Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Where's the Bear? #63

The bear noticed some very nice Adirondack chairs out in the sunshine yesterday afternoon, so he took advantage of the opportunity to sun himself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day

We are watching the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murphy and Andie McDowell this evening, as is our tradition.  I've heard rumors that PA's famous groundhog, Punxatawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, meaning that Spring is on its way.  It feels like it too, the weather has been in the 40's and 50's, and all that snow from the other weekend, including another 2-3 inches that fell on Thursday night - Friday, is all gone.

Dad has tapped the Maple trees, and I see him driving his sap tractor around every afternoon, collecting the sap.  Smoke is coming out of the chimney of his sap shed too, meaning that he has been hard at work cooking it down.

JP was scheduled for a conference last weekend at an exclusive resort not far from here.  He went out on Thursday, and when he called to tell me that he made it safely there, he told me that there was a mountain lion in a cage right outside of our room.  He came back for us on Friday afternoon, so that we could enjoy the weekend there with him.  We didn't actually see the mountain lion until we were ready to leave on Sunday, but when I looked out my window on Saturday morning, I saw 2 zebras and a little donkey walking by!

 
We went to a gymnasium on Saturday morning.  L seemed to enjoy herself, but J sat on the bleachers the entire time with her earbuds in.


In the afternoon, we had reservations for tubing.  The outside temperature was near 50*, but we went anyway.  The hill was quite slow - in fact, the run down our own hill was much faster!  We also ended up waiting in line for 30 minutes between rides.  The only redeeming factor was the lift that dragged us back up the hill, so no walking!  We gave up after 2 rides a piece.

 
Over all, it was nice to get away for a bit.  I had plenty of catch-up laundry to do on Sunday afternoon, as well as unpacking.

J is home sick today with a stomach bug.  She seems to be of similar constitution to myself - I have not vomited since I was twelve years old, except for the first trimester of each of my pregnancies.  She is incredibly uncomfortable with abdominal pain, cramping and nausea, but no vomiting.  I think she'll be home tomorrow too.

Welcome to Spring, everyone, and if the Groundhog was right, this might be my favorite February EVER!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Where's the Bear? #62

All of that snow from the weekend is already almost melted.  It is soppy and muddy and grey outside.  Eh.

The bear is inside, helping with the endless laundry today.

Monday, January 25, 2016

There She Goes!

I just wanted to post this video clip of L sailing down the hill yesterday...finally got it edited to play right side up!

video

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Looks Like Winter

Believe it or not, the winter storm that blew through the Mid-Atlantic states this weekend was named "Jonas."  I was a bit panicky on Friday, with the memories of the "Snowmageddon" event of 2010 fresh in my mind.  (To read about our adventures during Snowmageddon, click here.)  This snow was so much lighter and drier than in the past, that it did not stick to the trees and power lines, and we never lost power, heat or running water up here on the hill.

We did get snowed in, however, and although we have equipment to clear our 1/4 mile driveway, when there is this much snow, the difficulty is finding a place to go with it!  I measured 13" one place, and 15" another place, so all told we got over a foot of snow.

I went outside to look around yesterday afternoon.  The skies were grey and the snow continued to fall.  I walked to my parents' house, and it was so much work just picking up my heavy boots and marching over there through all that snow!

The stakes are marking the edge of the driveway.
 
 
 
 
Lots of drifting create odd shapes and patterns.
 
For my Birthday on Friday, I received a coloring book and amazing colored pencils.  While the snow was falling yesterday, the girls and I spent some time listening to Disney songs and coloring.  It was amazingly relaxing!

Notice I have to use the cheater glasses to see the tiny details here!
 
 
Dad has apparently been dreaming of summer.  I found this chair that he built in the woodshop, and another one in pieces.
 

 
L and I tried going sledding yesterday, but the snow was so light and deep, that our inner tubes just kept getting buried.  Today JP cleared a sledding path by running the ATV up and down the hill several times.  It worked great!  The difficult part was walking back up the hill.  I figure that I got a pretty good workout today just walking up the hill 2 dozen times wearing heavy snow gear!


At the bottom of the hill, our 2 beehives are halfway buried.  I put my ear to them, and could hear a muted humming coming from inside, so it appears that the bees are well and staying warm.

Today the sun is shining and the snow is sparkling and clean.  If it wasn't such a pain to dig out after a snow storm, I might enjoy them a bit more.



This picture doesn't do it justice, but the snow was
 absolutely dazzling in the sunshine!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Where's the Bear? #61

It has been in the single digits, temperature-wise, overnight lately.  It makes for much checking of rabbit water, since we FINALLY have the hen's water under control.  The Chick-bit house does stay about 20-25 degrees warmer than outside, but that's still pretty doggone cold when outside is 5*!

It stays nice and warm in our house, thanks to the outdoor woodburner. 

The bear made the most of one of these chilly mornings to snuggle up with Kali.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Embarrass Your Teen Aged Daughter

So, J has been trending a bit dark over the past year.  She enjoys wearing all black clothing, and also paints her fingernails black.  Batman is her favorite superhero, whom she is deluded into believing could beat Superman (Ha!)  I made the mistake of calling her "pseudo-Goth" the other day, and she told me that she is NOT Goth, she is "Emo."

I had to consult Wikipedia to get my punk rock subcultures straight.  According to them, "Gothic fashion is stereotyped as conspicuously dark, eerie, mysterious, complex and exotic."  While "the term "emo" is stereotyped with wearing jeans, sometimes in bright colors and may often be close-fitting and t-shirts (usually short-sleeved) which often bear the names of emo bands. Studded belts and black wristbands can be associated in emo fashion."  Apparently "emo" folks also add bright pops of color to their ensemble (think:  Batman's bright yellow bat!)

This is J more than 2 years ago!

Luckily for me, she no longer favors the candy colors and sparkles at Justice, but now prefers the dim light and blaring punk music at Hot Topic.  I can tolerate it a teeny bit more, because I browse the anime (Totoro) and vintage film (Breakfast Club) T's, while she is looking at the punk band T's (as well as Harry Potter, anime, and Dr. Who.)

She decided to use some of her birthday money recently to buy some T shirts at Hot Topic, but came home with a snarky one that JP and I did not approve of.  We used our day off yesterday, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, to return to the store in the bitter cold, and exchange the T for something a bit nicer.

The sales clerk, a young lady with blue hair, asked me to sign the receipt and write a reason for the exchange.  "Can I write, 'Parents don't approve of T shirt slogan?'" I asked. 

"Mooooom!"  J moaned.

"You can put whatever." the sales clerk assured me.

And so I did.

And so we left.

And thus I embarrassed my teen aged daughter.