Monday, December 31, 2007

huh. really? ok.

Today, Yaya my youngest, said this:
You can kiss me if you want to because I am your favorite. Remember?
You can kiss me, but I don't want you to hug me.
That would not be so good.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

duck: not a new year's resolution

OK, I've just check my "coolness factor" - I dipped the stick into the well, and came out severely deficient.
Dried up.

Could it be the hours and hours, weeks upon weeks of children's music and videos - that ridiculous Elmo or Max & Ruby?
Could it be the endless diet of Mac & Cheese and all things bland and tasteless?
Could it be that I am becoming that elementary teacher that I so seriously have been trying to avoid - you know, the one who wears outfits that match the seasons?
Could it be that I have no grasp on pop culture as I don't see a movie until it's out in video?
Could it be that the hippest clothing I own somehow ends up with graham cracker smudges?

Yes. It could. It could be all of these things and more.


I used to be a passionate artist type: a singer/actor/writer.
I was opinionated and bossy and driven and articulate.
I was a risk taker.
I was a flirt.

Now, I'm not so sure I want to hop in the suburban gold mini-van to drive downtown in a little bitty snow storm. You just never know what might happen... I'll send Daddyman. He'll drive into that den of danger and he'll. come. back. Our hero.


I am losing my grip on what's real and what's ridiculous. We have the turtle from the science room staying with us for the holidays. Yesterday, I called the turtle a DUCK. And I thought that was the right word. It was like the time I put the milk in the cupboard... Soon, I will be writing an incoherent blog from the mildly pleasant sun room of a home for the demented and infirm... When that happens, please, keep reading this blog. It might actually get interesting.

I used to talk about world issues and religion and politics and history and the future. Now, I talk about the merits of all-natural laundry detergents and organic grocery stores and school break.

I feel like the authentic, artistic me has been not-so-carefully wrapped in plastic and chucked down the back stairs, waiting for that time in life when someone has died and the poor widow/children/neighbors are cleaning out all of the crap - "can you believe how much stuff is in her basement? I am never going to let that happen to me!"

The tragedy? I am waiting for someone else to help me escape the sticky cling of this Saran-Wrap life that I've been making for myself.

When did I become a wait-er? I used to be a do-er! SHIT!

Why is it that everyone I know is content to sit and drink - coffee, beer, wine - and watch? I want to do. I want my kids to do.

I want to make chaos and be happy in it!

It's going to take more than learning to knit or joining a book club. I am seriously deprived of all things creative and wonderful. It's going to take more that season tickets to the opera or ballet or the theater. I need to DO not watch.

I know, I know. Start the game and others will join in. I just am too damned tired from cleaning up after the DUCK to be a flippin' cheerleader so others will think what I am doing is valid and then all of the cool kids will jump at the chance to come and play with me, thereby increasing my coolness factor.

I may be destined to become old and boring.
Not fat, though.
That's not going to happen.
I am going to become really thin in my old age.
A girl has to look forward to something in retirement.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

tampopo and qwirkle

Had a wonderful lunch out with my friend, Mama Byrd. (She's recently had her third baby.) We're both feeling a need to connect with good friends, so we've begun a monthly lunch outing - no kids & no husbands. It's fabulous! Ok, so this is our second month...
I adore Mrs. Byrd, and I feel so at ease in her presence. She is so positive and supportive. I love spending time with her. She laughs easily, and has a heart the size of Texas. I always feel so cared for and cared about when I am with her.
This month took us to the Tampopo Noodle Shop in the warehouse district of Downtown St. Paul - it's just around the corner from the Farmers Market. Yum yum yummy food. Perfect for a gray, snowy day like today. My favorite was the Edamame and the Miso soup. Such simple things, but so easy to take for granted and thus, neglect. The Miso soup had a rich goodness... We each had a sampling of good things, a beer and shared a chocolate pot of creme. (Not so good...) Then, we did a little shopping and bought perfume. Totally girlie afternoon and I LOVED it!

Tonight, after dinner, the Littles and I played an assortment of games: Qwirkle ( a cross between dominoes and Set), Shut the Box, and Colorforms (Anyone remember these?) Qwirkle is great! It moves fast, doesn't require reading - so anyone can play. And there really isn't a winner, from what I can ascertain. Lots of colored tiles to lay out in pretty designs. It's tricky to describe, but if you've ever played Set and Dominoes, then you've got the general idea.
Shut the Box is actually a bar game (that's what the box says. C'est la vie.) Each player takes a turn rolling the pair of dice and turning over the corresponding numbers. The object of the game is to turn over more numbers than your opponent - literally Shutting the Box. It's a good game for learning math facts for the Littles - there are lots of numbers that add up to 12, or 8, or 11.
Colorforms isn't really a game, but all about art and design. We made it a game by telling stories about the pictures that we had created. Again, no winner, but great stories. Lots of laughing, and a tiny bit of jealous grumping.

