Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Little Kids!

Wow, it's SO hard to believe our little three are already one year old today! With the exception of Jaba, they are still so tiny! We love 'em, though. A lot.
Also included here is a picture, taken today, of their sister Hera (now Phoebe) sent by Phoebe's new mom, Emily. She reports that Phoebe is MUCH loved and is very playful. They are having a birthday party for Phoebe later on today (Emily has a young son who wanted to stay home from school to celebrate Phoebe's birthday; very sweet). Phoebe, like Athena and Apollo, is also quite small and hasn't yet grown into her little snaggle teeth/fangs!
Back at our homestead, ours will be receiving Fancy Feast Appetizers (which they'll undoubtedly have to share with Pete and Lily) and are enjoying a lovely afternoon in the sun room watching the birds.
Mrs. B

Lucy gives Ares a birthday smooch (well, sort of)
Bird watching
Hera (now Phoebe)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Am With You Kid. Let's Go!

Am I the only one who remembers specific dates long after they should really carry as much significance as they once did; especially as dates that followed became much more important in the grand scheme of things?
Case in point, Tuesday March 30th, 2004. This was the day I met Mr. B, meaning, our first face to face meeting. We were matched up via eHarmony on Friday March 19th. Thanks to the journal I was keeping at that time and the scrapbook I later made (thank God I keep everything, even if I'm the only one who will ever care that I did so), I have these words to help in my recollections:
From eHarmony:
Dear Amy and Mark:
I'm writing to tell you that eHarmony's unique matching system has sifted information through hundreds of thousands of profiles and matched yours on 29 Key Dimensions of compatibility. We've taken the work and stress out of finding a compatible person to meet. So, Amy and Mark, we'd like to make an introduction.
And what I had to say to eHarmony later when reporting our "Success Story":
Mark immediately initiated the communication process. I was deeply enthralled with the information on his page and felt a connection with him as many of his answers were close in tone to mine.
Soon, we'd progressed to the 4th Stage in eHarmony's controlled process, which was Open Communication. Here is a bit of the emails we first sent one another:
Hi Mark:
These first emails are always a bit tough! Sounds like you've been at eHarmony for a short period of time; same with me (signed up in February). I just moved to Durham from LA (to be closer to family) and figured this would be a good way to meet some nice people...I was married for about ten years and have been divorced for almost four. No children, but I do have cats...Glad to hear you like cooking/entertaining; definitely one of my favorite things to do (along with traveling and reading...) PS...You're don't look like you are 47 years old :-)
Hi Amy:
Yes, the first emails do seem to be the hardest to write...I am basically a shy person with new people and then warm up quickly...I have a daughter who is 11...who lives with her mother...What kind of cats do you have? I love their names, by the way (BIG kudos, there, Mr. B!) I always had cats around growing up...been thinking about getting one...(how about FIVE, sweetie?)...I read in your information that you like to do I...
After several emails, we decided to meet for coffee/dessert at a local cafe and bake shop; Mad Hatter's (who, BTW, we used to make our wedding cake!) I said in my journal:
I am going to meet Mark Tuesday night. He suggested coffee and talking. Already, I like his approach!
"Life loves to be taken by the lapel and be told: "I am with you kid. Let's go!"" -- Maya Angelou
This quote is a fairly appropriate one, I think, for the start of another new journal; the first one to begin in my new life here in Durham.
I guess I really have "taken life by the lapel", haven't I? When I really stop to think about it (and am able to tell the critic inside myself to shut up for a minute), I realize I've done a lot in the past 12 months to change my life. A lot to be proud of, because it took guts to do what I did (and yes, there is a difference between courage and stupidity/rashness!)
I know that I don't give myself enough credit. I never have.
Well, that's about to change for once and for all! I am going to take the confidence that everyone sees/thinks I have and start on a new adventure with it.
Starting tonight! I am meeting a new man from eHarmony in less than an hour. Who knows if he is "The One", but so far, at least from our emails, I like him quite a bit.
As it turned out, it rained quite heavily that evening. I remember I was wearing my London Fog raincoat, a pair of taupe slacks that I thought made me look especially thin (I still have these) and a maroon sweater. I walked into Mad Hatter's and saw Mark almost right away standing off to one side of the entrance opposite the one I'd come in. I recognized him since we'd both posted pictures on our eHarmony profiles. He had on khaki slacks and a yellow polo shirt with an IBM penguin logo. To my extreme surprise, he also was sporting an earring in his left ear and had somewhat longish, curly hair (to my never-ending dismay, both the earring and the long curly hair are kept under wraps the majority of the time these days as not being especially appropriate for a CPA in the somewhat conservative South). I know we were both a bit nervous, but, thanks to the leg work eHarmony had done (and all of our emails), it didn't take too long for the edginess to evaporate and soon we were chatting like we'd known each other a lot longer than we actually had. Seriously, over tiramisu (him) and red velvet cake (me) and a lot of coffee, it did seem as though we were two people who had known each other for awhile; maybe through work or church or a Board or something who had, at some point, decided to take the relationship a bit further. In other words, we were NOT complete strangers, we knew things about one another, we had "starting points" for the conversation (my cats, his daughter, our travels, our favorite wines) to fall back on if there were any lapses.
After talking for close to two hours, we parted, but not before we exchanged a quick hug and peck kisses and Mark asked me if I wanted to get together again.
My summary from my journal later that night:
I thought it went well! I really like him. I think he may feel the same; he asked me if I want to get together again when I get back from FL. Yes, definitely yes!
And a few days later:
I guess I've had a few butterflies these past couple of days; waiting to see if Mark would still be interested...and it seems that he is! Of all things to have butterflies about (new job, meeting new people, making a presentation, travel) a prospective new romance is, by far, the best!
I began this post this morning by musing why certain dates stick with you even though ones that followed have more significance. After composing this post, it's become clear that, sometimes, it's the events of these seemingly less important dates that are, in fact the more life changing after all. For, if they hadn't happened, those that followed never could have.
And, even though Mr. B will be slaving away tonight at his office and I'll be home with our six pets, I just may have to have a piece of red velvet cake on this Tuesday March 30th 2010.
Mrs. B

