Friday, December 30, 2005

Sick in Suburbia

This holiday has really thrown me for a loop. I haven't been this sick in donkey's years. The good thing about being sick is that it has forced me to slow down; to stop. Just stop. I've spent many hours just thinking, praying, thinking, and praying some more. I think it's been good for me. Of course the vicoden helps put me into that reflective frame of mind. It does an excellent job of taking the pain away. But I tend to get a sick-to-my-stomach feeling, too. That could be from the antibiotics, though. Either way, I've got meds to help me through and I'm on the road to recovery. I've written pages and pages in my paper journals, and I even read a book (Lamb, by Christopher Moore, subtitled The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal). The book was something that would probably offend some or many mainstream Christians, but I enjoyed it. Moore did his research well, which impressed me. It's a down to earth and funny story. Okay, so the conservative Christian in me had a hard time with a few places here and there, but all in all it was well done, and I have to say I am impressed --the man had to have done some extensive study of scriptures to come up with the tale he spun.

Lady Linoleum has a daunting and impressive list of resolutions. I was thinking of putting some together, but am waffling now. Maybe tomorrow I'll give it some more thought.

The year is coming to a close. I haven't even made a post about our Christmas. That's the problem with being sick. Too sick to even blog. What is the world coming to?

My husband, the cool cat, every once in a while makes a comment that I must only post pictures of things that are important to me on my blog, and wonders why there are no pictures of him. "I see how it is," he says. Of course, he won't be looking over my shoulder when I post this picture, so he won't know that he has, in fact, appeared on my blog.
My bestest boys, Santa and the slobber Elf (Christmas Eve at Grandma's house). They're both pretty cute, I have to say.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - Take II

This one's not as gross as the sore throat. I took this last week, but decided to post the madonna painting instead.This is a reflection in my wedding photo. My beautiful niece C and her sweet brother M, fatherless now. I was thrilled that they came to my wedding. At this time in my life, at this age, I decided I no longer wanted the pomp and circumstance of a big to-do, and decided to run off to Vegas for a quick and quiet ceremony (which is the absolute last thing I'd ever have wanted to do, at any other time in my life). Only a handful of people attended, but those who did were my closest friends and family, and it couldn't have been a better celebration.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Mercy Me, is it Tuesday again? It's the last of the reflective surface self portraits, I believe.Everybody say "Ahhhhh". This is a reflection from a hand mirror as I attempt to get a look at my throat, which is exceedingly sore. Things have progressed from a normal cold. I thought I was better after a couple of weeks of annoying cold symptoms, then got hit with fatigue, nausea, chills, aches, headache, earache, cough, and the lovely yellow phlegm that we all know and love. Two days of that, and the sinus congestion and nausea are gone, but the throat is very sore, and the ears, they are bothering me. I've been faithfully irrigating my sinuses daily, drinking gallons of green tea and inhaling eucalyptus oil, but now I see that there are white spots on the tonsils. I suppose I'll break down and go to the doctor tomorrow, unless things clear up tonight. I hope they clear up.

Self portrait Tuesday blog:

One of those "If you don't forward this to 96 or your email contacts, then none of your dreams will come true..." messages

...Which I never forward. I don't mean any disrespect to the kind people who send me these messages, but that last line, where they say that if you don't forward it then bad luck will befall you, or you are not a truly nice person, blah blah blah, just ruins it for me. Sometimes when I really like the message, I might forward it, but I delete that last coercive bit before sending. Anyway. This came to me today, and it was sort of sweet.

By the time the Lord made woman, He was into his sixth day of working overtime.

An angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable and able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart -and she will do everything with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements. "Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model? That's too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish."

But I won't," the Lord protested. "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak," the Lord corrected, "that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing."

And she is! Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

And then it dawned on me...

...the realization that I'm usually sick on holidays. This goes back as far as I can remember. The sickest I've ever been has always been on a holiday or break. As far back as high school, and college. I'd never be sick, until break time, when whatever stored up depletions (is that an oxymoron?) would band together and hit me with the full might of their fury. This may be a trait I share with my dad. To his credit, he never missed a day of work in his life. He would get sick from time to time, but always on a break or a holiday. Is it will? Willing oneself not to be sick, holding it at bay until one's duties are fulfilled?

I've been in the working world for 20 years, and my company provides sick leave. It's okay to miss work once in a while. But I rarely do. Instead, I get sick on holidays and vacations. How smart is that? This is MY time. My precious time. I get so little time off. It shouldn't be spent being sick.

