Polar Vortex, What?

The coldest temperatures in Ohio in over 20 years. ( The “Polar Vortex” has dropped down for a visit!) 102_2866

Winds between 25-35 miles an hour. (It is always windy here, I’m used to it.)

Blowing snow that stings the face. (Ouch. Don’t like that, plus it ruins my mascara.)

Breathing in the cold air, literally hurts. ( I try not to breathe, but that doesn’t really work.)

Layers of clothing, coat, scarf, insulated gloves, hat with ear flaps, boots. (I look like the an Abominable Snowman.)

The only part showing is the eyes, and they are watering from the cold and wind. (No, I’m not crying!)

The crazy thing about all of this, the temps are to be up in the high 40’s by the end of the week. It is supposed to rain, which will melt everything and we will be left with a muddy, mucky mess.

Ugh.

 

 

The Flies Are Driving Me Nuts

Don’t we all need a good laugh sometimes? Going through my archives and thought I would share this little gem.

The flies are driving me nuts. That is one thing about summer time when one has animals…..flies in the chicken coop, flies hanging around the horse. Ugh. I hate flies. What is their purpose anyway, except to harass?

Last summer I had some of the same issues……..

They’re Coming To Take Me Away…

horse fly, Diptera family Tabanidae, Tabanus s...

horse fly, Diptera family Tabanidae, Tabanus sp. Location: Winfield IL USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On this incredibly stinkin’ hot day in the rural Midwest, I thought we could all use a good dose of humor. I will allow you to laugh at my expense. Dawn vs. Nature. It is not a pretty sight.

I thought that we had moved to a picturesque setting in the rural farmland of Ohio. Actually, this turned out to be true, although I had no idea the other critters that had also chosen to live alongside us on our little slice of land. In the Spring we had a raccoon under the deck. This visitor caused our dogs to nearly go berserk. At 3 am in the morning. The dogs couldn’t get to the “scared out of his wits” raccoon, and the raccoon was NOT coming out with two “Cujos” on the loose. There was not much sleeping going on that night for anyone in a five-mile radius of our house.

We have a ground hog that has a vacation home down where our property meets the road. He is quiet and keeps to himself. Every time I see him, The Wind and The Willows comes to mind.

We have Bambi and family that trek across our side yard on a fairly regular basis. Fun to watch, unless one decides to jump out directly in front of the family van….then it is a little scary. The other night my husband laid some rubber on the road when he braked hard not to hit a deer that literally came out of nowhere, directly in front of us. My heart was hammering in my chest during that little moment, as I was nearly decapitated by the stupid shoulder strap safety belt. Are there any statistics on death by shoulder strap?

In August and September, we have the gnat plague. Where in the world do gnats come from? Honestly, there is no food sitting out, nothing like that….they just appear like clockwork. In August. They stay for two months and the family chases them around with the bug zapper before they disappear, or are inadvertently eaten, as they are always in my way while fixing dinner. Um…they look like pepper. Sorry. I looked gnats up on the internet. They are a nuisance, but harmless and will not kill anyone if eaten. I don’t know why they come here. It’s one of life’s mysteries.

In late Fall and early winter, the field mice decide that it is time for them to head toward their winter retreat. The retreat happens to be our garage, and if they are slick enough….the main living quarters. This does not set well with me. At all. I hate mice with a white hot passion. They mock me, as they scratch around in the walls. I find myself yelling at them ….and I know I am not imagining that I hear the faint sound of laughter. Go ahead and laugh! It’s all fun and games until I start laying out glue traps. Stinkin’ little fur balls. Then who will be laughing? I digress…….mice put me in a precarious mental state.

We are currently battling a horse fly population that has reached biblical proportions. Now, before I moved to Ohio I thought I had seen horse flies. I was wrong….at least not like these. I didn’t realize the name horse fly accurately described the SIZE of the fly. These flies are huge. Their heads are the size of my thumb nail. I am not kidding. One has to make a run for it when leaving or entering the house. If one should linger too long on the deck, there is a great possibility that said person could possibly be carried off by the mutant horse fly gang. They dive bomb anyone on the deck, like miniature Kamikaze pilots.

