Monday, January 28, 2019

1-28-2019 Monday- 12:45pm

Good afternoon!
Been a weather-y week up here in the North country.  We had a beautiful, softer snowfall that left a smooth, white, glittery blanket...for a short while.  My patio is one of the popular spots around our building.
Sometimes even an after meal rest stop.
(Possibly more for territory protection--the grouse wars are ongoing--LOL!)
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 You can tell there wasn't much wind as there was actually snow on top of the bird feeder...
...and across the yard. 
But then we had a ground blizzard--high winds but not really any snow--and it blew away the snow down to the grass again. 
Life in a wind vortex. 
The snow piles are rising every time they plow the parking lots across the way. 
In fact, I'll pop in a picture of the ones directly across from me right now. 
Oops!  I disturbed three grouse just now who were resting beside my planter box.
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 Anyways, a big snowstorm was coming through Sunday with an arctic deep freeze right behind it.  Mind you, it was already cold enough.  Everybody was eating frantically! 
I fed birds all day.  Put out generous amounts of seed three times and they would devour it. 
Much to my delight--the jackrabbits have also been hungry enough to come by before dark again.  I had the blinds half drawn--but was so excited to see one I had to try to get a picture. 
And then there were two! 
Those two ate side by side, but the territorial jackrabbit wars have ensued since then.  They stand up and flail their front legs at each other and chase around the yard.  But nobody goes very far away.  They just wait their turns at a distance.  I do love seeing them up close and personal again!
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Meanwhile, a couple orders I have waited weeks for.  The tiny Mog the Cat board books for Liam.  He loved that first Mog and Me book so much, I couldn't resist these for less than $10 and free shipping all the way from England.  And then the oval wooden pieces.
I have some other smaller sizes of ovals coming, too.  Leah and I are planning to try to use them to label satchels and boxes.
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Well, I did manage to keep up last week with the book and finished week two.  For my artist's date last week--since I have been pretty much dealing with the CF/chronic fatigue part of fibro lately so don't have many spoons--I already had printed off some envelopes and some matching cards that I had gotten for free from the TPK/The Postman's Knock website so I decided to sit and color them while I watched TV.  
My wonky eye makes coloring more of a challenge to stay inside the lines than it used to be--LOL!  But I did something for my artist's soul last week.  ;)
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Ian came over on Saturday after swimming class.  While he ate lunch I cut and trimmed down all the envelopes and cards.
Ian was rubbing his eyes a lot.  He wasn't sure he was up to working on our surprise for Mama and Daddy but since I was going to do most of the work...  ;)
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I taped one of the flowered envelopes together and folded the flowered card.  Ian helped a little with the pressing tapes down.  Then I wrote down what he told me to say inside the card and he signed it.  I wrote out the address, we both put the stamp on.  I cut washi tape and Ian put it on the back of the envelope.  We talked about why you had to put the postage stamp and address in a certain place so the machines could read it as we walked it down to put in the outgoing mail slot.  (Leah, if you read this--act surprised!)
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He was too tired to color blank envelopes--even if he could just scribble--so you know he's still worn down from being so sick the week before.  Gramma has been tired all the time lately so we were happy to just snuggle up on my chair with a blanket on that cold day and watch Maru The Cat, Mighty Machines, and to look up a couple videos on sorting mail that showed the machines and conveyor belts they use.
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In the early evening before Leah came to pick him up, Ian got to see the jackrabbits up close!
He said his jackrabbits at his house were smaller. 
I told him they just looked smaller because they were farther away. 
And when one ran off to sit over by the big snow pile he said--"See, it's smaller".  LOL!
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Speaking of jackrabbits and the snow piles.  Can you see how the jackrabbit dug a hole to sleep in on the side of that snow pile?  You might have to click on the picture to "biggen" it--LOL!  So funny!  The Sunday storm was coming and it stayed there all morning until the wind picked up. 
And the wind REALLY picked up.  I was suddenly deluged with birds and rabbits wanting to grab some food before they took cover during the storm.  I kept trying to toss out more seed without it flying back at me inside the apartment--LOL!
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The wind gusted so hard it blew the bird feeder sideways!  I haven't seen it do that before.  The cover was flapping and seed was being blown out--was pretty cool!
The gusts were so strong the sparrows could hardly get lift off from the patio and sometimes had to fly backwards for a little bit.  But they all wanted to fly over to that evergreen tree by that garage over there.  They'd come back and forth from the tree--a huge flock of around 30 birds.  The grouse were here--feathers being blown backwards if they accidentally turned their backs to the wind.  When the gusts came they all put their faces to the wind.  I was so mesmerized that I never even thought to make a video--duh!
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But it started to snow and the wind increased.  The jackrabbits and all the birds disappeared to hunker down.
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 This morning I turned the bird feeder back upright...
...and noticed the wind blew chunks of snow all over the lawn.  I wonder from how far away they have rolled. 
Survived the storm.  We only got 1.7 inches of snow here it says.  Now we're in for a deeper deep freeze!  

