Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wind chill and things

So, I called Jill the other night and she was not home. It was one of our bitter cold nights; being a smart aleck, I left a message saying I couldn’t believe she was out in this bitter, bitter cold night! When she called back she said that, indeed, Seattle was bitter, bitter cold! It was 35º; when she asked Eric what the wind chill was, he said, “What is wind chill?”

It got me thinking – perhaps some people in this world don’t KNOW what wind chill is! Wind chill is the amount of time it takes for your face to freeze right off your skin in bitter cold when it is added to strong winds. The configuration is hard to figure out. This site talks about how to figure it:
. But I just know that if it’s +1º and the wind is blowing about 10 MPH, then it’s at least –10º-wind chill. This is the remarkable formula that is used today! Take it with you to figure out just how COLD you are!

WC = 91.4 - (0.474677 - 0.020425 * V + 0.303107 * SQRT(V)) * (91.4 -T)
WC = Wind Chill IndexV = wind speed (mph)T = temperature (° F)

Wind chill is what makes winter miserable. I can take cold weather, for the most part, but the wind is what sucks the life out of me.

And no matter WHAT the “experts” say, it’s not just animals and people that feel wind chill. Even a well-insulated house will feel the chill and the wind will find corners to sneak into. On days like those, with a –25º wind chill or colder, a person wants to crawl inside a Hanzle / Grettle stove to warm up. Not even a wood stove, going full blast will work because you want all sides of you to be warm, not just the side facing the stove!

Then you figure that bed is the warmest place to be, so you crawl into bed early in the evening (all day would be an option, but not agreed to by a spouse, by any means!). That means you need: warm flannel jammies (nightgowns don’t cut it in this weather!), cotton socks, flannel sheets, two wool blankets and a wool quilt. Heaviness and heat! Don’t forget your wheat bag, cooked nice and HOT in the microwave (one of the best things a microwave was invented for). On nights like this, I would KILL for a maid to come and run a hot warming pan all over inside the sheets (like in the old days) to start the bed warm. The wheat bag was invented to cook aches and pains out of shoulders and other achy places but works wonderfully to warm cold parts of the bed, especially the leg / foot region. You also need to hope and pray that when your spouse comes to bed he doesn’t let cold air into the sheets or that he doesn’t steal your wheat bag – let him get (and cook) his own!

On top of knowing how cold it really feels, there are the temperature conversions to consider when you are talking to anyone outside of the United States. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the US is the only country that does not use the metric system for measuring all things. If you say 0º in Farinheight, then you ought to also say –20º in Centigrade so that the rest of the world understands.

Yesterday, Norm talked me into going to the store (yes, I was momentarily deluded by sunlight, but my mental powers were also down because of the cold). As we stopped at the bank, I sat huddled under blankets with the car running and blowing heat out as high as it could. The temperature was –9º (F) and the bank also showed –30º (C). Made it feel colder, for me, to see the Centigrade one!

The formula for THIS is:
degrees Celcius= 5/9 (degrees Farinheight - 32)
but I prefer the formula of F = 55+80-30 divided by the month of your birth times your age. That makes a pretty accurate temperature, I think!

When it comes to wind speed, that’s another matter, as well. I just heard from Happy Owl and she said her wind was 100km/hour!!! Now that’s nasty! So I looked it up and found that:
miles per hour = 1 km/h = 0.27
That would make it about 27 mph, which is what we had just the other day – nasty wind at anytime! She also said her sister in Ft.McMurray had –51º C that day, which in my calculations makes it about –41º F. BRRRRRRRRRR.

Doesn’t matter what the measurement, Farinheight or Centigrade (Celcius), cold is cold! I hope all this information doesn’t freeze in your cold little brains (like it has in mine). But perhaps you don’t HAVE little brains like mine or you are NOT in a freezing climate and you understand all of this.

Despite cold temperatures (but, WAIT!!! It’s now +7º and only –7º chill factor [F]!! Hope springs eternal!), it is a beautiful, sunny day. And spring is coming (someday). You have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We didn’t get it!

