- My mom and I were able to go snowshoeing this past week. We are having another snowstorm, so I see more snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the near future. It’s been a very snowy late winter.
- My daughter and her husband got a new kitten this past week. I’m grateful she is adding joy to their lives.
- Volunteer time; it was good to go back after taking a couple weeks off.
- I had an eye exam this past week and will be getting new glasses. I’ve been having some minor problems with my eyes, mainly sensitive, irritated eyes with blurry vision caused by a blocked tear gland. I can’t even cry right anymore. Seriously, at this point I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m grateful to find out what is going on and that it will be a long time before I have to go back again.
- I signed up for a motorcycle class at the local Harley Davidson. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have been nervous about signing up, so now I did.
- I saw my first robin this past week. Even though there is tons of snow on the ground and more coming…spring will be here soon…right??
- We had a volunteer night at the sailing club to put our summer sailing brochures in envelopes. Previously our friends Harv and Kate were doing it themselves and it took them 6 hours. With a large group, we got the job done in a half an hour.
- It was nice to see Harv and Kate again. They are somewhere around 90 years old and Harv has been in poor health. I’m grateful to have some wonderful older friends to look up to. They have been married for 62 years and are a great example of what marriage can be.
- As a Christmas gift, we had our pastor and his family over to grill out and swim. It was a lot of fun to see the little kids having fun in the pool.
- We also had our friends over for trip planning last night. Next month we are taking a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan. We had a good visit.
- While our friends were here last night, we saw a red fox walk right by the window. That’s not something we see very often.
Christmas Eve Eve
Season’s greetings from blustery Wisconsin. We will surely have a white Christmas this year. It’s been snowing off and on for the last couple of days. It’s been windy and cold with sustained winds of 25mph and gusts up to 50mph bringing the wind chill between 25 and 35 below zero. This is our second named winter storm of the season. Last year apparently we only had one named winter storm. This is the third day this week my son has been doing snow removal. He has been gone for almost 12 hours now and I worry with the brutal cold. The wind is whistling through all the cracks in our house.
I like winter storms but I don’t like the thought of my son and other people working outside in these harsh conditions. I don’t like slippery roads. I don’t like the livestock and animals facing the cold. We are used to it though and life does not come to a grinding halt like you might think it would. If it did we wouldn’t get anything done in the winter. Paul is going to take Will to work tonight. It is too blustery to bike and he doesn’t have a car. He works second shift and I’m not sure how he is going to get back home. I’m trying not to worry too much.
Other than that, we have plans tonight. One of our employees from our previous company and who currently works with us on a limited basis now is coming over tonight. We are going to do some shop talk and then we will do some beer tasting, order pizza, and watch the Bucks game. Angel and Dan will be joining us.
The winter storm is supposed to end by tomorrow evening and we have plans to spend Christmas Eve with my best friend Cindy and her family. We started spending Christmas Eve with them a few years back. Then in the evening we will go to their church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service.
We will be spending Christmas day with our kids and their significant others. I’m starting to bake and prepare for that. Decades ago my MIL got me an ice cream maker. I haven’t used it in years and decided to dig it out and make some homemade ice cream. Today I made molasses cookies. There will be a lot of feasting over the next couple of days. I sure hope we don’t end up losing power with this storm. But the good news is that our freezer food should be just fine this time. We’ll have a lot of roaring fires in the fireplace. ‘Tis the season for dark, cold, and snowy days.
Warm wishes of a merry Christmas to you and yours. Yeah, my son just made it safely home from work!
Gratitude week 155
- We were able to get some back burner home projects done.
- Volunteer time; it’s always a blessing to share my time helping others.
- My daughter and son-in-law got the rest of their wedding pictures back and they are absolutely gorgeous.
- I’m grateful that my daughter and son-in-law realized they had a gas leak in their house and fixed the problem.
- We have snow on the ground and are expecting another foot of snow this week, so it’s looking good for a white Christmas.
- I had my extended family Christmas this past weekend and it went well.
- My husband and ALL my kids and their significant others attended. I’m grateful to be surrounded by my children, seeing and talking to them often.
