Thursday, February 24, 2011

Should I go on a little trip?

Well, I should know by now to always have a bag packed and be ready to go, just in case. But usually, I'm not. Usually when the opportunity comes I either have a lot of work to do, or a lot of thinking to do, or both. Then there is a lot of rushing around to get packed and ready to go.

Okay, so I've never been to Colorado. My husband is going to work in middle of nowhere Colorado, for one day. It will take two days of driving to get there, there doesn't appear to be anything in town that is particularly interesting, and then that will be followed by another day of driving to get to the next place that he works, which is in New Mexico. I have been to that place before, but I don't think that we've been there very often, and we haven't gotten to see much while we were there.

Not that we'd get to see much this time either. My husband would have to work for three days, and then so far as I know we'd be driving back, either a day and a half trip or else a very long day, so that he could work in Dallas the next Tuesday.

On the one hand, this isn't a good time to go. And it isn't just that I don't have a bag packed. I'm busy. Really, I am busy. I am painting the floor. I couldn't take that last little bit of carpet anymore, and I've ripped it off of the floor. That took a lot of work. Then I removed all of the old tiles that were under the carpet. And then there was all of this dirt. I cleared away almost a third of the floor moving a few things into the kitchen and the back room and the hallway, and then pushed everything else to the other side of the room. The empty space on the floor has been scrubbed three times, then two coats of bonding stuff added, and then the little holes left in the floor where the carpet was nailed down had to be filled in. I took a few days to rest before I did all of that, and then I painted the first coat of paint, followed the directions and waited a whole day before painting the second coat, and now I'm waiting three days before moving the furniture back to where it should be on the one wall, and then I will have to move a lot of other stuff in front of that furniture so that I can scrub more of the floor as step one of preparing to paint.

So what I had planned for Saturday was to move the furniture, and then create a path through the living room and the kitchen so that my husband could remove something very heavy from the backroom to the front of the house, where it will sit for a while while I maybe try to get someone to take it away by mentioning it on Craigslist.

Getting all of that done is more important that going on a trip. However, I'm not sure that it will get done by my staying. I can't do much of anything until Saturday, Friday night at the earliest. The paint is supposed to dry a whole three days before I move the furniture and such. The item in the back room cannot be moved until everything else is moved. I cannot move the item myself, even after everything else is moved. So the item must be moved on Saturday night or Sunday morning, and it must be moved before I do anything else to the floor.

If the item does not get moved by Sunday morning, I can not continue with painting the floor next week, and the whole plan will probably have to wait until it is possible for everything to be moved out of the way and for my husband to have the time to actually move the thing.

It is very inconvenient to have all of these things in odd places and shoved against a wall where they cannot be used. Also, it is difficult to do things like laundry, as the pathway to the dryer isn't what it was.

The rest of the house is quite the mess, as I gave up trying to deal with it. There is just dirt on the floor everywhere, especially the kitchen, as we track it in from the area of the living room that has not been prepared yet. And while I'm not doing anything right now (as I have to wait three days for the paint to dry), I'm afraid when I was doing a lot of work on the floor I got a bit behind on the dishes and the other stuff. I could probably get caught up in a few days, but I still don't know about leaving the rest of the stuff. Everything takes longer than you expect it to, but I thought that most of it was going to get done next week when I had the place to myself and my husband was going to be in Lubbock.

Anyway, I've never been to Colorado and I want to go. On the other hand, I'd really like to get this painting stuff over with. If I don't go, I'll probably regret not going. If I do go, I'll be behind schedule on everything else, and I probably won't get to do that much anyway. I'm trying to decide if it is worth the effort to go one day to middle of nowhere Colorado.

We would have to drive two days to get there, so even if there's anything to do in middle of nowhere Colorado, I don't see when we could do it. There's just too much driving the first two days, and he actually has to work from about 11am to after 10pm on Tuesday. He doesn't have to work Wednesday, but then there's that five hour drive to New Mexico. So Colorado is going to be a few hours in the evening Monday, breakfast and hopefully cable in the motel room Tuesday, and a few hours before driving away on Wednesday.

I think that the only thing we'll be doing in Colorado is looking at stuff in the middle of nowhere as we drive by.

As for New Mexico, there's probably more to do, but again there's not much time to do it. Maybe a few hours Wednesday night, breakfast Thursday morning, whatever we might do before 1pm on Friday, and maybe a couple of hours Saturday night. And then it's drive back to Dallas.

Our we might leave right after work on Saturday night and have more time to maybe do something on Monday, but traveling on a Saturday night is not the best idea. You have to plan ahead, know exactly when you're going to need to stop and get a reservation before you leave, and that usually costs more money (and that money would come out of our pocket, since the company isn't paying for us to leave early).

