Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Wolf," cried the meteorologist.

Once again, the meteorologists were saying, "4-6 " of snow."  What we got in a combined snowfall over two days was probably 4".

Me thinks that the predictions were a hair off.

Here's the thing, we sit in a weird spot.  We're not in the snow belt, but in a band where we can get clobbered by snow.  We get clobbered when storms come up from the south.  In fact, I really only heed the snowstorm hysteria when the words, "Panhandle hook" are uttered or something to the effect that the weather system will not be coming from the west.  When it comes from the west, it is a crap shoot.  When it comes from the south, it is generally dead-on.  People were rushing to the grocery over this one and honestly, I steered far away.  We had enough and we weren't going to starve.  Besides, even if it was 4-6 actual inches, that's really no big deal anyhow.

The roads got a little crappy, but I've certainly driven in worse.  The first year I was driving, I had to drive home in a blizzard from the grocery store that I worked at.  My car was a 1979 Camaro that was rear-wheel drive and was sporting a very heavy drivers side door that decided that on that very night, it didn't want to latch.  I was stuck driving home in snow that I had never driven in while holding onto the door for dear life.  I made it and my dad taught me how to flip the interior latch with my hand.  Still, way worse than current driving conditions. 

So I sit, a little disappointed by the measurement of current precipitation that we've managed to accumulate.  :(  I need feet of snow right now.  A good 18" or better snowfall is what I really long for.  Since the weather can't decide what it wants to do and is supposed to be sailing back up to 44 melting degrees F on Monday, we'll just have to enjoy what we have.

Until the snow melts . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A snowstorm at rush hour.

A good name for the next in the Magic Tree House series? 

In Ohio, you know that an occasional snowstorm comes.  We drove out to meet up with Hubs for a segment to be taped of him and K-.  Yes, my people will be TV stars.  At any rate, we were in the snow belt.  Alrighty then.  Snow is coming down, coming down and coming down some more.  The taping lasted for an hour.  Hubs sounded wonderful and K- did a bang up job.  Truly, I was proud of both of them.  We hopped in the cars and headed on the way home.  Since gas was a good 10 cents cheaper out in the 'ville where most things moo or neigh, we opted to get my half tank need replenished there. 

Then came the roads.  Sweet Pete, you'd think that there wasn't a plow in sight.  There was one-- right ahead of us.  Visibility wasn't so bad most of the time, but the roads were rather dreadful.  Once we reached just up the road from our house, it was like an unplowed parking lot.  For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, just know it isn't fun.  Also know that pushing a cart through parking lot sludge ranks as much worse. 

So do the stains that you get all the way up the backs of your legs. 

At any rate, we made it.  It took K- and I a half hour to get out to our taping destination and an hour to get back.  When the mileage approximation billboards (what do you call those things?) say that it will take 32 minutes to go 7 miles on a highway that is 60 MPH plus, you know that it's gonna be a little ugly.  Still, we have driven through worse.  Last year, there was a snowstorm that closed down a section of the highway and by the true Grace of God did Hubs and K- get to skinny around it and track through the back roads before they got trapped.  Some people were stuck for 8 hours or better. 

It takes us to tonight.  We are all home.  K- and I have taken our baths.  We'll be playing a game or two.  We'll eagerly await the segment which will air "between 10-11 PM" and be extremely thankful that tomorrow she has no school.  (Records day.)  How could we not allow her to stay up?  That would be mean. 

Hubs is downstairs working out.  He'll be at it for another few hours.  In the meantime, all those weights clanging around is making me hungry.  Drat.  Perhaps some popcorn.  That's healthier than the cookies that I know that I shouldn't be eating. 

Be safe!  Be well! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The women's large handbag: What the heck do you carry in that thing?

I will admit from the very beginning that I carry a small purse.  Prior to the Epi Pen event, I carried what I lovingly referred to as a wallet on a string. 

I have customers who come in with the overly largesque woman's bag.  For years, it has made me wonder what the heck is in there.  Once, we had a lady in with a huge bag.  She flopped it on the counter and proceeded to dig and dig and dig.  I couldn't help but to tease her and say, "It's just like Mary Poppins!  I wonder if you'll be pulling a hat stand out of your bag!"  She chuckled but my co-worker did not.  In fact, she gave me a good whisker lickin's about it later.  Apparently, the bag was a Dolce and Gabbana bag that was probably $2500. or more.  I'm sorry that I'm not so cool to know these things.  :insert sarcastic tone:  The lady thought it was funny and that is all that mattered.

Really, though.  What is in those things?  I see women without children (or toddling or younger children) carrying them.  Mostly, I see really young college age girls then it shoots to women in their mid-50's.  My co-worker, 41 and without children, carries one.  She carries a coloring book and crayons (for herself), a drink at any given moment, some extra tights, her make-up, purses inside of her purse.  The size of her bag is something that I feel that I could crawl inside of, sprawl out and take a comfy nap on lunch.

