Snowflakes and smooches…


Mornin’ all.

I have a plan. We’ve got another blizzard coming up this weekend and I’m sick of shoveling. I think it’s time we, as a species, take an evolutionary leap forward.

“Um…Bethie? Isn’t it a little early in the Musing for you to go bat shit crazy?”

Hang on. I thought about this all night as I stared at the crack in the ceiling that annoyingly looks like an uppercase “H” and can’t be changed in my mind to anything else now that I saw it. This is a winning idea, I tell you.

Okay, so the berms outside are already about 4-5 feet tall, and we’ve got another foot of the white nasty set to drop on us tomorrow. I say the folks in this winter-battered area should put the shovels away, accept the Winter That Will Not Be Stopped, and evolve into: Mole People.

Homo sapien talpansis, to be exact.

Forget the shoveling and just start burrowing. Think about how liberating that would be! We could tunnel through the snow making our own “roads”. We could dig out dens and meeting places. We’d have an entire secret society that exists under the snow, an intricate system of complex wards and sectors. A higher level of existence, if you will.

DUDE YES. I just thought of our slogan: Join us below for the high life. We’ll have our own flag. It’ll be the silhouette of a mole in a helmet raising his little fist in solidarity.

Can moles make a fist?


No more cringing at the sound of the snow plow that’s coming by RIGHT AFTER YOU EFFIN’ SHOVELED to rub in the fact that you are really Nature’s bitch. No more slipping and falling on your ass in irony as you are trying to spread rock salt on the steps. No more fear from the Icicles of Doom when you have no choice but to walk in the narrow Alley of Death between your house and your garage when the propane tank needs to be changed. And let’s not even get into actually trying to drive your 30 year old rear wheel drive diesel station wagon on snowed up roads.

I say no more!


“…O….kkaaaayyyy. Let’s pretend I’m not secretly dialing the men in the white coats to come and get you. Won’t you get cold in this plan of yours?”

Pfft. I’ll have a snow suit. And one of those bizarre balaclavas.

“But snow will still get in your nooks and crannies.”

Hm. Okay, then I’ll seal myself up in my sub-zero sleeping bag and kind of schlump along.

“So…you’re going to what? Inch your way through the snow? You do realize that’s being a snow worm, right?”

…I never said evolution was easy.

“Oh, Bethie.”

Stop shaking your head sadly at me. I’m just trying to liven up this hell winter.

I was looking at the Old Farmer’s Almanac yesterday. Are you familiar with this publication? It’s been in print since 1792 and is filled with, well, farming tips, tricks, reports, anecdotes, etc. You know, old time farm-y stuff.

What they’re most known for, though, is their weather predictions. Using a secret mathematical formula, they have been predicting long range weather forecasts for 223 years. It’s still quite popular in this neck of the woods, and still seen as a legitimate source of information for predicting weather because somehow, this 223 year old formula has managed to be ridiculously accurate.

Until this year.

The forecast for my region of the country for this winter was overall colder, but only by a few degrees on average, and dry. In fact, we were supposed to start February off warm, sunny, and mild. Wasn’t warm, has been hardly sunny at all, and mild? MILD??

Now, you may be wondering what’s happened to negate the accuracy of a 223 year old formula. And if you’re wondering that, if you sincerely have no clue, then I can’t help you. Any further discussion will simply anger you. Let’s not get into another non-controversial controversy this morning. We’re on the same page about the mole people plan, and I’d hate to shatter our Mole-based camaraderie.

I’m just saying, maybe it’s time we let those old farmers take a break from weather reporting. Read the Almanac for the fun little anecdotes and gardening advice. Go to the NOAA for the weather.

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Do you celebrate it? We’re not big on it here, but I think that is largely due to the fact that we are a house of guys. I’m like Snow White, surrounded by loud and smelly but well-intentioned dudes. You know, without the annoying high-pitched songs and woodland creatures helping me with my chores.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a family of women. My folks had four daughters. Back then, Valentine’s Day was a big deal. My mum would set up a Valentine’s party for us for when we got home from school. She’d have the place decorated with tissue paper hearts, give us pink “tea”, and play “Spooky” by Classics IV. If you don’t know the song, you MUST run to YouTube immediately. Go on. I’ll wait. It’s critical to set the mood of this story.

Was that not utterly fantastic? Now imagine that with cookies and pink “tea” and hearts everywhere. It was totally cool for little girls.

