Frozen in Birmingham

Have you seen all of the Facebook posts that pose this rhetorical question:  What did Birmingham do to make Elsa mad??

I feel so sorry for my fellow Alabamians who were stranded this week, especially the schools.  I’ve been on both sides of the desk in the schoolroom—as a teacher and as a student.  I can’t imagine being an exhausted teacher, responsible for those kids for the entire night.  I can’t imagine not being able to bathe after a whole day of school.  Nor could I imagine being a school child and having to spend the night with that same, haggard teacher.  These are kids who had to sleep without their parents kissing them goodnight. Kids who had to sleep without their favorite Teddy bear and fluffy pillow.  
 
I can only imagine being one of the moms who couldn’t reach her children because of the frozen roads.  
 
Speaking of the roads…
 
I can’t tell you how many Facebook posts that I’ve seen which criticize us southerners about our mishandling of the situation.  People who roll their eyes at us and are self-satisfied with their own intellectual superiority and our lack thereof.
 
Let me explain…
 
Birmingham is the largest city in our state, and a sprawling one.  It takes about an hour to drive from its north to south end.  It’s not like people can just walk home from work.  It takes a long time.  Furthermore, the snow/ice storm (or whatever it’s supposed to be called) is a fluke.  We don’t have snow plows and piles of salt setting around on hand to pull out and make everything nice for everybody.  Now that would be a ridiculous waste of our tax moneys.
 
Third, this is a unique medium (to use an art term…I don’t know what you’d otherwise call it) to drive in/on.  Yes, we know that cars will not safely drive on ice, but when is it considered undriveable and when is it just…well, snow?  
 
As a mom, I would be bustin’ it just to get out of the office and go fetch my child, just like the rest of those people who did so.  I’d get out there and forget that I had no traction, and foooooooooooom!  There I’d go, smashing into the other cars–or worse, into the Cahaba River.  I saw pics of cars that did just that.  It’s what nightmares are made of.
 
One more thing.  I’ve got a college friend who adopted a tween from Kambodia.  My friend posts about her a lot, and it’s a fascinating read.  Almost every day, the girl discovers new things that are interesting and curious about our culture.  Would we say that she is ignorant because she’s never seen Cream of Chicken soup before (and, incidentally, she refuses to try the stuff because she doesn’t know what it is…neither do I, really!)?  
 
No, of course not.  
 
So before people are so quick to put us Alabamians in a nice, ignorant little pigeon-holed package, please consider all of this.  In two days the ice and snow will be gone, anyway.
 
 
Oh, and p.s.,  please excuse my little rant.  🙂

NOTE: All ads displayed at the bottom of this post are inserted by Word Press. Ads have not been selected by Stephanie and thereby are not endorsed by http://www.thewritesteph.com or Stephanie L. Robertson.

Global Warming

Arctic wind blasts from the north.

Arctic wind blasts from the north.

The weather hasn’t been anything but wonky, lately. One of our local weather stations, WHNT.com, says that we are getting a blast from the artic, sending us winds of 20-30 miles per hour. It’s a balmy 36 degrees right now, but by Wednesday night it will be 7 degrees. That’s 7—as in, one digit! Now I know that some of you guys probably scoff at this—especially my Canadian, Alaskan, and Fargo, ND readers—but this is the South. Alabama. Dixie!

It brings up the point of global warming, a term that we learned back in school. For some reason, I think of Al Gore (the inventor of the Internet), when I think of global warming.

So, let me get this right. The polar ice caps are melting while we are sitting around, chattering our teeth in the south?

Even so, WHNT is not expecting it to snow around here. Get this, if we’re going to have any chance of snow accumulation, it’s going to be south of Birmingham.

What?!

They’ve got to be kidding. I moved up to north Alabama in hopes of seeing snow every winter.

Here’s what WHNT says about our chance of snow: “A few flurries are possible today, but the big headlines remain the drastic temperature drop and gusty wind.”

Ah, nuts!

My family wants it to snow. It’s a novelty. It’s fun to play in, and we get to make snowmen (snowpeople, for those who are politically correct), and we get out our little plastic sled. We really would love to have a good snow, but I know that it would be hard on the homeless, the elderly, and the farm animals.

So if it isn’t going to snow, then I hope that we will get a little global warming. At least around here. And maybe it will bring the spring along with it.

The cold front, pushing the clouds to the south east, serves as a beautiful backdrop to my neighbor's house.

The cold front, pushing the clouds to the south east, serves as a beautiful backdrop to my neighbor’s house.

Photo angles taken from the east...

Photo angles taken from the east…

...And from the west.

…And from the west.

***
NOTE: All ads displayed at the bottom of this post are inserted by Word Press. Ads have not been selected by Stephanie and thereby are not endorsed by http://www.thewritesteph.com or Stephanie L. Robertson.

