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240 Involuntary Hours in the Psych Ward – a journal (part 3)

By M Davies   /     Jun 26, 2018  /     30 Day @Neilbytes Blogging Challenge, 30 days of truth, Annoyances, Blogging, Community Service, Family, Into the Void, Medical Issues, Misc/Crap, Mommyhood, NEPA, Quotes, Rejection, The WTF File, TV Rants, Uncategorized, Wacky PA Weather  /     0 Comment

This is a continuation of the journal that I kept while I was involuntarily held in a mental hospital on a 302 and later a 303. If you’d like to read the first part of the journey to get the hell out of the hospital, check out part 1, located here and part 2 located here. This is the third and final part in the series.

Sun. 6/17/18 8pm

Dee came to visit me today. That visiting hour passed rather quickly. I was rather relieved that my Mother didn’t come to see me. She sometimes gets on my last nerve even though I know she means well. Harold was attending a book reading and my Mom/Dad/Russell all went for pizza for Father’s Day.

Some good news though, I am leaving tomorrow. Hopefully by 1pm, I’ll be out of here. I can’t wait to shower and get a pedicure and shave. REDACTED NAME leaves Tuesday! Yay! Good for him! Maybe our paths will cross sooner rather than later *wink wink nudge nudge*. From my ride home, I will pick up my car and clothes and laptop from Swa Va. I have my Fiat ready to go to my Mom’s then Tuesday I meet with my lawyer to start divorce proceedings. Then I sail back to Sax for a few days to collect some belongings and pay my $10 library fine.

Oopsie woopsie!

My goal is to finish this book before I leave tomorrow – 20 pages left. What a goal! Let’s hope it comes true!

TTYL,

Michelle “HD”

__________________

Blank Space – Write your Name

T. Swift

Some quotes and shit:

  • “You are wonderful”
  • “Anything is possible”
  • “Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s ok to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you’re headed.”
  • *Did you know — in the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator
  • *Did you know — in an average lifetime, you will swallow 5 spiders, but why stop there, TREAT YOURSELF
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time — Thomas Alva Edison
  • When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.  — Henry Ford
  • You are enough…you are stronger than you think you are — Me
  • “Whiners go home early” – Tim Dahlberg (it was a headline in the TL that made me laugh out loud)

Messages on Graduation Caps & Gowns in the Newspaper:

  • Do beautiful things with your beautiful life
  • The best is yet to come
  • Bloom where you are planted
  • Expect something incredible
  • Already forgot everything
  • Freedom

Mon. 6/18 5am

Weather: Partly Sunny, Hot/Humid, Passing showers later

Hi: 86-93

Low: 64

TODAY IS THE DAY!

I’m coming home! Lots of stuff to do to get myself back on the grid, but I am not worried at all. I feel energized!

REDACTED NAME seems happy that I get to leave today for some reason…

I wonder why…

Such a sweet boy, love him to death.

Reminds me of that song by Iggy Azalea – Black Widow. That’s probably a poor comparison. But it’s like every song I hear suddenly triggers my memory of something that we’ve talked about or have done in our personal lives. Is that weird? Probably, but no one said I was normal ever. I heard Journey playing in the halls yesterday as we did laps and that song also reminds me of him. He keeps saying he never wants his heart broken again – I won’t – because mutually, I don’t want my heart broken either.

There needs to be trust and open communication by both parties for this to work. I think that’s why both of our marriages are or have failed in the first place. I’m willing to give love another shot. It terrifies me, but in a good way? Which probably makes no sense.

I usually trust no one at first. They have to earn my respect and trust.

My friend Steve told me that’s no way to live life. Trust everyone until they give you a reason NOT to trust them. That’s easier said than done when you’ve been fucked over as many times as I have. All I can do is try.

11 pages to go. We’re in the home stretch. More later…

XOXOXO

-Michelle

Mon. 6/17/18 6am

I though more about past relationships and other than CJ and George (RIP), I’ve been fucked over in every relationship that I’ve ever been in. I have no reason to be nasty to anyone else. I have enough hurt for 2 people.

Note: My pencil is sharpened now, LOL. Still no pen.

Anyway, I was catfished, cheated on, abused, dumped the day after my Grandmother died, and head games galore. Lots of painful memories that I don’t wish to recreate EVER. I don’t want to do it and I don’t want it done to me. Period.

