Colder than Wisconsin–in Texas!

All right, the Universe doesn’t approve of Dallas making any money off the tourists for the StuporBowl. But we don’t need to be completely iced in and closed down! This morning we were colder at 14 degrees than Green Bay at 19! This is outlandish!

Also, we have had rolling 15-minute mini-outages of electricity since 5 AM. I awoke to the sounds of the dog freaking out and Hubby saying, “The power’s out.” Mama’s oxygen concentrator beeps, and the computers’ UPSes beep, and the alarm beeps. I ran around getting everything turned off and getting flashlights before I called the electricity provider and discovered they were doing this purposely, to spare the grid. All the school districts and city governments are closed, so you’d think we could generate enough power, but I guess what with everyone at home playing “Kill Everything” and surfing the ‘net and turning those all-electric heaters waaay up, it couldn’t.

The Pom baby really freaked out. He whined, coughed, wheezed, had attacks, shivered, and walked through the house barking. I had to hold him as the power went UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN. The outages lasted 15 minutes and then we had power for an hour in between, so he kept freaking out anew. I took him out (and you would have frozen to death! You couldn’t balance on the ice in our courtyard! His little toes slipped!) and fed him and held him and everything, but the poor baby. He couldn’t handle the beeping, I think. It reminds him of some crisis we’ve had or of some medical thing, perhaps? Simply awful. He wouldn’t settle down until around noon, when the company made the power stay on longer and longer and gradually faded into normalcy. I had already gone to bed on the sofa and he was running in circles through the house, and he eventually decided it was safe to get on the sofa with me. Then he jumped down and settled under the piano bench where the vent blows. That’s his usual guard position.

But anyway!! I had to hurry to microwave my oatmeal and Hubby’s gruel, and Mama had to hurry to take her nebulizer treatment, because we had to coordinate it within the time the power was on. The heater kept having to shut down and then start up again, because it’s a gas heater and when the power is cut, it does a shutdown. Hassle!

FINALLY I got my computer back up again and got our ‘net connection back. Whee!

Hubby did get laid off on Monday. But they told him and the others that they were keeping his badge, laptop, and phone stuff in a Special Box because they could be called back at any time during the next nine weeks. He came home immediately and contacted the other company that had said it was interested in him (the woman called him specifically when she heard this project was closing), but the job they have is a contractor position. He explained he needs a full-time job, but that he might call them when this nine weeks is up. She said she’d try to make this into a permanent job, as she wants him specifically for some skills they’ve seen him display with the network. (The company is a vendor and they know all about this project being shut down.) He was really disappointed and didn’t hide it.

So, on Monday, we started a project fixing Mama’s car. At first it was just to get the trunk closed; we had shown it to this crazy firewood-company man who had tried to buy it from us two or three times, and he’d opened the hood and trunk. But it’s a 1984 Lincoln Town Car, Cartier Edition, and the trunk closes itself–you put it down until the latch clicks, and it finishes the job. So the trunk had been sitting slightly ajar (the car’s battery was down), and we had left the battery on the charger since Sunday.

Sure enough, the trunk closed itself as soon as the battery came up. Then Hubs decided to try starting the car. (It had been sitting since Mama got her pacemaker . . . that’s nearly a year and a half.)

It revved on the first try!

So he decided to check the fluids again and back it out of the side yard. The tires looked pretty low, so he aired them up with this little compressor thing he got last year. Then. . . .

“Want to go around the block?”

We all piled in (including one happy Pom) and went slowly around to the front of the house. The tires were REALLY low. We decided to see whether it would pass inspection, so I jumped into the van and followed them–very slowly–to the corner tire store that also does state inspections.

It passed! We also got four newish tires at a discount, because the originals just weren’t impressing me. We need new wipers. But the car runs fine!

To top it off, when I opened the mailbox, I found they had sent her replacement driver’s license.


Anyway, then we went on to do several more errands to prepare for this storm, including getting Hubby’s iPhone transferred onto our family cell phone plan. I was hoping we could Go Somewhere, but now we’re iced in until Friday, the weather says. Stir crazy!

Hubby’s e-mail beeped on the iPhone as we were walking out of the AT&T store. They expect to put together a deal so that a skeleton crew starts back to work next week. They think they will know on Friday. Guess who is on the Tiger Team (skeleton crew)?

Yes. He’s that important to them. (They ought to pay more.)

So everyone else gets nine weeks off with pay and full benefits, and ten of them have to go right back to work. Sigh!!

I’m looking at it all wrong. He will have a job to go back to, at the same salary. And they’ll HAVE to let him take some time off later, because he’s contributing like this. Still, I think it’s unfair. I didn’t get to go anywhere for a week. *pout*

We don’t know if this deal will fall through or not, though. We’re in limbo until they tell us something on Friday or on Monday. I really, REALLY wanted to go to Austin for a few days before he started back to work. I guess I think like a little kid, but we haven’t had a vacation in forever. . . .

I think I’ll bake something. . . .


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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