Eli’s Block Party! “Bring Your Own Muscle and Style!”

Cars from the Limestone County Mustang Club, Rocket City Mustang Club, Mustang Club of America and Team Shelby will show their rides at Eli’s Block Party on Saturday, January 25th from Noon until 4 p.m. at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, Athens, Alabama.

Eli Williams is a nine-year-old patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, who lives in Athens. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, Medulloblastoma, in December 2011 and completed treatment which included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. After a year of remission, he relapsed in December 2013 and has begun treatment again.

The show will feature Ford Mustangs, which is Eli’s favorite, but all makes and models are welcome and encouraged to participate. The event is free to participants and attendees. Kids attending the event will have a chance to vote for their favorite car and awards will be given in several categories. There will be an opportunity to donate to St. Jude at the event. Please make plans to view these beautiful machines and support the community.

Organizers would appreciate any neighbors that can bring a finger food in a disposable dish for the hospitality table hosted by Junior Girl Scout troop 338 and Junior Beta Club.

So put the pedal to the medal and bring your block! See you soon!

What: Eli’s Block Party
Where: Lindsey Lane Baptist Church, 1300 Lindsey Lane S., Athens, AL 35613 
 (just north of Publix off Hwy 72)
When: Saturday January 25th, NOON-4pm

Rain Date: In the event of inclement weather or if Eli is too unwell to participate, we will notify everyone via social media sites in advance and we will reschedule accordingly.

For more information, contact Kristie Williams at vicandkristie@vicandkristie.com.

To read about Eli’s story and get updates, visit http://www.stansgotafrog.com.

***
NOTE: All ads displayed at the bottom of this post are inserted by Word Press. Ads have not been selected by Stephanie and thereby are not endorsed by http://www.thewritesteph.com or Stephanie L. Robertson.

Down with the Rocket City Bloggers

My business cards.

My business cards.

Yesterday’s big task was to prepare for a blogging event, Down with the Rocket City Bloggers: http://www.rocketcitybloggers.com.

So I’m busy like crazy trying to come up with a business card that will really stand out. I went to Pinterest and came up with an idea that I liked. I decided to hot glue a pencil to my cards…b/c I’m the write steph, right?

My tools and medium.

My tools and medium.

I got Staples to print my blog info onto some cream-colored cardstock. Then, I went home and cut it all out and trimmed them all with my Creative Memories quarter-rounder.

What did I do?

What did I do?

It was cold out, so I took a break to check the pups’ water dish. Pounce! In one fell swoop, Snuggles jumped on my only pair of clean jeans, leaving a muddy paw print on them. Grrr.

I went back in to ink an outline on my cards, to give them a distressed look. My right hand was aching by the time I finished everything.

Lefty came in from work at 4:45 so that I could leave early, but I was busy hot-gluing little golf pencils to the back of my cards.

I got a bath cloth and scrubbed off Snuggle’s paw print. No time to rewash my jeans. Ran out the door. Forgot my keys.

When I finally got to the blogger event, I circled the courthouse three times, trying to find a parking space. I ended up parking a mile away and had to parallel park. I tried. And tried again. I used to be able to parallel park on a dime. But that’s when I was in college, when I drove a little compact car. A nice lady nearby had to help me out because it isn’t easy to park a mom car.

I hopped out and tried to put my keys into my purse with my gloved hand. Whump! I knocked over my purse, and all of its contents fell out on the sidewalk in front of this swanky restaurant, with huge plate-glass windows. I knelt down to pick up everything and tried to ignore the looks of restaurant patrons. It was like they were watching me on a large-screen tv…me picking up my pack of tissues and my backless, un-smart flip-phone that no one else carries around anymore.

My purse and it's contents.

My purse and it’s contents.

With as much dignity as I could muster, I stood up and was on my to the blogger event. The courthouse square is so beautiful, especially at night. I tried to pretend that I was in NYC, going to an exclusive blogging event, but problem is that downtown Huntsville isn’t crowded on Thursday nights.

I had a great time, once I checked my coat at the door and ran into some friends inside the AL.com building—where the event was held.

I met a lot of nice people, and they seemed to like my pencil/cards.

When I left, I pulled out of the parking lot and backed into the guy behind me. Fortunately, there was no damage to either of our vehicles. I was busy apologizing to the man when he broke in and said, “No worries. It’s a rental.”

I got home and got in bed almost right away, with a cup of hot chamomile tea and a good book. So nice to rest after such an eventful day.

Here's what I did with the business cards, so that I can keep them all together.

Here’s what I did with the business cards, so that I can keep them all together.

***
NOTE: All ads displayed at the bottom of this post are inserted by Word Press. Ads have not been selected by Stephanie and thereby are not endorsed by http://www.thewritesteph.com or Stephanie L. Robertson.