Taking the best of the blizzard

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On Saturday, the mail didn’t come.

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After round one of the blizzard, my son’s car was almost covered with snow.

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After round two, the blizzard won. There were reports of the blizzard collapsing roofs.

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It took 4 hours to shovel out after the first round.

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We had to shovel out twice after that. Tonight my son is digging out his car.

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Climbing snow drifts is a good workout.

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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.

Blizzard blues

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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.

Blizzard half time report

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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??

Sprinter

Judging by the title, you might be tempted to think this post is about running. But I hate sprinting almost as much as I hate this sprinter.

I’ve heard this spring is referred to now as sprinter because winter has been hanging around too long at the end.

Last week we got over a foot of snow. We had one massive snowfall and very brief periods of heavy snow on a couple of other days. It’s been so cold and windy that I was tempted to cut down a Christmas tree for Easter.

I heard we broke a record for snowfall amounts in April. We also broke a couple of records older than me for record low high temps. On some days our high temperatures should’ve been our low temps for this time of year. So far we are expecting a 6 inch winter mix this next weekend. Seriously, we already broke the sprinter record. Why not call it quits? The only med(t)al you are going to get will be from the back of my shovel.

My car got stuck in the driveway at work. The snow was up to the bottom of my car. There was no way I was going to be able to drive through it. My husband said that my car was not made for Wisconsin winters. I agreed. I think I need a car for every season. I could have a 4WD Jeep for winter. In the summer, I would have a convertible. In the fall, I would buy an old VW robin egg blue hippie van for road tripping. I picture myself wearing vintage 60’s clothing as I am checking out the fall colors on Route 66…My husband said that probably won’t be happening anytime soon..Oh well.

The weather has brought about other repercussions. Our kids ran out of allotted snow days at school. Now they have to go to school 10 minutes earlier for the rest of the school year. It was that or have a week off for summer break. We’d also have to hope the week they had off was actually summer like. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit…but I do remember a time where we had 6 inches of snow in the middle of May.

I spent sleepless nights wondering if the school bus would be 10 minutes early. Would my daughter roll out of bed right as the bus showed up? How will I get them out of bed earlier? I think my son was late for school today. He is always late. I told him last week that he would probably be late for his own funeral. Personally, I don’t care when he dies as long as he has given me many opportunities to roll over in my grave before he joins me at the pearly gates.

On days that school is off, my autistic brother Matt does not go to his workshop for the disabled. Apparently, however, he got picked up from his group home and was dropped off at the workshop. All of the doors were locked and he was left out all alone in the cold blustery snow. He wandered around for awhile outside in the cold until he found a business that was open. He went inside and told the lady at the front desk that he needed help.

Thankfully, he ended up being okay. It could’ve turned out worse. He could’ve froze to death out in the cutting cold north wind and blowing snow. I felt angry at the incompetence of my brother’s caregivers. What a bunch of idiots.

How can you feel good about dropping off a disabled person at a place where there aren’t any cars and the lights are all out during a snowstorm?? I’ll dump this guy off in the snow bank and be home in time to watch Family Feud. My brother doesn’t have a cell phone and has a hard time communicating with the people he knows.

Maybe something good will come out of it. Maybe the drivers will be required to make sure their disabled passengers get inside wherever they are going.

This past weekend I helped my uncle transplant at his greenhouse. I wasn’t allowed to touch the plants because I have been known to kill them. Instead I stuck labels in front of the plants like a tombstone in the cold dirt. The flowers smelled so nice and the greenhouse was so warm and sunny, like summer. I didn’t even mind all of the sneezing! For a few brief moments, I almost felt happy.

I hope this sprinter will morph into a full on marathon of summer.

Soon, I hope! I can’t keep going at this pace much longer..

Why are you so late?

Maybe I should take down the snowman from my window at work.

Left behind footprints in the snow…wishing it was sand.

Where did I put my ice scraper?

Got my car stuck in the driveway.

Had to ask my husband for help.

It was a slow drive home. Slow enough to come to a complete stop to take this picture.

Did I not sing enough Christmas carols? Where are the summer song birds hiding? Maybe it’s time to move down south?

Shoveling at half time.

Only 14 hours and another 5 inches to go. The wind still howls in a bitter cold rage.

We won’t be grilling on the deck tonight. But maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to cross country ski one more time before spring comes.

Spring, why are you so late?

WARNING: stormy weather ahead

I feel crabby today…Irritated.

I didn’t sleep well last night. My body is sore…achy…from the 18 mile dread mill run.

My husband woke me up early this morning. Wake up! Wake up! You overslept! The kids will be late for school. The kids don’t have school today. Did you look at the calendar? Sorry, I was just worried you overslept. Have you known me to oversleep one day in my life? No, but today could be the first. I was only trying to help. 

