Tag Archive: Weather


Home remodeling is not for wusses.  During my growing up years, there is only a couple of houses that I recall not being involved in a remodeling job of some sort.  My mother had this innate ability to take something ugly and make it beautiful.  I remember one particular house that I went with them to look at.  I remember walking into this four walled container of fecal matter and telling my parents that I would not move into that house if they decided to buy it. It seriously looked like someone had urinated on the walls or something in the front room.  The toilet was so disgusting.  The house smelled horrible.

My parents bought the house because they got a great deal on it.  I moved in kicking and screaming.   The house did have to be cleaned up before we moved in which helped a little bit.  When my mother was done with it, it was beautiful home.

I will be the first to tell you that I hate remodeling.  Mostly because I hate things being in chaos and it would eventually lead to not having a bathroom in the middle of winter. Utah winters in the past were not kind. You would sometimes have to plow a walkway to the car through 3-4 feet of snow. This year it has been 3-4 inches.

When my grandmother passed away, the doctors did not want my grandfather living alone.  He was pretty feeble.  So my mother and father sold our home and we moved into my grandfather’s house.  It was a two bedroom, 1 bathroom home.  There were 5 of us.  My parents made do until we could remodel the home to have 3 more bedrooms and a bathroom. See, I told you all remodeling leads to being without plumbing at one point and time.

This remodel job started in the summer and went into the winter.  My grandfather had a greenhouse that he had made that was in his backyard about 200 feet away from the house.  When it came time to install the new toilet, shower and sink, the water had to be shut off to the bathroom.  My father built us a porta-potty of sorts in the greenhouse for privacy.  Unfortunately it was in the winter and we had a lot of snow.  I remember a few mornings making the trip out to the greenhouse dreading the frostbite I was getting braced to receive.  This makes you pretty tough.

I am about to “out” my mother on this and may she forgive me.  I did not understand her situation then like I do now that I have had four children.  The birth of children seriously damages anything related to the bladder and the lack of control thereof.  Did not understand this at that time.  I am a lot more sympathetic of her situation now.

One particular morning when our bathroom was still located in the great outdoors, she woke up and had to go out to the “greenhouse”.  She realized as she got up that she had to go pretty bad and wasn’t sure if she was going to make it.  She had a pretty steep flight of stairs to go down and realized when she got to the bottom that there was no way she was going to make it without having an “accident”.  So she made an executive decision to just step off to the side of the steps and go. She hit a patch of ice which caused her to go down along with her pants.  Even now, 25 years later, I still laugh at the picture this paints in my mind. I envision Bambi when he first stepped on ice.

Now thank goodness Google wasn’t around to do a drive by “shooting”.  I would hate to find her on a Google map search somewhere.  I could not stop laughing that entire day.  I had graduated from high school and was at home so I was stuck there painting all day.  When it would get quiet…you know the 7 minute lull….I would envision my poor mother in her predicament and start laughing.  She would just look at me and give me that “I know what you are thinking about look” and then proceed to tell me that she wishes she would  have never told me what happened.  Well today I almost had the same experience she did, only I kept my pants on and ice was not involved.

The first house my husband and I lived in had to be completely remodeled for it to be livable. I decided after the 10 years of that that I would never remodel again. I will paint, but I won’t tear the entire house apart. So for the last couple of months, I have been giving my walls a fresh coat of paint after 7 years.  Today I decided that my children’s bathroom needed a new look.  I have unfortunately been smacked with the short stump and am at a huge disadvantage at reaching ceilings, let a lone vaulted ceilings.  I have not to this day spent money on a step-ladder.  That is probably why I have nearly died a few times.

