Tag Archives: cold

Matter of Time – Friday Fictioneers


Here is my entry for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields over at Addicted to Purple.

Photo Prompt - @ Douglas M. Macllroy

Photo Prompt – @ Douglas M. Macllroy

Genre:  Science Fiction

Word Count:  99

“Sun’s up,” said Julian. “Let’s move. We gotta hit all four labs before sundown.”

Cliff nodded as he pulled on his boots. Fear crawled across his scalp and burned in his stomach. They lost Johnny two days ago and Mitch three weeks before that.

Bastards were getting braver. Used to have fifty men at this outpost and maybe lost one guy a year. Now…shit. And no new recruits – the Feds had them in lockdown.

Julian and Cliff clamped down their visors and stepped out into the cold. A shriek echoed across the hills. Too damn close.

They ran.

 

Hit the blue frog button to visit other Friday Fictioneer entries!  Rules are – 100 words or less, story based on the photo prompt.  Polite constructive criticism is welcome!

I think this is the longest I have gone in a quite a while without posting a blog.  Lots going on – lost a dear friend to cancer and I have been sick with a cold.  But I’m back at it again – lucky you!  🙂

See ya Sunday-

Sue

Igloo Odd Ball


I know I like to complain a lot about winter.  It’s the fun part of living in the frozen tundra.  In reality, I actually like winter.  Well…aspects of winter.

I get tired of the deep deep cold and the short days, but with the advent of daylight savings and some unseasonably warm weather, I’m remembering some things about summer that I’m not too fond of…like bugs that inadvertently fly in my mouth.  Or maybe they are suicidal and do it on purpose – I don’t know.  I only know it grosses me out.

A couple of weekends ago, we had an absolutely gorgeous winter day – temps in the mid-teens, blue skies and a brilliant sun.  Dave and I grabbed the dogs and headed up to Potowatami State Park to tromp around in the snow, knowing it would be one of the last weekends before the crowds of people, mosquitoes, and wood ticks hatched.

It’s been a great winter for ice, so we decided to hike out along the shoreline to the boat landing, and then come back on the Ice Age Trail thru the woods.  This gave us a chance to see the park from another vantage point normally reserved for boats and spend some extra time under the sun.

Along the way, we came across this mini igloo erected by some bored ice fishermen…or maybe bored ice fishermen’s children.  I hadn’t been taking too many pictures because it was cold enough to shut my phone down if I had it out too long, but the minute I saw this, I knew I had to grab a few shots for Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge.  

With all the melt and the mud, the dogs and I are stuck pounding the pavement until early summer, when it will at least dry up enough for chemically aided woodland hikes (translation: my body parts slathered in OFF and Front Line on the dogs).  I guess I’ll just have to console myself with sunshine and bike rides.  Oh darn.

Sue

 

Lifestyles of the Cold and Frigid


This morning, I rolled over and did what I do every morning.  I checked my weather app to see how many limbs I was going to freeze off when I took the dogs out for their morning constitutional.  This is what I saw:

IMG_4282

I rolled over and stared at the ceiling.  One of the dogs whined.  “Cross your legs,” I growled.  My dogs do not cross their legs.  My dogs say “Screw you,” and pee on the floor so I figured I better get up.  A few yellow doggie ice cubes later, and I was back in the house sipping coffee on the couch, burrowed in my Star Trek fleece blanket and wishing I was back in bed.

IMG_1591

“It’s too cold to go anywhere.  I just want to go back to bed,” I whined via text to my friend and co-worker.

“Then go back to bed,” she responded.

“I can’t.  Dave already made the bed.”

“And…?”

“Well, I have to go to work, don’t I?”

No response.

“Look- even the cat is in silent protest with me.  He’s sitting on my clothes.  I can’t possibly go to work with a cat on my clothes.”

IMG_4283

Again, no response.

“I hate all my clothes anyway.  Winter is so frumpy.  I feel like a stuffed sausage.”

Continued silence.  Ah, my friend.  You know me so well.  I kept texting.

“I want to eat all the cookies and donuts in the land.”

“But noooooo!  We’re all trying to be healthy!  Blah, blah, blah.  I’ll just eat this celery stick instead.”

“This cold celery is giving me frostbite.  I’m slipping into torpor over here.  You don’t even care.”

“Yum, yum, yum. Celery is soooo good! I just LOVE it! *gag*”

“I’m dying.  Dying of starvation and frostbite and hypothermia but you can’t even text me back.”

“This celery needs something to spice it up.  Peanut butter?”

“Bacon.  Bacon is the key ingredient to celery.”

Crispy_bacon_1-1-

“I tried to move the cat and he bit me.  Clearly another sign I must stay home from work.”

“Oh great.  I ate too much celery, and my pants are tight.  Thanks a lot, Obama!”

“Aaaaaand even though I wasn’t wearing this shirt when I ate the celery, I still managed to get bacon grease on it.  Or maybe it’s peanut butter…not sure…”

“False alarm!  It was toothpaste!”

“I hope you’re driving to work right now, and when you get there you see all these texts and feel really bad that you let me down and now I’m dead.”

“I really hate this outfit.  Did I mention stuffed sausage?”

“The cat keeps staring at me.  I know he’s judging me.”

“OMG.  I just poked my eye with the mascara wand.   BLOOD GUSHING EVERYWHERE!  I’m so not coming to work.”

At this point, I threw myself on the couch and shut my eyes.  I didn’t stab myself in the eye at all.  I don’t even wear mascara.  It makes my eyes water and I end up looking like Tammy Faye Baker.  My phone buzzed.  FINALLY.

“You don’t even wear mascara,” she said.

“Bitch.”  I responded.

“Loser.  So are you coming in to work or not?”

“Maybe.  Yeah.  I guess so.” I texted back.

“Bring me a donut.”

And that my friends, is how you survive winter in Wisconsin.  Kind, attentive, loving friends, willing to talk you off the ledge and listen to your troubles…and donuts.  Lots and lots of donuts.

Stay warm my friends!
Sue

IMG_4270

 

 

Sue the Explorer with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Water or the Season of Winter


Welcome to the fifth edition of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.  This week’s theme is Water or the Season of Winter.

I have to say I have been waiting anxiously for this last topic.  Many of you remember when I turned 50 in January and spent the weekend at Glidden’s Lodge in Door County, on Lake Michigan.  It was a long, long, long cold winter, but that was truly a magical weekend.  I will always remember it.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite photos from that weekend.

Sunday at the beach

Sunday at the beach

Falkor the Luck Dragon

Falkor the Luck Dragon

Lone (and possibly crazy) kayaker.

Lone (and possibly crazy) kayaker.

These next two photos are of the same spot at Cave Point Park – one taken in September and then the other taken February 1st.

Cave Point, Door County WI - Sept 2013

Cave Point, Door County WI – Sept 2013

Cave Point, Door County WI - Feb 1st 2014

Cave Point, Door County WI – Feb 1st 2014

That’s all for now!  Be sure to check out Cee’s site and the blogs of other folks who are participating.  You won’t be disappointed.

See ya next week!

Go Pack Go!
Sue

10 Advantages To Living In The Frozen Tundra


mapWith all the hoopla today about how cold it was going to be, I thought it might be fitting to open up my first ever Monday blog post with list of advantages to living in Wisconsin in the winter.  By the way, anyone else notice that the coldest day on record since 1996 just happened to fall on a Monday?  Just sayin’.

It is, indeed, a day to grind in the grim reality of at least 3 more months of cold and snow with nothing much to look forward to except that each passing day adds a couple more minutes of daylight.  Oh, and a certain someone turns Nifty Fifty soon, so if you are the type that suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and likes to spend money when you are depressed, feel free to buy me something cool.

1.   No hurricanes in Wisconsin.  Yay!  Remind yourself of this as you walk to your car after work while the -50 degree wind is burning the skin off your cheeks like so much icy sandpaper.  That will certainly make you feel better.  You may also need to remember to hide Facebook posts from evil well-meaning friends and relatives that live in warmer climates…

anna

2.  No volcanoes spewing burning hot lava.  Just because you seriously wouldn’t mind a little burning hot lava right now doesn’t mean you really truly want an active volcano in the neighborhood.  Ask the people of Pompeii.  Oh, that’s right, you can’t because they have all been turned into ash-cicles.  Now shush and go put on an extra sweater and those woolie socks your mother got you for Christmas.

Cow lava

It’s important to remember that with the freezing cold temperatures, animals will seek refuge around your car. Be sure to check under your hood before starting your engine!

