Minus 17 degrees Celsius to be exact and my poor thumb is splitting unhappily at the seams from several cold snowy days on top of hand washing every dish in the kitchen after our dishwasher frizzled out – again.
The day before my birthday is a crap shoot as far as winter weather goes. I remember my fifth birthday being gray with fall temps, but my university day birthdays it was being buried under mounds of white.
In 2001, I had just found out I was pregnant with Dee but the weather was more late fall than winter. It didn’t snow until Christmas that year.
Snow has flurried, flaked or dropped like feathers from an exploding pillow for the past couple of days. It piles up here once the temps drop and stay down. There is no melt off really. Slushy glop is rare enough to make me take note unlike Iowa where winter fights to overcome fall and then battles to hold off spring with barely a rest in between matches.
Life continues with only the barest hint of inconvenience however in spite of flu, which sent us to the ER with Dee on Sunday night and the fact that the reno is crawling along at a pace that is threatening Christmas plans a tad bit.
Dee’s fine. The Fort ER performed at its usual inefficient rate of speed. I don’t think anyone there knows, or cares to learn, about triage.
We waited for three hours before Dee was taken to a room and evaluated. In the meantime, two little boys a bit older than she with colds were seen as were two women with sprained ankles. Meanwhile, a nine month old baby with a temperature of 102.3, a very distressed looking pregnant woman and Dee, who hadn’t held down more than a mouthful of water all day, languished in the lobby.
Dr. Fortune Cookie was on call, which explained a lot. The man moves with the speed of a glacier. But the triage nurse wasn’t too swift and at the three-hour mark with a shift change looming, I walked into the nurses’ station and informed them that if my daughter wasn’t seen soon, I would take that as confirmation that her illness was not serious and take her home.
We were in a room within five minutes.
Most of the beginning for the week was eaten up being housebound with Dee. A bit more was taken up by feeling ill myself and now it is Friday.
Rob let nothing hold him back from finishing the duct work and putting down sub-floor. He even found time to track down a taper for the drywall, and with a bit of grace from the universe, we’ll be able to take down the plastic sheeting and open up the front of the house for semi-use by Sunday.
The new kitchen is going to be awesome, by the way. We are having it professionally designed and custom-built. Extravagant, I know. Very unlike us. But the tea leaves are predicting a long stay here and it makes no sense to live half-assed when we could have a functional kitchen and living area if our reality is being here in this house for another goodly chunk of time.
The last fully functional and modern dwelling I lived in was the first house I bought myself back in 1997. Built to replace a home destroyed by the floods in 1993, it was a townhouse design single family dwelling. Two bedrooms. A walk in closet in the master bedroom. It was a sweet little house in the old Valley Junction section of West Des Moines. Farmer’s Market in the summer just a few blocks over. Running paths all over. Close enough to the freeway to make it convenient but not so close that the noise tattooed itself on my eardrums.
The house Will and I bought was in a better neighborhood still but was very run down on the inside. It was okay. The plans for making it nice got sidelined almost as soon as we moved in.
Our home in J’berg has always been a work in progress. Rob counts his blessings in two wives who’ve been rather “c’est la vie” about the pace of progress. I don’t know really how much of a hand Shelley had in the plans and execution, but I know that Rob gets a bit frustrated with my lack of definite direction about nearly all things decor.
The problem is that I only really know if I don’t like something and then only after I’ve seen it. I have no vision. No color preferences. No interest in trim or curtains or flooring. The furniture just needs to be soft and squishy, and even than, I sit on the floor a lot anyway.*
Our conversation about the mantle for the new fireplace went something like,
“What do you think of red brick?”
“Or maybe just wood?” Silence. “Or marble?”
“Yeah, that would be good.”
“You’re not even listening to me, are you?”
The fireplace will have a wood mantle and white marble-ish tiling. Very clean and tasteful and goes well with the hardwood – which Rob had a devilish time getting me to care about as well.
I just don’t have the DNA. The drawings the designer emailed us pique my excitement and I have definite ideas once I see concepts, but I lack whatever girly gene necessary to initiate.
My birthday will interrupt progress. Dinner and all. Rob thought we’d get a sitter and go out on our own until I reminded him there is really no place for a sitter to “sit”. We had to pass on his company’s Christmas party for the same reason.
So it’s dinner with the kids and cake – though I have no idea where we will do cake. It’s the no kitchen thing.
Rob got me a new laptop for my birthday which is sitting in the box on Dee’s desk. It arrived last week and I have patiently let it be. My poor old Macbook is beyond updates and since Rob installed the new router, it’s been more fitful than ever. I can’t get into iTunes and Firefox is rejecting me.
And that’s kind of it for this snowy day update. The CP Christmas Train invades our little hamlet tonight but we are planning an escape which Dee heartily went along with. Her memories of the last time the train arrived are not filled with joy. It was bitterly cold. She couldn’t see over the adults who crowded her out and the hot chocolate wasn’t to her liking.** I think we are Christmas shopping. Proof that my husband hates crowds more than he hates shopping – although it’s a narrow window between the two.
Soccer and much-needed hair cuts for Dee and I tomorrow before the festival that is my natal day begins – although technically, I get the whole day being born in the morning and all.
I’ll sign off with a cute boy on boy rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Very Rat Pack and buttoned up sexuality in a Rock Hudson/Doris Day kind of way.
*Absolutely drove my late husband to distraction that with a living room full of furniture, I sat on the floor.
**She is a bit like me with food and drink. Lukewarm. The drinks that long ago night were just this side of scalding without marshmallows to boot.