Tag Archives: weather

I’m a Weather Wimp

We’ve been lucky lately in that aside from a rare tornado, the weather has been pretty pleasant this summer. However, we’ve still had days when if I get any closer to my window air conditioning unit I’m going to have to change my status to “in a relationship.”

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I know.

The me that made it through the harshest most brutal winter in my history just slapped the me complaining about summer weather, but this just goes to solidify my declaration that I hate weather.*

*Excluding days between 60-80 degrees with no rain and a gentle breeze lightly tinged with the scent of cut grass.

I hate sweating or driving on three inches of ice, and while I know I won’t melt if I get rained on, I will be wet and uncomfortable which is pretty much just as bad.

Living in Michigan, this is an unfortunate situation seeing as everyone loves to say, “If you hate the weather, wait five minutes! It will change!” and then laugh and laugh while I shoot daggers with my eyes.

Why?

Because with any severe weather situation, there is the chance that I will lose power, and ergo, lose my shit.

I’m not high maintenance, but when the power goes out, all rationality and Zen-like tendencies go right along with it not to be restored until Consumer’s Energy plugs things back in.

And you can be sure I obsessively call Consumer’s Energy to get a restoration estimate, usually being told it will happen at some point hours or days after the time I totally freak out (which is, of course, the second that I lose power.)

So when the semi-creepy weather rolls in, I get on high alert, assuming that rumbles in the distance are an impending weather-related disaster headed directly for my house.

If I’m at home, everything not related to obsessively watching the weather channel and lighting candles ceases while I play out various scenarios in my head that will necessitate a reenactment of events on the news.

If I’m at work, all productivity ceases while check radar online and take into account exactly what I have in my fridge/freezer at home, as food waste is my main concern with possible loss of power. If it’s winter, I figure I can throw things outside and warm up some food on the stove. If it’s summer, I freak out and pack that bitch up like an igloo.

In part, I blame the meteorologist.

Yes, we’re blaming him now, as he delights entirely too much in delivering potentially catastrophic (see food situation above) news.

Plus, he makes me feel like a social reject with absolutely no life (on this he’s only halfway right—as usual.) Every forecast is prefaced with something along the lines of, “If you’re getting ready to go out to dinner tonight” or “If you’re planning a picnic followed by a long walk on the beach tomorrow” etc.

Never does he say, “If you’re planning on sitting on your couch in your yoga pants watching the ball game and writing a blog post while trying to find that piece of food you just dropped down your shirt,” plan on partly sunny skies.

I’m fully aware that a) it’s not his fault and b) there’s nothing we can do about weather anyway, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Mini-blinds will be shut and the TV will be turned up loud to drown out the sound of the thunder.

I will perfectly situate my flashlights under my blankie fort and wait, making promises to unseen higher powers that as long as I don’t lose power, I will be fine and work on saving the world in the morning (a task that would conceivably require electricity, therefore eliminating me from the impending power outage.)

Then again, maybe I just have to wait five more minutes. There’s always the chance it will change.

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A Moment in the Sun

We were lucky that Easter Sunday this year was picturesque in terms of weather. For the first time since October we reached 70 degrees and had sun, something we could only fantasize about during the harshest winter in history.

I took advantage of the opportunity and spent part of the afternoon working outside before sitting in the sun on my deck, listening to the ballgame on the radio and watching the squirrels perform Cirque du Soleil moves on my half-empty feeder.

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As I sat there, I remembered scraping the ice off my windshield on those subzero mornings, driving 20 mph to work on icy roads and shoveling feet of snow. At that time, all I could think about was a) where I could move and b) how much I would appreciate days like we were having that day—warm, sunny and safe—if the frozen ground ever thawed.

But then eyes closed, sprawled out in a chair like an albino lizard on a heat rock, I found my mind going right back into my routinely obsessive thoughts on work, money, food, writer’s block, exercise, what I “should” be doing that day and in life, etc.

