December 2013

Click here to see the other months in 2013:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

First Sunday
of Advent
It is a question for the ages whether people who live in the Cities envy the Northland people as much as they say they do, or whether, if they don't, they should. Peace is what they want, or so they say, but how peaceful do they think it is up here? And anyway, how much peace can a person stand?

-- The Farmer's Almanac (1997)
December 2nd The weatherman says that by Wednesday night (the day after tomorrow) we'll have 16 more inches of snow on the ground. Should we believe him, or do you suppose that he's just getting us excited so that he can disappoint us again?
December 3rd This is the best beginning to a winter that we've had in several years. We've had early cold weather, early ice, and now early snow. How's this look for December 3rd? Click HERE.
December 4th Although there are 6 or 7 inches of snow on the ground it appears that none of the ski and snowmobile trails have been groomed. You can follow the trail conditions this winter by clicking HERE, but there are no details yet. There's also a link on the main LBLR page.

NOTE:   Those "Trail Conditions" pages are part of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce web-site. This past summer it was updated to the "new and improved" version, so it now loads much more slowly and is less user-friendly than it used to be, but least it still works.
The Nones Same place; more snow. Click HERE.
December 6th Oh my goodness.......does Venus ever look good these days. She is just under the crescent moon and she has never been better!!!! But you have to look for her early in the evening (just after sunset) or you'll miss her.

The lake is really a mess right now. The ice is about 4 inches thick in the area where the front porch usually is. On top of the ice is an inch or two of water/slush with a very thin coating of ice on top of that. Then all that is covered with snow which, in some places, is knee-deep. It isn't pleasant. And by the way, it was 17 below zero this morning.
Pearl Harbor Day 26 below zero this morning:   Beware the Pogonip!!!   Winter is coming

The Blackwater Conservation Area Ski Trail has been groomed and is in beautiful shape, so I suspect that many of the local trails are in good shape as well. So here is my yearly pitch:   There are lots of GREAT ski trails in this area, and I have cabins available. If you'd like to rent one and do some skiing, give me a call or send me an e-mail.
Second Sunday
of Advent
Big Ten Champions:   The Rosebowl bound Michigan State Spartans, my Alma Mater.......YES!!!!

22 below zero this morning and possibly up to 10 above zero this afternoon. It's warming up.
December 9th Today is Anna's Day. It marks the day to start the preparation process of the lutefisk to be consumed on Christmas Eve.
December_10th 23 below zero this morning. The nightly lows continue to be in the teens and twenties below zero and it's not even winter yet. Where is global warming when you want it???
December 11th A short time ago summer ended. A few days after that was All Hallows' Eve, and then in another few days Thanksgiving arrived. Now Christmas is only a fortnight away and a week after that 2013 will be history. Tempus fugit!!!!

PS:   The temp was 24 below zero this morning.
December 12th Hey Frosty Featherstone.......where are you???? Your old phone number doesn't work, I don't know your "real" first name, I don't know what town you live in, and there are too many Featherstones in Indiana. If you see this (or if anyone who knows him sees this) please contact me. Nothing has just been a long time since we've chatted.

PS:   The temp was only 11 below zero this morning; it's warming up.
The Ides It worked!!!   Frosty called me by 9:00 AM yesterday (see above). I never would have guessed that he was a daily Chronicles reader. Thanks for the call Frosty.......I enjoyed it.
December 14th Three ice fishing houses appeared on LBL yesterday; all are near the sunken island. Click HERE.
Third Sunday
of Advent
It was about 12 below zero on the morning of the Ides and only single digits below zero yesterday morning, but it's back down to minus 26 this morning. It's been a cold December.......not ridiculously cooo-ooold, but cold nonetheless. The high today is supposed to be minus 2 to minus 7. As I keep repeating: Winter is coming!!!
December 16th There are now 4 ice fishing houses on LBL, all in about the same area. Note added later:   A 5th ice fishing house is now on the north end of the lake.
December 17th Happy 80th birthday to my friend and ex-neighbor Larry!!!! (A lot of you have met him.) Here's a picture that I posted on his 75th birthday. Click HERE.
December 18th LBLR has lost a friend and a long time customer. Jim Remarke, whose large family has graced LBLR with their presence for many summer vacations, passed away on December 15th. It was a pleasure to know you Jim; you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. Click HERE.
December 19th The Farmer's Almanac says that December in our neck of the woods is supposed to be colder than average with more snow than in general, they got that right "so far". (There's a rarity that you don't see very often!) However, the details said that most of the snow was supposed to fall in mid-to-late December, but it actually fell on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Of course we may still get what they're predicting for later this month, but that remains to be seen. It also says that the coldest periods were to be mid-to-late December too, but our constant temps in the teens and 20s below zero occurred from the 6th to the 16th. At any rate, so far it hasn't been all that bad of a prediction; they done pretty good for once. Hazzah!!!!
December 20th Back into the deep freeze again.......nearly 15 below zero this morning. And there's a 6th fishing house on the lake.
Winter Solstice If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.     -- Anne Bradstreet (circa 1650)
December 22nd We've certainly had better, but this IS a very nice start for a winter. Click HERE.
December 23rd During the 1800s several states debated the merits of levying a "Bachelor Tax" (usually in the amount of one or two dollars a year) and at least two of them actually imposed it. The individual states seemed to have their own specific reasons to justify it, but like Peg Bracken, I think it was the result of a strong lobby by the husbands. They couldn't stand the thought of all those unencumbered men sitting around watching football when they should be putting up Christmas decorations.
Christmas Eve Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!

                                                                    -- Dr. Seuss (1957)

To see what's going on at the North Pole this morning, click HERE.

It got down to 31 below zero during the night. As I said on the 15th (see above), it has been a cold December.
Christmas Day As Andy Rooney once said:   One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.

To see what's going on at the North Pole this evening, click HERE.
Boxing Day I'm not the only one who loves Boxing Day. Click HERE.
December 27th There are tons and tons of products that are made just to give to somebody else, things that no one would ever buy for the much maligned fruitcake. And by the way, do you remember when almost every house had an electric can opener? Was that because we used to eat a lot more canned goods than we do in these modern times?
December 28th I hate to admit this, but there comes a point when 25 or 30 below zero ceases to be a novelty.
December 29th I can think of nothing to say today.......perhaps because I've been preoccupied lately with the possibility that I may need a new pair shoes. Oh, and the temperature this morning is 19 below zero.
December 30th I have been told that this has been the second coldest December in history in our neck of the woods.
New Year's Eve Good-bye, kind year, we walk no more together,
But here in quiet happiness we part.
                            -- Sarah Doudney (circa 1875)

New Year's Eve Day 3-D puzzle by Deb and I. Click HERE.

Click here to see the other months in 2013:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Click HERE to see the Chronicles for other years.

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