about a dream: November 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

What an adventure. First, I'd like to take full responsibility for everything that went wrong. It was totally my fault. See, I made a family trivia quiz for all of us to take on Thanksgiving afternoon, and over the course of the month that I was making it, I said (again and again) "Wow, nothing's really ever gone wrong with our Thanksgivings. We've never had any disasters," and "Things have always gone really smoothly for us for Thanksgiving."

Never say things like that!

The storm was first forecast on Friday or Saturday, but that was too far off to really worry about. The models were giving conflicting forecasts, probably rain along the coast though.

It was 60 degrees on Tuesday too. So warm! So sunny! But the models had converged, and it looked like we'd be getting snow.

The girls and I left early Wednesday morning, so we could get to Newburyport before the snow started (it was still supposed to begin as rain).

Just north of Portland, it started to snow. Within 5 minutes, it started to really snow. It was a heavy, wet mix of snow and freezing rain, but at least it was melting on the highway, and things weren't too slippery.

The girls and I got to Erik's just fine, they had some friends over, watched some Maleficent, and things seemed to be looking up.

They actually spent most of the movie running around and yelling, but let's pretend for posterity that it looked like this the whole time.

Then the cancellations poured in.

Maria and Lee were just too tired after cleaning out Grandma's apartment to make it.

Gina, Lou, Jessica, and Valentina wouldn't be coming. Weather.

Uncle Vito and Veronica were undeterred and on their way. Mom, Dad, and Nick were scheduled to arrive Thursday morning.

Around 7 we got a phone call from Uncle Vito. Car accident. They were unhurt, but not coming. Two more down...

In the morning, we learned that Twin Cove Road had lost power at about 9 pm. There was a tree down on the lines at the bottom of the hill and one line had fallen across the road. No one knew if it was live or not, so they decided to wait until CMP came by to deal with it. Dinner would be postponed, but not cancelled.

Meanwhile, cousins played:

So, so cute.

Mom and dad called back. Dad had tested the line, was pretty sure it wasn't live, and moved it out of the way. They were on their way!

So what started out as 18 for dinner had dwindled down to 9 (including Joey. You can't not count him even though he didn't get to eat any of the feast!)

This would be the last time we were warm for days...

So, I headed back to Boothbay at about 6. The poor doggies were home alone, and I wanted to keep an eye on the houses. Sure enough, I got back, and the power was still out. Both houses were about 50 degrees, so I piled some blankets on the bed and went to sleep.

I got up at about 6 am, still no power. I went to the neighbors' place (they have a generator), and turned on the heat and water. Then I shoveled, checked on Ursula, shoveled some more, checked on the houses, and even read a little. Pete G was in town, so we had some warm lunch at the Ebb Tide, and then I spent 40 minutes heating water from the fish tank on mom and dad's (propane) stove so the fishies wouldn't die. Who says I don't love animals?

Back in Newburyport, Nina and Maggie played in the snow. Snow and cold are fun when you have electricity and a warm house to come home to.

"Hot cocoa, a blanket, and TV would be perfect right now," Maggie had said.

Everyone got home, still no power. The houses were back down to about 47, so dad lit a fire in the woodstove and Nick and I borrowed a generator. We ordered some pizzas and ate dinner at the Sheard's warm house.

We went to bed (all of us in the one bed. Warmth!), and the house was about 58 degrees. Overnight low was 17 degrees, and the house was down to 47 when we woke up. Generator back on, and we made do.

Finally the power came on at about 10:30!! Rejoicing!!

It went out again while I was typing this, but fortunately that only lasted about 10 minutes, and now it's on again. Fingers crossed anyway!!!

What a Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Braced for some cold!

Brrr! And, Ewww!!! I hate the cold. Hate. But it's just a quick snap, and really nothing compared to what the rest of the country is going through. A few days in the 30s, then we'll creep back up to the 40s and 50s. I'll survive, most likely.

Poor Maggie stayed home today. Loose stools! Poor kid.

Nina took Bus 1 to the Ebb Tide by herself after school, because it was early release day. I got a phone call at work at 1:30--it was the school, and she wasn't on Bus 3. "She's taking Bus 1 to the Ebb Tide," I said. "Oh, ok," they said. Good, no big deal.

Then I got another phone call at 2:00. "Nina's not on Bus 1. Did your husband come and get her?"


Oh my God. Where was my child. I dashed down to my classroom in case she'd wound up there. No. Nina. I ran to the elementary school. The principal was telling Teresa to get Lyndon, the bus driver boss who can radio all the other buses, and have him instruct every bus in the fleet to pull over and ask for Nina. At the same time, Lisa was calling the Ebb Tide to check with mom.

