I'm talking about the roller coaster ride of life from last week, and even prior to last week.
Don't get me wrong, disaster was adverted...but it was a near-miss.
Bringing us back to our last adventure; I was about to host a Halloween Party for the kids. Now, when I invited half of my son's school to the party, I was planning on having it outside! We haven't had rain on Halloween weekend in YEARS! History has also shown the last weekend of October to be unseasonably warm. So, here we are. Getting ready for a Halloween Party all the while prepping for a storm. Not just any storm mind you. Not a little rain. Not a little wind. Nope. We're talking a full-on nor'easter! In October? You've got to be kidding me?
So, all the plans I had for making the yard all spooky and doing a haunted house in the play structure went right out the window. Have to move it all inside. Totally not prepared for that! Staying up later than I should have, I decked out my kitchen and living room to resemble some spooky haunted house. My kids got a kick out of all the cobwebs, spiders, bats, and upside down photos on the walls.
And no good Halloween party would be complete without spooky faire. I carved a "puking" pumpkin, made "severed" finger cookies (thanks to Rachel Ray's recipies), a witch's brew, and decorate-your-own cupcakes complete with worms and spiders on the ready.
Getting through the day was a challenge. I was exhausted and ready to drink - heavily afterwards. I had 24 kids in my house! All at once. Some parents stayed. Thank goodness. They were my back-up, hostages even. I needed all the adult help I could get! First we started the party with a ring-toss game using a witches hat. I handed out prizes to the few how "rung" the hat. That was a mistake. The kids then took it upon themselves to continue playing the hat game in between us setting up the next activities. The wanted prizes and more prizes. I was distracted. They knew it. I knew it. The won.
After the hat game, I had set up a craft table. While some were doing crafts, others were doing the donut-on-a-string game. I think that was my favorite game to watch. The kids were really good sports, some were even a little competitive. Fun, all the same.
The last "major" activity was "wrap the mummy" where you have a team of 3 to 4 kids who use toilet paper to wrap one of their team mates up in. It was my most anticipated game. I thought it would be a big hit. Not-so-much. We had 7 teams of kids. I think 2 of the teams had GREAT fun, while at least 2 had melt-downs. The rest were just along for the ride.
Needless to say, it was a fun party. A bit stressful at times, but we made it through.
That night came with a bit more fun...SNOW! What! Seriously? Yes, seriously. What a nightmare. Here is a picture of some snow on our little Halloween decorations out in the front.
One of my good friends asked me if I'd like to head out for a drink after the party. Why, yes! We headed out and ended up deciding to stay around town because the snow was very heavy and coming down at a good clip. When we returned to the car we had to break out the scraper to get all the snow off. Boy was I wishing I wore my snowboots! In October? What?
The drive home was nuts. We realized right away that some people had already lost power. Part of the road we were on was closed too. This was nuts. We were behind snow plows and bobbing and weaving through downed tree limbs. The storm had just started. It was going to be a long night.
When I got home, I took a look in my yard to see a few limbs already down. Not fifteen minutes after being home did the power go out. We sat in the dark listening to all the crackling and booms from the trees breaking all around us. It was crazy.
Here are a few pictures of my yard from the next morning...
No major damage was done. Amazingly enough. There was one huge branch a foot from my car. But my car was unscathed. Amazing. That white fence in the background took a little beating. My neighbors just put that up about a year ago. We seemed to have fixed it though. Hoping nothing else falls on it. There was also a table in the back that hasn't been put away yet for the winter. A large branch fell on that too. We thought there would have been glass all over the place for sure. Nope. Didn't break. Lucky.
The worst part of all of this was the power being out. I'm in a good area of the grid. We don't typically lose power and if we do it's usually only for a few hours. It was out for a day or so once back in the 80's (so my parents tell me) and it's been out a few other times since I've lived here, but never more than 8-12 hours. This was a different story. We were out from Saturday 9:00PM (ish) to 4:00AM Wednesday. It was cold and dark. Everyone got grouchy. Eating well wasn't a part of the equation. Stores were closed. A McDonald's and a Dunkin Donuts was open along with a few other fast food places. It was a mess.
I was very thankful for my neighbor who scored a few camping generators from someone. We were able to run the heat so we didn't freeze to death. I almost cried when they got that hooked up. I don't think I could have been any happier. It's amazing what the little things will do when you are down. I just kept thinking about other real disasters like tornado, earthquake, tsunami, and hurricane victims. We were lucky to have zero damage to our house. As crappy as it was to hunt for open places to eat and to have to bundle up really tight to keep warm, we still had/have a roof over our heads. Really need to be thankful for that!
And a little side note to this power outage story. Earlier in the week my son had a field trip to a local "colonial day" home. The kids were excited to "live colonial day" style. Well, for a day they were. They even got tired and bored with it all very quickly.
So, I have been wanting to get on here and write and get all back on track since we got our power back last Wednesday. It just wasn't in the cards. Wednesday was spent clearing and cleaning out the fridge and shopping to replace all lost items. Also had a ton of laundry and general cleaning to catch up on. Amazing what a lack of electricity can do to your daily chores.
The kids didn't get back into school until Friday. By then I was burned out. Still kind of am. I need a break. The weekend helped a little but I am still feeling a little frayed. Nothing a little me time won't heal.
So, here we are. I have a fridge stocked with healthy goodness. I have a plan for the gym this week. (hoping I can handle that, I've been fighting a cold). I'm back to tracking everything that goes into my mouth and I have a menu plan. As the saying goes: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" (unknown).