I am ready to go (in the words of Republica)

-Michelle

*(drawing of the 16 logo and lyrics to the open)*

*1234 Feist Lyrics Collage*

Mon. 6/18/18 11:45am

AM

OUT

!!!!

Things I missed and am grateful for:

  • My family
  • My phone
  • My concealer
  • Ulta
  • Netflix/Hulu/Streaming
  • My Friends
  • My Car
  • Freedom
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Freshly Cut Grass
  • Perfume
  • My Flat Iron
  • Real Food
  • Beer
  • Shaving My Legs/Arm Pits
  • Pedicures
  • Manicures
  • Sunrises & Sunsets
  • My MUSIC
  • Sushi

Reflections:

My husband put me here because afraid of me, but then told my doctor that he wasn’t afraid of me. I lost ten precious days with my children because of this. I, however, met an amazing guy who helped me cope with “the looney bin.” That says a mouthful, doesn’t it?

Pretty soon, I will have my life back in order and I cannot wait.

This experience has been an important one. I feel strong when I was weak. I feel weak where I was strong. Call it yin and yang.

I am finally at peace and I have joy in my heart. I WILL be okay. I cannot wait to go back on the grid.

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

This is my ending, however god (or whatever supreme being you believe in) doesn’t close a door without opening a window.

The window is open and I can feel the breeze, smell the freshly cut grass and feel the warmth. The future is promising. I can’t wait!

Four ending thoughts:

  1. (And I’ve said this before) Don’t fuck with an #AMNewser. Not now. Not ever.
  2. You can’t out soprano a soprano.
  3. Stitches get snitches.
  4. ALL OF THIS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF DMX LYRICS.

 

THE END

(or is it …. ?)

Thanks for listening!

Continue Reading Quick Read

240 Involuntary Hours in the Psych Ward – a journal (part 2)

By M Davies   /     Jun 25, 2018  /     30 Day @Neilbytes Blogging Challenge, 30 days of truth, Annoyances, Blogging, Community Service, Family, Into the Void, Medical Issues, Misc/Crap, Mommyhood, NEPA, Quotes, Rejection, The WTF File, TV Rants, Uncategorized, Wacky PA Weather  /     0 Comment

This is a continuation of the journal that I kept while I was involuntarily held in a mental hospital on a 302 and later a 303. If you’d like to read the first part of the journey to get the hell out of the hospital, check out part 1, located here.

6/16/18 2pm

The dayshift nurses are a bunch of Bolsheviks. In my patient rights it specifically states that I am able to conduct my affairs while I’m in here. All of my business is on my phone, which I’m not allowed to have — looks like I’m never ever getting out, all thanks to my darling of a husband, isn’t he sweet? 302ing me so that I missed the following:

  1. My son’s graduation
  2. Both kids last day of school
  3. Our wedding anniversary
  4. Father’s Day

Lovely man which comes from an equally lovely family. And when I say lovely I mean DICKHOLES.

I pae these hallways so much that I may have kittens (or at least that’s likely what the nurses think).

He’s royally fucking up my life and we need to go our separate ways. I’m over the bullshit and drama with his family. OVER IT.

I called my atty again.

LETTUCE PREY (pun intended) for a miracle or some divine intervention from above.

I think I scared away poor (REDACTED NAME) away. I suck, blah, whatever. I’m a shit person who doesn’t deserve anything good apparently. I hope he doesn’t hate me.

Time moves so slow in this place it’s like 1 year is 1 day. Thank god my mother brought me a watch. Now if I could just get my glasses I’ll be able to read up close.

I really hope some of my friends come today. 5 days of Mom is too much.

Signing off for now,

MICHELLE HRYVNIAK

6/16/18 4pm

I wonder if someday I will be telling my grandchildren about the great tornado of 2018 like how my grandparents told me about hurricane agnes’ flood. I really hope to have grandchildren some day. It’s nice to find an audience that’s captive which is why I find blogging so therapeutic…

Maybe one day they’ll read about my entire journey and document it for history books. Haha, yeah right, but at least it’s an accurate representation of my life until now.

