Winter, I love you.

You know how it always happens that you really remember how much you loved something as soon as its gone?  It’s like ugh, you were right again, Mom.  I complained about it when I had it; now that it’s gone I miss it.

So I made a list to remind myself later when I start complain about winter again; here’s my top 10 (in no particular order) reasons of why I love winter.

Happy May Day!  Yep woke up on the first day of May to this.  Ironically enough it was nearly 100 degrees just two weeks later.  Stay on your toes people! You never know whats coming.

Happy May Day! Yep woke up on the first day of May to this. Ironically enough it was nearly 100 degrees just two weeks later. Stay on your toes people! You never know whats coming.

1. No SPIDERS and no birds.  I haven’t officially found any live spiders in my house yet, but I know they are coming.  I HATE spiders.  Like seriously.  It doesn’t really make sense to me where they go in the winter time, but I don’t really care.  If my house is spider-free for a few months (or more) I’m happy.  I also got home from work the other day and there was a giant splat of bird poop on my car…. the kind that is basically cemented on.  No regular car wash gets that stuff off and it makes a bigger mess when you try to wipe your windshield… talk about gross.

2. Never worry about what to wear.  There’s really little decision-making for me on what to wear.  I find some pants, a sweater of some kind, fuzzy socks, and one or more coats.  Generally it doesn’t even matter which top you wear because you’ll have a coat on anyway.  And I’m not the kind of person to try to match my coat to the rest of my outfit.  A coat is a coat.  Plus my fur boots go with EVERYTHING!

3. Venues for parties/get-togethers are pretty much decided.  You don’t have to worry about anything outdoors.  Any party that you have will be inside, or will have some sort of heated shelter/cabin nearby.  You really don’t want to go to that community building an hour away… chances are there will be a freak blizzard and take you 3 hours to get home even with 4-wheel drive (and you have to get home, else where would you sleep?)  Basically you go with your house, or the friend’s house down the road.

The wind can do some crazy looking things to the snow.

The wind can do some crazy looking things to the snow.

4. I can sit in front of the TV with a blanket and my space heater and that’s perfectly acceptable.  One of my favorite things to at night is grab a blanket and get nice and toasty with a little heater.  Its not that I’m really that cold, it just feels so wonderful to be warm.  Its like why do so many people like hot tubs?  Its warm and relaxing and mmm… so nice 🙂

5. Everything looks pretty and clean. I love when everything is white.  White looks clean.  Of course this generally turns brown and dirty fast, but the white is nice!  See after harvest it gets a little depressing.  The fields were full, producing bountiful crops, and then all of a sudden they are empty.  Barren.  Nothing but scraps and dirt.  So after harvest I’m pretty ready for some nice white snow to cover up the sad and empty fields.

6. No one tells me how great my neighbor’s yard looks.  I will admit: my neighbor’s yard always looks fantastic.  They have good looking trees, grass, landscaping, paving stones, rock, bushes, flowers… you name it.  And all of it looks good, all the time.  I’m just happy if my lawn is mowed on a semi-regular basis!  However, in the winter, my yard looks just as good as theirs.  The grass and landscaping (or lack thereof) is covered in snow, so we’re basically on an even playing field! People will tell me how good theirs looks and its like, “hey, you haven’t even seen their backyard.  Its even better.”  Seriously.

IMG_1207

7. The only work I have to do on Saturdays is clean the house. There’s no roofs to be shingled, no houses to paint, no rocks to pick up.

8. No yardwork.   My husband and I have this sort of unwritten agreement:  he does the snow, I do the grass.  So when it snows and we can’t get our cars out of the garage, I lay in our warm bed while he goes outside in the cold to clear us a path.  When summertime comes around I’ll mow the lawn in the sweltering heat after work sometime.  So winter is great because I don’t have to deal with whatever winter decides to throw at us.

9. My hair stays straight when I do it.  Yes I do have naturally straight hair, but even with genetics the humidity of the summer can give me some odd waves and curls.  Its great to not have to worry about that during the winter months.

IMG_1359

And probably my favorite thing about winter…

10.  It does finally give way to sunshine and warmth!  Despite all the wonderful things listed above, I have to say that I am probably more of a summer child!  So bring it on… after several months of snow, cold, and bitter wind chills… I’m ready for an indian summer!

Advertisements

Day 1 of Clean-Up!

As many of you now, we had a major ice/snow storm this April!  Tuesday started out with rain which quickly turned to sleet or freezing rain.  This lasted all night!  At about 6pm we lost power for an hour.  After digging out our candles, the girls and I played dominos by candlelight!  By bed-time the lights were back on.  Not for long, though!  At 9pm  we lost our electricity for good.  Sleeping with no nightlights, fans or any noise, but the freezing rain and cracking branches, was tough for the kids and quite eerie for me!  Wednesday morning we ate breakfast in front of the fireplace and then decided to wait out our ‘no power’ at grandpa & grandmas.  You see… we only have well water for our house, so no power means no water…  no flushing the toilet, no showers, nothing!   So, we packed up a few things – intending to only stay some of that day.  Wednesday night brought on the second storm with 8-10 inches of snow!   So…. our 1 day turned into 2 days, then 3 and by the end we were living at grandpa & grandma’s for 5 1/2 days!!  (Our house was without power for a total of 5 days).  We made a few trips back to the house to get more clothes, unpack our freezer to bring over, and to assess the damage.  Here are some pictures of our yard….

DSCN6932

Look how much ice!

Look how much ice!

