Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Closer to the end

Did I say the end of winter is near? I lie like a rug! Just look outside on any given day since I said so the last time. My optimistic outlook is dwindling almost as fast as the temperature drops on a clear March morning.

It started out like any other Saturday morning, getting the chores done at a leisurely pace while sampling various breakfast goodies. Other than a little digestive disorder everything was fine. I was filling the water troughs, but feeling a bit weaker than usual. That in itself was a little disconcerting as I felt I had finally regained the strength I lost a year and a half ago after surgery, but that's an old story. I decided to come back up to the house and do a little r&r. When I got back to the house I took off my coat and hollered as best I could to the ladies about needing some help. The next thing I know I am on the bathroom floor looking up at Stitch who is repeating my name and the Cooker is calling 911. Well, as they say, the lights were on but there was nobody home inside my body for a minute or three. Apparently I threw a head and shoulder block into the door jamb on the way to the floor (yes, it left a mark). Shortly thereafter we started receiving company in the form of neighbor first responders and the ambulance crew from town. Having been an EMT and knowing these people it was a funny feeling being on the receiving end of an assessment. Since I hadn't had a heart attack or stroke I got to leave the ER after about 5 hours of replenishing fluids. Oh yes, they did get to see what I had for lunch, lucky them. We blamed some flu-like bug, I guess.

The next morning I was not up for getting up so the Cooker did the morning feeding of the horses. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was 11 degrees below zero. She figured it out by the time she got back in. Stitch would have done it, but she flew off to San Diego for a work-related trip after she knew I would live.

Do you ever find unidentifiable science experiments in your refrigerator? We don't very often, but now and then we just can't figure out what it was, but this is what it looked like.
Aliens may have left it in there when they stopped by last time, because none of us can figure out what else it could be. The Cooker is known to experiment with foods, but vehemently denies any knowledge of this particular item.

On a slightly less disgusting note there has been a lot of talk of saints lately. St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland and St. Urho drove the grasshoppers from Finland (saving the grape crop). Now there is a new head of the Catholics naming himself after a pretty well known saint. Those are pretty big red shoes to fill in light of all the evil that has come from that institution in recent years. Can't say as I have ever known a saint,but I have known some fine people.

One the way home a couple of weeks ago I stopped just downhill from work at the harbor and caught this moment around sunset.
We have also been having a few visitors of the avian persuasion that we don't see very often. There have been some Hoary Redpolls at the feeder for example, but I spotted a hole in the snow that indicated a larger visitor had been hunting in the back yard. Sure enough, just before I decided to be sick the ladies said I should see what's in the back yard. So, I grabbed my camera and saw this guy. I think it's a guy as the females are usually a bit larger, but he was just trying to catch some Z's in a tree.
The next day it was snowing and he decided to try a different tree. If you're not looking for them they can blend in rather well, especially on a gray and snowy day.
We do see these Great Grey Owls occasionally in Winter, but hopefully he will head north as the spring approaches. It's one of those harbinger things, ya know.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The end (of winter) is near

Somehow finishing with the depths of winter has been much busier than I remember. Maybe the mind whirls with the expectation of things to come. An eclectic mix of activities seems to occur. My Norwegian friends have gone back to Norway after a rousing time in the upper Midwest. They even did a blog entry about me. The blizzard when the pictures were taken was just shy of painful to be in, but the horses didn't seem to care much. See it here at  and read about their project, as well.

Then a friend  asked me to list some stuff on eBay for him, so I did. Some radiator valves and a couple of bronze Tibetan Buddhist Phurbas. I had to figure out exactly what they were in order to describe them. The things I have to learn on the way! Sheesh!

I buy, sell, and trade some photographic equipment in order to finance the stuff I really hope to get. Sometimes I get to "meet" some interesting folks from all over the world like Malaysia, India, and that exotic paradise to the north, Canada. I have been really lucky with my dealings as I find that most people are very honorable and decent. Then I wonder why there is still war, hunger, and curable disease all over the planet. Maybe all of our "leaders" are not very impressive at all. Who knows? 

Got out on the horses a bit. Its like riding a merry-go-round in deep snow as the horse steps high in knee deep snow. Here is Stitch on my horse, Draugen. She and the Cooker will be taking Draugen and Mirage to the Minnesota Horse Expo at the end of next month.

I stopped by one of our local trout streams on the way home from work the other day. The ice barely got a hold of the big lake this winter, but the streams are pretty well locked up. I missed the shards of ice blowing up to the shore, but the next day there was still some interesting, slippery piles to look at.

Sunrise can be a nice time of day on the farm. Especially the quiet and colorful time a few minutes before the sun peeks through the trees. It looks a lot like this right out the front door.

This morning looked a lot like that and it is still a little crisp outside with a morning temperature of 0F. Better days are coming!