Posted tagged ‘Winter Fun’

SOUP IN THE COLD

February 28, 2019

All over America record cold and snowfalls have been recorded.  Here in the Far North we got our share of extreme cold,  lots of snowfall,  and  recently our strong wind storm.

We stay warm by eating (drinking)  hot things.

Oh, and if they tell you to drink hot tea and honey,  because honey is a good antibiotic, especially on your sore throat,   be sure not to take a shortcut and pour the boiling hot water  over the tea bags which are in your jar of honey!
Soup Honey

I just wanted to get the last bit of honey out of a jar that was almost empty –  but, well, it didn’t work too well.     The tea pot was nearby to catch the big drips.

Well, I have a good soup recipe, which I’ll summarize below, but it’s so easy to make that if you have a basic idea of how soup is put together, you don’t really need an exact recipe.

Start with really good butter:

Soup Butter

I use butter from a grass fed cow to get the maximum amount of nutrients that you’re supposed to get from butter.

A warm cozy soup starts by saute’ing a good sweet  Italian sausage and onions.

Soup onions sausage

Our priest actually has a small farm and it was time to use some pigs;  he made part of their meat  into sweet Italian sausage with his own recipe.  He had  so much that he distributed some  to us, his parishioners.     Thank you!

When the meat is no longer pink, you can add more vegetables, like cabbage and celery  and things,  and a lot of broth or water, maybe some bone broth if you have some on hand.

soup green

This is the point where you don’t really need a recipe.  Just chop up lots of things that are good for you and add it to the broth.

But if you notice,   that soup looks awfully monotone.   It needed some color.

Back to the cutting board!

Soup peppers

Now that looks more like a good-tasting soup!

Soup Red

You just need to use your eyeballs and a spoon.       Eyeball the soup, to see how it’s looking;  and use the spoon  frequently to see  how it’s tasting.

Adjust taste with salt, pepper,  turmeric,  cayenne, onion powder,  garlic powder,  spice blends  (I like a Berbere blend), and herbs and herb blends.     Whatever you have time and patience for.

I can’t complain about the snow and the cold here.   Daughter lives in the High Sierras where they got 8 – 10 feet of snow in  the last 48 hours.    She sent me a photo of her two-story house, of which you can see only the second floor and part of the first sticking out of the snow.

I took a look at her village’s Live Webcam:

Village Webcam

Someone needs to clean the lens.    The Webcam on Donner Lake, where she lives, was “Offline” — more like buried, I think.

And woe to anyone who stays still in one place during one of these storms:

 

Tahoe car

One lady couldn’t go any further in her car during the storm.   The snowplow found her car the next day.     She was okay, still inside.

With extreme weather,  your body faces cold-weather stress.   To stay healthy, turn to soup again.   My favorite immune system soup remedy is mushroom soup:

Soup Mushroom soup.jpg

Now there’s an easy recipe, no eyeballing or taste-testing!   Wild Mushroom and Chestnut soup from Whole Foods, with a little extra miitake mushrooms,  re-hydrated in warm cream.

Enjoy winter!   Happy Eating!

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Ingredients for cabbage sausage soup:   (adjust every single ingredient!)

6 medium potatoes, cubed

1 small onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1/2 head of cabbage,  chopped

3 (beef smoked) sausage foot-long rings (or whatever)  . . ..  sliced or diced . . . (whatever)

1 tsp salt

1 T black pepper

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp sage

2 tsp  onion powder

 

Mix all together in a 5 quart pot with 8 cups of water  (or whatever).

 

Cook until tender.   (But the longer the better)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HOME DELIVERY – FROM ABOVE

February 26, 2019

 

God’s watchful Providence:

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smile

When we run out of things around our homes, we get used to the idea of going to our computer,  Click!  Click!  Zoom (submit)!  — and in two days it’s delivered to our mailbox or onto our front porch!

We’re so used to receiving things based on our own efforts that we think our own efforts  will assure that we receive things.

Well, a week or so ago I ran out of kindling for my fireplace.   I need those tiny little twigs and sticks to get the fire going.    I didn’t want to cross my icy creek to get back into the woods to pick up more sticks . . .

creek 2

(something like that)

And Amazon doesn’t deliver kindling.

So . . .   next?      Here in the Far North we had a terrific windstorm during the weekend.  30 m.p.h.  winds,  with 50-60 m.p.h.  gusts.

And some snow.

Road Snowfall Lights

 

The wind made driving treacherous,   lifting up the snow in great clouds, causing whiteouts over the roads.   Here,  I took a picture of  the snow being driven laterally across the road.   The car was shaking.

Road Lines

I had both hands on the wheel during the whiteouts (no photos) !

Road Red Green

The storm turned the traffic lights into red smears and green streaks.

At home, the trees roared overhead and things dropped onto the roof,  bounced and rolled.    Nothing I could do, but . . .  enjoy!

A storm like this is so  strong;  it makes a person feel very small.     All the storms,  all of Nature . . .  the world . . . the universe;  so immense, our efforts so small.   As King David asked:  “What is Man that Thou art mindful of him?” 

And yet God cares and watches over us.    He watches out for our well-being, and He knows what we have need of.        Jesus said:  “Ask, and you shall receive . . .”    

