Monday, December 17, 2007


Yesterday, our fair city was buried in crystalline seasonal precipitation. In other snowed buttloads. I, with my unfailing faith in the street department, went to bed last night with the presumption that I would awake to "business as usual" this morning. The plow did manage to make it down my street...burying the same poor minivan that my teenage son spent two hours digging out yesterday afternoon. But...gotta give them an "A" for effort.

The hubby, and my infant son, woke me early this morning, as usual. So far, so good. I stumbled downstairs to get the coffeepot going (for me) and mix up a tasty bowl of baby cereal (not for me) and sat down to watch the news. There, on the screen, beneath the freakish perma-grin of the newscasters, was "The Dreaded Blue Bar". I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. It's the little strip at the bottom of the screen where they announce the school delays and cancellations. The little blue strip that means the difference between a peaceful afternoon, and complete and utter chaos.

At first, I kept my cool. After all, it quit snowing pretty early I assumed that everything should be back to normal. The names of schools and businesses began flashing at the bottom of the screen. No...that one's too far north...surely our kid's schools will still be open. No...that one's to the south of us...I'm not going to panic. Oooo...that one's a little close.... The list starts back through the alphabet. After several nail-biting moments, I see that our school district has issued a delay.

"That's not so bad", I think to myself. "The kids will sleep through most of the delay time, and then I can get them out of here before lunch." The list continues to flash. Life goes on. The hubby leaves for work...the baby slobbers on his teddy bear. The blue bar continues to flash.

About ten minutes of peaceful acceptance pass. I begin to notice more and more of the blue bar messages contain the word, "closed". But, I don't stress about it. We live in a big city. Surely our district will remain open. Only the smaller towns around us lack the manpower to get the streets cleared in time. Our schools, although delayed, will still attend later this morning. The thoughts continue to scroll through my mind as the list continues to scroll across the television screen.

Then I see it. As horrific as it is factual: My Area Community Schools -- CLOSED.

Nooooooooooo! It just can't be! Surely there must be some mistake! I watch in disbelief as the list makes full circle. My worst fears are confirmed.

Please wish me luck as I embark on the first Snow Day of this school year. I certainly can use all the luck I can get!

Well, I'm afraid I must go now. The first of my "little angels" are awaking. If you don't hear from me in the next few days, don't hesitate to call the authorities. Just make sure that the press doesn't use any flash photography when they find me in a fetal position beside the water heater with clumps of my own hair (which I most certainly have pulled out in frustration) surrounding me.

Till then, don't eat the yellow snow. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pre-Christmas Woes

Well, folks, it's just about that time again. I've spent the last couple weeks staring disdainfully at the boxes of Christmas decorations stacked precariously against the back wall of my dining room. Is it wrong to consider changing religions just because you're too lazy to decorate? Perhaps I should have listened more carefully when those frighteningly friendly Jehovah's Witnesses stalked mean visited me last month. I don't remember reading anything in the Watchtower about twinkling icicle lights or giant inflatable snowmen...

Anyway... here I am, trying to think of a really good reason not to shove Santa's little plastic butt back in the closet. Last year we did a wonderful job of decorating. We had everything lit up and sparkly in less than forty-eight hours after Thanksgiving. This year, I lack the motivation. I don't feel like perching on a wobbly ladder for three hours to give the illusion of beautiful icicles illuminating our front yard. If our portly local weatherman would've been more accurate in his recent prediction of a foreboding ice storm... I might have been able to "fake it" by dangling a flashlight out of the window to accentuate the natural sparkle of authentic icicles on my porch. But... I digress...

I have acquired a new found respect for the people who leave their Christmas lights up year round. Sure, it may look a bit absurd to see the unlit cords strewn from window to rafter in the middle of July... but just how hilarious it must be to the casual passersby to see my giant, half-frozen rear end balancing on one foot atop a shaky ladder, threatening a Styrofoam Blitzen in a desperate effort to enhance my home's holiday curb appeal. Those wonderfully intelligent beings who had the forethought to leave their decorations up, now have the "last laugh". They simply dust off a few extension cords and plug everything in. It frees up plenty of time to make hot cocoa (with marshmallows) and watch from their windows... mocking me... as I try to finish my decorating.

Well, my friends, I must go and try to tackle this daunting obstacle so that I may pave the way to holiday bliss. Wish me luck. And, if you need a really good laugh, you can always brew up a thermos of hot cocoa and drive down my street tonight. :)