It’s that time when every local broadcast begins with a “winter weather alert”. Last year our area got 30 inches of snow in a huge blizzard that pummeled the east coast.  Note that we typically get this kind of snow only once every five or so years (if we’re lucky). Of course, everyone was wringing their hands about the forecast and with covered roads, a closed Metro, government offices and businesses, cabin fever was at an all-time high.  I think my annual flu shot inoculates me against that disease since I find myself dancing like a school kid with PJs on backwards hoping for a good snow dump – preferably on a Thursday night into Friday, or a Sunday night into Monday – that guarantees a long weekend.  Hopefully your employer sees the wisdom in closing for a day or so to keep their most valuable asset – YOU – safe, until conditions improve and streets are cleared.  (I understand that many people have an obligation to be at work on days like this and our hats are off to emergency responders, medical professionals and others who endure those conditions for our communities.)

If you’re one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to go to work in a major storm here are some ways to prep for a mini stay-cation!

  1. Ice Melt. Don’t wait until the snow storm is imminent and your local stores run out.  Order this from Amazon in September. Be sure to look for pet safe products if you or neighbors have a pet. No snow this year? If kept sealed and dry it can last up to two years. Follow the directions and put some down before the snow starts…makes clean up a lot easier.
  2. Shovel. Ditto.  Be sure to get a couple of these in advance.  It’s good to have more than one in case one breaks, or if someone’s around to help you shovel. Be sure to shovel throughout the storm so you’re not trying to move a foot of snow all at once!  Saves your back.
  3. Windshield cover. A good one helps to get that snow off your windshield fast. Order this early in the season as well.
  4. Food shopping.  Don’t go after work…ever. The crowds are crazy, the shelves are empty and the lines are long.  Instead, go early in the a.m. before work, or take off late morning and get there before those who leave work early and stop by on the way home. Voila! The store shelves have been re-stocked overnight and no one will be shopping except you and the other really smart people reading this!
  5. Get your carry-out now!  In addition to stocking on what we needed from our fav grocer (Wegmans), we knew we’d want Chinese food, pizza and delicacies from the Wine’ing Butcher, a neighborhood gem.  I surely wasn’t going to spend all of those well-earned PJ days cooking and we knew the restaurants wouldn’t be able to deliver.  Chinese food is easily reheated, so we picked up a variety of dishes in advance.  Also I got the ingredients for pizza from Wegmans so we made an assortment of fresh pizza at home.  As for the Wine’ing Butcher, the key lime shrimp and house sirloin tips were perfect on the stovetop grill which, trust me, is a must-have for every kitchen.

Having a variety of menu items, some of which required cooking and some that didn’t, helped keep our stay-cation from getting monotonous (at least for me, lol!). Of course you need the requisite, movies, games, books/magazines and list of TV shows to binge watch.  But time like this also gives you a chance to catch up on projects around the house that you don’t normally have time to tackle, plan your spring, practice your best selfies…or if you must, telework.