We have wind chill warnings every day--midnight tonight through Thursday morning as they expect the wind to pick up with -35 to -60 below wind chills.  Frostbite can occur in a matter of minutes.  Brrr!  Chair time with a blanket sounds soooo good.  After I am finished with laundry...
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Oh, I was told by a couple of people that the Baby Girl link didn't work last week.  I think I fixed it now.  Please let me know--and if any of the links don't work this week.  Thanks.  In fact, I'll try to link it right in here.  
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If any of you actually read all of these stories you will know a lot more about me!  Maybe a good thing...maybe not--ROFL!  
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This week the memoir session of the book was grade school--well, the way I chose to divide up my life for these writing sessions.  You answer questions and read and think about your life.  I happen to have written a few things already back in my college non-fiction classes and had written random memories on my blog.  Those are the linked stories.  
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Anyways--  
1956-1962: ages 5-11.  
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First and Second grade I went to a parochial school (Northeast Christian School) because they wouldn't let me into public school at age five.  Mom says she didn't do it to get rid of me, but three years after me she had two kids in one year--my brother in January and my sister in December.  (Do you call those Irish twins if you're Swedish?  LOL!)  It must have been a nice break to be free of one of us for the day--LOL!
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After being in a classroom with three grades where I was free to ask questions, talk, walk around and help other kids if I got done with the work...public school was a total shock!  To put it mildly.  I went from being a happy, encouraged student to a despised, behavior problem.  I was punished and punished and punished.  Sat in corners.  Made to stand with my nose in a circle on the blackboard.  Struck repeatedly with a ruler.  Smacked upside the head.  Spanked with a ping pong paddle.  Made to sit on my hands. (Discovered I truly couldn't talk without my hands...so I learned how.)  I finally learned not to talk in class or leave my desk.  But I also learned how to make people laugh without speaking or Mrs. Rymer catching me.  No wonder I drove her to complete exasperation.  She started making me sit on the floor in the hallway outside the door.  (I still got in trouble once for singing out there.)
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Luckily by 4th grade I knew full well and good how the public school system worked.  I am forever grateful that I loved first and second grade.  My love of school, learning, and reading survived.  My obsession with writing and school supplies blossomed.
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The links for this week:
Remembering on the blog my one and only bad day at Northeast Christian school in first grade.
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This was another blog cogitation when my dad turned 90.
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Blog cogitation on growing up where I did.  My sanctuary was nature.
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And finally, this was a longer story I worked on in college.  Never felt completely polished and finished--like publication worthy, as they encouraged--but this was so very much my life.  I always thought if I ever wrote my autobiography it would have to be titled Flower Child.  :)  This is who I am inside still to this very day.

