It’s still cold here, so cold the mercury is in hiding
(of course, you can run but you can’t hide with the newfangled digital technology)
but the good news is the snow has stopped falling and the wind has quit blowing, so it could be worse.
Worse as in as bad as it was on Monday, in fact, so we really don’t mind that the grader hasn’t made it through to plow out our secondary roads, or the Canada Post truck with our mail, and that a host of lessons and meetings in town today and tonight were (thank goodness) canceled. We’re doing quite well holed up with our books, music, movies, and homemade chocolate chip cookies, thank you very much.
Of course, holed up is relative when we spend several hours every morning feeding the animals, who are bearing up as well as can be expected. The extreme cold has taken a toll too on the tractor, whose engine won’t turn over no matter how long we’ve had the block heater plugged in (so much for Tom plowing us out) and our electric livestock waterers, though Tom was able to coax two out of three into working again.
Also good news and very warming is this
from Audrey at A Small Corner of Nowhere. Thank you, Audrey — what a delightful, cheery, and warming surprise. And I’m sorry all I sent you was this miserable blizzard!
I want to spread the warmth and share the accolades for excellent blogging, though to be fair, picking a handful from the list at right, instead is very very difficult (and feels very very stingy),
Jen at Jen Robinson’s Book Page, not because she said such kind things about me and my blog recently but because her blog continues to grow as a fabulous resource for those interested in children’s literature, and Jen herself is tireless when it comes to posting — no matter that her professional life and passion for kidlit are two very different worlds.
Cami at Full Circle whose beautiful blog gives me something to think about, lovely things to look at, recipes to cook, and elegant handcrafts clearly explained. And sometimes lovely to look at and elegantly crafted at the same time. And Cami also always seems to know just what I need when I need it.
“I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag.”
U.S. Congressman Craig A. Washington (D-Texas, 1989-1995)
GeekDad calls it “a portable civics” lesson, and I can’t think of anything more important this election year, especially when some folks who should know better are trying to get away with such hooey as,
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do is amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards, rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”
(More U.S. Constitution resources in this old post)
cold hair, and cold skin, this is what 46 below zero C looks like.
An arctic ridge blew in yesterday, bringing the cold, blizzardy winds, and more snow. The wind and cold are supposed to stick around til the end of the week. You can get an idea of the general blizzardyness here,
And here are some attractively styled ridges on top of the snow drifts,
Anyway, that’s what Laura looked like around 11 o’clock this morning. I apologize for the quality of the photo, I left one pair of gloves on and the wind was whipping about considerably. Not to mention that my face was as frozen as hers. Tom took the morning off work to help with chores, since we had to plow our way through two-and-a-half foot drifts with the truck, and haul some hay bales out to the fields for the cattle. Knowing yesterday that the storm was coming, Tom and the kids moved all of the cattle out of their pens, where there’s not much shelter from the wind. But then we can’t feed them at the fenceline feeder.
Definitely more fluffy, less frosty.
The sparrows didn’t like it much either. They usually spend their time in the trees, looking down and chattering noisily. Today we found them hiding and huddled in the open front shed where we keep the chicken feed. They didn’t even fly off in any hurry when I approached.
And then there were two.
Just for fun, some picturesque views around the farm yard,
And now if you’ll excuse me, we’re going to gather on the couch to read some Story of the World (the end of volume three is nigh, finally, after two years) and see if we can also come close to finishing The Indian in the Cupboard. And then to make a big pot of restorative chicken curry.
Sir David Attenborough, hale and hearty, and still very very busy at age 81, was recently interviewed by The Guardian in conjunction with his new BBC/Animal Planet program, “Life in Cold Blood“, which begins February 4th. It’s the final installment in his series of programs which have included “Life On Earth”, “The Private Life Of Plants”, “The Life Of Birds”, “The Life Of Mammals”, and “Life In The Undergrowth”. And his “Planet Earth” on DVD was one of our favorite shows last year.
He talks about a child’s fascination with the natural world — “Every child born on this earth starts by being interested in the natural world. You have only got to turn over a stone and see a worm or earwig underneath and the child is fascinated.” — as well as the new program, and his next project, about Charles Darwin. More here from The Guardian on Sir David’s new projects, including the Darwin one. Also in the article is mention of the new program, “The History of Science“, which
is due to air on BBC2 in 2009 to mark the founding of the Royal Society — the first time the subject has been tackled in such a way since Bronowski’s famous “Ascent of Man” series, which is often hailed as one of the landmark shows from the “golden age” of television.
Sir David interview via Michael D. Barton’s blog, The Dispersal of Darwin, which is new to me and full of lots of interesting things
John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts, part of the ScienceBlogs group, is putting together a handy dandy list of blog posts on basic science concepts, including mathematics, philosophy, logic, and computer science. You can suggest posts, too. Stay tuned for the possibility of a dedicated wiki or blog.
The kids had a toboggan party after Christmas with some friends at the nearby provincial park, which has great big hills. Davy made it just to the edge of the (frozen) river at the end of the toboggan run, considerably past the end the of the hill.
Davy, amazed to be standing,
Daniel (left) and Laura (right, in blue jacket) headed back up the hill one more time,
The general assembly, about a third of the way up the hill, and not a helmet in the bunch,