Monday, February 26, 2007

Winter Break is Over!!

Wow, I can't believe how fast the time has flown. And yet, in some ways, it went very slow.

Last week was winter break for Nora. Now, when I was in school, we didn't have this 'winter break' thing. We were off for xmas & new year, and then we toughed it out until Easter for spring break. We had to walk a mile to school or the bus stop as well, none of this bus at each house thing. There were gangs of kids all over neighborhoods waiting for the bus when I went to school... but I digress.
So, Nora was off of school for last week, and most of the week before due to folks being unable to even FIND the roads, let alone plow them. And, the week before that, she was home sick. I tell you what, when she's in high school she's going to be so mad she won't get 3 weeks to binge on cookies and 'Dora' of quality time with mom again!

If you'd like to see the 'aftermath' pics from last weeks' storm, they are here:


I would like to point out that we had 38 inches of snow. 21 of them in 4 hours, according to the town barn at the bottom of our hill (yes, it's good to live that close to where the plow trucks live). I would also like to point out, that if you live in a city/state that tracks it's average snowfall (as opposed to say, Phoenix Arizona where 'snow' is that stuff you shave off the wall in the freezer) than you really should know where your snow shovels are. Please note the plural version of 'snow shovel'. You should also note that when your county, and the several surrounding counties have declared a state of emergency... when one of the plow trucks is on it's side in a snow drift/ditch and the crane they brought in to lift it out is now also buried and useless... when your neighbor stops by on his snowmobile and asks if you need him to carry a message to any other neighbor... do not call the town barn insisting that they plow your road immediately, when you can't even GO anywhere. Instead, begin packing to move, because you really ought to be in Phoenix.

We did have another lambing, a lovely set of twins. I will get the pictures off the camera as soon as the batteries are charged. In fact, I am getting ready to go out & check the flock now, as there were a couple of girls who look to be fairly close to a motherly way.

Looking for your opinions: Color repeats in your yarns? How long should they be? Random or repeating? Post your thoughts here & let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It snowed a little today... and it's a bit breezy.

This is my Volkswagon Vanagon (Pop-up camper style, for those who are interested).

This picture was taken at about 5pm Wednesday evening.

Incidentally, last night at this time I could see the entire vehicle, even entire tires.

The Lawn Tractor? That's your everyday riding lawn mower.

Ah yes, and here, for perspecitve is that same Vanagon at about 1pm. See the wheel well? I told you it has tires.

And, you can forget about a plow on the front of a truck. Those are cute & all, but not at all useful here. Tractor with a bucket. And the haybale you ask? Well, if you're familiar with driving in the snow, you know that it's common to toss a cinderblock or 50lb bag of kitty litter in the trunk. The weight gives the car a little 'traction'. Well, think of the round bale of hay as a 600lb cinderblock for traction. You have to learn to think outside the box a little around here :)

This was about 10:30 this morning. Please note that I had already cleared the deck of snow at about 8:30 am, there were probably 8 inches of snow when I shoveled.
For some reason, the snow did not pack against that gap of the porch so it's hard to see, but there is at least another 4 inches of snow pictured here.

Look familiar? 3pm. Pretty cool, eh?
No. this is

8pm. We've added a little more snow I think. I'm going to bed now, but I leave you with a couple of things to ponder. First, when I look out my kitchen window at 11pm, the vanagon has snow up to the windshield. This is daunting to say the least. Secondly, if you are looking for a good leg workout, put on the heaviest workboots you own and a fullbody carhart zip-up suit. Add appropriate longjohns (2pair), wool sweater, dickie, hat, earmuffs etc. Now (and this is where it gets fun) Add a 45lb toddler in similar attire to your back in true piggy-back style. Ok, ready? Great! Now wade through snow drifts that average hip-deep for about 100 feet. Feeling good? How about those thighs? Bunns of freakin' steel. How's the breathing because I forgot to mention the 40mph gusts of subzero temps driving the still-falling snow into your face. Refreshing! Did you make it from the barn to the house? Ok, now take off all the crap, get that 4 year old to the potty, suit back up and get back to the barn. What's that you say? No problem because you've already blazed the trail? You are a very funny person because do you remember that 40mph breeze I mentioned? Your trail is SOOO gone. Have a nice work out, I'm going to bed. Oh and by the way, while your out there, could you shovel off the porch for me? Thanks, I appreciate it.


