Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ode to Joy from Germany

Our cosmopolitan German friends, who love following activities in the USA, don't have a Thanksgiving Day as we do, but they send greetings anyway in this very interesting note.

Hello Stan and Kathleen, 

Hearty greetings to Thanksgiving Day! Hopefully you will get enough electricity to cook a nice meal. (Just kidding...). Nature is powerful.

Watching our news now we know how that huge amounts of snow are developing. It's because of the water/humidity coming off the areas of the Great Lakes. 
Since 1871 in Germany the air temperature will be recorded. This year happens to be the warmest one since that date. This means less snow in the Alpes, not nice for skiing/snowboarding. (In Austria and Switzerland). The people there use artificial man-made snow to prepare the ski piste. Global warming maybe?! 
How are the children doing? Preparing for Chrismas? We are watching the political affairs...Russia is only 2 hours away. 
25 years ago the wall had been torn down, there has been a nice, great party on this event. A miles long row of white lighted balloons has been fixed on the line, where the former border between East and West Berlin was. At midnight that day the balloons have been released and have flown to the skies...that has been a beautiful view. The same time Beethovens Europe hymn Ode an die Freude ( Ode to the Joy") "Freude schöner Götterfunken..."had been played by a classic orchestra at the Brandenburg Gate. Very touching, the song text had been written by Schiller.

We wish you a happy Advent season. The first Advent day is tomorrow. Time to drink tea today in the afternoon as we have grey sky. It's around 0 celcius, 32 Fahrenheit here in Hanover. We will take a look at your blog today.

Love, Ingeborg and Thomas

Lucky breakfast pick

Hashtag Giddy-up and Run Slado Run paid for breakfast this morning at Canterbury. Katie made the lucky pick on an Exacta Box at Tampa Bay Downs.

An evening with the Irish

Celtic Thunder press photo
Five lads from Ireland packed the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis last night, bringing Christmas greetings from the Emerald Isle. They're Celtic Thunder and they're in Des Moines tonight.
Black Friday crowds had thinned, we parked for five bucks, wending unimpeded through the skyways and pausing over the Nicollet Mall to enjoy Fireworks, which seems to be the poor substitute for the now defunct Hollidazzle Parade.
Early for everything now, we gazed at the intricate, gaudy interior of the restored State Theater, nodding knowingly and commenting, of course, that "they just don't make 'em like this anymore."
Three chatty beer-drinking broads eased into the seats next to us, ready to party and enjoy the Irish hunks made popular by PBS. The virile good-looking quintet has great voices, but the program was too much Santa and not enough Celtic for us. Katie O'Rolfsrud melts for the Ava Maria, and she did again last night.
In honor of Ron Letnes, Stan took this discreet,
forbidden shot of the interior of the State Theater.
Local musicians provided a marvelous, rich backdrop to the performers, a full-orchestra led by the animated Celtic Thunder conductor we so loved to watch, dancing and wringing every drop of Irish soul out of the local pros, introduced as "The State Theater Orchestra." The Thunder arranger mixed cellos and drums, french horns and electric bass, strings and rock and roll in a creative holiday musical montage. Twenty-six numbers later, the boys donned kilts for their finale, and everyone stood and sang a rousing pub version of the Rugby Anthem "Ireland, Ireland, Forever Standing Tall." It was great fun.
Outside, it was a warm evening by Minnesota standards, so we took the sidewalks, now singing bits and pieces, imbued with the Christmas spirit, trying to think of a Christmas song we hadn't heard.
All we could come up with was "O Tannenbaum." (Yes, they did include "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.")
Katie is still singing as this is written.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Jennifer's good buddy Greg came over today on her day off and they got a bunch done, the best of which is the new kitchen is wired! Thanks Greg!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Florida Thanksgiving Dinner before sunset

Photos by Virg
Virg and Kim hosted Becky and Al and others at Thanksgiving Dinner today in Ft. Myers, Virg proclaimed Kim's Dinner a complete success, which doesn't surprise anyone.

Meanwhile, a couple thousand miles west, Steve writes from Tucson:
It looks like we are not missing much in the weather department in Minnesota. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we had the doors wide open all day with the 85 degree day and calm winds. I have three friends coming out for a week of golf and then I will be back in it--hopefully after the polar vortex retreats a bit.

Happy T-Day to you and Kathleen

Thanksgiving, 1937

Here's Mom's group 77 Thanksgivings ago. Our 94-year-old mother will be dining at Kell Avenue in Bloomington, Minnesota today. We'll be dropping by shortly to look at all the preparations and share some gratitude with the gang. We'll be sure to show Mom this picture and see if it triggers anything. Mom was 18 in this photo, standing behind her little sister Kay. Her brother Richard and her parents are pictured, but not her brothers Bayard and Ralph, nor her sister Dorothy. Cousin Faith thinks her Mom (Richard's wife Esther) might have taken the picture.

