That poor little thing on the right is a (formerly) tall evergreen. In the middle of the night before this picture was taken, I looked out my bedroom window and that evergreen and several others were just starting to hunch over and they were slowly swaying side to side in the wind. They looked like they had monk's robes on and their heads were bent forward. It was weird and creepy.
Last weekend, we got tickets for a Capitals game in DC. We decided that Mike would just stay there for the weekend and I would drive up on Friday with Alex, Hannah and Shauna, to go to the game. We heard about the big snow they were expecting and rather than cancel the trip and just have Mike come home before the snow started, we did the smart thing and headed up a day earlier than planned! We left after school on Thursday and got there in the late evening. The snow started in the morning on Friday and didn't stop for a long time! We ended up deciding that driving to the game wasn't worth the risk, so we stayed at the townhouse and watched it on television. Too bad we couldn't have gone, since the game was great. We had fun watching it on tv, while checking the snowfall totals frequently. We ended up with at least 25 inches.
Alex, Hannah, and Shauna had never experienced that much snow, so they had a blast! Mike was shoveling every few hours and they did some helping with that. Alex and Hannah did the most shoveling. Shauna tends to take after me and she doesn't really get into the physical stuff! The really enjoyed climbing the big snow hills and sliding down. It was a little rough on them since we don't own snow pants or boots anymore. Poor Alex had on a pair of thin canvas shoes and would have probably gotten frost bite, were it not for the plastic Walmart bags we made him put on his feet. The girls had boots, but they are more fashion boots than snow boots. They still had a wonderful time and I got some good video of the event. I will try to post pictures, but right now Mike is figuring out how to get them off his Blackberry. I had my digital camera with me, but a certain son, who shall remain nameless, but did go on the trip with us, had taken my card out and not returned it.
Being snowed in was fun. We brought plenty of food and the kids even pitched in with the preparation. They got bored several times, but I think it was good for them. We played some board games and I was reminded about why we don't do that much at home. They are freaking annoying to play with!! They can't count spaces on Monopoly or Sorry. They get mad if I try to tell them a better strategy for winning. They take forever to remember that it is their turn. They quit in the middle of a game because they are bored. There was more to annoy me, but I can't remember everything now. I was wishing Denise was there, she is a good game companion!
We also played dominoes and Mike joined in. That was semi-annoying but still fun. Mike wasn't annoying, just the kids!
Mike just came in and handed me 5 mini Reese's peanut butter cups and said, "Happy Valentine's Day". Wow, I'm sure he only did it to throw me off, since he really plans to give me a dozen roses, a box of Fannie May, and a diamond ring! Who says there is no romance after 27 years of marriage????
Back to the snow weekend. I had planned to leave DC (actually Northern VA, but DC is easier) on Sunday afternoon, so the kids would only miss one day of school. However, the roads were still really bad and when Mike pulled the van out of the driveway to shovel around it, it got stuck in the middle of the street and three neighbors had to help get it back in, so I decided going home was out of the question. We ended up leaving at 1:00 pm on Monday, which was a bit iffy. If I wasn't so concerned about school, I would have stayed one more day because the highways weren't all that great. In the left and right lanes, it was fairly clear, wet, but clear, until suddenly a huge pile of snow would pop up right in front of the car! The middle lane was clear in a few spots, but in most areas, it had several inches of thick ice. I had a small panic when my windows got dirty from the salty snow spray from trucks and it turned out my blue stuff wasn't coming out. I'm sure there is a proper name for the blue stuff, like windshield cleaner, but we always call it blue stuff! I stopped as soon as I could to go to a gas station. The roads off the highway were even worse and I was terrified that I would get stuck. Alex got a squeegee and cleaned the windshield, while the girls and I tried to figure out how to open the hood. Shauna finally figured it out, just when I was going to look for the manual. After breaking all the thick ice under the wipers, thinking that might be covering the exit hole for the blue stuff, realized that that wasn't the problem. We headed into the gas station to buy some blue stuff and got there just in time, as they had just figured out that they couldn't sell anymore gas and were getting ready to close. I don't know why they couldn't' sell gas, they still had power, but the owner came in all in a panic to say they had to put signs on the pumps. Maybe they were out of gas, I'm not sure, as most of the conversation was in Chinese. When we finally got the hood open (turns out you still have to maneuver another latch under the hood, as well as inside the van) and located the blue stuff container, I realized that it already had blue stuff in it! I suppressed my panic and put my fingers in, pulling out chunks of ice that had formed inside. I topped it off with the new stuff and was thrilled when it actually worked!!!! The kids were sweet, too, as they worried about my fingers getting frost bite and even offered to do it for me!
After getting back on the road and getting a bit further south, the roads got much better and it was smooth sailing from Fredericksburg all the way home. The kids were excellent in the car, even though the converter isn't working, so they couldn't watch television. I was happy because I got to listen to some great music! We arrived home in one piece and Wrigley was very happy to see us! All in all, it was a great trip and I look forward to the next one!