27 December 2010

Snow

The forecast said 10-18 inches, and thus far, we barely got 10.


Thankfully, this is a cold, dry snow, which is the easiest kind to clean up.


Yet when it starts snowing one night and still isn't finished snowing the next, clean up often happens when it's getting dark.


They say it will be over and done by morning. Let's hope so.

But hey, so far, we still haven't lost power. Knock on wood...

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

26 December 2010

Pics from Christmastime

Among the craziness this past month, we had a lot of lovely times. Our daughter had her 18th birthday, we got a Christmas tree, the cats enjoyed the wrapping paper, and we had a pretty, rather uneventful snow.








And speaking of uneventful snows, tonight we are bracing for a rather EVENTFUL snow. They're saying 13+ inches at our house. We've got the wood stacked, the milk and bread bought, the snowblower fueled up, and the candles and matches are ready.

Let it snow!

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas - you should be in Maine

Really.

If you like snow, that is. Apparently, Big Daddy will be visiting us tomorrow. Who is Big Daddy? Let me introduce you...

Big Daddy

Not that snow is the ONLY thing Maine has to offer from Christmas time on into late April. No - there's so much more. There are all the winter sports, which don't really count because they are related to snow. There's also the lack of people and crowds, which, I suppose, are snow related also. Oh, and there's the... oh wait, that's snow related, too. Ok, so how about the indoor activities like drinking hot chocolate and reading and... ok, yeah, we're in there because of all the snow.

I mentioned a few days ago that my son is here, after spending the past semester in Arizona. When he left earlier this week to fly out here, it was 80 degrees there. He's been in a bit of shock from the cold, to say the least. And this is a kid who never really liked the cold when he did live in Maine full time.

As we were driving to the Christmas Eve service at our church, looking at Christmas lights and snow, I asked him if he's enjoying being back in New England for Christmas. He laughed and said, "What's to like?" I reminded him about how here it FEELS like Christmas, not to mention the coziness of the small towns, the nice people, the safety, etc. He then went on to explain to me that he thinks everyone in Maine who actually likes it must be suffering from some type of Stockholm Syndrome.

Yeah, those are the kinds of conversations we are having. Thanks, son - love what grad school has done to you!

Seriously, though - this is an enchanting land. Yes, it's cold, but that's a small price to pay for such a lovely place.

I probably posted this last year, but it's worth another look and listen. This song always makes me cry a little because it's just so sweet...



Merry Christmas!

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

23 December 2010

December

It seems this December will go on record as being one of the craziest in our house... and it isn't even Christmas yet.

The highlights:

I began picking up about 3 times as many hours at the child-care center where I work, what with Christmas coming and flying our son home from Arizona. Of course that freed up all kinds of extra time for Christmas shopping and baking. Not.

Two weeks ago we got our Christmas tree, but it sat in our living room for a week before we could even think about decorating it.

Between cat #1 and cat #2 burning their toes, we had a bit of a hell week. On top of working all these extra hours while still trying to keep things afloat at home, basketball season has gotten underway, so we are going to a couple of games each week for one daughter, while the other daughter has picked up more hours at work. Translated: we are rarely home.

And that same week, what with extra meetings for school and finishing up a finance class we're taking, the icing on the cake was a lice scare. A little girl in the child-care center was found to have lice - a little girl who had been sitting in my lap that same day and who even took a play cowboy hat off her head and put it on mine.

EWWWWWWW!

I found this out at the end of a VERY LONG DAY, but it meant going and buying the lice treatments. Paranoid as I am about such things, I picked through the hair and forced treatment of everyone in the family. After all, I'd been around this kid all week, so who knew if I'd brought home a whole slew of lice.

Oh God.

EWWWWWWWWWWW!

Thankfully, we never found so much as one nit on any of us, but we all did the full treatment, and I cleaned, bagged, or sprayed everything in the house that might even remotely be an appealing resting place for a louse.

Two weeks later, still I start to itch when I think about it.

Oh, but that's not all. That same week, I fell at the child-care center. It was one of those things where I stepped on a toy and my feet just went right out from under me. What's more, I fell ON a two-year-old boy. As I was reeling from a bruised hip and a screaming child, I looked up to see a little girl, hardly walking, had vomit running down the top of her head. Someone had THROWN UP ON THAT LITTLE GIRL.

To put it frankly,... WTF?

And yes, the boy is fine, and two weeks later, my hip doesn't hurt anymore.

Just when I thought things were leveling out, that was when cat #2 burnt his paws. Good thing I'd been working more. Forget Christmas - we'd rather give all our money to our vet.

The NEXT day, my sweet daughter insisted on giving blood at the local blood drive, but for whatever reason, it hit her hard this year. Not only did she pass out, she was pretty much zombie-fied for the rest of the weekend.

But we finally decorated the tree that Saturday night at nearly midnight!

As the weekend commenced and things seemed to be looking up, we got a call that my husband's father was in ICU with bronchitis that had suddenly turned into severe pneumonia. He drove down to R.I. to help his mom and be with his dad. Thankfully, his father is home now, recovering, but it was a scary thing.

Add to all this a mixture of college application deadlines for one daughter, non-stop basketball activities for the other daughter, our son arriving in the midst of it all, and... oh yeah, I started a new job on top of the child-care place. Because you know, there just isn't enough excitement around here. We also scheduled all our family dental appointments this week because... well, why not? Oh, and I got a filling. Fun times!

* * * * *

So now I'm sitting here in the early morning hours, savoring the quiet. The Christmas tree lights are the only lights on in the house. Everyone is asleep, including all the friends who stayed over after my daughter's surprise 18th birthday party last night. Outside is a magical fresh snowfall that has delightfully promised us a white Christmas. My son is home. The food is bought. The gifts will soon be wrapped. The work week is over. School is out. The cats are healing.

I'm going to relax and read a book while the snow falls outside. And then, to add to the magic, we'll go take our old truck into the shop today, because you know, it just wouldn't be right to relax for more than FIVE MINUTES.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

09 December 2010

Burnt Toes


Last week our little grey cat, Henry, (the one who gets on counters, opens cabinets, tears into bread bags and cracker boxes, knocks things off tables and counters, and generally wreaks havoc on our home) burnt his paws on our wood stove.

We didn't see it happen. It was probably during one of the nights when he and his partner-in-crime were locked in the basement so we could sleep more than 4 hours at a stretch. I was actually surprised it was him, because of the three cats, Henry is by far the smartest, if not the most trouble.

Clearly, he had leapt onto the stove and then probably right off again. The two paws on his left side were the worst and when he walked he often held up his front left paw. It was very sad. The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and told us the paws would heal up on their own. And they are well on their way. After several days of lethargy, he is now running around, playing, and generally terrorizing the house once again.

It was a week ago today that we went to the vet.

Late last night I noticed that our big orange cat, Jack, (the other boy cat) was limping. And when I checked, sure enough, his paws are now burnt as well. This doesn't surprise me. When God passed out cat brains, this cat was not in line. He is the sweetest, most good natured animal I've ever encountered, but he is sorely lacking in the intelligence department.

So back to the vet we go. Thankfully, I am not working today. That was not the original plan, but due to other unforeseen circumstances, I won't be working again until next week... but that is a story for another post and another time.

* * * * *

In other news, it is 12 degrees outside. Winter has not only arrived early, it has dug in its claws and seems to be here to stay.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes