January 2009

Click here to see the other months in 2009:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

New Year's Day In lieu of making (and probably breaking) some more New Year's Resolutions, consider the following words of Charles McCabe (circa 1960):
"Merely to have gotten as old as you are and to move as far as you have in the tricky pageant of life, is reason for satisfaction.........and thus, respect. Just think of all the things that you aren't and are glad that you aren't, and you have solid ground for satisfaction and respect of self."

Isn't that telling us that it isn't necessary to bother with resolutions every single year because we've done pretty darned good already?
January_2nd To set the stage for later this month, be aware that The Farmer's Almanac predicts a "snow storm" in this neck of the woods sometime between January 16th and January 21st. That's a fairly long period of time and the term "snow storm" is a bit vague, but let's watch and see what happens. It's rare that they predict an actual storm. By the way, they also predict some snow in all of the 5-day periods during February (though they don't use the word "storm") except for the period between the 20th and the 24th. In view of the Almanac's past record, I'll predict virtually no snow during February, but that we will have a "snow storm" sometime during the period of the 20th to the 24th (which the Almanac says will be snowless). Let's see what happens.
January 3rd Lori and I went skiing at the Blackwater Conservation Area last night which was the first time we'd ever skied that trail after dark..........and it was great!!!!! We started out about half an hour after sunset on a deserted trail. The temperature was nice for skiing (around zero) and there was no wind to speak of. It was very dark. The sky was cloudy enough so that no stars showed through, but occasionally the cresent moon emerged only to be blotted out again a bit later. The trail lights were bright enough to see the trail adequately, but not so bright as to light up the whole woods around us (though they did create some eerie shadows). One of the neatest parts of the trail is at the far end from the starting point where it emerges from the woods, runs along the Mississippi River for a ways, and then turns back into the woods again. It was, in fact, so neat that we skied twice as long as we had intended. I highly recommend it! One small piece of advice though: take a flashlight with you. Although the gentle lighting is sufficient for skiing, if there had been an electrical failure last night and the lights had gone out, we'd have had a tough time finding our way out of the woods without one.
January 4th The morning after. Click HERE.

Lori at work! Click HERE.
January 5th To the ancient Celts, this night (called the Twelfth Night) was the end of the 12 day Winter Solstice Celebration. What reason, do you suppose, would the ancient Celts have had to celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Note added later: I had intended the above question to be retorical, but my friend Randy did some research on the subject and gleaned this information from a couple of web-sites. If you're interested in some details, click HERE.
Feast of the Epiphany There's a lot of slush under all that snow on the lake, perhaps more than I've ever seen before. There's no way a person can walk across that, especially in mukluks. Darn!
January 7th Today is Distaff Day, so women.............back to work! Your Christmas vacation is officially over (as per old British tradition, that is).
January 8th On this day two years ago, the lake looked like this........a 156 acre skating rink. Click HERE. It sure is different this year.
January 9th Thanks to my friend Bob and his snowmobile, there is now a very nice walking path across the ice between LBLR and Randy's place at the south end of the lake.
January 10th Tonight is the Full Wolf Moon and it is so bright it would appear that if one took a chair out on the ice one could sit and work a crossword puzzle without any additional light.
January 11th Hey Terry, is it still winter down there in Iowa???????
January 12th Today is Plough Monday, so men.............back to work! Your Christmas vacation is officially over (as per old British tradition, that is). See the entry for January 7th (above).
January 13th 40 below zero outside my kitchen window this morning........44 below zero on the back deck.

