Friday, January 22, 2016

Surviving Snow-ma-geddon

As I sit here with my warm cuppa coffee in hand, snug in our cozy sunroom with it's beautiful view of our newly-filled bird feeders, the merest wisp of flurries has begun to fall outside.  The world outside seems to be holding its breath, and the the sharp smell of snow is rapidly increasing on the strengthening wind.

The birds are stuffing themselves against the cold, and even our pampered little westie has hunkered down on a blanket in front of a heater vent.

At this point, we have had so many snow warnings that there would be no excuse for a lack of toilet paper, milk and bread (the constant contents in the checkout line buggies the last few days - do people do this where you live, too?), but you can't completely prepare for the possibility of power outages in this sort of frigid weather.

As a sort of barrier for my own sanity, I've upped the heater temperature just a little in our house and have dragged a few extra blankets out of storage just in case.  All of our phones are currently fully charged, and we have back-up chargers for our cell phones in the car.  Speaking of cars, mine is fully gassed, just in case.

The pantry is full of goodies, and the makings of yummy meals for the days ahead, and I'm about to put a crockpot full of mulled cider on to spice itself up and fill the house with the smell of comfort.

In the days leading up to this storm, I hit the store to get some extra milk -- we go through a lot of it at our house, and my coffee just isn't the same without a hefty splash -- and other assorted goodies, but, truth be told, we stay fairly well-stocked at our house out of habit.  My Granny was a Great Depression survivor, and drilled the importance of a well-stocked pantry into my head from a very early age.  This includes staples that you can eat without having to heat them up:  bread, peanut butter, applesauce, fruit, cut up veggies and dip, etc.

But in my pre-storm shopping, I also snagged some little crafty bits and pieces for The Peanut.  Even though we have hit the pre-teen phase with a vengeance, she still loves to color and so do I.

Somehow, I managed to find an adorable big-sized velvet coloring poster with a dolphin on it, along with some fish and a sea turtle.  She's been happily coloring in bits and pieces of it since yesterday, and I'd imagine that will continue today if she ever drags herself out of her bed and her book.  (As an aside, isn't the best part of a snow day that ability to stay in bed and read for as long as you like?  I loved that as a kid, and am thrilled that Fiona loves it, too.)

If your kiddos are younger, there are a number of things you can throw together on the fly to keep them occupied:

- puzzles and games

- coloring pages -- children's illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba has some fantastic ones on her website!

- crafts that you can do with items in your Craft Closet  (see here and here for info on how to put one together)

- one of my all-time favorites, the "I'm Sooooooo Bored Jar"

I made ours with those popsicle-like craft sticks, but you could easily just make one with a print-out on paper that you cut into strips.  The post linked above has a list already typed out for you, so you could copy and paste and then adjust the font and pick and choose items to suit your family's needs.

- The best of all, though?  Enjoy cuddling up and reading with your kiddos while they are still young and want to do it.  Some of our best memories at our house involve reading together.

Stay warm and stay safe, folks.

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