The snow “promised” yesterday never came. It was terribly cold – the house was cold and *I* was cold but no new snow of any kind. The wind was awful, all day long. We also did not get the –15º last night – it “only” got to –10º and the wind has dropped to only 6 mph, so the wind chill is “only” –24º rather than the –40º that was predicted this morning.

Thank all the good gods for that!!!

I now have a picture of Little Shrek. He’s in an aquarium, and he is hibernating. Yes, he IS alive – when I went down to the basement to see him, Wayne moved the log and he wiggled. He has water and lots of shredded paper to cuddle in if he needs to. If he shows signs of waking up, we have mealworms for him to eat.


I also have a picture that my great-niece Binni took of Bailey. He is getting better. When I was over at Candy’s on Monday, he was walking much better – he limps, as the bandage restricts his movements, but he is getting better. He walked over to me and rubbed on my leg!! Candy is able to leave him out (he had been kept in the office with a baby-gate to keep the dogs from bothering him) as the dogs are treating him gently. So he can start wandering the house and can find his water and his litter box. His food, of course, has to be put up so the dogs don’t eat it, but when he shows desire for food, they put it down for him and stand guard.


On Monday, Candy and I found our exercise place and will start on Friday. It’s pretty much “on your own” but there is a physical therapist in the next room that will assist in setting up a program and helping if need be. Candy says we WILL go 3 times a week so I have started to set my mind to that.

Well, we have sunshine and it is SUPPOSED to warm up to a balmy 24º by Friday! WOW! You have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


There is a correction to my last post. Mr-let's-have-specifics-here informed me that the Franks were not "making" coins, they were "striking" coins. So, I am sorry and am here to set the record straight.

Here are the coins - blank ones and the two different sides of each one. Wouldn't it be nice if we could strike our own coins and have more to spend than we do now?

Have a beautiful day!


Don’t you just love wild weather?

We had this lovely, MILD weather for a few days – it got up to about 45º yesterday. When we went to bed last night, it was 32º, but we got up to –2º this morning! The wind switched to a WILD north wind and the chill factor is now about –25º!!! We are expecting snow at any minute, as well!

Okay, I promised you pictures!

Here are some pictures of the Living History Fair. It was a great event – we had quite a few people come, despite the fact it had switched from Watertown last year to Brookings this year.

Enjoy the pictures – we enjoyed the weekend. And despite the nasty weather, it will be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!


Norm is preparing for the show - he is working on a butter knife, made of box elder.


Here he is, set up for work - with some Civil War people in the background.


Dave the potter, Old Abe and a Renaissance woman discuss the problems of the world.


Abraham Lincoln, talking to the children about his childhood and his presidency.


Peanut is hard at work (actually, she is hiding from noise - it was too noisy for her this time).


And "Indian" and Trapper across the way. And the man is wearing (for some wierd reason) a red and white striped hankerchief on his head!! NOT correct!


Ole Oleson, a Norwegian Immigrant talks about his trip, his family and his trunk.


I was wrong!! They are NOT stamping pennies - they are making coins! This is a group of 820 AD Franks that were cutting coins out of aluminum and copper (I think) - the aluminum was to represent the silver coins they made. They have a dye that stamps.


Hold the stamp and hit it with a hammer!


The Franks, our neighbors. The noise of the pounding of the stamp was what bothered Peanut the most. The pounding reverberated through the floor and into my feet and hers, too, I am sure.


The Gypsy was back! I met her last year and we had a great time talking this year. She and her cowboy husband have a chuck wagon.


The chuck wagon!


Gypsy brought a spinning wheel that she bought for $85 at a garage sale! I sat with her for a few minutes to show her the techniques of spinning; she is a natural! Norm and her husband talked about how to make the wheel work just a little bit better.


Kelly is showing off her drop spindle skills. But, oh! my! she is not "legal!"


Momma Marie shows off the proper head gear for their time period - a mob cap!


Cowboy music was playing in one room.


A face - stick it in my camera and you get shot!!


Fur trader!!


General Custer and Dave the Potter


Ole, at his table, showing several things that you can purchase, including geneology information.


The story of the OK Corral - Mrs. & Mrs Virgil Earp and Wyatt Earp.