Friday, December 23, 2005

I was writing in my journal today... the one where I use real names and write out some of the deeper things of my heart, where tears are often shed, and comfort is often found. I write in this journal on momentous or meaningful occasions, like birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, anniversaries, new year's days, days of losing loved ones. And such.I started this journal on January 1st, 1994. I also sent one just like it to a certain Sweet Pea, but alas, it was lost in the mail. My fault. I should have wrapped it like Fort Knox.
See? Tears.
I have many journals, though. All currently in work.
There is one for the master To Do list (top left). The first page is entitled, Projects in the Scheme of Things. There are pages with different categories of projects. Art projects. Sewing projects. Photo projects. And such. There is the special occasions journal (top center), mentioned earlier. Proceeding clockwise. The everyday journal, started on March 26, 2000. This one is filled with lists, dreams, thoughts, worries, hopes, disappointments, and such. Not just those reserved for special occasions. The last entry was on my 40th birthday, earlier this year. Next is the prayer journal. I write out prayers for people in this one. I recently started writing fragments of thoughts that might one day be turned into something beneficial for mankind, in the form of children's stories. The fragments start with prayers for healing of broken hearts and how things in childhood are often carried into adulthood, along with the pain, tears, shame, doubt, misunderstanding and myriad other emotions. And such. The next journal is another list journal. A list of family members and gifts and projects that pertain to them. And such. We come to the pregnancy and feeding journal. This one is well worn. The title page says, New Beginnings, New Life, 17 May 2004. I started this journal the day I found out I was pregnant. My friend A., my college roommate gave me this journal. It has a beautiful picture of a ship on the cover, that reminds me of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Dawn Treader. What a fantastic name. In this journal are thoughts and feelings, pregnancy experiences, doctor visits, letters to my unborn child, and, for the third trimester, a record of every single thing I ate, what time I injected insulin, how much and what kind. I was so disappointed to have acquired gestational diabetes, but I managed it well, and it disappeared when the placenta came out, just like the doctor said it would. In this journal is also recorded an entry for every time I've spent connected to my companion the Lactina. Time and amount. Milk for a year. And finally, the last journal. A sketch pad of sorts. Another project journal.

Journals are very therapeutic. I love journals. I love the written word. I love paper. And now, I love to blog. But I still write in my paper journals as well.

Nostalgia and the wonders of technology

A year ago, I got to see my precious child, before he was born. It was an amazing and wonderful thing that brought immeasurable peace and joy to my heart.


I see you!
I love how he smiles and plays, even when he's sick. He's had a cold for two weeks, and started coughing the other day. The coughing causes the gag reflex, which causes the contents of the stomach to reappear in the most dramatic fashion. We've been running the humidifier with eucalyptus oil to help open the airways. He became listless, though, and wouldn't eat or drink, so we went to the doctor. He has an ear infection, so he's now on his first round of antibiotics. As it turns out, all the kids in daycare have an ear infection right now. Imagine that. I am having to be very creative, trying to get him to take his medicine and not regurgitate it immediately. This is a challenge. And the snot aspirator? He fights like a madman when I come close with that thing. I'm afraid of hurting him, just from trying to restrain him while cleaning his nose. He's SO strong. And he fights with such intensity. I need him to breathe, though, so I keep trying. I wouldn't say I usually win, though.

Houston, we have liftoff...

...or rather, forward motion.

Show and Tell

Coats. Coats! Today we show and tell our coats for Jennifer via Blackbird.

My favorite coat is a deep berry boiled wool coat, very plain in style. I usually wear a paisley scarf of some sort with it. However, I seldom wear it these days, since the things I wear are quickly covered in baby snot and drool and whatnot. And I am not a fan of drycleaning. Those chemicals bother me, and somehow, in my head, I just don't feel like drycleaned things actually get clean. One of my quirks. I also have a white wool/cashmere blend coat that my sister found at a thrift store. It has its own shawl. I have yet to wear it, as it hasn't fit any occasion as of yet. Next is the parka. I haven't worn it since 2002, which is the last time I went skiing. It's a very nice coat, but I don't spend much time in blizzards, so it stays in the closet. The coat I wear every day is a plain fleece jacket. Fleece, yes, blech, yes, but I can throw it in the washing machine any time. Plus, I can zip it over me and my baby, if I'm carrying him in a front pack.