Yaya loved the Colorforms - she'll be a graphic designer, no doubt.

Via loves Quirkle, and Noni loves Shut the Box. I love the stories and the quiet, silly chatter that happens at a table full of busy little girls.
All are tucked into their beds with an American Girl or such...
Hope your house is full of happy chaos and laughter tonight.

a sneak peek

We've been working hard. Just thought I'd give you all a quick up date on what we did this day - Saturday!
Now, back to figuring out how to make a kitchen counter out of balsa wood. Hmmm.

Friday, December 28, 2007

this (little) old house

This is my current project.

When we lived in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood of St.Paul, we had the most wonderful neighbors. One in particular man stands out in my mind. Ernest Runyan. Tut was his nickname. When we moved into that neighborhood almost a dozen years ago, Tut was in his late 70's or early 80's, but you'd never know it. He worked out everyday and did 100 push-ups morning and evening. He was a solid ex-marine who had a joke and a smile for anyone who would stop and talk.
We called him the Mayor of the Neighborhood or the Governor of the Boulevard. He'd lived in the same little house since WW2. I remember him telling us that his mortgage was an astounding $70 per month, but he and his wife, Vi, had payed a little extra each month so that they could get out from under the debt. Imagine! $70.00 a month.
Tut sort of took care of everyone in the neighborhood. He was the enforcer of good manners efficient yard care("Chemicals kills that stuff every time! C'mon, I've got something in my garage that'll take care of creeping charlie.") Every young family could point to something in their homes that Tut had helped them fix. It wasn't always done correctly - or esthetically (lots of duct tape and 2" bolts) - but it was done with such a good heart that no one had the desire to ever change it.
Before Tut's wife was moved to an assisted living facility - dementia - Tut and Vi used to sit in their aluminum & webbing lawn chairs on their front porch and survey the goings on. The children were noisy and there was usually a pick-up game of touch football happening in the street... The stuff that great city neighborhoods are made of.
We'd all come outside after dinner in the summertime. Those of us with young babies were anxious to see adults, and those of us with grown children were eager to be part of the familial chaos once again. We'd talk and laugh and share a beer or two before heading inside for baths and bedtime.
One late summers evening, Tut beckoned me to join him in his garage. I followed obediently. There it was - the doll house. He told me that he'd made it for one of his daughters. He'd forgotten that it was in the attic. Did I think that my little girl would like to have it?

Via played with Tut's doll house the whole summer. It was on our front porch. I have the most delicious memories of her little body half way into the house, contentedly playing with her people as the warm breeze blew across the porch and the sun light changed as the leaves on the big oak shifted in the wind.

Via played with that doll house for two years.
Then Noni played with it.
Yaya played with it last summer, but it was pretty beaten up.

This year, Santa brought all of the girls a collection of Calico Critters - more little things with even smaller accessories. The Calico Critters came with the promise of a remodeled house.
So, Daddyman and I are up to our elbows in paint and epoxy and balsa wood. We're fixing and updating... we're upping the curb appeal.

Two winters ago, we buried Tut. I know that Tut would be thrilled that my girls are still using the doll house that he'd made for his girls. I hope that the restoration that we are doing will help the doll house last for a very long time. I hope that our girls will pass it on to their children.

(I'll share the make-over photos when the house is done. Keep checking!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

which is better...

the super yummy Christmas cookie baked with dear friends, or the fabulous new camera that can take a gorgeous photo of the yummy Christmas Cookie and making it look even better?

amazing peace: a christmas poem

By Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

proof of santa

Proof that Santa does exist.
After creating an elaborately rigged photographic trigger - determined to capture on film the arrival of Santa at the Bungalogan, the Lovely Logan Family snuggled in for a long winter's nap. Not known for sharing their emotions with just anyone, the normally wooden Swedes show true surprise at the arrival of The Old Elf as he appears to enter the Bungalogan abode, thus tripping the trigger on the camera. The camera lens was apparently swiveled by the trusty family dog, Shadow, as he discovered a plate of well decorated sugar cookies and a glass of cold milk. It is uncertain at this time if Shadow or Santa ate said cookies. The empty cookie plate was discovered under the table and the glass was never found.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

fa la la la la la me meme

This is a meme for you! I regifted this lovely little treasure from Say La Vie, who regifted it from Joke and Poppy. It's a recycled Christmas.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I have dreams of using hand stamped, home made papers. I purchase them from the artists that make them, or save little snippets from my children's art work to use as cards and then I blow it. I shop way too late - panic shopping is truly an art that I have mastered. Then I delicately shove my well thought out panic gift into a grocery store gift bag. But still, in my mind, it's a lovely little package in hand stamped paper with intricate and delicate doo dads adorning the top. A girl can dream...

2. Real tree or artificial?
Totally fake. fake. fake. fake. Fake-A-Roo!
P-L-A-S-T-I-C. A poky little fellow that is an unearthly shade of green.
We call it our eco-friendly reusable tree.
We like to lie to ourselves.
We'd really like to go on the adventure of hunting a tree, but - like wrapping paper - we start the project far too late to be romantic or fun. Tree hunting is stressful and angry. Now we have a faux taunenbaum that we dust off and balance in the corner of the living room. Ahhh.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Let's see, what is the date today? Yep, we're late.
Again with the lies: "It's our reaction to the over commercialization of Christmas." We (LIE) wait until it is a little closer to the actual date so we are all (LIE LIE LIE) in the "spirit of the day."

4. When do you take the tree down?
People take the thing down?

5. Do you like eggnog?
You bet! Load it up with bourbon and I'll drink anything! Especially if it will help me survive the the L-o-n-g evening with family. I'll have two. Make them doubles!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I don't really remember anything that I got as a child. Except the one that I looked at before it was wrapped. It was a silver-ish necklace with a kid etched into it, I think. I just remember how I felt when I looked. I was mortified. I didn't even like the necklace. But I sure pretended to LOVE it. I think my acting skills really came in handy on that particular festive night - right, mom?
OK the other gift I remember was the Barbie Make-up Head. I pulled the head off the pink plastic base as I tried to free her from her styrofoam constraints. From that moment on, her head was attached to the neck with silver duct tape. She'd occasionally tilt to the left - poor sad, depressed Make-up Head Barbie. When she'd reach this point, we'd send her to a hotel by herself for a couple of nights. She'd soak in the hot tub and drink wine and watch TV ALL BY HERSELF. This seemed to perk Make-up Head Barbie right up. For awhile. It really is a vicious cycle...
I seem to only remember the bad and not the good. I guess all of those years in therapy didn't really take.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
But of course. It is of Swedish design. Very sparse.
This year, the Littles have been bringing their Polly Pockets to the manger for a visit. Bus tour is probably the best description. The Pollys come in large groups and buy the quilts and take pictures of the baby and talk about the shepherds in hushed voices. Of course, the Swedish Mary and Joseph pretend not to notice. They smile and nod, smile and nod. Nice couple, those two. But the Kings, well, they're not from around here. They are not happy with the Polly Tours. They are going to have a word or two with the Tour Guide, Mrs. Potato Head, the next time the bus shows up.

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Daddyman. He always SAYS that he likes his gifts, but he doesn't. Not really. They are all in a drawer in the bottom of his closet... just waiting to be regifted in a moment of paniced "Oh-My-Gosh! I forgot a hostess gift! What are we going to do?." Then, he will be prepared. He'll pull out the hand-carved, oak nose trimmer and offer it up as the answers to the Hostess Gift Prayer.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

Oma - my mom. We either have similar taste, or she just wears what I buy her because I am her daughter. You know, she never wore what I made for her as a little girl. Perhaps she is just making up for lost time?

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
A flannel night gown from my mom and dad as a preteen. Lovely, L.L. Bean flannel from the chin to the floor edelweiss printed flannel night gown. God, I wish I still had that night gown. I am so cold.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

"Happy Valentines Day from the Logan Clan."

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Rudolph and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I really don't like any of the Charlie Brown themed specials. Daddyman loves them. I think they are depressing and dull. Could this signal something deeper that is wrong with our relationship? Love love love that theatric feat of magic - Eloise at Christmas, mostly because my kids love it. Really happy when I watch It's a Wonderful Life. In fact, we bought our house because it has a wonky banister thingy at the bottom, just like in the movie. We're such suckers. OK, that's not the only reason, but it was the romantic reason. I don't think the bank would have given us a loan based on a wonky banister thingy. Actually, I'm not sure why the bank gave us a loan. I'd better quite talking about it right now. It's going to jinx something. Weren't we talking about movies...?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

