Winter arrived. Meh.

So, yesterday the snow fell all day…lovely, fat, fluffy flakes so big that you can see the definition of each one. There are so many aspects of winter that are beautiful.

I think I’ve come to a point in my life where winter is ok, but only when I don’t have to shovel.

When I was a child, I loved to play in the snow. Also didn’t have to worry about where to put it. My Dad shoveled the sidewalks. I got to build snow men and snow forts. I stuck my tongue out and let the snow fall on it. It was a pretty care free, snow-loving life back then.

These days, not so much. I can see retirement in a warmer climate in my future. Not too far south, but maybe Colorado? They get snow, but in southern parts it’s just enough, but not too much.

Winter, or Christmas, wouldn’t be the same without snow, but we in the High Plains generally get more than is helpful.

I just shoveled the side walk before work and I am feeling grateful it’s light fluffy snow with no moisture in it. Now I’m sitting in my car while it warms up.

Only two months till spring! Lol… blessings all!

Snowmageddon 2019-Part 2

Our 2nd storm arrived, and dumped significant amounts of snow across the High Plains yesterday. Parts between Minot and the Red River Valley got more snow than anyone needs in a year. Last night it was reported that Langdon, ND got 27 inches of snow, and it was still falling.

27 inches of snow in one day. (Gasp!)

We got 4 inches of snow in Minot on Thursday, but it all melted the next day. Today, I wake up to this:

All of my windows are blocked for the heavy wet snow that was driven into the screens. Well, I guess that’s just a little more insulation, right?

The storm that pounded everyone east of us finally moved into the area around 8pm last night, and the wind howled like the roof was going to come off.

I took this picture overlooking the football field at sunset, and you can see the leading edge of the storm pushing in across the top. It was a beautiful sunset, and I wish my crappy iPhone did a better job at taking pictures. This one just doesn’t do it justice:

I got a call from my friend “A”, who was going to go to an event downtown with me this evening. She lives in a neighboring town and can’t get out, but I imagine it will be canceled anyway. Such is Winter in the High Plains. All plans are tentative until proven otherwise.

Today will be about housework, laundry, and baking. The Flirt said he will be coming over today to help with some organizing in the basement. He won’t have any trouble making it with his big truck. Until then, I get the house to myself and will enjoy the peace and quiet, punctuated by high winds and snow removal backup beepers.

Here’s hoping you all are having better weather that we are. If not, do the best you can to enjoy your time inside. Blessings all!

That dirty four-letter “s” word

That’s right…you know the one I’m talking about: SNOW

This morning we woke up to huge flakes falling out of the sky.  Older Son enjoys taunting me with the idea that Winter is here, and there is nothing I can do about it. Well, he’s right. There’s nothing I can do about it, and whining doesn’t help at all.

The Flirt has been looking forward to the snow falling as it makes hunting easier, apparently.

I know a lot of other people who have been looking forward to Winter arriving just because they love snow. Apparently it’s good for things like driving snowmobiles, skiing, sledding and making snow men and snow angels. I’ve done all of those things, and had a blast doing them. Of course, I was a lot younger then.

I have to wonder if I have become an old stick in the mud, but I think that I just haven’t had an opportunity to do those fun things in the snow in the last ten or fifteen years. Most of what I do with snow these days is move it out of the way, or drive through it. It occurs to me that I need to make more time to find fun things to do with snow to balance out the things that make it not so fun.

It could be that I’ve needed a change of perspective for a long time about a lot of things, and I know snow is the least of them. However, I guess a person has to crawl before you can walk and starting with small things might be the way to go.

In the course of writing this post it occurs to me that I have not made time for a lot of small things, and little things do make a difference in the course of a day and a life. Time to start observing the small things, as the small things build up to make something bigger.

Waterlogged blessings

Last night we had one humdinger of a thunderstorm pass through. It passed by quickly, but there was a lot of bright lightning, and the thunder was so loud it literally shook the house. While I’m a big fan of thunderstorms, I have to say I could have waited. We are so waterlogged here that more rain is just not what most people needed here. Not only are people still dealing with flooding issues left over from the snow melting, but the farmers are over due trying to get their spring seeding done. Uff-da, what a mess.

So, where’s the blessing here? As Older Son astutely observed, “Well, at least it isn’t snowing”.  Amen to that.

In an effort to lighten my over-watered mood, of course I went out to You Tube looking for something to make me laugh. I found lots of interesting things to post, unfortunately Word Press isn’t cooperating and won’t let me embed videos today. Suffice it to say that videos I found were hilarious snippets of cats doing silly things. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Speaking of cats, I’ve not posted an update about my lovely kitty, Harley. Turns out he can be quite a handful, and has discovered the joys of clawing the corners of the box springs our mattresses. Baaaaad kitty.