And, if I go, I'll miss C's party. It was scheduled for a few weeks ago, but they changed the date because of the ice and snow. So now it's going to be next Friday, and if I go I'll miss it.

I suppose that isn't a great tragedy. I really don't even have anything special to wear.

I guess the work on the floor can wait. I was just looking forward to having it all done. The end was in sight. At least for the living room floor.

Work. Work. Work.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And then it was back again

So that possibility of a little snow Wednesday turned into a lot of rain followed by sleet. I'm not sure we got much if any snow. But we did get the sleet, so the streets are covered with ice. Not like the really thick ice of last week, but ice is ice, and you can't drive on it. And then the temperature dipped again, to the possibly record lows, and so the ice won't all melt away for a bit. It might get a just a tiny bit above freezing today, but I don't really expect the roads to all be clear until Friday.

So this sucks, again, but maybe not quite as much as before. At least it will be over sooner. And with the ice not being quite so thick, there shouldn't be much of it left to refreeze Friday and Saturday. So I'm still hopeful that I will still be able to go on as planned Saturday night. Now I just have to decide what to bring and what to wear, as I hadn't bought anything new or planned anything really special.

My husband is home. They did at least have sense enough to cancel things before the ice came this time. So there's good news and bad news. With my husband home, I don't get much work done, so the floor is just as I left it Saturday morning. I've made no progress at all since then. The only work I've done is wash dishes. Like all of the dishes that I didn't wash last week (cause it was cold and I just thought I might as well not make myself more uncomfortable by having my hands in the water), and then all of the containers that my husband brought home from last week. And then there was all this stuff I had planned to cook, which I didn't, and has now gone bad, so I'll have to deal with that too and clean out the frig on Friday. So anyway, I haven't been working on the floor, which is just a bit more than halfway done and you'd think I would have finished it all by now.

The good news is that with my husband home a.) I'm not constantly trying to find out the road conditions in Abilene so I can figure out when it's safe for him to drive home, and b.) he's downloaded all sorts of things for us to watch while we're stuck indoors. So we watched a bit of Being Human (which gets a bit weird if you watch that and the American version at the same time) and Primeval and something new called Outcast.

Anyway, I think that things will mostly be back to normal later today, and totally be back to normal sometime Friday, and my husband doesn't work again until Saturday. So it's not so bad, not like the nearly all week thing that it was before.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Week five

Okay, I'm getting sick of this diet stuff.

First week, I lost weight. Fine. Great.

Second week, I lost weight, just not as much as the first week. Or maybe I just read the scale wrong the first week. But there was definitely weight loss. Fine.

Third week, I can't really tell if I've lost weight, but if I have it wasn't that much.

Fourth week, again, I can't really see any difference in the scale. So then, what is the point? But I had made something to eat that had broccoli in it, and I had overcooked the broccoli, and I really hate overcooked broccoli. But, I made it, so I should eat it. And there was ice on the roads and all of that. It just wasn't a good time to waste food.

Saturday, when my husband came home, we went out and had Mexican food to celebrate surviving the week. I even had a regular Coke. This was the first caffeine I'd had in about a week, and the first regular soda I'd had in more than a month.

Sunday was the Superbowl, and I'm not into football, so I wasn't going to do much anyway. My husband made salsa and guacamole, so I had some of that and some chips. He went to my brother's place and they ordered a pizza.

Monday I had leftover pizza, and then we also had some hot wings cause there was all this leftover Super Bowl food marked down at the grocery store.

My husband is about at the end of his six weeks because a.) he started the week before I did, and b.) his plan wasn't really about losing weight, so he can say that's enough whenever he wants. So I guess that his six weeks were over Saturday, though technically I think that was closer to five weeks.

So I expect we're back to "let's go out" and "let's get ice cream" and such as that, though other than this last weekend I don't expect a big rush to do that, just that eventually things will go back to the way they were. I had hoped/expected that during the six weeks he was on his diet that I would lose about twelve pounds on mine, and that would make me feel better and I would want to keep going with it. But I haven't lost twelve pounds. I might have lost eight pounds, or, I might have read the scale wrong and just lost six pounds. Either way, most of that was the first week, and a bit more was the second week, and I can't tell that I've lost much if anything after that.

I wonder if it is some mental thing, and you lose five pounds or so just because you say that you're going on a diet, and then that's the end of it. Or, was I really doing something different that first week? Or did it have something to do more with what I did the previous week?

