Sunday, January 29, 2012

Icestorm 2012 and Other Obstacles

As often seems to be the case, January 2012 has been a weird month. Nothing really horrible happened (though that was not the case for other area people, mainly due to the weather). But it's been just annoying and cruddy enough to disrupt my usual routine and cause me to again say, "Good riddance!" I again had such high hopes of turning over a new leaf on certain bad habits from the very beginning of the year (such as staying up too late and overeating), and I've NOT given up those hopes. Not by a longshot -- I am probably even more determined now. But January, with its short, wet, windy, cold, dark days, does not provide the most conducive environment for being successful in turning such habits around. I have to believe that January must be everyone's least favorite month (at least those of us in the Western Hemisphere). It's a good thing it comes first so that we all can get it over with and move on to longer, milder days.

I already got my first major migraine of the year (the kind that force taking a sick day) the evening of January 4th and into the 5th. That was fast. I probably asked for it, since I had a fling on New Year's Eve with a certain food that I know gives me migraines if I overeat it. I only had maybe 2/3rds the usual pigout portion, but it was enough. It really does somewhat kill one's desire to eat that food, no matter how good it may taste going down. I'm finding alternatives I like almost as much that don't do that to me.

Then, after a mild winter we all hoped would continue, this area got socked but good with what has been called Icestorm 2012 -- or Icemageddon! It started slowly with an inch or so of snow in the wee hours of Sun. the 15th -- just enough to where hubby recommmended I not try to drive to church in my 24-year-old, rear wheel drive Mercedes. He drove me to the ferry dock and back the next two days so that I could get to work and get back home. Then, the night of Tues. the 17th into the next day, we got at least 6 inches (and many parts of the Metro area got much more -- thankfully, rare for western Wash.) With the hills here, even 6 inches make it pretty impossible to get around, even in a Jeep. So I got snow days off work the next two days. I liked that part, though I now only have 3 more vaca days till they replenish in May. He was able to get me to the dock and back again on Friday -- and the bosses were impressed that I made it in when most of the staff who live in the same town as my office didn't.

By now, the snow was gradually (VERY gradually) melting during the day when it got into the 40s. But this led to a whole new problem when the roads would refreeze into smooth sheets of ice overnight. My church's annual chili cookoff, which was to have been held that Friday the 20th, was postponed one week, and Dianne and I mutually agreed it would be best to wait a week for me to drive the 38 or so miles to visit her, even if I could have gotten my car out (which, however, was still encrusted in ice). Hubby did not have to work the following Sun. the 23rd (rare), so we got to go to church in his Jeep -- where I got a taste of what I was about to experience the next morning. Though they had apparently spread salt, the parking lot was still very icy and treacherous to try to walk on.

Hubby still had to take me to the dock and back for work till this past Thurs. -- that's how long the snow and ice finally took to melt. That Monday was the worst of the icy roads. There were several bad traffic accidents from the black ice on the roads, and when I got off the bus to walk the 3 blocks to my office -- wearing my so-called traction soled shoe boots -- I may as well have been wearing ballet slippers for the total lack of traction I was able to get! After trying it for 1/2 block, I realized if I was going to get to the office without falling (several time), I would have to flag down a car and have them take me the remaining 2-1/2 blocks -- which I did. Thankfully, it stayed above freezing the next night, so that was the only day I had to go through that.

Even though the weather was much better by yesterday, Dianne and I were stressed from dealing with the elements the past week and a half and decided to wait one more week to get together. I looked forward to attending the chili cookoff, since one year ago, that was when I met several wonderful people at church and decided I may need to give this church (which was much more contemporary than I was seeking) another look. I also planned to take a run over to Dollar Tree, and of course, to church today. Instead, I was inside AGAIN the entire weekend. When I got to the park n'ride on Friday, I was surprised to see"Bianca's" (my car) left parking light on -- just the one side light -- as I distinctly remembered turning her lights off that morning. I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach what this would mean when I got in to start her up -- and sure enough.....nothing. No Good Samaritans were around to help me; they were all concentrating on one thing and that was going home. So I called hubby at work, waited 1/2 hour while realizing I would either not get to the cookoff or be very late....and he could not start her with his jumper cables. So.....he called AAA. Another half-hour waiting for them. The man examined her and said it WAS her battery; he did get her started with his truck but recommended I not drive her beyond the three miles home till the battery is replaced. Hubby had to work all weekend (as usual) and had no chance to get a battery, so no DollarTree and no church today. I said, nothing tragic but just stressful enough to make me feel like doing not a whole lot at home besides crocheting in front of the tv. (And I did get my crochet blog,, updated today also with my latest creations.) At least my fingers are getting exercise!

The pooches and other critters are doing OK. Jesse is hanging in there well after the traumatic experience of our having to have his eye removed late last year. I vowed at the beginning of this year that as much as I long to travel this year (with my Portland/Salem trip being ruined last June by a migraine), I would instead concentrate this year on getting healthier, exercising, eating less, and paying down credit card debt instead of adding even more to it with train or plane and hotel bills. I still absolutely have this game plan but like I said, January does not lend itself well to health decisions -- especially the January that included Icestorm 2012!