The next day, after the winds subsided and the snow stopped,  I stepped out onto my front porch —

Kindling 3 porch

—  and there was a delivery of fresh new kindling!

All over the front yard,  the “kindling”  had been deposited.

Kindling 2

I checked the back yard and found so much more.

Kindling 4 back

I’ll be doing a lot of tramping around back there to collect all that kindling!

 

Once, long ago,  the Israelites in the desert complained to Moses because they hadn’t had meat for so long.     God “caused a strong west wind to blow . . .”    and the wind picked up thousands of quail and dropped them in abundance into the Israelite camp!

quails

 

With a little hyperbole and absurdity,  Jeff Larson records the event, in Numbers 11 of the Bible.

quail humor

We call that “Providence,”  God’s watchful care over us, noticing what we need,  providing for us in sweet and abundant ways.

Jesus said:  I have come that they may have life,  and that they might have it more abundantly.”     John recorded that in his gospel,  John 10:10.

Now that’s something to wonder about.   He didn’t promise an abundance of things.  The Israelites got lots of “things” —  lots of quail!      But they got sick from overeating, and many died.

We are the “they”  that Jesus was bringing an abundance to,  but what is an “abundance of life”?    If we’re alive, we’re alive, right?    But what is it to be abundantly alive?  Fully alive and aware,  fully living?

Look up in your needs,  during your “storms,”  and  ask,  and receive.   So little of our blessings are the results of our own efforts.

praying hands

Click!  Click!   Submit!

Life with God is an abundant life.

 

 

SNOW “BURIAL”

February 10, 2019

 

Well, what do you do when a blizzard buries your front yard?

Snow angel toppers 280

You jump down on top of the snow and make snow angels!

(That’s Cooper and his Daddy – I think – several feet above their front yard, and beautiful  Donner Lake in the background,  with the High Sierras of California.)

When you have a blizzard burial,  you try not to let you and your friend get  buried —

Snow burial 230

But it makes it really hard to play on your  swing set —

Snow jungle gym 390

The swings are down there somewhere.

They’ll have to wait till Spring.

Snow porch 280

Cooper and Daddy  (I’m sure Cooper helped!)   dug out their front door and shoveled across their raised deck . . .  and I’m sure Daddy said, ‘Now, stand in front of the snow so I can take a picture to show Grandma.”

Oh, yes.  Grandma loves winter.    I’ve told you that before!   Even when I visited them one winter and shoveled three feet of snow off their deck so it wouldn’t collapse.  But it kept snowing and I had another four feet to shovel the next morning.

What that gives you is . . .  an experience to remember!

 

ICE THINGS

January 31, 2019

Well,  the story around here is still ice.   And today was the third day that I’ve been iced in, as in my doors are frozen shut!    Front door and back door.

It’s okay.    This weather is in my blood.   Here are some of “my people” —   my ancestors, my Grandma’s cousins.  They’re playing with their reindeer.

reindeericeancestors

Reindeer are surprisingly small animals,  but they can give a Lapp or a Sami absolutely everything needed for life.

Well, I wouldn’t see them outside my windows today.   As I said in the last post,  I roam from window to window, just looking outside “at the cold.”       I knew there was no mail delivery today, but I peeked outside my (frozen )  front door curtain anyway.

icewindow

It’s not Jack Frost,  but that ice is pretty thick.    And that’s my  mailbox out there, temporarily inaccessible to me.

 
icepalms   Our weatherman  promises really warm weather this weekend, so my doors will probably thaw and release me to the outdoor world.   Our temperatures are supposed to take a wild swing 70 degrees upwards,  from Wednesday to Sunday.      (For a day or two, that is, before another swing downwards.)

 

It’s a big country here.  I know there are some who are all right during this deep freeze, some who are not all right.       That’s the way life is.   You take care of those immediately around you, and maybe,   if you can,   help those who are reaching out even further away.

Meanwhile,  we can just experience this extreme cold snap with  a little fun:

Here’s a lighthouse along the shore of Lake Michigan  that gets photographed most winters:

icelighthosue

 

For some perspective:

icepersepctive

 

Someone in Ohio,  Cleveland I think, near Lake Erie,  took some photos.  Here are some street lamps:

icelamps

And then — I don’t know what this is!

icedon27tknow

Maybe when the Midwest gets its heatwave this weekend,  they[‘ll figure it out.

 

 

 

BIG AND INVISIBLE

January 31, 2019

If I were going to give you a lesson today, it would be that some really big things cannot be seen.

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As I write,  it’s 15 degrees below zero, with a wind chill index somewhere approaching  40 below.   In this area we’re all aware that something  major,  something extreme is going on outside . . . .

Well, here’s a beautiful photo from my back yard during this deep freeze we’re having.

starlights cr

It’s two of my solar-powered lights which are supposed to be lighting up the statue of St. Joseph in my back garden     I didn’t even know they would work in such cold weather!   The snow depth was just right to catch the light coming from the bottom of the lamps to make these star patterns.

I chanced upon these pretty “starlights” because I go from window to window, looking outside into this frigid weather.   It’s not the snow that fascinates me,  it’s pretty, but I’ve seen it before.   It’s the extreme cold.

