Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brrrr Beautiful

I have some blog catching up to do. But first, I am proud to show that I was finally successful in photographing my car’s thermometer! Wheee! (And excited that the car started; we kept it in the garage, which helped).

This was yesterday. Today, not NEARLY so cold; only about -11 F. Heat wave.

But, at -20 F, Lake Superior show off a very cool phenomenon; sea smoke! It is simple steam, rising from the “warm cup of tea” that is the surface water. Never mind that the water is likely right at 32 or 33 degrees; it’s still warm enough to steam given the air temps. I don’t know more than that; I’m sure the humidity, etc has something to do with it. But it’s quite amazing to behold, especially with the sun rising up through the bank of “smoke.”

I even put a snippet up on Youtube; it was quite windy, with -40 or so windchills. They did cancel school, but WF and I both had to work.

The beauty of the morning (we took these quickly on the way to work) got me through my whine-worthy day. -20F, 6 months pregnant and suffering from another (this time BAD) cold; Urgh. But I got through the meeting-filled day and hope to be fighting off these germs soon. I am grateful to be where I am, especially in light of some sad baby news for a relative. Keep us all in your warm thoughts!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Status: Cold

It’s STILL cold this morning (and yes, freezing other blog topics out of my brain). 11 F Below. Subaru status: rowrrowrrow…rowr…rowr…(ie slowly turning over, not starting). Urgh! Still no thermometer shot possible! We drove the rusty, trusty old Toyota. Sigh...

In other temperature news (thrilled yet?) we came home yesterday to a WARM 70 degrees warm. I seriously thought something was wrong. It felt great, but how bizarre..? Apparently the boiler repair person was there, and after he fixed the zone problem, figured that we only had the house in the 50’s because of the problem. HA.

We keep the house in the 50’s during the day because we are FRUGAL. And possibly insane. Gluttons for punishment? Anyway, it was weird to actually feel warm in the house. WF made sure he remedied that wild use of resources right away, back to the 50’s this morning. Sigh… We really need to figure out some scientific way to really know how much more propane it costs to keep the house that warm (we run off a big tank in the yard, so no monthly bills or easy calculations arrive). I can only imagine a small person will need the house a bit warmer next winter...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Twenty below has us beat

Ok, shouldn't have been so confident yesterday about that car-starting thing. Twenty below zero this morning, two cars sitting outside (why did we do that?!). One is the "new" Subaru, other other an elderly Toyota ('91) that hasn't been driven in a couple days. Guess which one started this morning? Grrr.

Not the fancy Subaru with the entertaining thermometer; I was going to try to document it for you today. Nope, today we got to work just a bit late in the creaky old car, grateful for tough old technology.

It's supposed to warm up SOON (today?) and hopefully this new Subaru will take us through the rest of the winter. Or we need to get smarter and actually clear out the old garage to use it in cold weather. Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sentiments at 17 Below

BRRRRR! Cold. Very cold. Wow, it’s cold. Hmm, my fingers are numb. BRRRRR! Cold! Will the car start? Yes! Thank goodness for small miracles. Brrrrrrr...

Yes, we’re back, sorry for the delay. Been suffering in silence with these cold temperatures. Our “new” car has an outside thermometer, and it’s fascinating to watch it during these cold days. Today started out at 17 below F, then went up to 11 below F by the time we got close to the Lake, which is not frozen over yet. We went out to a friend’s house (at night!) over the weekend, and watched that car thermometer dip to -20 F in the low spots. It’s not been TOO bad, but we did wake up to a 55 F (instead of our usual balmy 58-62 F) house this morning; one of the heating zones is not working. Blah. More repair guys needed.

But these cold temps are partly a product of CLEAR days and nights, which means lots of passive and active solar power for the house. This weekend I managed to wash AND dry some new heavy flannel sheets in one day; quite impressive. They were literally steaming in the sunlight coming through the window onto the drying racks, adding some nice humidity to the dry house.

Sun is also good for chicken egg production! Tough old birds, we’ve gotten up to as many as 3 eggs a day in these cold temps. Recall these are “natural” chickens, with no supplemental heat or light, just a big south facing window. They haven’t taken WF up on his offer of outside time on weekends, but seem to enjoy the sun indoors. We’re all tough northerners, and I do appreciate the sun even if it comes with sub zero complications. At least we have enough snow cover to keep the septic system from freezing, etc. Whoo, the things we get to think about this time of year!

More on the short NE trip in a bit…

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Still here and kicking

Sorry, just haven’t been feeling very bloggy lately. We’re still here, baby is kicking (or poking or stretching or…?) and I have caught my first cold in a long time. Urgh. Trying to take care without doing most of my usual non-pregnant cold routine (goldenseal, zinc, etc are all no-nos right now). Have been enjoying some fresh, potent ginger tea and dried kelp. I’m not sure if the kelp is really helping the cold, but I’ve been craving it. Mmmm, salt. And iron and iodine and other good things; it’s a healthy (if non-local) craving at least.

We are also headed off soon for our yearly NE trek, which always involves much prep for housesitters and chicken-sitters and even solar system-sitters (the batteries can’t go for more than a couple days without a charge, so if it’s not sunny while we’re gone, stuff must be done). Blah. But it will be fun to get in a little adventure before I am bigger!

House projects are somewhat stalled while we gallivant around. Flooring still seems great; there’s just must to do with putting things back and waiting for other small jobs to be done first (painting, etc). I am somewhat fixated on finding baby furniture right now, but it’s hard to balance Freecycle and Craig’s List and Ebay and random email offers from friends while trying to travel and stay focused at work and home. I really wish it was garage sale season; the only bad thing about the timing of this baby adventure! That and ice, I suppose. I slipped and fell on my (new, well padded) backside last weekend; no harm done, but still a bit scary. Ah, winter. One of these days I’ll post some pictures of our shrinking snowpack and the chickens who brave the elements.

Be well!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Posture: Pregnant

Happy New Year to all! I like the look and sound of 2008; a nice, even, round number with lots of curves and roundness. A good year in which to be born, don’t you think?

Losing weight (at least not for a while) is NOT a new year’s resolution for me this year. I KNOW I will gain weight and that is a good thing. I have almost hit a point on the sliding weight scale when one needs to use a different weight, and that feels rather significant. Along with the fact that my circumference is exceeding 3 feet, I am feeling a little bit BIG. WF just made reference to swallowing a balloon. But I have been told by a couple people that I don’t look pregnant anywhere else, which is thus far true and I am glad. I believe I have good birthing genes; my grandmother had 9 kids with very little fuss, and all of her kids have had healthy kids. A good heritage to help me along this process…

I AM feeling a little scatter-brained lately, with 35 “to do” items buzzing around in my brain at any given time, yet not many of them coming OUT of the brain and actually getting completed. But we spent a bit of New Year’s Day at the home of an old college friend of mine. She has 2 kids and there were at least 16 other kids there (with parents). Makes me remember that there are plenty of other people who do this with grace; we will enter into their midst soon enough. It can be done!

I am currently obsessing about “optimal fetal positioning,” considering my posture and how that might affect the baby’s position later in pregnancy. Apparently proper positioning (an anterior lie versus a posterior one) can lead to a quicker and easier birth. I’m all for that; we are seriously considering all natural and even homebirth options. Decisions to be made, projects to be completed, issues to keep in mind. It’s amazing to consider all the things to keep in mind while pregnant; I had no idea that couches and car bucket seats (and the relaxed way we sit upon them) could be considered a factor in increasing C-section rates. Crazy, eh?

So, with that brain-buzzing detail, I’m headed off to bed, where I will consider my posture and position accordingly. Peace!