What’s This White Stuff?

No sooner did Puxatoney Phil see his shadow, did we finally get a winter snow storm here in Nebraska. In a normal year, we would have had several of these storms by now. But this year has been anything but normal. Early last week I was walking around outside in a long sleeved shirt and NO JACKET!

Let that sink in for a moment.

January 31st – in the dead of winter – and it was warm enough to not even have outerwear on.

I could get used to this.

But it looks like I won’t have to. Snow was unleashed on us overnight Friday and we woke up to this.


Everything blanketed in white. Samson loved it. He ran around out there like a crazy dog.


Jumping and digging and leaping through the wet stuff.

When you live in the Midwest, you have to own a snow blower because you know weather like this will happen. We, however, do not own one. We never have. Somehow we’ve managed to get by for 6 years owning a home without a snow blower. We either shovel or rely on the kindness of our neighbors. At our old house, we had great neighbors. They would always take pity on us and do at least our sidewalk for us, and sometimes the driveway too. However, we live in a new neighborhood and figured those good old lazy days were over.

We were going to wait for the afternoon, when most of the snow had stopped, to go out and start shoveling. But around lunch we heard a motor moving down our sidewalk and looked out to see our neighbor across the street clearing our sidewalks for us – and we live on a corner so that’s a lot of ground to cover.


We were really thankful to him for doing that. Then I looked out as he turned into the driveway and started clearing it! Seriously! He did our sidewalk and driveway, along with the neighbor’s driveway too! We were even MORE thankful and I vow, as God is my witness, to bake him cookies or something very soon!

Since we didn’t have to shovel, we had time to play! We bundled up and headed out to the backyard.


I look like I’m in pain there. I’m not. I was just being silly.


Isabella and I played while CJ cleared off the patio. Then we all worked together to build a little micro snowman on the steps.


CJ added some stick arms while I finished it off with raisin eyes and a carrot nose.


Do you see a murderer in that picture? Look toward the bottom corner. Literally 2.5 seconds after I took this photo, Samson ate the eyes and nose and knocked the head off the snowman. Isabella said, “Samson wrecked it! He ate it!”

And so was her first lesson in the cruel humanity of this world.

We had lots of fun and now I’m ready for it all to melt so that I can put my jacket away again.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Fall meets Winter

Snow Play!

The OCp: Winter Woes

Welcome to another edition of The OCp! This week was all about the weather. Snow, cold, ice, water, and all that comes with it!


The week started off with the threat of horrible weather. Monday itself wasn’t so bad in the morning but began to turn as the day went on. Mist and rain were coming down and when this happens in subzero temperatures, it tends to freeze. See how smart I am? Getting to work wasn’t too bad, it was getting in to the building that was the problem. I stepped out of my car and almost landed flat on my bootie. Guess it wasn’t in the budget to spread sand over the parking lot. I slowly started to make my way across the icy lot and in to the building. I got about half way when I noticed all the cars had their windshield wipers pulled up. I started to wonder if that was some sort of weird cult thing when I realized they were probably doing that because of the snow forecasted to come. And it seemed like a darn good idea. So I turned around and made the icy walk back to my car. Only, when I got there I discovered that my windshield wipers aren’t made to pull up like that. They are built so that it’s impossible to pull them out and have them “stand up.” Swell. Not only would my wipers be buried in snow when I came out later, but I would be the uncool kid who couldn’t pull up their wipers. And who wants to be known as “that girl?” Still, there was nothing I could do about it so I turned around once again and slip-slided my way in to the building.

Once inside and unpacked at my desk, I thought, you know what would brighten up my morning? Some fresh flowers. But where can I find fresh flowers in the office in the middle of winter? A ha! Why, the bathroom of course! I trotted over to the women’s restroom only to discover that the flowers had been removed. Apparently they were only there while the big wigs were in town and now that they had flown the coop, the flowers were pulled from our grasp. Sigh.

Around 3 p.m., we were all told to head home in an effort to get there before the storm blew in. I bundled up, grabbed my laptop and headed outside only to find my car glazed over with about 1/4” of ice. I started the car and blasted the defrosters then sucked it up and started scraping. And scraping. And scraping. I mean this stuff wasn’t budging and it took some creative maneuvers to make a dent in it. Oh and did I mention that it was frickin’ cold out? So cold in fact that I had to take shelter in my car every few minutes to warm my hands up. There was a gal in the car next to me doing the same thing and we had a lovely little dance going. She would scrape her car while I huddled inside trying to get feeling back in my fingers. Then, she would dive in to her car while I continued scraping mine. During the few times that there was overlap of us both being outside, we’d commiserate on just how horrid it was. Finally I got enough scraped off to see for driving and called it good. Sayonara sister!


The storm came over night and by Tuesday morning we were covered in snow. I contemplated working from home but didn’t really want to because it’s hard for me to concentrate here. So I made up my mind to go in. I have an SUV and am comfortable driving in wintery conditions so my mind was made up. Then I turned on the news and they said, in not so many words, that anyone who ventured out was crazy. Hmm, so do you think maybe I shouldn’t go in? Ok, I’ll stay home.

