Tag Archives: winter

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crab apple jelly, and red Georgia clay

Photo on wall in Georgia

Photo on wall in Georgia

New Year’s Day, 2014.

I eat toast slathered with translucent red crab apple jelly that glistens like a stained glass window through its home in a tiny mason jar.  It’s a Christmas gift from a daughter who found it in upstate New York and mailed it four states away because the red jelly gleamed so beautifully in the sunlight.

Will the sun shine here today or will the cold North Wind lock it away behind a cell of bitter gray clouds?  It’s been cold for days and days and weeks and weeks and soon we’ll whisper “months and months” as our lips slowly turn blue and our feet freeze in our heavy winter boots.

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Apple snow

Apple trees behind our two-classroom school

Apple trees behind our two-classroom school

It's apple snow

It’s apple snow

Apples up above

Apples up above

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The secrets we don’t tell

Flash of yellow in snow

Flash of yellow in snow

Snow continues to fly here in the north woods.  You think snow drifts downward, don’t you?  You think snow drops from clouds to earth.  Sounds logical, right?

I’ve learned that snow, in actuality, flies every-which-way.  It’s most intriguing when it flies upward.  You’re looking out your window and snow rises.  It’s aimed for the clouds. Go figure.

Later, you’ll realize it’s the wind.  Snow does drift down from clouds.  The wind sometimes tosses it back up.  It’s like a game of catch.  Who’s gonna catch the snowflakes, wind or cloud?  Grandfather Winter likes to amuse himself.

We started re-filling the wood room again last night.  Oh, so frigid.  We topped off the back row and half filled the second row.  Tonight we’ll haul logs again.  Actually, I haul logs and hand them to the chief stacker, Mr. Barry.  I wear my grandmother’s old 1969 snowmobile suit.  (It’s famous, you know.  Someone said so on Facebook.)

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Baby, it’s cold…inside

There's a star in the woods on Christmas morn'...

There’s a star in the woods on Christmas morn’…

Never mind the outside temperature.

It brags 12 degrees (-11 C), shame on that thermometer at 4 p.m., Sunday afternoon.

It’s shivered below zero for nights.  Winter appears early in the north this year.

Barry just departed the house.  “Feels like a heat wave!” he announced (perhaps sarcastically) as he shut the door.

Dang.

It’s so.  Darn.  Cold.

We keep feeding the hungry wood stove.  One log, two logs.  Three logs, four logs.  Aren’t you satisfied yet, you greedy creature?  Must you munch more and more and MORE?

Must we feed you every hour?  Hey, don’t you know it’s only December?

Baby, it’s cold Inside.

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Hitchhiker, near accident & birdseed

Snow

Snow

1.  It’s 4:30 p.m. and the sun arches its back into the horizon, preparing to depart from this earthly realm until tomorrow morning.

2.  We picked up a hitchhiker yesterday on our way up to Houghton.   A young 20-ish Michigan Tech student whose vehicle died.  He thumbed a ride to the auto store for repair parts and then shivered in the cold for twenty minutes before we picked him up.  Before stopping the car I hissed to Barry, “We don’t pick up hitchhikers!”  Fortunately, Barry didn’t listen to his wife and decided he was a young college student who needed assistance.  Afterward, I was proud that we’d helped a fellow human being–and hoped kind souls might assist our children, should they need it.

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April madness

Chickadee on six foot snow bank

Chickadee on six foot snow bank

The long winter continues.

Another eight inches of snow yesterday morning, give or take three inches.  (It could have been eleven inches.  We’ve ceased measuring in late April.)

I am really OK with it.  No need to offer condolences.  We escaped to Florida earlier in the month, thereby easing Endless Winter Restlessness Syndrome.

I’m not sure the other locals are faring as well.  One senses a certain madness in the flitting eyes of grocery shoppers.  Alcohol sales are up.  People tend not to make sense anymore.  Just sayin’.  The livin’ is not easy up here in Cabin Fever land.

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Hullabaloo

During the snowstorm

During the snowstorm

Such a hullabaloo in the Northern forest!

Spring Seed Boy fell in love with young Snow Maiden.

Oh, it’s forbidden, don’t you know!

Icy beauty

Icy beauty

The Winter Queen, in her fury, locked Spring Seed Boy in a shed behind the six-foot snow bank.

Spring Seed Boy cries and it rains.  Young Snow Maiden weeps and it snows.  The Winter Queen gripes and it snows some more.

The oregano silently stews.

The oregano silently stews.

The Sun King tried, yes he tried, to negotiate a truce.  He shined his hardest, but to no avail.

The Mourning Doves in the bird feeder mourn.  The poor robins, just in from the sunny south, look in vain for worms beneath the endless white snow.  The bear refuse to leave hibernation.  The trees refuse to leaf.  The ice on the lake refuses to melt.

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The light of an ordinary trip through pea soup fog to Marquette

How Lake Superior looks in Marquette

How Lake Superior looks in Marquette

Here we are in Marquette, a town 78 miles from our Little House in the Big Woods.  It’s the Big City, kids.  It even has a Starbucks!  How I love the city–just as much as the woods…

Barry has to cover the Baraga Track Meet for the L’Anse Sentinel.  He–I mean we–have been covering this track meet for more years than you have fingers and toes.

Last year he limped in  to cover aforementioned event with a walker less than two weeks after his first knee replacement.  Oh, wasn’t he cute limping around!  (I wouldn’t know–I don’t stay for the track meet anymore.)  Someone snapped his picture and posted it on Facebook.  He was a sports reporter/hero for five minutes!

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Be kind

Reaching for nourishment

Reaching for nourishment

Be kind, dear one, be kind.

If you can find it in your heart, be kind to one another, for everyone you meet–not just the downtrodden, not just the homeless, not just the friend dying from cancer–everyone you meet–faces some sort of anguish, some sort of fear, some sort of challenge.

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Ladybug in parsley and other winter stories.

Ladybug in parsley.  View One.

Ladybug in parsley. View One.

Life is so weird.

After writing yesterday’s post about my current camera conundrum (say that fast three times) I am suddenly feeling re-inspired about taking pictures.

Twice today have dug out the Canon Rebel and photographed.

The first photo shoot involved a ladybug discovered in parsley purchased at the grocery store.

Imagine!  A bright red ladybug crawling through deep velvet-green parsley.

Perhaps some folks might be disturbed at insects in their groceries, thinking them vile creatures worth annihilating immediately, if not sooner.

Not I.

I delighted in the bright red crawling creature.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Isn’t she vibrant?  Doesn’t she remind one of spring as a possibility?

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