<plans about leaving hospital>

Plan A Modified

Look for Apt, TGIFridays

Plan B Modified

Take Uber to Swa Va, get car and possessions civilly – head to Saxonburg, move possessions by August 1 back to Blakeslee while apartment searching, get security deposit back $660 and use for new deposit. Look in HUGHESVILLE. Dad and I will get stuff from Saxonburg.

STUFF I HAVE IN SAXONBURG:

  • Drawer Set
  • Some clothes, toiletries, shoes
  • Microwave
  • Table/Chairs
  • Pots/Pans/Dishes/Cubs/Crockpot
  • Some food (toss)
  • Bed
  • Bookshelf w/ books
  • Hangers
  • 3 lamps
  • Desk
  • Love Seat
  • Chair
  • TV/Roku
  • TV Stand (trash)
  • Coffee Maker
  • DVD Player
  • Tapestry
  • Pictures
  • Wreath
  • Door Mats
  • Toaster
  • Foreman Grill
  • Bakers Rack
  • End Tables
  • Coffee table

*Make a weird PA bucket list*

Blog post idea: Hryvniak Again, origin, blah blah blah currency, family I found through Facebook

WOW upside down is MOM.

(REDACTED PAGE)

6/16/18 11pm

When he’s around my whole body can feel it. It’s hard to explain. I just can sense his presence. It’s exciting. It gives me goosebumps and chills all at once. I am falling fast and it’s scary. Exciting scary.

It looks like I’m here for another day or two then I will activate either Plan A or Plan B depending on the circumstance.

Bottom line, this will be a clean break. It has to be for the kids sake and for my sanity. Successful families grow together and not apart. I’ve grown a lot since meeting him at age 19. He has not. He’s stubborn and refuses to grow and accept that I’ve grown as a person. He talks at me rather than to me – if that at all makes sense. I need a partner, someone who will listen as well as communicates.

Look, I know I’m no angel, but I deserve to be treated better. That much, I know.

For years, I’ve referred to our marriage as oil and water (or is it oil and vinegar?) Either way – we don’t mix well together. These last two months back home have been awful with him. It’s like a pressure cooker ready to explode.

Putting the 302 on me was the lowest of the low things he could do. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He behaves just like his assinine family. I guess this is what you’d call the perverbial straw on the camel’s back. I’M DONE WITH HIS SHIT!

Here’s to new beginnings. Change to me is terrifying, but necessary for growth.

So let it be written…

So let it be done…

Signing off for now,

-Michelle “HAITCH” Dee

Visitors to Date: Harold, Mom, Dee, Dad, Cheri, Heather

Sun. 6/17/18 3am

(Father’s Day)

Still stuck in “the pen” without a pen. It’s Father’s Day and I hope R— enjoys spending it alone with his two children. I’m about 9/10 that he will get nothing from either of them. They won’t remember and if/when they do it will be too late, he’ll already be pissed.

I am awake and ready to conquer the day.

It’s times like these I’m reminded of that Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20 song “3AM”

“It’s three am, I must be lonely”

My friend Matt told me that Rob Thomas wrote this song about his sick mother. My kids are probably thinking the same thing about me. I don’t want to scare them unecessarily.

“Yeah everything is fine, honey, your Daddy put Mommy in a psych ward.”

I wouldn’t imagine that would go over well especially since both of them saw my stomach staples (not on purpose). Someday I will let them know the whole story, maybe even let them read this book.

When Cheri visited yesterday, she brought me a new book in case I fill this one. She’s so nice. I want to send her a thank you card. I’ll have to wait until the phones open up again to call and get it.

I can’t wait for NAME REDACTED to wake up. Miss him. My partner in crime.

FIGURATIVELY NOT LITERALLY

It’s so sad when you have to make that statement every time you make a sick joke in here. I’m sarcastic and love dark comedy a lot, so I say that about 3 bazillion times a day.

My suture area is super duper itchy. I’m trying desperately not to scratch it, but GAHHHHH!

I’ll quietly watch the news on 16 at 5am and think about the fun times we had at the station over the years. I miss that place a lot.

Blahhhhh whatever.

Signing off.

Best,

Michelle

PS – I miss my hummingbird and robin families.

6/17/18 5am

Bienvenidos a mi vida loca! Ole!