As I said, we all know this weather is unusual; it’s a very big event, and  dangerous.  It has already proven to be fatal to some.    So I keep checking the windows, I think  just to  “see”  how different it is out there.

jack frost

Jack Frost*

Like  this weather,  there are other invisible  things that are bigger than humans, notable and very  real.    There are things we have to deal with  that are invisible, but dangerous if we ignore.

heaven cr

 

The whole spiritual world is very real yet usually remains invisible.  Our own souls.   God Himself  and all His angels — intelligent spirits who do God’s bidding.   Evil intelligent creatures.   Heaven.   Hell.

 

spirits

 

I can keep on looking out my windows, going from room to room as I do, and yet I’ll never see 15 below zero;    and I’ll never see anything in the spiritual world,  but yet it has an effect on me,  on all of us.

It can be denied and ignored, but only at our own peril.

We were created with a soul and an intellect,  and the created natural world can help us start  our journey back to our Creator.      And then we need to search out more information with open hearts,  humbly, and with our full attention.   We’ll find some beautiful “starlights” along the way.

These Big Matters which are  invisible  are  yet  real.  We need to know all about them.

OR ELSE, we just might step out into the Night and run into real danger.

 

spirits near

 

__________________________________________________________________

.*    I must “defend” my own windows.   I don’t really see Jack Frost  because my windows are triple-paned and insulated with inert gases.   It’s quite cozy,  but not very artistic in the cold weather anymore.    At least I’m  “saving energy.”

 

FROZEN – IN

January 29, 2019

(85% of our nation’s lower 48 is below freezing temperature these days, according to news reader on television.    I join. . . .)

It’s “official.”    I am officially frozen in my house,  back and front.

door frozen

That’s a door handle to the sliding glass door that opens out to my back deck.   Only it won’t open today.   It is frozen shut.

It has been cold.  The wind chill index is about 10 below zero right now as I write,  but it’s supposed to get down to as much as 38 below overnight.   30 mph winds –  so I will count myself very lucky if our power doesn’t go out.

See,  my front door is frozen shut too.    The door frame has contracted in the cold so the door can’t leave its frame.     My firewood is out there on the front porch.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace is fun;  but if it’s a necessity,  then  there’s a serious situation going on.

I woke up to this view across my desk this morning:

snow from desk

We did get 7 inches in that storm I was writing about last time.      My neighbor (who played and coached hockey and still likes to skate)  cleared the snow off the pond with shovel and snowblower.     (And left his chair that they all use to fumble with their skates, or to rest.  Wonder if it’s a penalty box too?)

The reason my sliding glass doors are frozen is because I’m using two vaporizers in the kitchen.  When it’s so cold outside,  the humidity goes way down.   The plants and I get very dehydrated — a big no-no for someone walking around with (dissolving)  pulmonary embolisms.   The sliding glass doors are very tight,  but that room moisture seeps into cracks that we can’t even feel. And  the severe cold seeps in from the other side.

snow rink chair

So the pond looks inviting.   My neighbor augered the ice and found it to be at least four inches thick, so it’s safe.

It’s just the air that’s not safe.

Not for another couple days.   A couple days to be,  not  snowed in,  but frozen in!

 

Stay warm everyone.

 

 

NIGHT SURPRISE

January 29, 2018

I was raking old leaves this weekend, wearing a sweater . . .  but the Far North gives us surprises –

29 Deck at night snowfall 380

This was taken about 4:30 this morning. We were having such a beautiful snowfall  . . .  I kept going around to all the windows and taking pictures (as though we’d never had snow before!).     The deck lights added so many little patterns  –

29 Deck Lights 380

 

There are nine or so inches on my deck railing and bench right now.    I know a lot of people  must have wakened  up to this “surprise”;  no one seems to have heard any weather report predicting this much snow.

The whole world looks so different under all this snow.         See those two small parallel white lines against the tree trunk?   —

29 Vines in the snow

Those two parallel lines are big Poison Ivy vines that  had been growing  all the way up that tall tree, and then they were ripped off  in a big storm.    They let go of the tree and just fell off.    No one is too willing to go and get them out of the creek where they fell.

Usually you can’t see them too well just behind my pond  (which is all that white in the foreground)  and when everything is colored in  the same brown tones.   But snow outlines everything in a thick soft covering, accentuating some things, obscuring other things.

Schools are closed.  My class is canceled.   The snowplows will not come today, and neither will the mailman.

But then there’s the driveway to think about.       (Think:  good exercise)

29 Shoveling 370

Can’t get out on the roads to go (cross-country)  skiing anyway.     In fact,  looking at that snowbank at the end of the driveway,  I’ll be staying home for a while.    And when the snowplows come,  that snowbank is just going to get higher.

29 Driveway 370

There is a thin light snowfall right now,  but when we get a puff of wind,  the snow on the branches comes down in a cascade of tennis ball size chunks.

Now that I’m all snowed in,  I’m supposed to be enjoying the couch by a big window in my front room,, and reading and knitting . . .    but –

29 Front Window 380

Can’t keep my eyes off this scene.

I’m easily distracted.

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SOUNDS OF COLD

January 5, 2018

Frosty windows today!

5 windows

I’ve  just emailed some of my Friday morning class,   reminding them we don’t have class today.    I ended by bidding them to enjoy the Cold Blast with cozy soft  clothes,  good books,   hot soups and tea and cocoa.

