Friday, January 31, 2014

Ice Day 2014 : The Adventures

Because our whole city shut down for Ice Day 2014 {or Snowmageddon as social media dubbed it}, Craig was able to stay home from work and play with us all day. We took every advantage of that and spent most of the day outside. We tried to ensure that Canon experienced "ice snow", as he called it, in every possible way. 

We tasted "ice pockles" {that's icicles for anyone that is wondering}.

We did have to come inside and warm up a few times since we don't exactly own the warmest winter clothes. What better way to get toasty than a little Madden NFL on the game system?

We played freeze tag, which seemed the most appropriate game for the day.

We visited our neighbor, Ms. Sonia, and played with her dog, River. Ever the conservationist and all-around animal lover, she spent the day pouring hot water into her bird bath to ensure that the birds had plenty to drink. She tried to teach Canon about the importance of this, but he was more interested in "breaking the ice with my hands!".

Fun fact : Did you know that you can take seven pictures of a grown woman, 3 year old boy, and a dog and you will not even capture one photo with all three of them looking at the camera at the same time?

True story.

Craig's experience living in colder weather conditions has taught him to take care of cars so that they would be accessible if we needed to leave the house for an emergency. This meant that we had to defrost the windshields, which took forever since there was a solid sheet of ice all over it. Since we don't have ice scrapers, we scraped with credit cards until I finally got smart and retrieved rubber spatulas from the kitchen. And that's how the south does winter storms.

Canon fell behind on the car-scraping job and I found him drinking hot chocolate from the warmth of the house, while watching us do the dirty work. Typical micro-manager.

We decided that no ice day was complete without a little sledding, so we fashioned one from a rubbermaid lid and rope. High class.

Canon thought it was only fair that he do some of the pulling too, but it didn't exactly work in our favor.

So he tried to pull himself. Yes, you read that right.

We literally sledded until the lid was shredded. What what?!

Of course, I insisted on a family photo to commemorate the once-in-a-blue-moon event. I am sure there were a few eye rolls coming from the peanut gallery my boys, but I am so glad we did it.

I got a ton of video from the day that I am editing too so that I can make a movie of our fun. I know it may seem crazy that we went so nuts over it, but here's the thing. This just doesn't happen here and I don't know when we will experience it again. What's more? Canon has NEVER seen snow or ice so it was an amazing event for him. He literally prayed for snow and couldn't believe that it actually arrived. We had to make it a big deal, because to him it was huge.

The next morning the sun came out and the ice started to melt. Canon may or may not have cried. Ok, he totally did. The good news is that there is still a little ice on the ground a few days later. The bad news is that there isn't enough for him to play in. But hey, at least we had one full day of icy fun.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ice Day 2014 : The Details

Yes, I realize how ridiculous that title sounds. One day in an entire year where we have ice. I also know that much of the nation is laughing at the supposed absurdity of how the south handled the ice storm. So let me take this time to put in my two cents - for what it's worth.

You see, the south was not prepared. Not because we didn't know it was coming. Not because we are stupid and don't know how to handle ourselves. Need I remind you that we can handle hurricanes like pros. I seem to recall a certain "super storm" in recent years past that devastated an area whose infrastructure couldn't withstand that type of impact. Same goes for ice in the south. We aren't prepared for that type of weather. We haven't driven on ice or snow and don't know how to adjust our driving to accommodate it. Heck, we don't even have the snow tires or chains. The majority of us don't even have fireplaces. Or heavy jackets. We don't have trucks that spread salt and make the roads safer for people to get to work. In short, just because one region is well-equipped for a certain type of weather doesn't mean the whole nation is prepared for everything. *Steps off soap box*

Moving on.

Here in Florida, ice is just something you put in your sweet tea. {Well, not me. I don't like ice in my drinks since it just waters it down, but I digress.} It is definitely not something you find outside covering any surface. Except yesterday we did and it was glorious!

If you looked from the inside out, it actually looked like snow which was so exciting. Until you tried to step outside and slipped and fell on your behind. Not that I speak from experience or anything. Just sayin'.

It rained so much the day and night prior that EVERYTHING was covered in a relatively thick layer of ice - cars included.

I thought these branches were amazing. I mean they were completely surrounded by ice. That meant that the rain had to freeze so quickly around the branch that it turned to ice as soon as it hit. So cool! Go science!

We found this little gem in the front yard. Apparently, water froze on a leaf then let the leaf go but kept the indention. Seriously, Mother Nature knows how to have a good time.

We spent a while defrosting and scraping our car windshields and sheets of ice crumbled down the incline. Picture time!

Funny story : I wouldn't let Craig scrape this wiper until I got a shot of this band of ice. Ok, so that isn't a funny story per se, but I had to say something about this. I mean, how can you not mention something about a chunk of ice stuck to your car?! Am I right? No? Ok, then.

So maybe us southerners go a little crazy for snow ice, but cut us a little slack. It is something that only happens once every 1,000 years or something. And it only lasts a day. {This weekend's forecasted high is in the 70's.} We are allowed to go a little nuts.

Of course I also took pictures of us playing in the ice. I figured they deserved their own post though so I will share our actual adventures tomorrow. Get ready for more craziness. It's coming.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pardon Me...

Today, in Florida, we are actually having a "snow" day. Technically it's an ice day, but whatever. In any case, this means that our whole family is at home and we are toggling between freezing our buns outside playing and snuggling up inside together. So pardon me while I take a break from blogging to enjoy this extremely rare occasion. I promise I am taking tons of pictures and will share them all with you soon! I will, however, leave you with this little miracle.