That moment in the sun with no obligations had suddenly turned into the storm in my head that so often clouds up my mind. And in some ways I was more present in the middle of winter fantasizing about the warmer weather than I was present in that moment actually sitting in the warmer weather.

It was then I overheard the neighbor kids say, “Poke it and see if it’s dead.”

 At first I thought they meant me, but since it came from the other side of the fence I assumed it was a small woodland creature. And while I’m sorry it took it’s probable demise to  bring me back to the present moment, I’m kind of glad that it did.

Because I do this all the time.

Part of me gets excited for or works towards something, and then when it happens I’m already moving on, dismissing it as something to check off a list instead of enjoying that moment. I don’t feel accomplished or calm, but rather wonder, “Okay, what’s next?”

It’s easy to fall into that trap in today’s society of “more, more, more.” Sitting around reading or listening to the ballgame isn’t always as “admirable” as doing, doing, doing all the time. There’s that constant need to know just what is next.

But as one warm day in the sun reminded me, I don’t have to fall into that trap.

I can choose where to place my attention and my intention by saying “yes” to a moment and “no” to worrying about that next thing all the time. If my mind would get out of my way, maybe I could relax and remember this more.

After all, the temps are back in the 40s with rain this week—Mother Nature is a cruel, cruel shrew at times—which proves how fast moments can pass.

Just ask the critter cadaver next door.

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Under the Weather

If you’re tired of me complaining about the weather, I can promise this post isn’t just about that. Instead I’m going to use it as a fancy metaphor for depression in an artsy attempt to complain about the weather.

The fact is this winter has been brutal already. We have about 18 inches of snow right now, are already around 80 inches this year and they’re predicting another storm this weekend. We had four days in January with no snow and haven’t been above freezing in weeks. And it’s only February.

Needless to say, FTW.

Aside from the actual cold, I struggle with a commute that gets complicated and dangerous, keeping my driveway and car clean when there’s nowhere else to throw the snow, worrying about the impact of the weather on my house, the increased bills, etc.

And more than ever before, the weather has upped my depression. Well, I’m blaming it on the weather, but in reality that could be a coincidence seeing as it’s been just as relentless for years.

But much like the weight of this winter, lately it’s crushing me down.

The OCD, the exercise, the hopelessness—it’s come to a point where I wonder when I’ll break, either physically or mentally, and yet I keep  testing those limits. I keep waiting for some event so significant in my mind that I’ll feel compelled to change, that the cloak of depression and obsession will fade and voila! The metaphorical sun will melt the snow and everything will become sun-shiny great!

But of course, that’s just magical thinking.

So instead I fight myself from both sides—the terrifyingly powerful disorder that wants me to cling to it and the part that wants to live a life without it. Finding a balance between the two might seem like having the best of both worlds —Yay! I’m a semi-functioning person balancing disorders and depression, well done!— but we know that’s not the case.

Because while everyone has heard how things have to get worse before getting better, what it doesn’t say is that you should make things worse before they magically, somehow get “better.”

So for the first time in years I actually went to a therapist.

It’s early, but so far she “gets” me. She’s a vegan holistic yoga teacher and I want to move into her office, but I think that violates some kind of ethical code. Anyway, much like dealing with winter, therapy is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It’s not fun.

But eventually you just reach that point—breakdown again or breakthrough?—and that’s where I am right now. I don’t feel like I’m really “me,” and even more scary, I’m not sure who that “me” is anymore but I owe it to myself to find out.

Now you’re probably wondering a) why I’m sharing this with you and b) when I’ll shut up. Frankly, I wonder that, too. I mean, how do you respond to this as a reader? What good does it do to ramble on about this when I would rather put up something funny?

Part of it is healing for me, getting it out there and telling someone. Part of it is that social stigma (and pride) often prevents many people from discussing these things. However, I do it anyway because maybe reading that I feel this way will help someone to feel less alone — or at least ridiculously sane in comparison.

So to wrap this all up and come back to that meteorological metaphor, I’ll say I have no control over weather, but I have faith that spring will eventually come. The sun will shine, the gray and desolate cold will recede and we’ll start to dig out of this hole.

