Snow Today

Snow and Dusk Falling

So it’s November 30 and the ground is not frozen. Actually, we have hardly had any snow. We had one October storm and then, well, not much. This weekend snow fell in the mountains, finally. When we lived up next to Bolton Valley resort they aimed to open on Thanksgiving weekend each year. This year it has hardly been cold enough to make snow. Apparently 20 inches fell on the top of Mount Mansfield over the past few days. Now we’re talking.

Today it spit snow on and off in the valley as well. As darkness spread across the fields, snow was falling steadily. It even gathered in a few spots. Winter is being shy this year. Fall has been ready to give up the ghost but I guess winter has been willing to step up and take over. That works out well in several ways but with December beginning tomorrow, I am ready for some snow. I would love to see snow for the 25th, of course, but I also simply am ready to make the transition.

So here’s to snow! Fall on down, fall on down. In this house at least you will be welcome.

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Another Christmas Tree

Weekend after Thanksgiving–time to get a Christmas tree. Maybe it seems early to some, but we figure we might as well celebrate the season as long as we can. We went to Martel’s tree farm in Williston and cut a fine fir. It is worth visiting that tree farm just to get the view. It was a beautiful day so we saw snow on Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump and a long stretch of the Green Mountains. Lake Iroquois rippled in the breeze down the hill. And the smell of cut fir drifted over it all. We tied it to the car and hauled it over the town line.

We had to do some trimming to get it the right size. It was just a little too tall but we managed to make it work just right. The kids took a critical hand in trimming it so the bottom third is heavier with ornaments than the top two thirds. We strung lights–pink and blue and white and decked our humble halls with other delights, some made on the spot by the children who live here. They had a fine time of it. We hauled out the box of holiday CD’s and found the holiday tracks on Pandora internet radio and we made the transition to December with only a few bumps. Here is the before and after:

 

Fresh From the Hill

Decked Out for the Holidays

 

 

Late November in a Field, by James Wright

This is one of my favorite poems and I always take it out this time of year to read a few times, so I am sharing it here. It is bleak but it is also a poem of Thanksgiving.

LATE NOVEMBER IN A FIELD

Today I am walking alone in a bare place,
And winter is here.
Two squirrels near a fence post
Are helping each other drag a branch
Toward a hiding place; it must be somewhere
Behind those ash trees.
They are still alive, they ought to save acorns
Against the cold.
Frail paws rifle the throughs between cornstalks when the moon
Is looking away.
The earth is hard now,
The soles of my shoes need repairs.
I have nothing to ask a blessing for,
Except these words.
I wish they were
Grass.

Rain and Dark

I didn’t run the past two days but I got up and went this morning. It was raining. Hard. And it was dark. And I was sleepy. Did I want to go? Not really, but I did anyway.

It was pouring. Just dumping, really. And, it being late November, it was dark at 5:30. And the clouds made it darker. I dressed, slowly, and stood on the porch.

I did that for a few minutes, stood there that is. I watched the rain drip off the eave through the beam of my headlamp. I was going to get mighty wet. And then I stepped onto the gravel and off I went.

It was chilly, as you can imagine. Not what I would call cold, but nothing warm about it. I was still sleepy, eyes half shut as I navigated the puddles in the driveway.

I was thinking I might go five or six miles. I only went four. I was chilled, I tell you.  It was a decent run. I was home before I knew it. I had to pay so much attention to my feet that I hardly noticed where I was. Plus, it got foggy. I couldn’t see more than a ten feet in front of me.

I was soaked by the time I got home. Dripping. I was thinking that what I wanted at that moment was to a warm cup of coffee and a warm fire. But that wasn’t happening. I could make some coffee and start a fire, but by then it wouldn’t have the same effect. So I took a warm shower and got ready to head to work.

Tomorrow maybe eleven miles?  It should be cloudy but not raining like this morning. We’ll see. This is a somewhat easy week anyway. But I would like to go fairly long. I’ll see what happens when I wake up. I can decide then.

Not a Mouse

A few days ago I posted in the middle of the night how I was being kept awake by a mouse in the walls. Set out some traps, wait for it to come in and bang–catch a mouse.  The traps are still sitting there. We don’t have a mouse. I think we have a chipmunk. The thing is driving me mad. Every night it does more damage. Every night I try to scare it away. Every night I get no closer to figuring out how to get rid of it.

