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Archive for January, 2009

Spawn has been invited to a birthday party this weekend.  By “this weekend” I mean it’s a sleepover party and it’s supposed to last ALL weekend.  In fact, I just heard back from the party hosts that yes, despite the weather and the ice and the trees down, the party is going on as scheduled. 

Unbelievable.  These people are completely nuts. 

We had a sleepover party last year for Spawn’s birthday.  There were seven children here from 6pm Friday to 11am Saturday.  It was enough to make a saint turn to sinning. 

Then again, we do not have a full, dry, finished basement loaded with games and toys and stuff like that.  But still.  Two whole days with a bunch of kids who have been out of school for four days and haven’t quite gotten their quota of playing in the snow. 

Truly, truly insane. 

 

— Mox

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Birdfeeder or chandelier?  You decide.

Birdfeeder or chandelier? You decide.

Really.  I’ve had about all the fun I can stand. 
Exhibit A.

Why I cannot get to work: Exhibit A.

The worst of it is, I am housebound with the people I purport to hold dear.  This may not hold true for much longer if we can’t get away from each other. 
— Mox

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As bad as the weather was yesterday, Spawn and I managed to keep ourselves entertained for most of our captivity.  Though my plans to clean out the pantry were by necessity scrapped once I learned that my outside trash can was both frozen to the ground and also frozen shut.  I also learned that Spawn is capable of wicked trickery during a game of Uno. 

The freezing rain did not let up all day.  And I do mean ALL DAY.  I can’t tell you how much ice there is, there’s so much.  And even though I was bone-tired when I lay down for the evening, I did not get much sleep because of the constant sound of trees and power lines coming down.  Electrical transformers arced and sparked and lit up the night sky for the largest part of the evening.  I don’t know by what miracle we managed to keep our electricity, but we never did lose power. 

And then, it snowed. 

This car has not moved in two days.

This car has not moved in two days.

The unfortunate thing about the snow on top of the ice is that it looks very inviting if you are eight years old.  However, as the mother of someone who is eight years old, as much as I would love to send the kid out into the tundra to work off the insane amount of energy that’s been pent up, I also realize that ice+trees+power lines = not safe. 
Part of these branches are also resting on the roof of my house.

Part of these branches are also resting on the roof of my house.

My parents are stranded at their home out in the county, with no electricity and no phone.  And since they don’t have any power, they can’t use the garage door opener to open the garage and get the car out and make a foolhardy trek into town to come see, oh, me.  At least I know they won’t be getting out in this mess unless they absolutely have to. 
My husband, ever the brainiac, risked his ass and drove eight hours to get home, surprising me and Spawn.  While it is nice to have him where I can keep an eye on him, he’s also still got the flu and since I am germophobic I have quarantined him.  So there’s that. 
If you see a story on the national news about some woman finally succumbing to cabin fever and going on a rampage, chances are that will be me. 
— Mox

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So we’re out of school today. 

Y’all, it rained/sleeted/froze all night long last night.  Frankly I’d much rather have snow than all this ice, because with the ice comes the chance that the power lines will come down.  A Mox without electricity is a Mox coming unwound.  Ain’t pretty. 

Spawn is vegging out in front of the TV and drawing.  While I’d like to be the kind of mom who has lots of “rainy day” activities in my arsenal, the fact of the matter is, both of us are happier if we’re out of one another’s hair.  Such is the wiring of the only child. 

As for me, plans today include using up a couple of freckly bananas to make some banana bread, making spaghetti sauce in the crock pot, cleaning out my pantry, and the ubiquitous laundry.  I sure as hell am not going outside. 

Today is also my parent’s 47th anniversary.  In this day and age, managing to stay married for that many years is quite the accomplishment.  Because that’s a long time to live with someone and all their warts.  And my parents are just babes in the woods when you consider the other members of my extended family who have all surpassed the 50th anniversary mark.  I’ve had a very good and varied example set for me with regard to how to stay married a long time. 

Speaking of being married, my husband is iced in as well.  However, he’s iced in at a location some three hours from here, and also has the flu.  Which means he’s not coming home tonight.  Seems to me that might be a good thing, and a reason we’re still married. 

 

— Mox

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Phooey.

Does anyone out there know anything about how to control the weather?  Someone that perhaps we could call?  Because I’d like to put in an order to change it this week. 

Beyond the cold that I now so famously abhor, I’d like to at least postpone the cataclysm that’s supposed to visit us tonight and tomorrow. To wit: 

map_spectrop06_ltst_6nh_enus_600x405

Our area is on the dividing line which is currently forecast for anywhere from 1-3″ to 3-6″ of snow.  Now, for those of you out there who are, say, up north or in New England, you can be all “pfft” about it, but the higher count of snow in this neck of the woods is what’s known as paralyzing.  And what’s shown above is a national forecast, which is on average pretty conservative.  The local models are calling for quite a bit more snow than what the national model is predicting. 

I am on record for despising the cold, and I have a special place in my heart for the dislike of snow, inasmuch as it interrupts my routine.  Snow, as an abstraction, can be beautiful and calming, especially if I have nothing better to do than laze around the house in my cozies and read and drink hot tea.  However, snow as a reality can really mess things up around here. 