The shoot out! Someone is getting killed!


A rare photo of Ole with his mouth shut!


Abraham Lincoln, giving the Gettysburg Address.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I’ve been tagged!

Thanks, Tracey … just what I need after a looooooong day at the races (well, at demonstrations)!! Seven things you probably don’t know about me? What is left that you don’t know?

1 I am allergic to pain. No matter that I’ve had 2 children, pain is NOT my friend and I announce it to the world, in case someone wonders why I blubber like a baby when stuck with a needle or something even worse!
2 I had a gray streak in my hair from the time that I was 27, but didn’t start turning gray until I was in my late 40s. My dad (after about 10 years of the streak) asked me if I had painted something and gotten paint in my hair.
3 I dislike prime TV sitcoms with a passion. I will go ballistic if Norm insists on watching one while I’m in the room.
4 Cows are my very favorite animals, after dogs.
5 I actually LIKE “dressing” a loom – the hardest part of weaving – not so much that I will willing do it for someone else, but it’s not a chore like other weavers claim. (Yes, I’m weird, and Eric knows it!)
6 I don’t like to practice doing ANYTHING. I want to be able to do it and do it well, immediately. Which is why I’m not too hot on the piano or the harp!
7 I have a harp (un-played most of the time).
And whom do I tag? Manerva, Kati, Joy, Candy D, Sonia, Chris, Fran! The rest of you can breath easy – I’ll get you another time!

It’s amazing!

The temperature here in Brookings is +8º at 8:00 am!!! It went from –5º to +20º yesterday!! It’s absolutely balmy!

Brookings is very nice. We have a lovely motel that is very inexpensive, yet has high-speed internet, a microwave AND a little fridge! All the conveniences of home!

We stopped at the store and got microwave breakfasts yesterday for today and tomorrow. Not fantastic (don’t know HOW people LIVE on these things!) but edible and food and cheaper than stopping somewhere for a ‘real’ breakfast. We’ve been picking up deli food at the local Hi Vee and warming it up in the microwave for supper.

Yesterday was the education day and many, many children came to see all the demonstrations and learn about history first hand. We have Abraham Lincoln, who talks about his childhood and presidency. We have Ole’ the Norwegian who talks about moving from Norway to Minnesota. We have jewelry makers, candle makers, a chuck wagon and a family of cowboys. We have a blacksmith (friend Wally) and a canoe builder. Of course, there is Norm with his spoons and me with my spinning and weaving. We also have Marie and Kelly from the Natural Colored Wool Studio demonstrating spinning and weaving, too, in another room. Next to me was a Renaissance era woman preserving food. Across was a laundress and next to her was a fur trader. In one room was a voyageur with his canoe and many supplies.

I took some pictures (but left the camera at the center, sorry). I will take more pictures today and get them on the blog tonight or tomorrow night.

Today and tomorrow are the fun days – just demonstrating to the general public. We can wander more and talk to our friends because none of us will be on a schedule of school groups.
And now, I have to get my costume on, my hair in a bun and Peanut ready to go. It will be a beautiful day – supposed to get nearly 30º today! You have a beautiful day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Strange things happen at my sister’s house!

Last week Candy and Wayne were checking on the neighbor’s farm while the neighbor and wife were gone for a few days. They discovered a tiny cat, freezing to death. They took him home, took him to the vet and found that he was about three months old, but only weighed two pounds!! He had an abscess on his side, his ears were frozen and he was dehydrated as well as starving. They named him “Dropoff,” but now have changed his name to “Bailey.” He seems to be doing well – he’s a very sweet little cat and lets anyone do anything to him.


Tuesday, while we were at Candy’s for supper and the boys’ weekly cribbage game, we had another visitor! All of a sudden, Wayne said “There’s a bird in the house!!”

Turned out to be a bat! Where did it come from? What do we do with it? Wayne got a small fish net and Norm caught it. They put it outside, as we couldn’t figure out where to put it. In our barn, it would freeze; in Candy’s garage, it would freeze. We had no heated place to put it, so we felt we should just let it out in Wayne’s garage to slowly freeze to death (sigh – not what we girls wanted to do, but what can you do?)

We figured it must have gotten into the attic this summer / fall and then found a crack into Candy’s work room closet; she must have disturbed it when she was cleaning the closet out and re-organizing things.

However, by this morning it had crawled into a bucket and was still alive, so Candy got an old aquarium and set it up for “Shrek;” I will try to get some meal worms this weekend and she’ll keep it until spring /summer and let it out.

And where do we get mealworms in this part of the country? Fortunately, Norm and I are going to Brookings for a weekend at a Living History Fair; I called and found a fish / aquarium store that carries mealworms. If Shrek doesn’t go back into hibernation, he will have something to eat until spring.

And speaking of Brookings, we are almost packed. The spinning wheel, my rocking chair, Norm’s shave horse and a lot of supplies are already in the van. I will get my dresses down from storage as soon as I am done here, pack lunch and snack thingies in the cooler and we will leave here about noon.

It is minus fourteen degrees at eight this morning and it will remain cold today , but it is supposed to warm up by Friday, even in Brookings! It was a beautifully cold day yesterday; you have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Personal things

I received a request from my children in Washington to put more personal information on my blog, as that is the main way they keep in touch with what is happening with Norm and I. I apologize in advance for anything that is boring to the rest of you! I really don’t like to put much of a really personal note on; my cousin once said she couldn’t “spill her guts” to the world like I do – and I hope I have never really “spilled my guts” to all of my millions of readers!

So, here goes – personal stuff: Before Christmas I had a heart stress test (a chemical one) and then about ten days ago I went to Sioux Falls for an angiogram. The results were that I have a small artery or something; the doctor didn’t talk to me, he talked to Norm, as I was still “under the influence” of the drug that was SUPPOSED to relax me but actually knocked me out. I will see him next month and get the “down and dirty” information. The doctor gave me a “beta blocker” of some sort that seems to be working. The pain in my chest has lessened to almost no pain at all. (And I kept thinking – and saying – that the pain was due to something wrong with my esophagus!)

I have started to change my eating habits and have started jumping on a mini-trampoline – a slow, joggy type of jump. Harder than walking, for sure! But it’s easier than bundling up in the cold (have I mentioned that it’s cold outside?) and walking for a mile or so.

So, is that too much personal stuff for you to handle? Sorry about that!

I got this lovely phone call from my son-in-law, Eric, yesterday morning. Seems the kids are worried about me and so they have made a deal with my sister, behind my back! They are paying for two months of exercise at an exercise place for both me and for Candy!! They don’t think (rightfully so) that I would go by myself, so they are willing to pay for Candy, as they know she will drag me to exercise. Thanks, kids – that’s one of the nicest (if not THE nicest) things that has been done for me!

christmas 078.jpg

Jill and Eric
So Candy and I are going to one center today and the other one tomorrow and will make a choice as to which one we prefer. (Thanks, again, kids! I will let you know which one we chose.)

On another note, I am listening to Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky. I love the music, but am always reminded of my “baby” when I hear it. Jill used to play flute and piccolo in the Minnesota Youth Symphonies when in high school. The Romeo and Juliet piece was being practiced for their concert: Jill was playing piccolo that was only played during the finale. Jill would sit and watch the music and wait for her turn to play. Now, if you are familiar with R&J, you will know that there is quiet, calm music during some of the piece. Jill would get sleepy and almost doze off, in a hypnotic sort of way. Then, towards the end, the timpani (kettle drums) would burst into loud beating. Jill sat just in front of them, and if she were dozing enough, it would make her jump and drop her piccolo! My favorite place to watch the rehearsals was where I could see everyone but mostly Jill. During the concert, I had saved a place in the balcony. Sure enough, I could see Jill sitting like she was dozing – however, because it was the concert, she was actually following the music and when the timpani hit, she didn’t jump! Just got ready to play! Now, I think of this every time I listen to R&J and remember. Jill was a wonderful flutist; I wish she had time to join an organization out there in Washington so she could begin playing again.

