Saturday, February 27, 2021

That One Time in Texas...When It Froze

**I started writing this over a week ago.  Right after the "big freeze".  But I did not finish writing it until tonight.**

 A week ago I woke up to a cold, wintry morning.  No I was not dreaming and yes I was totally sober.  Upon getting out of bed I immediately felt a draft that wasn't there the night before.  There was a kind of an 'extra' chill in the air.  I shrugged it off and started my way to the bathroom.  What?  You know you do it too.  As I passed my bedroom window I decided to look out the blinds.  I remembered that the news the night before, had said we were in for a few snow flurries and since it was colder than normal in the house, I was curious to see if there was anything to see outside.  Now keep in mind, every newscast since Friday had warned us that a blast of artic air accompanied by freezing rain, sleet and snow (!) would pretty much paralyze the city.  Don't laugh.  This is Texas.  We don't do winter here.  Hell, we can barely drive on a sunny afternoon let alone on an icy, snowy road.  Where was I? Oh yes, I peered out the window and was pleasantly surprised.  There was actual snow on the ground, on the cars, on my neighbors' rooftops.  It was like freaking winter wonderland outside!  And this snow was not the kind we are used to getting.  Normally, if they say "slight chance of flurries", they really mean slush.  A combination of ice and rain.  And if by chance there are actual snow flurries, well they don't stick.  It melts before it even hits the ground.

Since I was working from home that day (remember the our city was already shutdown in anticipation of this storm), I quickly proceeded to get ready so I could go play outside.  I'm not even kidding. I checked the temperature outside and it was a 16 degrees.  Yeah, that's not a typo.  Listen, when we say cold here, we're talking 40 to 50 degrees tops.  There's nothing better than a cold morning, inhaling that crispy air and feeling your insides wake up quickly.  Except this was not like any other typical cold morning.  I realized that as I stepped foot outside my door.  This cold air was wicked.  I felt it from the top of my messy hair to the tip of my frozen toes.  I felt it in my bones.  I'd never experienced anything like it in my life.  -Although, people insist that it froze like that here back in 1989, I would have been around 22 years old.  I have tried to remember but I have no recollection of that happening.

The first thing I did was take my gloves off (yes I own a pair) and grab a handful of that beautiful, soft and fluffy snow.  I tossed some of it in the air and tried to catch some flakes with my mouth.  Ha. That was a sight to see.  I was totally that kid.  I made a snow angel for the first time ever and basically just enjoyed this awesomeness of the snow.  Once I had satisfied my inner kid, I went back in the house and got down to work.

And then.

And then late that evening, about 6:00ish or so, just as I was thinking about what to make for dinner, all of a sudden, everything turned off.  Everything.  I wasn't too panicked because again, they had warned us that our power may go off because of the ice, but not to worry.  So I didn't.  Instead I went for the candles and the flashlights.  Well, one hour turned into two hours and then three hours.  What's a girl to do, right? I tried reading, using one of my flashlights for light.  But funny thing, when it's freezing outside and there is no heat in your home, you kind of lose interest in doing anything else but staying warm.  As the hours turned into more hours, and whatever glimmer of hope  I had in the power being restored that night, I gave in to the realization that we were going to be in the dark until daylight broke.  So I hunkered down in my bed, underneath countless blankets.  My mind was racing.  I kept thinking that I needed to go home.  Home is where I feel safe.  It quickly dawned on me that I was home.  My anxiety was over the roof.  Work stress, pandemic stress, being sick, my mom falling a few weeks ago and dislocating her shoulder, and now this.  

And exhale.  

I've noticed that I have been overeating way more than I normally do.  I am also extremely short-tempered these days.  Any little thing makes me snap and I don't like that.  That is not me.  I blame the pandemic for that but this freeze and subsequent blackout, has only escalated my distress.

The following morning we awoke to a very cold house, lower freezing temperatures, lots of rain mixed with snow and still no electricity.  It would be three more days before power was restored.  Three very long, very cold days.  We didn't lose water until Wednesday and it would not return until Saturday.  A funny take from this craziness is that in the middle of the storm and with literally thousands of people without water or electricity, the city was put under a "Boil water" notice.  Freaking hilarious.  What water was this that they spoke of? 

On Thursday night at about 11:30ish or so, our house lit up like a Christmas tree.  Praise God there was light!  I jumped out of bed and quickly ran around turning off appliances that had been in use before the lights went out. When I heard the sound of the central heat turn on, my heart jumped in delight.  That night I slept better than I had since Sunday night.

As the city slowly tries to recover from this madness, stories of people sleeping in their cars for warmth. Some of them though, tragically didn't make it.  There was a family of five that slept in their cars, in a closed in garage and they died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Then there was a story of a man who had buried his mother the night before the storm, only to wake up the following morning going door to door in his neighborhood with his tool box in hand, offering whatever help he could and would not take anything for payment.  He said in an interview, that it was something his mom would have wanted him to do.  Stories like his is what keeps my faith in humanity alive.

