Cabin Fever

cold

Here we go again!  Another winter advisory!  Ice, then snow and strong winds causing drifting snow, and low visibility.  It looks like we are stuck in a time warp where we keep repeating the same scenario over and over.

Moving last fall further north from our home in Illinois we worried that the winter would be more severe.  Fortunately we were wrong.  Folks back home have had colder temperatures and more snow than we have had here in Michigan.

But just as I was feeling kind of smug about that, we also have been hit by cold temps and snow and now ice.

Stuck inside the house for a couple of weeks now I’m getting cabin fever.

At first, being stuck inside seemed kind of nice.  After all I am retired and do not have to go anywhere.  I could sit with the fireplace on, a hot cup of coffee and watch the snow fall on the trees.  Our back yard looked like a winter wonderland.

snow

There was so much I could do.

  • Read the latest books I had bought and not got around to reading
  • Indulge my Scrabble addiction and play this word game with my husband
  • Binge watch TV shows that I love
  • Write and read other bloggers that I have been wanting to check out

But the magic of sitting and watching the snow fall is losing its appeal.  I have ventured out only to go to church on Sunday mornings and to my daughter’s home to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday.

After watching all four seasons of Poldark, all six seasons of Downton Abbey and working my way through the first three seasons of Blue Bloods – I want out of here!

My husband suggested taking a flight to Hawaii – but since I have eye surgery scheduled for March that is not going to happen.

Come on spring!

spring

How’s the weather where you are?

How are you coping with all the freezing temps and snow?

What To Do On a Cold Winter Day

Baby it’s cold outside.  Right now it’s 7 degrees with wind chill at -5 degrees.

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But it is going to get worse.  The whole Midwest is getting hit this week by an Arctic blast of snow and cold air.  By Wednesday our high will be -2 degrees with wind chill factors unbelievable.

This is when I am glad to be retired.  No getting out in the freezing temperatures.  No walking on icy parking lots.

But what do I do being stuck inside all week?  Some ideas I’m planning.

  • making Irish coffee

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  • binge watching all six seasons of Downton Abbey

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  • playing scrabble with a super scrabble board

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  • reading, reading, reading

books

That’s my plans for the week.

However, I may not do any of that.

My daughter is going to be out of the country on a mission trip and her husband will be working.  With the weather forecast it appears there may be no school this week.

So – I may have my granddaughter all week.

When she comes to visit, everything else stops.  My only purpose when she is here is to be her playmate.  We color, we play school, we play the piano, we make all kinds of creations with play-doh, we read.

Her mother tells me I should say “no” once in a while and have her play by herself.  I always say I will but when she looks at me and says “please, Grandma” I can’t resist.

Part of the reason I can’t say no is I remember my older grandchildren and how quickly they have grown up, moved on with their adult lives.  I know how quickly this “grandchild of my old age” will also be grown and playing with grandma will not be such a high priority.

So – what I will do on this cold wintry week really depends on whether school is cancelled or not.

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For all my friends and family in the Midwest, stay warm this week.

 

 

 

 

 

My Husband Has a New Love

addict

My husband and I have been scrabble addicts since 2008.  We have books recording every game we have played for the past ten years.  During the summer we usually play two or three times a week but in the months when Old Man Winter blows his breath around our house, we play every day.

You can check out my original admittance of our addiction in my post:

Confessions of a Scrabble Addict!

We began this year as always playing almost every day in the cold, bitter days in January.  All was fine until April when my husband left me and Scrabble for his new love.

And it’s all my daughter’s fault.

In April my husband had major surgery and was in the hospital for several days.  After coming home he was supposed to remain quiet for six weeks.  In an attempt to give him something to help pass the time my daughter bought him a Sudoku book.

sudoko

To be honest I didn’t think he would use it.  He is not the kind to sit still for long and although he does for Scrabble there is interaction with me.  So I thought he would work one or two and then quit.

Boy, was I wrong!

He started on the ones marked “easy.”   Every time I asked if he would play a game of Scrabble, he would say:

Let me just finish this one puzzle.”

But one puzzle led to another.  And another.

I thought when he got to the ones marked ” medium” he would quit.  Not that I doubted my husband is smart, but I thought as they got more difficult to solve, he might get frustrated and quit.

Boy, was I wrong!

He began working five to six puzzles a day which left no time to for me or Scrabble.

I still held out hope that he would surely quit when he got to the ones marked “hard.”  I can never figure those out and I thought he would have trouble also.  That would surely lead to frustration and he would come back to me and Scrabble.

Boy, was I wrong!

He is skipping through the “hard” ones and is almost finished with the book my daughter bought him.  So – now maybe there is hope.

Boy, was I wrong!

Last week, in anticipation of finishing this book of puzzles, he went to Barnes and Noble and brought a GIANT Sudoku book.

I’m going to try one more time today to get him to play a game of Scrabble with me.

If not, maybe divorce court will be in our future.  (Just kidding, of course!)

Guess I need to find a new addiction myself.  My daughter gave me a word search book – maybe that will work.

 

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My Addiction Cost Me 27 Days in 2017

I am addicted.  I have made my confession before.  Confessions of a Scrabble Addict!

I have tried hard to overcome it but I have not been able to do so as I reported in  My Addiction has Returned.

And now this year it has taken 27 days of my life.

We played 216 games in 2017.  It takes us about 3 hours to play a game.  So that amounts to 27 days playing scrabble.

We play on a super scrabble board which has twice the letters of regular scrabble and an expanded board.

We also take forever to take a turn because we are so competitive and try to either play a seven letter word which gives us 50 extra points or find a place on the board to give us triple or quadruple points.