Weird questions I have —

  • How do you throw away a garbage can?
  • Why am I here?
  • Does the butterfly theory exist?
  • Could I start a successful vlog?
  • Who cares why the chicken crossed the road?
  • Can you pickle pickles?
  • How deep is your love?
  • I wonder how many divorces there are in Virginia (the state for lovers).

Weather for Father’s Day

Hi: 80-91

Low: 50

Hazy, Hot, Humid, Sun and a possible storm later on.

List of Noreenisms (yes, I even miss Noreen today!):

  • It is a good morning, Andy!
  • Hi Andy, good morning everyone.
  • Water your elderly (kidding, she never said this)
  • I’m sorry, Honey
  • Chiggers
  • Acrossst
  • Shades of Gray
  • Milky White Appearance
  • Peeks and Breaks
  • Today Offers…..(Happiness, hopefully)

I CAN’T COMPLAIN, BUT I STILL DO!  – MAHD

Remind me to tell Colleen about the Iron Pigs Sandlot Movie Tribute. Sun, July 1st in Allentown!

Fiat situation: What to do? Keep? Sell?

Don’t forget Macklemore tickets! Something to look forward to – July 21 in Hershey!

Check on Uhaul costs and return policy

6/17 (no time listed)

I miss my podcasts as well. Damnit.

  • Jenna & Julien
  • Babysitters Club Club
  • AMR
  • Crime One (I forget the name)

I also miss my fave YouTubers.

  • RLM
  • Pburgh Dad
  • Jenna
  • Julien
  • Pressure Luck
  • Cooking w/ Jack
  • Noreen’s Kitchen
  • Freaking Reviews
  • Binging with Babish
  • Chef John
  • Zach Morris is Trash
  • Carin’s Corner

LOL – the power blipped here and now the Circus Electric traffic camera channels all say “NO VCR” – LOLOLOLOLOL. What the ever loving hell?

For Mother’s Day, I got a dildo from R—. For Father’s Day, I got put in a psych ward. LOVELY!

*label from bottle of Nestle Pure Life water*

Purified water…from Allentown public water…..OK THEN?

More blog post ideas: Words my husband doesn’t know, aunt’s house dream Thunder by Imagine Dragons was in the basement, I can name that tune in 5 notes.

Continue Reading Quick Read

240 Involuntary Hours in the Psych Ward – a journal (part 1)

By M Davies   /     Jun 23, 2018  /     30 Day @Neilbytes Blogging Challenge, 30 days of truth, Annoyances, Blogging, Community Service, Family, Into the Void, Medical Issues, Misc/Crap, Mommyhood, NEPA, Pittsburgh, Quotes, Rejection, The WTF File, TV Rants, Uncategorized, Wacky PA Weather  /     2 Comments

6/9/18

(My 14th Wedding Anniversary)

Morse code is not the same as pulse code and 5 million other things I learned at the phone company by Michelle Ann Hryvniak.

<research facts go here>

(I’ll come back to those later on when I’m able to use my telephone)

Telco in a box diagram drawing. Look at me. I should have been in Tech Staff.

6/12/18 – 6am

I’m supposed to have a job interview in 2 days, but I’m not allowed to go. I also have a PFA meeting.

I’m never getting out. Ever. It’s impossible, much like the Widespread Panic Song.

I have so much to do this week. There’s no way I’ll be able to finish it from inside of these 4 walls.

I. GIVE. UP.

6/12/18 – 9am

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Pittsburgh. It’s such a great city with spunk. I miss the 28 traffic and the friendly sweet people – some of the nicest I’ve ever met in my whole life. I love the yinzer accent too…I am now able to spot it a mile away. I miss sleeping in my own bed. I miss Saxonburg which I firmly believe is Sweet Valley’s sister city/town/borough.

<reasons why go here>

  • 18656 vs. 16056 (fact numero uno)
  • History of Mihalishin Road aka Andy’s Road aka Linden Lane
  • History of Sweet Valley via curmudgeon guy (note to self: find that letter and poem about Will Sill and write about that in a later post)

6/12/18 – no time listed

My Journey – My Goals

My immediate goal is to complete my divorce and I will with the help of one of my attorneys.

Then I will finally start my dream job on 7/9 at AccuWeather. I am a self-proclaimed weather dork since birth and have watched the Weather Channel since birth. I have watched the Weather Channel almost exclusively. I collect books about weather and have an extensive collection. I have written several blog posts on the topic. It was my original career goal to become a meteorologist. Maybe if I can manage this class and overcome my social anxiety and finish school I can actually achieve my dream. This dream has been buried inside of me since a teenager – it’s time to act on it.

