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February 22, 2007

Yep, that's my house, my sweet little haven in the deep woods.  Yep, that's snow falling on it, just as it has done since about 7:30am today.  I got up to get Delena on the bus at 5:45 and when we went outside at 6:15, it was drizzling rain.  After she left, I tucked back into my warm bed and when I woke up again at 7:30, we had about 3" of snow on the ground and it was still falling.

The boys' bus was 45 minutes late and Andrea's van was stuck in her driveway, so I ended up exercising a bit on my own.  By the time I went to work at 10:45, the roads were not yet plowed and we had probably about 8-9 inches accumulated.  Eric called to say that at his post office (a few thousand feet below us and well below the snowline, yet it was snowing there too), they were making phone calls to determine whether or not they would be delivering at all.  Evidently, accidents on the road had cut off all of the major arteries between the towns. 

I cleaned off the snow from the jeep (it was just the brushing off kind, but there were many inches of it) and used the 4wd to get out of the driveway.  It was slow going, about 4-5mph all the way. 

We didn't have much mail, so I got it cased up pretty quickly and headed out to deliver.  By then the plows had run and it wasn't the snow in the road that was so much of a problem, but the berm of snow that the plow had dumped in front of all of the mailboxes. 

My first stop is a woman who is very elderly and her mailbox is pretty far from her house, so I took her mail up to her and ended up getting stuck in her driveway.  After I finally managed to work my way out of there, I got the rest of the mail delivered pretty quickly on the main drag, mostly since there was hardly any of it. 

One of the roads I service is, under the best of conditions, barely able to allow two cars to pass one another.  It's on a steep grade and to the right side as you're going down is a giant cliff.  The trees overhang from the top all the way down, so the danged thing never gets any sun at all, which makes it pretty treacherous if there's any chance of snow or ice in the winter.  Since most of my boxes on that road are toward the bottom of the road and therefore, closer to the snowline and less likely to be a risk of life and limb to get to, I decided to be smart and drive UP the thing instead of down it as I normally do.  Unfortunately, after moving along at a blistering 5-6mph and after negotiating the hairpin turn to get into the mouth of the road from that direction, I promptly ended up getting righteously hung up about a quarter mile up the road and well before any mail boxes. 

My jeep has a tremendous overheating problem which we suspect is a bad relay to the cooling fan; however, Eric has been unable to locate the relay itself, so the appropriate advice when the needle spikes over to "hot" is "drive fast."  Great.  Needless to say, the adventure of trying to get unstuck (I ultimately ended up delivering no mail up that road - meaning I skipped 6 boxes - and backed down the skinny road to the more major road, hoping beyond hope that no one would be coming up the road behind me.  Fortunately, there weren't any people in town who were dumbass enough to try it other than myself) got that temperature gauge way up there and the smell of my head gasket frying was giving me a headache.  Creeping along at such a slow speed did us no favors ("drive fast" was not an option and would quickly have resulted in "crash fast").  By the time I got down a couple thousand feet in altitude, I had to pull over and try to let the car cool down a bit.  Fortunately, Eric happened by around that time going in the opposite direction and pep talked me back into the game.

After the point where I pulled over, the roads cleared up a bit.  They were wet, but not nearly as hazardous, so I was able to speed up and cool down the engine a bit.  I had to go into town to pick up some things for tomorrow night's Bingo, plus get a service manual for the jeep (which I did and we STILL don't know where the damned relay is located... I keep expecting to see a note that says, "see other jeep" or something).  I had about an hour to kill before picking up Delena at 2:30, so I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and had Mongolian BBQ (lean mean and veggies, good for you!) and fried won ton (not so good for you!) and delicious iced tea with artificial sweetener (quickly becoming my favorite drink).  It was nice to sit for a bit.

We finished up by 4:30 and headed home and found that the roads were in much better condition.  Evidently, the plows had been really busy and the bit of traffic that had gone over it in the interim had warmed the pavement a bit, so it was wet, but not terrible treacherous. 