Friday, March 26, 2010

Florida Trip The End

Lucy and I returned from Florida this past Wednesday. I suppose it's time to wrap up the chronicle of our adventures!
The Thursday after St. Pat's, mom and I went to the Venice area to shop for more used books. For anyone who happens to be in that neck of the woods, there is a fantastic Goodwill Used Book Store off the main drag going into Venice (across the street from a Denny's Diner). I was mucho impressed by both the size of the place, the selection of books, and the condition of said books. Two asides here: This was, obviously, the trip of trips for finding used books (I came home with a box full of them) and I get a huge kick out of how Florida's elite communities borrow their city/town names from Italy (Venice, Naples, etc.)
After the book shopping spree, we had lunch at a cute French cafe in Venice called "Le Jardin". We ate there last year and, like last year, it was just as crowded. The weather was obviously improving sufficiently to bring everyone out for a day of shopping, sight seeing, and lunch in cute little French cafes!
Since the weather was nice, we rushed back to the RV resort to try to get a few hours in by the pool. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the pool, the sun was going behind massive clouds and, worse than this, the wind was picking up. Mom and I sat in our pool chairs covered with our towels but determined to brave it out for at least one drink.
Back at the RV, we played cards and waited for Dad to get back from golf (he was frozen through; Mom made a hearty lentil soup for dinner).
Friday brought a bit more sunshine and not quite as much wind. Mom and I took advantage of this and rode bikes around the resort. After, we raced up to the pool, where, for the most part, we had a nice, warm afternoon.
That evening, we went to karaoke night. We were joined by Mom and Dad's good friends Phyllis and Al for pizza, beer and wine. Then, several hours of being entertained by other people getting up and making fools of themselves. Well, that's not quite fair; many of them were talented, including an octogenarian named Stan who serenaded his wife of over 50 years with a tune by Englebert Humperdinck entitled "After the Lovin'". Later, both Stan and his wife boogied down to "Greased Lightening" (from the movie "Grease"). I have to admit, I thought I'd seen it all until I observed this!
Dad and Al bearing pizzas
Mrs. B and Phyllis
Mom, me, Phyllis
Checking out the karaoke fools (just kidding). Note my red face; a bit more sun than I'd realized!