I’m pretty enough

I’m smart enough

and gosh darnit

PEOPLE LIKE ME

<3

Wed, 6/13/18 – 6am

(2 months since I left WQED)

STAY STRONG

thryv (thrive)

Write the story about the wedding dress fiasco with the in-laws. Explain how I was inducted into the DUVCW officially, but that it was also time change weekend and how the crazy in-laws (or as a former co-worker used to refer to them as…”outlaws”) kicked me out of the wedding and the family all because they couldn’t communicate when the dress fitting was for me – A FUCKING SHIFT WORKER.

Write a blog post about almost dying on Memorial Day

Did you know…

Studies have suggested that gifted people (much like my daughter which I birthed) often have bad handwriting because their brains are working faster than their hands. XD XD LAWLS <3

“If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have.”

6/13/18 – 1pm

Suggested topics for blog posts: What spending 5 days in a nut house has done to me, Lee Park house origin

Reminder to call about my IATSE 820 hiatus status

A poem:

Rise

Chaos

Beginning Again

Unknown

Never cease to fly if held down

A different view

It comes back around again

Words I never told you

Walking free

You showed me what needed to be shown

Beyond myself

I will never see the world the same way

Beauty stands before you

The path I have chose

There’s one memory of us

We are all that we are

What I have I become?

When I fall, I fly

What they see

This can’t be the end

Your Soul is in your eyes

I will not surrender

Let the light shine in the darkest of nights

All these shapes and colors are so it doesn’t hurt so badly

A magic moment

 

Philly sucks!

Thurs, 6/14/18 6am

Today was supposed to be my appointment to leave to get my sutures out at Geisinger. I am almost certain that I won’t be able to. I have to do in this Tennessee Redneck owned hospitaly where many people have access to my medical records. My doctor tried to get a hold of my husband twice for counseling.

NO ANSWER

What a shock.

Just kidding.

I really just want them out because they are so uncomfortable. Not to mention, I have to run to the bathroom literally every five minutes and everyone here thinks I’m an actual nut job.

Listen.

I’m a survivor. I almost died. I was in the ICU for 3 days and the first conscious memory I had was ripping the breathing tube out of my face. The last thing I remember before that was my Ambulance ride and being rushed to emergency surgery.

Thurs. 6/14/18 7am

THE STAPLES HAVE BEEN REMOVED.

AT WVHCS.

I feel like a brand new person.

Thank you, Jesus!

Thurs. 6/14/18 7:15am

GET ME THE EFF OUTTA HERE

Please Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

“Can’t spell cheapskates without CHS”

*revised A-List*

Thurs. 6/14/18 10am

I met this really great guy in here. One that actually listens and respects me. It’s amazing that such a person could exist. After 15 years of an abusive marriage, I am finally calling it quits. I cannot be treated like a piece of dirt any longer. This has been a long time coming. We’ve grown apart mentally, physically and etc. (redacted 2 sentences)

Thurs. 6/14/18 8pm

I slept most of the afternoon and it was lovely. I was woken up by my attorney with good news (hopefully). My 401k, which I sold off, was distributed and let the games begin. I will be moving back home (TEMPORARILY) to Blakeslee and then headed to Saxonburg to get my stuff.

*now writing in pen vs. pencil*

He drained the bank account. On what is anyone’s guess. I think I have a pretty good idea.

He’s running scared now, he won’t return any of my belongings, or at least the correct ones. Not very smart.

I want my laptop and my tablet back – those will be coming home with me next. As well as my car, and of course, my children. Posession is 9/10 of the law, so I plan on fighting this fight well up to the supreme court. And I have SEVERAL character witnesses willing to testify on my behalf.

But anyway….focusing on the positive so that I can get the hell out of here.

I’m dreaming of sushi, soup, and steak…..hmmmm….maybe hibachi on my first meal out of here. Please and thank you

<3 Michelle

PS- Remember to PayPal atty

Fri. 6/15/18 4am

I had a pen that was given to me by one of the nurses taken away from one of the nurses that I was given to it from.