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I’m ready to dig out of this hole.

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Go for the Gold

The winter Olympics are coming up, so I hope you’re ready to compete for national pride!

Well, maybe you’re not an Olympic athlete in the traditional sense, but I suggest we look into some new alternative events.  After all, anyone who has slipped on a fabric softener sheet and performed a double axle on the kitchen floor knows we’ve been training our lives for these moments.

“Slush Shopping Slalom”

In this event our amateur athletes at the grocery store get behind the wheels of a grocery cart and enter not a smooth and icy track like a bobsledder gets, but the slush-filled parking lot of the store.

Large amounts of stamina are required to make it to their car in less than 10 minutes. And while lower body strength is needed to propel the cart through the slush, upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

The athlete who clocks the quickest time from the automatic door of the store to their car without taking out any pedestrians is declared the wintery winner.

“Weather Update Biathlon”

While the biathlon usually includes cross country skiing with random stops to shoot things with a rifle, this event requires the athlete to check the weather report by running to the window to see if it’s started/stopped snowing yet, checking other sources of information—Internet, TV, radio—and then shooting off updates to anyone who will listen.

Competitors who can do this the most number of times in an hour will be annoying, but also declared the winner. Extra points are given for checking more than one source simultaneously.

“Digging the Car Out of the Snow Sprint”

In this event, the athlete is given a shovel, an ice scraper, a parked car and two feet of snow. The first team to get their car out of the driveway and get to work on time wins.

Using your arms to push the snow off the hood of the car and/or the automatic car starter for the front windshield is legal, as is using various forms of profanity. However, bribing the neighbor kid to help by stealing their sled is grounds for immediate disqualification.

Bonus points are given to the competitor who can open up the driver’s side door without any snow falling onto the driver’s side seat.

“Outdoor Freestyle Photography”

Here competitors are given a digital camera and 30 minutes to go outside and take pictures of how much snow has fallen, often using things like rulers stuck in the snow for comparison and captions like, “What happened to global warming?” and “Can you believe how much snow that we got?”

After the time is up, each athlete is required to submit their top images to the judges who will decide a winner based on technical merit, required elements, presentation and number of “likes” on Facebook.

“Refuse Relay”

Athletes are timed as they put on multiple layers of clothes and run from the warmth of their house to the trash bins stationed outside, deposit the bag of trash, wheel the bin down to the curb and then sprint back into the house, all before a) the trash collector comes and b) they freeze their ass off.

This event is usually frantically done in the early morning hours on the day of trash collection, and bonus style points are given to the competitor who can take off their winter boots without losing a sock in the process.


So as you can see, this will obviously require massive amounts of carb loading and couchgating on my end. Lucky for me, unlike skiing or luge—this is an activity I’ve been training for my whole life.

Go for the gold!

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Hot and Bothered

We’re in the middle of a heat wave in my area, which by definition means a week of temperatures above 90 degrees with humidity, no rain and a plethora of manic meteorologists taking delight in telling viewers the weather is miserable while they sit inside their air conditioned studios.

I only have one window AC unit, and while I hate feeling absolutely frozen and trudging through snow, I dislike extreme heat even more.

I guess I hate feeling cold and I hate feeling hot—so basically I just hate feeling.

Anyway, my brain is also fried for various reasons—all perfectly legal, mind you—and so this rant will serve double-duty. Like they say, when life hands you lemons, stick them in your bra so people believe you when you complain about boob sweat.

Hot and Bothered

DAY 1. What beautiful weather! Days like these are what get me through the long stretches of winter when I’m stuck scraping ice off my car. Well, minus this humidity. It’s getting a little bit thick.

DAY 2: It’s really heating up out there and no rain is predicted for days, so I should go out and water. However, it’s still nice to sleep with the windows open despite what sounds like a drunken domestic between chipmunks outside.

