Thursday, February 10, 2011

A very brrrrrrry February

It's almost Valentine's Day and for once, our forecast here in Central Texas will be pleasant. As if we just didn't suffer two back to back weeks of Arctic air, bringing with it a snow day in one week; ice/sleet in the second. Frigid air assaulted our temperatures and forced them into the low twenties. Wind chill dipped even lower, like cowards. What it meant for most folks was chaos, of course. We're southerners remember? We are adjusted to searing temps going up in the summer, not dipping and freezing our spicket faucets.

Several folks like me altered our schedules, cancelling appointments and staying indoors like hibernating bears. Schools were on delayed schedules or closed all together. It really was too cold to go play in the wet snow, but many children did chance it. How often do we see snow typically? So I can understand the reasons to build a snowman, even if the snow wasn't very cooperative. And right on cue, by mid-day, the clouds allowed sunshine in to melt the white powder and ice away, bringing welcomed relief to those who had to get to work or run errands.

I guess we were lucky, as over half of the country had to stay in the cold/ice/snow for weeks at a time. I imagine it put those folks a little bit on the edge. I can understand, as we suffered cascading power brown-outs to conserve energy demands. Many travelers endured sliding cars on the streets. Even if the ground hog did predict an early spring for this year, many were stuck deep in winter havoc.

Afterwards, the first time I ventured to the grocery store, it was already jammed packed, worse than pre-Christmas holiday shopping. The sun was out and many folks were out to stock up, and to just get out of the darn house. Quickly, the shelves emptied of their products. I was lucky to find at least some necessities, such as coffee and sugar; the nectar of God that brightens up my early mornings.

But now, thank goodness, our dear weatherman has predicted a beautiful weekend, with temps rising in the fifties and sixties. Gosh, that's almost wearing shorts weather, isn't it? LOL. I know many folks will be tempted to do something to their gardens, but it is too soon. The last time we had a beautiful weekend, over two weeks ago, I busied myself in mine too; digging up weeds, transplanting a few buried plants; ridding debris and making the flower beds look fresh again. I can't wait for springtime to plant, but I realize I must begin fragile sprouts inside my warm house and keep them safeguarded until the last chill passes our area. I'm sure after Easter, it will be safe to dig them into the dirt.

I noted at the stores that many Valentine displays are up and stocked to the gill,with cookies, wrapped candies, teddy bears, and many assorted gifts. I look at these items and think it would be great to buy these for someone, like my kids and grand kids, but my family is too large and I'm not that rich. I suppose the only one i should worry about is my husband- my sweetheart. Yet, he too, is a lot like me and really candy or stuffed bears aren't impressive and neither of us need them. I think the best present we will give to ourselves is an evening out at Applebees, but most likely this will occur on another night other than Valentines. The restaurant will be too busy and we like to enjoy the ambiance of a quiet dinner. Are we getting old and fuddy duddy in our ways? I wonder, but that's just the way it is with us. I bet by 9:00 p.m, we will be tucked in for the night anticipating going to work the next day.

But that's just getting back to normal and I like it when things are routine. Perhaps I'm weary of snow/ice days putting kinks into my schedules and forcing me to stay indoors mostly. I want to be set free of the extraordinary and just live day by day. Yes, I guess I'm very much a creature of habit, but I like it. How about you? How do you feel when mother nature puts a kink to your lifestyle? How much has it impacted you? And do you feel that holidays aren't as important like when we were young?


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On a separate note, have you heard the latest? A study of more than 2500 people who drank diet soft drinks were shown to be more at risk for heart attack or stroke. Aren't diet drinks a better choice than real soda? I know there's always been a debate over this issue. I wonder what their co-morbities or medical histories were when they did this study?

For example, in my history, I'm prone to diabetes because of several factors. Of course, diet and exercise can decrease risk. So I'm thinking if someone likes to use diet soft drinks and they care for their health, their chances of heart attack and stroke might decrease right?

Watch the video link and judge for yourself: http://news.yahoo.com/video/health-15749655/24150602It's just like anything else: you gotta use things in moderation. Mix things up. don't just drink all coffee; all soft drinks or diet soft drinks. Add a little juice. Lots of water. Drink milk or soy milk. That's my theory on it.