I must admit that almost every week I've had something come up so that I did not eat at home just one time. But I didn't do anything really crazy. When I went to Burger King with mom, I only ate half, and when we went to Outback Steakhouse I ordered the smallest steak and veggies and this tiny thing of seafood and salsa that just didn't look that bad. And on the day of the convention I had something called a Dutch Baby for breakfast, but again I only ate half so it would not be just tons of calories all on the same day.

You would think that I would lose a pound a week or so just from giving up regular sodas, even if I didn't do any other diet stuff. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

I think that it is unusual for an American woman to get to be my age without trying a bunch of diet pills and such. I really have not done that, except for buying some Slimfast bars and shakes, but that really wasn't about trying to lose weight, that was about having some emergency food that did not need refrigeration when were were traveling.

Okay, so I've gone to the drugstore and bought some snake oil. Not really, but I did buy some "detox" stuff (which is not really about losing weight it just sounds like a good idea anyway), and some other stuff that I think is mostly overpriced vitamins and caffeine. I haven't tried the caffeine stuff yet, and I might never try it, but it was on sale and I figured that I would go ahead and get it just in case. I was disappointed that there weren't more instructions inside the box, just how many pills were recommended. I thought it would say something like best results with certain types of diets. It doesn't even say much about eating sensible meals, just when to take the pills.

Okay, so I'm not trying the pills yet, but I'm just wondering if the first week's weight loss had something to do with all the Cokes I had the week before. Maybe a caffeine pill would do some good, when I'm totally giving up Cokes. So maybe I'll try them in a few weeks, when I'm not even having diet sodas. But not right now.

Anyway, I just feel like I've wasted the last three weeks (other than trying to clean the house and going to the convention). Between all the stuff in the frig and the party on Saturday, I'll mostly be taking a week off from the dieting. Though I do think that I'm going to try this detox thing and maybe eat some more yogurt.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

And then it was gone

Yesterday around noon it finally got above freezing and stayed above freezing enough to melt the ice and snow, or most of it.

It has just been awful here since sometime early Tuesday morning. There was a bit of snow and there was thick ice all over the roads. Usually, it will snow only very briefly here, and usually not enough to stick, and if it does stick it doesn't stay cold enough to stay around for very long. But it got very very cold, and it did not melt (except maybe in places where you put salt and such), and even what you got to melt would then freeze over again and make even more of a mess. And then Friday we were supposed to get a little more snow, and we ended up getting a lot more snow, about five or six inches of snow, and that covered the ice on the roads, which made them even more dangerous.

While all this was going on, my husband was out of town. He was supposed to work Tuesday through Saturday at a place on the other side of Abilene. So he had left to do that Monday, not knowing if all the talk of snow was really anything to be concerned about, and even if it was it probably wouldn't be the same conditions in Abilene. Having talked to several people in the company on Monday at noon, and not being told he should do otherwise, he drove out just after that. So at about nine-thirty or ten, one of his bosses called looking for him to tell him that the first two days of the job were cancelled.

Great. What are we supposed to do about that now? If you don't want him to be at a job Tuesday, you have to tell him Monday, or better yet Sunday, as he would probably leave early on Monday. Even if he had decided to drive out early Tuesday, nine-thirty is way past the time he would have had to leave, even on a normal day. If the ice had only been here, and not in Abilene, he wouldn't have been able to go, and they would have yelled at him for not leaving earlier.

Sometimes his bosses do not seem to grasp that their traveling employees actually have to travel, and that means that they are not here and should not be expected to be here and such.

So I told the boss where my husband was and the number he could be reached at and so forth. A bit later I called my husband to make sure he had gotten the message. He said that Abilene was also covered with ice, so he guessed that he wouldn't be going to work that day, but it was good to hear someone confirm that. But only the first two days of the job were cancelled, cause ice on the road usually clears up by then.

Except that it was really really cold, and the ice did not melt.

Apparently the bosses do not talk to each other, so another boss called here looking for my husband on Thursday to say that he did not have a contact number, so could I call my husband and tell him that the rest of the week was cancelled and that he should just come home.

Come home, in this?

He can't drive a few blocks to the job site, and the customers can't drive from the other side of town to see him, but it's okay to drive from one town covered in ice to another town covered in ice that is several hours away, even though all the road between are covered in ice. Sure. We'll get right on that.

I did not notice the message for several hours. My husband expected at least a message to confirm that he didn't have to work that day, but he wasn't going even if he didn't get that message. So he got the message from me, quite a bit late. Coming home was out of the question, even if he had gotten the message when he should have. But he somehow had the idea that it would be safe to drive home Friday, while I knew that it wouldn't be safe til ten am on Saturday.