5 soup

But I noticed –  not only do these cups of hot liquids feel good to our hands,  but their sounds  are an anticipation of inner warmth — —   stirring the soup with a  hard metal spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan;

—  the light crinkle of paper surrounding the tea ,   5 tea bag 60

—  the opening of the  container of cocoa,  the swish and light clatter of a spoon around and around the cup   (I have a quiet house).

5 st cocoa str 50

Prolong those sounds and the enjoyment increases.

 

5 ha ha colors 70  Other sounds too:   All those expected,  overused words we use to express our astonishment that it could actually get this cold!   All those jokes:   “It’s so cold that . . . ”     Here’s a political joke:   “It’s so cold that Elizabeth Warren is now calling herself an Eskimo!”   

Okay,  maybe only 58% of our country would find that funny;  the other ‘half’  don’t seem to have a sense of humor about themselves.

5 birds

The peeps and chirps of the wild birds are sharper and shriller as they remind you to throw out more bird seed.

Then there’s the nail-popping sound when the air gets so cold that the roof contracts and pops those nails right out of the shingles.

5 nails 85

You’re laying there in bed all night hearing a Snap!   Pop!  and Roll!   as the nail is freed and rolls all the way down the roof.    Kind of fun.    (“It’s so cold that I’m losing the nails in my roof. ”  hmmmm)

And then there’s the sound we can all make, if we’re lucky enough to have snow:    You have to walk out to the mailbox and you’re all bundled up like in a cocoon and all you can hear is the Squeak!  Squeak!  Squeak!  of your boots making footprints in the super-frozen dry snow.

Tip:   For added fun,  take your walk to the mailbox when it’s dark.  Preferably by moonlight.

5 moonlight

(Just remember, you can’t breathe that super-cold air  into  your lungs or you’ll come up coughing and sputtering!)

 

5 cocoa 110 j

 

KEEP WARM!

 

 

SLED LEGS

December 30, 2017

We are having a non-stop busy week  – no time for the usual activities,  but I’ve stolen a few minutes to tell you about a great new “invention”  for snowy days!

Sled Legs 280

That’s my grandson Cooper going down our nearby sledding hill – on his new Sled Legs.

They’re a great idea!

sled legs on

You strap these things to your legs,  just above your knees and above your shoes, so you can still walk . . .

sled legs walking

. . .  because the idea is you walk up to the top of the hill and then fling yourself on your knees and slide down.

Cooper says you can steer, but the  adults with him say you can’t.

(I think you can believe a 7 year old who plays Scrabble like a pro, two days after he learned that the game exists.   He picked up the rules for Parcheesi in about ten seconds.  And he apparently mastered all the pinball games at Pinball Pete’s tonight.)  

 

st bar blue snowflake divider

Anyway,   Sled Legs –  highly recommended!

.

 

ANOTHER FAR NORTH SNOW SURPRISE

December 14, 2017

Well,  this isn’t too much of a surprise:

Ruler table

I went out yesterday evening after I wrote about our little snowstorm, and stuck a ruler in my deck table.

Ruler Numbers 370

9 1/2 inches.   Just can’t believed the prediction for this storm passed me by.  Took me by surprise, didn’t see it coming.      Cars are moving on the streets now.

But here’s today’s little surprise:   I drove to my library this evening to return some books, and met a  little guy from the Arctic Circle –

Reinder face 370

And his friend –

Reindeer in cage 370

 

One line of my mother’s family came from Samiland; and one line of my dad’s family came from Lapland.  Both are regions of the world where reindeer like these are part of the families.    Not pets, really,  but food,  drink,  clothing, shelter, etc.

Nice to see them today.  Nice, pleasant little surprise.

 

 

 

A FAR NORTH SNOW STORY

December 13, 2017

(Got time for a    s   l  o   w       little snow story?)

There are 18 more days until 2018;  and this afternoon it was 19 degrees with 19 m.p.h. winds –  which makes it a lot colder.
RECORDER

Supposed to be Recorder practice day.  We were going to do Christmas songs.   Looked forward to that, but this got in the way:

A Snow Window 370

That’s the window looking out over my desk in my study, or library, whatever it’s called.

Weatherman said at one time this afternoon it was coming down an inch an hour.  Looks like about 8 inches on my deck railings.

A Sil Left Deck 370

That’s about four inches there, but  it kept on piling up.   The roads weren’t going to be very good, so all “electives” were canceled, including our music.

But snow that deep has to be taken off the driveway.   Shoveled.     My two across-the-street neighbors were already out there shoveling their own driveways.    I had a quiet afternoon while it got real pretty outside;    reading, dozing off ;    not moving around much, getting thoroughly chilled inside the house.

A Sil Shrub Ball 370

 

Then, time to take care of that driveway because snow-shoveling warms you up.  So does getting into my gigantic new snow parka,  which I put on over a turtleneck, blouse,  a big fuzzy sweater, tied all together with a long scarf .    Getting dressed like that takes some time and  warms you up too.

Then came the long thick over-the-knee socks and my high-tech winter hiking snow boots that I got from a store in the High Sierras.

A BOOTS 370

Took some doing getting the inner and outer laces and buckles done up.  Those boots will put your feet into a slow bake,  but the time it takes to get them on is worth it if your feet would otherwise be walking through deep, cold snow in less high-tech footgear.