And I forgot to mention!! This weekend we had our first lamb born. Mom must have been pollinated, because we aren't supposed to begin lambing until May. See the snow in the pictures above? Nope, to much to think about right now. Maybe in another post we can discuss lambing in the winter without a proper barn.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


It is definately winter here. February. Now, normally we have put studded snow tires on the car by now, but it was such a mild winter, there was no reason for them. Until now, that is. Now, with everything a blanket of white and the roads covered in slushy snow, and crazy drivers out on those roads it is time for studs.

So, I don't know to much about how this all works, but basically they take a perfectly good tire and shove short little nails or 'studs' into the tires for traction. Typically when I run over a nail, I puncture and ruin a tire. When they put nails in my tire, I am once again able to drive. Go figure.

Anyways, 2 days ago, while trying to take my daughter to school, my husband stood laughing at me at the window while I tried to get out of the driveway. After several attempts to move through what seemed like a small amount of snow, he finally came out and towed us out to the road. The irony was not lost on me that when I struggled to back out of the driveway, the town plow truck drove by... I'm sure I heard him giggle.

Upon my return from the school, like a complete idiot, I pulled right back into the driveway where I normally park. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because nothing had changed... and so when I got ready to leave again later for the appointment to have the stud tires put on, he had to drag the car out again. Let's all take a moment and be grateful for tractors.

Now, I have studded tires on the car. I can go places that I had feared to go before, like the parking lot of the grocery store and my own driveway. Things are a little different now, the road noise is amazingly loud. So loud that I keep thinking I forgot to shift gears or something as the sound 'winds up' as the speed increases. Oh well. Crank up the radio, the heater, and check that we're in the right gear every once in a while. I have studds on the car, and don't care about anything else.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Things I've learned while my 4-year old has been sick.

UPDATE DEC 2007: **If you found this link searching for information on colds, cold medicines, cold treatments and children with any of the above, the post with way more information for you, is this one: I've made a post just for you, because your not the only one searching for info on that subject who finds themselves here.

My daughter is in preschool. She has before this, not been 'exposed' to other children on a regular basis and so we have been experiencing the best her immune system has to offer. Head colds. Over, and over, and over, and over again.
Now, they say that kids will build up an immunity to colds, getting fewer of them. And, that there are about 200 cold viruses out there. I've lived a long happy life so far, and have had my share of colds. Spent plenty of time in public school, after school babysitters, lots of cold exposure. So, could someone please explain to me, why I have ALSO caught every cold she has brought home? She went back to school today, after being home for a week as we all recovered from this round, and here are the things I've learned.

1. If the sick child sits on your lap, she will cough in your face. Not on purpose (I think), but it will happen. When you wipe her nose, she will cough. When you are tucking her in or getting her dressed, she will cough. Through all of this you will remind her to cover her mouth, use a tissue, wash her hands (and yours). What will you learn from this? You will get sick. Now, excuse me while I cough.

2. Cough medicine, is a joke. Unless it has codiene in it, it will not work. Period.

3. The 'bear' on the children's show 'Franklin' is NOT the same as the character 'Little Bear' on the childrens' show 'Little Bear'. All this time, I thought they were, but there are enough differences that I now see the error of my ways and have watched those 2 shows this past week plenty of times to be completely sure.

4. It is impossible to count out yarn yardage for a skein of yarn on your first try. And most likely the 2nd and 3rd tries won't be all that reliable either.

5. It can very well take 4 or more hours to dye a single skein of multi colored yarn. Dye one section one color... get glass of juice for sick child. Come back and rinse that section of yarn... rewind Disney Snow White. Come back and prep new color... wipe child's nose, wash and sterilize everything remotely related to that episode. Come back, dye new section of yarn skein... cajole child into taking medicine. Come back, rinse that section of yarn... well, you get the picture.

6. Whoever designed the Play-Doh containers has no children. I can barely open the freakin' things, how do they expect small children to do it??

7. Sick children can survive on air and juice for days. And everything they think they might want to eat 'tastes funny' (thank you, head cold). This means you throw away the equivelant of what they normally would have eaten.

8. Zicam is hands down the worst tasting, most foul product on the market to be put in your mouth for any purpose.

9. As expected, Zicam is also hands down, the only zinc product out there that seems to actually make a difference. Probably specifically because it tastes so bad, words cannot describe.

10. After about the zillionth head cold, you will pay just about any dollar amount for Zicam. Invest heavily before illness strikes. While your at it, pick up 3 bottles of lame cough syrup, a box of REAL sudafed (not the pansy stuff they sell now and pretend is sudafed) Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride, and some Halls cough drops.

These are important things to remember if you have young children with school careers yet to begin. Good Luck.