3.  No sharks!  Think of it.  When you jump in Lake Michigan with the other nut jobs in the Polar Bear Club, you won’t ever have to worry about being eaten by a shark.  I was going to say “eaten alive” but if you are in Lake Michigan in January, your “alive” status may very well be a moot point.  As an added bonus, no Shark-Nados!  Come spring time, we only have to worry about plain old Auntie Emm type twisters that kill you from flying debris and the sheer force of wind, and not with a clearly impossible flying vortex of sharks.

sharknado

Yes, this was a real movie. And yes, I did watch it.

4.  No spiders.  At least not in the winter.  All spiders are dead or dormant until spring, at which time they will suddenly appear on the ceiling directly over your head, and proceed to follow you around the room.  Killing them only seems to cause more to appear.  Clearly they are angry and now out to get you.  Meanwhile, you read on the internet about a lady who found a nest of tarantulas in a cactus she just bought and your best friend tells you she read an article stating that most people swallow at least 4 spiders in their lifetime while they are sleeping, meaning spiders are crawling on you AS YOU SLEEP!  But not in winter!  You are safe, safe, safe, in winter!  With the only exception of buying grapes and finding a hidden black widow spider.  So yeah.  Don’t buy any grapes.

They call us...the Black Widders!

They call us…the Black Widders!

5.  No Snakes.  All snakes are hanging out with the spiders, maybe playing poker and smoking cigars in some underground den, just waiting for spring, at which time you will find them nesting in your old mangy leaf piles you forgot to clean out of your windowsills.  Yeah, just struck the fear of Snake into you didn’t I?  Until then – you can prance around the neighborhood in your snowsuit without worry about seeing even a single snake.  You might find some on a plane though, so be sure to stay in Wisconsin.  Do not risk a snake attack by doing something so foolish as trying to go to a warmer climate.  I read on the internet that they have giant man-eating spiders in the airport public toilets too.   So there ya go.

See?  Even Samuel L. Jackson knows you don't mess with no snakes on a plane.

See? Even Samuel L. Jackson knows you don’t mess with no snakes on a plane.

I read it on the internet.  IT MUST BE TRUE!

I read it on the internet. IT MUST BE TRUE!

6.  No refrigeration required.  This is a great bonus for those days we lose power in a snowstorm and have to burn furniture to stay warm.  HAHA!  Just kidding.  Sort of….  But hey – nobody ever got food poisoning from Auntie Jean’s potato salad because it was sitting out in a snow bank.  Plus, your beverages are always cold!  And think how much you will save on your electric bills now that you aren’t running your refrigerator.  You’ll probably save enough to replace some of that furniture you just burned.  Or buy a lawn chair.  Either way, you come out ahead.

snowbank

7.  Cute dog sweaters.  While you are burning your furniture to stay warm and eating Aunt Jean’s potato salad, you can learn to knit doggie sweaters by firelight.  I have posted some pictures of my favorites below on Lucky Dog.  Despite his expression, he really loved them.  He told me so later after I got back from the doctor and said he was really, really, sorry I needed stitches and plastic surgery to re-attach my fingers.  After intensive physical therapy,  I can now hold knitting needles again, so it’s all good.  Added bonus:  You can use knitting needles to roast marshmallows or wieners over the fire – both of which are delicious with potato salad.  See?  You have a complete meal right there.  No scurvy or rickets for you this winter!

Lucky

“Seriously, lady?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8.  No earwigs.  I repeat.  No earwigs.  I cannot stress this enough.  NO EARWIGS.  By far, one of the grossest bugs to crawl across the face of God’s green earth, and while not as bad as a spider, still pretty bad.  I have read all the information from the entomologists stating that earwigs really don’t crawl into your ear and then eat your brain.  However, I for one am not taking any chances.  Have you seen the pincers on them?  What else could they possibly be for?  Those are brain eaters if I ever saw one.

braineaters

9.  Women do not have to shave their legs from November to March.  If you’re a female Wisconsin resident and you’re shaving your legs during winter, you must be one of those foreign Illinois transplants.  No self-respecting true Wisconsin woman would be caught dead with a razor on her legs during winter.  Best watch yourself in the gym locker room, Miss Illinois.  Wouldn’t want no trouble, now.

Gotta stay warm in this here frozen tundra!

Gotta stay warm in this here frozen tundra!