My husband spent a lot of time in a cafe drinking tea and talking to other people about where they were going, and where they had come from, and when it might be safe to leave. And there was a couple who thought that it might be safe to leave Friday, and that was what they planned to do. Only they didn't get very far when they saw the remains of a wreck and decided to turn back and checked in to the same motel again.

So Saturday morning he stayed in the cafe talking to truck drivers, and he found one who said he'd just come from Fort Worth and that it was mostly safe to drive that way. So my husband called me just before ten (when I suggested it might be safe to leave) and I told him not to be in any hurry, but it did at least look very sunny even if it was still just below freezing here that it should warm up soon.

So I thought I would start to look for him about two, though I didn't really expect him quite then, as I thought that most of the way he would have to drive slower than usual. But he got home even sooner than that.

His six week diet is nearly up, so he suggested going out for Mexican food.

But first, I had a bath and washed my hair.

I hadn't had a real bath since Tuesday, and I'm not sure how much before that since I'd washed my hair. Monday, everything had been fine. Tuesday, there was snow and the roads were covered with ice and it was cold, but you were fine if you stayed inside. But it stayed really cold, and Wednesday morning there were those rolling blackouts. And it was cold inside, and the space heater was nearly useless. I mostly stayed in bed Wednesday, and I just couldn't deal with the idea of getting totally undressed, much less get undressed and get into water. I decided the bath could wait. Thursday, it still seemed cold to me in the house, though either it was not quite as cold as Wednesday, or else I had just gotten used to it, but I still spent most of the day in bed. Friday was better still (inside, cause it was a mess outside), but I kept imagining that the blackouts would come back just as soon as I would decide to have a bath, so maybe it could still wait a bit more. Friday I got out of bed and got some work done, and work means that my hair needs to be washed, even if it didn't already need to be washed. Saturday morning I decided to get just a bit more work done, and the bath might as well wait til it was officially above freezing.

That was probably the best bath I have ever had in this house.

But I was really hungry, or I probably would have just stayed in the bath for a while.

All the ice on the streets were melting. There were puddles of water everywhere, and mounds of slush in the parking lots, but there didn't appear to be anything unsafe anywhere. After eating our late lunch and going to a couple of stores, we came home a couple hours later to see that most of the snow in our front yard had melted away. In the backyard and across the street there was still some snow, maybe in places that had mostly been in the shade, but it was all going to melt away, and on my side of the street you just wouldn't have known that there had been more than six inches of snow Friday.

It was just a miserable few days that almost became a week. And there are people who decide to live this way for months at a time. And I don't get it. I know that they've gotten used to it, but I don't get why after the invention of the air-conditioner that there wasn't vast migrations south and the northern states still have all those people in them, much less that there's a whole country of people who live north of them.

After finally getting through all of that, today at about noon it will start raining and/or snowing again, and that will last on and off til about four in the morning. But it won't stick, and it won't get much below freezing for long, so unless people are actually on the roads when it is happening (which they will be, because today is that damned game), they should be okay. So I will be sure to get all of my business done before noon.

And then we will get more on Wednesday. But again the temperatures are not going to stay below freezing around the clock, so I imagine that it will all be gone long before Saturday, and I have nothing to worry about this weekend.


Anyway, I have my fingers crossed.

Friday, February 04, 2011

More bad weather

It had seemed to me that the conditions were slowly going to get better, or maybe I had just gotten used to how bad they were. But we have more snow now, and there is still the ice on the roads under the snow, so it is in fact a bit worse, because drivers cannot see now where the ice is, and while they drive over the snow that will sort of compact and make more ice.

My husband had heard that it might be safe to drive home today. I don't know what he was thinking. I know what the weather is here, and I've just looked at the forecast where he is now, and it won't get below freezing until 10 am tomorrow. So, if you happen to be reading this, don't check out until tomorrow morning, and don't actually start driving until sometime after 10 am, and if you are not home by 6 pm you had better see about getting another room and waiting til Sunday to make the rest of the drive, cause unless the roads are actually dry the melting snow will just start to freeze again.

We had heard that there was more snow coming, we just didn't expect this much. We have like 5 inches, and there might still be more coming.

Two days ago, someone in my family had ventured out, and had called to ask if I needed anything. I said no. I wish now I had asked for a pizza. I have food, and I'm supposed to be trying to lose weight, but I am so tired of it. And I haven't had caffeine for over a week now. No Cokes, not even diet ones. It's hard to sleep sometimes, so I figured that it was better off without caffeine if I could manage. But I really want a Coke, and a pizza, and chocolate, and maybe a hamburger. And some Chinese food. And some nachos. And some hot wings.