Saturday, Lucy and I bade farewell to Mom, Dad and Brook and drove back up to Weeki Wachee for two nights. Saturday's weather was absolutely beautiful! Margot made an outstanding dinner of standing rib, we had some great wine, and Father and I watched "Star Trek" (the new version, which I'd already seen but was ok with watching it again since there were parts of it I'd somehow missed understanding the first time around). Unfortunately, it rained pretty much all day Sunday.
Monday meant heading back up to Ocala for two nights with Jack and Roberta. After breakfast at The Cracker Barrel (BTW, Monday mornings are a lot less crowded than, say, a Sunday), Father helped me load up the car with all my loot. This took some maneuvering, I must admit, and, it was a bit perplexing that it did so considering I had less stuff than I had when Mr. B loaded the car up for me three weeks prior. It must have been that box full of Bombay Sapphire gin I was bringing back (note to Jon T....I have your hooch!) Another aside; this particular brand of gin is considerably cheaper in FL than it is here.
Mom B had a pork loin prepared for dinner. Yum! Tuesday, we had a fairly nice day! After hitting Bealls (AGAIN...I love that store!), we took the dogs for a long walk and then sat outside soaking up some warmth. Later, they treated me to dinner at The Olive Garden (I haven't been to this restaurant in some years and found myself impressed by the positive changes they appear to have made to the menu, wine list, etc.)
Since I had an early call in the am, we went to bed pretty early. I was ready to leave by 7:00 am but waited a bit longer to let it get light since there was a considerable amount of fog. I pulled away at 7:20 am. The drive home was, thankfully, uneventful and passed by enjoyably enough as I listened to "American Wife" on CD.
We pulled into our driveway right around 5:30 pm. The cats seemed happy enough to see me and tolerated Lucy's presence. More on the cats and their adventures while I was away in another entry!
Mr. B came home by 6:30 and it was sunny and pleasant enough still outside to take our evening martini out onto the patio.
I had a great time and everyone at all three stops were welcoming and generous. I'm so lucky to have six such wonderful parents! Lucy did well all in all (a few minor altercations with dogs in the RV resort) but minded her manners with her "relative" pets. She's a great travel dog; in fact, she'd probably just assume be back out on the road now!
Buddies. Brook and Lucy
Herr Fritz
It is good to be home, though!
Mrs. B

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pictures From Home

Mr. B has been good about sending me a daily picture of the kitties. Which one he sends mostly seems to depend on who is available that morning. As to be expected, Lily is the most likely candidate but he's managed to get a few nice ones of all of them. Also included in these pictures is one he sent of himself the other day. This after we were taunting him sending him pictures of us soaking up the sun and drinking green beer on St. Pat's. My comment to him on my picture to him, "Soaking up sun". His wry reply back with his picture, well, see below!
Mrs. B

Scrappy (Apollo)
Queen Bee Pee Pee (Lily)
Playboy Pete
Jaba the Butt (Ares)
Pissed off looking Pete, Apollo in the sink, and Lily. Pete's likely mad because Apollo is hogging the sink!
Lily's morning position (sitting on the towel)
Lil' Boop (Athena). Surprised she let dad get that close; she must have decided he's ok!
Someone is definitely NOT happy this morning!
Apollo waiting on his evening ice fix
Evening feeding time; even I don't know who is who except the one on the front left is Lily
Amazed dad got such a great shot of Pete as Pete routinely turns his face from the camera
"Still doing taxes" -- Mr. B

