Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I know, technically Christmas is past but since I haven't gone to sleep yet it's still Christmas Day. We did our celebrating Christmas Eve and we all had a blast! We had Mike, Angie, and ALL the Grandkids plus Mike's Dad, brother, and cousin and his 2 kiddo's. Kids bring so much life to a house but by the time they had gone home we were beat - even Coop. The only ones missing were Crystal and Dale (they were here in spirit).

Abbie, Rowan, Milo, and Frank - Grace was missing from the picture

We did a White Elephant exchange this year (A first for me). We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs and plan to do it again next year with a higher price limit. We did $5 this year, tough to find good stuff for that price point.

Tomorrow I think the tree will be coming down, we will be doing an overnighter with Mike, Angie, and the Grandkids on New Years Eve and the space is needed for sleeping bags. Crystal and Dale may be able to come for that as well (weather permitting).

The wind is still howling out and I'm not sure how slippery it is, freezing rain this afternoon with snow following. Luckily the temps are reasonable.

Ice build up on the East windows just before dark

I guess we'll see how things look tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice

Almost 40 degrees today, what a relief! Frank got out the bobcat while I was at work and cleaned up the driveway. We've been wading through snow for awhile now but it was just too cold for him to be out in the bobcat. We survived.

Today is Winter Solstice, I guess that means it's the shortest day of the year. There are probably way more scientific explanations but, for me, I just like the sound of it. 

Working on finishing the To Do list before Christmas. Today it was pick up groceries to make my part of the Christmas Eve snacks. I planned on making krumkake but I can't find my iron. You know you have too much stuff when something like that happens. Hopefully it will turn up soon. Fudge is another thing on my list. Nobody else likes making fudge, it can be finicky. I don't mind and for whatever reason I don't seem to have issues with it. Calico beans, Ham, and other sandwich stuff is on my list as well. Angie did all the baking this year and Milo wants to make little smokies and meatballs. They have quite a list too. It's a busy time of year....

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mind numbing cold

This morning the trip out to the wood stove was brisker than all others so far this season. Air temp this morning 31 below the donut. Luckily not much wind so the wind chill probably only dropped it a few degrees.

Still working on getting the living room just so but have to get in laundry, etc. for the week ahead. The warm up is coming, The warm up is coming!!! We are ALL in desperate need for a reprieve. Last night even the bunny was cold shocked, I told him he better keep moving so he didn't become a bunny lump!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It's OUTTA here!

The excess furniture is gone!

We actually have space we haven't seen in months. We just have to keep up the momentum on the quest to reclaim our space!

It was just plain brutal outside today. We had a NW wind of 17 mph so the windchill was almost 30 degrees below the donut. We are just hanging on to the promise of 20's for next week. We are in dire need of a reprieve from this frigid weather. Just walking across the yard to fill up the boiler is hard to bear. Cooper is beating me back to the house, normally he would be off sniffing out critters.

Sun dog this morning

Sometimes the little things just make things a little better. Seeing this sun dog on my way to the car was it for me today...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The beginning of the end of our hoarding tendencies

We are hoarders, there's no denying it anymore. This is the winter that it gets dealt with, once and for all! I started already with the Christmas decorations. I threw out broken ornaments, wildly bent up ornament hooks (saved those, why?), and assorted ornaments that I haven't used in a coon's age.
The brother in law has promised to pick up the extra furniture we have. When Mom passed away I wanted her table/chairs so that meant an extra set. That extra set has been sitting here for well over 6 months now. The table is in the living room and the chairs are stacked in the laundry room - really? I am beyond stoked to be rid of it.
The table/chairs we inherited were purchased July 2nd, 1971. Yes, she STILL had the receipt! The chairs originally were in a funky red/black pattern but over the years re-covered in red fake fur, not sure why except that she must have liked it :) Since then we've recovered them in a realtree fabric more suited to our tastes.
I ventured to the basement and it, too, is overflowing with useless stuff. I'm not sure how it happens but the next thing you know you could outfit at least one, if not two, full houses. The kitchen cabinets are another black hole filled with items that couldn't be lived without but haven't been used probably since sinking into that black hole. The thrift stores can be restocked for sure.
To be continued...
Full moon tonight but all I had was my phone so - crappy picture

Monday, December 12, 2016

Baby it's cold outside

Just went out to the woodboiler for the final fill for today, 12 degrees below the donut tonight - brrr!
Busy day today and it was blustery with snow flurries, nuisance snowfalls where everything needs to be scraped and shoveled off. We seem to be getting these days regularly and even though it's pretty, it's getting old cleaning up after it.

