Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Final total?  Somewhat north of 13" here.  A friend said 17", but not from what I measured.  No school today.  JC used the snowblower to clear most of the driveway. Note that the snow is higher than the mouth of our baby-sized snowblower. But I'm still glad to have it.

Rachel tried to jump over the pile of snow by the road - and failed. It was above her waist, and after floundering around for a while, I had to pull her out because she was stuck.

The deer out front, last night. 
They were even more buried this morning.

William and our neighbor, digging in the front yard.

The only casualty seems to be our mailbox.  Hard to tell in this picture, but it's open because the snow pushed up around it has warped the body of the box.  The door is sitting straight - the box itself is not.  We're still ahead of the neighbor across the street.  During the last storm, the plow took his off completely - snapped the post.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And Still More Snow

We already got the call for a delayed opening.  I think there's a chance of a closure - it would be a certainty if we weren't on our last snow day.

I am sorry for all this blogging about the weather, but it has been an unusually snowy winter for us.  I will take a picture in the morning - it's too dark now, but my car has accumulated more than an inch of snow in an hour and a half.

And it's still snowing hard.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gratuitous Tuba Shots

And here's the tux shot, just before his winter concert for school.  Yes, I know.  He needs to shave.  Apparently excess facial hair is fashionable among tuba players, though.  John said all the tuba kids they saw at the audition were on the fuzzy side.


And just for fun, he spent an evening on the streets of Westfield, NJ before Christmas, playing Christmas music for shoppers.  The dad of one of his band friends has a quartet that plays every year, but their tuba player was sick this year.  I wouldn't say JC was happy to help out, but he ended up having fun.  I think.  It was kind of cold that evening.

Random Tuesday

Too many things I've been meaning to post but haven't, so I'll smush them all together.

1.  Rachel got an "A" on her mythology mobile.
The cards are color-coded by "generation" and have a picture of the god/goddess on one side and a brief description on the other.  Gods with multiple children have them hanging from a seperate rod suspended under them.  You can't see her, but way in the back is Venus/Aphrodite on a purple card with no parents because she (myths vary) pretty much appeared out of nowhere.

You really can't tell from the picture, but John showed Rachel how to cut the brass rods with a hacksaw and polish them up with a Dremel tool.  I don't have a picture of Rachel with her goggles on, polishing, but she was really into it.  She got them super-shiny.

2.  JC made the All-State Band.  Perhaps I should say it again.
Yes, we're just a wee bit proud of him.  To audition, you had to first audition for and be chosen for your regional band (there are 3 regions in NJ).  There were 8 tubas chosen for each region, so there were 24 total that were allowed to audition for All-State.  Out of all of New Jersey.  And then 8 were chosen.  !!!!
I have a great picture of JC in his tux, but Blogger has decided "no more pictures!"

3.  The weather continues to be Winter.  We have been 20-30 degrees below normal, which may not sound so terrible to those of you in the Frozen North, but it's been challenging.  Rachel missed the bus yesterday because John said he would drive her - because he didn't want to stand at the bus stop at 0 F.  Today has "warmed up" all the way to (maybe) 35F, but now we have a 90% chance of "significant accumulation" on Wednesday night.  We have one assigned snow day left in this school district.  Thursday is the first day of midterms for the high school.  Please.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

4.  John is leaving for Florida tonight and staying until Friday evening.  Have no pity for him.  I have to refill the gas can for the snowblower today.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Getting Old Already

Ok, we've had two snow days and a delayed opening and it's January 21st.  This is going to be one of THOSE winters, isn't it?  One of those where we use up all our snow days and have to steal days from Spring Break and add some onto the end of the school year (which already goes into late June and makes me crazy).

And let me tell you, having a federal holiday and a snow day the next day makes parents crazy.  EVERY parent I talked to yesterday said, "Please, let it just be a delayed opening tomorrow.  I can't take having the kids home another day!"  It didn't help that Tuesday's snow day was really an ice day - we had freezing rain and extremely slick roads and you couldn't even throw the kids outside to play in the...slush?  Sleet? Muck?

New Jersey is right on the edge of snow country.  We have some winters that have little to no snow, and we have others where we get hammered.  And just when you think you know what to expect, well, no, you didn't.

Ok, finally time to shovel the last kid out the door.  I'm just glad we're out of the Intermediate School.  With a two-hour delay, the bus didn't come until almost 11.  And then the oldest would get home at 2:30.  Yippee.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day Anyway

We were closer to 6" than 18", and even 6" is being generous.  But they cancelled school last night about midnight (we get robocalls, which is actually awesome.  Sure beats trying to watch for your school to scroll across the screen.), because the forecast was for the heaviest snow from 2am to 10am.  Can't say as I blame them, it could have been nasty.  But we woke to blue skies and light and fluffy snow.  John cleared the driveway and went to work.  The kids and I mostly hung out, although we did manage to undecorate the Christmas tree.

But whatever I have been doing lately has messed up my back (I have arthritis in my lower back, and while there's always a low level of pain, it's usually not bad) and I can barely move today.  I did some stretching, which helped a little, but I'm thinking that Zumba at the gym may be to blame and perhaps I shouldn't go tomorrow.  Just when I was getting into a groove.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowmaggedon, Yet Again

The Other Coast - March 10, 2010

I'll let you know tomorrow if we were closer to 6" or to 18".  Yes, that really is the range, depending which weather station you favor.  The kids (and teachers) are convinced there will be a snow day.  I maintain my scepticism.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We celebrated JC's 16th birthday today.  It was a decidely different party than the one for William's 9th back in November.  This was JC's show, as much as it could be.  He decided what he wanted to do (go out to a Japanese Hibachi restaurant and then hang out and play video games).  He decided who to invite, and did so (after only a little nagging from Mom to follow through).  He invited friends that we didn't know (which was fine).

We provided transportation, dinner, and cake (which, besides requesting yellow cake with NOT chocolate frosting, he had surprisingly little opinion about).  And we tried to be unobtrusivly present throughout the evening (not that any of these kids were trouble).  I think they all had a good time.  I'm pretty sure JC did, which is what really matters, after all.

I enjoyed watching my son growing up.  And also the fact that I didn't have to plan the party.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year

Ah, January.  After all the bright lights and hustle of the holidays, January can be a bit of a let down.  Or a breath of fresh air.  Or both.  Fits with the namesake of the month, Janus, the Roman god of doorways, or looking both ways at once.

We spent the break at home, hanging out with friends both at home and at their places.  There were intentions of heading into New York City to do something "cultural", or at least, "consumer", but with the snowstorm and subsequent slow cleanup, it didn't seem to be the best week for that.  So we stayed home and did our best to put a dent in the cookies, candy, and other holiday goodies that somehow accumulated.

We also had a couple of school projects do (and yes, I say "we" on purpose.  Many of these are impossible for the child to do by themselves).  William had to do a timeline of his life, with pictures.  Rachel had a rather open-ended project for Latin that ended up being a mobile/family tree of the major Roman gods and goddesses.  I have pictures of the mobile and will post them later - unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the timeline.  They both came out really well.

And while I don't have any specific resolutions, we are doing the usual of trying to eat more healthy foods, which also incorporates eating out less, more exercise, more sleep, etc.  Results are mixed so far, but then again, it's only the 4th.  We'll see.