10.  Your body burns more calories trying to stay warm, so the fewer clothes you wear, the more calories you will burn. You could possibly eliminate any need to work out at all and eat birthday cake at will, if you just walk around naked.  Plus, with frostbite, you will probably lose a few limbs, thus adding to your overall weight loss.  You didn’t need those appendages anyway.  You know all those cute girls in bikinis you see on tv during the December Packers games?  They aren’t drunk or crazy – they are simply using the cold to their advantage to lose weight.  That’s why they look so good.  Has nothing to do with the fact that they are 21 and have just indulged in an entire case of Miller Lite.  Notice I said 21 and not 19.  Because 21 is the legal drinking age in Wisconsin, and you won’t find any of our youngsters breaking that law.  No sir!

packerbikini

Okay, enough foolishness for today!  I gotta go eat my meatloaf.  Stay warm my friends!

Sue

A Thanksgiving Story. Or Not.


Today is Thanksgiving.  I was torn about what I should write about.  I thought it should be something monumental, given the day.  But everybody and their brother is talking about what they are thankful for.  And it’s not that I’m NOT thankful.  I truly am.  But I couldn’t decide – do I post about the smarmy things I am thankful for like my family and friends?  Or do I go the funny thankful route, and talk about things like shirtless pictures of Hugh Jackman (actually pretty thankful for this) and the invention of Poo-Pourri?

poo-pourri

It’s a real product. Seriously.

Instead, I have decided to share a Thanksgiving story with you.  And it’s a bit of a stretch to call it specifically a “Thanksgiving” story.  It’s really more of a “fall-ish” story, but I am pretty sure it happened close to Thanksgiving so I should get some points for that.  And it’s a dog story.  Who doesn’t love a dog story?  Well, maybe if you’re a cat.  Cats might not love a dog story.  Not because cats hate dogs, but because cats are pretty much like honey badgers, in that they just don’t care.  I have a honey badger cat sitting right here, on my lap, trying to crawl on my keyboard and write his autobiography with his butt.

Honey badger

Anyway…

This story involves our old neighbors, Dave, me and the best dog ever, Rocky.  This is him.

Rocky

Awesome Dog

While he didn’t fly through the air with his cape and Sweet Polly Purebred or rescue Timmy from the well or unmask any villains with his tribe of meddlin’ kids, you can still see he is awesome.  Damn awesome.

The neighbors loved him too.  They let him poop in their yard (seriously, they didn’t care) and would call him over for scritches and pats and snuggles.  Because Rocky was so awesome, we didn’t need a fence, because he never left the yard (except to poop at the neighbors).  No fence could contain him anyway.  When we first got Rocky from the Humane Society, we lived at our old house that had a yard with a 7 foot privacy fence.  Chuck Norris Ninja Dog found a way to get over it.  We never saw him do it, and we never figured out how he did it.  But the evidence was plain – we put him out the back, and he came in the front.

This story takes place in November in Wisconsin, so it’s dark by 5pm.  And I don’t mean “dusk”.  I mean dark.  Like, Lose Your Black Cat In The Yard dark.  It’s the time of year where you wake up in the dark, drive to work in the dark, and come home in the dark.  If you work in a windowless cubicle with nothing but fluorescent light to bathe you, it’s quite possible that you may not see the sun for 6 months.  You think I am exaggerating?  November, December, January, February, March, April and sometimes May.  So really that’s 7 months.  And yes, I know what the calendar says – but the calendar was made by old, dead, Europeans who didn’t live in Wisconsin.  I say, any month it might snow, is winter.  And yes, it does snow in Wisconsin in May.  By rights, I should also include October, but for some reason, October is usually hotter than September.  You know how all the leaves change to those pretty yellow, orange and red colors?  It’s because the sun is setting them on fire.  We live on the edge here in Wisconsin.

Okay.  Carrying on.  It’s fall – close to Thanksgiving.  We let Rocky out to go poop in the neighbors yard.  He loved the cooler weather, so if he was gone 20 minutes or so, we didn’t panic.  He liked to patrol around the house or lay on the cement step in the garage or just read a magazine while taking a good long poop.  Who knows.  We just knew he was around somewhere.  He was funny in that he didn’t bark.  Not to come in, not when he played, not at strangers.  I think in the 12 years he blessed our lives, I heard him bark maybe 5 times.  We just got used to watching the patio door and when we saw his white wooly form in the dark, we would open the door and let him in.  This night, Dave happened to see him first.

I was in the living room, and heard the patio door slide open and shut, followed by Dave yelling, “Hey, hey, hey!”  We lived in a new subdivision, so I figured Rocky found a mud hole or something so I ran in to help with damage control.  No mud, but Dave says, “He’s got something in his mouth”.   The “something” was long and brown, sort of like a short walking stick.  I could see him fruitlessly trying to hide under the table but he was an 80 pound hairy beast with a gargantuan stick in his mouth that kept getting caught in the chair legs.  “He has a stick,” I observed.  Dave gave me a “Why, thank you, Captain Obvious” look, and said, “I don’t think it’s a stick.”