There are plenty of ways to catch a chipmunk, some lethal, some more pacifistic. The problem is that I do not know where to set any trap at this point. It isn’t coming into the house yet, thank the mammalian goddesses, but I also can’t find where it is traveling in and out of the walls. I naively filled in one tunnel early in the invasion. It hasn’t touched that spot since. Now I can’t find any tunnel. The spot it seemed to have gotten into the house has offered no signs of animal travel lately. It has another route in and out.

Rat traps, Haveaheart traps, hot pepper, whatever, I am willing to try it at this point, but where to place any such device or deterrent?  That is the question. My plan at this point is to get some traps and just set them out and about near where I thought it was getting in. Maybe I will get lucky. That will tomorrow’s task. Too late tonight. Maybe by filling in its tunnel it is trying to find a new way out by tunneling in the wall. I don’t know. If I set out traps and they offer nothing, maybe I will unclog the original tunnel and set the traps there.

In any case, this critter needs to go. And soon. Chipmunks are cute, but I am willing to resort to violence if necessary. I would prefer I find a way to simply get it out and keep it out, but that may prove fruitless. Stay tuned for more reports from the front lines.

Going to Sleep

Ah, the woes of being a parent. My two children seem to be having some trouble falling asleep.  Some commennts they have made recently while they should be falling asleep:

I think I heard something.

I can’t stop thinking about bad things.

I have a question: Can I have two cookies in my snack tomorrow?

I have to tell you something: Why does Mars look so rusty?

I have something else to tell you: Tonight, Jupiter was the only planet in the whole sky.

Can I have a band aid for my cut? I cut myself when I was playing with the Playmobil horse.

Today, at school, I found some treasure in the sandbox and no one would let me keep it.

I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.

I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow.

I have to return my library books tomorrow.

Before you got home we could hear a mouse over by the art table, and you know what? At school, Kristen told us that one time she was with her lawyer and a mouse, I mean a squirrel, popped its head right out of a hole in the wall and she screamed!

How soon is it until Christmas?

I don’t know what I should dream about tonight.

For Christmas, I know just I should order from Santa–a tractor!

I’ve tried everything I can think of to fall asleep but I still can’t fall asleep; I’ve tried to lie this way and that way and do everything and I still can’t even though I tried really hard.

I have to go poop.

When you gotta go…

Learning Personal Finance

We went to the farmer’s market in Hinesburg yesterday. I emptied my wallet. I didn’t even get all I could have gotten, but our bag was full and the kids were antsy. Next time I’ll bring two bags. And make the kids carry one.

This market was great. I arrived with my two children right when it opened, at 9:00. It was held in the Hinesburg Town Hall. There is a summer farmers market weekly but once the fall hits it whittles down to once per month. We missed the one in October so I was eager to be there for this one.

I purchased leeks, onions, potatoes, garlic, spinach and other stuff. I was happy enough. I was looking for food. My daughter, however, was looking to spend some money.

I had told her I would give her some money so she could buy some things herself. The space is small and I figured it wouldn’t be crowded first thing. So I gave her five bucks and told her she buy whatever she wanted. We did a lap to start us off, to see who was there selling what. We tasted a purple carrot and looped back around. At the first vendor she bought a delicata squash, a tiny one, but cute and just right for her. A couple of tables down she bought some popcorn. It was purple, still on the cob but dried, four ears for a dollar. She bought four. Then she bought some of those purple carrots. She considered a stone charm, but it was five dollars and she didn’t want to blow it all in one shot.

This was great for both of us. She felt a sense of responsibility and I felt safe with her learning some lessons in how to spend money. I really don’t think I could have said no to anything there she may have said she wanted to buy. It was a farmers market.  She wants to buy carrots and mini squash? I’m good with that. She wants to but some jewelry made by someone here in town?  I’m good with that.  She wants to buy honey, jam, hand spun yarn, fresh bread, eggs? How can I say no? It was ideal.

She is now the eager one, asking when the next market will be. There is one every Saturday somewhere around here. The next one is in Burlington, then Winooski, Shelburne, and back in Hinesburg again. And there are  others well into the winter. My daughter would gets the shakes if she saw all the vendors in Burlington compared to little old Hinesburg. I’m thinking we may have to take advantage of that. I can give up five bucks for this endeavor for several weekends if she is still into it. I have been wanting to go to these this fall and winter anyway. Fresh local food this late in the year? I can go out of my way for that.

The eggs we bought yesterday and way good, and I turned cauliflower, spinach, garlic and leeks into a fine dinner tonight. And the popcorn? Pops white, tastes great. And that was just one ear. That popcorn may have been the best deal of the lot.