Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two of My Favorite Things

This dog. This snow.

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Jasper, at 12 years old, is an old, old dog. He's only been with us for five years; before that he spent his days tied to a tree. The neighbor kids would refill his water dish each day because he would accidentally knock it over with his rope. Those kids were homeschoolers, and their mom talked to the owners and then put out a notice on the local homeschool email list to find Jasper a new home. We already had one black lab, so I figured we were crazy enough to have two. Best crazy decision we ever made. I LOVE this dog. I've had some really great dogs over the years, so it's hard for me to pick a favorite, but Jasper is it. There has never been a sweeter, sillier dog on the planet, and if you try to argue with me I'll dunk your head in the snow.

Speaking of snow, I love that too. Our latest snow storm is reminiscent of the two years we lived in Minnesota. The official totals for the area are in the 8-10 inches range , but we already had a little bit on the ground from a previous storm, so I'm not sure what our actual snowfall was yesterday. (Updated: I've since seen that the two closest towns were 10.5 and 11 inches, so I guess my ruler is right!)

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In my opinion, there are three keys to a perfect snow: 1) Fluffy and powdery, 2) Large amounts of it, 3) Beautiful sunshine the day after so everything sparkles. That's how the majority of snow days played out when we lived in Minneapolis. We experienced plenty of snow when we lived in Chicago, but because of the lake we rarely had that beautiful sun the day after. It makes a huge difference in your mental state, trust me.

An added bonus of the sunshine is icicles! We got some biggies this time!

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This picture, taken from inside, gives you a better idea of the scale of these icicles. That window is 34 inches tall.

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Unfortunately, this snow storm is bringing very frigid temperatures, also reminiscent of Minnesota. I nearly froze taking these pictures, but perhaps that's because I was too lazy to put on warm clothes so I went out there in capri yoga pants, a long tee, and a pair of boots. But I'm not going to complain about how cold my hands were because I just finished reading The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz (the movie version, The Way Back, is available for streaming on Netflix, but I liked the book better). If those dudes can survive Siberia without whining, I can survive ten minutes in my front yard.

Hope you are all staying warm! Please don't comment if you live in Hawaii. ; )


  1. Wish I shared your enthusiasm. I'm tired of being cold.

    1. It probably comes from my growing-up years in Texas. I never forgave my parents from moving us from Michigan, and always felt like I was missing out on snow. If I had stayed in MI the whole time, I might be weary of it too. :) Today is COLD though! It is 56 degrees in our kitchen right now, so we are staying upstairs today!

  2. We love black labs, too. We adopted one a few years ago but quickly learned that they need room to roam and play, like in your beautiful pictures. He kept roaming the neighborhood and stealing our neighbors stuff, so we had to keep him leashed all day which he hated. We found a better home for him where he could be happy. If I had known you love labs so much, I would have sent him to you. :)

    Oh snow... I love it from a distance. Your pictures are amazing and beautiful, and I know what you mean about sun the next day. When we had our "big snow" last week, the next day was sunny and we didn't have to turn on the lights inside the house. It was BRIGHT! However, I nearly froze to death just reading that you went outside in your capris. I've had to stay bundled while inside. I'm afraid to read that book. While you're right that we shouldn't complain, I think I could get frost bite just from reading the front cover. ;-)

    1. Ha! I'm not sure how I would have done with 3 black labs! They are such great dogs, but both of ours came to us when they were firmly in the "mellow" stage. : ) Plus, when we added Jasper I'm convinced we quadrupled instead of doubled the amount of dog hair. We've been losing the battle against dog hair ever since.

  3. I'm giggling as I was telling you I wanted a snow day...we've now had 4 this week!
    I love black labs! Our "Ace" has spent a lot of time in our basement and at the business next door...he is a fair weather doggie : ).

    1. Yes, I saw you were out today too! The girls went back today, so I guess our snow-cation is done. Jasper doesn't like the cold either -- I had to bribe him with a treat to stay outside long enough for our photoshoot. : )