See Question #1

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

See question #8.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
What's not to like? I'm telling you, after a couple of bourbon-eggnogs, everything is yum-yum-yummy!
My family is of Norwegian descent. For those of you to whom that means absolutely nothing, here's the deal: Lefse (think potato tortilla), Lutefisk (white fish soaked in lye until it become gelatinous. Yes. Lye is poisonous. Apparently, Norwegians are impervious.) Boiled potatoes, meat balls with a creamed gravy... are you sensing the theme yet? The food is all white. White and bland. That is the food of my people. Do I like it? Sure. Do I eat it? Mostly? Will I cook it for my children someday? You betcha. What's one meal? That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
I wanted white. Daddyman wanted colored. We compromised and put up colored. He's got to win at least one fight per year. Besides, it's Christmas and I am a giving person.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
My dad is a composer, and he writes a lot of things for Christmas - I love his stuff! Good memories of him writing while I was falling asleep at night. His studio was directly below my bedroom in my childhood home. I also love Lo, How A Rose. I like most Christmas music - I also really like Trailer Trash's Rockabilly Christmas Album

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home?
We used to drive 12 hours across the frozen North Dakota prairie to be with my mom's parents when I was a kid. I loved it. Now we stay home. I love it even more.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
I can, but their all made up. I think this batch came from the suburbs: There's Randall and Thomas and Donald and Dixie, Carol and Esther and Vickie and Pudence, Omar and Ismail and DeAnte and Eugene and the most famous reindeer of all? Bruno, the wet nosed reindeer.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star. Again, per Daddyman's request. (For those of you keeping score... like me, that's two for Daddyman, love and charity and giving gracefully many many times for moi. I'm just waitin' for the Kharma to catch up.)

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Who opens them on Christmas eve? I'm still shopping. They're lucky to be tucked neatly into their little gift bags before dawn.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

My husband constantly admonishing me about stretching the truth on my blog.

23. What I love most about Christmas?
Every last stinkin' over-stressed, over-planned, over-bourboned, over-caroled moment of it. And I'd do it again next year. Wanna come over to my house?

Monday, December 17, 2007

and breathe...

So. I've been a little busy lately. Tired and blissfully busy. The two biggest Littles and I did a production of The Christmas Carol with the Actors Theater of Minnesota- The Christmas Carol Feast - it's my 11th year, Via's 4th year and Noni's 2nd year. They're old pros.

We did several performances of The Christmas Carol Feast at a smoky Casino (does anyone else see the irony?)...
We saw Santa and our dear friend, Albert the Elf and had a fancy lunch...
We played in the snow...
I was observed by my principal...
The girls sang in the Christmas program at church. They were lovely, the "Christmas Program," not so much...
Via played a piano recital brilliantly...
Via played her cello on stage with the Minnesota Orchestra for two sold out performances...
I've been working on some script ideas for a project with my brother, Uber Uncle...
We've celebrate birthdays...
We've shared a wonderful, annual Christmas dinner with good friends at a great restaurant in an old Victorian mansion that is thought to be haunted...
We've gone Christmas Caroling. Outside. In December. For cash...

I'm too tired to write more now, but please know that I am thinking of all of you and miss you tons - I'll catch you up soon. In the mean time, here are some pics to give you a peak into what we've been up to.

Yaya just gets prettier and prettier. Here, she is wearing a fabulous cashmere cap that was crocheted by my friend, Hillary. I love the hat, but can hardly keep it off my girl's head!

Here are the Littles, waiting for Santa and our friend, Albert the Elf. They got all fancied up for the event. We even had a lovely "fancy" lunch to cap off the whole Santa event. The best part? Santa didn't ask any of them what they wanted for Christmas!

Here is the man we've begun to fondly refer to as Red Papa. He and Oma came to see The Christmas Carol Feast. They were joined by Auntie Tata and Daddyman. They loved the Littles, and of course thought I did OK. (I performed both as Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Crachit.) The Littles were on cloud nine that they had "fans." Papa and Oma are going to take the two Biggest Littles to see The Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. It's very good. Just different... like, oh, no food.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

sister winter winks

Daddyman has the big girls and the dog outside on the sled. It is snowing. Again.

But this time, it's that big, fluffy, theater snow - you know. The kind that you can see from the back row. The kind that some poor sap has to sweep up after the finale so he can dump it back into the drum so that it can fall again for the next performance.

