Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Not a creature was stirring.

It was a cold and windy Christmas eve. What little snow there was started to get that squeaky sound it gets when you walk on it as the temperature dips below zero (-17C). The north wind howled like a mythical creature determined to survive the worst extremes nature could inflict. I figured I better put the horses in the barn or die of terminal guilt knowing they could have it much easier. So I set up all ten stalls with heated water buckets, fresh fluffy bedding, and a good pile of hay in there feeders. When I turned off the last light before going back to the house the last sound I heard was the happy chewing sound horses make when they have a mouthful of hay. I smiled and walked out the door and into the north wind which was trying to burn and peel my face off before I got back to the house. It nearly succeeded.

The deer are still wandering around and it is fun to try and figure out where and why they go where they do. I let them test the ice first.
The Big Lake gets kind of whipped up when the wind comes out of the east. If I had taken this in the conditions we had last night I would still be there in a thick coating of clear ice, frozen in time and space.
Feeling like I can't bring all the needy critters in the house (it's not an ark) I try and feed them outside. This little guy was thanking me for breakfast the other day and held still long enough for me to take his picture. In trying to take bird pictures I leaned that they hold still for less than one second unless they are nearly dead.
Meanwhile, back at the barn, our former "barn kid" stopped by for a Christmas visit today. She was our chubby little nine year old neighbor when she came over wanting to learn about horses. She is now a beautiful college sophomore and will be working at a therapeutic riding center near Duluth this summer. She had to waitress last year and didn't think much of it. Customer, " There's a brown spot on this lettuce leaf." BK (barn kid), "then don't eat that one." Customer, "My coffee is cold." BK, "then drink it faster." She didn't actually say those things, but really wanted to. I am guessing the customer didn't realize the only things you can count on being green around here are spruce needles and nothing short of a forest fire can stay hot for very long in this climate. 

Earlier in the day on Christmas eve I got a delivery in the mail that really made my day. It was my own personal copy of "Trousering Your Weasel" by the famous blogger and former carrier of the U.S. mail Murr Brewster. It is as awesome as her blog. In fact it is a collection of her blog with illustrations and stuff. My toque is off to Murr for the effort. I was reading it on the sofa, but the bathroom, or bedroom, or even a closet would be an appropriate place to read it. Such a way with words that woman has and her husband Dave, well he is a man of great tolerance and good humor. I salute him!. Buy the book! you won't regret it!

That was brought to you by the Shameless Commerce Department.

Unless your world ended a few days ago, Happy Holidays!


  1. I remember big waves like this on Lake Erie, sometimes crashing over the wall and onto the road, freezing into a thick coating of ice and making for dangerous traffic situations.

  2. I remember that feeling, giving all the animals fresh bedding and a nice bowl of food. I used to like to throw in some grease or bones for the dogs. Lord, they loved it.

    The pictures are awesome, as usual.
    Happy Holidays, Jono!

  3. Chickadees, my favourite birds. We got that honking big snowstorm yesterday and I filled the feeders. The birds were ravenous!

    Barn Kid sounds like a wonderful young woman. :)

  4. I need to check out Murr's book. Thanks for the tip, also the chickadee. :)

  5. Was that a chickadee? He's adorable. Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

    As for TROUSERING YOUR WEASEL, I ordered two copies (one for myself and one for a friend), and it's great. I didn't realize how much I woudl laugh at a rhinocerous-sized rabbit, an anatomically correct Mr. Potato Head, and plenty of other illustrations.

  6. I, too, bought Trousering Your Weasel. She is hilarious.

    Meanwhile, back in MN, the north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will the birdies do then, the poor things? (old poem my grandma used to recite)

    Happy new year, Jono!


  7. I spent many years as a waitress. I know how BK feels.

  8. You asked about where, in Minneapolis, could get a bacon donut.


    Surprisingly, there are a number of places you can get a bacon donute -- both maple AND butterscotch, for cryin' out loud -- and I'm not sure where you come, if/when you come to The Cities. :-)

    Hazel's in Northeast Mpls has a bacon donut.

    YoYo Donuts and Coffee Bar in Minnetonka apparently has Maple Bacon Long John people are excited about.

    And there's a place called Mojo Monkey, and I think they're in St. Paul.



  9. Finally getting over here in all of my new year's catching up. I love the sounds of a warm, satisfied animal-filled barn on a cold winter night. I could almost feel and smell it reading this. I cannot imagine being on the lake in that wind and cold. The ice that builds up on the shore is spectacular to see, but wouldn't want to live it. A belated happy new year, Jono.
    Oh, and if the book is 1/2 as funny as the blog, you got a treasure with Murr's book.

  10. My oldest tried waitressing for a short spell and concluded she was the world's worst. Isn't Murr wonderful? She does such terrible things to the English language. I love her stuff and agree about her husband Saint Dave.