I am a danger to myself with a pen? Ok. What am I going to do? Draw on myself? Good gravy.

BACK TO CRAYON AND PENCIL FOR ME.

Peace Out,

Michelle

“This is one of life’s little potholes”

(REDACTED PARAGRAPH)

Why am I me? All of the signs were there to leave R—. I just never could find the courage. Somehow I found my balls and they were right here all along — on my G-D chest. This shit with the Davies family pisses me off. They are like a cult. Either it’s their way or the highway (aka thrown out of the family). I’ve been thrown out of the family 3 times so far. Third time is the charm. If I ever to talk to those people again, it will be too soon.

(REDACTED PARAGRAPH)

(REDACTED PARAGRAPH)

Hmmmmm…

I feel lost when he’s not here and calm when he is here. That’s a start.

Cant wait to get out and explore it more.

Thaaaaaaat’s all folks

<3 Michelle

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE LOONEY BIN

My grandmother always says “things will be better before you get married”

WRONG

they actually get worse

(On Monday)

FREEDOM

OH HAPPY DAY 🙂

-Remember how to research to legally change name and cost

-Remember to talk to IATSE guy

-Book title idea: “Dodging the Potholes of my Mind”

Fri. 6/15 (no time)

Wherein Michelle Davies calls the KDKA control room by mistake, a blog post. As I was attempting to pay up my union dues for IATSE 820 local REPRESENT, I was given 3 different phone numbers for the leader. The first one was an incorrect phone number. The second one was for THE KDKA CONTROL ROOM. Finally, the third number worked. I will be continuing my membership on a hiatus status….just in case. One less thing to worry about I suppose

Blog post idea: Patch town names

Book title idea: “Tales from Adult IV, NOT! Floor 2”

Sat. 6/16 (no time)

SELF LOVE

Our story begins now.

Turning over a new leave

Have a wonderful day beautiful.

Thank you. <3

ROLL OF THUNDER HEAR MY CRY.

I finally read my 302 paperwork.

[He’s not here and I miss him so much. It hurts my heart so much. I miss him]

I’m greatful to be alive today! Considering that I almost died on 5/31.

It’s the little things.

It seems wrong to be attached so earlier on…

…but I cannot help myself

SWEET DREAMS BEAUTIFUL

YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE

WALK IT OFF, DAVIES!

Continue Reading Quick Read

The standard shovel bitch

By M Davies   /     Jan 28, 2015  /     Annoyances, Wacky PA Weather  /     2 Comments

Snow in Northeast Pennsylvania.  It’s nothing new.  It happens every year.  I know this.  You know this.  Still it doesn’t get any easier.

 

On Saturday morning, we had our first major snowfall in NEPA.  The official measurement at my place of employment was 5.5″ of the evil white powder.  Unless you are filthy rich and pay someone to do it for you or use a blow torch, chances are you probably have to clear said evil white powder from something you own.  If not, consider yourself lucky.  Much like most of Microsoft’s software, snow is a necessary evil.

 

To give you a little background, the road that I live on is a private shared right of way, so unless someone plows it, the snow will sit there until spring.  Some days the neighbor that owns a quad/four-wheeler will plow it.  There’s also another neighbor who may be related to a person that drives a plow truck or something.  Anyway, once in a while, he’ll come by and do the road and offer to clear out driveways for a nominal price.  It’s worth the money if its a big accumulation and/or heavy snow.  I usually can make it down my road with no problems…it’s the roads from my house until I hit I-81 that worry me the most.  PennDOT seems to forget about Rtes 29 and 118.  They are usually a mess.

 

For that reason, I tried to hold off a little bit on the drive in on Saturday morning in hopes that a plow would come by my house.  Fat chance of that happening at 3:30am.  I would have felt guilty calling off, so I had no choice but to risk death and drive in.  I warmed up my car for a good 20 minutes while I shoveled a path from my house to my driveway.  I spent another 10 minutes clearing the snow from my car.  Once all of that was done, it was finally time to make the drive to Moosic.  A ride that would normally take me 40 minutes took me 90.  I didn’t get to work until 5:30am.  It was not a fun time for me, but the roads were mostly empty, so even if I did spin out it wouldn’t have mattered much.  The only tricky part was surprisingly Rte 309 and I-81.  People think they can still drive 75mph in poor conditions and gave me a damn near heart attack while trying to pass me.