Now, I have four boys. I’m not at all saying there aren’t boys who would totally dig that kind of Valentine’s party. I just sadly don’t have any of those boys.

I tried several times when they were younger to get them into the spirit of the holiday. They gulped the “tea” (which is really just Kool Aid, but it sounds way more mysterious if I just put “tea” in quotes like that, doesn’t it?), scarfed the cookies, didn’t even notice the tissue paper hearts, and ended things with a belching contest.

To top it all off, they think “Spooky” is creepy. *scoff* CREEPY! *shake my head*
There are differences between raising daughters and raising sons. Valentine’s Day simply puts the exclamation point on that statement.

The teens are mostly above any pretense of caring about the holiday, even for my sake. “But it’s my one day to have pink!” I’ve argued before, to no avail. The only one of them that is into it at all this year is the one with a lady to impress.

Ah, young puppy love. He had grand plans for an outing with her that will not happen because of the storm. He was scrambling to come up with an idea in a panic, but I calmed him down and spelled out a new plan. I’ve got his back. I’m not one of “those” mums who doesn’t want their kids to be happy and thinks no girl in the world is good enough for them.

The little one is in third grade. He’s still young enough that girls are decidedly icky, but class Valentine’s Day parties have lost their luster. He’s got to give something with a heart on it…TO A GIRL?? And it’s MANDATORY?!?

Don’t you think that’s weird? With all the political correctness, with all the overt avoidance of any “suggestive” contact between kids, they still have Valentine’s Day class parties. Kids are literally getting suspended– little kids, little, innocent kindergarteners– for holding hands. Holding hands! And yet, they publicly celebrate a holiday based on love and mush.

When I was in elementary school, I went to school with a kid named Bobby. He was in the collaborative class (now called special ed), but he had several portions of the day where he would sit in our classroom with his aide. To this day, I have no idea what was “wrong” with Bobby, in terms of diagnosis. He couldn’t speak, but he could make a wide range of sounds and facial expression. He was sweet and funny and loved to swing and give hugs. We’d walk around the school yard holding hands. And when kids were mean to him, I would kick them. And he would laugh and hug me.

I think about that, walking around and holding hands with Bobby. It wasn’t anything untoward, just a nice, safe, loving friend in a place I didn’t really like to be. Nowadays, that wouldn’t happen. Now that’s considered sexual harassment. I think the people who made these new ridiculous rules for schoolyard behavior never had a friend like Bobby. It makes me sad that adults have put so much of the adult world problems on the shoulders of little kids who just want to have a funny, loving friend to get through the day with.

Sorry, got sidetracked there. My point is, in this new world of believing that every little boy is destined to be a serial rapist, it’s very strange that they still have these Valentine’s parties. Mixed messages much?

Every child must bring Valentines for the entire class and leave no one out. My youngest, he’s perhaps the most “hearts are icky” boy in our herd. He’s loving and sweet, but he’s not comfortable showing those characteristics outside the home. He’s very much a cantankerous, prickly little old man in some ways, and though I wish he’d relax and just feel okay not to put walls up against the world, that’s just how he’s always been and I don’t think there’s a thing I can do to change him.

He is, perhaps, the poster child for why these ridiculous class parties should not exist for kids his age. He was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea that he’d have to give love cards to anyone.

I guess the card companies that do the little class Valentines recognize this, because I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the store to pick them up. There were many that had absolutely nothing to do with love, or Valentine’s Day, really. I selected Avengers themed cards, and the closest thing to mushy that was on any of them was the one with the Hulk saying to have a “smashing” Valentine’s Day.

Huzzah! Relief! And they met with the little old man’s approval. We included a couple of Pixy Stix with each one, because I know for a fact that the other mothers will include candy in their kids’ Valentines, and if they’re going to get MY kid hopped up on sugar, I believe it’s my obligation to do the same. He didn’t put any pink colored Pixy Stix in, and even avoided the reds. There is nothing at all in his cards that says anything about hearts, or love, or romance, or even warmer than normal well-wishes.

So…what’s the point of these class parties again??

Thus concludes a Friday the Thirteenth Musing for Friday, February 13, 2015. Yes, it’s Friday the 13th. I suppose I could have mused about broken mirrors and black cats, but snow moles and loveless Valentines seemed more fun. VIVE EL MOLE!


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