There are still so many people who are still without any electricity and/or hot water.  People's homes have broken water pipes due to the freezing temperatures, there are downed trees, wrecked cars and other weather related damage.  There is something terribly wrong happening when an entire state fails to provide it's citizens with even the most essential of necessities:  electricity and hot water. Regulation or not.  This was a disastrous situation that should never have happened and was coupled by the lack of leadership from Austin.  But that's another blog post for another day.  

As Houstonians do in times of crisis, we sprang into action the minute we were able to  Fundraisers, food drives, bottled water giveaways, neighbors helping neighbors, putting aside any differences or discord in order to help one another get through the aftermath of mother nature's reckoning.  We have received help from all over the country and that alone makes my heart swell.  It's a beautiful thing but there is still much left to do.  If only we were always this nice to one another. If only we could all have differences yet still get along.  If only we did not let the color of our skin, divide us.  If only love could make hate go away.  

If only.

*As many of us did, there were tons of picture sharing on social media last week. A couple of friends of mine gave me permission to use their pics in this post.  

Thanks Melissa and Michael 💕

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Mother Nature Is Drunk

What is up with this crazy weather? Me thinks that Mother Nature has been sneaking into someone's liquor stash.  I mean, how else would you explain all this bitter cold making it's way into Texas? Yeah it snows in parts of Texas and yeah we are still in the winter season, and sure, we are used to cold temperatures for a a day or two.  Oh and by cold temperatures I mean 40 to 50 degrees, tops.  But the meteorologists here have been on defcon mode since last weekend.  The warnings and forecasts have gotten more and more intense as the week progresses.  Can you really blame them though?  Texas knows hurricanes, tornados, tropical depressions, humidity and scorching heat.  That's what we know.  Not icy highways, below freezing temperatures and *gasp* the possibility of snow.   Can you imagine?  We would go insane trying to maneuver ourselves in ice or snow.  Hell some of us I mean me, have a difficult time maneuvering around in normal weather.  Again it's not like snow has never fallen in our great state. It has. In fact, some cities in Texas get snow on the regular during the winter.  Except Houston.  The few times that it has snowed here it has not stuck around.  It melts as fast (or faster) than the Wicked Witch did in The Wizard of Oz.   

Personally, I love cold weather.  I would love to experience snow -real snow, at least once in my lifetime.  More if I could conquer my fear of skiing -but I digress.

The next few days and the better part of next week promise to be interesting here.  We'll see what happens.

In other news, happy LOVE week, bloggies.  May love in any realm, find you and make you dizzy happy.

It's almost the bewitching hour.  I better go take my 7 hour nap so I can be a productive human in the morning.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Letter to My Future Love

I wrote this a few years ago for Valentine's Day.  I know February 14th is still weeks away but with so much negativity and hate being spewed these days, I decided to post it again -for old time's sake.  And, to put  the universe on notice that I am ready for love to find me.  Maybe it will work this time.  -Enjoy bloggies :)


My dearest,

I write to you these words that are in my heart

I would say them aloud to the entire world if you let me 

I never imagined I could be able to love so much

to give so much of myself to someone

and have them love me and give back to me with the same intensity,

the same passion.

You are the man I have been waiting for my entire life

You are the man made just for me

And I,

I am the woman made just for you,

that adores you with every fiber of her being

I am the woman that wants nothing more but to make you happy,

to fill your days with joy and laughter.

I am the woman that wants to spend the rest of her life with you 

going through the good, the bad and the ugly together,

Beloved, I always said that my knight and shining armor was lost and probably never going to find me at this point in my life.   But you know what?  Deep down I knew, I just knew that all of this love I have inside of me to share, was not going to waste away.  And I was right.  We found each other just in time.  At the right time.  

Thank you for giving me so much.  And you know that I am not talking about material things.   Every day with you is an adventure.  Even when we argue.  Every night with you is full of fervor, enticement, desire, lust, love and so much more.  

And for that and that alone, I am yours forever.  



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The More Things Change...

 Last week three different friends lost their mom and dad. Covid being the reason for two of the deaths and the other one I am not sure what happened.  Indeed, it was a very sad and painful start to the week. Two of those friends I've known since grade school and the other friend, I met her through work, over twenty years ago.  I can't even begin to imagine the pain they must be going through.  And even though they are adults, some with children of their own, it still does not diminish their grief.  I pray for their comfort and strength to endure what they will be going through in the coming days and weeks ahead.  And I pray for the souls of Mr. R, Mr. G and Mama Synthia.  One of my biggest fears is losing a parent.  I'm fortunate to still have both with me.  But I worry for them every day.  

