This Cold Winter is my Fault

Hey everybody!  Sorry for not blogging for awhile.  I’m such a slacker.  The flu and work-life has had me down for too long.  I didn’t feel like drinking wine for something like 3 weeks.  It was awful!  I even went to the doctor.  When I called to schedule an appointment, the receptionist asked me what my symptoms were and I told her that I had no desire to drink wine.  I heard her gasp (and I’m pretty sure her hand went straight to her heart), and she got me in right away…..she knows me.

This is when I know I am sick!

This is when I know I am sick!

Anyway – now that I am back in the living world, I’ve noticed how freakin’ cold it has been for what…..something like 9 months now???  It’s March 2nd and in my neck of the woods (which apparently still has ticks floating around since my dog just tested positive for Lyme Disease), it is -2 degrees!  This weather is just plain stupid!  So…….why is this winter so different from those in the past?  After several glasses of wine, the answer revealed itself to me (or maybe it was just a hallucination).  I know that meteorologists and researchers have been scrounging for answers as to why this winter has been so harsh.  And the Farmer’s Almanac is usually right 5% of the time.  If only the “experts” had consulted with me, because I KNOW WHY THIS WINTER HAS BEEN AWFUL!

Are you ready for this??  This winter has been so terrible because……..I ACTUALLY WISHED FOR THIS KIND OF WEATHER!  It’s true and terribly hard to believe.  It really is my fault…..totally. I take full responsibility at the risk of becoming reviled by every US citizen (and most illegal immigrants) east of the Mississippi (and west, too).

I take full responsibility

It really is my fault……sorry

This is what happened.  For the past several years, the east coast has experienced relatively mild winters and….quite frankly –  that has made me mad.  I hate 40 degree weather… after day of depressing dreariness. It’s that cold-ish, moist, grey weather that is just plain gross and makes living in this area a questionable location choice.  Who wants to live in climate limbo between winter and spring?  Snow vs. rain/sleet?  Cold vs. blah?

Last year when all of this in-between-ness with the weather was going on AGAIN, I distinctly remember saying to my husband, “D*mn it!  This weather is f*d!  I would rather have it cold than this 40 degree sh*t. (I didn’t really cuss like that, but you get the idea).  If it was going to be gross weather, then darn it….just give me cold!  The hell with this middle of the road, depressing slop that is the typical central PA clime!

So, yeah……I had clearly proclaimed that I preferred cold and snow over rain and grey skies.  I declared that winter should be winter and not a bunch of crappy drizzly days strung together.  In my defense, I probably lamented about the weather these last couple of years after having copious amounts of wine (even though I think I made those statements right smack dab in the middle of the work day….which might indicate that I have a drinking problem).  The fact of that matter was that I was sick and tired of awakening to grey mornings and enduring mid-40’s mist-laden days.  I consistently had to don an umbrella when I should have been wearing mittens.  I wore boots in January to wade through pot-holed puddles instead of tromping through piles of beautiful fluffy snow drifts.

The first of many snowfalls

The first of many snowfalls

We’re in the deep freeze, folks,  because I asked for it.    I didn’t mean for tons of snow and ice to descend upon us.  I just wanted 2 or 3 inches of downy delicate snow here and there.  I didn’t mean for 8 -12 inches at a time to pound the area.  And I certainly didn’t intend for the plethora of snow that once blanketed this area to morph into treacherous icy ground cover.

                                                                                It's even a challenge for sure-footed pets

It’s even a challenge for sure-footed pets

But – I ask you – what has happened with global warming?  Where are we at with that whole thing right now?

Nothing like sitting by a nice warm fire

Nothing like sitting by a nice warm fire

I thought that the temperature of the earth’s surface was supposed to be increasing.  The air temperature was rising as well. Winters were to become shorter.  Read that again…..winter’s were to become shorter!  Sure – there were  negative repercussions such as melting ice caps that affect wildlife,  extreme weather events, and rising sea levels.  But on a positive note – global warming was supposed to result in decreased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.  So – why didn’t that happen this year?  Because…….for some reason,  a higher power (God, in my book……) granted my request  of a “winter’s winter” instead of the in-between crap that we usually get.  So – yeah….I am totally to blame.  I asked for it……and now look where we are.

Go ahead and unfriend me on Facebook if that makes you feel better.  I deserve it.  Egg my house if you know where I live.  In August when the weather breaks, I’ll clean it off.

But – please accept my apologies for wishing this frigid winter on all of us.  I will never make such an invocation again…I promise.  I will welcome those endless disgusting cloudy moisture-laden days.  I will gladly raise my bumbershoot in joyous celebration of rain instead of snow!  I hope you all forgive me for my wishful thinking for a cold winter.  I’ve learned my lesson.  See you on Facebook……or maybe not.


My Husband Vacuums his Head

I am Kevin’s hairdresser (or more like…..”lack-of-hair”-dresser).  Cutting Kevin’s hair was not part of my marriage vows, but I have come about this job by default.  I guess this is part of the “worse” aspect of “for better or for worse.”

