Clark, Audrey’s frozen from the waist down.

I know I complain – often? – about the crabby old ladies on the seniors’ bus who swarm the Co-Op when I’m grocery shopping and who snap at the sole cashier for being the only one working, like he has a choice in this matter, and who bang the back of my legs with their shopping carts and who, in general, seem to be going through life – or at least, the grocery store – with a black cloud hovering over their heads, but yesterday I had the loveliest conversation with two elderly ladies in the (sole) lineup. The conversation started with commentary about an unflattering photo of Hillary Clinton on the front page of a tabloid, which then led into a discussion about the perils of celebrity, and how we all feel sorry for young actresses who get labelled as “PREGNANT?!?” just because they had a large lunch or are slightly bloated. And yes, I did use the term “young actresses these days” because when in Rome, well.

It has been so cold here, complete with insane blizzard conditions that has left giant snowdrifts everywhere, but especially in the alley behind the school. Since Tuesday, I have personally seen eight cars stuck in the alley, one of which had to be chained out this morning. Public Service Announcement: do not attempt to park in alley until further notice. It’s so cold that I’m bundling up like Laura Ingalls on her way home from the Brewsters’ for the weekend (thanks Hannah!) and so I’m waiting for my husband to romance me old-timey style. Maybe we can exchange name cards or touch mitten tips or something.

The local news is entirely taken up by this cold snap. I have no idea what, if anything, is going on in the rest of the world because the newscast is entirely filled by messages about how many seconds it will take before your skin freezes, and to dress in layers. Noted!

OF COURSE it’s the coldest week of the year because it’s also the week that Mark’s class is having their swimming lessons. Luckily the pool is right next to the school but due to some disastrous planning their lessons end at 11:50. Guess what the chances are of 27 third and fourth graders getting out of the pool, showering, getting dressed, and putting on a zillion layers of winter clothing by lunchtime dismissal? Yeah. Our lunchtimes have just become that more rushed.

The weather is also cramping my dog walking style. Although Barkley is furry enough to tolerate these frigid conditions, I – despite my Scottish/ Norwegian heritage – am not. As I told my dog walking companions, my cut off is minus 15, which has unfortunately left us walk-less this week. Yesterday I decided to suck it up, buttercup, and walk ten minutes to the post office, dog in tow. I’m not sure if it was sheer giddiness from being outside after a cabin feverish week, or the fact that we were going a different and therefore extraordinarily exciting way, but Barkley was pretty much the most over-stimulated dog ever. If I could read his mind, it would probably go something like this: Where are we going? This is new! This is different! They have snow here! I’m going to pee on this snow! Then sniff the snow! Sniff sniff sniff. So many smells! Where are we going now? What is this place? There are people around? OMG a tree. A TREE. They have trees in this new exciting world. Where are we? What is this amazing place? OMG exciting. Wag wag wag. Hopefully the weather breaks soon or his fuzzy little mind is going to explode the next time we walk down a different sidewalk than usual.

The kids have a day off school tomorrow – again – so today has a nice, festive, long-weekend feeling. I think this weekend will be the one to make our annual fugly gingerbread house! Stay tuned! We’ve been improving every year and yet…

we are still not candidates for a career in gingerbread decorating. Remember the melted snowman? And the dead gingerbread man in the background? What will this year’s bring?


  1. I’ll text your husband with page references to the key passages so he can understand why you keep reaching for him with your mitten-clad hand.

    That kind of cold makes me want to just curl up under a blanket until April. Ugh.

  2. You look hot in that parka. Well, cold, but… you get it.

    Have you seen this? You probably have, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see it again.

  3. Steph Lovelady says

    Wow. Fifteen below. I live somewhere where the temps never go below zero. Back in grad school (round 1), we lived in Iowa, where they did quite frequently but that was so long ago I don’t think I really remember what it was like.

  4. Oh my god between Nicole’s description of Barkley’s excitement and that hyperboleandahalf link, I’m crying I’m laughing so hard. I *may* have a dog that causes me to relate to this a little too much.

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