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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the eve of 2009

New Year

This night
of all the nights
is the year's last.
All, all
the other nights
are gone, are past...
the evening, with
its fading light,
put the lid
on the hour
and close it tight.
Close up
your tinavy eye;
close up the day.
Bid the old year
and come away.

- Jean Kenward

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow removal

Yesterday we watched as some young men slid their snow shovels lengthwise along their roof shingles and ripped the shingles off along with the snow and ice. Rick has a tried and true method to avoid this disaster. First you brush the top layer, the light and fluffy snow, off.
Then comes the difficult part. Scooping and lifting the heavy, packed snow. The *fun* part of this little chore is throwing the snow...
and, throwing the snow...
and, throwing the snow...NOT AT ME!! Just wait until he tries to get down and can't find his ladder.
Walking in and out of the house is a challenge. We anticipate another 4" of snow to fall tonight over our sidewalks and driveway which are already thickly crusted with ice. This is the wrought iron handrail leading to the front door. The is is about 2" thick along the top of the rail and I'm afraid to break it as the railing isn't very secure.
Another little snow removal project is keeping the sidewalks clear. Our rental contract requires this and Rick is concerned that soon the snowblower won't be able to throw the snow over these burms! We can't see Keeli behind most of them now.
The good news is that today I took my car out and had no trouble getting around town for errands.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A merry holiday

All sorts of preparations went into Christmas Day this year. The kids spent an hour or three making special candy cane cookies for Santa. It was an involved process that let everone get some hands-on time.We had cookies of all shapes and sizes. Rikard even tried to make his red and white twists spell Santa's name. Tatum's cookies grew to monumental size, a couple stretched the length of my cookies sheets.
Then, we finally finished decorating the tree. It was Keeli's turn to put the star on top. It was a little crooked for a few minutes, but dad just reached up and fixed it. Good thing because I can't reach it :).
We watched a holiday movie and consulted NORAD's Santa Tracker throughout the evening to watch his progress. We learned some interesting holiday facts and the kids went to bed when Santa was reportedly over the Dakotas. We figured he was hitting the Moore house and would be here soon. Everyone went to sleep quickly on Christmas eve.
Too soon it was Christmas morning and everyone was anxious to share gifts with one another. Nana Linda's package arrived in the mail in time for packages to be under the tree. The weather prevented Nana, Papa and Sadie from arriving.
The most interesting thing this year was watching and listening to Rikard. Each package he opened he would exclaim, "This is just what I always wanted!" There wasn't anything he didn't promise to enjoy to its full extent. This year Santa got smart and bought him a pack of rechargeable batteries.

And then there was Rick. He thinks if he acts like the poster child for The UPS Store it will gain him points with Jim. Whatever! What a suck-up he can be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A boy and his toy

The snow has been falling and falling and falling, and piling and piling and piling. We have over 30" now in our yard and shoveling was starting to take a toll. We visited several local dealers and there were no snow blowers to be had. One of the larger department stores wouldn't even promise one if we ordered and prepaid!

So, we made a few phone calls, took a trip and brought home Ricky's latest power tool. It is red, shiny and loud. He made quick work of the driveway. And the sidewalk (yes, the snow is nearly as deep as the snowblower). He was very pleased that we cleared the driveway and sidewalk in less than an hour. The past couple days it has taken both of us 2-3 hours to clear away the snowfall.

We called the Sears store in Moscow, Idaho early Sunday morning and reserved a snowblower. When we arrived, the only one left had a sold sign with our name on it (yeah us for thinking ahead). By the time we returned home, a new 4" had fallen and it was time for that machine to go to work. We look forward to using this snowblower several times in the near future as several more inches of snow is in the forecast for the holiday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We took full advantage of the snowfall and a sunny afternoon for an exciting outing to the park for some sledding (or skidding as Keeli calls it). It was only 12°F at the peak of the afternoon sun.
Rikard bombed down the hillside, hitting all the jumps kids had built into the hillside.
He was trying very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very hard to "catch some serious air" under his sled. He actually did a few times.
Keeli was a bit wary when we first arrived, but had no fear by the end of the day. She took her first trip down the hillside on her daddy's lap.
Then it was all about doing it herself... ...even walking up that big hill with those short little legs.
Tatum was up and down the hill all afternoon. She even taught Keeli how to sled in tandem, with their sleds next to one another holding one another's handles and zooming down the hill together.
Our celebration of snow isn't relegated to the great outdoors. Tatum created a fabulous display of paper snowflakes to adorn our window.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The weather outside is frightful

It was a record snowfall week for us, 27 inches in 29 hours. The local news - all three stations - had nothing but weather coverage for hours and hours and hours. Rick described the on-going coverage as being similar to a low speed freeway chase in southern California. We were constantly warned to not leave home unless it was an emergency. It was like nothing was happening in the rest of the world, that this snow storm eclipsed everything.

I shoveled the driveway every two hours during the day to keep it clear enough for Rick to get home from work and get his truck off the street. Rikard offered to help me out after school. The next morning it was like we never shoveled on flake off the driveway.

School was cancelled due to the amount of snow and the unplowed streets. A neighbor arrived with a snowblower to help. Rick went straight out to buy one, but there isn't one to be had in this town! So, we rented movies and went home.

We did catch a glimpse of a man in a red jacket on our roof. It was a false alarm. Rick decided to brush the snow off the chimney to help us build a fire without the smoke being blocked by the snow. We started a fire, but it certainly didn't do anything to warm us. The heat just went straight up the chimney.
Before getting off the roof, Rick made sure to clear a path to the chimney for Santa's pending arrival. Keeli was pleased with his efforts.
We had a stack of library books that had to get back this weekend. The icicles at the library were fantastic. Rikard wanted to get out and break them all off.
During the storm our good friends Shawn and Kara and their kids arrived. We got up at 0-dark-thirty the next morning and took them to the airport. They are flying off to Disney World for the holiday. At least they will be warm this week.