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Friday, February 22, 2013

In Sickness and in Health

I miss my husband. Chuck and I have actually been together here in Connecticut for the past week, but when we were in Las Vegas, I came down with the flu. This means, for the past 7 days, I have been staying as far away as I can from him so he wouldn't get sick. I also have been blowing my nose, coughing and hacking day and night, feeling achy and generally miserable every day. Yesterday was the first day I have actually felt more like myself. And last night was the first time in one week that I was able to snuggle next to him before drifting off to sleep. And kiss him goodnight. And hold his hand. When there is nothing to prevent a husband and wife from kissing and cuddling, I think many couples take it for granted and don't take advantage of it. I have realized now that it is a vital part of our relationship and I miss it when I can't have it. So, now we are entering into a very good phase of our relationship...the 'I miss you and I want to hold your hand and kiss you all the time" mode. So look out Chuck... It's going to be a cozy weekend, and although you and I promised to love each other in sickness and in health, we had the sickness last week and this week we are going to enjoy the health!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We're in Las Vegas!!!

On Monday morning we had to head to Bradley International Airport to catch a flight to Las Vegas for a conference Chuck is speaking at. We woke to see that all the schools were still closed. Some didn’t have power, but apparently the side roads in most towns are still quite bad and now that it was raining, had turned to very icy conditions. Fortunately Chuck turned the TV on to discover that some of the main highways were closing down due to ice, so we left for the airport an hour earlier than normal. It was very foggy on the way and we were glad to have the extra time on the road. As we got closer to the airport, the temperature got colder and the traffic slowed to avoid ice. When we arrived at the normal car lot to drop off the car, we discovered it was full, so had to go to two more before finding one that could house the car for the week. This was all quite nerve wracking because we didn’t know what to expect in terms of the weather affecting flights out of the airport, etc.Fortunately, once we arrived at the airport, everything went smoothly. Although the plane was a few minutes late getting to the gate, we were only about 10 minutes later than the projected arrival time in Chicago. This even gave us 45 minutes in one of my favorite places, the United Club where we snacked on carrots and dip, cheese and crackers, cookies and coffee. Fortunately, we made it to Las Vegas with no problems whatsoever! We arrived in Las Vegas at 10:45 p.m. Connecticut time, although it was only 7:45 p.m. by Las Vegas time. Walking outside of the airport it was a real relief to see a line of taxi cabs just waiting to bring travelers to their destinations. It was fun to go by the strip and see the hotels like Excalibur and Caesar’s Palace as we passed by. We are staying at the Golden Nugget which is in the old part of town, or so they tell me. I don’t know much about Las Vegas and don’t care to since I am not a gambler and don’t expect to come here much unless it’s with Chuck for another conference. We are staying in the Gold Tower in a 2 room suite. It’s really large with both a bedroom and a sitting room with large screen TVs. There is also a bar in the sitting room area. My favorite part about the suite is that it has two bathrooms, which means we each get our own. One has a large shower with a bench inside it, which Chuck has claimed. The other has a tub with Jacuzzi jets and a shower which is mine. And you know I will be using that Jacuzzi jets before I leave! The bed was very comfortable and although we both woke up early, we did have a good night’s rest. More adventures to come…

