I got up at 6:30 this morning, in the dark and cold, and turned on my computer to check. Sure enough, school was cancelled. Everyone went back to bed for between 2 (adults) and 4 (teens) hours.

Snow days are very rare in the Portland area, and we over-react to the first few swirling flakes. We seriously over react. But that’s okay—mock us as you like. Oregonians don’t know how to drive in the snow and the roads get crazy fast; it’s best if everyone stays inside. I grew up in Canada, on the prairies, where we had ample snow for months on end, but we left when I was 12 so I never learned to drive in it myself. Also, if we did not cancel school for half an inch of snow, we would never get to cancel school.

We love snow! But we can’t deal with it. So everything got cancelled last night and tonight, and my very busy day packed full of plans changed into a day spent lying round the house in my sweats, making jam tarts with Ilsa and having extra cups of tea. I’ve been having nasty headaches lingering from the cold I had last week, so it felt good to rest and recover.

In other news, we’ve had another round of nail infections, which naturally caused me to wonder: Why? I mean, I have gone my entire life with intact nails, as have many of my friends. The obvious answer is that Donn must have faulty genes. Seriously, on my side, we have very healthy nails.

This time it was Elliot’s turn. He had an infected fingernail so we treated it with the Moroccan version of Neosporin (we had plenty left over from Ilsa’s toe saga) and band-aids. It didn’t improve. Suddenly, Ilsa had 2 infected nails. (She’s always been pretty competitive so this didn’t surprise me) Hers weren’t as bad, but also weren’t really improving, so last week we went into Urgent Care one evening after school.

The nurse practitioner noticed that Elliot’s nail was loose. “I’ll just take it off,” she decided. Sure, why not? I said. It’s what we do. Elliot was very brave (well he’d have to be, wouldn’t he, with Ilsa right in the same room?) even when the nail stuck to the nail bed and she had to really yank on it. Then she bandaged his middle finger in an enormous white bandage and sent him off to school like that.

She said the nail wasn’t acting as she would have expected. There should be pus, she felt, and there wasn’t. Ilsa had the same problem, although since hers weren’t as bad she kept her nails, for a change. The NP cultured the infections, and called us 2 days later with the news—it was strep.

Only my kids would get this instead of having normal strep throats like everyone else. Who know how many people they infected while we were in blissful ignorance thinking it was an infected hangnail?

Amazingly, everyone else is healthy so far. Abel (who physically is most like my side of the family—coincidence? I don’t think so!) has lovely nails and his throat is fine too.

I looked it up on Google and sure enough, strep is common all over your skin. Isn’t that a pleasant thought? I’ll wait here while you go scrub down with bleach.

Hopefully our freezing temps will kill some of these germs. We are supposed to get more snow tonight, but my hopes aren’t high. I’m not complaining—there are still plenty of jam tarts left, in case we get another snow day tomorrow.

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