Lisa got mom, Nina was there. There was a substitute bus driver on 1 who didn't know Nina, and she'd gotten off at the stop by Red Cup, not realizing that this year, the bus stopped right in front of the Ebb Tide, Of course, as Lisa predicted, mom noticed that the bus had gone by and would have called the school if Nina hadn't gotten off, and in the end all was well.

About a half hour later, while I was finishing up my meetings, I noticed that my abs were in burning pain, as though I'd done a hundred situps. Stress! I'm sure I'll have a dozen more gray hairs and a few new wrinkles tomorrow. Sigh....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Now for some funnies...

Last week, I was playing a monster high app with Maggie on the (TINY!) iPod. I tried to select a necklace for the monster girl we were designing, but it wouldn't click.

"Here," said Maggie sweetly. "I'll click that for you. Your fat fingers are useless."


A week before that, she out of the blue says to me, "I peeked on you when you were in the shower the other day, and I saw your butt. It's fleshy, and bumpy, and moley."

For no reason she tells me this!

I thought she'd said moldy, which really hurt, but she clarified that no, it just has moles on it.

So, whew, I guess. My self-esteem is just through the roof.

I might have to buy this swimsuit:

It's Beyonce, and her swimsuit says "99 problems but my ass ain't one"

Ha! Take that Maggie! I'm gettin' it!

Busy, busy, same old story

I hope I can get back in the habit of blogging more often, but boy is it hard. Busy with work, the house, the kids, the dogs, and so little time left for anything else, much less blogging!

Since I last posted, great-grandma died, so that's kept us all busy. I was at the hospital on Saturday, but I didn't take the girls with me, since she always looks so sick and frail at the hospital (it's something about the gown and bed combo I guess), and I didn't want them to get scared. She was very alert, very talkative (the nurse said the steroids will do that), but hard to understand with her oxygen mask on. She had very bad pnemonia at this point, and her heart was beginning to fail. She died Sunday morning, and I went out early with Mom and Dad to catch the 11:00 am mass at St. John's with Jessica. It was very nice.

Jessica said that grandma died in her sleep, and it was very peaceful and quiet. She didn't struggle to breathe and didn't choke, but her heartrate just slowly dropped until it stopped.

At around 1:00 on Sunday Nick came by with the girls, and we took Valentina with us to go see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was cute! We laughed a lot. We got a giant popcorn and soda (unlimited refills!), and Val promptly dumped half the bucket on the floor. Kids!! She's enormous by the way Vanessa and Erik, almost as tall as Jessica. And only 14! Unbelievable.

Monday was back to work and school, and the family all came to mom and dad's after dinner.

Tuesday the kids and I had no school because it was Veteran's Day, so I went back to Brunswick with mom to help clean out Grandma's apartment.

So that takes us to today, which was just an ordinary early release Wednesday. The girls went to the Ebb Tide after school while I did meetings, and I picked them up after that. Now we're all pretty drained and heading to bed soon.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I'll confess up front that out photos from the day are lame. I didn't have the camera, I think Maggie's little friend Rose had it most of the time, so the pickins are slim. But we were just having too much fun to take pictures!

First, the girls and I raced over to the library for the Halloween parade. Raced over after some rollerskating in the parking lot time, that is.

We threw their costumes on (skeleton bride and zombie cheerleader) and trick-or-treated at the local businesses lining Townsend avenue. "GIMMIE CANDY!" Maggie joyously exclaimed at the first businesses. Her sweet, genuinely enthusiastic voice, filled with all the joy of childhood, made the statement sound adorable, not bratty and demanding. Everyone within earshot laughed, but I reminded her to say "Trick or Treat." (I pretend she's not mine in situations like this and just call her "Little girl." Sue me.)

Then it was on to our friends the Campbells for some pizza and trick or treating on their street. Erik may have stolen Craig and Elizabeth from me, but I can retaliate by stealing Jay and Gish. Ha!! Take that Erik!! They're MY friends now!

Ok, they're Maggie and Nina's friends. Here are Maggie and Rose:

They did more candy-handing-outing than trick-or-treating
It was sweet, because Rose decided that she wanted to hand out candy and not trick or treat. Maggie started off trick or treating, but then decided that Rose might be lonely, so she went back to the house to keep her company. Aww! They're such good buddies!

I have no pictures of Grace and Nina. Sorry! But here are our pumpkins:

That's Maggie's on the left, Nina's on the right. They were REALLY scary when we got home last night, because they'd molded to near piles of mush. Maggie's was so rotted that it collapsed in my hands when I tried to chuck it into the woods, so now it's a pile of mush in the lawn. Classy. I'm sure the dogs will eat it mom, don't worry.