Harley is also not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. He likes to hide in things, but has gotten big and doesn’t fit quite how he used to as illustrated by this picture:

This is Harley playing in one of his favorite boxes. He used to be able to fit all the way inside, but now he can’t even get his whole body in.  He’s kind of like a little kid who hasn’t learned yet that just because he can’t see you, it doesn’t mean you can’t see him. So, Harley’s backside sticks out a lot, and he thinks he’s good and hidden. At least it provides us with on-going entertainment!

Anyway, here’s hoping that you can find something in your day to make you laugh. Better yet, here’s hoping that you need not go seeking for something to make your day brighter.

Windows are going in!!!

Joe, the Weather Man, had the audacity to come on the television today and tell us that we were getting snow today. What the heck? This is New Window Day! We can’t have snow. How can Dewey the Windows Guy put my new windows in if it’s snowing?!

At that point in the morning, I was having a Hee Haw moment of epic proportions:

(Doom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery! If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Doom, despair and agony on meeee! – This pity party moment brought to you by the good folks at Hee Haw)

But wait!  Dewey, my trusty Windows Guy, called and let me know we’re still on for the windows!!

At this very moment, even though it is snowing, there are two guys installing my new windows. I’m just blown away by the fact that it doesn’t matter that it’s snowing. So far, I have two windows completely installed. After over 10 years of  not being able to open but one window in the house, I can now just waltz over to both of those windows and open them. With one hand. Even though it’s snowing. My life is so fabulous, I just can’t adequately quantify it, and I’m just barely holding it together against crying for joy. No joking.

Most of you, my Eleven Faithful Readers, are probably wondering what the fuss is about. Just the act of being able to open my windows is such a huge deal, you can’t even imagine. This is just the gravy on top of this yummy pile of mashed potatoes, as I will also have a lowered heat bill, and some sound proofing against noise from the road, the train and the helicopters. The old saying is true…little things count. They count for a lot. I am so blessed.

A Winter Whiner Who’s Digging for Blessings in the Snow

It was inevitable that Winter would show up. We were so terribly spoiled with the beautiful Indian Summer we experienced this year, and it seemed like it could just go on forever. Just this weekend we were wearing shorts and no jackets. Today, we have four inches of snow on the ground, and blizzard conditions. Uff-da.

If Old Man Winter were real, I would have some words to share with him. I am quite sure that I wouldn’t ever say a large portion of those words in front of my Mother.

When I think of Old Man Winter, the picture in my mind’s eye is of a wizened, bitter old man who paces back and forth in his Ice Cave of Doom. He rubs his hands together slowly as he concocts the next big storm, and as he looks up you can see the hard, evil glint in his eye. He chortles menacingly. That’s right…there’s menacing chortling going on. How rotten is that? I’m also quite sure that Old Man Winter is a close relative of Murphy. They are quite a diabolical duo.

Could it be that I am personalizing my nemesis a little too much? Yeah…could be. Do I like winter? Only when it placid and gentle and picturesque, like a Currier & Ives picture.

Here I am having my own personal pity-party, complete with blizzard. So, in order to get my attitude out of the snow bank, I’m trying very hard to count my blessings today. The big one, sitting right on top of the pile, is that my parents made it home yesterday afternoon, just in the nick of time. They’d been traveling for three days to get home, and drove in just as the snow started to really blow. They looked so tired, but at least they are home and safe.

Now it’s time to go get out the shovels. Time for the winter cardio!

Digging deep…this morning’s blessings

With Autumn approaching, I find that I’m feeling hum drum, and just down in general. Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year with the beauty of the changing trees, the Autumn smells in the air, and just the fresh crisp feel of the season. It’s a beautiful time of year, and yet I find the specter of the coming Winter overshadows it to the point of making me feel some dread. I’ve been told that we should expect 2 1/2 degrees colder temps on average, as well as 4 more total inches of snow this winter. We had a hard time finding places to put it all last year, and I can’t imagine trying to store more of the stuff. Uff-da….

Anyway, in the effort to drag my attitude out of the basement and into the light, I’m digging deep, with my trusty snow shovel,  for whatever blessings come to mind this morning, and they are as follows:

1. When the ground freezes and the snow falls, there will be no chance that I will get leakage in my basement from a severe thunderstorm.

2. I am fortunate enough to have two strong sons to help me shovel out. I also have some extra cash I’m going to pay my neighbor with the Bobcat to clear my driveway when the snow is so deep it would take us hours to clear by hand.