DAY 3: This isn’t fun anymore. The thermostat in my living room has reached 84 degrees and the birdbath has become a hot tub for small woodland creatures. I can’t crank up the pitiful AC unit even more. I should probably water. Again.

DAY 4: It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. That is, if you’re into eating chicken excretions off of dirty pavement. Molesting my AC unit is starting to feel a bit awkward, but at least I have an excuse to not wash my hair and run around the house without pants. Considering renting out living room as Bikram yoga studio.

DAY 5: Up at 3 a.m. to go for a walk and mow the grass because it’s already 112 degrees by 6 a.m. Screw it. The grass isn’t growing anyway and if it spontaneously combusts, there’s a chance a hot firefighter will be called to the scene.

DAY 6: GOOD LORD, IT FEELS LIKE AN OVEN. The 5-foot walk from my door to the car soaks me in sweat and my yard is starting to turn brown. I should water. I should straddle the sprinkler and ignore all those looks from the neighbors. I should move to Alaska.

DAY 7: Still sweating. Still bitter. The trash in the garage smells like decaying rats and all I’ve put out there is an empty almond milk container and paper towel tube. WHY DOES MOTHER NATURE HATE ME?

DAY 8: I’m in hell. No, seriously. Between this heat and people saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” and taking pictures of the thermostat on their car dashboard, I must be in hell.

DAY 9: Grocery shopping almost leads to a speeding ticket because I have to get home before the food that I bought melts in the car. I refuse to water the grass. Screw the flowers. In fact, screw nature.

DAY 10: The words “cold front” are used to describe something other than my mood and it’s finally in the low 80s. Relief might just be in sight, but my pants?

I make no promises there. 


Before I go, two  quick things. First, you have until Friday to enter my giveaway for $50 of cool Knock Knock stuff. Even if you don’t enter, the comments on that post are gold. You people are gold, I tell you!

Second, I’m honored to be part of another big HUGE giveaway with a bunch of other fabulous ladies.

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As you can see, the loot includes six books, a gift card and other fancy (free) things. So in between sympathizing with me about the heat and entering my giveaway, head on over to Robyn’s at Hollow Tree Ventures and enter to win all the fabulous prizes.

Stay cool!

A Natural Reaction

For every action, there is an equal and opposite overreaction, usually by me.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve realized that I’m great in situations that don’t directly involve me on a primary level. Whereas other people freak out, I remain calm and collected. For example:

Situation: Stepdad cut off part of his finger while using the snow blower a few years ago.

Others: He (understandably) came yelling into the house holding his house-of-horrors hand. Mom (who will deny this) freaked out and started running around while the two of them talked over each other and wasted precious time.

Me: Calmly called 911 and described the emergency while also getting ice ready for the “stub” (if found,) ripping up his Mensa application and Googling “How to Reattach a Fingertip for Dummies” and a recipe for a new vegan cheesecake.

Because it wasn’t my finger and wouldn’t impair my ability to eat or do something of equal importance, I was fine. But there are still those “rare” days when something will happen and on a scale of 1-10 in the crazy department, I come in at about “Lindsay Lohan.”


Situation: A summer thunderstorm.

Others: Some sit on the porch and watch the storm roll in while others go about their business in a normal fashion.

Me: OH MY GOD! We’re going to lose power and all of my food will go bad, not to mention that I’ll miss the ballgame and can’t even go on Twitter to complain that we’re going to lose power! (All of this is said while trying to fit into the Thundershirt my mom has for her 13-lb dog.)


Situation: I send an email, text, etc. or put up a blog post and don’t immediately get a reply.

Others: Probably forget that they sent/posted it and simply go on with their lives.

Me: Fail to realize that not everyone is as OCD as me, and that they might be busy with “social lives” or whatever. Instead, I assume they hate me and are creating a Voodoo doll of my likeness instead of replying to email or reading my blog (If you are creating a doll though, please embellish the boobs quite a bit. I’ll totally buy it from you.)


Situation: Notice that the Kleenex box in my bathroom actually matches the bathroom.

Others: Would never notice this in the first place.