I pulled myself out of bed groggily. I wanted to bite someone’s head off, but didn’t. I didn’t sit down to write a rough draft of my blog. I listened to the cat meow for food. He doesn’t start meowing until the minute he hears that I’m up.

Monday…time to pull myself up and head back to work. The weekend went well. I had Friday off and cleaned my house. Arabella threw a party for the kids that were on her team that made it to state. After 5 years of working as a team, this is it. She is done and we are moving. The rest of the afternoon, Arabella and I played games like backgammon.

Saturday it snowed a couple inches and I was forced to run 18 miles on the dread mill at the gym. The roads were surprisingly icy. I felt a lot of anxiety driving. I didn’t feel motivated to run. At random times, I felt like I was going to pass out. I thought maybe I was dehydrated, but I drank tons of water. I finally stepped off of the treadmill 4 hours after I got on.

My marathon friends told me that I was crazy for running 18 miles on a treadmill. They told me I should do my long run some other day when it was nicer out. But they don’t have jobs. They don’t understand what it is like to only have maybe one day free a week to be able to do a long run. They don’t understand the struggle, the balancing act.

Afterwards, I felt exhausted..nauseous..almost sick. Arabella wanted to play more games, but I was too tired. Paul wanted to watch a movie. It was a good movie, but I fell asleep. I woke up during the ending music. I always wake up at the ending music, but can never stay awake for the movie.

I had to get up Easter morning at 5:45 AM to get ready to sing in the choir. I slept on the couch until my son came home after midnight. He hollered at me saying that he is not a baby and I don’t have to wait up for him anymore. Then he kindly said good night.

I got up early feeling tired. Paul and I sang in the choir for 2 services. Between services there was a potluck. The organist brought styrofoam Christmas cups that we filled with Irish coffee. The sun glistened off the snow on the ground. Was it really Christmas? It must be some April Fool’s Day joke.

Both Easter services were packed. I never understood why churches are packed only on Easter and Christmas. Why bother?? (I am such an all or nothing thinker). But then I remembered that I forced my kids to attend both Easter and Christmas services, but over time have been slack on forcing them to attend as regularly on other Sundays. I want them to go, but they don’t want to. It is always a struggle. Angel is the only one that never complained about having to go to church, but she doesn’t live at home anymore.

After church, we had a small party. My mom, brother Matt, Paul’s step-dad Darryl, my uncle Rick, and son Alex’s girlfriend were in attendance in addition to our family except Angel. We played games and taught Alex’s girlfriend how to play trump card games.

Rick and Darryl lamented over being single while my mom complained about married life. Rick spent the morning in the ER with hives. His lips swelled up and he was having an allergic reaction to something. He showed us his hives which made him look like he was badly beaten. Darryl and Rick spent some time talking about their mysterious rashes. We did mention to Rick that race car wannabe driver Alex could take him back to the ER in a dash if he was feeling worse.

All in all, though, it was a nice relaxing day.

That brings us to today. It is another cold and crappy day in Wisconsin. We have a winter weather warning in place for tomorrow. We are expecting almost a foot of wet, heavy snow. There is no future warm up in sight. We might even break a record low high temperature this week.

These cold dark winter spring days are making me feel crabby!

The thread holding my sanity intact is becoming a bit frayed I’m afraid.

This winter is long

And it’s snowing again!! Big heavy snowflakes are falling. Then we will have 40 mph winds.

I will have to do today’s scheduled 18 mile run on the treadmill at the gym.

This winter is long…

I just want to curl up in a little ball and hide under the covers in my bed.

I feel jealous of people in warm climates. I saw your pictures this morning on Facebook of you training for the Ironman in a lake.

Our people are still on the lakes too, ice fishing!

Today I lack motivation. I desire hibernation until this long winter is done.

Moving on, part 3

We found the house we wanted to buy first. We’ve had an accepted offer since January. The house was listed for sale by owner. On our first walk through, we hit it off really well with the owners of the house. By the second walk through, the owners offered us a beer and we carried on like old friends.

The owner of the house built the house. Although the house was built in the early 80’s, it is in great shape because it got a lot of care. The couple is close to retirement age and are looking to downsize. They had the house on the market for awhile and it just didn’t sell. They listed the house for a second time on our 20th wedding anniversary. It was meant to be..

We have a closing date at the end of May because the current owner wants time to build another house to live in. We are buying the house almost totally furnished because we need the furniture and they won’t have room. It all works perfectly.

We haven’t listed our house for sale yet. Our realtor said that our house should sell within a week after it hits the market. We didn’t want to be stuck with nowhere to live.