Oh yes, the parka? I am amused by its label. No endangered species have been shorn. And for some reason, this nylon garment is recommended for dry cleaning only. Perhaps because of the fur ruff? Why is it that animals in the wild don't shrink when their fur becomes wet? I think the easy road is to place a dry clean only label on clothes, and that way the manufacturer doesn't have to worry whether or not the garment will hold up through a wash cycle. It's all about quality control and cost savings.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

In search of holiday cheer

Rather than work on my lengthy to-do list, I've been making goodies. It started with shortbread. My dad's recipe. It turned out okay, but not as wonderful as my childhood recollections. It did help make things seem a bit more cheerful, having a house full of buttery sugary yummy smells. Next came the cashew brittle. I've never made it before. The recipe came from Mrs. Fields, and called for macadamia nuts. I had cashews, so cashew brittle it became. It was surprisingly easy to make. The house smells even more sugary and buttery. I couldn't stop with the brittle. I decided to dip pretzels in dark chocolate. I like that salty sweet combo. And finally, the rice crispy treats. More butter. And marshmallows. I don't really like marshmallows, but I do like rice crispy treats.
With a house full of goodies, I felt compelled to buy some holiday tins to package them in, and ultimately, give away. Otherwise, I will eat it. All of it.
Somehow, the cheer doesn't linger long. I was thinking of making meringues, or ambrosia. I don't know the correct term. I've never made it, but thought I'd try. I have a nice mixer that should make short work of whipping egg whites to a stiff peak. I also want to make candied popcorn, or popcorn balls. Popcorn is a happy smell to me. When we were young, we always had peanuts in the shell, an orange, an assortment of ribbon candies, and sometimes popcorn balls in our stockings on Christmas morning. But the tins are already full.

I am avoiding my to-do list well. And the cheer remains somewhat elusive. It comes and goes.

Gifts from afar

Today, a sweet surprise. A package has arrived from a far away place. From a sweet pea of a person.
I am delighted. Without even opening it, I am delighted. How kind, how sweet, what a wonderful friend, I think to myself.
And then. I open it. It is exquisite. It is divine. It is beautiful. It is extravagant. It is gorgeous. It is oh, so fine. And the color. My favorite shade of red. It is perfect. Absolutely perfect. And I think, oh Suse, you shouldn't have! But I'm so glad you did! It is fabulous!
See? Fabulous! Thank you so very much, my friend. (And just today she was saying that "every girl needs a little Audrey in her life." This is so very Audrey, don't you think?)

I am tickled pink the most gorgeous shade of red! Thank you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Just one more cup of tea...

...before I go collect my boy.

I am actually on vacation this week, but it feels about the same as any other working week. Part of me feels guilty for dropping him off, but I can get errands done faster if I don't have to bundle him in and out of the carseat. Good daycare is in demand. The waiting lists are long. To secure our spot, we pay whether he's there or not. So I'm taking advantage of this time. In fact, the cool cat and I actually went out to a movie on Monday. Our first theater movie since the Boo was born. We saw King Kong. It was gory in places. I had to look away. And I jumped on several occasions. And squirmed. And smiled. We had a good time.

I have a list. A very ambitious list. I wanted to get my life organized during this break. So I can feel more at peace. More calm. Less stress. But I've been blowing off the things on my list. I'm having such a hard time getting into the swing of things this year.

I went to JoAnn's today to get some tins for baked goodies. I appreciate the price reductions of 70% off all Christmas items. But they're busily putting out the Valentine's Day stock. I can't even say how deflating this feels to me, this pushing of the next commercial occasion. I want things to SLOW DOWN! I want to kick back, drink some tea, and read a book. And not worry about the bazillion things I think I need to do. I don't want to think of Valentine's Day. I don't want to be surrounded by pink and red fuzzy hearts quite yet.

Here's my new list.

Drink some tea.
Have some more tea.
Read a book.
Take a nap.

But not now. Now I have to go get my love bug. He needs some serious snuggling. Or rather, I do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Self Portrait Tuesday Community - Theme: Reflective Surfaces 'Tis the season for reflection. For piety. For prayer. For thankfulness. For gratitude. For remembering. For faith. For hope. For love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I believe.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

I grew up with this oil painting of the madonna and child. My mother made it. It graced our walls for as long as I can remember.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Show and Tell

This week, Blackbird (and Deb) want to see a favorite ornament.

I tried to start a meaningful tradition a few years ago with home made ornaments, but that grand idea sort of fizzled. Most of my ornaments have no meaning or story. They're just colorful things that were probably on sale. I do have butterflies, which are kind of cool. And lots of berry clusters. But nothing very meaningful.