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Winning with us is like a seesaw.  I get a couple of games ahead, then he comes backs, ties me and pulls ahead two or three games.  The most anyone of us has been ahead is five games.  When I get that many games behind, the adrenalin kicks in and I HAVE to catch up.

 

Keeping scores since 2008 we ended this year with a tie.  We each won 107 games with two tied games.  In the ten years of keeping score, I have won one more game than he has.  One more game in ten years.  What a tight contest!

So into the New Year we go!  Suspect mounts!

Will he be able to win more games than me in 2018?

Will I pull ahead even more?

For those who follow my blog and are tired of hearing about scrabble (which proves my addiction) I promise no more posts on this subject for a while (at least I promise I will try).

So just a few scrabble jokes to end this blog and start another attempt to overcome my addiction.

  • In Russia when a baby is born, the parents play a game of scrabble and the letters they pick up is the name of their child.
  • Scrabble is all fun and games until someone loses an “i”
  • the dreaded Old MacDonald rack – eieiooo
  • I accidentally swallowed some scrabble tiles.  My next movement could spell disaster.

Last Game of 2017 – Who Will Win?

 

scrabble

For those of you who follow my blog you know my husband and I are scrabble addicts.  In the summer we play several times a month, but when Old Man Winter comes we play almost every day.  We are very competitive keeping a record of our games now for 10 years.

In the ten years of playing super scrabble, I have won one more game than my husband.

This year I am currently ahead of him one game.

After church this morning we will play our final game of 2017.  If he wins, that will make us tied for the year and I will remain ahead overall one game.  If I win, I will not only be ahead for this year but will extend my overall lead to two games.

If he wins the game, that will conclude our 2017 games.  I have an idea if I win, we may be playing more than one game today because he does not want to end up a loser for 2017.

We could be up all night until he ties me.  Could be a long New Year’s Eve for these old folks.

Party on young people – but there’s no better party than two old folks playing scrabble.

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International Scrabble Day

Scrabble

Now here’s a holiday to celebrate!

Today is National Scrabble Day and what better way to celebrate than to try to beat my husband in a game of Scrabble.  I have shared before that I am an addict.  Confessions of a Scrabble Addict!  There are groups for those trying to overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol but there is nothing to help those of us who cannot stop trying to make words out of every sign, every book title, every thing we see in writing.  So I guess I am stuck with my addiction.   My Addiction has Returned

Today lets me know I am not alone!

There are apparently many more out there who love Scrabble.  There is an International Scrabble Club created and run by the player known as Carol (real name Florin Gheorghe), who lives in Romania.  There is a World Scrabble Championship which is held every year with players from more than 30 countries.  This championship is the most prestigious title in competitive English language Scrabble.   Contestants come from more than 30 countries to compete.  The 2017 North American Scrabble Championship is scheduled to take place in New Orleans.

Serious Competition

While we will never make it to the national championship, we keep up a tough competition between us.   Many of our games are very close but last January was one for the books.  When the game ended I was one point ahead of my husband.  However, because I had one tile that I had not played, its point value had to be taken from me and added to my husband’s score.  That gave him the game with one point ahead of me.  Needless to say, I was NOT a happy camper.

We also compete to see who can get the highest score in a game.  So far, my husband holds that title with a game played back in May 2015 with 961 points.  Yes we do keep records of our scores.  I told you we are addicts.

Another area where we compete is to see who can play all seven tiles in one turn.  For years I was way behind my husband.  But slowly I have learned to do as he does and keep shuffling my tiles around to see what words I can make.  Of course, this takes time so we have to be patient with each other.  Some of the crazy words we have come up with over the years include unbonnet and yaupings.  He loves to keep reminding me that twice he has had a game where he played all seven tiles five different times.

We have become familiar with the Greek, Hebrew and Arabic alphabet as those words are allowed in Scrabble.  There are 105 playable two-letters words in a regulation Scrabble game, according to the Official Scrabble players’ dictionary and we have memorized most of those.

So for my fellow Scrabble lovers

Scrabble joke

 

 

 

My Addiction has Returned

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According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Well – my husband and I seem to be addicted to the game “Scrabble.”  I have confessed my addiction in the past hoping that being totally honest would free me from this obsession with the game.  Confessions of a Scrabble Addict!

This summer we spent a lot of time in our hosta garden.  That is another area where we seem to seek some kind of “brain reward” by seeing how many hostas we can plant in our back yard. Our entire back garden is full of hostas!  We have close to 200 different varieties. That  sounds like a lot – but there are over 3000 different varieties registered so it is really not that large a collection.  We would try to get more varieties, but we have run out of yard space.

While working in the garden (we also have roses, columbine and lots of day lilies) kept us busy this summer, it appeared we had conquered our game addiction.  Instead of playing 15 to 20 to 30 games a month, we actually only played five to six games and there were even months we did not play at all.

Then came the cold snap!

We thought we were free!  Then Old Man Winter arrived with bitter temperatures dipping below zero and wind chills readings 20 to 30 below.  Since my husband has a heart condition and his doctor has told him not to go out in these bitter cold temps, we were stuck in the house.

You can only watch so many movies!

I baked an apple pie and we watched some old movies.  But you can only watch so many movies before your brain dies.  So out came the scrabble game.

And we are hooked again!

The month is not over and we have already started out 25th game!  My husband loves to be able to play all his letters in one turn.  In these 25 games, he has played all his letters 22 times.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with him on this great feat.  However, I am getting better as I have played all my letters 13 times this month.

Do we sound crazy?  Our kids insist when we die they will not have a visitation.  Instead, in our honor, they will hold a scrabble tournament.

Anyone else out there love scrabble?  Are we the only nuts in the world?

Spring will come!

Hopefully with the arrival of spring, we will be able to shake free once again of this addiction.  At least until winter returns in 2017.