This past week my husband was out ice fishing with an acquaintance (someone he didn’t tell that we are moving). Wait! What? Yes, I did say ice fishing! That is a whole different story. The weather has been crappy this spring in Wisconsin. The extended forecast is showing high temps right above freezing with no end in sight. It might even snow, but not enough to be able to do anything besides make the roads slippery. We haven’t had a day much over 50 degrees yet. Horrible! It is making even the sanist people a little stir crazy.

Anyway…the acquaintance just split up with his wife a couple months back and I found out that he is now living with my distant cousin. What?? She heard we are moving and wants to buy my house. Double what?? It was quite the shocker all around. I gave her a call last night and she is very interested. My house is in a great location and is in the price range that is flying off the market immediately.

It’s kind of funny. My grandma and her grandma were sisters. Her grandma was an artist and I have some of her paintings on my walls. I could simply leave some of the family heirlooms behind. Lol.

So we are scrambling with the realtor. She is coming over next week to give us an estimate on what our house is worth. Then we will take it from there..

Last night my husband came home from a meeting and said that someone else we know is interested in our house. What!!?! Maybe we’ll have a bidding war before the house is even put on the market. Wishful thinking!!

It is encouraging to know that our house should sell quickly.

A little green

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Yes, I am Irish. I even know the name of my ancestors that came over from Ireland.

I love corned beef and cabbage, but apparently that is not how the Irish celebrate the holiday according to some WP friends that live there. I even heard that St. Patrick is not a real saint. But I am not here to talk about Irish culture because I haven’t a clue. I know how the people in Wisconsin celebrate. Most people wear green and get drunk. Kind of like a Packer game, but in March. Except this year St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday calling out every drunk, moderate, and light drinker.

First of all, over half of America’s most drunkest cities are in my state. There probably would be more if we had more cities. I live near one of the top 5 drunkest cities in America. I might go as far as to say that I live near one of the drunkest cities in the world…a fact I am not proud of, but it is what it is.

I saw something on Facebook the other day about state motto’s. Ours was something like, ‘It’s too cold to be sober’. Here I sit on the first day of spring and our high temps are not going to be above the freezing point.

This year my friend Lisa was in town for St. Patrick’s Day. Our mutual friend Cori invited me out. I kind of had a hankering for corned beef and cabbage with green beer, so I said yes. We haven’t had the chance to get together for 6 months since Lisa moved away. Apparently, Cori and Lisa started celebrating before going out. Then Lisa said she had a tall margarita on the ride there.

Cori told the waitress that when she saw her finger up she was supposed to bring over 2 beers. It seemed like her finger was up about every 15 minutes. Cori told me that she was worried about her adult son. He drinks too much and has blackouts.

The one thing I respect about Cori is that she never drives drunk. She has been bringing her daughter out with her since she got her driver’s license. This is where I have the moral dilemma. Cori told me this past weekend that she created several fake ID’s to get her daughter into bars. Her daughter doesn’t drink. She drives people home that should never get behind the wheel of a car.

I am torn. I am totally against the whole fake ID thing, having someone in high school hang out at bars…What kind of example is that?? But I am for a safe ride home. It’s not like an Uber is easy to get.

I didn’t stay out late that night. I left before things got too crazy. There was a creepy older man dressed in black that kept coming around checking out the women on the dance floor. A woman tapped my arm and said, “You are beautiful” three times. She was young and had green hair. A wig? For a fleeting moment, I felt happy to hear the words spoken by a stranger that were never spoken by my father. I want to be beautiful forever. I grip onto her words vainly as time slips them back through my fingers. I am afraid to get old. The creepy man’s finger nail scratches my back as he steals by.

As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw the creepy old man leave with the nice girl with green hair. Did they arrive together? I feel sad. Is this her life? Why didn’t I say something kind back?

Late the next morning, I had some errands to run with my daughter. Less than a mile from home, we almost got hit by a drunk driver…probably still drunk from the night before. She swerved from the ditch into our lane…slowly weaving in and out as we pulled aside and watched her parade through.

That is St. Patrick’s Day in Wisconsin.

 

The ice shove

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As you may have guessed, running and writing are two of my favorite hobbies.

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I also love photography and traveling. Unfortunately, I can’t do the last two hobbies as often as the first two. I could take pictures of everyday mundane life and selfies galore. But that bores me. So why wouldn’t it bore you??

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I didn’t have to travel far to get a few pictures of the ice shove on the bay of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Even local friends asked where I was off to this time…Alaska? Antarctica?? No, just my beautiful home state.

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You really should consider booking a visit. Summer is the best time. But as you can see, winter is beautiful here too. Today the wind chills are only in the single digits below zero. So it is warming up out there!

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The ice shove is 20 feet high. This is the biggest ice shove I’ve seen in my lifetime. It took some really nasty weather conditions to make this. Thankfully the beauty that resulted lasted longer than the storm. Kind of like real life sometimes…