Sunday, January 26, 2014

I've felt the coldness of my winter

I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so

 Thank you Led Zeppelin (The Rain Song).

It is still winter, but the nude Icelandic ladies gave me a boost and hope for the spring. The beauty here is often stark when you are outside, but you must revel in it to really appreciate what comes later. One day it warmed up to a few degrees below freezing and a south wind blew in from the lake creating a hoarfrost. (as always, click on the pic for a larger view)

Here is what it looks like up close.

Even on the way to work I drive by the harbor in our little nearby town that looks like the north coast of somewhere in the northern hemisphere and that cold, bleak beauty shows itself. With a little wind it feels like someone sticking tiny needles in your exposed skin. Nudity seems like an absurd idea, even when you are running outside naked after a hot sauna. Cutting a hole in the ice to jump in seems like a death wish. Here is the harbor.

That seagull should have flown south months ago like most of the snowbirds. Of course, the seagull doesn't have something that I do. Even getting out of the car when I get home I catch a welcoming fragrance in the air. The vent is blowing warm oven air out into the cold evening and I walk in to find a welcome surprise.

Nothing like warm, homemade sourdough bread to warm your innards, and the cockles of your heart.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nude Icelandic Women

Now that I have your attention, I have to tell you about this from the Iceland Review.

Húsavík Women Pose Nude for Fundraising Calendar
The women’s club in Húsavík, North Iceland, recently published a fundraising calendar. Women aged 18 to 80 posed in various states of undress for the limited edition calendar, which was photographed by local photographer, Pétur Jónasson, who has had a photo studio in the town for more than half a century.
The funds will be used for good causes in the region, reports.
The calendar, which will only be sold this afternoon and on Friday in the Kaskó foodstore in Húsavík, costs ISK 2,500 (USD 8.50, EUR 6.50) - or more, if you want to pay more.

This is from the Iceland Review which I read almost daily. This reminds me of the movie "Calendar Girls" based on the true story of women in the Rylstone Women's Institute in the U.K. The death of one woman's husband from non-Hodgkins lymphoma inspired a fund raising campaign for leukemia research. I don't think their local club had any idea that they would become famous and raise over 2 million pounds.

While I doubt that kind of thing would happen in Iceland, you just never know. They are using the Thorrablot celebration time to have this fund raiser. I hope they do well. 

I should tell you that I have been in my usual mid-winter funk until now. Let me tell you how I got out of it and added a little excitement to my life. I wrote to the grocery store in Husavik (population about 2200 and known for whale watching) and they forwarded my email to the ladies that are putting this together. That was yesterday. I got a reply today from the women asking for my address (and credit card) and the would send me a calendar right away! I am thrilled that something like this can even happen. I guess the interwebs can really bring people together. I may even be distant cousins with some of these women as my grandfather was born over on the next fjord to the west from there. Next time I am in Iceland I have to go to Husavik! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Profundity, etc.

Oh, to be able to say something profound and meaningful gained from my years of being on this side of the dirt. To be able to share the wisdom I have gleaned from life's experiences in a meaningful way would give me the fulfillment I so richly deserve. Wouldn't it? My wisdom consists mainly of "dom" without much "wis".

Speaking of wisdom, this is how I pictured the Three Wise Men (or three wise guys) at Christmas from the time I was about 10 years old. Really. Who would bring myrrh to a baby?

I have read a few end of year/beginning of year blogs that really do have something useful and wonderful to express.  This won't be one of them. I resolve not to resolve. I just do the best I can and hope things improve even if just in small increments.

This being Minnesota, and the northern border at that, it would be apropos to mention that it was -26F this morning when we let the horses out of the barn. Thank goodness we are near the lake and not inland where it is really cold. Don't mention the wind chill. It did warm up enough to snow the other day and after the plowing and shoveling I noticed that we had snow dunes. Similar to sand dunes, only colder. They look like this...

Back on New Year's Day the ladies wanted to try and continue a tradition of sorts and go out for a short ride around the farm. The temperature had climbed up to 0F that day and so out they went. The horses were happy to get out and do something and were well behaved. They even stopped for a quick picture.
  Tomorrow is Monday and the governor decided that it was too cold for the schools to be open as the children would be endangered by the even colder weather predicted. The Cooker was telling someone about when she was a kid they didn't ride school buses, but walked on the snow banks to school. I remarked that she didn't ride a bus because the wheel hadn't been invented yet. I ducked and hobbled away as fast as my new knee would carry me.

Well it's up to -12F and the wind seems to be staying below 20mph so I think I'll head toward the barn, start cleaning it, and set it up for tonight. If I keep my smart-ass comments to myself I may get some help from the women. That would be a good thing.