 

Once I arrived at work, my nerves were shot, my arms ached and I was mentally exhausted.  No time to think about that because it was TIME TO SHOVEL AGAIN.  Ugh.  All told, I probably shoveled for 2 hours taking frequent breaks.  I think I burned up every calorie in my body.  By the end of the day I couldn’t move.  The next morning I ached all over like I was an 85 year old woman.  I am still not quite right.  I think I tweaked my back.  Last night I took a muscle relaxer to relieve some of the stiffness and it was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks.

 

I honestly don’t mind shoveling.  My husband always calls me a “Poconos Princess” because I spent the better half of my life growing up in Blakeslee.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  My Dad always made my brother and I work hard.  I shoveled coal, split and stacked wood, and shoveled snow.  The only thing he wouldn’t let me do was drive the tractor/cut grass because “I couldn’t drive in straight lines”.  To me, shoveling snow meant a day off of school.  Shoveling snow still takes me back to High School and having snow days.  Unfortunately now, it just means a lot of manual labor, messed up schedules and terrifying driving.  I miss the old days.

 

That brings me back to the original point of this post….what the hell is with “ergonomic” shovels?  I appreciate the thought of trying to make me more safe, but lets be real.  These are the fucking worst.  At work we have one of these bad boys:

ergonomic-snow-shovel

 

It was the only one I could find on Saturday morning and I have to say it is honestly the most awkward shovel I’ve ever used in my life.  I’ve used a lot of shovels….good and bad.  I can tell you for sure.  This is the worst.  It was so awkward to lift the snow and the snow kept sticking to the shovel.  I had to keep banging it off of stuff to get the snow off.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it doubled the length of my work.  I will never ever EVER buy one of these shovels.  They should all be melted down and recycled into something useful.

 

Like this shovel, for example:

 

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I own something similar to this shovel at home.  I bought it in Sam’s Club sometime in the mid 2000s and it’s held up good ever since.  It’s easy to handle, holds a lot of snow and as an added bonus, it has an ice chopper on the end.  The ice chopper especially came in handy during this ice storm.  I’m sure you remember it.  I know that I do.  I had to chop roughly 2 inches of ice from my sidewalk.  My wrist ached for weeks, but it got the job done.

 

We also have one of these at work (below).  It’s a good idea in theory, but it’s awkward to handle and heavy as all get out.  I’m not a fan.

pACE3-8715059enh-z8

 

 

I’ve used several of these standard issue models (below).  They flat out suck.  They don’t hold enough snow to be useful and they break down easily.  Maybe they are built more sturdy now then the last one I bought, but I doubt it.  Avoid if you can.

 

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I’d be curious to see how one of these works (below):

pACE3-8715078enh-z8

 

 

The next time it snows, I’m probably just going to bring my shovel from home.  BYOS.  I am not trying to be nasty, it’s just that I don’t want to spend any more time outside than I have to.  Fin.

 

Oh my god.  Did I just write an entire blog post about snow shovels?

Yes.  Yes I did.

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Cunning plans

By M Davies   /     Oct 25, 2012  /     Wacky PA Weather  /     0 Comment

At the beginning of the month, the Weather Channel decided that it was going to start naming Winter Storms.  No really, I assure you it is a legitimate thing.  Click the linked text if you don’t believe me.  Here are the bullet points from the article:

 

Naming Winter Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms have been given names since the 1940s. In the late 1800s, tropical systems near Australia were named as well. Weather systems, including winter storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s.  Important dividends have resulted from attaching names to these storms:

  • Naming a storm raises awareness.
  • Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
  • A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
  • In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
  • A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

 

I think they are missing one very important point.  IT IS A CASH COW.  I wouldn’t put it past the Weather Channel to start selling apparel that says “I survived Snowmageddon”, “The Valentine’s Day Storm is for Lovers”, and “Snowtober?  I just met her!”.  Here are the names for the upcoming season:

 

 

So here is my question in this whole scenario:  What happens if a named Hurricane somehow ends up being a huge snow event?  How does the naming convention of THAT work out?  You may think it’s a stupid question, but not really.  The National Weather Service out of Binghamton, NY is issuing warnings left and right about the potential for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy to threaten the Mid-Atlantic and New England states early next week.  There will be a cold front that will also be trying to push through at the same time dropping temps to a level where snow is a very real possibility.  Do we start hyphenating storm names?  Or do named hurricanes automatically override the winter storm names?  Hyphenated names sound too much like lecturing a child…..“Sandy-Athena you march your butt down these steps and then out to sea right now Miss!”  I don’t think that the Weather Channel has thought their cunning plan all the way through.

