On The 23rd Day of Blogmas: A Christmas Eve, Eve Snowstorm β„

Blogmas

Dear Santa, I specifically requested an idyllic dusting, not a blizzard…

It’s a real barn burner out there; ice, snow, wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, no visibility. Lucky for me, I made it home just as the temperatures dropped & everything was coated in ice. I’m delighted to have a white Christmas but it’s a mess out there. Barring any unforeseen emergencies, I don’t have to be anywhere until Saturday & that is just fine by me. I have books to read, cabinets to organize & skincare to indulge in 😊

First, I’ve ordered a number of airtight plastic bins to put all of my grains, bulk items & kitchen staples in. My kitchen cabinets aren’t terrible but I’ve been wanting to do this for some time & can finally get started.

Next, I have three books that I’d like to read before I go back to work. I’m about half way through Wundersmith, the second Morrigan Crow book & it’s good but I keep falling asleep reading. Nothing against the book, I’m just tired all of the time πŸ˜‚ I also have The Deep by Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger which was one of my favorite reads last year. It was sci-fi/horror meets the Donner Party. Her newest book is another twist on a historical event, this time the sinking of the Titanic. Lastly, Ghosts of the Tsunami is on my list, this chronicles the tragic aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

Finally to the skincare indulgence, though I said I would not be purchasing any new skincare I did pick up some new products πŸ˜‚ In my defense, I had a coupon.

I’m sure there will be too much coffee drinking & junk television as well. If you have travel plans this weekend, be careful ❄

On The 22nd Day of Blogmas: A Holiday Would You Rather

Blogmas

I did this one last year & it was a lot of so I figured that I would revisit the questions this year!

Amilya Regular

A grandparent which, I will never be but I enjoy shopping for kids and checking out all of the new toys..

Amilya Regular

Elf ears, no question because though I like the look of beards, I’m sure that they are a pain to upkeep. Also, talk about an instant Halloween costume accessory each year.

Amilya Regular

Useful, I received a cold weather kit a few years ago and I still have it in my trunk and have used it many times. It has everything you need for a Minnesota winter; jump pack, cat litter, emergency blanket, water – it’s awesome.

Amilya Regular

How about neither? 2100 is going to be Water World and everything probably smelled rancid in 1700 but at least global warming wasn’t a thing and human population growth wasn’t out of control. Fine, 1700, I guess…

Amilya Regular

I think it depends, both are equally important. I would have to consider what would be more beneficial to the recipient.

Amilya Regular

The White House, just once. It’s one of few historical places in the US and I think it would be cool to see outside of a public tour.

Amilya Regular

I have done both and equally enjoyed both, honestly. It can be nice to stay home and not worry about bad weather or traffic but it’s also nice to go somewhere and not have to be the one who cooks, cleans and organizes everything.

Amilya Regular

None at all, I’m not crazy about parties in general but holiday parties are especially exhausting. Often times, it’s a bunch of people who might only see each other 1-2 times a year and there’s this obligation to care about what everyone has been up to. The question is, does anyone really care!? If we did, wouldn’t we hang out more? I much prefer holiday parties with close friends who I see often but could skip those too πŸ˜›

Amilya Regular

Snow! What is Christmas without snow? Although, if it could stop raining before it snowed, that would be great. Thank you, global warming.

Amilya Regular

I’ve never tried a fruitcake, that I can recall but I am assuming that it really is as bad as everyone claims and will just skip dessert altogether.

Thanks for reading, I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday week ❄

On The 17th Day of Blogmas: 5 Favorite Christmas Things

Blogmas

Quite literally every state around Minnesota has received a significant amount of snow, it’s as though we are living in a weather phenomena that is opposite of the lake effect. This is not what I signed up for when I moved here, in fact I thought that it would be winter all of the time. Nobody ever talks about the miserably hot, humid summers. It is quite cold & overcast but not even a flake in the next 10 days – no snow for Christmas. I’m bitter, I might even take the Christmas dΓ©cor down πŸ˜› I have all next week off, I was supposed to go snowboarding but I think at this point it would be a trip to South Dakota to make it happen. I was going to post the 5 things about Christmas that I loathe but am posting 5 things that love to feel a little more festive instead πŸ™‚

Baby Chipmunk

Shout out to all of the homeowners in my neck of the woods who really showed out this year with the outdoor dΓ©cor! I about drove off the road looking at a stunning tree display on my way home last night. Almost nobody decorated for Halloween & I was expecting Christmas to be the same but I have just been delighted by all of the light displays. Oh, except one, there is this old farm house on my way to work & they just have this 6-foot plastic snowman at the end of their driveway. It must be vintage because it’s face is crazy, appreciate the effort though πŸ˜€

Baby Chipmunk

One could probably enjoy a glass of mulled wine at any time of they year but I’m not sure that it would be quite the same. I love the smell of mulled wine, it smells like Christmas. Honestly, I only drink wine at the holidays so just wine in general is a holiday favorite in my book.

Baby Chipmunk

I started a tradition a few years back of going to a play or concert on Christmas Eve in downtown St. Paul. There is just something magical about St. Paul at Christmas time. The old homes & buildings all decorated up. Sadly, not only will I not be seeing a show this year, I probably won’t venture into downtown for a number of reasons in addition to the pandemic.