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Florida Trip Part Five

Although it rained yesterday morning, the day turned out to have the luck of the Irish! After hitting a few used book stores (this activity could become addicting), mom, dad and I ended up hanging out by the pool for a while drinking green beer and soaking up some much needed and welcomed sunshine.
We had dinner at a really neat place called Urban Flats. Wednesdays are "Wine Down Wednesdays"; which means for $20 per person from 5-8, you can help yourself to all you want from their wine bar (at least three each white and red) and their flat bread/pasta salad and humus buffet. The flat breads we tasted were excellent; a lot of different varieties like buffalo chicken, spicy shrimp, and a fantastic turkey, Brie and pear. The wines were quite good; not the el cheapo variety at all. My particular favorite was a robust Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes, I did write down the name and it is somewhere in my purse.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday, including one of Lucy bedding down for the night last night with her three babies (Hedgehog, Funky Chicken and Pink Pig).
Mrs. B and Lucy

Lucy and Grammy...typical RV morning!
Brook in her AM spot
Amy and Mom poolside
Glad to finally have some warm sunshine
Dad and green beer
Having fun at Urban Flats
Great Cabernet!
Wearing green!
The Goose and her babies

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!

Greetings and wishes for plenty of corned beef, cabbage, Guinness, soda bread, and, yeah, green beer if that's your fancy.
It's a rainy morning here in Sarasota, Florida. The weather just hasn't cooperated much this trip. Forecast calls for mid 70s starting Friday, though. Maybe I'll get at least one afternoon by the pool before I head back up to Weeki Wachee Saturday morning.
One week to go!
Mrs. B and Lucy

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Florida Trip Part Four

We're down in Sarasota now; we arrived yesterday a bit after noon. It's nice to be back at Sun 'N Fun where I am likely the youngest broad in town (not including the grandchildren who are here in throngs visiting their grandparents and hogging the deck chairs at the pool).
Back tracking a bit. Margot and I went to see "Lil' Abner" Friday night. Father had planned on going but his back started to bother him so opted to stay home. Considering that even MY back was sore at the end of the play (seats not terribly comfy), he made a wise choice. Before we left, I made Mrs. B's "famous" Buffalo Chicken Wraps for them for dinner.
The play was ok; not the worst I've seen but definitely not the best. Of the fairly large cast, two or three were quite good (Mammy Yokum probably the tops). Unfortunately, the chick who played Daisy Mae a) didn't have a great singing voice and b) wasn't all that cute. No, I'm not interested in girls, but, seriously. Daisy Mae was supposed to be really pretty. You'd think in Florida they could have found a cute blonde with a passable voice. And, the woman who played Moonshine McSwine looked like she was 60 or so and ANYTHING but hot. But, hey; a local production, they did put their hearts into it and I got a laugh out of the statue General Jubilation T. Corn Pone (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, rent the movie).
Lucy and I left Weeki Wachee more or less on schedule Saturday morning a bit before 10. The drive down to Sarasota was uneventful (the best kind). I have been listening to "American Wife" on CD in the car and it's quite entertaining; thus, I really don't mind spending time in the car (remind me of this statement in a week or so when I drive back home to NC!)
Mom and I spent a few hours at the pool yesterday afternoon. Despite 45 sunblock, I still got some sun. I taught mom the same card game I'd taught Father and Margot and we proceeded to stay up way too late playing cards, talking and drinking wine.
Daylight Savings Time was upon us this morning. Dad came out of their bedroom around 8:00; barely light. Yes, I am spoiled; dad walked both Brook AND Lucy.
Mom and I wen to see "Annie" at a nearby play house. We went with a crowd from Sun 'N Fun and had fantastic seats. The show was quite good and now I have "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow..." stuck in my head. Not a bad tune to have as an ear worm, I suppose.
Time got away from me this evening; realized it was after 9:30 so quickly called Mr. B who was half asleep. We spoke briefly; all is well in NC and he even managed to get home by 6 tonight so he could do laundry.
Mom and I plan on doing some shopping tomorrow and I'm hoping to find a place to get a quick manicure.
One last note. Lucy has had two run-ins with dogs on this trip; neither really her fault. One was in Weeki Wachee while out on a walk with Margot, the other; today. Both times involved dogs whose owners let them approach her despite my telling them (and obviously indicating by my attempts to keep her away from the dogs) that she was not friendly. Lucy can go from goofy to Cujo in less than one second. Today, the owners looked at me in horror. Thankfully, she mostly just jumps (on them), growls, snarls and slobbers. Still, I wonder why people continue to allow their dogs to approach her, even after I've told them not to and keep trying to back away? Some people really are obtuse. I can't hardly blame Lucy.
Mrs. B

