Icemageddon 2011 – The Last Challenge

The worst of  Icemageddon 2011 is over, we’re told. I’ve gotta be honest, I loved this storm until tonight. We got extra sleep, we ate like kings, we gathered around the fireplace for hours on end while WTHR kept us informed of everything we could possibly need to know about the current conditions.

Many lost power. We, by some miracle, did not. (I am convinced, however, that if we had not stocked up on emergency supplies, we would’ve definitely had an outage.)

The photo my husband took of our son ice skating in the cul-de-sac was shown on the news, so they’re basking in stardom. Our daughter enjoyed endless hours of sliding on the ice with her dear friend.

The kids are off school again tomorrow. That’s probably because everyone and their mother has fallen on the ice today. The yards are literally rock solid ice, as are most side streets, and the temperatures have plummeted into single digits.  This slippery glaze is digging in its heels so we can’t!

Of the members of my own family who have reportedly taken at least one spill so far are: my husband (twice), my daughter (too many to count), my son, my dad, my mom, and Paco, our Chihuahua (who ran onto the deck this morning and glided right down the steps and down the small slope behind our house without ever moving his feet).

Now we have one last challenge. Our black lab is on a potty strike. If she does so much as venture a foot outside the deck doors, she stops… looks around at the slippery sheen… and goes right back inside. I really wish you all could’ve been a birdie on my deck railing to witness me breaking up the ice with a shovel (or trying) in my slippers, while my stubborn black dog watched from inside.

I should mention that chopping this stuff is NOT light work. We’re talking about a major demolition-style swing of the shovel to even make a little dent or hairline crack.  And? I worked up a sweat in the 12-degree darkness for nothing. Maggie just looked at the path I tried to chop for traction, turned right back around ungratefully and went inside where it was warm.  After that, we could not lure her outside for anything.  That was hours ago and I’m out of ideas about it.  If you could hear what is happening in the background at this very moment, it would be my husband shouting through the closed deck doors, “Go potty!  Be a good girl and GO POTTY.” She isn’t going for it. This is the dog who LOVES snow. But she has reached her limit with the ice.

I love snow. But even I am starting to let my thoughts wander to sunny warm skies and lilacs blooming in a few weeks.  To remind myself that spring IS going to come eventually, I planted some basil seeds in a small pot today and put it in my window sill.  I just needed a visual other than ice.

How did you all fare?  I hope you managed to stay warm and safe during this huge winter blast.

Icemageddon – Night 2

What a relief it was to wake up with power this morning. And with school called off, sleeping in a little longer was fabulous, I’m not gonna lie. So far this storm has meant a plethora of baked goods (per yesterday’s confession that I cook when I’m nervous) and extra sleep.

Once the kids woke up, they were anxious to go outside and play in the… ice. Daughter quickly found out why kids generally don’t sled on ice. But don’t worry, her leg will be fine. And son actually traded his shoes for hockey skates to play in the cul-de-sac.  (See photo.)

Scott took the blankie off his truck this afternoon so he could run out for a couple things, and huge thick sheets of ice came tumbling off as he pulled it away. He ran out to CVS (2 miles away, tops) for dishwashing liquid and half-n-half (because we might as well not make coffee if there’s no half-n-half) and he returned over two-and-a-half hours later. Turns out, he is one of those studs with a four-wheel-drive truck that picks up stuff for other people, drops it by their house, and helps get them to places they otherwise couldn’t go because they don’t have a four-wheel-drive truck.  When he returned from his neighborly duties, he came bearing an unexpected gift. He brought a large, ice-cold Dr. Pepper… one of my favorite caffeinated vices. He’s cool like that.

The tarp-blankie is back on truckie now and we aren’t going anywhere for awhile. I was able to get in a full, fairly productive day of work without any interruption in internet service.  So thankful for small miracles.

We were just sure the thick coating of ice covering everything would have affected the power lines sooner. So every hour of heat, lights, and hot water today was precious. A winter storm warning sounded on our local TV station at around 3:00 p.m. and we are currently getting hammered with sleet and freezing rain. The lights are starting to flicker.  So now, every minute of power is precious. Currently we are settling in for a night of  togetherness and holding our breath with every flicker of the lights.

What have learned today? When the electricity could go out at any moment, but doesn‘t, I live in a much more grateful state of mind. I’m grateful that I have power at this moment — or that I EVER have power, heat, water and warm meals for that matter. I’m also reminded of all the people not too far away who don’t have shelter, food or heat tonight or ever.

I’ve also learned that having a husband with a four-wheel-drive truck ROCKS.

Icemageddon 2011 – Night 1

So 29 out of America’s 50 states are now being pounded (or soon will be pounded) by what some are calling the largest winter storm in history. My particular area of the country, a northern suburb of Indianapolis, is getting ice. Not rain, not snow, or even a “wintry mix” but pure pellets of ice that are at this very moment forming a crusty glaze on the house, the yard, the deck, the mailbox, the cul-de-sac, the neighborhood… you get the idea. Oh, and the truck.  (See photo of the tarped ice-sculpture to the left formerly known as our pick-up truck.)

We can actually hear it crackling when we get brave enough to stick our heads out the door to assess the damage. And this mess is just getting started. They’ve been warning us for days. And I’ve learned a few things about myself as I have prepared for Icemageddon 2011:

1. I still have lurking control issues. Yes, I do.

2. I cook when I get nervous. I cook a lot. The oven is panting and the poor breadmaker is curled up over on the countertop in the fetal position, sucking it’s thumb.

3. I never believe the first warnings. It’s only when I see the massive blob on the radar that I start taking action. So I guess that’s a trust thing.

4. I love it when school is called off, even if it’s because of eminent and massive power outages that surely await. Clearly I’m anti-establishment… or I just like sleeping in. Yeah, it’s the sleeping in.

5. Ice storms make me a little bit bossy. Not bad. It just brings out my…um…leadership skills.

6. If I lose my Twitter connection it’s gonna be bad. Real bad. Apparently surviving an ice storm with the help of such interesting distraction makes the whole deal feel less ominous. So needless to say, I am very happy for an iPhone and I hope AT&T doesn’t fail me if Comcast/Xfinity does. This reminds me, I need to go charge my iPhone while there’s still power.

7. I love that truck. I mean, look…it even gets a blankie.

Anyone else out there facing the storm? (I’m guessing at least 60% of you who are United States residents are.) What are you learning about yourself??

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