 

 

Clearly, I need to chat with one of the meteorologists at work to get their input on this.

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Lee, a year later

By M Davies   /     Sep 07, 2012  /     NEPA, Wacky PA Weather  /     0 Comment

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post on the Irene/Lee flooding, but I came across a TED Talk that sounded so familiar, I couldn’t help but to comment on it (embedded below for your viewing pleasure).  BTW, TED Talks = New Addiction.

 

 

I was fortunate enough to not experience any of the aftermath of the Irene/Lee flooding.  As you know from the previous post, I did have a 5 day long power outage after Irene, but I did not have to worry about flooding.  I have no idea what going through a flood must be like, so I really have no place commenting on it.  It looks completely terrible.  I can’t imagine losing worldly possessions in such a disaster.  I can’t imagine the damage, the smell, the cost, and the heartbreak.  All I know is throwing away 100 dollars in groceries and flushing toilets with water taken from a pipe along State Rte 29.

 

Just because I didn’t experience the disaster first hand did not mean I didn’t care.  I wanted to help.  I just didn’t know how.

 

One thing became obvious, people needed information about how to give and receive help.  Suddenly, an idea sparked with Karla Porter.  Why not setup a Facebook page to get information out there quickly?  And so the Wyoming Valley Flood 2011 Facebook page was born.  Harold, Karla, Jason Percival and I were all established as moderators on the page.  We soon grew to over 6500 likes.  People were sharing photos, information, asking for help and offering help at the rate of speed we could barely keep up with.  Both local news TV stations were overwhelmed and spread too thinly, so we figured this might be an additional way to help spread information.  It was a great resource for people for the most part.  However, we did run into issues with the rumor mill running rampant.  One particular instance I can think of was whether or not JJ Banko’s in West Nanticoke washed away.  There was a county rumor control hotline established to confirm or deny rumors, however, we quickly found out that they were getting their information from TV/Facebook and in some instances they were helping to spread misinformation.

 

Harold recounted the phone conversation recently on my Facebook wall:

 

Them: “Hi, this is Rumor Control.”
Me: “There’s a rumor out there that Banko’s has collapsed. I know it was surrounded by water, but can you confirm that it has collapsed?”
Them: “Yep, that’s what we’re hearing too!”

 

JJ Banko’s is still standing to this day, so this info was obviously not correct.

 

After the water receded, people needed help cleaning up, collecting supplies and getting their lives back to normal.  Two websites were established locally to help get information out and match up various items with people who needed them.  They are:

 

 

There were also other Facebook pages established for people in the surrounding counties to try to accomplish what we did with the Wyoming Valley Flood page.  I also created a link on NEPA Blogs that contained a bunch of information I collected from Facebook and the News about things people needed and other ways they could help out.  Updating the “Giving Help” post became a daily chore, because the status of the need for help and what could be provided changed hourly.  At one point, I think I was only sleeping a few hours because I was more concerned about updating that page and getting information out there.  My last update was on October 3rd.  I’m not sure how many people actually used it, but to this day “Giving Help” has been the one blog post that has received the most page views on the blog (2084 to be exact).

 

Looking back, what could we have done differently?  I don’t know.  I think it worked out pretty well.  We probably could have created a Twitter account to ReTweet important information.  Unlike the girls in the TED Talk video, Harold/Jason/Karla and I were widespread, and not on the front lines of any one recovery effort so it was hard to know exactly who needed what and where.  Karla did try to show the Facebook page setup to the Luzerne County EMA Director as potential way for getting information out the next time there is a disaster, but received no response to date.

 

As the girls from the TED Talk discovered, communities in major disasters need the right tools at the right time and put into the hands of the right people.  Their disaster recovery in a box solution “Recovers” could be valuable resource the next time around (and there will most certainly be a next time).  Are our community leaders investigating such solutions and looking at how to improve information sharing in a disaster?  I hope so.

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