- I like all of their significant others.
- A double batch of cheesy potatoes fit into the biggest crock pot I own for the extended family Christmas party.
- Fires in our fireplace on cold winter nights.
- It’s Christmas week and I’m looking forward to time spent with family and friends, the Christmas Eve candlelight service, good food, Christmas trees, and giving and receiving gifts as we celebrate Christmas.
- Spending time with relatives I haven’t seen since before COVID.
Gratitude week 151
- With the way the holidays fall this year, I’m grateful to have found a date that works for everyone.
- I went in for my physical this week and there weren’t any new health surprises which I am very grateful for.
- I got my tetanus shot this week and thankfully it didn’t stop me from continuing to clean and fill up the dumpster we rented.
- Everything went really smoothly with the dumpster rental and we got the right size.
- We finished our room remodeling project and the flooring is completed!! It all happened a lot quicker than I had planned which is always a plus.
- I have my own office!
- We had our first snowfall this week and it is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately it is now bitterly cold outside and with last weeks record highs we’ve had a 50+ degree drop in temperature.
- Along with filling the dumpster, we also donated several boxes to the thrift store. While we were there, we got some good deals thrifting. Sadly, I think someone old probably died because I scored on a local collection of polka records. I also found a gorgeous tree skirt that looked like the skirt worn by Mrs. Claus.
- We spent an afternoon volunteering and helping others.
- We were able to visit with all our kids this week.
- My brother Luke and his family visited this weekend and we were able to go to our niece’s swim meet. They live several hours away so we are not able to do as much as we would like to. This is the first swim meet we’ve been to and my niece beat her record on a couple events.
- My brother Matt had his gallbladder removed and the surgery went well.
- Because Arabella missed a lot of work due to COVID and mono, she was taken off the schedule at work. She just started working for Door Dash making deliveries. I think this is a great opportunity for her to be able to work around her health and mental health issues.
Before and after…with a little help from our cat.
Gratitude week 98
- I awoke this morning to the first snowfall of the season and it is beautiful.
- I’m glad that our landscaping project got done this week before it started snowing.
- Even though I had to go in for two blood draws, my bloodwork from my physical came back good. You will have to put up with me for awhile it seems.
- My physical and dentist appointments went well and I am grateful to be done getting poked and prodded for awhile.
- I had a massage this week.
- My best friend came over for a game night last night with her family. I also ran into another close friend earlier that day in the grocery store.
- I’m grateful Angel made supper last night. She made English muffin sandwiches with eggs, cheese, and spinach with hash browns on the side. She even made some sandwiches for Alex, his girlfriend, and his friend. I’m grateful when my kids get along.
- You are going to hate me, but I am pretty much done Christmas shopping already.
- I am excited to go in for a haircut this week. I want to go a little shorter with my hair. I am also thinking about updating my picture on WP. We’ll see how everything turns out.
- I’m grateful for a fire in the fireplace on a dark November day.
Have a good week!!
Let it snow
It’s winter again in Wisconsin.
Since last winter, we had about 5 months of April. It rained, and rained, and rained until Lake Michigan was ready to overflow into Minnesota. We broke the record for wettest year ever. It was cold too. In July, summer finally arrived for about 6 weeks. Then we had a couple of weeks of fall. Now we are back to winter again.
The picture says it all. Actually it is rather deceiving. I took this photo in October. Since then it snowed 3 more times. We actually had wind chills below zero this past week. Can you believe it? Was it because I signed up to run 5 miles on Thanksgiving day?? Somebody is certainly giving me the bird!
Our foreign exchange student from France is beside herself freaking out in excitement about the snow. Her winter is like our October. I wonder if she will still be excited in April when the snow falls? I’ll let you know.
This year I broke down and started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween when it started playing on the radio. In my mind, the holidays are very distinct. After Halloween you start celebrating thankfulness and Thanksgiving and all that stuff. Pumpkins are still okay. The day after Thanksgiving is when you start celebrating Christmas. Then it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music. Not before then.