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So that is it for this week, my friends.  From frigid Fargo I bid you farewell until next week.  Sending positives and virtual hugs.  :) :)
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"May such calm of soul be mine, so as to meet the force of circumstances."
Aeschylus

15 comments:

  1. Comment to get comments.
    I hope you are liking the stories. :)

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  2. FULL post today Rita - such cold weather, very hungry birds and rabbits, tired and worn out dear grandson and tired Grandma, such a quick review of your life, plus you sound very upbeat. Productive week even if you were not feeling as well as you wanted to be. Hugs.
    Joy

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  3. I haven't read your stories yet, Rita. I will get to them when I'm finished with all these appointments I've got going. I'll read them before next monday's post. :-)

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  4. Brrr! Your pictures make me cold! We are going into extremely cold weather here but our high temps in the teens sound warm compared to your temperatures!

    Ian sounds like he has not bounced back from being sick yet. I hope he gets back to his usual self soon. I'm sure you both enjoyed the cuddling and videos though. There's nothing like Gramma cuddles!

    I sure love seeing those rabbits! They are beautiful creatures. Take care Rita and stay warm!

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  5. Lovely rabbit shots!

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  6. i love your animal farm and I am smitten with the picture of the rabbit hole in the snow! who knew! Also all the ways you have that feeder wired and the wind still blew it (I'll stay in MD thank you very much). We are getting cold this week too but nothing like you, which is fine by me. I'm already ready for spring and we still have February to get through!

    Haven't gotten to the stories. I am so far behind in all my projects and my admin work that needs doing from playing with hand sewing that I need to focus. Today was to be it but apparently not - had to go grocery shopping (I guess that's admin of a sort) with hubby (we always go together) and we were out of a lot so it took a lot of time and now it's already 1pm. Time flies!

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  7. The nature-watching is delightful! I get to see creatures I never see here and always appreciate the view outside your window :)

    Swimming can wear you out, can't it! It helps to be flexible :)

    I read "Baby Girl" and had such a tug at my heart at the end.

    Stay as warm as you can! It looks to me like A Frozen Land up there!

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  8. Leo really liked the photos of the Jackrabbits he loves bunnies and found it interesting that you have snow there

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  9. I've read everything but Flower Child & Loved them all. I'll read Flower Child when I have more time!!

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  10. Stay warm, I hope all the feeders I filled today make it to Thursday afternoon. It is -34 here now. Wind has picked up. Staying home until Thursday when Far Guy has his infusion and I have Physical Therapy. I hear it will be warm Saturday I have lots of snow to shovel:)

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  11. I always like to see the grouse, and those jackrabbit photos are really great! I also like the beautiful cards and envelopes that you colored.

    That's a lot of snow! We were supposed to get some snow last night but it fizzled out.

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  12. Long time ago, that I wrote to you. Sorry. Here in the news we were told about the dangerous cold in Fargo! So, please take care and stay in the house as much as possible.

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  13. How wonderful to have a nature reserve right outside your window. I was also in that blowing, drifting snow. Not much fell to the ground, but a lot of swirls and wind like you wouldn't believe. I guess YOU would, though.

    Sorry Ian isn't feeling better, but it sounds like his illness is lingering.

    BTW, I haven't read your stories yet, but I will once I've caught up with everyone. Please stay warm and safe.

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  14. I love how the birds and jackrabbits are turning up for their feasts right outside your window! We have heard about and seen the dreadful weather you are getting in the North of the USA and the frostbite warnings!! I trust you are careful when you go outside!! I am going to have a catch up today but I won't be commenting on the posts - I'll save you scrolling up and down to see - I will send you an e-mail - hoping it's still the same!! Aren't Meg and Mog books brilliant??? Take care, Hugs, Chrisx

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  15. Your experience in third grade public school sounded horrific. Talk about making kids feel bad about going to school. :(


    Those jackrabbits are HUGE! Your description of them fighting made me laugh. I could picture them standing on their hind legs flailing their front legs at their "enemy."

    That weather with those subzero temperatures was unbelievable. I'm happy that's over!

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