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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Bound!

By Jody Worsham, Feb. 2011

All rights reserved for Valium Hot Toddies!

The Weather Channel is non-stop blizzard! I haven't seen those people this excited since Katrina and Rita came through. Jim Cantores doesn't know which city to go to first: Oklahoma, Chicago, Denver, New York? He has his sled dogs all hooked up and ready to race the latest cancelled flight to whichever city seems to have the worst weather.

I have been watching the white and pink line of bad weather slowly approaching my home town. While the northeasterners are refueling their snow blowers, adding extensions to their car antennas with additional tennis balls so they can find their car once the snow plows bury them, my little town has joined in the mad preparations.

Just this morning when the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees and threatening to drop even lower, the Wal-Mart parking lot was basically empty. Evidently I am among the last to hit the store for needed supplies. All the white bread was gone. Only that healthy 43 grain gravel bread was left. Toilet paper was down to some recycled brand I had never heard of but was forced to buy. I managed to snag some ground meat, canned beans, Snickers, chips, hot chocolate, pop tarts, and a couple of gallons of milk. While we have a generator, we may be limited in gasoline. Years ago we wisely opted for both a propane and electric heating system plus we have two wood burning fireplaces so keeping warm is not a concern.

My top priority is to make sure the two portable DVD players, two DS Nintendos, and the i-pod touch are fully charged should school be cancelled for a day or two. All the children and teachers are doing the "Make it Snow/Ice/Sleet/Power Lines/Down" dance in the hopes that school will be cancelled. All parents have headed to the nearest church to pray for temperatures 32 and above. Either way, I'm "charging" ahead. You won't catch me in the house with a five-year-old and a nine-year-old and no electronic paraphernalia to keep them occupied.

Should this ice/snow/power out storm last longer than my charged up electronics, I have plan B: a deck of cards, a set of dominoes, and a bag of pinto beans. Once we have exhausted all card games known to man: Go Fish, Battle, Slap-Jack, Texas Hold'em, Five Card Stud, Canasta, Bridge, One-eyed Jack, Pregnant Three's, Follow the Queen, Dr. Pepper, Rembrandt, High Chicago, Low Chicago, Crises-Cross, Viper, Race Horse, Take it to Your Buddy, Elimination, Seven Twenty-seven, Constellation( to name a few), it's on to dominoes.

Besides "42", "84", regular dominoes, Mexican dominoes, and match, we can build domino houses, villages, countries and proceed to line them up then topple them over, just like in Egypt. We can make domino towers, tunnels, lakes, and corrals. When they tire of that, it's on to the pinto beans.

Pinto beans are the poor man's moon sand, sand pile, Etch and Sketch, calculator and BBs. You can count them, divide them, make mountains, valleys, ditches and bean slides with them. You can search for buried treasure, play hide and seek looking for the "red" bean. Add an empty paper towel roll and you have a "rain machine" or other musical instrument. Match up identical beans, play hide the beans, and create bean mosaics. Add a rubber band and you can have a mean, lean, pinto bean throwing machine. Set up photos of Super bowl players you want defeated and "bean" them with your rubber band BB gun. Recycle those straws hiding in the back seat of the car and make bean blow darts. If you have eaten beans the night before, you can add appropriate sound effects. After all the games are over, wash the pinto beans, soak overnight, cook and you have dinner for the next day.

Being snowbound doesn't have to make you crazy. It can. It will. It does. But it can also bring the family closer together, very close, claustrophobic close. Just save the pinto beans for last.

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