I don’t have a fancy chair with a foot pump, a soft feather brush for gently sweeping away cut hair from the neck, or even a decent pair of scissors, but Kev keeps coming back to my “salon.”  The convenience and cheap service is obviously the big draw (cuz it sure as hell isn’t for my spiffy styling techniques).

As I mentioned, I don’t have many barbering tools, but I do have a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner has become an essential barbering device in my parlor.  This is a frequent scene in our house, and I swear…….this was never MY idea.  I’m totally fine with ridding the floor and surrounding areas of excess hair, but vacuuming the head???  This is where I put my foot down to the “worse” part of the vows.

Vacuuming a somehwat bald head

Vacuuming all of those trimmings and perhaps contributing to early baldness??  Is there some research on this??  And for God’s sake…..put a shirt on, man!

I’m glad that Kevin has faith in me to cut his cut when he knows that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.  Fortunately, he is pretty laid back about what his hair looks like.  He’s had a history of  bad hair cuts and salon visits.  When we lived in Mt Lebanon (1980-1997), Kevin always went to the Family Hair Center owned by the wonderful Frank Paonessa who was the main barber. Even before that, Kevin went to Frank starting when Kevin was 12 years old and Frank was cutting hair near where Kevin grew up in Pittsburgh.  They  have history!

Frank had a brother, Jimmy who also worked at the Family Hair Center. Frank and Jimmy were the typical Italian barbers that would’ve been stars of a reality TV show if that was in existence in the 1980’s…….”The Barbers of Pittsburgh”…..kinda a spinoff of the Barber of Seville which as it turns out has nothing to do with barbers, as far as I can tell.  Maybe more like the Housewives of Jersey spinoff………Anyway – it was always fun to hear Frank and Kevin conversing about arrests, bad guys, good guys, etc. while Frank shaved Kevin’s head way too short.  The lively conversation was wonderful …….the haircut……not so much.

After every haircut from Frank, I would  strongly encourage Kevin to go elsewhere.  But – the fact of the matter was …………Kevin and I both really liked Frank.  Frank came to our wedding! Even though I didn’t like how Frank cut Kevin’s hair, Frank was a really cool guy .  Both Frank and Jimmy became friends of ours (they were the closest we ever came to being “made” without killing someone!) .

Damn…..I wish I knew how to photoshop Kevin's and my pics in here

Damn…..I wish I knew how to photoshop Kevin’s and my pics in here.


Neither of us really wanted to sever the ties with Barber Frank despite the horrendous coif that Kevin ended up with every month.  Relocation forced the issue of saying goodbye to Frank and the awful haircuts when we moved from Mt. Lebanon in 1997.

With our move, Kevin was forced to embark on the quest to replace Frank.  After perusing a number of places, Kevin ended up at Scissorhand Station (we had a coupon for there from our “Welcome to Hummelstown” basket).  Scissorhand Station……..cute name, huh?  The business sat right next to the rail lines in Hummelstown and the Edward Scissorhands movie had just been released.  It didn’t have the gangsta flair of the Paonessa brothers Family Hair Center, but it will go down in Stoehr family lore.

This is what happened – Kevin, sporting his FBI Academy shirt walked in to Scissorhand Station and asked if they took walk-ins (little did the stylist know Kev had a coupon burning a hole in his pocket).  The stylist motioned him to her chair and then immediately proceeded to lock the door to the business.  Seems that she might have had a law enforcement fetish. There was no one else in the salon…..just Kevin and Her……. Kevin immediately felt uncomfortable that it was just him and her very alone with the door now locked.  The hairdresser then started making some flirty chit chat.  Kevin began to stammer and sweat profusely. Was he going to be seduced or murdered?  This was Fifty Shades of Grey in reverse and 30 years earlier.  After a few more lines of suggestive questions, Kevin decided to bolt. He told the woman that he had changed his mind and didn’t want a haircut after all.  Now – some men would’ve relished that moment and would have taken advantage, but Kevin just didn’t feel that things were copacetic there at the salon.  Or maybe Kevin was just not used to the dominatrix type atmosphere.  I’m pretty gentle and congenial when I cut hair.

I'm a very gentle hair stylist…..usually I've had wine

I’m a very gentle hair stylist…..usually I’ve had wine

So -ever since then, I have been cutting Kevin’s hair.  I’m not domineering or in any way sexual in my hair cutting approach (and Kevin can vouch for that!).  I do become a little bossy and then Kevin gets defensive……like when I accidentally snipped his ear with my (very dull) scissors and drew blood, Kevin threatened never to come back to my salon.  Or – when I yelled at him to quit looking at the TV and lower his head so I could get the back of his neck, he said that I was the most overbearing stylist he had ever encountered.  Kevin portends that mine is the worst salon he has ever been to.  It’s all a bluff.  Kevin’s frugal and he will suffer a really bad haircut by me because it is FREE!  But – the haircut I give Kevin is still better than Frank’s!

The point of this post is the fact that Kevin vacuums his hair.  Who does that?  Have you ever been to a salon where the  patron holds the vacuum cleaner hose and suctions every strand as it falls?  Maybe that could be a new trend………a discounted hair cutting salon (“Suck it Up”) where the patron cleans up after himself for a reduced cost. I think I’m on to something.  Call me – I’ll cut your hair if you vacuum your own head.