At the risk of planting a Kenny Rogers melody firmly in the unwary reader's mind, this is my favorite. This is what decorates my life:

What could possibly be better? Or more beautiful? Or more adorable? He's deliciously huggable, my little Love Bug.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday

Reflective Surfaces -
Reflections from a PDA
In a little over a month, Lactina and I will part ways. The journey has been long and tiring, and I hope worthwhile.
Mother's milk is supposed to boost a baby's immune system. Poor little guy has another cold. And therefore, so do I.
The PDA. Christmas 2004. The last of the big splurges before the baby came. A cry to order and organization. Fast forward to December 2005. I barely know how to use it. The money was not well spent.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thank God It's Friday

What a day. What a week. This one wiped me out. So much work. So little sleep. My brain is like goo. I had all these great intentions of getting other things done this week. My poor little love bug is all sniffly and under the weather. There are two new kids at the daycare. Carriers, the both of them. I'm certain of it. It's okay, I guess. Some exposure is good for building a strong immune system. And his is fairly strong. He doesn't like sweets, so I have to be very creative in attempting to dose him with infant decongestant. He hasn't been sleeping very well, either. Poor little guy. He's normally such a happy boy. It's hard to see him hurting. Those tears are so heartbreaking.
What a face. He has so many new expressions, and they are so funny! He's trying to be a tough guy. But I know better. He's a love.

Weekend plan: get some SLEEP!

Friday show and tell

Friday show and tell - Blackbird has asked to see decorations.
Alas, there is not an abundance of holiday spirit at Chez Squished this year. We do have a wreath on the front door. One of my coworker's sons was selling these to raise money for his school's band. I think they take a trip every year for a competition. Or something like that. He's very good. (The son. He plays trombone.) The wreath was somewhat on the ho-hum drab side, so I stuck an assortment of colorful things in it to spruce it up.
We also have a cute little Charlie Brown tree just outside the front door, so a few baubles dangle from its limbs.

Just inside the door is a post with a nice vanilla candle. Not nearly as nice as Babelbabe's, though. Those are downright fabulous. Some crackled glass ornaments hang from this. They are too heavy for the tree. They're a deep amber color. Gorgeous up close.

Inside, the tree is jam-packed with all sorts of colorful things. I'm partial to the butterflies, and this green sequined star.
This fairly well sums it up though. The sentiments of the season, that is.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday
December challenge: reflective surface

Reflections from the kitchen.

Living on the edge. Is there anybody out there? A face, distorted, on a waste can. A wasteland. There is a ghost in the faucet. A shadow of a person. A shapeshifter. It's not the real her. Or is it? Living on the edge. Resting on a thin sharp line. Hoping not to get hurt.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Meaningful Traditions

At Chez Squished we have a very pretty tree. It's a rather squished tree. Squished full of decorations. It's squished into a corner. Yes, we have a house with not one, but two living rooms, and two dining rooms. What is up with that? Who designs these ridiculous floor plans? What use do I have for two small living rooms and two small dining rooms. Areas, actually. They are areas. I can only imagine the living room with the vaulted ceiling is intended to be the formal living room, and the area of that room closest to the kitchen is supposedly the formal dining area. Bah! It's completely useless to me. We had the changing table set up there for the first half of the year. A diaper changing room. That's what it was. The real dining room is tiny, just off the kitchen on the opposite side of the formal dining area. Adjacent to that is the real living room. Where we hang out. I'd much rather have one large living room, and one large dining room. We don't have the sort of lifestyle where we roam from room to room. I digress. With all these rooms, one would think we would have room (ha!) for a tree. Alas, such is not the case. This year the tree is relegated to the corner of the dining room. The real dining room. That we don't use. Yes, we are pitiful. We eat in the kitchen, seated at the island. Or... Seated on the couch. Yes, it's true. All is not lost though. I plan to start a family dining tradition, where we sit down to eat as a family, in the dining room, at the dining table, at the same time. It doesn't work with our current schedule though. There's no telling when Mr. Squished will return home from work on any given day. Hopefully the dining tradition will fare better than my Christmas gift tradition. Our first year of marriage, I suggested that Mr. Squished and I make each other an ornament for the tree, and do it every year. I thought it would be a nice gift. Something that someone put some thought and effort into. He said he thought that was a nice idea. Christmas arrived. He opened his special gift. A red velvet box with a picture of the happy Squished newlyweds in their I Do kiss emerging from a fluffy nest of tulle. A white satin button (from the gown, of course) attached to the corner of the box, for the ornament hook. Awwwww. Isn't that sweet? I waited for my special gift. I would have loved it, even if it was a screwdriver with a ribbon through the handle, tied in a bow. But. He forgot.