Found my big thick stiff ski gloves and got them finally pulled halfway up my arms  and tied in place.

Opened my front door to go out —

And saw that one of my neighbors had already shoveled my driveway!

All dressed up and no place to go.

Nothing to do out there!    Just had to close the door, come back in, and strip off all that  outer gear.

I owe someone a warm fresh-baked loaf of bread,  but I don’t know who.

 

shovel

Neighborliness in the Far North.

.

 

 

 

 

COOPER’S “WEATHER UPDATE”

June 25, 2017

This posting is just for fun.

Some of you may remember  the kind of winter my grandson Cooper had this year —  buried under 20+  feet of snow.    It’s where they live.   Donner Pass.   As in . . .   the Donner Party.      I showed you some photos of Cooper and the snow . . . (here).

And this picture could look a lot like his back yard when the sun is just right:

Tahoe back 1

Well, their  giant snow cover is mostly gone,  but it’s still snowing!

bikinis in snow

This is a ski hill near Donner –  last week.   While we were having our heat wave,  they were . . .   well, it looks like a heat wave on the ski slope too.

Cooper’s Mommy is having a birthday on the Fourth of July.   A couple years ago, during a birthday phone call,  I asked her what she did on that day on her birthday.   She said,   “Oh,   we went to the beach and had a picnic, and then we went snowboarding.”    All in one day.    In July.

But it’s not all fun and games.     After Blizzard and Avalanche season, now we have the Snowmelt season.

Tahoe 12 billlion into

This is Lake Tahoe, nearby.   The slow-motion video showed the churning of the waters as  12 Billion gallons of water were flowing into the lake.

The video lasted until evening,  through sunset.

Tahoe sunset

 

Ahhhh,  the Sierras.    In a few short weeks I hope to be there.

To see my grandson, of course.

 

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY

March 14, 2017

 

A hint of Beauty this week:

Snow stars on cars 380

It was a cold morning, and I had left Hubbie’s car outside of the garage, but I needed to get going anyway.   It was routine . .  .  mumble mumble mumble . . .  gotta get going . . .  mumble mumble . . .   get those car keys in . . mmb . . .   start up the engine  . . .

And THEN —  I looked up, out, through the windshield!    There,  right in front of my face I looked, I really looked at the windshield, and saw the beautiful pattern the frost had laid down on the glass.

It was fascinating.   It pulled me up out of my routine and I just had to stare and appreciate and “feel”  the little snow stars.

Snow Stars 380

Fractals.   I’m sure there are mathematical formulas to describe those patterns with numbers;  beautiful  formulas to describe the beautiful material patterns!

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We’re created for Beauty.     We’re created with the capacity to recognize Beauty.  We’re created to find enjoyment in Beauty.      We’re created to desire the Source of Beauty,  the Creator Himself.

I’ve been reading from that book on Heaven  *  to my Monday class.  It says we’ll see our Creator, face to face, in all His glory. Our intellects will be glorified and we will see things in all their glory and splendor and beauty.  We won’t see just reflections of Beauty,   hints of Beauty,   we’ll see the essence of Beauty itself, and we will see our own soul as the beautiful creation that it is.

We will know ourselves clearly.     We will see ourselves as we really are.     Quote:

“We shall see (our soul)  clothed with a surpassing Beauty, adorned with gems of grace and good works,  and shining in the presence of God like a bright star.  This sight of ourselves will kindle in us sentiments of unbounded gratitude to God who is the giver of our existence.”

Enough.

An encounter with Beauty can take our breath away.

But with our intellects clarified and glorified (in Heaven)   we will live forever within the full enjoyment  of surpassing,  enchanting Beauty that is the Presence of God, Ever-Beautiful, Ever-Glorious,  Ever-Lovely.

Heavens Gate

And we will know and love and possess Him and all that He has for us.

It’s enough to make one want to seriously begin preparing!!!

______________________________________________

.*    The Happiness of Heaven   by  F.J.  Boudreaux

(easily available at Amazon and as an eBook elsewhere)

TIRED OF SNOW?

February 2, 2017

Well,  I’m not!

snowfall

This was my back yard a few nights ago.    So pretty.    I had a floodlight set up into the air so I could see the snowfall better.     We got only four inches, though.

Unlike my little grandson in the high Sierras:

snow-plow

 

This photo isn’t from his area,  but it very well could be.

A story from a nearby newspaper   . . .   (The San Jose Mercury News –   Do they still use the name San Jose?)  . . .   today discussed the  well over 100% of normal snowfall they’ve received this year.

SJM-SNOWPACK-0201-90

Now, “the sky is not falling,”   and no “climate change connection”   and they’ve had higher snowfall amounts in previous years from time to time,  but nevertheless, when you get a big year,  you’ve got to deal with it.   You’ll still find people who are happy with all the new snow for skiing and snowboarding  –  after all,  most of the people up there chose to live there so they could have plenty of snow to play in!     But the news article today said that people are beginning to show signs of “enough is enough”   and “we need a break.”

Normal life has been disrupted.    Schools,  postal delivery,   electricity,  cell towers.      Firefighters have to use  metal detectors to find the fire hydrants!