Friday, March 12, 2010

Florida Trip Part Three

So far, this has been the lowest-key trip to FL the Goose and I have had (and this makes year three, BTW). Not that this is necessarily a BAD thing, mind you; just saying.
Margot and I have been watching the NetFlix movies that I brought, Father and I have been playing cards and talking. We've eaten out a few times (as I write this, I am waiting for Father to return from and errand so we can go out for breakfast). Lucy has had many walks and has likely dropped a few pounds (her dad will be happy about that). I think, what with the walks, I've likely managed to keep too many extra vacation pounds to a minimum.
Last night, we went out to a favorite Thai place for dinner where we met family friends Jean and Bob Jr. I had probably the best Asian-fusion scallop dish I've ever had, plus a quite interesting appetizer called a "Curry Puff" (chicken, sweet potatoes and curry). Breakfast today (which I referred to earlier), was over to Emily's Diner for a plate of biscuits and sausage gravy (quite good; not as good as Mr. B's, though!)
Tonight we'll be heading to a local play house to see "Lil' Abner" (a first for me). Then, I'll depart tomorrow for our week down in Sarasota with mom and dad.
I could say I wish I had something more exciting to report, but, frankly, I don't and and don't. Life is quietly relaxing; no complaints here!
Mrs. B

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Florida Trip Part Two

All in all, the trip, almost a week gone now (believe it or not), has been uneventful and relaxing. Really, if you consider that Lucy and I descend on three families over the course of three weeks, basically what occurs (for the most part) is that we are absorbed into each family's life/lifestyle. Which is fine by us!
We left Ocala around 11 or so Saturday morning. One very interesting aside. I'd placed a card for my friend Kathleen in the Sr. B's mailbox right before I left. Kathleen received it on MONDAY. She lives in Southern California. I found that almost hard to believe!
We had a safe and relatively quick drive down to Weeki Wachee. Less than an hour and a half. We arrived to find Father out and about and poor Margot home with the stomach flu. Needless to say, Saturday was a very low-key day. Father and I went out around 6 or so to pick up a carry-out pizza (quite good; thin crust cut into squares, everything but anchovies!)
Sunday we hung out reading the paper, etc., in the am; then, Father and I headed up (about 2 miles or so from their house) to The Ramble Inn (the local biker bar) for a few beers. We might have stayed longer but they were having a live band that afternoon (many bikers abounded as the weather was finally sunny and in the high sixties/low seventies). So, back to the house we went where I elected to park my butt out on the pool deck and read my book/smoke a cigar (this is when I took the picture of Lucy posted in my last entry).
Father telling Lucy to sit
Sunday night was relatively quiet; playing cards and watching "Some Like It Hot" and a bit of The Academy Awards (even though I'd seen zero of the nominated films this year).
Monday Father played golf so Margot and I went out shopping at Bealls Outlet (I did find a few things; not too much, though). Then, to the local ABC (booze) store and the regular store. We entertained ourselves in the afternoon watching "Chocolat". Later that evening, the three of us went to Dominick's Steak House for dinner (Sal, the owner, also owns The Ramble Inn). The food was delicious.
Today was extremely low-key. Margot and I hit a few used book stores then watched a NetFlix movie I'd brought called "Bright Star" (about the poet John Keats). Dinner in; and, at almost 9:00, time to call it a day. Well, obviously I am still up blogging and will take advantage of the early night-night call to read (I get to start a new book; yey!)
I've talked to Mr. B each evening and all seems to be fine back home. He thoughtfully sends me a picture each morning of one (or more) of my kitties so that I don't miss them too terribly. He probably should send a picture of himself, too!
It is hard to believe that Lucy and I have been gone a week tomorrow! Time sure flies!
Mrs. B

