Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

Another snow day today...and what feels like complete chaos around here this morning. Stretch is waiting on his turn on the computer and watching TLC, Squirrel is playing a computer game on the "game computer" and Dipstick is playing PS2 right next to him. It's snowing heavily at the moment - and visibility is limited. All the same there are vehicles "flying" past here this morning.

I just talked to a friend of mine - and the mom of one of my kids off my bus. She had to go push her husband out of their driveway this morning as he got stuck - they live in town which is usually in better shape then out. I'm rather glad I stopped and got milk last night - even though I paid more than it would cost at the grocery store. As it was...driving home last night I felt like I was driving blind - could tell where the edge of the highway was mainly by way of the rumble strips. By the time Stretch came home it had eased up considerably.

I plan to spend the day doing laundry, baking and putting stuff away. We will see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Of Homework and Chili Pepper

I've started posts and had to leave them this week - or had parts of posts running around my head and no time to get them down. So once again this will likely be a rambling update...Stretch and Squirrel are both at Wednesday night church, B is in the shop working on an engine and Dipstick is working on homework inside. Dipstick is struggling getting homework done - he hates doing so it's a daily battle. The sad extra frustrating part of it is that he's very intelligent and would do very well in school if he got his work done and turned in. I'm rather at a loss as to how to help him get it done without being a nag and having daily arguments and tears over it. Even now - he's talking and dawdling over getting it done - though he now understands how to do it. B and I have taken away just about everypriviledge and activity that he wants to do - yet still seem to get nowhere. I'm going to continue printing out his homework agenda daily - as well as pages that show where he's not turned stuff in. Then I will go over it with him and B, then will file it in a folder somehow. Hopefully - while causing me some extra paperwork it will start to show a pattern and Dipstick will be able to see where and how to improve. What makes this extra challenging for me is that it's not something I've dealt with before so it's all new to me.

On a different note - we've had sunshine the past few days. It's been very nice - to see the sun sparkling on the snow. It's been cold and we've had freezing fog the last couple of mornings - that is so beautiful as it leaves gorgeous hoarfrost on everything. The roads sure have not been very nice - the top layer has melted off but there's still ice andsmooshed snow underneath everything. That is finally beginning to change as of today. This morning we had red sky so I'm waiting to see how the weather changes - I'm certain it will just not how.

The other night I made a batch of brownies - cheated and used a mix with a couple of additions. First off I used applesauce in place of half of the oil - a relatively common substitution that lowers the fat content. The other addition involved a 1/2 tsp of a spice...I did not tell anyone in the family what I did. Squirrel begged for a brownie after supper and was eagerly allowed one. He ate a couple of bites then screwed up his face asking "Mom...what did you do to these? didn't?!!" By that point I was laughing hysterically as I confirmed that indeed I had putChipottle chili pepper in the mix. I think I laughed until I cried - Stretch got into the fun by asking me whatever possessed me to add chili pepper to the brownie mix...then I had to get the magazine to show him that it's supposed to increase one's metabolism. I don't know yet if it will work...but the reaction sure was funny! And I have certainly found that I'm less likely to eat a HUGE amount of brownie - I'm much more content with a smaller portion. Next time I will try a little less chili pepper...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lost and Found

I got a bee in my knickers tonight and found my lost specs! I decided there was no way that they could have fallen out of my bedside table and therefore had to be behind it - in it. (Squirrel is standing beside me telling me he thinks he broke his toe! Dropping the fire poker thingy on it just a few minutes ago. I'm certain it's not broken but equally certain it does hurt). Deciding the specs had to be behind/in the bedside table actually involved my taking the back off the table as the drawers would not come out. B just came in for supper so I'd better go for now - this looks like it won't post anyway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two in a Row

The above was the scene from our 3 season room yesterday afternoon - it gives an idea of how much snow we had.

School ended up being closed today - we headed down to the bus about 7:10 - made it there to get it started by 7:30. Roads were slick - the highway especially had black ice and I fishtailed more than I have in a long time. Bus started with absolutely no problem and we ended over to a friend's house for coffee. She is one of the moms off my bus route and we're becoming friends - she has coffee available for several of the local neighborhood moms - we sit and chat. Stretch and Squirrel hung out there as well - Stretch finished up his homework that was due tomorrow. I finally got the call telling me school was closed for the day about 8:15 - pretty much last minute. We have drivers on the road by 8:30 (6:30 on a regular day). Dipstick did have school - he just went late.

Dipstick is on a 2 hour delay already for tomorrow. We are closed! I got that phone call before 4:30 pm! I'm rejoicing as is Stretch - Squirrel not so much. He's upset that he's missing band and Math Academic Bowl practice. I am amused as it's so much like Stretch was 4 years ago at the same age.

I am looking forward to being able to sleep in some and unpack more. We will also be going to the old house for a short time to make sure it's looking decent - apparently there is a showing scheduled for Saturday afternoon. This is the first showing in over 2 months so we will see what happens. In the meantime today I made a parts run for B - drove his big pick-up to Leesburg to pick up two engines. One is ready to be put back together - the other needs disassembled and sent to the machine shop. Roads were bad - I drove really slowly. I really didn't have any problems except when I had to cross a RR track right before I got there - right turn and up a steep grade. Made it ok on the third attempt. Needless to say I came home a different way.