Would you like to know my theories of what is contained in the other mystery bags?  Allow me to share those with you:

1.  The keys to all the cities in Ohio and maybe all the houses.
2.  It secretly pops out into an emergency shelter.
3.  It contains an additional toilet.
4.  And a make-up mirror.
5.  And nearly all of the high end make-up available at the various counters at Macy's.
6.  Since it is just barely under the size of regulation carry-on, I think it is packed to go at a moments notice.
7.  For some far off place that you may be visiting.
8.  For weeks.
9.  An entire shoe rack.
10.  An ER and! a staff nurse.
11.  Enough snacks for a large elementary.  Meaning all of the kids.  (Ours is 500 + kids, so that is my estimation.)
12.  A Smart Car.  I mean, you can put those things anywhere, can't you?
13.  The kitchen sink.
14.  And a crock-pot.  Well, because it has it's own generator system, right?
15.  To make meals and have them on the go.
16.  Hot.
17.  On the soccer field.
18.  Or on safari. 
19.  And you have the kitchen sink with you to be able to clean the dishes!
20.  And the bag packed at a moments notice right?
21.  For a family of four.
22.  And a dog.
23.  And the cat.
24.  And the goldfish, too.

Seriously, what do y'all carry in those things?  If you don't have a baby or a toddler (Janeen, I know you have a pantry in yours), what is in your bag?  It is a true mystery to me.  Here's what I generally have in my bag.  (Change of bag, nearly same structure, but now with Epi.)  Okay, my second layer is Purell, a bottle with Advil and Excedrin Migraine and a bottle of Zantac with chewable Benadryl to use for the bee sting that isn't possible right now.

Clue me in.  I swear, people reach into the bag and I do expect a hat stand, house plants, a hat, a mirror and a tape measure to come out. 

A why for the day:
Why is it that the battery has to die in the smoke detector in the middle of the night?  Ours chirps from the moment that it decides that there is not enough juice and every 15 seconds thereafter (no kidding) until you want to beat it with a broom.  Instead, you poke your husband to go get it, because he's tall enough to reach it.

ETA:  Thanks, Susan!  I typed this when I was tired and didn't realize that it sounded as if I was blogging about plus sized women and their purses.  Oops!  Thanks for the head's up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tales from the Trenches: I think it's because I'm a middle child.

LeAnne- 1970
Amy- 1973
Billy- 1977
"Dump"- 1984
See, I'm a middle child.  I've spent my life trying to make sure that everything is good and right and equal. 

Life is not always good and you can't always make it that way for others.

Life isn't always right and you can't always make it that way for others.

Life isn't always equal and as much as you try, sometimes it doesn't always work out that way, either. 

It doesn't mean that you can't still try.

My crubbies from yesterdays post I think stems from all of that.  We try our darnedest to teach K- that, "It's not all about you."  That's not always what happens, but it's a work in progress.  Still, she's good at being thoughtful of those around her.  She's just not always happy when she doesn't win the prize (like the other night.)

K- is intolerant of any injustice.  We're not talking the, "His piece is bigger than mine," but more chewable topics of people being mistreated, general inequalities of childhood and empathy. 

K- tries to make things right.  She, too, is a middle child.  I term her as the "only-but-not" child.  I think that fighting for truth, justice and the American way (Corey Feldman in the Lost Boys comes to mind) is just something that she gets from the combo of being a middle and being raised by a middle.

As a middle, I don't like conflict.  I do everything that I can to fix or make people happy so that I don't have to deal with unhappiness.  I've gone places I shouldn't, I've made decisions that I shouldn't have and rescued my brother out of stupid messes that I shouldn't have been there ripping him out of only because I'm his sister and a middle kid. 

This middle kid stuff is some exhausting work.

So, I'm sorry for my crabbiness, but I'm blaming it on middle child syndrome. 

First, middle or last?  What's your take on birth placement and personalities?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventures of dealing with the public.

Hubs decided that for his upcoming birthday, he wanted to go to the Carnegie Science Center.  Tornado Alley was playing for one last day and he wanted to see it again.  We got up and out early, made the hour and 45 minute trek east and were at the science center not long after opening.  We were able to go up, enjoy Roboworld and all was well.  K- wanted to go to the Buhl Digital Dome to watch the Mr. Roger's Neighborhood star show.  (The other thing coming up was some Lady Gaga thing, so I was glad that she chose Mr. Rogers.) 

People had a baby that was crying in there and didn't take them out. 

We went out of there and after having been nearly run over by these boys who were, no doubt, taking their energy out by running up and down the ramps as fast as they could, we decided to get a bite to eat. 

The boys and their big person showed up behind us. 

K- opted to get their grilled cheese sandwich with milk and a mixed fruit cup.  The dad yelled to the one boy that, "They don't have grilled cheese."  I don't know if he was thinking that the kid wouldn't eat the sandwich, fruit or want the milk.  He listed off all of the crappy kid foods that were available and the kid landed on chicken nuggets.  They sat across the room and ate.  I realized as I sat there that the other kids had giant platters of a variety of fried foods, giant cups of Icees in front of them and ice cream cones.

Are we the only parents who don't feed our kid fried food?

I mean, sure, she'll have the occasional (rare) pack o' fries, but that is definitely an exception and not a rule.  Grant you, a grilled cheese sandwich isn't the best thing in the world (they had white bread), but I was thinking it was better than nuggets made from a variety of leftover materials that you don't want to intake.

After that, we decided to go up to their science kitchen.  They had a program on Fruit Flambe.  We were the second people in line, everyone went in orderly and were kind.  In the kitchen, they have 2 rows of little stools set up front for the kids, and larger stools in the back for the adults.   There were parents who parked themselves on the tiny stools and there were kids who didn't have a place up front to sit.  It certainly didn't occur to them that they should probably give their seats to the kids because, well, THEY ARE LITTLE STOOLS.  After the show, the science staff gives out samples of what they made.  Now, we don't stand in line because we think that it is important for the kids to get it.  It's that poor kid in me.  Make sure that those who should have enough, yes?  You would be stunned by how many parents edged their way in and were standing in front of other kids.  The kids in the kitchen were well behaved and great.  The program was for the kids, yet the parents were clamoring.  I don't get it.

Of course, K- had the experience of being edged out of using something a few times.  It happens.  Parents are fine with it.  We just chose something else do to. 

We were building a Lincoln Log house on the earthquake table and there was a kid bound and determined to work with it right then.  Mom grabbed him up, explained that we were doing it as a family that we would be done in a minute.  Bless her.  We quickly finished up and away we went. 

We went to see the movie, I tripped up the steps that I had warned K- about, 2" of popcorn flew through the air and I wore a bunch of it in my hair.  That's a real nice look.  But, the 6 minute preview that they had was violent and showing someone repeatedly hanging someones covered head out of the airplane door and shooting them.  There were little kids in there.  It greatly disturbed K-.  All through the movie, Hubs reported (on the way home), that a kid kicked the back of his seat the entire time.  Kid was sitting in the parent's lap.  You'd think that the parent would quiet the legs. 

What the funniest thing at the science center was that K- and Hubs went down below to shoot foam rockets from the air tables.  There was a family that had been down there doing that for quite some time before they got there.  K- patiently stood behind and waited for about 10 minutes.  There was a little girl and a mom who stood behind her.  The boys were running around, holding onto these foamy rockets and not actually doing anything with them, but they wouldn't share.  The parents, looking a bit whipped, were sitting behind and just letting them run.  Okay, I get that.  "Work together," Hubs said that the mom yelled.  So the one kid yells up to me (I was up above trying to get a photo of Hubs and K-), ""I lost the top to my rocket.  It's up there.  Can you give it to me."  "You know, I'd be happy to.  My daughter has been standing and waiting to use the rockets for about 10 minutes.  It would be grand if someone share a rocket with her for just a minute.  Share a rocket with her and I'll toss this part down to you."  They did and K- shot it once and passed it on to the girl behind her.  I didn't get my photo, but I shouldn't have to withhold toy parts just to get kids to share. 

We went to IKEA, got a little displaced, but stopped by the record store for Hubs.  I took out a bank loan, went to Coldstone Creamery (where the guy decided to twirl and flip the ice cream into a cup, did K-'s successfully but mine landed partially on his hand, he plunked it into the cup and still served it to me-ewwww, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to make a scene) we decided to sit in the car to eat it.  A guy comes out of the record store, walks past my car, nails my side mirror with his elbow and keeps on walking.  Now, if that was me (I'm too short), someone would have gotten out and probably beat me to a pulp.  Accidents happen but, "Hey, I'm sorry."  Rrrr.

The PA turnpike is rather dark.  We're talking black.  I get it that it is dark.  I get it that it may make people uncomfortable with how dark it is, but that is absolutely no reason to ride your bright lights all the way.  I couldn't ditch the people and there was no place to pull over, so I ended up having to drive home with my mirrors fanned out.  I wasn't doing it to be obnoxious, I just couldn't see otherwise. 

Oh, and yield means that you need to yield to the people on the e-way.  They don't yield to you.  Just sayin'.

Despite my list of complaints, we really did have a lovely time.  K- was chosen as a volunteer during the kitchen show.  She tried the rock climbing wall, but it wasn't very easy and she had to bail.  We were able to enjoy many lovely things.  We got a good parking space, albeit tiny because Pittsburgh has the tiniest parking spots known to man, and despite that, people are respectful and don't wonk your car with their doors.  The ice cream was good, and my germaphobia hopes that I don't contract some major illness from eating it.  We were all so tired from the day that we slept like rocks. 

That is a good thing.

Speaking of the public, today is a bank day and it brings out the most interesting people to the gallery.  More stories to share later, I'm sure.

Have a great day!