Friday, March 5, 2010

Florida Trip Part One

Lucy and Mom in Ocala 3.4.10

Despite the fact it did eventually snow Tuesday night, Lucy and I were able to leave pretty much right on schedule Wednesday morning at 7:30 am. By the time I pulled out of the driveway, the snow had melted.
Thus began the long but routine drive to Ocala. Mom made it to Fayetteville before I had to avail myself of a rest area. Lucy had to wait until we crossed over into South Carolina (about two hours from our door). There, she was excited to see a passel of feral cats who were hanging out by a storm drain (WHY do feral cats hide in storm drains, BTW? All five of our rescue cats were found in storm drains). Anyway, only one of these kitties, a orange and white fierce looking male, stood its ground until we got too close for comfort and it darted down the drain after its siblings.
No matter how many times I have made this drive (whether by myself, with Lucy, or with Mr. B), it always takes seven hours to reach the Florida border. For the first time ever, there was NO construction going on in Georgia, either. I couldn't believe it and found myself wondering once I hit Florida if I'd somehow bypassed The Peach Tree State.
Once in FL, we pulled over so that I could let my in-laws know we were about 2 1/2-3 hours away. After walking Lucy in the pet area, we continued on our merry way, making it to Ocala right about 5:30 pm. I had noted 27 license plates; pretty good for the first day!
Yesterday (Thursday), Roberta and I went to the Florida Carriage Museum and Resort (recommended by my step-mom). Although it may sound like a yawn festival, it was actually quite interesting. The museum houses well over 160 carriages from all over the world; some dating back several hundred years.
Roberta at the FL Carriage Museum 3.4.10

Most have been beautifully restored. The most impressive was the one that had originally belonged to an Emperor of Austria, which, after his assassination, ended up in Hollywood in a cameo role in "The Prisoners of Zenda" (after spending several years in Mexico).
The Emperor's Carriage. One lamp worth $1.5M!

It was way too chilly to take a carriage ride around the lovely grounds of the resort yesterday; I'm betting one day I'll go back with Mr. B and we'll do so.
Interesting lamps on the carriages

1928 Rolls Royce

Merry Go Round Horses

The weather has been tolerable. Certainly, not as warm as Florida usually is this time of the year but definitely toastier than it was in February. Luckily, the temperature rises a bit every day and by Monday, it should be in the mid 70s.
Lucy and I will be here with Mom and Dad B until tomorrow; then, off to Weeki Wachee for a week, then, we'll continue on down to Sarasota.
All is well and we're having a great time except Lucy seems to have gone on a hunger strike. I suppose her routine is a bit messed up. Mr. B reports that all is fine back at the ranch.
Until next time!
Mrs. B

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow Hysteria

Lucy and I are getting ready to high-tail it to FL for three weeks for what has become our annual "Grandparents Tour". We planned on leaving B&E (Oh-Dark-Thirty) tomorrow and drive straight through to our first stop with Grandpa and Grandma B in Ocala. It really isn't an awful drive; it takes a little less than 10 hours (accounting for stopping for gas, rest areas, etc.) Leaving mid-week means there is little traffic to speak of; the worst part of the drive is going through Georgia because they are ALWAYS doing road construction (and they NEVER seem to finish, either). The first year we made the trip was the first time I'd taken Lucy anywhere for any long period of time in the car. As I wasn't sure how she'd do, I made an RSVP at a Red Roof Inn (pet-friendly) in Jacksonville. This was ok, but, we really didn't need to do that (plus I don't like staying in motels by myself, even with a dog for a companion) so the following year, we went straight through and it was not bad at all.

