February 15
    Sunny and 60 degrees today!  Spring fever has definitely set in.  Too bad tomorrow's forecast is for rapidly falling temperatures, rain and eventually snow.  Ah well, that's February in Pennsylvania for you.
    I didn't feel all that well today.  Woke up with an awful headache and crick in my neck.  A skunk went off right near the house again (I think I actually heard it making a sort of squealing noise last night) and I think it's the smell that irritated my sinuses so.  The

miserable feeling stuck with me until late afternoon.  I went to work and managed to get through that, though I admit the headache had me feeling a bit grouchy and short tempered with the kids on the bus this morning.  What a day for that.  With the nice weather, they were all energized and excited.  At home, I tried to nap a little and I did start organizing the kitchen.  Seems it gets all jumbled up over the winter when we're inside so much and when the weather turns nice I get the urge to clean and get everything neatly back in its place.  I moved a few things around, too.  I moved all my cookbooks from the counter to a shelf in the hallway and I'm working on rearranging everything else stored in the hall.  Mom bought us a freezer for Christmas and we put it in the hall, which took a big chunk out of my storage space.  At the time we just kind of piled things up and stuffed them where they'd fit.  In the kitchen, the need to organize comes more from the fact that unloading the dishwasher is a chore we've given the kids.  It's not one they enjoy and they tend to just open a cupboard door in the vicinity of where an item belongs and toss said item in.  I try to keep after it (and them), but we get busy and then it's catch up time!
    We've been doing a lot of planning for Matt's graduation party.  It's not until June 18, but there is much to do before then.  Since we are having it here, the big thing is installing some much needed drainage in the backyard, filling in some low spots and getting a deck built on the pool.  All of those things are Tim's area, though I designed the pool deck.  We also want to have some landscaping in place around the pool so it looks "finished."  That's my part.  I've decided I want to give it a tropical look and the new Springhill catalog has some wonderful plants and an even better deal......50% off on anything ordered by March 16!  Tim okayed Banana Palms, Elephant Ear and Zebra Grass.  Flowers, I think will be cheaper bought in flats from a local nursery.
    No word today about the job I interviewed for last night, but then they didn't say how long it would take them to decided and there were three other applicants.  Our church is hiring a part-time Director of Youth Ministries.  I did the job before as a volunteer so thought I'd give it a shot.  It would be nice if I got it....much better hours than driving a bus....but if not, I won't be too disappointed.
February 16
    Not nearly so nice today.  It rained off and on all day, sometimes so heavily that it was actually close to being fully dark.  I sure didn't think that boded well with snow predicted for this afternoon, but luckily that never materialized.  Whew!  I sure do hate to drive the bus when a snow storm hits and the roads haven't been cleared.
    After work I drove home to pick up the kids.  Matt had to work tonight and Megan went with me to Weight Watchers.  She doesn't like to be home alone after dark and I didn't have any idea when Tim would be home, so.....  Not so good at Weight Watchers this week.  I only lost .2lb, but on the bright side, I didn't gain.  Megan kind of enjoys going, not that she actually applies any of the rules for healthy eating she learns.  She is a junk food junkie.  Sometimes I swear if it weren't for carbs she'd eat nothing at all.  She sure keeps me accountable, though.  There is nothing so brutally honest as your 12 yr. old when she finds out you've been slacking/cheating.
    Tim had a fire going when we got home and we've spent a nice evening relaxing and watching television and we're getting ready for bed.  An early night will be nice.
February 17
    The snow that was due yesterday must have decided to wait a day, because we've been seeing a good bit of it today.  At times it comes down so fast the ground is white within minutes and there might be an inch or two of the stuff on the cars before it's over.  It melts as soon as it stops so it isn't too bad, just cold and windy.  The roads get a little slick with it, though, and there were quite a few accidents this morning.
    Worked on laundry and cleaning the house during my time off today and I'm still working on laundry.  I'm trying to get everything caught up before the weekend.  Tim and I are going down near Gettysburg with friends on Saturday and staying until Sunday.  We are going to an all-you-can-eat shrimp and oyster dinner that our friends go to every year.  We'll be leaving early Saturday morning and making a day out of the drive down US Rt. 30.  There are lots and lots of little antique shops and flea markets along the way.  Matthew will be staying here at the house to take care of Scooby and because he works Saturday evening.  Megan is staying with a friend of mine.
February 18
    We got some snow overnight and around 6:00 this morning it started coming down quite heavily.  School wasn't delayed in our district so I had to drive the bus.  The state roads weren't too bad, but the township roads hadn't been touched yet.  I didn't have any problems until I had to pick up a student at the bottom of a steep hill.  Once I did that, I couldn't get up the hill.  I had to radio my boss, who called the township to have them get an ash truck out there.  In the meantime, he came and blocked traffic and helped me back out onto the main road to make room for the ash truck and so I could get a good run at the hill.  Once they put the ash down I didn't have any problem at all getting up the hill.  Still, the whole thing made me about 20 minutes late getting into the school.  My boss followed me on the rest of my run just to be safe since the roads I was traveling were so bad.  The snow stopped by lunchtime and by the time we headed out this afternoon the roads were completely clear.  It didn't even look like we'd had a storm just a few hours earlier.
