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Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm willing Spring to hurry and up and come see me

Last year, I did a few manicures featuring snowflakes.
This year, I refused to even think about it.
I'm not going to be celebrating winter and all of the hell it's brought with it this year.


So last night, far overdue for a new manicure, I decided to call on the Gods of Spring.
Upon looking at my nails, I realize they could be Easter nails and that's okay.
Easter is in spring. Spring is warmer than winter.
It's all good.

One of these days, I will use my camera and not my iPhone to take these pics. I may even get my lightbox back out. All in due time.

Colors used:
Pinky- Zoya Darcy
Ring- China Glaze Dance Baby
Middle- Sally Hanson Blue Me Away!
Pointer- OPI Hot Fun in the Summerlime
Thumb- OPI You're Such a Budapest

White dots are China Glaze White on White

Next week, look for a mani celebrating the holiday that revolves around pinching, drinking beer, and luck.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow and destruction all around

"The older you get, the faster it flies."
That was what my Mamaw told me years and years ago. And the older I get, the more I see how right she was in her assessment.

I swear it was the first of February just yesterday and now March is looming on the immediate horizon. With it, one living up north would hope that that means the ending of winter and the beginning of a glorious spring.

Yeah, not getting my hopes up.

As I've mentioned before, this winter has been brutal. Or as a friend of mine in Michigan said, it's been cruel. (And she's one of those crazy people that loves snow and everything winter.)

A few years ago, we got a hell of a storm one December weekend. It made national news due to the Metrodome roof collapsing due to the snow. (If you've never seen the footage, click that last link. It's surreal.)
During that storm, the plows destroyed our mailboxes, the buses stopped running, the post office was closed, and it was all out hell for a few days. Due to that, I knew that 1) plows were dangerous and 2) winter could really suck when it wanted to do so.

Fast forward to this winter and we seem to be back in that suck.
Last Monday, February 17th, we got a bit of snow. (A bit being near 8 inches.) And just like that storm back in 2010, our mailboxes met with an untimely death:

In case you are wondering, that a solid 4x4 on the left that was literally twisted in half from the weight of the snow being thrown from the road. We didn't get mail for a day or two until my husband was able to rig it back up temporarily.
And of course, the best way to fix it will have to wait until the Big Thaw. (Steel pipe will be a better post but since there is about 6 feet of snow on the ground that we don't want to dig through and due to the ground being totally frozen, it'll have to wait.)

Our trash cans didn't fare too well against the plows either but they just got thrown about 10 feet from their starting points. This was after the regular trash can was already kicked over (after being emptied, thank god) and the recycling bin was righted once before:

But that snow wasn't terribly heavy. Granted, I wrenched my back shoveling out driveway but I think that was user error and not bending my knees enough.

The next day, I was having one of those days where it would have seemed like the perfection solution to my problems was to run away or hide in bed for a month. Really, I was a basket case for multiple reasons. But that night, I tried to get to the normal side of life. I made my macaroni and cheese and planned to experiment with a new way of eating it. (Think hamburger meat and hamburger toppings.)

Well, sadly... I used the wrong cheese and it was a giant, clumpy mess. When I went to throw it away, it fell out of the bowl and onto my boot. My UGG boot. My ugly, UGG boot that doesn't do well against grease and cheese. Or water. Or snow.

Look at that shit. You can actually see exactly where those elbow noodles landed.
On any other day, I'd have cursed a bit and then started over. But that day.... that was the day I didn't need one more thing to go wrong. So I lost it. I broke down and bawled my eyes out. Like I said, it was a rough damn day.

The next day, however, was a blessing from the Gods of Better Weather. All of a sudden, our temps shot up to 40. 40!!!! And when I looked out the window midday, I saw something I've not seen since October.... PUDDLES!

As you can see, the mailboxes were still wonky.
But there were puddles!
I went outside and also for the first time in months, I could actually feel the sun on my face. I could feel that warmth and it warmed my heart as much as my body.