Blizzard, Part 2

Well, in spite of an amazing blizzard that hit New England over the weekend, we survived fairly unscathed. For those of you who don’t know, we live in Connecticut which was one of the states hardest hit by the storm. We ended up postponing the trip by one day because we lost power at the house. Friday night everything was going along smoothly inside the house. Outside, it was snowing hard, and we could hear the wind whistling outside. We had dinner, washed our clothes for our upcoming trip to Las Vegas just in case the power went out, and were sitting on the couch watching, ”American Pickers.” A few times during the evening, the power went out but came right back on momentarily so we were counting out blessings. But at 9:47 p.m., the house went totally black, and this time, the power did not come back on. We had flashlights all ready to go, so we turned them on. With no light, there was not a lot we could do, so we got ready for bed and read by flashlight for awhile. The next morning, when we woke, it was still snowing. Not as hard, but the snow was still coming down. I thought it was beautiful, but Chuck was not as enthused! In fact he began to be quite worried about the water pipes freezing. The dog had to go out so we hooked her up to the dog run. There was so much snow on the stairs, she refused to walk down them and stayed on the top of the deck where Chuck had shoveled a flat area for her. He then shoveled the snow of the stairs while I shoveled a path for her in the yard so she could get out there and do her business. The snow was up a little bit past my knees. She followed the path I had made but veered off it and kept losing her balance as she decided to try to go to the bathroom off the path. I guess she and Chuck have neatness in common! Chuck shoveled a path to bring the generator down out of the garage to the area under the porch where the plug was. Together, we rolled it down the snowy slope, and plugged it in. It worked…for about 45 minutes, then conked out. The trouble seemed to be old gasoline that had been sitting around for about 18 months since Hurricane Irene. For the rest of the day, we read and did a few things around the house, although it was getting rather cold in the house. It was down to 57 degrees when we woke up in the morning. That’s not cold for outside, but inside a house, it feels pretty chilly. We walked around in layers of clothes, including bathrobes, and I had an extra blanket around me as well. By lunchtime, it had stopped snowing, but the trees were bowed over with the weight of the heavy snow. Chuck had called a guy to plow our driveway the night before. He said he would do it in 2 stints so he wouldn’t have to plow it all at once. He had come late Friday night. By 2:00 p.m. he hadn’t come back, although the snow had stopped. Chuck was concerned about us not being able to get out of the driveway to make it to the airport. I looked at the driveway and noticed there were a lot of heavy, snow covered branches hanging down over the driveway. We spent about 1 hour out there banging show off the branches so they would go back up to their normal height. There was one large branch that had broken off due to the weight of the snow. Chuck had to get a saw and saw it off. We finally had most of the branches out of the way, but not without some casualties. Chuck had a small cut on his face from where a branch had hit him, and my fingers were frozen so much that they hurt. I had gotten pelted with a lot of falling chunks of snow, but nothing too bad. At 5:00 p.m. Chuck called the neighbors to ask if they knew anyone who could plow us out. The snow was extremely heavy because it had snowed the night before about 6 inches, then rained, froze overnight and then another 12 inches fell. This made the snow quite heavy to shovel. The neighbor found someone who came and plowed part of the driveway, enough to let us out of the garage. Saturday night we had a fire in the fireplace. It wasn’t very warm unless you happened to be right up close next to the fire. I mentioned this to Chuck and he said that’s because it was a fireplace for show, not for function. There were no ventilators to let the heat into the house. We spent about 4 hours huddled up next to the fireplace, again with layered clothing, bathrobes and blankets around us. I will never forget sitting across from Chuck, in to separate chairs, 18 inches away from the fireplace, with the dog between us in her bad, also covered with a blanket. We ate cold salads with leftover cut up steak and chunks of cheese for dinner. It was nourishing but something hot at that point was what I was longing for. At 10:00 p.m., we again got ready for bed. The temperature, even with the fireplace on, had now slipped down to a chilly 54 degrees. I tried to read in bed but it was too cold to even do that. We went to sleep, and Chuck was quite alarmed in the morning when the temperature inside was only 47 degrees. He decided to postpone our trip to Las Vegas by one day to see if he could do something with the generator. After calling a friend who helped him siphon out the old gas, they went to get new gas from a gas station and lo and behold, it worked. By noon, the temperature inside the house was up to a whopping 50 degrees and climbing all the time. I had to venture out to pick my parents up from a cruise in a town 30 minutes away. I was a bit nervous about driving, but while the side roads were pretty bad, especially for my small Toyota Yaris hatchback, the main roads were fine. As I got closer to the town I had to meet them in, I realized that there was power in the towns north of us. All the towns along the coast, including Old Lyme, were hit with very fierce winds, which is why we lost power. The towns North of us still had power, but got a bit more snow. While I was driving my parents home ( can you imagine coming back from 8 days in the Caribbean to 25 inches of snow?!!!) Chuck called to say the power was back on. I could hear the huge sense of relief in his voice. We dropped the dog off with my parents, and are ready to go to Las Vegas! (I will bring you up to date on Las Vegas soon...we are here and are enjoying the 60 degree weather...sorry for those of you back in cold Connecticut!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day Due to Storm Nimo/Charlotte

Apparently the storm that is hitting the Northeast right now has 2 names. The weather channel is calling it, "Nemo" and the Connecticut station WFSB is calling it "Charlotte". Well, whatever it's called, I am loving it! It is Friday afternoon at 4:52 p.m. The weather outside is not "frightful" yet, but the predictions are that it will become that way soon. We have about 4 inches of snow on the ground right now. It's been snowing all day but mounting up slowly. Now we are gearing up for blizzard conditions with heavy snow and winds tonight. We are expecting another 8 - 14 inches to total the predicted 12 - 18 inches. Chuck is concerned about losing power. I am absolutely thrilled. I love snow. And the more the better. As I look out the window now, the porch and railing are covered with white fluffy snow. The tree branches in the many trees behind the deck are all covered with beautiful white snow. And it's still snowing. For years we were stuck in two different houses during snowstorms, in 2 different towns. This is the first big storm we have been able to be together for, and I couldn't be happier. In a little bit he is going to start a fire in the fireplace. We are getting ready to have a very relaxing evening after both working on our computers for most of the day. Call me a romantic, but I love being stuck in the house with the love of my life with a fire in the fireplace, a glass of red wine, and the snow swirling around outside. Now if I can just get Chuck to relax and enjoy it as well, we'll both have an enjoyable night. Wishing you all cozy and romantic nights... Karen

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Favorite 6 Minutes of Each Day!

I used to say I had a favorite 3 minutes of each day. Those 3 minutes were right after the alarm went off each morning and Chuck would reach his arm out so I could snuggle in next to him. The warmth of his body next to mine was a very comforting way to wake up. Especially for me because I am a notorious night owl and love to sleep late. For the past 2 months I substitute taught at the same school every day. It was 35 minutes away from out home and required me to get up at 6:15 a.m. each day. What a horrible hour to have to be "up and at 'em". The only way I survived those mornings were those 3 minutes of each day I spent surrounded by my husband's loving arm. It helped me face the day knowing that I was loved and comforted. It gave me an extra boost to start my day. Lately though I have discovered a second favorite 3 minutes of each day. At night, just before we go to sleep, we turn out the light and cuddle together in the same way. It makes me feel so happy once again to feel loved and comforted. We kiss good night and then get into a sleeping position. Some nights I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face as I drift off to sleep. I am a blessed woman to be so loved, and to be able to love my husband back so fully. Thanks Chuck!