The monkey-wrench in our plans is the weather man is forecasting snow in our general area. This exact same thing happened last year and I recall that I couldn't decide whether or not to delay my trip by one day (last year the issue was icy roads/black ice). It ended up that I left on schedule and just drove more traveled roads to get to the interstate than I usually would have and we were fine.

So, here we are again with snow looming in our future. This being The Triangle, they change the forecast every thirty minutes, it seems. First, it was snow Wednesday morning. Then, it was rain and snow Tuesday, no snow Wednesday (but a chance of icy roads if the temperature dropped Tuesday night below freezing). Then again, if you don't like what you are reading/hearing, switch to another source and you'll get something completely different. Frankly, I believe this confusion is what starts to cause what I have penned "snow hysteria", because not knowing what exactly you're going to deal with is scarier than knowing; I mean, if the forecast called for a blizzard, and the forecast could be trusted to be right, I wouldn't be happy about it, but at least I'd know I'd have to either leave NOW or delay my trip a few days. No biggie, IF YOU KNOW.

BTW, I guess I didn't really come up with "snow hysteria". I just Googled it and found several definitions out there, here are a few funny ones (and generally what I had in mind!)

The other aspect that adds to the general hysteria is how other people deal with it. My brother and his family also planned to leave to drive to FL (Sarasota) tomorrow morning. They have two small children and have to drive about 2 1/2 hours longer than I will. When the snow buzz started, we began exchanging emails about if driving plans would now change. I wasn't inclined to change my plans, but, they changed THEIRS (they are now leaving this afternoon) so that got me to wondering if there was something I should be more concerned about.

So, just in case, I ran around yesterday cramming all of my two days worth of to do stuff into one day. I guess a good thing about this was it forced me to get off my butt, stop dithering about it, and pack. Mr. B came home and loaded up the SUV (minus a few things, like me and Lucy) so, if I get totally caught up in the hysteria (or, if the forecast does appear to reliably change such that I think I'd be better off leaving this evening and driving 2 or 3 hours to the NC border), I can leave. Not that I want to.

The thing is, I lived in Colorado Springs for almost four years. The years I was there we had several BLIZZARDS. We wouldn't close the office down unless there was several FEET of snow (as in, 24 inches). I routinely drove a sedan (that did not have all-wheel drive) without any real difficulty and knew that, if I got stuck going up a hill and couldn't get traction, to get out and throw cat litter under the rear tires. I once did a 180 degree turn on my way to work one morning and, after I righted myself, went on my merry way to work. In other words, there was no hysteria. And, I know my family and friends from climes such as NY and MI find the whole French Toast Factor here in the South simply mind-boggling (and amusing). Not that there isn't this same factor in other places, it usually takes more than 1" of predicted snow fall to set it off, though!

French Toast Factor = When there is an inkling of snow, everyone runs to the grocery store and wipes out the entire storage of bread, milk and eggs. Oh, and bottled water.

I know a large part of it here in NC is that we don't typically get "bad" weather. So, the cities around here are not prepared to deal with it when we do, which is what causes the majority of the problems. That, and people don't know how to drive in the snow (generally speaking) so part of the reason you want to stay off the road is because of this (once again, that whole "can't control it/predict it so it's damn scary" factor).

As of 9:30 am on Tuesday, I am still undecided as to what I'll end up doing. The paper says for today, "Don't sweat the snow; it won't last long" and for tomorrow, "Mostly cloudy" (nothing about any snow). However, I subscribe to weather alerts and the National Weather Service (probably my best bet for a reliable source) indicates a winter weather advisory starting at 9:00 pm tonight and going through noon tomorrow. It says there will be snow tonight, some accumulations, but the roads should be ok UNLESS the temperatures drop more than they think they will.

This is how I end up where I am now. In a quandary. I don't think I'm hysterical; I just don't want any problems.

As of now, I'm still thinking I'll leave in the morning.

But that may change!

Mrs. B