3. I have a have a nice warm winter jacket, which I affectionately call the Big Brown Bear suit. It’s never failed me, except that the pockets have holes that need sewing up. After 12 years, if that’s the only malfunction that happens, no big deal. I have a needle and thread.

4. Snow really is pretty. There’s nothing more peaceful than when the land has a fresh coat of snow on it. Not only is it peaceful to see, but it lends an extra measure of quiet to everything that is like nothing else.

5. While Christmas, in all its commercial glory, is not my favorite holiday, I love how everything is covered with lights at Christmas time. When everything is so dark that we hardly get to see the sunshine, it’s nice to have those little lights twinkling in the darkness. Sometimes I take the long way to where I’m going just so I can take in some more of the holiday decorations.

6. I like holiday food. Some of the best traditional holiday food is only made in the Winter. Lefse is a good example. I learned how to make lefse last year, and I  plan on making homemade lefse for Thanksgiving and Christmas. No promises about Easter, it’s just too darned busy that time of year.

7. Speaking of holiday food, Thanksgiving is coming up. Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday. I live for roasting turkey, and making the whole dinner with all the trimmings. I love to have people over and make a big day of it. I can’t wait!

Well, I supposed that will have to be enough for now. It’s time to get the boys off to school, and me to work. I hope you all have a blessing-filled day.

There’s a blessing if you dig deep enough to find it…

Start digging!

There are some days where there just isn’t enough coffee to cover the stress, bills, work, kids, home, etc.  Some days there just aren’t enough margaritas either.

Something I’ve learned over time, the hard way, is that it doesn’t pay to wallow in all of the things that cause stress and sleeplessness. Rather, it is less stressful if you look for the blessings where others may over look them.  Once you find a reason to be grateful, everything else becomes a little more tolerable. I know it sounds very pollyanna-ish, but it works. Here are a few examples of the blessings I dug up today:

1. We are expecting severe thunderstorms today. While it’s definitely the last thing we need, rain sure beats the heck out of snow. I hate shoveling snow. At least when it rains, it just runs down the gutters and away from the sidewalks and driveways.

2. It’s bill paying time again, and I despise paying bills. That I have  house and utilities payments means that my kids and I have a place to live, where there is heat, lights and water.

3. My kids eat me out of house and home. They are teenage boys, and if they didn’t eat a lot, there would be something not right. I’m blessed with healthy children.

Well, that’s all for now…I hope that you find as many, and more, blessings in your day.

The joys of central air, and the lows of moldy carpet.

I was able to get someone in to fix my broken central air today. It’s been a rough couple of days with no air conditioning, and high temperatures and humidity. I think I could

Courtesy of

handle the heat, but the humidity is what kills me.  Years ago, Ex-husband, in his infinite wisdom (and after I told him not to FOR THIS VERY REASON), insisted on painting the windows shut. Did I mention I was getting new windows soon? Anyway, I digress…I arrived home just after the fix-it guy left, but it’s working again, and the cold air is coming out with more force than it did before and my house is cooling off nicely.

Coping with a hot house is something I hate doing, but remember well from when I was a kid…we just laid there and sweated at night. Poor Younger Son slept with a small fan in his bed blowing right on him, as we couldn’t get our windows open. Older Son got off a little easier since his room is in the cool basement. I took a cold shower and didn’t dry off all the way. I just laid in bed with my long, wet hair dripping all over me and the sheets. It sounds messy, but it sure did the trick. I was actually able to get a decent nights sleep. (Note to self, put ceiling fans in the bedrooms)

So, the bad news is that there was some kind of a leak in the condensation tube and water has been seeping underneath a wall into Older Son’s room, as I described in my last post. Not only is his carpet moldy and ruined underneath, but the very bottom of that wall is moldy and eaten away. It’s one of those slow-growing hidden problems that you just don’t know about until something out of the ordinary happens, like the carpet being wet. There was no smell before, but now that I have pulled up the carpet there’s a pervasive stink in the house I can smell all the way up stairs, even after we dried everything out. So, the carpet is coming out and the wall board is being replaced. It’s a darned good thing that I sealed the cement in that bedroom before we laid the carpet down, or I might never get the stink out. Blech…Thank goodness for bleach!

Still, with all of the commotion this has caused, I can still find a blessing. Today’s blessing? It’s not snowing!

Snow in May!

We’ve been hearing about it all week on the local news: Snow is coming this week. Well, it finally showed up:

I just took this picture of my van with its sprinkle of snow on it. It doesn’t look like much, but being that it’s May, it’s kind of odd. We got off lucky…there is a winter storm warning for the counties south of us. Uff-da!

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