlanta was rather uneventful. We were able to make the flight with enough time despite the delay. I watched the movie ‘Beautiful Boy’ which was about a teenage drug addict that looked remarkably like my son. It was kind of a downer to start my vacation that way.
We got into Puerto Rico at suppertime and ate at Casita Miramar which was creative in decorating and food. The restaurant is very charming. I ate mahi mahi in a stuffed avocado. There were a lot of nooks and crannies of uniquely designed rooms. The waiter brought out the menu on a chalkboard.
That night we shared a bedroom with Angela and Stan which was rather awkward. Stan snored and I didn’t have the heart to go over and kick him like I do with Paul.
The next morning we had a flight booked on a puddle jumper to Tortola.
The last few days the wind chills were 50 below. That is a whole whopping 80 degrees below freezing. Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in a cold climate? Maybe you already do and we can commiserate together.
It is not terribly unusual for us to face subzero temperatures in a normal Wisconsin January. We are so used to it that the schools only close if it is 35+ below zero and we get over 6 inches of snow.
This week was rather extreme though even for us.
On Monday, we received a foot of snow. On Tuesday, the wind chills were around 25 below. Paul was in a hurry to plow out the driveway before it got cold out. He had some problems with the plow on the 4 wheeler and was asked to plow out a friend that just had surgery and my parents. After Paul got the plow fixed, he was able to plow everyone else out before the wind chill warning.
The kids had off of school Monday, Wednesday, and today.
Tuesday night Arabella and I had play practice. I drove to practice on the highway through the blowing and drifting snow. The snowplows put salt on the roads but it was too cold to melt the ice properly. There were patches of black ice on the highway that took my car towards the ditch. The ditches were already littered with cars and I passed a truck that just went in. I knew this because his lights were still on. I heard that there was a tow ban.
We made it home safely. I wore my goose down jacket, hat, mittens, and two sweaters. My son had a few friends over and they came over without coats and in shorts. They are so cool!
I was planning on working out Wednesday morning, but stayed home to man the fires instead. We have a very large old house. We wanted to keep the house warm without spending a fortune.
Although I sometimes want to spend more time at home, there is nothing glamorous about being trapped in your house when you don’t want to be. I decided to clean my kitchen washing the refrigerator and microwave.
The kids complained about how bored they were and I threatened to tell them about winters in the 1980’s. I wondered how our ancestors made it through the winter without modern conveniences like electricity and heat.
I kept the fires going all afternoon, stoking them every 20 minutes. I curled up on the couch with my cat and wrote a couple more chapters in my book. I listened to the wind howl and whip around the fresh snow. The sunshine glared brightly making it seem warm outside, tempting me to be lured out in the cold.
I looked at pictures on Facebook of tropical places, like Texas. A friend from Texas showed pictures of herself running outside in the frigid temps of 40 degrees. Jealousy stabbed me. To be able to run outside again! I would’ve been happy to be able to make it to the gym. But our world was shut down, even the postal workers didn’t deliver mail yesterday.
I went to sleep late last night checking to make sure that the dog was safely inside in his bed. I worried about the farmers and their livestock. The schools were closed and multiple businesses too. I even heard on Facebook that in WI some of the bars were closed.
I awoke early to the smell of smoke. Was my house on fire? There was a purple haze lingering in the air and a strong smell of smoke. We turned on the industrial dehumidifier to suck out the smoke which caused the boiler that heats our pool to error out and shut down from the cold air pouring in on it. We turned on the fans to get the smoke out. One of the vents was frozen and Paul used a small heater to thaw it out. The vent for the dehumidifier froze open. Paul ran outside to shove some old towels in the vent to keep out the cold air which caused thawing water to drip on electrical cords and outlets.
My parents lost power in their house today. Their house cooled down quickly which is tough since our furnaces cannot keep up running constantly when the power is on. I can’t wait to get our gas bill for this polar vortex.
It was another cold day, but I had to venture out to the gym. Thankfully it was open, although they reduced their hours.
Is it almost spring yet??
Although I complain, there is something beautiful about winter. There is nothing like curling up by the fire on a very cold day snuggled in blankets. The snow on the trees is breathtaking. There aren’t any bugs.
This weekend we are going to have a heat wave. It will be a balmy 40 degrees. Time to finally dust off those cross country skis! The guys will be heading to the lake to ice fish.
We are hardy people, we will make it through..
Winter has finally arrived in Wisconsin. Yesterday we received a foot of snow and the next two days we will have wind chill warnings of 35 to 50 below zero. Maybe I will be able to dust off my cross country skis after all.
It has been hard to work out lately. Not only has it been impossible to exercise outside, it has been hard to get to the gym.
Yesterday school was cancelled. Today the kids had school. Some are already cancelling for tomorrow. The roads have been treacherous, but we carry on because this is where we live.