Notice the smoke coming out of the chimney; obviously some brave soul went out in the cold to do some ice fishing this morning. Click HERE.
January 14th I waited till the temperature got up to 25 below zero this morning and then walked across the lake to Randy's place. It was very pleasant walking over there on the trail that Bob made for me with his snowmobile a few days ago (thanks Bob), and as I walked I could see where he had hit some slush a few times.......but those places were frozen solid now and very easy to walk on. However, there was a 20 or 30 foot stretch where my feet sank into the snow a foot or more and then came up wet. Unfortunately, Mukluks aren't made for slushy conditions but it was only a short distance so it wasn't serious. The only problem with waiting for the temperature to go up a little before venturing out is that the wind usually picks up shortly after sunrise, and this morning was no exception. I was walking into the wind on the way back with only my eyes exposed to the cold, and my eye lashes iced up. Not my eye brows; my eye lashes. That was the first time I'd ever experienced that. If I had thought to borrow Randy's snowmobile helmet for the return trip that would not have been a problem. Oh well, it was a pleasant walk anyway! Click HERE.
January 15th thru 18th See below.
January 19th Everything is fine here, I've just been away for a few days. There was a broken furnace at Lori's place in St. Paul followed by a trip to the U.P. to visit my sister, Chronicles. Sorry about that. I'll fill something in for the last few days eventually.........maybe.
January 20th The U.P. is nice in the wintertime. Tons and tons of snow! Lots more than in Tennessee Connie.
January 21st Scott Hall's philosophy of life can be summed up in three basic tenants. They are: "onward and awkward", "always paint with a full brush", and "it takes one to know one". If you'd like to see more about Scott, click HERE. If you'd like to spend some time listening to Scott, click HERE between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM Monday through Thursday. (Apparently he only works 12 hours per week. Nice job, eh?)

Note to Scott: I know I didn't seek your permission to say this, but I hope you don't mind.
January 22nd Here's a picture from this date a few years ago. We're not having a bad snow year, but it would be neat to get at least one more storm like this within the next few weeks. Click HERE.

By the way, all of the x-country ski trails are in great condition!
January 23rd Here's my littlest grandchild on his 2nd birthday (and his dad). Both have had a hard day. Click HERE.
January 24th To our good friends Bob and Jo in Des Moines: Thanks for the hospitality. We really enjoyed it!!!!!
January 25th Yes Tracie (my Dear Oldest Daughter), since you mentioned it, I am behind on the Chronicles. Well excuuu-uuuuse me! I'll try to do better in the future.
January 26th Today is, statistically, the coldest day of our year. But with the prediction of only 27 below zero for tonight, it's far from that.
January 27th This evening, just as it was getting dark, there were 3 deer playing out on the lake for a long time. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Jim (my neighbor across the lake).
January 28th I'm going into the living room with a nice boring glass of a rather drinkable claret and have a decadent sit-down (as they call it in Britain) in my recliner in front of the fireplace. At the moment I can think of no better way to spend this cold evening.
January 29th Here's the sidwalk along the front of the lodge over to cabin # 4. Click HERE.
January 30th 28 below zero this morning; a prediction of 16 above zero for this afternoon. Can that happen, do you suppose?

PS to Dotz: I've been in and out for quite some time now. I've heard your phone messages and I know I haven't returned them. Just give me till sometime on Sunday morning and I'll call you, but dammit, RELAX! (as Swede would say).
January 31st Josh, my oldest grandson, and I shut cabin # 4 down last November. Now, for the first time ever, I'm going get it back up and running again for the rest of the winter. This picture is what I found when I went under the cabin this morning. Click HERE. At first I thought I was in deep deep shape (as a member of the McLaughlin Group said on TV a few years ago), but the more I looked at it the more I relaxed. Yes, it's ice and yes, it has been building up since November, but upon close inspection I saw an occasional drop of water coming from the tap. You see, the water line to the left of the ice goes underground to the well. It's wrapped with heat tape and covered with that yellow insulation, so the fact that I saw liquid water dripping from the tap was a sign that that part of the line is probably in good shape (at least I hope so). To the right of the ice is the water line that goes up into the cabin. That line should have no water in it and hence, no problem there either (again, that's what I hope). When I get the crawl space temperature above freezing so the ice melts, I can turn the water on and see if my up-beat attitude is warranted or if I have a disaster on my hands. I'll let you know.

And hey(!), since cabin # 4 is back up and running (or soon will be), if anyone is interested in coming up here for some cross-country skiing, I have a place for you. Give me a yell.

Click here to see the other months in 2009:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

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