I better go. I’m heading out to the deck.

I think I’ll take the electric bug zapper with me. It reminds me of a lightsaber.

Just call me Luke Skywalker.

 

This One Life

I’m really still a kid at heart. And I like snow days…nature_3

The phone rang a little before six this morning. School delayed…an hour later, cancelled.

This teacher is happy, and so is this mom. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have plenty to do around here, it just means I can do it at my own pace.

Today that means, slower.

I hear the television playing in the living room, and the washer filling with water in the laundry room. The hum of the refrigerator is quietly playing in the background, of a house filled with daily noise.

I need to do laundry, feed the animals, work on my blog, start my new online class on autism, prepare for Bible study, read…and make some chocolate chip cookies.

But, I stop and take time to look out the window.

The gray-white sky melts into the snow-white ground. Only sharp and boney limbs of barren trees reach into the wind. Some say winter is harsh, and cold and they wish for warmer weather.

I, on the other hand, choose to see the beauty in this season. The other night the snow shown like silver glitter in the moonlight. It was breathtaking, really. The gray clouds are immense as they scud across the sky. The cold wind is harsh, that is true, but it makes my cheeks rosy and alive.

Winter is a time of waiting. Slowing down.

And don’t we all go through winters in our lives?

Without the cold, how can I appreciate the warm? In not too many weeks the snow will be completely gone, and the spring mud will take its place.

Life will be resurrected in the green of new grass, crops planted in straight lines, bulbs bursting forth through wet ground…stretching towards the sun.

And don’t we all need that? To stretch towards The Son?

To enjoy and appreciate this one life we have been given?

Take Me Home, Country Road…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On days when the wind is howling, and the gray sky is hanging low, my mind drifts…

to long afternoon drives to nowhere in particular.

I think about the back roads and places to explore.

I like the barns, that dot the hill sides, in this place that I now live…

some old and gray from age, others with a fresh coat of paint.

Driving. Snapping pictures.

Winding through the fields, taking time to just enjoy…

thoughts of Spring.

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Take time to enjoy your day, my friends.

 

My Winter Neighbors

English: Canada Geese landing on water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I stared out across the back field, the wind stinging my cheeks and causing my eyes to water. I continued to stand, as if rooted to the spot. I heard the faint honking of the Canada geese, growing louder as they drew closer. The wind picked up and they beat their wings to stay on track. Together. It’s as if they knew that they needed each other to make it through the wind.

Time st00d still…for one brief moment. The wind quieted and the air was perfectly still. I looked up and saw the geese flying low. In the stillness I heard them slowing down. Their wings beat against the air to slow their flight. They were getting ready to land in the lake across the road, the winter lake that used to be a cornfield this past summer. I was mesmerized by the beauty. The leader of the group honked loudly and the rest follow suit.

I continued to watch as they glided into the water with a splash, that I heard with crystal clarity. For that brief, few seconds, I was reminded to slow down, opening my eyes to what was going on around me. Such a simple thing of nature, left a huge impact on me. I was the audience for this group of winter geese, eagerly watching their daring descent into the frigid water. I saw them. Really, saw them.

And such a simple thing, brought me joy.

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Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?      Matthew 6:26  NIV

Giving Thanks In The Midst Of

Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial est...

Image via Wikipedia

I heard the rain and wind last night

Only semi-awake in the dark of the night

A fleeting thought of stormy weather

As I changed my sleeping position

I woke to the early morning news of more people hurt

more buildings demolished

more lives destroyed

more people gone…just gone

never to return

Those who have lost so much in the deadly winds

Why them? Why not me?

Is it right for me to give thanks on this Monday, when so many are hurting? Lost? Devastated?

I quietly sit at the table

and stare at my computer screen.

Images from the news seared into my thoughts

My heart aches.

*thankful that more people weren’t hurt or injured

*for friends and neighbors who reach out their hands

*for those who come to help

*for the human spirit

*for not giving up

*for pressing on

*for trying one more time

*for surviving

*for God, who is still there

Some of us have not gone through the utter devastation of a tornado, but we have lost loved ones. Some of us have never huddled through the howling winds, but we have huddled in fear of losing everything from job loss. Some of us have never watched as our house was torn apart, but we understand fire, floods, or theft. We haven’t stood in terror watching the storm approach, but we understand the terror of a deadly diagnosis.