Me: Sigh deeply, realizing that now I can never use the last Kleenex in that box because it perfectly matches the interior of the bathroom and that moment might never happen again.


Situation: A winter ice storm/blizzard.

Others: Some people enjoy the view with a cup of hot cocoa while others go about their business in a normal fashion.

Me: OH MY GOD! We’re going to lose power and I’ll freeze, not to mention that I’ll miss the hockey game and can’t even go on Twitter to complain that we’re going to lose power! (All of this is said while trying to create a blankie fort by preemptive candlelight.)


Situation: Hot gym guy says, “Are you done using this bench?”

Others: Tell hot gym guy if they’re done using that bench.

Me: Translate that to mean, “I don’t even care that right now you smell like IcyHot and have what is either avocado or a booger on your shirt. I think we should run away together somewhere warm and perfect our slow-motion “Baywatch” jog.


Situation: Hot gym guy says, “Abby, remember the restraining order?”

Others: Well, they probably stay away at least 100 yards.

Me: Translate that to mean, “I don’t even care that right now you smell like IcyHot and have what is either avocado or a booger on your shirt. I think we should run away together somewhere warm and perfect our slow-motion “Baywatch” jog.


So as you can see, I’m actually quite a rational person if you sever a limb, suffer a natural disaster a safe distance away from my house or need instruction on how to create a weather shelter cocoon out of catnip-laced blankets.

Overreact? Not this girl, my…OH MY GOD IT’S A SPIDER WHICH MEANS THERE ARE A MILLION OTHERS JUST WAITING TO EAT OFF MY FACE!!!

Ahem. Carry on.

A Perfect Storm

Friday was a good day.

After work I went with my mom to buy her flowers and hanging baskets for Mother’s Day, per our tradition. I got my petunias in the ground, went for a walk and simply enjoyed the sunshine and the fact that I could finally work outside.

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Ooh! Pretty!

Saturday wasn’t so great. I hate everything that I write as of late, so I’ll just share that I ended up wallowing in an emotionally dark place for a variety of (seemingly inexplicable and unrelated) reasons.

And we all know how wallowing is an extremely productive use of time.

At any rate, in the middle of one of my “moments,” I decided to go for a walk. Now, I’m the queen of preventative measures in that I plan for just about any contingency that may arise. Umbrellas, flashlights, extra napkins —you never know when you’re going to need them.

But seeing as there was only a 10 percent chance of showers that afternoon, I just laced up my shoes and took off. All was well until dark clouds rolled across the previously sunny sky. I ignored, as I’m prone to do when impending unpleasantness may occur.

However, it was hard to ignore the sprinkles and then outright downpour that followed a few minutes later. I had no umbrella. I had no towel. I had no ark in which to load pairs of animals and seek shelter. I kept walking — as I obviously had no other choice — but I was wet and cranky.

Then I started to wonder why. I wasn’t dressed up and ready to go to a wedding — unless a T-shirt, workout pants and unwashed hair were the nuptial attire — and I wasn’t carrying the Olympic torch with me. Why did it matter if I got a little wet, if I got a little uncomfortable?

It didn’t.

I couldn’t control it and wasn’t prepared, so I simply kept walking along. But while I didn’t melt, I instead melted down, and a mixture of raindrops and teardrops were streaming down my face by the time I got back home. The rain stopped, but without an emotional umbrella to bust out and use, the tears just kept raining on down.

And I kid you not, a pile of bird shit landed two inches from where I was sitting on my deck, so be thankful for small miracles.

At any rate, in the interest of wrapping things up with a nice tidy bow, I’ll pull a metaphor from bird shit and me being creatively/emotionally constipated to walking in the rain and sitting with discomfort over a variety of things.

Storms — emotional or otherwise — eventually clear up with time, and umbrella or not, I have to keep walking each day.

After all, Sunday the sun shone again.

P.S. I could also twist a metaphor about always being ready for a shit storm, but I’m trying to be positive here. Work with me people, work with me…

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