Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting rid of my Mickey Mouse job to take a Minnie Mouse one

...and if the kids aren't happy, then what's the use?

For the last month I've been toiling as a baker for a chain grocery outlet during the graveyard shift. Not the worst job I've ever had (working on an road crew laying asphalt in the Alabama backwater during mid-summer was much worse) but I'm sick of making donuts, "fresh" bread, and lifting heavy pans until daybreak. More than that, the hours have taken a heavy toll. The day sleeping does nothing for my relationship with MBS or seeing to the care and butt-kicking of our 6-kid crew. It hasn't been a happy time here where one drowns in snow.

My brood has done fairly well adapting to the change of clime and addition of 3 siblings. One of these days I need to indulge in several posts describing the full cast of characters but until then, I'll leave it to you dear readers to let your imaginations flit about and make things up. That aside, I've been pleasantly surprised at how well all kids involved have transitioned, especially MBS's girls (they've been marvelous taking my kids under their wing). Unfortunately (as you saw in my last post), we've had to endure the worst winter in 30 years and that has led to a bit of cabin fever. Frustrations run high at times and nerves fray.

Taking a graveyard shift was one of the worst decisions I've ever made. It put a nasty chock under the tire of a new relationship as well as making me a nasty ass (I have been surly, to say the least). MBS has had to take the lion's share of caring for all the kids, a burden she shouldn't have to shoulder. A few more days of this (hopefully) and I'll be moved to days, manning a cash register.

Spring can't arrive soon enough. The forecast is calling for a winter storm warning and although the accumulations forecast measures in inches instead of feet, I think we're all done being buried by this brutal winter. As you can see from the last post, there's nowhere else to put the load. The load is on us and the rafters are creaking.

If there's a crocus emerging anwhere, it has about 5 feet of snow to push through - a record-setting flower, obviously. Enough records have been broken; it's time to mend.

The other day I saw tracks heading up to the mother-in-law's house, prints that probably belonged to a mountain lion. The winter has been hard on the critters around here. A couple days later, a black spot in the snow about 50 feet from the house marked where something had taken one of the turkeys that waddle down our roads. MBS put on her snowshoes today to take a walk around the land and surveyed the carnage and reports it was apparently a lion that killed the big bird. Later, she saw the puma in the distance, it's back arched as it leapt through the deep snow, it's graceful cat moves reduced to awkward lurches. It watched MBS as she watched it and I'm sure the psychic exchange was not one of fear but of quiet resignation, "Yeah, me too."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Up to my neck in snow & kids, thus the pain there with

No children were hurt during the taking of this photograph

MBS has been wicked ill the past couple of days, my trail by fire especially since the Gods dropped another 3 feet of snow on us. The lead-off pic is no photoshop trick, it's the kids standing in the walkway to our front door (the door you would have come thru had the wedding taken place three weeks ago), sure a bit topped off with shoveling (oy) but for the most part, representative of what's hit us. To give you, the reader (I dare not use a plural there) some perspective, those cross marks in the snow is where I shoveled in - AGAIN - to prevent minor avalanches. The oldest and biggest in the pic is about 4'11" so yeah, that's about 6' of snow, much of that packed down from previous storms. And yeah, if you look in the background, you see that the snow is up to the eaves. Our first floor is under water, so to speak.

We've been waiting 3 days to get dug out; I had carte blanche on a tractor but apparently I did something that put it tits up and now that's a nonstarter. This 30-year snow has kept us close to the ranch, the kids pretty much stuck in front of the tube and me sore with moving what I can move (per the pic above, someone had to move that snow off the walk). 6 kids indoors was not as bad as you might imagine, they were actually great considering that MBS was down the past couple of days and I was mostly outside moving snow.

They stand with me in the movement to eliminate snow where snow should not be. Kind of a negative of the Republican platform.

Considering the 50-or-so dead in the South from freak storms, there's nadda to complain about here and indeed, we've held our own with aplomb, our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were hit with worse weather than this.

Still, MBS and I stepped into an agreement that included 100% more children and we've managed not to toss bodies into the snow stands for at least a huzzah. Buy us a drink or something.

Or something - sheesh.

Guy's out plowing us out near midnight, I think it's my duty to offer him some coffee. If you have pics of bigger snow, pony up or STFU, it's time for coffee and to riff a little more on what it's like to do the dad thing with six instead of three.