I wish I could say that that was the end of tragedy last week but as most everyone knows, it was not.  Last Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was overtaken by domestic terrorists.  In what has been one of the most disgusting acts of violence against Americans I have been witness to, I had not felt so helpless, sad and enraged since 9/11.  As I watched in horror and disbelief at what was taking place, I feared for our country.  For my country.  How is it that the strongest, most dominant and revered countries in the world, could be reduced to our very own fellow Americans pitting themselves against one another?  What kind of fabled reality were they living in?  

I'm still disgusted.  I am still angry and I'm still sad.  There have been many an argument, many excuses, many lies also, as to what really happened, who was really behind it, etc.  All I know is that I watched with my own eyes, a bunch of despicable, poor excuse of human beings, beat up police officers, each other, destroy property, steal, and ultimately cause the death of 5 people, one that included a police officer that was there doing his job.  These savages had total disregard for law and order.  It makes me sick. I hope and pray with every fiber of my being that they are all caught, thrown in jail and serve time.  

And before anyone throws the "free speech"  argument at me, don't.  This had NOTHING to do with freedom of expression.  This all came down to an outcry because the masses did not like the outcome of an election.  An election that was ruled fair by the Supreme Court.  An election that was legally won.  That's how stuff gets done in America.  At this point, I don't give a rat's ass if people are offended or appalled.  I'm angry dammit.  I'm ashamed.  I'm frightened for not only our country, but the world we live in.  

It was not enough to have this ridiculous virus come into our lives last year.  Oh no.  Now these ingrates want to destroy our country too?  Yeah.  Not on my watch.  I will do everything I can to ensure this does not happen.  And as so many people told me over and over and over again when Donald Trump won in 2016, "Leave this country if you  don't like it"  - I say the same thing to them.  "Get out.  You're not wanted here".


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

In my head I had all the words that I wanted to write.  But my heart is just not in it.  Not this time.  Today's events by the domestic terrorists/thugs, made me sick.  Physically sick.  Nothing about what happened was American or patriotic.  Nothing.

America is broken and crying tonight.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Years Eve -The 2020 Version

What a year eh?  What.A.Year.  To say that it's been a rough one is an understatement.  It's been way more than that.  Try Uncertain.  Painful. Frustrated. Bitter. Angry. A nightmare. Unimaginable. Ridiculous. Full of loss and mourning for many, with small fragments of happy moments for others.  The list is infinite.  The feeling of helplessness remains.  

And yet, here we are, on the last day, of the last month, of the year that our lives were abruptly changed and our world became like something out of a chapter in a sci-fi novel.  At least that's how I feel.  Thankfully, I am the eternal optimist and I have faith that even as we all hold our breath and wait with anticipation to exhale the debacle that was 2020 into oblivion, I believe that we will see brighter days again.  That this brand new year will in many ways, help us to heal and move forward and get this damn virus under control.  Not to get all "Good ship lollipop" on you but I am just so ready to have good news, to have uneventful days, to not be restricted and be able to travel and not worry about masks or lockdowns or getting sick.  Aren't you?  I mean, I am putting it out there into the universe.  I'm praying and asking God to deliver us from this madness.  I need to believe that we will be ok.  My soul needs to believe it and expect it.  And so I do.

What are your plans to ring in 2021?  I normally go out on this night, be it to a family member's house or out with friends to a restaurant or to listen to live music.  But this year, I'm leery of going out.  The weather is supposed to suck.  -just 2020's way of twisting the knife one last time.  And I honestly am not in the mood to be out with large crowds or deal with the drunk drivers on the road.  So I will be home,  with champagne and party favors, of course.  And red lipstick.  In my pjs.  -I'm fancy like that.

Our lives were put on hold or were taken too soon.  Our hearts are broken and aching, so tonight, I will raise a glass at midnight and toast to the New Year.  To all of you, I wish a very Happy New Year!  May it be kinder to us, may it bring us good health, prosperity, love and a whole lot of laughter.  


Miss Live Music? I Do Too

 Greetings and Salutations Bloggies!

About a month ago I was asked by my friend, Jesse Sendejas, if I would be interested in participating in an upcoming article he was writing for the Houston Press, an online newspaper that features local news, entertainment and the like.  I didn't hesitate to say yes.  He was going to be writing about concerts -musical acts that we had seen more than once and what kept us going back and of course, how the pandemic put a stop to all concerts.  I was given a set of questions to answer.  The questions took me back to memories of my first concert at the ripe old age of 10 *gasp*  I remembered things that I had not thought about in years and also brought back memories of some crazy things I did back then. (maybe even last year) Most of all, it brought back happier times and that made me smile.  Click on the link.  Maybe it will bring a smile to your face too.


ps-Jesse did a bang-up job in this piece.  Bravo to him.

I've Seen (Insert Band Name) 10 Times! | Houston Press

That One Time in Texas...When It Froze

**I started writing this over a week ago.  Right after the "big freeze".  But I did not finish writing it until tonight.**  A week...