It is as sultry and sensual as a snow fall can be. It is big and round as it lays itself heavily across the earth. It hides a multitude of secrets beneath the voluptuous white blanket that is laid across the lawn. It's gentle shoulder bends around the tree trunk and caresses the street lamp and teases the tufts of ornamental grasses that are still bristling through the drift, embarrassed to be lingering so long in such an unsavory locale. This seductive snow makes the false promise of fun and pleasure with a wink and a flutter, but she only gives a dangerous ride down the lane.

Hang on! Here comes Sister Winter. We'd better buckle up - we're in for a wild ride!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

that happy shiny weather guy

OK, it has happened. What of it?
"So?" I ask with the attitude of a sulky, sullen teenager. There will be no polls or pithy queries about this one, for I am merely despondent and disenchanted... my heart yearns for the certitude of those facts espoused by such as should know better.
What, you ask, has stirred such a blase' attitude in this writer? And for goodness sake, who does she think gave her the authority to sling such big, misspelled words about with so little passion or regard for accuracy? I will tell you.


For the past 3 days, the charming and attractive weather guys and gals on all of the local news stations have been talking about the Amazing Snow that we are going to experience together in the Great Northern state of Minnesota - like a big frozen love-in. "It's coming! And it's coming this Saturday. Now, we can't really predict when and how much, but we think that we are looking at 6 to 8 inches of that gorgeous, fluffy, white stuff." Even that big, round, chocolate lump of love on The Today Show chimed in with his big toothy grin - "It's gonna be a big one for the folks in that neck of the woods."

Like the flibertyjibit that I truly am, I believed them. I looked into the eyes of these well style weather professionals, and I trusted what they said to be the truth. I locked onto the words "gorgeous and fluffy" and stayed there, blissful in the promise of a Hallmark weekend.

And then, like a child awaiting Christmas, I counted the days.

Thursday - no snow. But that's OK. The cute guy in front of the blue screen on Chanel Five said it was coming. So I took a deep breath and continued my vigil.

Friday - no snow. I checked the calendar. Of course there wouldn't be any snow today. That sassy Belinda at Chanel 11 said "Saturday." I drank a glass of wine to help calm the nervous anticipation.

Lots of gorgeous, fluffy white stuff means plows and salt and slow driving and digging out and...
sledding and snow forts and hot chocolate and laughing and skating at the Depot and...
sore backs and bad driving and shoveling the side walk and salting the side walk and boots and mittens and...
cute new boots and hand made mittens and...

You can clearly understand why a glass of Marietta Old Vine Red was consumed for purely medicinal reasons. The second glass, well, that was for fun!

So today is Saturday.

Like a child looking for Santa, I hopped out of bed full of anticipation and curiosity. Today is the day. Today is the day. I struggled to wrap myself in my red knit robe while shoving my ice cold feet into my warm, woolly slippers. I hop/scuffled to the window, threw back the heavy, room darkening velvet curtain sending up a swirl of dust and dog hair and I gazed my first upon a field of Saturday's Promised...


Wait one stinking minute! This is not what those good looking, well groomed people had promised me. This is not "gorgeous" nor is it "fluffy." This is a hard, driving ice/snow. It tings against the glass of my original-to-the-house glass windows (Translation: these old panes could be shattered under the battery of relentless ice pellets) Those big, fat liars - weather guys are cute, but they can't be trusted. I'd learned my lesson.

Swathed in disappointment, I slunk back to bed. I didn't bother to remove my robe or slippers, I just shoved my wool wrapped body back into the flannel sheets of warmth and disbelief. I quickly became entangled in competing fabrics, so I stayed there another hour or so, until one of The Littles flung herself on top of me, bouncing out her excitement in a sort of toddler morse code - It's snowing! It's snowing! Dot dot dash! Dot dot dash!

Luckily, her bouncing released the flannel from the wool and set me free. After a quick trip to the window with the littlest Little, I realized her joy and together we bounced on the Daddyman. Dot dot dash! It's snowing! Dot dot dash.

"Let's get the sleds out."
"Can I have hot cocoa for breakfast?"
"Is it snowing on the other side of the house, too?"
"What time IS it?"

So, it is snowing. It's neither gorgeous nor fluffy, but it is "That white stuff" and that has to count for something. The weather folks get a B- for todays weather. Perhaps we'll venture out into this truly blinding ice/snow storm to play some winter games. Or, if mama gets her way, we'll gather 'round the family table and play board games whilst sipping tepid cocoa. Then we'll play that age old family favorite called "Let's put shrinking plastic up on the rest of the original-to-the-house-windows to baffle the wind and muffle the dangerous sound of ice hitting glass" game.

I hope that where ever you are you are warm and happy and surrounded by the people that you love and who love you back... and that your flannel doesn't grab your wool.