Today I had the can of paint on the bathroom sink and I was standing on the side of the tub trying to paint around the ceiling.  I had a chair in between me and the sink so I could just step around to make things easier.  I stepped on the chair with one foot to reach the paint can and for some reason the chair slid, thus causing me to do the splits.  I am sure even when I was a baby that I could not do the splits. I am not genetically built for them.  My sister tried forcing me once which, quite frankly, I was lucky I could still have children afterwards.  Anyway, as the chair slid I felt the muscles pulling in places that no woman wants muscles pulling.  My daughter and husband was on the other side of the house discussing bikes and handlebar tape.  I yelled for help, groaned for help, prayed for help.  No one came. I managed to grab on to something and get myself pulled back together. I had a flashback to when I was 24 months pregnant with my youngest son (not really, but it felt like 24 months), I went to kick a ball and missed.  Couldn’t walk for weeks from a pulled groin.

I do not think that I will be walking the same after today. There is something about pulling the groin muscle that just messing everything up.  I nearly crawled into the kitchen to where the beloved family with hearing problems were.  No comments like, “sorry, we didn’t hear you” or “are you OK”.  All I got was laughter.  It haunted my ears as I am sure it did my mothers years ago.  Why did I even tell them.  Everything you do as a teen comes back to haunt you as a parent.  At least I was within the privacy of four walls and my pants were stretchy.

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Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.

Every year come November, usually around the first part of the month I start to feel all of the walls closing in on me.  You would think that after so many years I would be used to it, but I get stressed out to the max and feel pulling to cord to get off at a different stop.

Many things combine to make me start feeling this way.  First of all it turns off cold.  I hate the cold.  It is pretty sad when the only things you want for Christmas are things that will keep you warm like warm slippers, onsie PJ’s and an electric blanket.  I can’t use these things any other time of the year but winter.  It sucks!

I begin to start feeling like I am being pulled in directions I physically cannot go.  Because the pulling begins all at once and never in the same direction.

When I get to this point, I start doing real stupid things.  Not consciously, I just get scattered brained and start doing things that I normally don’t do.

Like yesterday…

A guy came into school a couple of days ago needing a website made.  There are three of us that will be working on it.  Two of us were at school yesterday and the proposal had to be put together.  I was the guinea pig because I was the only one that new Excel.  This was the first big thing I have had to do since being in school.  I was stress out because it had to be done yesterday.

After about 2 hours of putting it together, when I finally finished I realized that I had to go to the bathroom like yesterday.  I don’t know if I am the only one like that or other people are, but when I am so into something I forget what is going on around me.  I decided I should run up the hall and “relieve my waters” before getting on with some of my other work.  Because I had been so stressed out, I wasn’t thinking clearly and before you know it I found myself standing in the men’s bathroom.

I hadn’t even noticed the different colored floor until it was too late.  I can only imagine the look of horror on my face when I realized what I had done.  I turned and hauled my butt out of there faster than you can say, “Bob’s your uncle”.  I didn’t look behind me to see if I had been seen coming out of there like there was a fire.  I told myself…..”It’s starting” I won’t be myself again until January.

So I say to myself, “So long semi-sane until later.  I can only hope that glimpses of you will occasionally emerge to let me know you are still there waiting to come back to stay.”

My daughter showed me this video last night that I can relate with.  I am “Granny” at this time of year.

Well I have had it!  I decided that since this stupid weather in Utah can’t decide to warm up that I was going to think positive and put up my pool thinking the theory “When I wash my car, it will rain” will apply.  Only it will be “I will put up the pool so the sun will shine”. 

This will probably be wishful thinking.  I will probably be scraping the snow off of it next week.  Today might be the warmest day in the next week to even swim and the water is freezing cold.

The official sign of summer is when the pool goes up.  In years past come March my kids would start asking, “When are we going to put up the pool?”.  Of course March in Utah is never a good time to put up a pool or even come within 15 ft. of an outdoor pool.  We are never that lucky.  Then it was April, then May and this year…no one has asked.  I was the one taking the initiative to do it.

I remember as a kid living in  Florida that everyday we went to the public pool.  It was great!  Anyone under 17 got in for free.  That was the life.  Of course it was about 115 degrees.  We would have died if we wouldn’t have been able to.  I think letting people in free to the pool was the city’s way of avoiding mass deaths during the summer months.  I remember swimming one day and seeing a guy do a belly flop off of an 80 ft. platform.  It didn’t kill him, but nearly.  He laid on the side of the pool for about 1 hour.  That single event made me never want to try high diving.