Last night while we were relaxing and getting ready for bed, in the midst of the actual ice storm, we heard what sounded like really loud thunder. Of course, Craig and I went out to investigate and found that a huge limb had literally cracked under the pressure and weight of the ice.


Amazingly, though it definitely shouldn't have, it missed our house by mere inches. Also, even though it fell on top of the A/C unit, it didn't actually cause any damage. {Yes, we were those people that turned on our A/C in the midst of an ice storm.} We were definitely being taken care of last night.

Of course, because of this "little incident" I was awake most of the night hearing branches cracking and hoping that they weren't going to come through our roof since we are surrounded by oak trees. It seems that this was the largest thing to fall in our area though so we are counting our blessings.

Tomorrow I will start recounting our fun in the ice. There is still more to be had, after all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 Tips for Completely Bombing a Garage Sale

We are having a garage sale this weekend. Why, you ask? Because we have a lot of crap. Most of it is actually pretty great stuff but there is so much of it that there is no way we can enjoy it all or give it the attention it needs to reach it's potential. Things like a super awesome chandelier that was supposed to be painted an indigo blue and hung over the dining table. {I picked it up about a year and a half ago from a thrift store.} Things like children's toys that are in pristine condition or clothes that could be worn for another 10 years. I mean seriously - who needs that much stuff? So we are selling it. Of course, our intentions are not solely based on getting rid of what we don't use. We are hoping to move soon and we don't want to take more than we need to. Basically we are lazy.

So there's that.

Anyway, this week my goal is to gear up for this sale by doing a little everyday. One way for me to do this is to think of tips that will make this sale a most successful one. Of course, my brain also comes up with the least helpful hints as well so I thought I would pass them along. In case your brain does the same thing. So without further ado, here's what not to do.

5 Tips for Completely Bombing a Garage Sale

1. Schedule your garage sale during freezing rain.
It's always a good idea to schedule a garage sale during torrential weather. You are sure to have a ton of really happy customers who are willing meander through your junk amazing treasures whilst shielding their dolla' dolla' bills from the pelts of ice hitting their heads.

2. Don't hang your clothes on a line. 
Instead, spread them on the ground so your customers have to wade through stacks and stacks of last seasons' dresses and shoes. Make sure they are haphazardly thrown on the ground with no particular regard to size or style. It keeps everyone searching longer. The longer they are there, the more they will buy. Obviously.

3. Wait until late morning to start.
Who cares if those that are seeking out your sale will be there at 7:00 am sharp. If you want to sleep in, just turn them away. They will definitely be back later. They have been waiting for your sale all week.

4. Don't tell your neighbors about your event ahead of time.
Wait until the party in the street is in full force so that they can't take their child to her gymnastics lesson. Surely they will want to join in on your festivities instead. Offer the kid a toy drum as a conciliation prize. Your neighbor will thank you profusely. Every. Day. After.

5. Wait until the morning of to think about pricing each item.
That way when everyone starts coming in to check all of your "neat stuff", they will have to wait for  - or better yet, guess - the price. Hey, you can turn it into a game! I hear Bob Barker knows how to host this type of thing. He's probably available, but you may have to pay him in oxygen tanks.

Wish me luck on the garage sale this weekend. I am hoping that the weather holds out and that people actually show up.

So who needs 27 t-shirts or 3 glasses? Anyone? I'll be waiting with coffee on...for me at least.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

Everyone is going crazy here over the weather this week. To be fair, it is Florida and the forecast is calling for a snow and ice mix this week. People around here are just not used to that.

In our house, though, there is nothing but excitement in the air! In fact, to prepare ourselves we stopped to observe a "frozen lake" on the way home from my grandmother's house this weekend.

We had passed by this little pond several times over the course of our trip and remarked that it was amazing that the water remained frozen even in 50 degree weather during the day. Of course, we had to investigate it on our way out of town, so we stopped on the side of the road and trekked over hill and dale like city folk walking on the side of the road in ballet flats and boat shoes the daring explorers we are until we reached the iced pond.

On the walk, we explained to Canon that we couldn't step onto the ice or get too close. Falling into icy waters was not on our list of things to do that day, after all. We were surprised to see, though, just how thick the ice was.

Craig commented that Canon was always posing for pictures {see above} and that he should try and actually act natural during the picture - maybe even touch the ice. So he did.

Um, dude? I am not sure that is exactly what your dad was talking about, but nice try.

The ice was about 3/4 of an inch thick. Pretty impressive since we just assumed it was a very thin layer on the surface. {For all of you in very cold climates that can boast 15"+ thick ice, I know this is nothing but for our area this is almost unheard of so stick with me here.}

We tried many different things to try and break the ice, including but not limited to, throwing that chunk of ice that Craig was holding in the previous pictures. The end result is below...that piece shattered but was not enough to even crack the pond's surface

That of course didn't stop Canon from trying to break the edges with a stick - which, by the way, also didn't work. Surprise.

In the end, Craig found a heavy rock that he and Canon hurled into the pond thinking that it would do the trick.

And yet, it still only made a small hole. The cold weather really did a number on this place. Color me impressed. It doesn't take much, though. Let's be honest.

Of course, true to my nature, I did have to get one shot of this really cool ground cover. Note to self : Never walk outside barefoot. That would be more than a little painful, but man it looks cool.

This little side-street excursion only proved to fuel all of our desires to explore more of the world around us. And it made us even more excited for this crazy winter weather that we should be experiencing this week.

Our fingers, toes, eyes, and tongues are crossed for some snow!