When we got home, Eric was devastated that he'd evidently lost his cell phone at some point in the day.  He knew he had it with him when he stopped by the house after seeing me when I was going into town.  He heard it ring while he was checking the weather on the computer and didn't pick up (glad it wasn't me in a DITCH!).  He doesn't remember having it after that, but the danged thing is just gone.  Unfortunately, it has all of his vital business contacts all wrapped up in its little phoney memory, so he's a bit lost without it.  It's also his business number, although he can still check messages from other phones.  He may have dropped it in the snow somewhere along the way.  We've been calling it a good bit, but can't hear it ringing anywhere.  On the other hand, it's a rarity when he gets cell signal up here, so if it's sitting somewhere that's not a hot spot, it wouldn't ring anyway.

I've been doing the St Anthony chant ("St Anthony, St Anthony, please look around!  Something is lost and now must be found!") on the hope that our Patron Saint of Lost Crap will lead us to it.  I really do hope he finds it, poor thing.  He's all mopey and sad.  I feel like it's going to turn up (after the thaw?), but he's not convinced.  He does have phone insurance on it, so all is not completely lost (just the numbers, I guess).

If I had my way, I'd be holed up in my house until the melt.  I hate driving in the snow and I'm pretty insecure about it.  I think I've just spun out way too many times to feel OK about it.  As far as I know, I have to go to Bingo tomorrow night (but Eric is going with me, so he might drive) and then to take Dylan to town later in the weekend, so with any luck, we can get some melting going on soon.  We have precipitation coming up for the foreseeable future and with temps in the high 20's and low 40's, it will likely be raining in the day, then turning to snow (and freezing that rain) at night.  Dylan might just have to wait.

I was filling out one of those survey things tonight and one of the questions was to ask in how many towns had I lived in my life.  I counted up 23, which seemed like a lot to me.  That's a move about every 2 years of my life, but it doesn't really factor out that way because 5 of the towns were I lived were actually in two years' time (and 4 of those were in 1 year - not a happy year!).

I mentioned two entries ago that David's car was stolen.  He did end up getting it back the next day.  The police found it parked alongside a road somewhere.  David met the tow truck at the storage facility, but still had to pay $140 for towing and storage.  The door lock is broken (of course, which is how they got in).  His CDs were all stolen, as was the brand new stereo, even without the face place.  They took his proof of insurance, but left the title and registration for the car.  His jack was stolen.  What they did leave that had not previously been in his car was a lot of dirt, a harmonica and a Bible.  I told him, "Dear God, Boxcar Willie and a nun went joyriding in your car."  I mean, who else looks at a 1990 Toyota Corolla in a parking lot full of really nice cars and says, "I've got to get me a piece of that?"  He's bummy and says the car feels violated now.  His exact words are that it feels like he's driving around an ass rape.

Every time the weather changes, the dogs go apeshit.  They whine to be let in, they whine to be let out, they pace and fuss and act all weird.  At least now they are finally letting me sleep through the night instead of thinking they have to take a pee break every 2am. 

One thing I dislike about this whole menopause thing (about the only thing that really bugs me right now) is that I have suddenly developed PMS after not having it for my entire life.  Of course, I had permanent PMS when I was pregnant.  I was the poster woman for "hormonal."  But normally, I'm not very symptomatic before my period.  For the past 6 months or so, I've been really irritable right around *the* time and the sounds of voices and people wanting things and the phone ringing and people bitching about little insignificant things (like phones ringing and the sounds of voices) just absolutely put me on the roof.  I've been taking supplemental B-12 and Vitamin D to try and stay mellow.  Getting a lot of sleep helps too.  I've revisited the joy of "sleeping in" and normally try to hit the bed by 9pm.  Tonight, however, I had a journal to write and it's almost 11pm.

That being said, I am off to bed.  It will be interesting to see how the snow plays out in regard to doing the mail tomorrow.  (I am sure awfully tired of doing that mail, let me tell you).

Everyone remember that life should be getting right the first week of March when Mercury goes direct on March 7th.  For more info on this disruption, click here.  To see how this Mercury retrograde specifically affects you, click here.  (Your sun sign is your basic astro sign)

So all things considered, be particular,