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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Conversation with M

M (busily applying glue on the back of a newspaper scrap): I'm making a scrapbook for funny pictures from the newspaper.
Me: Let me see what you have there. Oh, it's a moose with a chair over its head. How weird!
M: Can I look at the pictures in yesterday's newspaper?
Me: Sure. You can check out all the papers from last week.
M: I want to see if I can find that picture of the funny lady who shaved her head. I want that picture for the scrapbook
Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Back Again!

I'm back to blogging after a break for the last 3 weeks.
With myriads of rhinoviruses floating around, my family had these unwelcome visitors mowing us down like rhinos charging at safaris.
To make things worse, my PC's hard disk crashed shortly after I installed a game that I had gotten my son for his birthday. So between Tylenol-fueled tech support calls, and trying to recover my lost data, and the coughing/zombie like feeling that lasts for days after not-quite-the-flu, I had my cup of misfortune overflowing.
The last couple of weeks were not fun weather, both inside the house and out. Temperatures dropped precariously low. School was even canceled on two days because the low temperatures wouldn't let the school buses start, outfitted as they were with a new low-emission formulation of diesel that clogs the pipes when temperatures drop below 10 degrees F. So my stir-crazy kids ran wild around the house, while I tried to get my work done amidst battling hooligans.
This week was the turn for another round of snow cancellations two days in a row. The day before was the grand prizewinner- we lost power for 7 hours in the morning.
The thermometer dropped steadily from 70 degrees to 60 degrees and we started layering up with socks and sweaters as we waited for the power to return.
My husband took it all as a grand adventure, lighting up a fire in our seldom-use fireplace (Never did really understand our real estate agent's rapture over the size of ours-but now I concede that it did finally come in useful as a wood burning operational fireplace, worth its size in utility rather than ambiance!)
The kids jostled around the fireplace, trying to toast marshmallows. My husband shoveled a path to our grill, languishing under a vinyl cover on our deck, and initiated boiling a kettle on its propane burner, just for the morning cuppa and hot cocoa. That, along with cereal and leftover sourdough bread from yesterday was our breakfast.
I walked across to our neighbors, unable to reach them by phone, since we have VOIP service which conks out whenever the power to the cable modem goes out. As usual, my cell phone was out of charge and suitably useless in this emergency. They were doing alright, but we did take a few minutes to discuss leaving the house for another friend's place where the power and heat was still on, just in case the power outage lasted too long.
I came back in a tizzy, worrying about frozen pipes if the power wasn't restored and temperatures dropped below freezing in the house (though that wouldn't happen for at least another 12 hours, given the 10 degree drop in 6 hours!). My husband laughed and said,"Watch the kids and the fun we are having. It's like camping indoors, with the fire and marshmallows and camp stove version of coffee and cocoa! And you worry about frozen pipes! "
Sure enough, 5 minutes later the power was back, and it was time to get back to working on my PC, all thoughts of emergency and disaster gone in a blink!