To let spring know that I was really looking forward to it's arrival, eventually, I called out to it:

But alas, the warming trend ended with a vengeance.
Within just a few days (Last Thursday to be exact), a snow storm blew through, preceded by about 3 hours worth of rain.
Rain. In February. If the temps had stayed elevated, that would have been all right.
But the temps don't cooperate in Minnesota. Not in the winter. 

My husband and I went out Friday afternoon to shovel the driveway. (luckily, we'd already cleared out the snow from Monday.) 
The snow was super heavy due to how wet it was when it was falling. The wind had made sure to blow more of it around and stack it up higher than average. We actually had to get out the power shovel which made it easier but still took a few hours. 

This was taken halfway through. I made my husband plant a foot to get a better idea of how deep the driveway was under the Evil White Stuff:

Luckily, the temps hadn't bottomed out yet and after shoveling, Peanut came out to play for a little while. I think I had to dig her feet out of the snow in the yard 5 times. If she'd tried to pull her foot out without help, her boots would have stayed behind. (It's happened before.)

As much as we weren't happy about more snow, we just went back inside and stayed in Friday night.
But Saturday, oh what a level of suck.

I went out, briefly, to go to the store. Our road looked clear enough so I thought it'd be okay to drive. But I ended up death gripping my steering wheel because 48 hours after the snow had moved on, the roads here were beyond awful. EVERYONE on the interstate was doing 40 mph or less. The overhead road signs that usually tell you how much traffic is going to suck, or if DUI patrols have been increased, simply said "Icy Roads. Slow Down." 
(Sorry, no picture for that. I value my life too much to be taking pics while driving, especially in those conditions.)

I kid you not, the ice on the road was at least a half inch thick in most places, even on I-494. In some places, it was as if I were driving on a washboard.

Now, I can drive in snow. During my very first trip up to MN, I drove up in a blizzard. I know that slow and steady will keep you safer in snow. I learned to drive in the snow in Colorado years ago.
But this... this was something that freaked me out a bit. I just wanted to be back home and off the roads. Thankfully, I made it home safe and sound, after sliding and losing traction only twice.

72 hours after the storm, which was Sunday, the news reports said the roads were doing better. MnDOT had upgraded the ratings to Fair and there were 200 crews out working 24 hours a day laying down salt and deicing stuff.

Also on Sunday, the Metrodome met with its planned end when 84 charges of explosives imploded the old stadium to make room for the new one. Watch this video to see the implosion and make to watch for the road shot in the second half of the video. It'll give you a good idea of what every road looked like on Saturday.

The drive in from St. Paul is going to be super weird not seeing that Dome rising up.

It's been a week of destruction, planned and unplanned.
I have never wanted to see signs of spring so badly. I haven't seen grass since my trip to Disney in early December and I miss it. I'd take winter brown grass over covered in white grass any day.

Although, I'll admit, watching icicles form and watching them grow to sizes taller than my kid is amusing. This is a before and after of Hell House and the icicle that has been growing on the side of the house facing the sun:

I'll leave you today with 2 drawings that have made their way around the internet quite a bit this year. I know I've posted the first one on FB before but the second is new to me this year.

Appropriate every winter in MN

Amen. WHY?!?

How's the weather where you are?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes, random thoughts pop into my head. Most of the time, I keep these to myself since the thoughts are usually fleeting.

But don't you feel special that I am sharing them with you now?
Come on, admit it. You want to wear a sash and tiara now, don't you?

1) Viral videos: I watch Ridiculousness all the time and I always wonder, who put the video online? Some of the idiots in the videos get really hurt or do dumb shit. Are they also dumb enough to put the video out there for public ridicule? Did a family member or friend find the video and post it out of spite or retribution? "Smack me in the nuts, huh? Let me post this video of you kissing your mirror, hard. Paybacks are a bitch, dude."

2) Bieber: ....when was the last time someone told that little brat "no, don't do that"? I mean, other than someone affiliated with the law. Or his neighbors.
Does ANYONE in his entourage ever try to steer this kid on the right path? Or are all of them benefiting too much from his millions?

3) I want a treehouse. I have wanted a treehouse since I was a kid and now watching Treehouse Masters, I am completely in love with the idea of having a treehouse as a retreat. Screw the kids... I would be living in that thing. If you have a large enough tree (and equally large bank account), you can have a treehouse with a kitchen and a bathroom. A bathroom!
Visit Pete's site to see the portfolio. Holy cow. Go look!