Dave grabbed the hind end and I grabbed the front end and we push/pulled him out in the open with his prize. And here is when we noticed his stick had a hoof at the end of it.   Where in the hell did he get a stick with a hoof?  For some reason, the hoof was throwing me for a loop.  “Holy shit, it’s a deer leg,” said Dave.  Ah.  Lightbulb moment.  That explained the hoof.

By now, the kids were in the kitchen.  Lindsay was laughing and exclaiming about how gross and disgusting it was and Matt thought it was cool, and proceeded to run back and forth in the kitchen and then sliding on his socks.  While the hyperactivity and excited jabbering of the kids escalated, I noticed Rocky trying to disappear into the floor, while hanging on for deer…I mean, dear…life to his “stick”.

Rocky

Rocky with a chewy stick.

Before he got any ideas about carrying it into my living-room, I grabbed the leg and told him to drop it, which he did.  (Because remember, he’s awesome like that).  I held it up gingerly, careful to keep it well away from me, and his eyes followed it back and forth, his tail waving gently on the floor and his tongue out.  Dave grunted and said, “I think I know where he got it.  When I came home, I saw the neighbor in his garage dressing his deer.”  Oh great, I thought.  Pooping is one thing.  Stealing a guy’s deer leg is another.

I walked over to the neighbors.  Sure enough, his garage door was open and his deer was lying on a canvas tarp on the garage floor.  Mr. Neighbor was nowhere to be seen, however.  I was a little fearful at first that maybe Chuck Norris Ninja Dog took out the neighbor in his deer leg quest, but that really would have been out of character.  Rocky was awesome, not evil.  So I gently tapped on their door with the hoof.  Mr. Neighbor answered the door with a fork in hand – I smiled and giggled and held out the deer leg, hoof first.  “Um, Rocky just brought this home….”  Mr. Neighbor burst out laughing.  “Oh boy!  Wait till I tell the guys this!  I just took a break to eat some dinner!  Never thought to shut the garage door!  That Rocky!  What an awesome dog!”

“Well, I don’t know what else he may have gotten into when he was over.  He might have eaten or taken something else,” I explained.  Mr. Neighbor did not care.  Mr. Neighbor laughed and waved me away with his fork.  “No problem!  That Rocky!  Hahahahahahaaaaaa!”  He took his deer leg back though.  Relieved, I went back to our house.

The next day was a Sunday.  We let Rocky out for his morning constitutional without incident, and then Dave and I and the kids left for church.  We came home a couple of hours later, to be greeted by an unholy stench the likes of which our nostrils had never before smelled, and prayed would never smell again, along with a football sized pile of…something….on the rug right in front of the door as we came in.  This would be the “he may have eaten or taken something else” portion of Rocky’s big deer leg adventure.

“I hope you don’t want this rug,” Dave said as he rolled it up like a giant barf burrito.  “The whole thing is going in the garbage.”  I didn’t argue.  No way was I touching that, and was indeed thanking my lucky stars that I was not the man of the house and therefore did not qualify for the “Exceedingly Gross Chores” portion of the marriage.  Yes, I know that is stereotypical and sexist, but it works for us.  I handle Standard Gross Chores, like snot noses, cat barf, and toilet bowl cleaning, and he handles all the rest, plus spiders.

While we had no more vomiting of rancid meat from the depths of hell, we did have to deal with Awesome Dog’s awesome gas, for at least a week.  This was a gas so awesome it had the power to melt your face clean off.  The Chuck Norris of gas.  We ran from the room and hid in our closets when we saw Rocky coming.  We were like the kids in Jurassic Park, hiding from the Velociraptors.  As surely as those velociraptors wanted to have Timmy for lunch, we knew Rocky’s gas was hunting us down.

Eventually, his digestive system returned to normal – meaning he still had gas but at least our faces were safe, if not our noses.  And he returned to being the most awesome dog on earth.

Best dog EVER

Best dog EVER

Someday, I will tell you the full Rocky story, but until then, do you have a funny dog story to tell?  A favorite pet?  A dog or cat more awesome than Chuck Norris?

Happy Thanksgiving!
Sue

 

PS – Your Welcome:

hugh-jackman-shirtless