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We have been visited by winter. Last week, 8.5 inches of snow and then about 3 inches of fine sleet.

The sleet has compacted to a great layer of very slikc ice, thick enough that my 130 pounds will not crack through the crust..

This morning, with temperature hovering around 10 degrees, it fell to me to take water to the kennels and check on the chickens. Not a difficult task on most days and one I have done many, many times in the past. Dressing for the weather, in high top boots, heavy coat, fur hat, I picked up my water jugs and stepped out.

The porch and stairs, nicely cleared due to the efforts of Hubby and Brett was no problem, nor about the first 20 steps across the glacier that was once our yard.

Then, Right foot went one way and left went another as I tried some sort of ice skating move! There was not grace, no beauty in my loss of traction, water spilling from the jugs just made the whole situation worse!

I found myself resting on the ice, on the well padded portion of my body, wondering ‘what now’?

Simply put, I was uninjured (if you don’t count my pride) but never the less in a mess! No way could I get up on that slick stuff, I would have to crawl to something to use to get up!  Sudden realization that my gloves were inside was not  pleasant knowledge. Sliding across the layer of water covered ice, I was remembered all the safety rules – not quite soon enough!

I made it to the dog pens, got back on my feet, carefully made my way back to refill the jugs and started over, with a walking stick in hand.

Soon the task was complete, the animals cared for and yes, now the gloves are in my coat pocket!

Feb. 20 National Hooty Hoo day

Hooty-hoo day : Go outside at noon, wave your arms and yell, “Hooty-Hoo”. This is supposed to scare away  Old Man Winter.

So I donned proper attire for the 11 degree wind chill, coat, boots, furry hat and my trademark pink gloves, and did my part.

It may not have been effective, sleet and freezing rain fell from late afternoon through the night, leaving a sick and treacherous coating atop the previous blanket of snow.

It has been a long week on Sunrise Ridge. Epic cold and snow deep and fluffy has kept me inside for the most part.

Oh, there has been plenty to ‘do’, but at some point cabin fever sets in.

Then there was, picking at the back of my mind this coming Monday,  Chrysta’s birthday.  Yesterday, while prepping for more unpleasant weather, I had an idea. That idea led to posting this request on social media:

‘Throwing this out there. In November, daughter Chrysta passed away. She was a loving caring woman, filled with compassion.
Monday would be her birthday.
In her memory, I challenge all of my friends to ‘pay it forward’.
Do a random act of kindness for someone this weekend.
Feel free to share your blessings.’

Grandson Brett and I are making cookies for him to share at the Sheltered Workshop where he is employed.

Someone is donating blood, another made soup and shared with a neighbor… many great ideas.

I know Monday still looms in the future, no doubt there will be tears, but the idea that we are celebrating a life well lived doing things she would do is comforting.

Feel free to join this birthday party and share your blessings with someone and in a comment here.

A friend asked earlier, about a ‘perfect’ romantic getaway. No doubt prompted by Valentine’s Day arriving thiswee.

Hers was a weekend at a B&B,  A fine dinner, a movie and there is certainly nothing wrong with that idea. In fact, I would bet that her choice is probably a lot more popular than mine. :)

So here it is, ‘Mary’s Truly Romantic Weekend’. Hubby and I would load up our camping gear and head for a ‘special place’ we like. Warm sunshine, soft sand, clear clean blue water would nearly surround us. Gentle breezes wafting floral scents, a soft serenade of birdsong… Not a cellphone or electronic item in sight

A long walk or two, time to talk. Hubby might fish…. I can read a book or nap!

Velvet nights under the stars, maybe a splinter of moon for light, a campfire for a bit of warmth and hand holding before we go to bed. Simple food, bacon and eggs in the cast iron skillet for breakfast, pork steak and baked potatoes on the grill and some fruit for dessert.

How about you? What is your dream romantic getaway?

The Valentine mix-up

February is almost here, Valentine’s day is drawing near.

My ‘funny’ valentine tale.

Some years ago, I was working for a health care company, and had to drive from Potosi, MO to Poplar Bluff, MO (100+ miles) to see Physical Therapy patients in nursing homes. I got a call from a local florist in a town I had already left, that they could not deliver my flowers…

I gave them the itinerary of the day and they sent the order ahead to another small town with a florist, calling me back with the information.

I picked up my rose bouquet a couple of stops later and drove the rest of the day on winding roads with a vase of flowers seat belted beside me

cedar grove, barns, mennonites, longhorns 033

Barn in Shannon County MO. This is in a Mennonite community.

The one below one was taken in an Amish community near Seymour MO.

I wondered about the projections on top, and did a bit of research. They are called cupolas, put there for added ventilation.

Back when hay was stored in barn lofts, spontaneous combustion was a dire threat to farmers. The cupola helped prevent the buildup of heat in drying hay.

Ladies day 3 Cabool, Seymour, Mansfield EAGLES 054cupola

tired of the drama… (Public Service Announcement)

This morning, Facebook and some of my e-mails were filled with the usual complaint and drama. You all know them well, so I won’t reiterate.

Contemplating the issue, I came up with this short quiz. I know I benefited from taking it.

How to know if you are blessed:

answer these questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’
Did you wake up this morning?
Is there a good roof over you?
Sturdy walls to protect you from the weather?
Do you have food to eat?
Do you have shoes?
Do you have clothes to wear?

If you answered one or more with a ‘yes’ you are blessed!

This quiz has no value but is only to make you aware that while things go wrong, there is much to be grateful for, so put some gratitude in your attitude; go face the world with expectation of good things!

Why not?

We stopped at a chain restaurant this morning for breakfast.

An elderly gentleman wearing worn overalls, a faded flannel shirt and  a “Veteran of Korea” cap was behind us as we paid our bill.

I told the cashier that I would pay for his order. She looked at me kind of funny as I handed her the money.

It felt right, and I could do it today.

There have been times in my life when someone did a kindness for me, I appreciated it.

I walk into the kitchen for more coffee.
Hubby greets me with “It’s 2 below right now.”
“And you think I want to know that?” is my reply.

And it doesn’t really matter, the weather is something we have and can only accept.

Outside my window, sunshine, a few clouds zip across the bright blue sky in the wind.

Cardinals fluffed out to keep warm, stick close to the feeder and preen a bit in the sun.

I think, I can choose to grumble about the cold, or enjoy what is given to me outside that window.

I am warm, cozy and being treated to a lovely view. Things to be happy about, many do not have even this simple pleasure.

The mail brings catalogs of garden seed, poultry and crafts to contemplate over the coming days. Winter will pass.

Daylight arrives a bit earlier and lingers longer, Spring will come , it always does. All is well!

Ice fog settled over Sunrise Ridge during the night. White coats gently wrap branches, waiting for the sun to come over our hilltop. Then my world will be filled with brilliant jewels!

High clouds and blue sky promise some sunshine for the up-coming day.

Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires will sparkle from the branches in the sunlight.
I love  mornings like this – especially when I can stay inside to enjoy it. Sometimes I have to wish for a ‘pirate chest’ to store them up.

It’s a big blessing today, this month has been so overcast that a sunny morning by itself s a great joy.


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