Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little Miss Independence!

"I wanna go outside, Grandma."

"No, it's too cold."

"But I WANT TO go out."

"No, it's too cold. You'll freeze your nose!"

"I'm going out."

"No, you're not."

"I AM!"

The good news is that she dresses herself! She only needed a little help with her coat and mittens.

She went out. Yep, Grandma gave in... thinking that maybe Mommy or Daddy would come to get her in the next few minutes and save having to take everything off and put it all back on again. But the timing didn't work out that way.

Anyway, she went out. All by herself. (Yeah, Grandma dresses herself, too, and knew how much clothes she'd have to put on and then take off just a few minutes later!) And she was fine with that. She got right to work.

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(My apologies for the video quality. The window was all foggy.)

10-15 minutes later, she was back in again, rosy cheeks and all. She took all her stuff off by herself. She even insisted on changing her socks, even though they weren't wet... because that's what she did the last time she played outside here and they were wet. :-)

She's growing up! (TOO FAST!) And she will no doubt be able to take care of herself quite capably. Tomorrow she will be THREE! And today is her party - WOOHOO!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Moonshine

Tonight....

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

'Specially for Mark

1-28-10.....6:20 p.m......0°F

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Explain this one to my CA "fan club", Mark. ;-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daycare revisited

We haven't been to Courtney's daycare for a while. Let's take a peek and see how it's going. It appears to be bath time. Looks like babies are scrubbed VERY clean there!


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Hmmm.... that's a scouring pad and a fingernail brush she's using. Yep, VERY clean!

Our poor maple tree

Remember on Friday I mentioned the frost/ice buildup and another storm on the way? As you know from my weather update, we had that storm plus a power outage. What some of you don't know is that we had yet another blizzard on Monday! That one wasn't even predicted, although light snow and strong winds were. The winds got more than a little out of hand, and they wreaked havoc. Many people were stranded.... on the road, some at their jobs, or wherever they were. One school district even kept their kids at the school overnight rather than risk sending them home on the busses. There were total whiteout conditions. We even had an overnight guest because someone couldn't make it home. All that because of an inch or two of snow + up to 50 mph winds. Thank goodness the old snow was frozen down because of the earlier ice!

Anyway.... I'd shown you a photo on Friday of the branch that had fallen off our maple tree. That was just the beginning. You should see the poor tree now. Okay, you can... here are the promised pictures... taken before Monday's blizzard.

It wasn't just small branches that broke off. Look below at the bigger branch (to the left of center) that cracked off.

Notice that branch hanging straight down in the photo above? It came down and landed in a rather interesting way later. See photo below. It's still standing there like that.

While the tree was so frosty, I thought the oriole nest had gotten blown down. Even when I was out taking pictures, I couldn't see it. I looked for it on the ground, but couldn't find it anywhere. Lo and behold, once more of the frost fell off, I did see the nest from the window... still hanging solidly in place way up there! Too bad that branch didn't come down so I could see how the nest is fastened on there!

Oh, and below is just a shot of our poor miniature lilac bush in front of the house. I sure hope it's able to straighten up once all the snow melts off of it.

Let's see.... it's still only January, isn't it? *sigh*

(P.S. I know the videos below weren't working again for a while, but I believe they are now.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Now for some FUN!

Time for some fun and giggles instead of all the gloomy weather (and toilet paper) posts. Then again, these wouldn't have happened yesterday if it hadn't been for the weather and the power outage!

When we went to Courtney's house for supper last night, I finally got to see her new kitty, which she's had for a month already. Her name is No Name... or KC (for Kitty Cat)... it's still unofficial. ;-) Both kitty and Courtney were pretty wound up, so it was hard getting a good picture, but this one turned out okay.

Pretty cute, huh?

Courtney has a "playhouse" in her living room. KC loves the windows. Enjoy the action! :-)

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OOPS! Right into the camera! LOL

Then they switched places.....

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just a quick update

For those that might be wondering.... our power flashed off and on a lot of times this morning, and then it went off completely about 12:45. It's still off, but we're running on generator while Grandpa does chores. When he gets done with that, we get to go to Courtney's house for supper, because they have power! (Thanks, Suzi!)

Our poor maple tree in the yard really got hit hard by all the frost/ice. I have pics, but don't have the time to post them now. Later.......

Update to the update: Our power was restored just before we got home around 9:30. Hurray!!

Supper was great, Courtney was fun, and I got to play with and take pics of her new kitten! Will show you the pics later (maybe tomorrow).... do check back.

G'night all!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just the beginning?

See the broken branch on the ground? And if you recall seeing this view from numerous times before, you'll realize that the other tree branches are hanging somewhat low. There's a frost buildup on them with some added misty ice that accumulated overnight.

BUT, our winter storm warning doesn't even start till this evening. We're supposed to get freezing rain and snow for the next couple of days. With wind, of course. Yuck.

Our power was already out for a couple hours this morning. So don't be surprised if I seem to disappear for a while. I'll still be here, but might not be able to let you know what's going on due to more power outages. I hope not, but it's not looking good.

Yay for winter in Minnesota. (<-Note the sarcasm dripping from that statement.) Right, Mark?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Frost for Mark

Those of us around here are probably ("probably"? ha!) getting really sick of all the white, but poor displaced Mark craves all the wintery-ness he can get. So, for him and all you other peoples in warmer climates, here are some shots from this morning.

I didn't take my finch feeder down this fall. I don't know why... just hoping, I guess. But we never see finches in the winter. They prefer more sheltered areas to our out-on-the-prairie-ness, I guess. Anyway, the feeder is now decorated a bit. As is everything else in the background.

(Click either photo to enlarge.)

And it's still foggy.

Will there be more of the 'white' photos? Probably. As a matter of fact, we're now under a winter storm watch from tomorrow evening through late Sunday night. The pics might be a little different, though, as we're expected to get up to a half inch ice accumulation along the way. And that could make life interesting again, too. Ahhhh... gotta love Minnesota in the winter. Right? Yeah, Mark.... I hear ya!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Early morning fun

Yes, JHRME... early mornings can be fun! The videos below took place before 8:00 a.m. Courtney arrived about the time I was ready to go out and feed the cats, and despite having to take off her boots and coat to add snowpants, she was more than eager to do so in order to be able to "help" me. She's always full of ENERGY, even at that time of day!

(Grandma G should've added snowpants, too, because things always take considerably longer with my helper along. Brrrr! ;-) )

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Fog, fog, and more fog

The fog rolled in this morning and seemed to get thicker as the day went on. I think the sky was clear above it, but we didn't see it.

These pics were taken at sunrise. The circle of the sun doesn't show up as distinctly as it did in reality, though. It was quite neat.

(Click to enlarge.)

(JHRME, I'm just trying to help you adjust to the early hours! ;-) )

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update to previous post

Look what I discovered this morning! I installed a roll from an OLD package and noticed that it filled the entire holder. So then I had to go back to the wastebasket. (Gee, you think I oughta empty that pretty soon?)

I think they're phasing out toilet paper completely! Better stock up now, folks, while you still can!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Have you noticed?

Have you noticed how some companies are sneakily downsizing their products and/or containers, yet not lowering (possibly even raising) the prices, hoping we wouldn't notice? Like, for example ice cream... a lot of the cartons that used to be half gallons are not half gallons anymore, yet they don't look all that much different. You have to read the labels to be sure.

And look what I discovered the other day!

Something just didn't look right about that roll on the holder. Then I wondered. Then I dug an empty roll out of the wastebasket. Same brand. (Quilted Northern, as a matter of fact.) Uh huh! They didn't get that one past me!

I just had to rant. It's been bugging me! Was it nice to have a rant about something besides our weather lately? Our weather has actually been quite tolerable the last couple of days, so I couldn't rant about it today. ;-)

Have you noticed downsizing in your purchases? Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The disappearing grape

Watch closely!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Windows

No, I'm not talking Microsoft here! Mark mentioned in a comment last Friday about ice building up on windows. Coincidentally, I had already taken these pics the morning it was -23°. These first three were what I saw when I raised the pleated shades in our living room that morning. Cool (well, literally, too) designs, huh?

I took these next two of our bathroom window, where there's more humidity.

Below is the view from my sewing room window... before the last blizzard. Now the snow is packed even higher against the window, and I can barely see the sky. Yuck.

I need to get the new paintings that Jess 'n Alex gave me for Christmas hung on the wall in there so I have something nicer to look at. I should've had them hang 'em before they left... that should've been part of the gift, don'tcha think? ;-) It was such a crazy weekend, though, that we really didn't have time for that sort of thing, I guess. So maybe if I'd quit doing so many snowy blog posts, I'd get something else done. Anyway, I love them and can't wait to show them to you! To describe them in a word, Cindy and JHRME, I'd say COLOR! (In case anyone wonders, they're not painted by Jess.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wildlife

All the snow makes finding food very difficult for wildlife. These hen pheasants were by the lilac bushes behind our house this afternoon.

A little while later I saw this little cottontail. He was munching on the bushes.

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

There have been lots of deer tracks around, too. No doubt it's not easy for them to even walk in the deep snow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Well, it's warmer now, but....

It actually got to 24° ABOVE zero today! But... warming up takes its toll, too. Yeah, that ol' south wind blew all night and filled in what Nate had cleared off so nicely on Friday. He got stuck with the pickup on his road this morning, and Grandpa barely made it out of here to go help him. Here's a shot of our driveway after he'd made it out. The snow was packed really hard, so getting through there was tough. You go fast and hope you make it. (And the pic doesn't do it justice.)

Like I said, the snow was packed hard. Notice my tracks going on top of the drift directly in front of the open door. I hardly sunk in at all.

That new drift in front of the garage was a bit much for my little electric snowblower, so I left it for the big guy.

Here's the tundra. See the snow still blowing across the road down past the intersection?

What's this... another blizzard on the way? Nope, just Nate clearing the yard... AGAIN.

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Someone suggested in the comments that I show you what the snowblower looks like. Well, I didn't think Nate would appreciate stopping for a photo shoot, nor did I want to get full of snow to get a pic while he was blowing, so this is the best I could do. The window was rather foggy, so the video's not very clear, but it watch to the end and you'll get a pretty good view of what it looks like while it's going.

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So, the yard is cleaned out again... till the next time. And it's relatively warm out now, and the winds have settled down. The daylight ended not only peacefully but colorfully!

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

A new 'do

Courtney came with a new headband last week. Cute, huh?

Don't worry... the curls are still there, just hidden in the back. The sides got a little flattened by the winter hat. Winter hats just don't do much for hairdos, but they sure are necessary these days!

Oh, gosh... she's growing up so fast! Only another 3 weeks and she'll be THREE!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why do I do this?!

Why do I go out and nearly freeze my fingers off to take pictures of all this nasty WHITE stuff?! I do it for YOU, my faithful readers! Well, for those of you in warm climates who seem to enjoy them so much. Those of you around here probably would prefer to see something else. ;-)

Okay, I'll be honest and say that I do it for myself, too, because I do think it's all awfully picturesque. But boy, it was COLD out there tonight! There was just enough of a breeze to go with the still-below-zero temp that the fingers numbed up instantly.

It was also starting to get a little too dark. Why did I procrastinate so long to go out to get the mail? Ha! Wouldn't you procrastinate, too, knowing how COLD it is?

Anyway, I did it... as fast as I could... so on with the show.....

Actually, I think the "duskness" made for kinda nice pics, now that I look at them again. The pink clouds add a nice, touch, too, don'tcha think? The sunset was quite pretty, but it would've meant a little too much facing into the wind, and my fingers had had enough.

I like what the wind did around this evergreen below. Nature's creativity!

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

I've always wondered.....

How can it get foggy when it's so COLD out (as in -10°)?!

But apparently it did get foggy last night, as this is how our trees look this morning.

Did you notice that little thingy right in the middle of the picture? It's the oriole nest. It must really be fastened up there well to have survived the gusty winds we've had. Here's a closer look.

My apologies for the pics not being as clear as usual. They were taken from the warmth of my house, and that means they were also taken through plastic. :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ice cream cone or sundae, anyone?

Courtney will serve you with a smile!

Here's how they're made. Well, sorta. ;-)

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I don't think Willow was all that impressed. ;-)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More today

The sky has cleared, but the snow is still blowing around out in the open. Grandpa just went out to try and blow a path out the driveway.

I think these snowy "fingers" are pretty:

Or maybe they look more like stars. Or claws? Closer:

Look how deep it's getting in our backyard:

We've never had so much snow on our evergreens before.

Or so deep under our maple.

And look how deep it's getting in these evergreens!

I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this frost. Wickedly pretty, huh?

(Click any photo to enlarge... especially the last one.)

Now I must don all the clothes I have and head out to feed my cats. (Why do I have cats?!) Wind chill is -30°, actual temp is -5°, heading down to an actual temp of -18° tonight (making wind chills closer to -40°). At least I should have a newly blown path to the machine shed so I don't have to wade up to my thighs to get there. And I won't have to go out to get the mail, because despite their motto, our carrier would NOT have made it through today.

Oh... and our high for tomorrow is s'posed to be -7°... wind chill -40°.

How long till spring???