Teenage pedestrians

I live near a high school. In the morning it is dark. The color of the sky blends with the color of the pavement. There are five lanes which separate the school from the sidewalk on the other side of the street. The speed limit on this arterial is 40 mph. I don't recall seeing the 20 mph reduced speed school zone signs that are posted near the elementary schools. If I happen to drive along this street in the morning before school starts, I observe teenagers sauntering into the traffic, crossing the street. It never fails. They just walk out into traffic, without bothering to continue to the corner where there is a crosswalk and a traffic signal. It is so terribly hard to see these people, dressed in blue jeans that blend with the color of the sky and the color of the pavement. They don't even look. They step out into traffic so nonchalantly. Defying society. Daring society. They are invincible, are teenagers. I used to be one. I remember.

I hope and pray that they survive this phase of clouded judgement and gracefully outgrow the arrogance that accompanies this time of youth.

Friday, December 02, 2005

on cars and names

I've never named a car. There will be no embelishments hanging from my rear view mirror either. No bumper stickers. Well, I do have a Baby on Board sign now. But that's because I have a baby on board. Not that the sign will cause drivers to be any more considerate.

My dad always named his cars Betsy. After the queen. Of course. One brother named his first car Gwendolyn. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a witchy name for a wicked car. But Gwendolyn it was. Another brother had a car that he named The Antichrist. Because nothing could kill it. It had seen many a collision and mishap. It just kept on going. And going. And going. The only thing that stopped it was that big car smasher thing that they have at the wrecking yard. It was a 60s or 70s Maverick. His roommates's car was called Creeping Death. Maybe it's more of a male thing, this naming of cars. Maybe it's an emotional attachment thing.

My cars have been moderately nicknamed, though. The Truck. The Subie. The Benz. The Car. But that's as far as it goes.

Show and Tell

Topic du jour: Your Car

Cars. Is it true that cars are a reflection of one's personality? Aspects, at least. I imagine. I didn't even drive my first car. It was an ancient Datsun with a manual transmission and I was a chicken $#!t. I paid $200 for it, and my boyfried drove it. That was in 1986, fresh out of college. He went back to school and I traded the Datsun for a new Ford Ranger. I was the cat's meow at that point. It was red with an automatic transmission. Then I met up with a hoodlum crook in the guise of a friend who talked me into buying a classic Mercedes. 350SLC. The European version. Silver. Sleek. It was beeeeeeyoootiful, and very flashy, but it was being consumed by rust, and what did a naive girl like me know about things like that? People thought I was RICH! I drove it to my 10-year high school reunion. Oooh, how successful I looked. Ha, if only they knew. I lost a LOT of money on that car. Relatively speaking. I drove it for 8 years, then liquidated everything I could in order to come up with downpayment for some property. At which time I acquired my beloved Subaru. I paid $350 for it, and drove it for many years as I struggled to pay for my real estate investment. Priorities. That car was a sight! It was a tiny hatchback, white with big round rust blotches all over it, and it was covered in green algae when I got it. I took a scrub brush to it, literally. I mastered the manual transmission with that car, and learned to drive in ice and snow. That trusty car never let me down. It had over 225,000 miles on it when we parted ways. I let my ex-fiance have it after the breakup, and I treated myself to a 'me' car. A safe and conservative sedan. Volvo 850GLT. Charcoal grey. I got it used, and it had all the bells and whistles. It was divine. It served me well. I drove it for 6 years, until, not too long ago, my sister had a friend in need and asked if I'd sell it to him. So I did. I didn't have new car plans in my short term budget. I was on a vague wait two more years plan. But what the heck!!

This is the new me. I am a mom. A minivan mom. I'd never have imagined that a car could bring such delight, but I am delighted through and through. I have heated seats! Power doors! Lots of them! With a press of a button the rear hatch opens. Another press and it closes. Same with the sliding side doors. Both of them!! Deeeeeeeluxe!!! Oh. I almost forgot. It's a Toyota Sienna XLE. 2006. Slate grey.
And how pretty is that? My instrument cluster is like a jewel. All these pretty blues. It's just so ooooh. So pretty. I am thrilled.
And the interior? I'd have preferred a darker grey, but it only came in light grey. That burly woody stuff is okay. Sort of tacky, but sort of not. Sort of pretty, in a faux plasticy way. I can play MP3 files! I burned a CD with over 150 MP3 songs and loaded it in and away it goes. I can go several hundred miles on one CD without repeating any songs. Woohoo! Woo. Hoo.

Yes. I am really loving this car.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Snow falleth

Much as I find the sight of falling snow, especially huge fluffy snowflakes, a beautiful sight to behold, I also find myself filled with dread. My chest constricts, my breathing becomes shallow, and I am filled with anxiety.There are so many steep hills where I live, and maneuvering in freezing conditions is difficult, to say the least. I must be off to collect my boy, before the temperature drops further, making the journey even more treacherous. Driving on ice terrifies me.