C's party has been rescheduled for next month. Now I'm a starting to worry about next week's party, as the weather is probably better next week, but it looks like it will snow again on Wednesday, and I don't know if it will all be cleared away by Saturday. I have already been told that there are absolutely no refunds for the room, so the party would either have to go on as scheduled, or they would have to somehow raise more money to rent the place a second time. The money lost on C's rescheduled party is just coming out of C's pocket. I'm wondering if we shouldn't pass the hat or something, but right now I don't even know how much money was lost.

I have spent most of my time in bed. The bedroom is not the warmest room in the house, but as I just recently decided to get on with taking up the carpet and such, the warmest room is unusable, and the rooms and hallway next to it are full of extra stuff. I got work done on Monday and Tuesday, as the house still seemed pretty warm for most of Tuesday, but not so much on Wednesday. So I just stayed in the bedroom under blankets. Yesterday seemed warmer, but I was in no hurry to get back to work, as I expected it was going to be even warmer today I thought today soon enough. But now I expect it to be cold until after lunch. Maybe then. Still no hurry I suppose. The trash will not be hauled away until Saturday, if then.

Okay, back to bed.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

School closed for the Superbowl

Okay, not really. Schools around here are closed because of ice and snow. And it hasn't been this cold here in ten years.

It is unusual for it to snow here, and more unusual for it to snow here and there to be ice on the roads and be this cold all at the same time. We expected to get into the single digits last night, and I think that I missed getting that cold by about two or three degrees, but it is expected to get that cold again (if not colder) tonight or tomorrow morning, and today we're only going to have a high of maybe twenty-one. It won't get above freezing until sometime Saturday.

I'm told that there was plenty of de-icing stuff out and ready to go, not so much for us, but because they were trying to plan for anything that might interfere with the Superbowl. Still, that stuff apparently stops working at about fifteen degrees, and we are still a bit below that now, so regardless of how many trucks go out with it, we'll still have ice everywhere.

So much for going to C's party Friday night. Even if some of the ice melts by then, it will just freeze again, probably during the party, and then I'd get stuck there. I'm still watching the forecast, but probably not, though I'm still surprised how many other people have said that they will go.

We are having what is called "planned rolling blackouts". So the power went off just before seven, and while it was only supposed to be for about fifteen minutes, it was actually a bit more than half an hour, and then at nearly eight-thirty it happened again, for maybe twenty-five minutes, and I suppose I can expect the same for the rest of the day. I have a gas stove, but the house has been modified so that I cannot hook up my gas heater. I am thinking that after this is over I might go and see if I can somehow hook up the heater from the same place as the stove, just in case this happens again, though having a heater in or near my small kitchen will be annoying.

Other people are not having "planned rolling blackouts." They are just having blackouts.

I had misplaced my lighter, but I have found it now. If I get a longer blackout I'll at least have candles and be able to cook.

It is all a bit annoying. When I don't have power, I try to think of things to do other than watch TV, only to figure out that most everything else I think of also involves electricity. I can't use the computer without power. I'm not writing anything at the moment, but if I were, I suppose that I could write without a computer, only that is too distracting now to write anything on paper, and I no longer even have the convenience of a regular typewriter. Or I might want to read something, only without power I don't have a lamp, and much of the time it isn't light enough to read without one. And this morning I couldn't even find my lighter, so I couldn't even have a candle for that. And I might knit something, but again without sufficient light I can't do it at all, and doing it for long without the TV or radio or audio book is rather sad.

So without anything else to do here, I would go run some errands, or go to the theater, or even just go shopping or to a restaurant. But all of that is out as well, with the weather and the roads the way they are.

I decided to drag out a space heater. I haven't used it in three years, and really the last time I had it out was to dry something after a flood. I can't remember the last time I used this heater for it's intended purpose.

Just to show how life is not fair, while I'm thinking that I will have to miss C's party, all will be well by Sunday, in time for that game at that evil to go on as scheduled. And, as I write this, the evil place is being spared from the "planned rolling blackouts" because of security or something, while all the houses nearby still have to do without power now and then. Why couldn't it have been the other way around, with nice weather on Friday and a blizzard cancelling the game on Sunday? I'd be stuck at home on Sunday anyway, avoiding the traffic and such. If the ice doesn't melt much on Saturday, I'll be stuck here til Monday.

I suppose it isn't as bad missing C's party as it would be missing the other party next Saturday, as I have already bought a ticket, and I've been trying to collect charity stuff.

I'm going to go back to bed.