This picture is from this evening - just as the sun was going down. Guess that's rather obvious if one looks at the round glow shining through the trees. It doesn't do the colors justice but I thought it was pretty. Today was a beautiful day - clear, sunny and very cold.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Car Retrieved

Well the car is retrieved. B took the skidloader and several shovels down and was able to pull it out - no harm done. I suppose I should mention that the car went in the ditch because I pulled over in a narrow area of the road to let the snow plow go past - I basically got "sucked in" by the deep snow in that area. Afternoon bus route went o.k. though the roads were definitely bad and students were understandably wild. I have phoned a couple of parents this evening - not sure how the results will be but will wait and see.

We are on a 2 hour delay for the morning already - I'm thankful for that. HoweverBoss wants the buses all running by 7:30 am - that means we have to leave here by 7:10 or so. That gives the buses close to an hour to run before we get on the roads. They should be fairly warm by then.

Pictures will have to wait - I did take a couple earlier this evening. It's bedtime and I'm tired - my sense of humor is pretty much gone - I was laughing earlier about the day.

Half the Story

It's been a most definitely interesting morning this morning and the day is barely half gone! It is a beautiful peaceful very cold morning out - snow is falling softly in big fluffy flakes - visibility is less than half a mile. The wind is blowing at times - lightly and roads are snow-covered.

Stretch, Squirrel and I left the house this morning about 6:10 - earlier than normal - to get to the bus as I was afraid it would not start. It didn't - neither did the spare at the middle school. (I just got a call from hubby telling me that school will be released early again! It was yesterday as well - my bus was in the shop getting serviced and I only had 40 min notice. Today at least the notice is more - 90 min. However my car is still in the ditch down the road - more on that later) I ended up driving a 84 passenger snub nose for my route and running quite late so only had half the passengers I usually do. We made it safely to school - late but safe. I gave the snub nose back to it's regular driver (who couldn't get it started this morning either), left her spare at the middle school and made sure my bus was cared for so it would hopefully start this afternoon.

On that note I'm going to finish my coffee and head out again...will post more later with some pictures.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Depression is being an issue this morning - not sure why really. The house is quiet...I'm the only one home...know there's work to be done but can't decide where to start. The frustration comes partly because I feel like I'm the one picking up after all of us - and when I'm not I feel like a nag because I'm after the others to take care of their stuff. This is especially true with Dipstick - Stretch and Squirrel already know things like not to get dressed in the family room, take clothes - clean or dirty and put them where they should go, etc. I rather feel like no one notices when I get stuff tidied up - they just mess it again. That's all a reason not for depression but for a change in attitude or perspective. I'm just not sure how to accomplish that.

I'm rather hoping that Squirrel's TKD class is canceled for tonight partly because I just want another evening at home and partly because we are under multiple winter weather advisories and warnings - including one for a blizzard. Snow is definitely blowing and drifting across the road and it's been coming down pretty much all morning. We are back down to tiny little flakes again rather the big fluffy looking ones...either way they are mostly blowing sideways. I've taken inventory of the cupboards and we have plenty of groceries to last for a few days - the one thing we will run out of quickest is milk and that can be gotten at the gas station if necessary. Getting snowed in would have the benefit of my having boys around to finish putting Christmas stuff away - most of it's done except for getting the tree actually down. Ornaments are already down and away - that happened quickly this year and it was nice.

I did realize this morning that I likely messed up my paycheck for the next couple of pay periods - not getting my paperwork in from being gone last week. That's frustrating to say the least...I'll have to figure out how to fix that.

O.k....there's laundry to do - meat to get out for supper...and maybe if I swept I would feel like I accomplished something today. We will see...I am going to leave way early for the bus route this afternoon - simply to make sure I get there and get my bus picked up from the shop where it's being serviced in plenty of time. I think also if I went back to making lists that would help - both lists of my blessings as well as things to accomplish daily. And schedules for the boys!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back to Work

B got a phone call this morning - telling him they would like him back to work on Monday. He has rather mixed emotions about this - relief I think that they are calling him back and that it will be "guaranteed" income yet uncertainty about how he will finish the work he has lined up to do now. I've gotten kind of used to having him home during the day - knowing if I need him I can go out to the shop and chat with him. So we are up for more changes in our lives - and scheduled time to slow down has not happened yet.

I was really glad that Stretch, Squirrel and I were able to go to OH for Grandma's burial - I was a little bit afraid we would have to cancel at the last minute because I was sick the night before - ended up missing work Monday morning. The drive took longer than I expected it to - although I know it would have helped if we had not taken the scenic route through town simply attempting to get to OH. (My ability to find places easily is definitely NOT the best! All B could do when I told him was shake his head and go "Oh hon!" while he was laughing). We took out time coming back - the weather was occasionally bad but not terrible.

There's more to write about - I was really glad also that we were able to go to Uncle Ed's funeral as well last Saturday. However Squirrel and Dipstick are waiting for me to come play a game with them and I've lost my ability to concentrate. One thing I want to write about eventually is expectations vs reality - that's something that's been on my mind recently.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Haven't taken time to write here or organize my thoughts for New Years. I did spend some time yesterday getting my end of year filing done - that felt good. Today will be a day of running errands - some for B and some for the boys. Tomorrow Stretch, Squirrel and I travel to Chicago for Uncle Ed's funeral. The goal is to leave here by 8:00 am - I have no realistic idea when we will get back. Monday is return to school for everyone except Dipstick. Then the 3 of us - not Dipstick and B - will leave that evening to go to OH to meet Grandpa for Grandma's buriel. We will be back sometime Tuesday. After that I hope to be able to take time to slow down and ponder some. I really want to change some things - keep some things the same and take regular time to reflect.