February 2006

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The Calends of February The Farmers' Almanac predicts very warm this month.....darn! But they're never right anyway, so who knows? This could be a nice, cold, winter month.
Candlemas Day Happy Candlemas Day to one and all! According to an anonymous English Poet:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

Since those words were penned in England where snowfall is rare, in our neck of the woods one could read "clouds and rain" as "clouds and snow". With that assumption, this weather predicting scheme is the same as Ground Hog Day, which is celebrated today as well. Historically, the Germans have always watched a badger for a shadow, but the Pennsyvania Dutch (who are actually of German heritage) began watching a Ground Hog. On Gobbler's Knob, the official Ground Hog (Punxsutawmey Phil) has seen his shadow on the last 6 consecutive Ground Hog Days. The last year he didn't see it was 1999.

My Dear Grandma was born on Candlemas Day in the year 1906. If she was alive today, she would be celebrating her 100th Birthday. In her absence we can celebrate it for her. HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY GRAM!!!!! Today is you're day and we're thinking of you.
The Feast of St. Blaise When I was in school I used to like the Feast of St. Blaise. In the morning after mass we all had to stay in church and get our throats blessed (which is what happens on the Feast of St. Blaise). Since it takes quite some time for the priest to bless the throats of a few hundred school kids, we missed part of the first class hour. And since the older kids always had places further back in the church, it got better as we got older.

Incidentally, there are tons and tons of Mallards on the river these days. I counted over 30 of them when I took Injun Joe home yesterday. I don't know if they're spending the winter here, or if they made an early trip back from down south this year. I don't recall seeing Mallards during previous winters.
February 4th Iowa is a beautiful state......even in the winter. That's where Lori and I are at the moment.
February 5th I walked across the lake to Randy's place tonight. The temperature was a tad below zero, the sky was clear, the lake was bright, and there was no wind. What a gorgeous night. By this time last year we had lots of them; this is the first one this year.
February 6th It was 14 below zero this morning.

There was a 22 degree ring around the moon tonight. I have observed that phenomenon only one other time, and that was last year on January 23rd. For an example, click HERE.

Incidently, someone once told me that, traditionally, there's a connection between the number of stars inside the ring and the amount of snow that will fall shortly, but I've forgotten what it was.
February 7th We're a fair amount past the Chinese new year, but we recently began the year 4704, which happens to be the year of the Dog......not the year of the Rat as I said earlier. (Thanks for straightening me up on that Juls.) Happy (belated) Chinese New Year!
February 8th When we were very young, my Sister Deb was delighted to be a girl, and she felt sorry for me because I was a boy and would have to work to support a family. At the same time I was delighted to be a boy, and I felt sorry for her because she was a girl and would have to raise kids and would never be able to do all the neat things that men get to do. At that time we kept these feelings to ourselves; we didn't discuss them with each other till we were in our 50s.
February 9th It's beginning to look like Dorothy Provine is never going to answer my letter. I've given her plenty of time; I wrote it in 1966 when I was a sophmore in college. It's depressing! I've been in love with her ever since I saw her with Haley Mills in "That Darned Cat" in 1965, and now, since we're both quite a bit older, I'm thinking we could do well together. I know she's a fair amount older than me (nine years and three months to be exact) but we could handle that. We really could. But I'm beginning to get the feeling that she's not even interested in trying. Sigh!
February_10th LORI, yesterday's entry was a JOKE!!!! was just a JOKE. I'm not still waiting for her to answer my letter; in fact, I never even wrote her a letter. Honest!
February 11th I can't help but think that there's some gusto out there with my name on it. I just don't know where to start looking for it.
February 12th Moderation is a good thing......if not done to excess.
February 13th So far February has been fairly cold in spite of the fact that the Farmers' Almanac predicted unseasonably warm. However, only 2 inches of ice have been added to the lake in the past three and a half weeks. It's now at 15 inches compared to about 21 inches at this time last year.
Valentine's Day Barbara's eyes are blue as azure
But she's in love with Freddy.
Karen's sweet but Harry has her,
Gentle Jane is going steady.

Carol hates me, so does May,
Abigail will not be mine,
Nancy lives too far away...
Wont YOU be my Valentine?

Shel Silverstein (1965)
February 15th 19 below zero this morning.
February 16th It's 10 PM and 10 below zero.......not all that cold, but tomorrow night is supposed to be colder.
February 17th Clear and 26 below zero this morning. The Farmers' Almanac says "mild, with rain or wet snow".
February 18th To continue the series, it was 27 below zero this morning.
February 19th It was a nice weekend Lori.......thank you!
February 20th Davy Crockett didn't have a I don't need a flashlight. It was dark coming back from Randy's place tonight, but as long as I looked ahead of me and not down at the snow, I could tell where I was going. Of course, Davy Crockett didn't have the lights from the houses along the edge of the lake as a guide as I do. And it was only 10 degrees......a warm February night in Minnesota, but I suspect that would have been a cold night in Tennessee for Davy. I think the next time Randy is up here and I walk across the lake, I'll carry my flintlock Kentucky long rifle with me. It wont be loaded as Davy's was, but I'll carry it anyway, just to see what it felt like. Darn, where did this winter go?
February 21st Hey Jason, I assume you read the Chronicles from January 8, 2006. If so, also read the one from March 2, 2004. Since you are working in Aurora, I'm going to send you a book, AND a little later in the month, I'm going to send you another book. Even if you're not into fiction, read these two.
February 22nd One should always keep an open mind, but not so open that one's brains fall out.
February 23rd 170 years ago today Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna arrived at the Alamo and the siege began; the defenders would hold out for only 13 days. Among the dead were Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.

61 years ago today the US Marines raised the flag over Iwo Jima, and a photographer snapped the famous picture.
February 24th YES!!!!!!! Three inches on the ground at 11:00 AM and it's still snowing like mad. There should be eight inches by 6:00 PM. I hope those guys have called this one correctly.

Much later....... We ended the day with 8 inches as predicted, which means there is now at least a foot and a half of snow on ground. Weatherman, ya done real good for once!
February 25th No one's hanging stockings up,
No one's baking pie,
No one's looking up to see
A new star in the sky.

No one's talking brotherhood,
No one's giving gifts,
And no one loves a Christmas Tree
On February 25th.

-- Shel Silverstein (1974)
February 26th Since I've been here, 1995/1996 was the "winter of the cold". That winter there was a four day stretch in which the temperature got below -50 three times, and many, many, days with a temperature of colder than -40. What a neat winter!!!!!
February 27th Since I've been here, 1998/1999 was the "winter of the snow". There were tons and tons of it that winter. What a neat winter!!!!!
February 28th My friend, Buckshot, just stopped over for a drink. He brought me enough fresh Bass Lake Blue Gill fillets for two meals. That was my supper tonight. Delicious!!!!! Buckshot, I don't know how to thank you.......I really owe you for this one.

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

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