Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Snow Business: I Have A Problem

Greetings from the snowy depths of NEO in February. We have had snow on the ground here for approximately eleventy thousand of February's twenty-something days so far, most of which have been below freezing. And cloudy. If you listen closely, you can hear the screaming inside my head.

Because it is far too treacherous to take my daily walks, I happily shovel the snow from our driveway, sidewalk, front porch, and walkway. As I said in a previous post, it offers many rewards besides good exercise. Only when it is a particularly heavy or six-inches-all-at-once kind of snow am I not out there shovelling.

There is, however, a Dark and Unseemly Side to my snow shovelling habit. My sense of satisfaction at a job well done has turned into a fetish, a compulsion almost. My driveway must not just be shovelled. It must be completely clear of snow, scraped clean of ice, and a paragon of snow removal. It must be the Example By Which All Other Driveways Everywhere Are Measured.

Let me illustrate what I'm talking about by showing you a few photos. Here is what a normal person's snowpile looks like along the side of her driveway.

This is my neighbor's, two doors down.

See how the snowpile is just snow? There are some clumps here and there from a snowblower. For those of you who don't often see snow, you might even think it "looks pretty." (I'm trying hard not to hold that against you.)

On the very same day, here is the snowpile alongside my driveway after I had been outside shovelling.

Not so pretty, is it?

I cannot Just Shovel. Part of the problem is that my driveway gets driven on early in the morning when Rick leaves for work. This packs the snow down into tire tracks. Sam also comes for lunch, and if it's still snowing, his big truck tires pack the snow down even more. But once my shovel hits bare concrete one time, the Sickness takes hold, and I can't stop. Pretty soon, I'm scraping and chipping, and my snowpile looks like this:

Isn't it beautiful and awful at the same time?

Once those big pieces start coming up, I'm hooked. I'll stay out there until my shoulders are on fire and my hands and feet are numb and dead. Rick's at work; there's no one to stop me, to appeal to what's left of my sense of Reason. I'm on a Mission, and that Mission is a completely clear driveway. Even if there is a forecast for more snow that night--or even that same afternoon!--I do it anyway. I have no idea why.

I have come in from a bout of my Crazed Shovelling and gone straight into a hot shower, my whole body aching, only to get out and seek the comfort of a heating pad on my back and shoulders. More than once, my son Sam has caught me at my task, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Today, Rick called me from work specifically to tell me NOT TO EVEN ATTEMPT TO GO OUT AND SCRAPE ANY ICE FROM THE DRIVEWAY. I was mildly irritated; it was definitely something I had planned to do today. (There's no way a shovel would do it, but we have a different tool in the garage that would be perfect.)

Honestly, though, look at this stuff. Look at the layer of ice on the bottom and how compressed the snow is. That stuff used to be on my driveway!

Good riddance!

Am I alone in this? I definitely am the only Afflicted one in my family. No one else is so crazed about snow removal/driveway grooming in Winter. I know how nuts it is. Help me through it in Comments.

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Monday, February 08, 2021

What's Your Sign? I'm Taurus, So I'm Loyal, Emotionally Strong, And Into Decluttering Kitchen Items. And Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream? (Heck No)

Sometimes, the Interwebs can bring us things we didn't even know we were looking for. I love when that happens. Even better is when I have No Idea how I got to where I arrived, having completely lost the thread of Where I Was Going in the first place.

This particular twisty-turny journey led me to an entire search page of zodiac signs. Let me say here and now that I do, in fact, read the Horoscopes every single day. I read mine, Rick's, and my sons'.  It benefits me in no way whatsoever except to occasionally laugh when it says things like "Tonight:  out on the town" or "exotic travel is favored". Oh, and once, a friend who dabbled in Astrology produced a chart for both Rick and me. There. Full disclosure.

But I digress.

This search page was fascinating. I had no idea that Astrology had branched out so far. It has moved into so many realms. As a Taurus, I was used to hearing about things like Tauruses are loyal, emotionally strong, independent, creative, practical. Our weak health is usually concentrated in our necks/throats. But all that stuff is Old School now. For example, did you know that your zodiac sign can also determine what you should De-Clutter?


Point taken. I promise to get right on that. And Rick, a Leo, does need to weed out the wardrobe. I keep telling him that. To be fair, he also hoards old receipts. 

Your birthdate also rules your ice cream preferences, supposedly. 


This is wrong, wrong, wrong. I detest mint chocolate chip, and Rick would not eat birthday cake ice cream. Actually, what the hell is going on with some of these flavours anyway? I advise everyone not to eat or drink blue stuff. You just never know.

Let's see how we fare with something else that's sweet.


Yes! Out of all these candies, I would always pick Reese's (NOT Ree-sees; please pronounce it correctly. It rhymes with Pieces.) Peanut Butter Cups. Rick, however, would not ever pick Skittles. And Jared, who is NOT a Gemini, loves Swedish Fish. I know; I don't get it either.

Our zodiac signs also drive our footwear decisions. Take a look.


Nope. Nude pumps? Not when there are patterned kitten heels or pointy-toe flats available. Now if they were red pumps, that would be perfect. I've owned dozens and dozens of heels in my life, and not one single pair was nude. For the record, Rick has no ankle-bow heels. 

Hey, if you're ever wondering what sort of book to pick up next, just consult your astrological sign. 


This looks a little YA to me, but I used to read a lot of Stephen King, so it's pretty accurate there. I don't read much of any of these genres, except Historical. I like history, nonfiction, and some of what I guess would be called historical fiction. Rick has no interest in reading books, especially not fantasy. I would love to hear from all of you Aquarians who love to read Steampunk. I really would.

Finally, after all we've been through (and are going through), here's an astrological chart I like a great deal. See what else your birthdate can determine?


I have no problem being designated as Hulk. My temper is mellowed quite a bit, but if you provoke me enough, I will, as my sons say, "put you on blast." I do not, however, turn even a little bit green. Rick is Superman, without a doubt. 

Had you any idea of the New Age Of Astrology and its incredible influence over our lives? How accurate were these new categories for you? Tell me who you are, according to the stars.

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