I truly believe that I am a fish in human clothing.  I love water and swimming.  This has not always been the case.  When I was 10 I almost drowned while living in Florida.  The scariest event of my life to date.  So it took some time for me to get over the fear of water.  I still do not like diving anymore.  If I don’t come up as fast as I should I start to panic.  Other than that, I am fine.  I even joined the high school swim team to get over my fear of water and to be able to have a class at school that I could play in the water for an hour.

I remember at age 17 we traveled to Florida for Christmas.  It was weird to see a Christmas without being in 5 feet of snow.  The weather was a balmy 72 degrees.  To Utahns 70 degrees in December is something you take advantage of.  So like a bunch of nut jobs, we went swimming in the ocean.  The Floridians walking the beach thought we were completely insane, but how many times to you get to swim in the ocean while living in Utah?  Oh, that would be  NONE!!!  I live near a carp invested river and that is the closest to a beach I get.  Of course we joke about our “beach front” property.  More like Redneck beach front property.  I truly believe that I have probably missing seeing one of those redneck houseboats floating down the river. 

Got to love summer.  One of my favorite seasons of the year.  Although it does bring some sadness this year.  It will be the first summer for 19 years  that I will not be at home with my kids all day doing that things you do when it is warm. This brings sadness to my heart.  I am almost done with school and hopefully will not miss another summer with them again.  The realization of how hard this would be hit yesterday, their full day at home and I was at school.  It nearly brought me to tears.  Being a stay-at-home mom has been the best job I have had for 19 years.  No, it doesn’t pay much, but the benefits and awards so outweigh the monitarial compensation.  I have truly been blessed to do this for so many years.

Those of you not living in Utah cannot begin to understand what Spring can be like.  Spring makes you think of beautiful flowers, green grass, budding trees, singing birds, etc.,etc.  That paints a very pretty picture.  BUT, and that is a big BUT, spring in Utah takes on a whole other meaning.  Take for instance two days ago. I was dressed up like “Randy” in The Christmas Story.  Thinking that I was not ever going to get warm. I would have put on 4 pairs of socks if I would have been able to get my feet in my shoes.  This is the end of March mind you.  It was cold and snowy.  Two days later…..nearly 70 degrees.  What????  I went swimming in the ocean in Florida  one December when it was 72 degrees.   Of course most of the Floridians at the beach thought I was a complete goon.   When you are used to Christmas being about 10 degrees, 72 is a flippin’ heat stroke waiting to happen.

Many people who are new to Utah are shocked by what some of us wear in these extreme temperatures.  I have spent most of my life in Utah and have still not gotten used to the cold temps.  It is the die-hards that I am talking about.  My son fits that category to the tea.  He has worn a coat once this winter to school.  A light jacket, or nothing is his usual pick.  One year his goal was to wear shorts everyday for the entire school year.  I think he made it except for one day.  Utah is known to get to 15 degrees or more below zero during the winter months.  This kid is nuts!  Any other state and I would have been turned into DCFS for child endangerment sending him to school like that.

I remember living in Florida as a kid and thinking that the 115 degree temperatures during the summer was going to kill me.  It didn’t seem to bother some people.  Us “implants” spent most of the days at the community swimming pool trying to keep the flesh from spontaneously combusting.  Of course in the south they shut down schools when they get an inch of snow.  We have to get about 2 feet or more for schools to close down.  Then it takes an act of congress to pass the closure.

We are all like critters in our own habitats.  You take us out of what we are used to and we can’t handle it.  It takes awhile to climatize for some of us and some of us never do.  When I think, I can get used to this………….it is supposed to snow in two days.  How? Why?  The questions that not even the weatherman can answer in this great state!  We just roll with the punches and hope that two days from now we don’t hit 100 degrees and stay there until September.  Yes, it has come close to doing that before.