And what happens when you open your door — and the door is still there!!

door-of-snow

I just keep thinking about their weather forecast for the rest of this week.   About a foot more  by the end of the week;   and another two feet by the end of the weekend.   The comment that followed was that the winter sports snowpack will last into  July.

Great.     Cooper’s Mommy,  my daughter,  has a birthday on the Fourth of July.   This wouldn’t be the first year she’s gone both swimming and snowboarding on her birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DADDY MADE A PLAY SPACE

January 24, 2017

(Life underneath a good snowfall) –

I could have entitled this, yet once again:  “Cooper RE-buried!”    but I think Cooper’s Daddy took care to keep him  un-buried.

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That’s my grandson again,  Cooper,  pushing back the snow near his house.  Aren’t they getting cabin fever yet?    Aren’t they beginning to feel a little “suffocated”?     But Cooper and his Daddy and Mommy claim that they love living in the high Sierras, right near where the Donner Party had so much trouble with the snow . . . .   They claim they love the snow because then they have more to play in.

The base at upper Squaw Valley today is:   190 inches!    How many feet is that?

This is pretty close to what Cooper’s back yard looks like:

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Somehow, the kids find each other,  even after a third or fourth week of six-foot snowfalls.  Last weekend it was five.

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Five feet.    This is quite near Cooper’s neighborhood during a snowfall.   I recognize those roads.  I distinctly remember pushing him around in a baby stroller in that neighborhood  —  in the summer.

Wonder what it’s like to really “play” in all that  snow?   Well, before anyone can go skiing or snowboarding,  they have to  PLOW the slopes!

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A Midwestern flatlander like me wonders why they have to plow up there on the peaks.   This is why –

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You can probably recognize what those are;   they’re the lifts, the lift chairs – or the very tops of them.   The snow is too deep for them to work until some of the  snow is removed.

If you need help,  the California Highway Patrol will come – or try to come  –

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Don’t hold your breath.

Better to stay inside your house –

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(I’m pretty sure I pushed Cooper’s stroller past this house too.)

Can you have too much of a good thing?

 

 

ICE SCIENCE

January 17, 2017

Doing my errands today . . .

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. . .     doing errands on a solid sheet of ice that used to be my driveway.

Getting back up onto my front porch wasn’t any easier —

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It was only raining today.  It shouldn’t have been this bad.

We didn’t have the major part of that ice storm that crossed the nation during this past week,  but we had an interesting “weather event” just the same.

Our temperatures are pretty warm.  It’s going to be around 40 degrees more or less, for the next few days,   and precipitation will be in the form of rain.    HOWEVER —  our ground is frozen!    The temperature of the soil is less than 32 degrees,  so when rain comes down,  the ground freezes it.

So we’ve had an “ice storm”  at ground level, I guess you could say.    Everything else above two inches is pretty soaked and happy, and our  trees and power lines are just fine.

Cooper, however ––   remember the posts called “Grandson Buried”  and  “Burying Cooper Again” ?       Well, Mother Nature’s taking aim for a third try.   Another 5 to 6 feet of snow by Friday, and probably near 10 feet total at the end of a week.  Their forecast shows heavy snow for the next   eight  days!    I couldn’t drive out to see him if I tried.

How about a Snowplow Train?  –

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By the way,  Cooper lives on “Donner Pass Road,”  if that tells you anything.

Ice Science:

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Not Science Fiction, though.

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These are two photos of one of the science stations on the western edge of Antarctica.   They’re relocating because two huge crevices have opened up and are growing rapidly in length, threatening to cut off these scientists and their labs.

Thousands and thousands of new volcanoes have opened up in that region of the ocean,  warming the waters,  steering the warm water currents into that edge of Antarctica, so the ice shelf is getting unstable.

It’s not “climate change.”    And charging us massive “carbon tax” fees will not stop it. *

According to scientific statistics the area covered by ice down there has increased, year by year, over the past several years.   Antarctica has more ice than before.   However, this western edge is facing strong warm water currents.

Now what is causing the increase in volcanoes, underwater and around the Ring of Fire?

I guess we’d have to turn from Ice Science to Fire Science.

 

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.*   But don’t worry.  If you don’t know much about true science and you think you might be causing planetary changes in weather,    the outgoing Barack Hussein person, in the last three days of his White House occupation,  just gave away  one-half billion of our dollars to the United  Nations  “Climate”  Fund.

Do you know how much more he has already given away?

GRANDSON BURIED

January 5, 2017

  Taming that awful bug now; cutting him down to size.   

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I always say we were given Self-Healing Bodies;  that helps,  that  and keeping to a strict regimen of dozing-sleeping-dozing-sleeping-dozing . . .    (Heh heh — or is that just plain self-indulgence?)

Began to “return to the world” and  listen to the radio today and heard the national weather report.  Little Cooper, my grandson, is back at his home now in the Sierra Nevadas.    THAT Sierra Nevadas.   The one the weather service is giving three to five  FEET of snow to  this week!

I texted his Daddy and told him his weather has made our local news.    He looked out  his front door and sent a photo back.