My biggest concern is that it’s National Catholic Schools Week, which means that Spawn’s school is stepping out of the norm of strict adherence to the Three R’s this week and partying down.  The kids get to eschew their uniforms all week, they have games and prizes and a talent show, and there is no homework given all week long.  In short, it’s School Lite, and everyone likes it.  It’s the most fun you can have at school and actually have to be at school. 

NCSW is also traditionally the one week where we miss a day or two due to weather.  The snow amounts that are being predicted locally will pretty much wipe out all the fun and games for NCSW.  And while the kids don’t necessarily mind being out of school, they do tend to feel kind of gypped when then have to come back and resume buckling down rather than participate in the endless fun they had been promised. 

So I’m asking, if there is any way, to at least postpone the Great Blizzard for one more week.  That way, we can have TWO weeks without homework.  And that will make ME very happy. 

 

— Mox

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With all of this talk about hiring freezes and pay freezes, and let’s not forget the freezing temperatures here lately, it’s enough to drive a woman mad.  I just read an article in the paper this morning about how so many companies are implementing pay freezes and quite frankly, I am already there. 

I can’t tell you the last time I had a pay raise.  When you work for a small, struggling business, pay raises are sometimes just wishful thinking.  Then there is the separate issue of merely getting paid, on time, with regularity. 

I suppose a normal person would have hit the bricks a long time ago. 

My husband thinks I’m insane, and maybe I am, but for someone in the position I’m in, I’ve sort of sucked it up and gone on as best I can.  In this economy, in this market, with the job skills and experience I have, the job pool is very, very shallow.  So I am employed, I’m just not making any money. 

I realize that if it were not for my husband having a relatively good job, one with benefits, I wouldn’t be able to do this.  I’d have to really suck it up big time and get myself a 40-hour-a-week corporate job, and having had one of those, that does not fill me with pleasant feelings. 

I already know from this current experience that I would not make it as a stay-at-home mom.  Having had to rely more or less solely on my husband’s income for the past couple of months has put me in a sort of funk.  While I’ve always had to watch pennies, the fact that I’m not adding any sheckles to the common pot right now is making me feel pretty useless.  Sure, I’ve had to learn to live on less, and that’s not really the point.  It’s the feeling that I don’t have any right to a say in how the finances are distributed, beyond the basics of food, shelter, and comfort. 

I know that this is mostly in my own head, because my husband is not one to lord his breadwinner status over me.  But it points up a very telling fact about me:  I enjoy being on more of a level playing field, money-wise.  It’s a larger part of my identity than I realized.  When I bring in my own money, I don’t feel guilty about occasional splurges or feel like I need to ask permission.  That’s a real 1950’s attitude, that whole having to ask permission to spend money thing.  But it’s there in my brain somewhere, barely alive but there, and likely put there by my own parents, who came of age in the 1950’s and have some pretty traditional ideas about men and women. 

I’ve never wanted to be a taker, or taken care of.  I’ve always wanted to pull my own weight, as much as I can.  The rationalizer would say that I do that just on the basis of the things I do around the house, the parenting that is a lot of times solo.  And I don’t suppose it’s fair for me to assume that these things I do to keep our lives running smoothly are of less value because they don’t have a paycheck attached to them, but at the core of it, that’s how I feel. 

As difficult as it is to be a modern woman, to feel the tug of the work-life balance, it seems to be more so in a difficult economy. 

 

— Mox

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When worlds collide.

My cousin recently sucked me into joining Facebook. Which is okay considering that this has quickly become the best way for my large and extended family to keep up with one another.

And then, hey, I found some of my high school classmates on Facebook.

And wouldn’t you know, some of my sorority sisters.

Also, a large contingent of women from the message board I post to.

Plus some people I know from my career.

It’s a mishmash of people, and it’s a little disconcerting.

I’m a compartmentalizer.  I’m able to keep track of things better when they reside in their own specified areas, categorized in a system of logic that works for me and me only.  My husband calls this being weird, but he’s still here so maybe he likes me weird.  The bottom line is, my ability to keep like items together and my slavish need to maintain this system is probably something of a mental issue but it works for me. 

Where heretofore I have been able to keep the separate parts of my life, well, separate, all of a sudden I’ve got different groups all mingling together in one area.   And I’ve grown accustomed to finding certain people in certain places, so sometimes I’ll see someone on Facebook and it’ll take me a minute or two to figure out which pew they’re supposed to be in.  Not too comfortable with this blurring of the lines, is all I’m saying. 

And!  I was cruising through the “people you may know” tool to see if there were, indeed, people there I might know based on those who have friended me, and found that two of my friends are connected but don’t know it.  My cousin in Tennessee and a work friend each know the same person but don’t know each other.  I, however, have no idea who the person they have in common is.  It’s sort of Six Degrees, or maybe Five-and-a-Half Degrees. 

There’s a layer of complication here, too.  My cousins know me as a certain person.  My sorority sisters remember me in a specific way.  People I’ve worked with have not seen those particular sides of me.  My message board friends know me in the context of being Spawn’s mother.  And folks from high school just really don’t need to know some things.  Because when you get right down to it, we never really leave high school behind. 

Which is why I am not too anxious for those photos of me playing pass the bottle with my cousins to make the rounds in my other social circles.  Because jeez, you think you know someone….

 

— Mox

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