It is so dark, dreary, cold, and snowy it feels like January. It’s like skipping the holiday season and going right into seasonal depression. I just cracked. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Might as well accept it.
Today I ran on the treadmill. I know, I know. I was trying to run outside to get ready for the race, but the roads are so icy. I almost fell yesterday on my sidewalk. I will save breaking a leg for community theater.
My son’s buddy hit a deer and slid into the ditch already. But not to worry. My son always says if he sees that he is about to get into an accident, he will slide on his seat belt super quick. Why not just wear it?? Now it makes sense why car insurance costs more for teenage boys. I will be finding that out since my son got another car today. I also found out the DMV is a really popular place to hang out on a Friday afternoon if you are looking to find a new place to meet people.
I have to tell you that the car is a God send, literally. I don’t have to drop off and pick up my son from work anymore. Hopefully I won’t even be called to pick him up in the middle of the night when his friend goes in the ditch either.
Seriously though, God send. This morning I went to the mechanic to get new snow tires for my car. I figured it was time since my 16 year old daughter called me freaking out about driving on bald tires through the snow already. I was hoping to wait until actual winter. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, like all of this unexpected snow. While I was at the mechanic, I asked if he had any cars for sale.
Sure enough, underneath the glistening snow was a rusty old Honda. It was perfect. The last time my son got a car it was an overpriced piece of crap we bought for sale in someone’s driveway. It looked sharp, but was garbage inside. I seriously don’t even think the salvage yard wanted it. The good news was that my son’s car was technically totaled the same day we bought it because it stopped running 6 weeks later.
I can’t even make this crap up. He was out the day he got his car squealing around town with his friends when some losers my age chased him down and smashed his car with a tire iron. The good news was that the money he got from the court case pretty much covered the cost of his new to him car. I probably won’t see my son until spring now. Whatever, just as long as his car isn’t totaled today. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
I told my son God was providing for him. We tried to find another car but don’t trust private sellers. Our friend that sells used cars didn’t have anything under $6,000. We didn’t know where else to go. But we trust our mechanic. If it didn’t snow early, I wouldn’t have needed snow tires and would’ve missed out on the car.
That’s winter in Wisconsin! My husband is thinking about ice fishing this year instead of hunting. I have a feeling that it is going to be a long hard winter. Time to wax my skis. But that it all since I celebrate no shave November.
I told you this was going to happen!
Earlier this week, we had the warmest day of the year. It was a windy, sunny day with temps topping at almost 70 degrees. I was able to go for a long run in shorts and a t-shirt!
Today winter is back. I think some schools must be on their 12th snow day this year. I actually lost count. This year we had the most snow days that I can ever remember.
We got the wet heavy snow mixed with a little ice. During the night it was tapping on my windowpane. This morning we had thunder snow. Tonight we are supposed to have thunderstorms with rain.
What a mess!
This snow storm happened just as the last of our snow began to melt. I just heard we are supposed to get another snow storm this weekend. And that is why I don’t like spring! The warm weather got me to thinking about getting out my summer clothes and spring cleaning, all that fun stuff! I was just starting to sneeze and sniffle.
It seems like I didn’t get much done today. Plan A was replaced by Plan B and now I think I am operating under plan J.
I don’t feel overwhelmed though like I did before. Summer is just around the corner. We got a peek at it this week.
Please don’t tell anyone, but I think the snow is kind of beautiful. Oh, I am losing my mind!
Good-bye winter! Spring comes today.
It’s been a long winter in Wisconsin. My kids had 8 days off of school for inclement weather. The average is 2-3. We’ve had heavy snowfall followed by subzero temperatures multiple times this winter. The salt doesn’t melt the snow on the very cold days. Some towns ran out of salt. The roads were horrible for an extended period of time.
A lot of people died on our roads this winter. A couple of weeks ago there was fatal pile up on the highway that involved 131 cars. It wasn’t even snowing that day. There weren’t any warnings or advisories in that area. It just happened to be very windy and blew snow across the highway causing white out conditions.