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That was the first two feet.   More to come later that day.    And then the three-five feet on Friday/Saturday.     They’re talking ten to fifteen feet in some places.   Not surprising, I guess –  they live near Donner Pass . . .    THAT Donner Pass — the documentary they keep showing on the Weather Channel about the ill-fated wagon train party that never made it over Donner Pass one winter.      Twenty-two feet in that snowstorm.      Cooper lives within a couple miles of the Donner Party Memorial.

Their story is actually worth knowing.  It has some elements of general human importance.      I wrote about it a couple years ago, so you can read the story,  here.    

If you read the story,   you’ll see a beautiful lake in the midst of the forest.   Cooper’s house is on that lakeshore.      It’s all grayed out in the above photo, though;   too much snow in the air.

The Donner Party was caught off guard, but Cooper and his family just take all that snow in stride.   They wouldn’t feel  “buried.”     Cooper shovels snow too.    He has a six-year-old size shovel.   But I happen to know that that area has  mountain-blizzard sized  snow plows!     Loud, horrendously screeching metal behemoths that move mountains of snow off the roads.    The sound still gives me chills.

I had been taking care of him for several weeks one winter, and  I was thinking about ending my stay, making the long, long cross-country drive that would take me home — and then they got one of those snowstorms.   In one afternoon, we went from almost no snow cover to three feet of snow, drifting all over the place.

And forget about driving home!

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That was my little blue car,  parked under a car port!     We got more snow that evening and more snow the next day.    For a few panicked moments,  I could almost feel what the Donner Party had begun to experience.     Stuck!  Stranded!  Buried!

“GRANDSON BURIED.”      That’s not what they would say.      They live there and that’s their playground.        “Skiing!!”  is what they would say.

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Here’s Cooper on snowshoes a few years ago.    They  have no problem getting around.

We had a baby snowstorm today:  15 degrees;   40 m.p.h. wind gusts, and, oh,  maybe an inch or two of snow.   More weather like that coming this weekend.

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It was hard to get just the right photo of the clouds of snow swirling around, but the wind took the snow and made pretty patterns in the air.

Well, it’s winter, and we’re in for it for a while  –  all over the Northern Hemisphere.    How about a trip to the German Alps?   Like this  –

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Think how beautiful it all can be!!!

 

Ahhhh. . .   now I have something lovely to think about as I go back to my couch and doze off some more . . . .

 

DE-JA-VU-STORM

March 2, 2016

(The lady laments):

Just about the same time as  last week.   Another snowstorm.  Like deja vu .

Which is a very good thing . . . .

Somewhere between 9 and 10 inches of snow today.  No need for a ruler this time.  You can see it two postings ago.   9 1/2 inches.     As I was shoveling – again –  I remembered last week’s Snow Bear —

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But it wasn’t there today.

Missing . . . .

We had had a couple “warm” days  this weekend so the snow bear I had made went away.  But since I was outside shoveling the same snow from the same driveway,  it just seemed like it should be there.

Which reminds me why this snowstorm is a good thing. . ..

And sorry for the dark photos this time.

My laptop and my desktop PC  are gone today.  Gone like that Snow Bear.   And so , too, is all my software for lightening up photos.   

The snowstorm made it a dark day today.

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Big snowflakes.   Dark day.

Dark, dark, dark.  

All the bits and pieces of my brain are in my missing laptop and PC.     So many times today I wanted to check email –  not there –  check the news –  not there –  answer some questions – not there —  find a pretty painting I was reading about — not there.     Dark.

I do love a good snowstorm.   I love having some useful exercise to do.  (I wasn’t planning to drive anywhere,  but shoveling snow just seems – useful.)   I love the beauty that the snow brings, and the geometric patterns on my backyard pond –

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Deja vu on watching pond patterns again, I guess.   I’d lighten that for you and turn up the contrast.   But I can’t.

My laptop and my PC both,  AT THE SAME TIME,  “got sluggish” to the point of being unusable.  My PC was giving me very scary messages like “No operating system found.  Press any key to reboot.”      Yikes.

I saw it coming.   But I delayed taking them in.  I couldn’t figure out what I would be doing without them while they were being fixed.

They’re in good hands now.   Geeks.  Real, genuine, computer geeks.   I’m very confident.  They weren’t much for small talk but they had a large computer vocabulary.    They seemed to appreciate having my computers to work on,  like  “Oh, boy –  an interesting challenge.”    At least I hope that’s what they were thinking.  

No one could have more affection for my laptop and my PC than I have.

So,   I’m glad for a repeat of last week;  another snowstorm to distract me, and all the things that come with a snowstorm:  fireplace, reading, knitting,   hot cocoa,  comfort food,  and a little fresh air.

Not much else to do.      I could write about something serious today,  like we shouldn’t rely on computers so much, especially when it comes to voting, like electronic voting where today in Texas the people who cast votes for Trump report that they watched their vote on the screen get changed to another name —

Computers can do funny things to you.   But I can’t think about that much now.

My brain is in bits and pieces on someone’s work bench right now.

.

 

 

 

FLEETING WINTER BEAUTY

February 25, 2016

 (Just a little photo journal  . . .)

I’ve had one long 32-hour distraction!

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It started yesterday with the beginning of our little snowstorm.   Looked up about noon, over my computer keyboard, out the window — and that was the end of all my work.  Can’t concentrate when there’s so much going on outside!

