Pennsylvania suddenly remembers it’s winter

It appears that Pennsylvania has been a little confused about what season it is for the last couple of weeks as warm temperatures tried to move into the area. But this past week Pennsylvania said to herself, “Oh, right. We are due for some snow because it is winter. Here you go.”

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So after a week of warmer temps and rain, Winter dropped six inches of snow in a few hours and another two the following day. My children had started to like the idea of being able to go to the playground in warmer weather when the snow came. Luckily my youngest decided to make the most of it and ran out into the snow and then pretty quickly back in when she got snow in her shoe. She went in and out a few more times for a couple of days and even convinced her brother to go out in it a couple of times. Apparently, since becoming a teenager he no longer tolerates cold well.  Or he is just lazy. I’m going to go with lazy, even though I’m not a fan of the cold either.

After I told my son I missed him being adventurous and getting excited to go play outside in any weather, he took off without a coat or boots and jumped off our porch into the snow.

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Luckily, he didn’t break anything.

 

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My daughter took her favorite (today anyhow) toy with her – a ragged dog I bought for way too much money for Christmas that I probably could have made for $10. The thing comes in a ball and the child is supposed to dunk it in water to unravel it. Now that Little Miss knows it can get wet and be dried fairly easily she takes it with her everywhere, from into the snow and rain, to her baths. Her brother buried it all the way under the snow at one point when she wasn’t looking but stuck a tree branch over it so he could find it later. She realized it was gone within a few moments of coming back in the house.

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She pestered her brother and me all day about going out into the snow but each time we got there, she would run back inside less than ten minutes later.

“You made us come out here and now you are leaving?” I shouted at one point as she ran toward the front porch.

“Yeah, well, I have SNOW IN MY BOOT!” she yelled back.

She was so indignant about it; it cracked us up.

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DSC_7548_2DSC_7592_2DSC_7627On one of the days, we had snow a friend of my son’s came over and they had some kind of wrestling match in our side yard. No idea what that was about, but I know that beating each other up is how boys relate.

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DSC_7712_1Watching the kids play in the snow made me think about how this will be the last winter they play in the yard of this house since by next year we will be living 40 minutes away, closer to my husband’s job and my parents. The day before the snow hit we visited a local playground that is set to be demolished sometime this winter or spring so that a new one can be rebuilt in the fall. The playground is a wooden playground that was built more than 30 years ago and is a favorite of my children, as well as other children in the community. It will be sad to see it go, but it will be safer and easier for the borough to maintain it once it is replaced.

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Sunday Bookends: Social anxiety, libraries, snow and what I’m reading

Our winter has been weird this year. We haven’t had as much as snow as other years and if we have had it, it’s come suddenly and all at once, and usually after a warm spell.

That’s what happened Friday when six inches of snow was dropped on our small town (more in the higher elevations around us) in about three hours. The snow came after a mixture of heavy rain and ice fell throughout the night and early morning hours. The temperatures went from 51 earlier in the week to 24 by the end, which, of course, our sinuses never appreciate.

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My oldest jumping into the snow off our porch because I told him he wasn’t adventurous since he became a teenager.

The youngest declared she wanted to go out in the snow, but I knew she’d probably run out and five minutes later run back in, because, in addition to the snow, the wind was blowing. She did want to come back inside in about five minutes but this time it was because there was snow in her boot. We didn’t get the kids snow pants this year, I think because we were so distracted with the house stuff we simply forgot. And since the weather hasn’t been very “wintery” all winter, we haven’t been too worried about it.

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DSC_7487I’m sure I’ll share more snow photos later this week.

I read a blog post by Lisa at The Manitoba Mom Blog a month or so ago where she said she needed a good snowstorm to snow her in and give her a break from normal life and we were lucky Friday to get that snowstorm. I needed it after a long, emotional and physically draining week. After a week-long painful (men, turn your heads) PMS experience, I then did something to my neck that felt like a pinched nerve. The pain radiated down my arm and kept me from typing and finishing revisions on the first draft of A New Beginning for a couple of days. All of this pain was going on while we had two house showings (yes, I am sick of writing about this) and I finally got my rear in gear and took my daughter to storytime at the local library.