But, it was Samson’s day for Doggie Day Camp. I didn’t want to jip him out of play time. Ok, so we’d go in.

But, was that really the best idea?

I kid you not, I debated this in my head for nearly 30 minutes. I finally woke CJ up and asked his opinion. He said to stay home. I still wasn’t sure. He said, fine go in. Ok, good idea.

And off we went!

I gave Samson a stern lecture as we headed out that he must stay seated in the back so I could concentrate. He nodded. The roads weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated and we moved along pretty well. As soon as I turned onto the street that leads to PetSmart, Samson started whining. Uh oh. Then he started “dancing.”

“Samson, sit!” He sat, for all of 2 seconds and then was right back up. “Samson, sit!”

You guys, I then said something that I swore I’d never say to my children. I looked him square in the eyes through the rearview mirror and in my most serious voice said, “Samson, if you don’t sit and stay, I’m going to turn this car around Mister!”

He looked at me and then tried to jump in the front seat.

We made it there fine and I got him checked in and settled. I headed in to work and found the parking lot like this when I arrived.

parking lot

Normally the lot is full all the way along the sides and to the back. Though, this was actually more cars than I thought there would be. It was pretty much the contractors and call center type people there so it was definitely quiet. One of the Indian contractors brought in red velvet mini cupcakes to share with everyone. Well, everyone turned out to be me and one other guy. So it was up to us to eat all this:

red velvet cupcakes

I was more than happy to oblige. I mean, they were tiny. I could eat one in a single bite. And I did. And then I had another one. And another. That’s when I started to feel sick and figured I should stop. They did make great subjects for my You Capture this week though.

Around 1:00 I decided I’d done all I could do and that the smart thing to do was head home. Samson and I made it home safe and sound. He wasn’t too happy I picked him up early though. As one of the employees said, “The ‘Mayor’ won’t be thrilled about this. He’ll think you’re doing a recall or something.”


I didn’t have to debate it with myself. I was more than ready to stay home and not go out in the crappy weather again. You can read all about my day at home here.


Back to work we went and pretty much everyone was there. I was feeling good and ready to tackle anything that came my way and I actually did get a lot done.

Around 9 in the morning, I got this notice from The Mall Security Team:

“A car with the license plate OOOHBOY has left their car running in the North parking lot with no keys in it. If this is your car, please come out and turn it off.”

My first thought was, ok, that person has a remote car starter. But then I wondered why they’d be starting their car up after having just arrived at work. Then I thought perhaps it was the getaway car for someone planning to rob the mall. I mean, think of all the cool things they could get there! Oh boy! In the end, I figure it was probably an accident and someone had simply taken the key out and forgot to turn off the car. I mean, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another right? Or, maybe not. 


The crazy day from hell. I literally had back to back meetings all day and a gajillion things to get done in between times. Yes, that’s right, a gajillion. So while my day was consumed with actual work, Barry, Bob and The Brit were down at The Mall doing other stuff – like investigative reporting for me!

Around 10:30 a.m., I had the following Instant Message conversation with The Brit:

  • The Brit: “At The Mall.”
  • Me: “Oh joy. Anything exciting?”
  • Me: “WHAT!?!?”
  • Me (always thinking of you, dear readers): “Pictures!!!!”

So if you’re just catching up, basically, Facilities decided the best way to fix the leak in the Annex was to put tarp ceiling tiles in, with hoses running from them to trash cans on the floor. Which means it now looks like this down there:

tarp tile





Let’s take a moment to admire this handiwork, shall we? I mean, what a hose! [That’s what she said…] And I think it really livens up the office. It’s also important to note that the two hose shots above are from different leaking points than we originally found several weeks ago, which means the problem is getting worse. Come spring, when everything melts, it’ll be a regular swimming pool in there!

Oh and don’t think the irony of that last picture is lost on me. “Wow them”? Oh yes indeed!

While there, The Brit decided to investigate her old cube (which she refused to sit in today) to see how it was holding up. She found…

A lovely stain under the monitor:


Another one on the wall, behind where the trash can was that they were using for water collection:

stain on wall

(sort of hard to see but it’s there on the left side)

And the ceiling tiles were still askew (again, let’s point out that this was the original leak and yet there is no hose coming down from that tile).

cube roof

You really want to work from here now don’t you? Can’t you feel the mold and asbestos entering your lungs just by reading this?

The Brit also mentioned that the front door to the Annex, through which you need a keycard/badge to enter, is broken. “They have a little old security guard in the little “porch” area reading a book
[letting people in I suppose] and a guy on his knees making squeaking noises with something or other as he tries to fix it.”

So. many. innuendos. It’s too easy. I’ll just leave you all to come up with your own. 

When you’re at The Mall and you can’t do anything else, you go to John’s for lunch! And that’s just what the gang did.


That’s Barry in the red sweater (4 shirts today?) and Bob in the striped shirt. Anyone wanna guess who the gentleman sitting at the table to their left is?

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Yep, that’s SCOOTER!!

It’s the perfect way to end the day, don’t you think?

Thanks for tuning in! Come back next week for another edition of…



If you liked this, you might also like:

The OCp: From A to Zamboni

The OCp: The Premiere

Annexed: The Finale