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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Real winter weather

It's frigid again in South Carolina, and for the second time in two weeks there's snow in the forecast. Today has been wet and cold--cold enough to chill you to the bone! And we've had record low temperatures, too. Tonight is supposed to be back down in the teens again, and since ice and snow are expected, we're on a two hour delay for school tomorrow (if we end up going at all).

I like it. It feels like a real winter for a change.

Ice on my car's windshield early yesterday morning.


Hopefully we'll have a good peach crop this year. The past two winters have been too warm for the peach trees to achieve the level of dormancy needed to produce good fruit. Everyone thinks of Georgia as the "peach state" but actually South Carolina produces more than they do! It's a real blow to farmers around here to have major crops ruined year after year by the lack of cold. I think this year will be much better for them.

We've gotten more use out of the fireplace this year than ever before. I love sitting beside a warm fire on these cold nights! I've been cooking and baking a lot, too, which helps warm up the house. A big batch of chili is bubbling away in the crockpot as I type this, and I'm thinking of making a couple of loaves of banana nut bread later on. Our freezer is full of individual servings of homemade soup that I've made since Christmas. Occasionally I'll bake something special, like an iced chocolate loaf cake or rice krispy treats, just for fun. I'm trying to take it easy on the sweets, though, and mostly try to concentrate on healthy, warm, "real" food.

One thing I dislike about the weather this winter is how often we've had to miss our nightly walks. It's bad for us and it's really bad for the dogs. They're so bored when they're cooped up inside, and George especially needs and outlet for some of his energy. He gets wild and eventually annoys the crap out of Ginger, so then she has to put him in his place--which she is really good at. She's definitely the alpha of the two, and has no problem correcting him when he really needs it. It's funny to see him acting like an abashed (88 pound!) puppy! They get along better when they're out walking every day, or can at least go out in the back yard in the afternoon, but all that is impossible when you're getting cold rain, ice, and snow or the wind chill is in single digits.

As much as I appreciate a real winter, I think I'll be extra glad to see Spring arrive this year.  What about you? Do you love the winter, or count the days until it's over?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Celebrating...finally!

It's been wonderful going back to work this week and resuming a normal daily schedule, free from worry and stress. Anyone who has ever faced a life threatening illness, or the illness of someone you love, will understand me when I say that there is no greater gift than that of an ordinary day.

Since our New Year's celebration was haunted by the fear that Gregg's cancer might have returned, now that we know he's okay we've decided to celebrate the start of 2018 this weekend. It's a three day weekend for me (Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. day and a federal holiday, for my international readers) so I have some additional time off to enjoy. Tonight Gregg and I have a date for a special dinner and champagne at midnight. Tomorrow I'm finally going to start writing in a pretty new journal/planner I bought myself for Christmas.


I have a handful of personal goals and dreams for the new year (not "resolutions", which always sounds so joyless and punitive) that I'm ready to start working towards. The whole holiday season was like suspended animation, waiting to see if the future was to be feared or welcomed. I'm so glad it's the latter!

Happy New Year, everyone! Back tomorrow.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Relief!

Gregg is okay!!!!

There is no cancer recurrence. I broke down and cried from sheer relief when we got the news. It's been a hard month of waiting, first for the PET scan and then for the results. Thank you all so much for your support. It made the terrible waiting easier to bear.

Now I feel like we can finally start the new year. I am so grateful.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hibernation

It's been quite a week around here. This is possibly the coldest extended period of time that I ever remember in any winter. It's been over a week of temperatures barely hitting the freezing mark during the day, and dipping down into the low teens at night with wind chills near zero. The snow and ice we got on Wednesday is still here and the roads are dangerous. Except for a short day on Tuesday (delayed opening due to dangerous wind chills in the morning) school has been closed all week. Between the death of Gregg's mom, the holidays, and now the weather, I haven't worked more than a week total since the beginning of December. It's a weird time, and quite honestly I'm ready to resume a normal schedule again.

If it wasn't for the fact that we're still in limbo waiting for the results of Gregg's PET scan (we won't know until Monday) maybe all this time would have been more enjoyable. As it is, the stress of fearful waiting has been almost unbearable. Sitting at home confined due to the weather is just making it all worse. Yesterday was particularly bad for us both, but especially Gregg. He's having a really hard time. This morning he insisted on risking the icy roads to go up to the pet store and see about the aquariums and fish. I'm glad he did. The drive is only about 4 miles, on main roads, and he's dressed in plenty of warm layers. It will do him good to get out of the house and stay busy, and at least he can check one item off his worry list (the animals at the store).

For me, this weekend promises to be more days of pacing around the house and worrying. Even walking the dogs, which is usually my best stress reliever, is off the table until next week. I've watched a lot of tv, which is unusual for me, but it's the only distraction that seems to work for me at all right now. I've been watching The Crown on Netflix. I've enjoyed it (never mind the fact that the first half of season 1 deals with Queen Elizabeth's father dying of lung cancer) and have tried to just watch an episode here and there to make it last longer.

As much as I appreciate finally having a real winter here in South Carolina, I'm ready to come out of hibernation and start the new year. Hopefully, the news on Monday will be good (please let it be so!) and the weather forecast is calling for a return to average January temperatures by then. I desperately want life to feel normal again.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Snow day


What a beautiful, rare event snow is in South Carolina. Children were out in the streets well past dark, shouting with joy. Even the dogs ran and played in the snow, like little kids themselves. We ended up with about 2 inches here in Florence. Isn't it gorgeous?



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Winter storm warning

We're starting off the new year with record breaking cold here in northeast South Carolina. Every night this week temperatures are dipping into the teens with wind chills in the single digits. It was so cold this morning that our first day back at school started on a 2 hour delay, and the district has already canceled school for tomorrow because of a big winter storm headed this way:

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM WEDNESDAY TO
6 AM EST THURSDAY...

* WHAT...Significant snow and ice are expected. Plan on difficult
travel conditions. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches
and a light glaze of ice are expected.

* WHERE...Portions of northeast South Carolina and southeast
North Carolina.

* WHEN...From 11 AM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Thursday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Be prepared for significant reductions in
visibility at times in snow.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet
and ice are expected. This will make travel very hazardous or
impossible.


It's strange to go back to work for one short day after over two weeks off, only to get more time off immediately. We're not prepared for this kind of weather so far south, though, and the roads really will be hazardous. I'm glad I get to stay home, safe and cozy, and wait on whatever weather is in store.

More tomorrow!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last of the year!

So the last day of 2017 is finally here. It's been a mixed bag of a year for me; some really good stuff happened, most notably my new job, and some really bad things happened too, the worst of which was losing my beloved mother in law in early December. The first week or so of January is going to be tough, too (please send some good vibes Gregg's way on January 2nd when he has his scan) but after that hopefully we'll have smooth sailing into the new year.

If all goes according to plan this will be the year we finally buy a home of our own. I'll have the summer off to look forward to, and the birth of my friend's baby at the end of May. Who know what else is on the horizon? Only good things, I hope!

Thank you all for being here. Thank you for the friendship, and the support, and the laughs. This community of bloggers that I've come to know mean the world to me. It's been a real privilege to have you here.

I wish each and every one of you health, happiness, luck and prosperity in 2018.

From our home to yours, Happy New Year!!

Love,

Jennifer, Gregg,
Ginger, George,
& Marco