The final countdown is on. Alex has less than 4 months now until graduation. He passed all of his classes and signed up to go to tech school this fall. I have been very excited about the positive changes but there have been a few slip ups. Alex still is consistently late for school. It hasn’t been easier since we moved further away. Plus the weather has been bad and last week he had car trouble. I think a lot of his problems would be solved if he just got up 10 minutes earlier.
Arabella is no better when it comes to timeliness. Angel always had to be 10 minutes early which caused a lot of fighting among the siblings when she drove the kids to school. As a parent, sometimes you just can’t win.
Next year we are planning on hosting a foreign exchange student. Then for her senior year, Arabella wants to be a foreign exchange student. We would love to visit her and watch her graduate in a foreign country.
But after this parenting gig is all over, Paul and I will be on our own too. We weren’t even married for a year before our first baby came along. I want to be the life partner that is enjoyable to be with. Right now it seems like all of our focus is on problem solving and dealing with all of the change in our life. We concern ourselves with the urgent but not necessarily the most important.
Life is always a work in progress. My goal is to finish strong and keep working on my relationships. Instead of trying to change others, I need to change me. That has been a difficult realization to make. I need to be the change I want to see in the world. I can’t fix others.
Oh, and the next couple of days it will be colder here than in Antarctica. Maybe visiting all 7 continents wouldn’t be so bad after all. I am getting used to this now. I have to admit, it is very beautiful watching the swirling snow fall.
Time to update my bucket list and start working on my goals.
On Saturday, the mail didn’t come.
After round one of the blizzard, my son’s car was almost covered with snow.
After round two, the blizzard won. There were reports of the blizzard collapsing roofs.
It took 4 hours to shovel out after the first round.
We had to shovel out twice after that. Tonight my son is digging out his car.
Climbing snow drifts is a good workout.
This has been the 2nd biggest snowstorm ever recorded in our area. The biggest snowstorm recorded occurred back in the 1800’s, before anyone now living was even born.
This might be the biggest storm of my lifetime.
It is exciting to be a part of history.
Although, at this point, I just want winter to be over.
It’s the third day of the blizzard now.
Yesterday it took my husband and son 4 hours to shovel out the driveway.
It is very likely that we are going to break the record of the biggest blizzard ever recorded in Wisconsin. This is the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. By the time it is all said and done, we should have at least 3 ft of snow on the ground.
We have 30 mph sustained winds with gusts around 50 mph. It sounds like a freight train out there. Or maybe the roar of waves during a storm.
I awoke during the night to what sounded like distant sirens. I can’t even explain it. I don’t think I’ve heard it before, the howling wail.
I felt anxiety earlier in the day. Saturday is my long run day. I have a hard time with forced relaxation and sitting still. I finished my jigsaw puzzle, did a couple loads of laundry, and cleaned the kitchen.
Last night we received notification that there was an emergency code red. There is a tow ban, which means if you get stuck you won’t be getting out. We could get ticketed for going out. The roads are open for emergency only.
I had a hard time winding down to go to sleep because I felt the panic of being trapped surge within me. I was exhausted, but anxious and worried at the same time.
Isn’t it strange how anxiety works? I felt utterly exhausted, but had this useless nervous energy that wouldn’t let me relax and go to sleep. It would be great if I could write brilliant words or something along those lines. It is good for nothing, except running which I couldn’t do. The gym was closed.
I feel better with the morning light. Maybe it is good sometimes to try to relax, even if it is something I am not good at.
I’ve decided to take photos and document the biggest blizzard I will probably see in my lifetime. I will share the best with you after this storm is done.
Until then, I don’t want to hear anybody complain about how hot it is. I don’t want to see pictures of smiling people in shorts next to flowers.
I guess you could say I have the blizzard blues. Maybe I should write a song about it, I have enough time. School will probably be closed tomorrow. I doubt I will be able to get to work.
I might have enough time to dust off my summer clothes. Maybe I could crank the furnace to 80 and set up a beach towel on the carpet.
Or maybe I should cut down the snowy pine and call it Christmas.
I’m sick with spring fever. I’m going stir crazy.
It started yesterday.
It was mainly rain at first, heavy rain.
It puddled in pools in the parking lot.
Then there was the ping of ice on the windowpane.
I couldn’t stay warm.
We went to see Arabella perform in her high school play.
Claps of thunder rattled through the auditorium.
I wondered if the lights would go out from the tempest that raged outside as the drama unfolded on stage.
I left the school and entered into a swirling snow globe.
Cold ice pellets slid down my back through the gap the wind found in my coat.
The snow obstructed my view making it hard to find the path back home.
I awoke this morning to the mighty roar of the north wind.
I won’t make it to the gym today.
Wisconsin is closed for the weekend.
Overnight and into the day, 17 inches of snow came our way.
We are half way done now.
We are bracing for round two.
We are expecting 2 to 3 feet before this storm is through…
How is spring going for you??