Storms of life come in all shapes and sizes.

I am thankful that God loves us, that He cares for us through ALL of life’s storms.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2 NIV

What are some things you are thankful for this Monday?

Cold Beauty

Snow Globe

Image by David Hepworth via Flickr

Yes. This winter seems unending. It has been cold and chaotic since the first snow fell on December 1.

And yet…as I stand at my kitchen window, I am amazed at the beauty of it all.

I quietly sigh. I stare upward.

White gray.

Snow blowing every which way. A blur of flakes.

Each one different. Unusual.

The scene before me resembles a snow globe that has been shook hard.

A flake frenzy.

Cold beauty.

Dogs with snowy fur.

Schools closed.

Gray sky filled with flakes.

The roar of wind.

I feel the need to snap a picture. To remember.

To pull out on the hot, sticky days of late July.

A cool memory to ease the pain of the heat.

Lord, I am thankful for this day you have given me.

And for the eyes wide open…to see your gift to me.

 

 

 

Peeing In The Wind

Blowing snow and snowdrifts in a back yard res...

Image via Wikipedia

This winter storm is something else.I spent most of the night listening to everything we had on the deck being flung down to the other end of the deck. Even our huge, heavy grill. Seriously powerful wind.

This morning my son, K, had to take Lonnie the wonder dog, out to do his morning business. Forget the postman delivering mail in rain, snow, sleet or hail…..what about a dog owner having to get the pooch outside in this weather? K suited up with coat, hat, boots, gloves for the stint outside. Lonnie on the other hand, was totally oblivious to the storm on the other side of the laundry room door. All he knew was that he had to go. Let’s make it snappy, pappy!

The door opened and the cold and wind smacked them both in the face. ( I on the other hand only looked on, snuggled up in my cozy robe.) Now, keep in mind my family and I live in a field. There are no wind breaks. It’s always windy here in rural Ohio, but today the wind is 40-50 mph. It is snowing and there is a thin sheen of ice on everything. Not the best of conditions for walking the dog. I sort of felt sorry for K, but not enough to walk the dog for him.

I briefly saw Lonnie go flying by the window. The poor dog only weighs 19 lbs, so it is a good thing K had him leashed or he might have ended up in Pennsylvania. As it was, he was part dog and part kite.

Poor Lonnie dog. Having to pee in 40 mph winds. Not an easy feat…especially for a 19 lb. dog that is hanging on for dear life.

Lonnie the wonder dog is resilient. He toughed it out. When he re-entered the laundry room, he shook off the cold and snow. He then made his way back to “his” rug in front of the fireplace. It’s all in a days work.

Day 6 of Confinement

Abandoned Mailbox

Image by cindy47452 via Flickr

Now we have some serious wind to add to the snow that we have piled up around here.  When I say “serious” wind, I mean it! The wind in Logan County is vicious. Of course, the fact that our house is setting in the middle of a field with no windbreaks (at all) does not help matters. The  wind makes it feel a lot colder and also makes it impossible to keep any sort of respectable hairstyle. I have given up on that front. A hair clip is now my friend. Either that or have my tresses resemble something a rat made a nest in. (Don’t you love that visual?) The snowing and blowing going on around here makes my front yard look like a snow globe that has been shook one too many times.

I’m sitting at the kitchen counter. I see the forlorn mailbox at the end of our driveway. The mailbox door limply hanging open. Our mailbox filled full of snow. What a sad looking mailbox. There is some comfort in the fact that our neighbor’s mailbox looks worse than ours does. It is resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’m sure the mail lady just loves winter mailboxes. Who knew all the weird angles and bent doors that one mailbox could display?

This afternoon I will be baking some brownies. Cold, snowy days are made for baking. With the weather here lately, I will weigh 900 lbs. before we see the spring thaw. Hey, and I have plenty of milk to go with those brownies. I’m just sayin’.