I have been boycotting our local libraries after an incident with a lost children’s book where they didn’t notice it was missing for three weeks, but when they did they called and texted me once a day for a couple of weeks, sometimes twice a day. I called them and told them I was sure I’d brought it back. They said they couldn’t find it. I finally said I’d pay for it but the messages continued until I told one of the staff, when I saw her somewhere else, I’d be in to pay for it and she joked about how the libraries were now sending some people to the local judge when they didn’t pay their fines. I wasn’t sure how to take that comment but luckily I found the book the next day and returned it and paid the fine. After that, and another incident with that same staff member involving my oldest, I backed away from the library and started buying books instead.  I didn’t want to risk losing another one and getting the texts and phone calls again.

However, we needed to go somewhere during a house showing last month and we ended up at a different local library. My daughter wanted to play in the children’s room and that’s when I picked up a book by Karen White called Falling Home. I had never heard of her so I decided to start reading the book to waste time. I was hooked in the first few pages, but I was on a library strike, so I finished chapter two and put it back on the shelf, planning to look on Kindle for it. I did look on Kindle and they wanted $13 for it and I rarely spend that much money on a Kindle book unless it is an author I know well. (Aside: recently Erin at Still Life with Cracker Crumbs mentioned that her library lists how much money she’s saved throughout the year by going to the library. I didn’t think our local libraries did this, but when we got our books, six of them altogether, the receipt said we had saved $106 this year. Huh. Interesting.)

I guess you could say that my finding that book was like a (single) woman meeting a (single) man somewhere and not being able to get him out of her head because I could not get that book out of my head.  I thought about that book so much I finally talked my daughter into storytime this week so I could break my vow to never sign books out of the local libraries and sign it out.  And then I took that book home to be mine, all my mine (for two weeks at least). If you have read this book, please don’t tell me what happens. I’m only on Chapter 10 or so, but so far I am in love and have found a new author to follow.

In case you are interested, here is the synopsis of the book from Goodreads:

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You know that saying about how sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug?

It’s true. Take me, for example. I shook the Georgia dust from my feet fifteen years ago,vowing never to leave Manhattan. I traded sweet tea for Chardonnay, fried chicken for nouvelle cuisine, lazy days on my aunt’s front porch for ad campaigns and board meetings, and the guy who broke my heart for my handsome boss, who soon became my fiance. Perfect, right?

Until my sister called. We haven’t spoken since I left home—because she married the guy who broke my heart. What’s more, she called to say my father is dying—but he refuses to finish until I show up. So I’m back in the hottest, dinkiest small town in Georgia, facing my sister and my old boyfriend over the heads of the—count them—five children. It couldn’t get weirder, right? Unless you count Sam Parker—a long-forgotten classmate, now the town doctor—and how good he’s beginning to look to me.

I’m falling apart, I think, wondering why resentment and wounded pride seem silly here in Walton, where forgiveness and acceptance go hand-in-hand with homecoming. And I’m beginning to suspect that I’m falling in love for real this time, with a man whose touch is so right, I feel like I’m…Falling Home.

In addition to picking out my book, I asked my daughter if she wanted to pick a few books out for herself. One of the highlights of my childhood was picking out my own books at the library, maybe because I didn’t have video games or other devices waiting for me at home. I also didn’t have a life, but anyhow, I digress. My daughter was thrilled with her books and I’ll talk about her picks in a post later this week.

While at the library I was reminded I don’t talk to many adults in person anymore since I started homeschooling my son two years ago. Because I don’t see people as much anymore, I have developed severe social anxiety and because I have social anxiety I ramble like I haven’t talked to another human being in decades when I run into actual adults. Those poor women I ran into Tuesday . . . I definitely feel for them. I’m hoping if I go to storytime again I can stop rambling like a drug addict on speed and act like a normal person, but I don’t have much faith in that happening unless I ducttape my mouth shut.

I didn’t watch a lot this week but Friday we did watch The Hunt for Red October for our family movie night. I hadn’t seen it in years and, of course, it still bugs me they slacked off and didn’t use Russian accents for the majority of the movie. As if it is normal for a man with a thick Scottish accent to be commanding a secret Soviet submarine. And Tim Curry with his cockney/Soviet mix accent. Good grief. But the movie is still a good one. Hollywood is always making remakes so it would be nice if they remade this one and gave the Soviet Navy actual Soviet/Russian accents.

On the blog this week, I rambled about a variety of subjects:

My 87-year old aunt reminding me I’m fat;

The Real Blanche Behind A Story to Tell;

Fiction Thursday: A New Beginning Chapter 18

Fiction Friday: A New Beginning Chapter 19

January in Photos

Flash Fiction Challenge: A Dog in the Daisies

So, what all are you reading, watching or doing this week? Let me know in the comments!

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