Baby Chipmunk

Old movies, new ones, old holiday specials – I love having the television on while I am cooking or cleaning. I didn’t realize how much I would miss this when I got rid of my television a few years ago. However, my tablet does just fine & it’s portable.

Baby Chipmunk

I don’t go to mass very often anymore but I love midnight mass. There is something beautifully calm about walking into an old Catholic church in the middle of the night. The Cathedral of St. Paul is stunning & I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few services there but there are plenty of smaller churches in the Twin Cities as well that hold beautiful Christmas Day services. I suppose I could attend my pick of services this year assuming they are all online.

What are your favorite things about Christmas? Anyone on the east coast here?! I hope you are surviving the storm ❀

On The 10th Day of Blogmas: The Blizzard of ’97

Blogmas

I am clearly having snow withdrawals because I have been watching documentaries about the Blizzard of ’49 on Colorado & Wyoming PBS. Listen, I am not asking for a Christmas blizzard but a little snow would be nice. It got me thinking about the Blizzard of ’97 & how even with all of our modern conveniences, we are still fragile in the hands of mother nature.

If you are a Minnesotan or ever lived here, I am sure that you have been regaled with tales of the Halloween Blizzard of ’91. There was a foot on the ground before the kids were back from trick or treating πŸ™‚ There have been heavy snowfalls since I have lived here, nothing that really shut the city down but I am still waiting. Anyway, us Coloradoans have our very own tales of an October Blizzard & it was pretty epic as I recall. I grew up in the San Juan River Valley, we didn’t have mild winters – the chains went on in October & didn’t come off until April. I was in 3rd grade, we went to school in town which was 45-minutes to an hour down the mountain. There were a dozen or so of us that were called ‘the mountain kids’ because we were designated our own bus since the route was so long. Occasionally, the mountain kids would be sent home early because of winter weather but this particular day, we knew it was a bigger deal because we were loaded up before lunch. I also remember the bus driver looking stressed & no wonder, not only did she have to get us home before the roads became impassible, she had to get back down the mountain to her own home safely. I don’t know how she drove that route all of those years, she was at least 70 for my entire childhood πŸ˜›

The atmosphere before a big snow has a a feel about it. The air literally feels heavy & dense, I remember being scooted onto the bus & inching closer & closer to these huge snow clouds as we headed up the mountain. It felt like we were being squished between the dense air below us & those huge clouds above us. About halfway into the journey, we ran into a wall of snow that had been falling in earnest already & only got heavier as we gained altitude. As kids I don’t think we fully appreciated that we were travelling through white out conditions along a twisty, turny mountain road but we were feeling tense nonetheless.

With each kid that was deposited safely in front of their home, a blast of frigid wind & snow entered the bus. We were all sitting in the middle of the bus nearest to the heat blowers but that icy chill was far reaching. There were two times that we had to pull off so that the driver could bang the ice off of the wipers but the ride was mostly uneventful. In my kid mind, it took us 5 hours to get up the mountain because it was dark out but really, it was about 2 in the afternoon by the time we got home & the sun was just obliterated by the storm system. We were the last stop on the route but we made it. Our farm was down a long dirt road & over a rickety bridge that crossed Stoner Creek (which is river size not creek size) that the bus couldn’t actually drive on but my dad was waiting at the opening of said bridge with the toboggan to pull me home. We watched as the bus driver backed across the road & started her journey back to town.

I had a bloody nose by the time we got home, I get them when I am stressed out but was fine outside of that. The blizzard raged for at least three days but I don’t recall sleeping very much. There’s a lot of things that need to happen on a farm & it’s all thrown into hyper-drive when bad weather is an added factor. The animals have to be accounted for, they have to be kept warm but putting heat sources in a barn is tricky because it eats the oxygen up & you can burn it down. Not all of the animals fit in the barn either, so they have to be contained as close as you can get them so they don’t freeze. We had to bring the ducks inside & house them in the bathroom which was the highlight of the blizzard for me. My dad headed out a few times in the tractor to help others dig out all while the snow was still dumping. At one point, the phone lines did go down but we never lost electricity which was a small wonder considering the weight of the snow on the power lines.

When it finally stopped snowing, the amount of snow was breathtaking. My dad spent hours clearing snow, helping neighbors clear snow – we lived on a county road so often had to clear the main road well before the plows arrived. At some points, there was nowhere for the snow to go & the roadways were very narrow with huge snow mounds on each side. I don’t remember how long we were out of school but I want to say it was at least a week.

When I have travelled home in my adulthood, it never ceases to amaze me remembering how isolated those few mountain farms were. To this day, there is one treacherous, narrow road in – you had to be resourceful in an emergency because outside help is scarce. We never had any major emergencies but a number of things could have gone wrong during that blizzard. The worst that happened on our farm was after the blizzard when I was in charge of returning the ducks to their pond, I slipped & fell in some goose shit & this pack of geese descended on me. We had this weird flock of geese that stayed pretty much year round, they were mean.

Have you experienced any memorable weather events in your lifetime, let me know! I hope you enjoyed, thanks for stopping by ❄