Friday, December 25, 2009

Guess what Wii got for Christmas?

Permit me to go all grandma on you for a minute and say, "When I was a kid, we didn't have game systems! We made up games like "grocery store" and "library" and "concert." We played outside. And we LIKED it!" The only opportunity for video games was on the TI994A we got when I was maybe 12. It had less memory than a thumb drive. I think we had three games on it. Amazingly, I never felt deprived.

So I've always had a staunch "there will be no gaming systems in our house" policy. I couldn't see what they would add to the quality of our family life. I still firmly believe this about everything except the Wii. I hate to admit it, but I have fallen in love with Wii Fit, which my brother is borrowing from a friend. I have done it almost daily since coming here, and can really tell a difference. I feel stronger and have even lost a couple pounds. And in this winter weather, it's a way for the kids to get out their energy.

I mentioned to Erik that I might be willing to get a Wii for the purpose of having Wii Fit, and that was all the permission he needed. Last night I opened up the Wii Fit Plus (which of course is fairly useless without the main system). When I did, we said to the kids, "How are we going to play this? Maybe you kids should open that big present over there." It was the Wii family fun bundle. Though Megan had just opened lots of very fun presents she really wanted, this was the thing that sent her over the edge. She threw herself onto Erik with a giant hug. Later, she said, "Am I dreaming? Did we REALLY get a Wii?"

It's yet to be seen if I will regret bringing this into the house.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The First Wave

As we ventured out to Perkin's last night, the first wave of the storm hit. I can't say there were snowflakes - they were more like snow chunks falling. The servers in the restaurant looked stunned that we came, but my sister really wanted to treat us all to dinner, so we did it. By the time we went back out to the car, it was covered with a layer of frozen snow/sleet under a another layer of snow. It kept falling in the night and we now have 3-4 inches on the ground. We're getting a temporary respite, enough to get out and snow blow the drive (ok, enough for my DAD to get out and snow blow the drive, and for the rest of us to watch). We're supposed to get a "wintery mix" all day today. I love that - "wintery mix." Sounds like some kind of coffee blend with vanilla, chocolate, maybe peppermint. But it's actually "freaky, treacherous mix of half frozen precipitation guaranteed to make walking and driving difficult, and coat your car so that it's impenetrable." Then tonight, 3-5 inches, and tomorrow 4-8 more. Funny, it looks so gentle and peaceful outside right now. We're going to go sledding quickly and enjoy it before the craziness.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Here I am, back for more posting. I just had to mention that there are three guys who have just run into each other at Dunn Bros. From the sounds of it, they were friends in high school, and have now all graduated from college and are working. One of them just mentioned that he is dreading turning 25 in a few weeks because it means he's, "Halfway to 50." Because as we all know, halfway to something as ancient as 50 is like one foot in the grave. One of the others commented, "Yeah, you're 1/3 of the way to being dead."

Granted, life expectancy for men isn't much higher than 75, but seriously, how grim are these boys? For those of you approaching 50, be warned: your life is nearly over. If you've managed to elude death and slip past 50, I have to warn you that you have less than 1/3 of your life left. Live it well.

Something snowy this way comes

Contrary to appearances, I have not forgotten how to blog. And it is no reflection on how interesting Minnesota is (or isn't) that I have not posted anything for weeks. Mostly, it's been because I rarely open my computer here. It's very freeing. I might keep it up.

But today I was inspired to type for several reasons. 1) I'm sitting in Dunn Bros with my computer in my lap working on a writing project, so the creative juices are flowing, and 2) I just read the weather report.

I believe I write a disproportionate number of posts about the weather, I guess because I've experienced such extremes in the last few years. We're about to experience another one. From now through the weekend, the precipitation predictions for Minnesota range from 60-100% daily. (We already have at least a foot of snow, with 2-3 feet piled up along the roads). The temperature will fluctuate in the 20's, which means some of that precipitation will come down in the nasty form of freezing rain, freeze on the roads, be covered with snow, and provide a nice treacherous base for all who attempt to drive on it. And many will attempt to drive on it, as they have to travel for Christmas gatherings.

How bad will it be? The front page of the Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul paper) says, "2 Feet for Christmas? You Better Watch Out." The ensuing article states this storm has, "An uncanny resemblance to the East Coast storm last Saturday" and "this could be the snowiest Christmas for Minnesota in 30 years." Loads of fun for kids, but we're supposed to drive to Minneapolis on Friday morning (an hour and a half away). I wish I could say, "And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" but that's just not the case. We'll see what happens!