Look at this one!
Image Credit: DCL

4) Pinterest: I love it. I could spend hours on it. But I cannot handle when someone makes a new board and does nothing but pin to it and it alone for the next 2 hours. I have to scroll for what seems like an hour to get down to pins NOT pinned to that ONE board. And since I am already married, I doubt I have a need to see 400 pins about wedding day hair. Or how to announce an impending birth.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

You. Have. The. Wrong. Number.

So a few weeks ago, I was sitting around reading on my Kindle when my phone gives a text alert. I think I was waiting on my mom to call back so I naturally thought it was her.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message that says:
"Meet u there :)"

It was signed (its was a female) but I decided not to totally oust that person in case they stumble upon this post. I had no idea who in the hell it was and to my knowledge, I know not one person living in Nebraska, which is where The Google tells me that the prefix 402 can be found.

I ignored it and deleted it, sadly. If I had kept it, the message below would start with it and not what you see. I think maybe 20 minutes passed from the first message to the next.

I kept wondering the rest of the night... did he show up?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter is never going to end

Warning: born and raised southerner living through a hellish winter in Minnesota needs to vent. So if my bitching bothers you, you might want to skip the post today.

It's February, which astounds me. Where in the hell did January go? I swear, just yesterday it was New Years Eve.

It's been 2 looong months of winter here in Minnesota. A long, dark, frigid winter. And I am so damn sick of it. I am tired of wearing double layers and still freezing my ass off.
And don't even get me started on the amount of shoveling that we have had to do this winter. With our own house plus Hell House, it's a lot of shoveling. (Go take a look at the last pic in the previously linked post. That is a long sidewalk when it's covered in snow. That's not counting the driveway and the front sidewalk.)

Friday we ended up having to shovel our driveway for almost an hour, thanks to the amount of blowing snow that had accumulated near the house. And then the next day, we spent another hour shoveling Hell House, again thanks to blowing snow. (I swear, both houses are in wind tunnels.)
The front steps at Hell House were totally under snow... couldn't see where they stopped or started. Stepping in it, the snow came up above our knees. We had to shovel that walk to even get IN the house.

When I look outside and see this, I can feel my day go from decent to shitty. I see shoveling in my future. And shoveling sucks.

We've been having a lot of days like this:

And days like those make me sleep longer, sort of like pretending I'm a bear and hibernating. Wake me up and you better be using a very long stick that keeps you more than an arms length away. Since the temps and wind chills have hovered near frostbite and hypothermia levels, you can't even go out with the kids and play in the snow without worrying about medical problems. Boo.

I generally wear 2 pairs of socks at a time. My hands and my feet stay cold, even in the summer. But even with 2 pairs of socks and a thick pair of boots, I am still worrying about frostbite. The pain I sometimes feel in my toes is enough to make me get in my car and drive south.... never to return.

Every day, I wear thermal bottoms under sweatpants. (Shursh. I'm renovating a house, for gods sake. I doubt be on the cutting edge of fashion is necessary. And if you've read this post, you know I don't bow to the pressures of fashion or society.) Those thermals and the sweatpants still leave me shivering.

I did wear jeans on Peanut's birthday and 5 minutes away from the house, I was raising hell and regretting that decision. (See? I do dress nicer when I feel that I need to do so. I even wore a nice shirt, makeup, and perfume!)

And don't even get me started on my car. 
My mother keeps saying that her car is dirty. Puh-lease, woman. Does you car look like this?

And this is AFTER I was able to wash it a few weeks ago. The stripes are due to the snow that hit a week ago on our way home from Hell House and dinner. It was warmer that day so the snow was wet on the car and not freezing right away. The top half of the car is a little cleaner than the bottom. (Check out the bottom of the pic. That's my garage floor, or what I call nasty as hell. It's covered with snow turds, salt, sand, and dirt. Yuuummy.)