There were some days that school wasn’t called off when it should’ve been because we used up so many snow days. What are we to do when we live in a climate that has the potential for nasty weather half the year? We drink! Which pretty much makes our roads hazardous year round. We lock ourselves indoors chronically depressed from the lack of sunshine and stormy weather that cancels our plans.
Okay, I will try to be more positive. Winter is beautiful. I had to share some pictures of the big snow this year. I was able to go out cross country skiing a couple of times. It was a great year for winter sports such as snowmobiling. Most years we don’t get this much snow.
Do I think that winter is over because the calendar says that it is spring? Probably not. Last year we got a huge blizzard in April. That is what I hate about spring (besides seasonal allergies). It fails to deliver. Spring is my least favorite season. I like summer best followed by fall then winter. At least with winter, we know what we are getting.
The trick is to try to enjoy every season while it is happening. That is sometimes easier said than done. The first few warm days gives me a feeling of false hope. But it won’t be too much longer. Last week we had a day in the 50’s. People started putting on shorts and were driving around with their windows open. But I know we will probably get more snow in April or May.
I can’t wait for the first run outside in this new year. It won’t be too much longer. I have to keep telling myself that at the end of a long grueling winter. The days are getting longer. The birds are coming back. The bugs will soon follow. But I won’t complain, winter makes me enjoy summer more. You need a few dark days to enjoy the light.
I thought that things would be a little less crazy this week, but I was wrong.
My son was trying to sell something online for us and almost got scammed. A person sent my son a check for over the asking price for the object and told him to take it to the bank right away. He did because the bank was closing soon and he didn’t know what to do. Then the person was going to have his “moving person” swing by and pick up the object along with the extra money for moving the item to another state. It seemed a little fishy, but everything happened so fast that I didn’t stop my son.
When Paul heard about it later, he worried it was some sort of money laundering scheme. He dug around online and found out it was a scam. The scammer sends a legitimate looking check for over the price and tells the person to give the money to the mover who is stopping by to pick it up. The person who picks it up steals the item and the money then the check bounces. Our item was scheduled to be picked up the day we are leaving for vacation.
Yesterday morning, I went to the bank and expressed my concerns about the check being fraudulent. Upon closer examination, the bank also thought it was a scam. Unfortunately, when the check bounces my son’s account with be charged. I feel bad that I didn’t stop my son from putting the check into his account. We both thought something wasn’t right but ignored it because they were pressing my son to cash it before the bank closed the night before. It really didn’t give me enough time to think.
It just started the day out bad yesterday. But it didn’t end there. Someone pulled out in front of me and I skidded on the ice almost hitting them. The roads here are still horrible. Last Monday we got a foot of snow. Then we had 4 days of temps in the double digits below zero, followed by an ice storm, followed by more cold weather so the salt didn’t melt the ice.
Oh, it gets better. Then my husband went to the dental hygienist and she refused to treat him because his blood pressure was too high. Yesterday Paul had several meetings with key clients to try to save accounts. After I lost my position at the company we previously owned, clients got a little skittish with all of the changes. The meetings were stressful for Paul and he was running late to his appointment. His blood pressure was 185/107. They told him he needed to see his doctor immediately.
Paul had appointments all day, but kept monitoring his BP. His BP has been borderline high for years. By the end of the day, his BP was still high and the nurse said to take him to the ER since he also had a slight headache. Off to the ER we went. I was paranoid by all of the illnesses we were exposed to last night. If I didn’t think my husband could wind up dead during the night from a stroke, I wouldn’t have risked it. Ah, the things we do for love.
We spent the evening with Paul in a hospital bed, in a gown with an IV in his arm watching the state of the union address. The nurse came in and jokingly said that the SOTU was giving her high blood pressure. Even though no fight ensured about politics, Paul’s BP was still high when we left so they gave him medication. We left to drive home through another snow storm. Big snowflakes and sleet pattered against the windows, but we made it home safely. I certainly did not want to go back to the ER.
This morning there was 4 inches of snow over glare ice. Arabella fell on her way out to the car for school. It’s just nasty out there. Paul spent hours plowing everyone out. Then tonight we are expecting freezing rain followed by another 6 inches of snow. Paul and I are planning on flying out early tomorrow morning for a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands with friends. I hope we can leave.
