I’m sitting in my chair with Hannah Joy on my lap, sipping coffee while I watch the snow fall.
We had a very mild winter until mid-January, when we experienced very frigid temperatures and even colder wind chills. After the polar vortex moved on, the temperature rose into the 30s and 40s. It felt like a heat wave and I was almost too warm in my winter coat and hat. The melted snow re-froze and made our driveway icy. So did the freezing rain that poured from the sky. During similar conditions last year, I fell on our icy driveway and broke my wrist. This year I’m being very careful outside. In fact, EJ has been walking to the mailbox each day to get the mail.
A snowstorm hit late last week, with several inches of snow and high wind that caused whiteout conditions. People were warned to stay home because the roads were so hazardous. There were reports of many accidents–not just in our area, but around the state. Eric and I had no place to go so we stayed home and enjoyed watching the storm rage outside. The wind often blew the snow across the hills and swirled them into snow-nadoes. I thought that it looked like Antarctica at times. This is one video that I took last Friday of the weather outside our windows. One brave little squirrel ate from our bird feeders as the snow and wind whipped around him.
The weather today looks much like it did in the video, although as I wrote that last sentence, the wind whipped the snow even more fiercely than it during the storm in the video. I think we are expected to get even more snow during this storm than the one last week. Forecasters are saying that this is the first of three or four storms that are expected to hit the Mid-west in the next week or so.
The deer are coming by several times a day to eat from our bird feeders. We’ve had as many as eight visit at one time. Our most frequent visitors are a Mama deer and her little one. EJ teased that the little one was smaller than most and was probably “slow.” I protested that he wasn’t slow at all. In fact, he was probably super intelligent. “Didn’t people think Einstein was slow when he was a child?” I asked. “And he actually was a genius.” So now we call this littlest deer “Einstein.” We can’t really see if he is a male or female, but we refer to him as “he” anyway.
EJ says that after the rut, bucks lose their antlers. We don’t see many deer during hunting season when they’d have their antlers. In fact, we’ve actually never seen an antlered buck at our feeders until recently. EJ says the deer’s antlers were so small that they probably just hadn’t gotten knocked off yet. We called this deer “Bucky.”
Hannah Joy loves to bark at the deer when she sees them through the window. We are trying to teach her to leave them alone, but I think she enjoys it too much. I had to laugh late yesterday afternoon when I took her outside. As she bounded joyfully over to sniff tracks in the snow, I heard several soft “whoofs” as deer snorted a warning. I looked up and saw that they had been close by at the end of the house. After they snorted their warnings, they leaped off into the forest. Hannah was so busy sniffing the snow that she never even saw them. She would have been yanking her leash to run after them if she had noticed them.
It’s been really quiet at home this week…because EJ has a job. Yay!
Early last week Menards offered EJ a job. Menards is a home improvement store, similar to Lowes. It was only part-time and low pay, but they said it could work into more–and, hey, it’s a job. However, before EJ could attend the orientation last Thursday, a machine shop called him for an interview and then hired him. EJ accepted the job because the machinist position is what he has been doing all his life. It is full-time, more money and benefits, and he has a four-day work week, which means he gets three days off every week. His first day was Monday. When he got home, he got called for an interview at another company. Although he likes his current job well-enough, he is going on the interview with the other company on Friday–because, well, you never know. This last company is world-wide. The pay/benefits might be better, he might be less likely to get laid off during slow times, and it’s more technologically advanced.
Sunday we stopped at Goodwill for the first time in months so EJ could buy some clothes for work. Employees at the company he is now working at don’t wear uniforms and he wanted decent clothes to work in. I found a Michigan lighthouse to add to our collection. The replicas can be quite expensive, but we are able to buy them for a couple of dollars when we find them at Goodwill. We only buy Michigan lighthouses. I told EJ the lighthouse was a gift to celebrate him going back to work. It is a replica of the White Shoals Lighthouse, which is the lighthouse in the true story we had read recently read about. In 1929, Lewis Sweet became trapped on an ice floe in Lake Michigan when a blizzard hit while he was ice fishing. He eventually found refuge in the White Shoals Lighthouse. He spent several days recovering at the lighthouse and then made a trek to the mainland where he was found at the edge of a small town. The townspeople shoveled out a path through the snow and then took him by dogsled to the hospital at Petoskey about 30 miles away. He ended up losing all his toes to frostbite and pieces of most of his fingers. It’s an amazing story of courage and endurance that I will think about whenever I see our replica.
With EJ working again, the house seems very quiet. I really enjoyed having my hubby around all day. ❤ But I am continuing to crochet. Over the last few days, I have delivered items to three customers. One guy was a repeat customer who was picking up a Michigan Troll that his wife had ordered. He thought my items were adorable and said that I should sell them through local stores. He said his wife tells everyone about how cute my creations are. That made me feel good. 🙂 I’m hoping to “grow” my business to help us financially.