We should be able to see right across to our neighbors!

We should be able to see right across to our neighbors!

DSCN6968

After the snow…

DSCN6960

This past weekend my husband’s parents came to visit.  With their help, and my dad and his chainsaw, we started Day 1 of our clean-up!  Even the girls pitched in by dragging branches to the fire!  (We have a burn permit -MN law!)  By lunchtime, we were thinking this would take all summer to clean up!  It was very slow going.

The girls helping.

The girls helping.

So, after starting out again in the afternoon, the guys decided dad needed to go get the tractor.  It’s amazing what you can do with a tractor!  Now, we started dragging the branches to a long pile in the back and dad would push them all the away across the yard to the burn pile.  Oh My…. how much easier and faster that was!

DSCN6991

Coen had to check out the tractor!

‘C’ had to check out the tractor!

Then, too, dad would park the tractor by a tree, get in the loader bucket, and cut down the big branches that just wouldn’t give up.

Dad in the loader - cutting down the branches that were still hanging on.

Dad in the loader – cutting down the branches that were still hanging on.

I was so amazed how much the guys got done during that afternoon.  We had quite a fire and have many piles of future firewood!

Our fire at the beginning. It got a lot bigger!

Our fire at the beginning. It got a lot bigger!

Now… don’t be upset if you didn’t get to help this weekend, we still have plenty left to clean up and you can always help the next time! (he, he)

I, also, just want to say I am so thankful for my family who is willing to give us their Saturday  – or evening – or whatever it may be –  to help us!  We are so blessed!

~ M ~

Winter again?!

Well its April and Winter has come back for one last “ah ha!”  Remember earlier when I had said that my hubby cleaned out the garage all by himself?  Well when he did this we re-arranged a bit.  We put the snow-blower in the way back and moved the lawn mower to the front.  That was a bad choice apparently.

Blowing off the driveway - one more time!

Blowing off the driveway – one more time!

We had a pretty good storm.  First lots of rain, which clung to everything.  It didn’t take long for the trees, roads and mailboxes to be covered in ice.  Then it started to snow.  Everything was actually quite pretty.  But then you could start to hear the trees creaking under the weight.  It was a little eerie.  As I was coming home from work I saw the powerlines bouncing around wildly under the weight of the ice and blowing wind.  I actually saw them hit eachother, causing a huge BRIGHT blue fire ball with lots of sparks.  I’ve never seen that before.  The wind didn’t stop, and the power lines kept hitting each other, causing more sparks and more bright blue balls.  It was a little scary.

Ice on our truck; notice it hanging off the hood?  This is after about an hour in the garage.

Ice on our truck; notice it hanging off the hood? And you can see it on the bumper; yes, thats ice. This is after about an hour in the garage.

No the truck isn't dirty.  Drew drove to the hog building and back and this is how it looked when he got home.

No the truck isn’t dirty. Drew drove to the hog building and back and this is how it looked when he got home.

I started writing this without electricity.  Good thing my laptop battery was charged!  I got home from work the other day and we had no power in the house.  Of course my hubby had to go out and check on our hog building (which didn’t have power, either) so I was at home by myself.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself.  I was starting to get hungry and was trying to think of what I could possibly eat for supper.  Its funny how I thought of quite a few good ideas but couldn’t carry any of them out without electricity.

The tree in our back yard, less a few limbs.

The tree in our back yard, less a few limbs.

The lights came back on soon.  With all the ice we were getting I wasn’t getting my hopes up.  I plugged in everything that I could think of… laptops, ipads, cell phones…  I even turned our furnace way up just in case!  Sure enough, power went back out about 10 minutes later.  This time I was thinking a little more clearly.  I went in search of a flashlight, and to my surprise it actually worked!

The neighbor's tree nearly split in half.  You can see it between the two houses, thankfully missing both.

The neighbor’s tree nearly split in half falling between the two houses, thankfully missing both.

Anyway as I was thinking of all these things I thought I should go find some candles too… but I don’t even have any!  I probably have some old ones from my wedding somewhere… but then the power came back on!  I had to act fast.  I put a bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave; the power went back out just before it finished.

My bowl of popcorn.  I sat here in the half-light by the windows while I tried to decide what to do.

My bowl of popcorn. I sat here in the half-light by the windows while I tried to decide what to do.

As I sat in the dark I started to reminisce about the “good ‘ol days.”  Whenever the power would go out Mom would put a big candle on the dining room table, and another in the bathroom.  I also remember one time when the power went out for a long time… when I was young.  We lit the gas stove in the old kitchen and locked ourselves up in there.  We played cards by candle light to pass the time.  It was the only warm room in the house.  I was still cold, so our wonderful brother offered me some long-johns… but they were in his room.  We ran out of the kitchen as fast as I could, grabbed more layers, and ran back in.  I’m pretty sure I wore his three-sizes-too-big long johns for days.  All us kids slept on the basement floor just outside the old kitchen.  It was kinda fun… a slumber party with all my big brother and sisters and no school!  Thats about all that I remember.  The long johns will never be forgotten.

My kitties watching me finish this post.

My kitties watching me finish this post.  They really enjoy watching the mouse on the screen.

Anyway the power ended up coming back on a few hours later for a while.  I did manage to have a warm supper before going to bed.  Since then the electricity has been a little unreliable.  I’ve been taking really fast showers and the laundry is piling up, as well as our dishes.  But my husband and I are safe, our house has been staying warm, and no damage from falling limbs, so here’s me, counting my blessings.

~ T ~