Got the White Elephant gifts today so I am officially DONE with shopping for this holiday season! Except, of course, baking supplies and stuff for the Christmas Eve celebration. Not a full meal deal, just finger foods and goodies. I'm thinking about making gluhwein (German mulled wine) and will make a non-alcoholic version for those that prefer, especially the kiddo's.

No kodak moments today, maybe next time...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Coopers New Bed

Yesterday morning it was -18 but this morning 7 above with light snow. Forecast is for 1-3 I believe but I'm just glad it's not below the donut!

Yesterday we had company. Danny stopped with a new bed for Cooper! He's happy because now he has a comfy bed at both ends of the house, he does like his comfort! Danny is planning to take the excess furniture we have around here (YAY!). Maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel of getting some organization around here.

He mostly fits :)

Christmas shopping is all done except for the White Elephant gifts but I will pick those up this next week. After the excess furniture is gone I can rearrange the living room so the kiddo's will have room to play and the adults will have some elbow room too. Still deciding on what to have for food Christmas Eve but it's going to be a laid back affair so I'm not going to get in a tizzy over it.

Time to take Coop out for some exercise....

Thursday, December 8, 2016

37th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our Anniversary. It started out strange, the alarm clock went off at 5 am which isn't necessarily strange except we didn't set the alarm. We decided it was Mom and Dad looking over us, wishing us a Happy Anniversary in their own way.

I got done with work earlier than normal so Frank decided we should go out to lunch to celebrate our Anniversary - who am I to argue? Off we went! We didn't go anywhere fancy but the food was good and the company even better!

This is us from 1979

Dale and Crystal arrived home safely from Florida with alot of stories and adventures from their vacation, they had a good time. She said they went from 80 degrees to 8 degrees in Sioux Falls when their plane landed. Good memories for them to share. Those memories are really interesting to look back on when you're old geezers like us! 

Wintry mix

The day started out pretty hectic, woke up late for starters, but it ended up being pretty productive. Snowplow went by just before I had to take off for Tech Committee, wasn't sure I'd get out so it was perfect timing.

Still cold and windy, forecast looks bleak for awhile - cold spell with temps below 0 for highs next week. BRRrrrrr!

Still seeing lots of pictures from Florida. Unfortunately (for them) they will head back to SD tomorrow. Sure hope they don't go home to weather like ours. Can't expect more since it's December (I suppose).

Better mosy off to bed, tomorrow's another day....

Scenery for the next few months, no doubt.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wrapping up

It's cooler today, and blustery. It's a good day to get those gifts wrapped, keep the fire going, and do some work from home. That all sounds fine in theory - let's see how it goes.

We're getting some snow showers and it's about 20 above, not sure on the wind chill. Dale and Crystal are enjoying their vacation in Florida, she's been keeping us up to date with various activity photo's. I'm sure the time is flying by and they'll blink and it will be time to board the plane home.

Angie and I have plans underway for Christmas Eve. Lot's of discussion on times and eats. Time is of little importance on Christmas, kind of like money. They both mean more the rest of the year but on Christmas we tend to be more frivolous with both.

Frank seems to be getting better, slowly, not coughing quite as much. Nighttime is the worst.

Super Coop isn't liking this change in weather, can't say as I blame him. We've been pretty spoiled with above average temps. So...he's bored and wants to play inside but he's a bull in a china shop and needs lots of space.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Reality Check

Today started out as most weekends, takes a while to get into gear after a long week. And then, bad news strikes - Crystal has taken Dale to the ER with a possible stroke. Even though they are pretty far away I could feel the fear in her messages. I wished I could have been there with her as she sat waiting for a multitude of tests to be completed and wait on the results.

The results were good and bad. The stroke turned out to be Bells Palsy (whew!) but he was diagnosed with both diabetes and hypertension. He was put on medication and sent home. They will have alot to discuss. Tomorrow they leave on a short trip to Florida, hopefully it won't dampen their fun.

Frank is still struggling with a cold he picked up over Thanksgiving. Breathing is hard to begin with and this just exacerbates it. He may need to go in but so far he's holding out.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow....