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Here’s a screenshot of the weather here during the wee hours of Monday morning:

cold as hell

Count yourself lucky if you were spared this round of miserable weather.  It’s been so cold that my poor old pup’s feet have been freezing in under 60 seconds — as a result, my yard looks like a magic carpet ride (and yes, I did attempt putting boots on him before resorting to carpet-runner-palooza).  I, on the other hand, have plenty of gear to keep all my digits warm(ish) and ventured out a few times to play:

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(Here’s the recipe I used:  8 parts water, 1-1.5 parts Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1/4 part corn syrup.  Use a twisted piece of wire if you don’t have a wand.)

My fingers were too numb to take many photos, but I did get a few bubbles to take off in the wind and rise way up way into the sky and a few landed and rolled around like marbles.  Ah, the simple things… :)  I tried again this morning when it was only a few degrees below zero and couldn’t get them to freeze quite as well, but you could still see them ice over with frost patterns before breaking on the ground.  Hints:  Stand up high (or hold your arm way up) when blowing/waving your wand – it gives the bubbles more time to freeze before landing.  They form better if you blow someplace that is out of the wind and are more apt to land without breaking if they have something softer to land on such as snow or carpet.

What’s your favorite winter playtime activity?

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve taken anything but quick cruddy photos under poor lighting conditions (remember the cookie photos in the last post – don’t even get me started).

Yesterday, I took some holiday photos for a family member and was reunited with color and natural lighting.  These photos make me smile.

What makes you smile this time of year?

p.s.- cookies and bribery were involved in two of these photos – can you guess which ones?

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Back on Earth Day, I mentioned how much I love my Klean Kanteen.  Well, I really do – to the extent that it’s pretty much the only thing I drink out of, and it goes with me EVERYWHERE.  I spend 7-8 hours outdoors each day, and during last week’s sauna-like weather, I was thrilled to have a cold drink ready and waiting thanks to my insulated bottle.  Here’s the scoop:  Klean Kanteen is having a contest, and the above photo was my entry.  Not the best photo technically speaking – but the point was to show your bottle in your everyday environment.  This was a quick snapshot while at work over the weekend.  Late summer prairie scenery… ahhhhh. :)

Coming soon… a recipe for insanely rich chocolate brownies with fresh raspberry filling!

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happy may

snow buds

Southern Minnesota has officially smashed May snowfall records.  The highest ever recorded total for May here is 2 inches — until today.  We’re at 10 inches and still falling, with another 3-6 inches expected by late tonight.  Roads were shut down this morning, with even plows sliding into the ditch.  Thousands are without power, and trees are not faring well with the weight of this snow.  Needless to say, doggy and I are staying put for the day.  Though I will admit to letting a few expletives escape upon peeking out the window this morning, I am choosing to enjoy the beauty of it and am grateful that we’re not battling tornadoes, which is more typical for this time of year.  Merry May!

lilac bush

(lilac bush weighted to the ground)

chainlink fence

(chainlink turned privacy fence)

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This is the second week in a row we’ve gotten a nice big snowstorm.  ‘Nice’ may be overstepping a bit for today’s storm – as the inch of rain prior to our 8″ of snow has made for one giant mess, including a wet basement.  A pretty sight to wake up to nonethless….

winter view 2

winter view

On another note, if you notice the blog is quiet over the next couple weeks, it’s because I have a whole slew of remodeling projects in the works.  Undoubtedly, you will see a post or two about them when I finish.  

Happy Monday!

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ImageWe saw a decent snowfall last week, and I’ve been wanting to head out of town and dust off my skis ever since.  I finally got around to it this morning.  Energizing and quiet – and not for one second did I miss the noise of sirens, barking dogs, and speeding cars.  

 

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How happy he, who free from care

The rage of courts, and noise of towns;

Contented breathes his native air,

In his own grounds.

-Alexander Pope, from ‘Ode on Solitude’

sunshine corner cr

vintage sky cr

Yesterday provided a much needed blast of blue sky.  I wanted to take some photos of old barns for a commissioned painting, so it was the perfect day for a rural afternoon drive.  Most of my weekends while living in Montana included a backroads drive through the mountains; something I’ve missed in the years I’ve been back in the Midwest.  I had forgotten just how much calm a drive through the country with my camera provides.  Since I was on a (slightly unsuccessful) mission for barns, I didn’t take many photos, but the two above captured the spirit of the outing.  

Where do you find peace and solitude?

 

 

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