Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Genius, I am not.  Nor am I very coherent in the middle of the night.  I wasn't sleeping well, yet not until about 3:30 did I get up and put another layer on the bed.  (Sleeping all curled up in a tight-and-shivering ball doesn't work well for me.)  Apparently my quilt - which I love - is not quite as warm as the down comforter I removed.  Maybe I need both.  But then, it all made sense when I noticed the thermometer right next to the house reading below 20F.  That's twelve degrees below freezing for you metric folks.  No wonder I was cold!

Around here our coldest weather is usually clear.  Bad news for kids who are hoping for snow - usually when clouds roll in it "warms" up.  "Warm" being a relative term, y'know.

But, nonetheless, Gunnar and I bundled up and headed out for our morning walk.  He's no dummy - he's got a long-sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, and a hoody.  Personally, I love the hat/hood combo.  ;D

And you know what he's standing on?  Ice, ice, baby.

We still found a few trees hanging onto some fall color, but none of them were native trees - all landscaping.  We'll take beauty wherever we find it :D  Native trees know their business and have mostly dropped their leaves.

Soak it up now... right?

We walked by the little sheep farm.  With all the rain we've had earlier in the week, their coats must weigh a ton.  I mean, how could they ever dry out?  They must be like sodden old socks for weeks on end.  Ugh.

This old dead snag is getting a lot of visitors.  We saw lots of fungal growth.  It must be full of insects, judging by how the woodpeckers have been at it.  We didn't see any today, but we've watched downy woodpecekers and pileated woodpeckers in these woods.

And here's something interesting for those of you who care.  Remember "my" duck pond?

Look at the difference today, after a week of rain.  The trees are nearly bare and the water level has risen significantly, covering much of the growth in the earlier picture.  The pond used to be much clearer when I was young - I can remember skating on it.  Too much weed and muck now, even if it did get cold enough.  You can see a little patch of ice on the left.  (Gunnar is very hopeful.)

Meanwhile, we were intrigued by the sparkly frost on everything - including the roof of this little red car.

When the leaves come off the trees, it reveals all kinds of things - usually birds' nests, but we've seen a couple of these.  *shivers*  I might be just slightly phobic about bees (hornets, wasps, etc.)

I'm not sure what made the neighbors think this was a good idea...

I think the "eagle" was a piece of driftwood.  It used to be painted as a seagull, but someone upgraded it to a bald eagle... with a giant nest... on the ground.  Yah.  Maybe they're hoping it will keep (what?) out of their yard???

I love these snowberries.

Gunnar could hardly wait to break the ice on this puddle.. picture first!

And I don't actually know what these are.  Some kind of ornamental tree in my neighbor's yard.  Festive, yah?

Meanwhile, back at home, Tate was doing his schoolwork.  He rarely answers questions "straight", especially when he's bored.  Asked, "What are necessities of life?" he wrote,

Water, air, pizza, and bouncy houses.

Close enough, Tate, close enough.

Meanwhile Grandma Grasshopper has been devoting herself to the deeper mysteries of life, such as the burn time of tea-light candles.

This has been a major (major? did I say major? first world problems, anyone?) source of aggravation to certain of us, as we've noticed a decline in their longevity over the last couple of years.  Lo and behold, the manufacturers are cheating us by making them smaller.  And lighter.  I think the wax is whipped (ie full of air) so the candles don't burn as long.  Seems like in the Old Days, a tealight would burn all evening, but now?  Not so much.

Aunty Tami has apparently discovered a source for better tealights, and gave some to Grandma Grasshopper for her birthday.  You'll be happy to know, Grandma Grasshopper reports that in a side-by-side test,  the cheap tealights only burned for three hours, but the better ones burned for six and a half.  Which is kind of a toss-up, since they cost twice as much, but not having to replace them in the middle of a party (or a quiet evening at home) is probably worth it ;D

I know, I know, this is the hard-hitting news you've come to expect of us.  

And with that I'm off to think about dinner.  Stay warm, my friends :D


Joyful Reader said...

Great post! I enjoyed going on the walk with you! Lots of "interesting" sights!

Excellent answer Tate!

sara said...

Gunnar looks so cute. He's getting tall, or "leaning out" as we sometimes say.

Just out of curiosity, because I really NEED another hobby, is there such a thing as different warmths of batting?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks, J.R. :D

Sara - there sure are different weights of batting. Also, batting made of different materials (primarily cotton, wool, or polyester, but I've heard of bamboo recently). I nearly always use a cotton batting called "Warm and Natural", but there are reasons and styles of quilting for each kind.


melanie said...

Well, I for one am intrigued by this tea light research! And just where, my friend, did Tami find these long-lasting heritage tea lights??


Really. Inquiring minds want to know!

The dB family said...

Heh heh heh! Tate is so smart! I love how you take the camera when you go out walking and that there is ALWAYS something new to see.


Cathy M. said...

Thanks for bringing me along on y'alls walk. I hope to break my exercise inertia any day now.

We have a dual-control mattress warmer that I love. My husband's side has never been on, but he loves it too because it keeps frozen feet off of his back in the night.

Love the neighbor's folk art.