It’s still cold, but slowly warming. The coldest last night was “only” minus seven. Today it’s moving to plus eight degrees, possibly. It’s very sunny and only slightly windy. The birds are frantic to catch up with their feeding since they didn’t feed much yesterday in the new snow (only two inches). It’s a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Still cold~


At 7:30, it was –14º and holding. The wind is only about 7 MPH, so that means it’s “only” –25º wind chill. I took this picture out my window at 7:30. It’s too cold to bundle up and go outside. I am sure we will have sundogs again today, but you’ve seen them before, so I don’t want to bore you!

The cold will last until Monday or Tuesday, then “warm up” to +10º.

It’s a beautiful winter day today. You have a beautiful day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

This is for Fran

Around Thanksgiving, I posted a picture of my sister’s dogs. Fran asked about the blond one, so I got Candy to take some pictures of Lacey to show.

thanksgiving 005.jpg

Lacey is a Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier, also known as an Irish Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier. Lacey is very much like the breed standard for this terrier. She is alert and happy. She is playful and friendly, and makes a great watch dog. She has a puppy attitude that should remain with her throughout her life. She is sweet-tempered, easy-going and self-confident.



The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was used as a farm dog, herder, and hunter of small game and vermin in Ireland, which is his country of origin. Though it is probably one of the oldest Irish breeds, its first public presentation was in 1933. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first imported to the United States in 1946 and officially recognized by the AKC in 1973.

Candy and Wayne have trained dogs for 20 or 30 years, but have trained “people” dogs – Lacey is the first terrier they have worked with and she is a challenge! But as she is growing up, she is getting better at listening and obeying.

Lacey IS a love – she is affectionate and cuddly. Candy says that Lacey sleeps behind her feet when she is in the kitchen or at the table. Where Candy is, there Lacey is!

On another note, I looked up the stairs to the girls’ “suite” – where they stay when they come. I saw a heart-warming sight on the stairs. Slippers, waiting for feet to come “home” to wear!


And, on a weather note, it is COLD. C*O*L*D!!! With a capital “C” --- it’s warmed up to 0º (plus or minus, your choice!!) and the sun is shining. But the wind is blowing – the wind chill is –22º. I am hoping to keep Norm inside, working on spoons – we have an event next week and he needs to get more spoons done!


It may be cold, but the woodpeckers are out getting good food

It is a beautiful, if cold, day. You have a beautiful day!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Things are happening here!

It’s been cold and snowy, off and on, around here lately. This morning it was –4º F until the sun came up. Then it got up to about +6º during the day, with medium winds that made the wind chill about –10º. A “mild” day in Minnesota! And another sundog in the sky this morning!

Even a sundog in the middle of the day!

Because of the cold, Norm is doing inside work. He is working on a couple of shelves for my cookie sheets and muffin tins. I had been putting them in the area between the cupboards and the set of drawers that we got for storage and the microwave. I had requested, several months ago, that he make a shelf and a door to keep the dust and dirt out of the pans. This week, he started, and is nearly done – a door will be next.

Even though we have snow on the ground, I have flowers inside. My folks sent me flowers (thank you, Mom and Dad) and my Christmas cactus is blooming for the first time in two years!

Besides the fact that I have snow and cold, I have birds coming to the feeders. There are several Downy Woodpeckers, a few Hairy Woodpeckers, a couple of Redbreasted Woodpeckers and some Nuthatches. Then there are the “normal” birds – Juncos, Sparrows, Chickadees. I haven’t seen any Goldfinches, but the thistle is going down in the sock, so there must be some around.

The view out my window

It’s been a beautiful day today, even though it’s been cold. You have a beautiful day.

Winter sunset

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Link

I just found out that Manerva (12 Happy Chickens) has a web store - with lovely hand made soaps and potions. Stop by and see her store , Wild Wind Soap.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I love Saturdays!

I believe I’ve said this before. But winter Saturdays are the best days! A (hopefully) good opera playing in the afternoon and Prairie Home Companion in the evening. I am not a fan of all operas, but there are some that are awesome and there are some that make good background music. Today’s was Verdi’s “Masked Ball” with some lovely music!

