Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowmageddon 2015

Matt went to work Tuesday and was so pathetic that Wednesday his boss called and told him to run some reports from home and charge it as a work day.  Basically, "Don't come in you cesspool".  So there's that, I guess.

He did his work stuff and Jake and I ran a couple quick errands ahead of the forecasted snow-the governor declared a state of emergency before anything ever happened and schools let out all over the northern half of the state.

While in the line at Little Caesar's (I really needed chewy breadsticks) the snow started.  By the time we got home, we were the only idiots on the road, yay!

It snowed about 5.5 inches Wednesday afternoon and another couple inches overnight.  Our yard tests this morning showed anywhere from 7 to 8.5 inches, it's already melting off in places.  It does not last long around here!

In Huntsville, they already have the roads cleared but here, they are just saying to stay home.  The sheriff sweetened the deal by offering tickets to anyone who does venture out.  Last night several semis got stuck out on the road and then so did the trucks that went to pull them out.  For some reason, that cracked me up, though I imagine no one directly involved was amused at all.

I can see trucks going by on the main road now and then, but not even the mail truck has turned down the driveway.  That is not surprising, there are whole days we get skipped even when the weather is good.  Last Saturday is a prime example.  *gripe gripe*

I made snow cream with maple syrup and Ben and Chan are rolling up half the yard into giant leafy snowmen.  Jake is staying in bed all day, his capacity for fun is zero point zero.

The above was taken really late last night, I liked that it was so blurry.

Early this morning

Up through the limbs of the big pine in back.

It's melting so fast!  The sun is SO warm, I put on sunscreen and sat out on the porch a while.
The kids are in, shoveling down snowcream and talking loudly while the cheddar broccoli soup finishes cooking.  We'll enjoy our one more day of being all at home, maybe have a nap this afternoon.  There's enough wood for another couple of days and the house is toasty.  Everyone is feeling better, if not 100% then functional anyway.

We have a busy weekend ahead and if the weather dries out, a camping trip starting a week from today.  Now that the winter has had this last hoorah, I imagine spring will bustle in and take over PDQ.  I still have not heard my peepers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Starting right after getting home last week from Huntsville, the boys started running fevers.  It's a week later and Jake is STILL in the bed.  He has never been sick this long.  Ben is much better.

By Thursday, I had been hit.  I did not even get out of bed the whole day.  Friday, I was a little better.  I am still not 100% by any means.  Saturday, Chan and Matt both got hit with fevers and she recovered, he did not.  Monday he spent the day at home in bed running a fever wearing gloves and a hat so he could sleep.

He's back at work today, but not much better, just unwilling to let things fall totally apart.  It's amazing how very many $100k and up men they have working there and it all seems to rely on Matt doing his job at less than half that amount for anything to actually get made there. So much so they have openly admitted he's not going to get promoted any time soon because-who would do the work?  Oh, BTW, we hired another person  for the position you thought you were getting!  They start this week, can you train them, k, thnx, byby.  Yeah, they'll make $30k more a year than you, but they don't know what they are doing.  SEE that's why we need YOU!  Pick up the slack for that project, too.  I saw you breathing twice just last week-you have enough free time.  I'll be at the golf course, don't call.

No one feels like doing anything, I keep getting up enough steam to run through the chores, keeping us in clean clothes, the trash out, the things wiped, the carpets cleared and the wood pile refilled.  Then I collapse. When I recover, I run to the store for more medicine or drinks or soup.  Chapstick, tissue, dog food, cat food, more laundry detergent.  Gloves on, scarf over the face, hat pulled low.  Back home, fall back out.  I feel like I have been running races.

My appetite has been nill, I don't think we've all eaten a full meal in nearly a week.  I keep soup on the stove-the 'add water' mix type soup, nothing I have to stand over.  Nutrition secondary to just having something hot.  The weather is horrid-cold, windy, wet, rainy, snowy, icy, bleak.  It's foggy and closed-in, the wood pile is down to the last 30 or so logs, but it should get us through the next drop in temps.  The central unit is working, it's just nice to have something cranking out heat, there's no way to keep the house really warm when it's in the teens outside and the wind is going 20 MPH.  The wood stove gives it a small break-it's not on every minute at least.  The power bill will be phenomenal.  The meter for the past month is well over twice the usual reading.

Ah, it's all doom and gloom!  I am sure when this week is over and the warmer temps are on the horizon and we are all feeling more or less back to normal, that I will read back over this and be amused at how crabby I get at times.

Anyway, nothing going on here, no plans either.  Just trying to get through this and see what's next.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lowe Mill-Suzy's Pops

What to do on the coldest day of the year so far?

Make popsicles!

We headed to Lowe Mill and met up with Suzy who owns Suzy's Pops for a tour of her shop and a chance to make some pops!

She gave us a little tour of the mill, talking about the history of the building and how it came to be an artist haven in Huntsville.

It was a shoe factory, so the shoe is a reminder of that.

The yellow circles are where workers stood to operate their machines.  The red lane in the middle is where the carts ran back and forth with materials and now and then there was a metal plate covering what was once a hole where a pulley or other bit of machinery would come though.

The kids got hairnetted and gloved up and Suzy told us about all the steps to making a good pop.
They made strawberry pops, the first step was mixing sugar and water to make a simple syrup.

While that heated, the kids took turns hulling the strawberries.

They juiced a couple lemons, too.

She walked them through the whole process, that's Inde adding the last couple sticks to the holders.

They mixed the syrup and berries in the mixer, then added the lemon juice for some tang.

They poured the mix into 4 big multi-pop molds and added the sticks.  The pops sat in the freezer, which was a small container filled with a super cold liquid, for about 15 minutes and then came out for a quick dip in a warm bath and:

It happened SO FAST!

The kids got to try their hand at bagging the pops.

She showed us the final steps-flipping the tray over into a stainless steel pan and then using the heated sealer to melt the open bag together.

She passed out pops to everyone, even the moms got to have one!

While we ate, she told us more about herself and how she got started and some of her plans for growing her business.  It was all really interesting, but I think everyone's favorite part was brainstorming for a new pop idea.

They came up with Frog Egg pops.  We'll have to go back and see if they got made!

You can check for yourself, she's open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12-6 and Friday from 12-8 at Lowe Mill, second floor way in the back!

Afterward, we had lunch and took a short walk on Monte Sano to look at the ice.

This is a frozen log in a waterfall

Monday, February 16, 2015


Chandler has not seen Emily since last June.  They were best best friends and wasn't a falling out between them.  Not sure what happened, other than Suzette kept turning down invitations and sometimes turning right around and planning her own trip to the same location.  Just not with us.  I did not know if it was because Chan came out or if I had done something and there was zero communication.  My efforts to engage were ignored. So, we dropped it.

I know Chan has been missing Emily.  She asked if we could go sit in the back of the theater for a play Emily is in so she could just see her, even from far away.  That nearly broke my heart.  So, I contacted Suzette and asked if the girls could have lunch with Phoenix this week for Chandler's birthday.  To my surprise, she said okay and when I told Chandler, she lit up like a bulb.  I have never seen a kid so happy.  They hugged for 5 minutes straight.

The moms chatted and got caught up, nothing got resolved, but the whole point was for the girls to get to be together again.  Emily leaves for college in the summer.  Even if they don't get together again, at least they had this gorgeous and chilly afternoon.  They filled the room with laughter and made horrible puns and it felt like home for a while.  I miss them, so much.