With snow and terrible temps in between days of warming comes two things that I cannot ignore when I pass through neighborhoods: ice.
Icicles and ice dams are plentiful around the Twin Cities right now.
And until moving here, I never paid much attention to either. Now I realize how bad it is to have ice dams on the sides of your house. And I'm amazed that more people don't properly deal with them. If you don't. you'll end up over the years with lots of damage to the inside and outside of your home.

A house near Hell House doesn't have an ice dam... it has an ice DAMN!

That's a good 6-8 inches of solid ice hanging at the edge of that house, plus the long, sharp icicle near the side. LOTS of houses look like this right now and I cringe at the damage that it's causing.

And speaking of icicles... this one I had to photograph. Sadly it's hard to tell in the picture (looked better and more visible in person) but it's got wavy lines in the ice. It made me think of bacon.
Ice bacon?

On Saturday, February 1, Peanut mentioned that January was over. And since it was February already that meant that winter in Minnesota was almost over. I stopped and looked at her with a puzzled expression. When she asked what was wrong I said, "You do remember that it snowed on Button's birthday last year, right? It snowed in May last year. Winter lasted about 7-8 months".

She thought about it for a second, frowned a little and replied, "I want to live closer to the equator".

Valentine's Day mani

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And although I don't really care much about the day (other than going to Target and raiding the candy), I do usually do some sort of Valentine nail art.

If nothing else, I can look at my nail instead of all of the snow and maybe smile a bit.

Here's what I did this past weekend:

Nail polishes used:
Thumb and Middle: Dermelect Moxie
Pointer and Pinky: Dermelect Red-Iculous
Ring: Color Club Glitter Wonderland

Stamping plates used:
Thumb and Ring: Bundle Monster 317
Pointer: Bundle Monster 411
Middle: Winstonia 102
Pinky: Shany 215

It's starting to die so I'll probably being doing another mani in the next day or so.
Look for that by this weekend.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Peanut is now 8, going on 30

January 20th was Peanut's 8th birthday. Yes, I am just now getting around to posting the pics. (It took me until last week to send my mother Christmas pics so I figure this timing could be worse.)

Around Christmas, we were at Party City and I noticed that in one of the numerous birthday party aisles was a section for just about every single Disney Princess. And Peanut LOVES Ariel.
The Friday before her birthday, I made a trip (alone-YAY!) to Party City and picked up decorations, balloons, and Little Mermaid rubber bracelets.

This was the result of decorating the night before her birthday, right after she went to bed:

I also put another balloon in her room, tied to a little Ariel stuffed doll that I found at Hallmark when picking up a couple of birthday cards.

The morning of her birthday, we went in to wake her up and she was READY to start celebrating. She saw the balloon in her room and got excited. Then she climbed down out of her bed, making it up as she came down the ladder. (Yes, our kids make their beds without arguing.)

This is what I saw flying down the hall towards the kitchen:

I think she almost exploded once she got into the kitchen: (love the hair)
She was so happy. And then she opened her birthday present:

The gift was the Lego Cinderella Castle
And wow.... you'd thought we had given her an actual castle of her own to live in.

I made her cake myself, which is why the shape is great but the decoration on top could use a little improvement. (I can pipe those edges but drawing freehand on top? Negative.)
P is for Peanut
She loved the cake. We let her pick the cake and flavor of frosting instead of just surprising her this year and she loved that. She went with cherry frosting and triple chocolate fudge cake.

Making a wish:

This next picture is starting a new tradition. I found this birthday hat at Hallmark. It sings and dances back and forth when you press a button on the front. It's going to be a tradition that each of us will wear it on our birthdays. (It reminds me of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter.)

After opening her gift, she went to put it together while I took a shower. Once we were all ready, we headed to the one place she wanted to eat dinner.... The Cheesecake Factory.

Dinner was delicious and filling. We walked it off at our in-town family destination spot....IKEA.
Yes, my kids love IKEA as much as I do.

It was FRIGID that day, the wind chill kicking us all in the arse. But getting an awesome new Lego set, chowing down on cake, being able to go to her favorite restaurant, and getting to go wander around IKEA for a few hours made the weather more bearable.

She loved the whole day:

And neither aliens or the government can read her crazy thoughts.