    Megan rode on my bus after school so she could go home from the bus garage with my friend, Debbie, who is also a driver.  Debbie used to be Megan's bus driver and she has a granddaughter that's just a little younger than Megan so it seemed like a good place for Megan to go this weekend while we are away.  Megan was so excited she said goodbye and never looked back.
    I made it home just in time to get Matt to work.  Tim was home already, too, so he rode along and we stopped for supper at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I don't think I'll be eating there again any time soon.  When Tim's dad was in the hospital and we were all sitting around up there, someone brought KFC on New Year's Day and after eating it I got terribly sick....fever, vomitting, aches, chills, etc.  I've always thought it was the flu, but after eating it tonight I started to feel sick before I had even finished my meal.  It wasn't like the first time.  Tonight it was gas pains so bad they doubled me over.  They must use something that my body just can't take.  I managed to go to Wal-Mart after supper so we could pick up a few things we needed to take along on our trip and get a few grocery items for Matt.
February 21
    Everyone is back home and glad of it.  Megan got a little homesick over the weekend, which she doesn't usually do.  Matt, I think, may have missed us and been a little lonely....though he won't admit it.  Tim and I were just tired from all the running and the long car ride.  Tim had to work today but the kids and I are home because of President's Day.
    We had a good time this weekend.  We picked up our friends about 10:00 Saturday morning and took our time driving east on Rt. 30.  We stopped in Breezewood, the "Town of Hotels," and had lunch at Bob Evans and looked around in a souvenir shop.  After that we drove until we got to Chambersburg where we stopped at a big Harley Davidson dealership.  Our friends bought a bike there last fall and wanted to stop and look at some things because they get a 10% discount there.  Just down the road we stopped at an antiques mall that is housed in 5 buildings on both sides of the road.  We only had time to go through 2 of them.  Tim found (and bought) a very nice drafting set for $18.  I didn't see anything I couldn't live without, but enjoyed looking and seeing what the dealers were asking for items I already own.  The biggest surprise was seeing a Shawnee pig pitcher that was similar to the one I have that belonged to my great grandmother.  Everyone thinks it's ugly, but the dealer was asking $189!  Tim said my pig just got a whole lot prettier.
    We checked into the motel a little after 4:00 and had some time to rest and clean up for dinner.  The shrimp and oyster "feed" as it is called, is a big fundraiser for the Fairfield volunteer fire dept.  The ones that go every year said they didn't get a very good turn out this year (I'd guess about 70), but oh my the shrimp!  They must have had several hundred pounds of it piled in the kitchen.  When we first got there they had tables set up with chips, pretzels, cheese and pickles that you could fill plates from and nibble on.  We could also have unlimited pop or beer.  At 7:00 they began calling us by tables (our table was first) and we got a bowl of oyster stew, a plate with about 30 peel and eat shrimp (nice big ones) and a half dozen fried oysters, and they had out cocktail sauce and the stuff to make oyster sandwiches.  Once everyone was served you could go back as often as you wanted and around 8:00 they started piling the plates completely full of shrimp.  Toward the end of the evening they started selling the shrimp to take home....$6/lb for the cooked and $5/lb for raw.  We didn't have a cooler (our friends forgot about that) so didn't buy any.  During the evening they also sold 50/50 tickets and and various other tickets.  We played a few, won some, lost some and mostly just broke even.  We figured it was for a good cause and just had fun with it.
    We got on the road about 9:30 Sunday and our first stop was another big Harley dealership in Gettysburg.  Dave finally found the leather jacket he was looking for (he is a big guy and needs a 4X), but had to pass because of the $350 price tag.  He ended up buying a rainsuit instead.  While he and Helen shopped we looked around and bought Matt and Megan each a t-shirt.  We saw a bike we both liked a lot, too, and while it would be fun I can give you 20,000 ($) good reasons why we didn't seriously consider it.  Tim did buy a chance on one being given away in May by a local fire dept.  We had lunch at Hoss's Steak House then stopped and finished looking at the rest of the antiques mall in Chambersburg.  After that it was pretty much a straight drive over the mountains without stopping.  It was getting colder and starting to snow so we were afraid of hitting bad weather, but we didn't have any problems and dropped Dave and Helen off at their house at 4:30 then swung by to pick Megan up and were home just before 6:00.  We brought everything in out of the car then the kids and I went to the grocery store to get some much needed staples and a few treats since we have today off.  We were all in bed before 10:00.
    Today the kids and I are just hanging out till this afternoon when Matt has an appointment to get his hair cut.  I'd hoped to get mine done, too, but the stylist I like is off today.  Megan begged me to buy the meat to make city chicken at the store last night so that's what's for supper tonight.      
Carpe diem!