Today is no exception to a good Saturday. I am recovering from a bad cold so am taking it easier than normal – not that I get too excited about anything physical, anyway! I have been working on a newsletter, washing a few dishes, napping with Peanut on my lap and cleaning (no, really!) a pile of old papers off parts of the stairs that do double duty as junk receptacles and stairs to the studio and bedroom. Luckily they are wide so our walking doesn’t interfere with my stuff.

Tonight will be a beef soup with egg dumplings (small to make Norm happy). Joy has been nagging (oh, encouraging!) me to eat more healthily. She even put her foot down (from two hundred miles away!) and said I WOULD drink six glasses of water a day. But (ha, ha, Joy!) I discovered that my goblet I drink from is actually sixteen – count them - ounces, so I only need to drink three glasses, right?? Niece Cookie said I couldn’t count Dr. Pepper, though (sigh). However, I did have six glasses of water yesterday (sixteen ounces) and have had at least four already today. Seems like Joy has been trying to rule my life since she was born, but I have been fighting every step of the way! What can she do? Take my grandgirls away from me? WAIT … take that back – I’ll do it, Joy!

Norm found fresh possum tracks around the barn, but no one got in. However, this is now a warning to all possums … stay away from my chickens and eggs or YOU might be the next dinner!

Norm also brought in twenty five-gallon buckets of corn for the stove. I wonder what’s going to happen when he can’t do that any more? Hopefully that won’t happen for a very long, long time.

The combination of the corn stove and new “fireplace” (AKA electric heater) seem to be working – we haven’t had to use the propane furnace much at all, which is saving big bucks. We figured that the amazing electric heater is using only twenty dollars more than the normal electric, but probably saving at least one hundred dollars in propane – if not more. We will no more accurately at the next filling of the propane tank.

The weather got up to almost forty degrees today and we lost a lot of snow. But hope runs eternal – we are supposed to have more snow on Monday or Tuesday. It was a beautiful day today. You have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's cold

Ice rainbows at Ash Lane Farm

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

It’s been a beautifully cold week, so far – we have temperatures that are “only” four degrees (right now), going up to about ten or fifteen, but we have bitter winds that make it much colder. But it’s been beautiful, none-the-less.

Joy and family came down with the snowmobile to play in the snow. Despite colds and coughs and all kinds of sicknesses passed around between the six of us, we have managed to have fun. We chose to eliminate the other family members who are healthy as to not spread the diseases any further.

The girls missed their cousin, Binni, and Joy missed her cousin, Cookie, while I missed them all and we all missed Candy and Wayne. But we will get together another time when the health is better among us.

Joy dragged me outside to ride on a snowmobile (my second in my life – the first was a five minute demonstration in a parking lot about forty years ago when someone was trying to sell us one). She took me out into the west pasture along Ken’s racetrack, but then took me out into the bean field south of us. She went faster and faster and faster, revving up to about seventy miles an hour before I pounded her back to slow her down. Now, she CLAIMS that she was only going ten miles an hour, but – as I’ve said before – I no longer trust my daughters; she was lying through her frozen teeth!

Even with the cold, everyone else (except Norm, who declined) went snowmobile-ing around the house; Ken took the machine over to get gas, nine miles away, then putzed around here a lot.

Last night was quiet, with a movie – Court Jester, with Danny Kaye – and finger foods for supper. A bonfire at ten, which I chose to not participate in – I, went to bed! At midnight, the girls tiptoed in to give me new year’s kisses before going to bed themselves.

Today is sunny but breezy – the snow is blowing around a lot. Norm has taken the girls over the retreat farm he works at part time, to help feed the animals. Ken is playing with the snowmobile and Joy is spinning yarn on her drop spindle. She got roving from Candy to add to her stash and is enjoying spinning. The wind-chill is “only” seventeen below zero but it IS cold out! I declined another ride on the snowmobile and will stay inside today to pamper my cough.

I have some pictures of our snowy spot. As I said, it’s a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!

Have I mentioned that I like frost?

Unloading the snowmobile

Bailing twine - frosty!!

Cold enough?

Spook is praying for a bird to land

Ready for the cold

Joy and Jessica

My Christmas socks keep me warm

Ashley is ready for her ride