It seems all day long I just went from window to window as though I had never seen a snowstorm before.  The snow and the wind made such beautiful scenes and patterns –

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The pond was no longer good for ice skating and hockey,  but all day there was a swirl of changing patterns.  I don’t know what the aquamarine color was,  but it was a nice touch.  No.    No blue sky to reflect into the ice.

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The little weed tree at the edge of the pond was getting coated with thick, heavy, sticky snow.   Rather artistic for a “weed.”.

I checked the azaleas just outside the bay window:

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Well, they kind of looked the same as the little weed tree at the edge of the pond.

I went to the front of the house:

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I have a Snowball Bush!       Bloomin’ snowballs.

The snow came all day,  sometimes heavy, sometimes light.  I thought in order to keep up with it,  I’d have to shovel the driveway two or three times while it’s falling, or else I’d never be able to move it all at once.  It was wet and heavy!

Of course, this heavy, wet, sticky snow is good for rolling and packing so now I have —

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—  a Snow Bear!

Okay, you can hardly see a white Snow Bear in a snowstorm,  but I had to alternate snow shoveling with . . . some fun.   Came in soaking wet,  just like when I was a little girl.

Today brought pretty much an end to the snowfall,  but we still  had wind,  shadows, patterns, and interesting things.   First I wanted to see how much snow this area got.

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Mid-morning light shows 9 1/2 inches on the ruler.

Everything was covered with snow or painted with snow.

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I think the neighbors across the street won’t mind if I show you their landscaping shrubs:

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Well, as seen through snow falling.

Then I turned to my backyard pond.   It didn’t look the same today!

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Same aquamarine color but darker in a different lighting –  and what are those circles!

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As I kept going back to check on the snow patterns in the pond,  the sun came out —

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So now we have patterns of gray shadows crossing the giant “lily pads.”

The sun added a whole new range of things to look at.    The temperature dropped,  the snow got lighter and dryer,  and as the wind swirled the snow into the air from off the rooftops and trees,  the sunlight lit up each of the tiny frozen particles, and it seemed like the air was filled with a million glittering little diamonds.

I’m not sure even the finest painter could capture the beauty of a bright sunlit snow scene, after a snowstorm,  with the wind still blowing.

You would have to start with paper that is light gray and blue, and then use brushes dipped in all shades of white, and maybe a little silver.

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The scene is no longer fuzzy and dark and subdued,  but bright and full of contrasts.  And if you were an artist,  you’d have to remember to save the brightest white for the forest floor where the sun shines down full onto it.

We’ll lose all this in a few days.   We’re going to have a warming trend.  40 degrees and more.   Not good.   These photos will be my only memory.   Fleeting beauty!

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Kind of a nice bright interlude in the middle of Lent!

 

 

 

 

HOCKEY, WOLVES, AND HELP FROM ABOVE

January 26, 2016

Well, the last posting about “a walk in the park” was very nice —  well,  a reversal —  But — a private matter.  Private,  I guess, until God reveals all things on Judgment Day   —  but  perhaps things will “fixed”  by then. . . .

But let’s stay with the cold outdoors here in the Far North.   Another outdoors story.

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January 26th, last night or early this morning,  was the full moon,  the one that is called the Wolf Moon.   The  wolves are heard, ever closer to human habitation as they search for food that is getting scarcer in the deep winter.

If you’ve ever been outside, out in the open,  in the dark,  and have heard wolves howling,  you will have experienced some kind of primeval sense of fear and mortal danger.  Even if you know their cries can be heard from miles away,  you still have that sense of vulnerability.

On this planet,  humans are not so high up on the food chain.   There are far more skillful and efficient predators out there, looking for dinner.

My goodness.  What can I write next?   Where do I go from here?

This weekend, after I came home from that walk in the Spruce Tunnel,  feeling pretty happy, I  did my work,  did my duties,   then came to the family room in the evening to relax.

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This was the almost-full moon I saw out my window.   Not quite “wolfy,” I guess.   Just rather lovely.

20 degrees for five days:

Well, that’s the rule for forming strong ice.   I was heading for the fireplace,  but outside in my backyard —  the “klieg” lights came on!

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Time for a little hockey!

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Bang!   Slam!   S l i  i  i  d e !   Crack !!!       Ahhhh, the sounds of civilization!

You might notice that blue blur near one of the players feet.

Here it is again:

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That’s the new high-tech LED hockey puck – made for playing in the dark!   Hard to track with a camera, though.

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This was a multi-sensory experience.  Not only were there the loud sharp sudden sounds of a normal hockey game,  and the clean, crisp, cold air of the night,  there was the colorful blur going back and forth across the ice rink.

I love seeing my pond in use.   I love having my neighbor pop in with news and updates.  I love seeing that there is a good world out there, outside my window.

Because.    Wolves are real.   (I’m still unsettled from this weekend.)    Usually  it’s Bear that is my metaphor for the sudden unexpected attack of evil things in  life.   Once it really happened to me in the woods;  and from then on — it   c o u l d happen again;  maybe not with real bear,  but with something just as bad.

It can come all of a sudden, right while you’re feeling safe and okay.

We’re only humans.   We’re vulnerable.   We’re very weak.   We can’t make it alone without Supernatural help from above.

God is stronger.   If we are humble,  He’ll get us through.

Deo gratias.