I will be taking some time off of blogging. You are probably sick of my whining and complaining anyway. When I get back, I will write a travel series about the trip and lighten things up a little. I try to do that after things get a little heavy. Then I will be back at it again.
Well, I better get packing.
Life at 50 below
The last few days the wind chills were 50 below. That is a whole whopping 80 degrees below freezing. Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in a cold climate? Maybe you already do and we can commiserate together.
It is not terribly unusual for us to face subzero temperatures in a normal Wisconsin January. We are so used to it that the schools only close if it is 35+ below zero and we get over 6 inches of snow.
This week was rather extreme though even for us.
On Monday, we received a foot of snow. On Tuesday, the wind chills were around 25 below. Paul was in a hurry to plow out the driveway before it got cold out. He had some problems with the plow on the 4 wheeler and was asked to plow out a friend that just had surgery and my parents. After Paul got the plow fixed, he was able to plow everyone else out before the wind chill warning.
The kids had off of school Monday, Wednesday, and today.
Tuesday night Arabella and I had play practice. I drove to practice on the highway through the blowing and drifting snow. The snowplows put salt on the roads but it was too cold to melt the ice properly. There were patches of black ice on the highway that took my car towards the ditch. The ditches were already littered with cars and I passed a truck that just went in. I knew this because his lights were still on. I heard that there was a tow ban.
We made it home safely. I wore my goose down jacket, hat, mittens, and two sweaters. My son had a few friends over and they came over without coats and in shorts. They are so cool!
I was planning on working out Wednesday morning, but stayed home to man the fires instead. We have a very large old house. We wanted to keep the house warm without spending a fortune.
Although I sometimes want to spend more time at home, there is nothing glamorous about being trapped in your house when you don’t want to be. I decided to clean my kitchen washing the refrigerator and microwave.
The kids complained about how bored they were and I threatened to tell them about winters in the 1980’s. I wondered how our ancestors made it through the winter without modern conveniences like electricity and heat.
I kept the fires going all afternoon, stoking them every 20 minutes. I curled up on the couch with my cat and wrote a couple more chapters in my book. I listened to the wind howl and whip around the fresh snow. The sunshine glared brightly making it seem warm outside, tempting me to be lured out in the cold.
I looked at pictures on Facebook of tropical places, like Texas. A friend from Texas showed pictures of herself running outside in the frigid temps of 40 degrees. Jealousy stabbed me. To be able to run outside again! I would’ve been happy to be able to make it to the gym. But our world was shut down, even the postal workers didn’t deliver mail yesterday.
I went to sleep late last night checking to make sure that the dog was safely inside in his bed. I worried about the farmers and their livestock. The schools were closed and multiple businesses too. I even heard on Facebook that in WI some of the bars were closed.
I awoke early to the smell of smoke. Was my house on fire? There was a purple haze lingering in the air and a strong smell of smoke. We turned on the industrial dehumidifier to suck out the smoke which caused the boiler that heats our pool to error out and shut down from the cold air pouring in on it. We turned on the fans to get the smoke out. One of the vents was frozen and Paul used a small heater to thaw it out. The vent for the dehumidifier froze open. Paul ran outside to shove some old towels in the vent to keep out the cold air which caused thawing water to drip on electrical cords and outlets.
My parents lost power in their house today. Their house cooled down quickly which is tough since our furnaces cannot keep up running constantly when the power is on. I can’t wait to get our gas bill for this polar vortex.
It was another cold day, but I had to venture out to the gym. Thankfully it was open, although they reduced their hours.
Is it almost spring yet??
Although I complain, there is something beautiful about winter. There is nothing like curling up by the fire on a very cold day snuggled in blankets. The snow on the trees is breathtaking. There aren’t any bugs.
This weekend we are going to have a heat wave. It will be a balmy 40 degrees. Time to finally dust off those cross country skis! The guys will be heading to the lake to ice fish.
We are hardy people, we will make it through..