We don't know where Mom's 1937 Thanksgiving took place, (that's her on the upper right) but here's our cousin Faith's IDs: From l to r, Richard Manley Brown, unknown person, Jessie Wendelken Brown, Paul Manley Brown, Dora Foss Isakson, unknown - (could this be great aunt Florence Wendelken?), Frances Dorthy Isakson (Dumpling), Katherine Bonita Brown, and Jessie Beverly Brown.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sleep tight, little ones

New snow fell on our fresh-frozen pond, locking our goldfish and others in for the duration. It is comforting to know that at these temperatures the warm water all goes to the bottom, where our fingerlings will drift listlessly for months, just above the hibernating frogs and turtles entombed in the muck. We hope there's enough oxygen down there for six months of winter. Time will tell.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hail to the Bags Champion!

It took twelve hard fought afternoons and evenings at the Deer Camp to do it, but Wayne finally won the Haney Road Corn Bags Championship and today the trophy arrived. Here's Wayne's note:

I had mentioned we played bags during the season. Neighboring shack dwellers joined us as well. We had several tournaments and I was declared the champion. I had avoided bragging to this point, but after a package arrived this morning with the "Bags Champion of the Haney Road" inscription on a trophy, I just have to share the glory.
It will go to a shelf at deer camp and I will have to defend it next season. Until then, I now know what it must be like to win a Super Bowl. I'm now waiting for the call to be in the Thanksgiving parade Friday night.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wayne got his deer, but that's not all.

The Deer Camp night bags champion shows good form by the firelight, competing in the Haney Road playoffs.

Wayne Kasich is the 2014 Haney Road Corn Bags Champion!
We got Wayne's annual Deer Camp report today. He spent 12 days in the woods, got a deer, but seems to have spent most of his time learning how to use his new I-pad and throw corn bags… sort of a North woods version of bean bag toss.
Here's the full report from the deer camp just south of the northern border.

Hey Stan, welcome back. 
I managed to hunt 12 mornings with afternoons reserved for chores, naps and corn toss games (we call it bags). I managed to bag a buck on the fifth morning, as did two others in our group of five. Only two of us were able to spend that much time hunting.
I am the current Haney Road bags champion for the 2014 season. I also managed to throw four in a row in the hole five times this season. By the way, Haney Road is two miles west and two miles south of Ray, Minnesota, on Bing or or Google earth. You can check it out.
Got a new ipad this past week and can now send photos...even videos.
Am sending a video for you and will follow up with photos when my friend sends them to me from his smart phone. His phone is smart. He is working on getting smart enough to send photos with his two-week old phone.
Want to see a movie? Here's Wayne's night Deer Camp movie. Don't expect to see a deer. 

Textures at 35,000 Feet

Spririt Flight 424, Seat 4A, Noon Sunday

Utah never disappoints.

Hey Missy and Emily, Grandpa's up here!
Kathleen brought Emily and Missy to the airport yesterday and picked up Stan today. They're in Missy's Las Vegas time share. Stan flew over it today on his way back from LA. They'll mark Thanksgiving out there.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ready to go


Just in time for tomorrow's departure, the final touches were put on the guest suite door project today when the interior trim was nailed on. Insulation, wiring, drywall, bug lines and tv cable has all been replaced in the wall and it looks like the door was always there.
The stucco has cured and took paint nicely, the door works and so does the light.
Lock it up!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Spotlight on the Dairy Buyer!

Right under the directions for making a pumpkin pie from scratch, we found this lovely item in the Just Foods blog. Yes, we're proud of our daughter.
The youngest. . . on the bank of the
Cannon River.

Employee Spotlight!

Meet our Dairy Buyer, Jennifer! Jennifer has been working at Just Food for two years. Jennifer loves working with her awesome coworkers, the farmers and the distributors that provide us with such healthy food!
If Jennifer could only eat one meal for the rest of her life, it would be salads because, “There are so many different ways to make them!” When asked what her hopes are for the industry she referenced a bumper sticker that she saw which stuck with her. It read, “Organic food, or as your Grandparents called it, food.” 
She hopes that one day it becomes that again.

Say hi to Jennifer the next time you’re in the Co-op!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Somewhere in the garage there's a kitchenette waiting to come out

Door closes with a nice thud. Good job Travis.
With the exterior guest door frame awaiting final touches from Travis, we turned our attention to the 57 or so cardboard boxes in the garage containing a do-it-yourself kitchenette. The boxes arrived here during three separate movements over the past week. The IKEA delivery system is as byzantine as its floor plan, but so far so good, unbelievably the computers generating our complex order (and talking oh so politely to us on the help line) got it all right.
Our goal this morning was to reduce the garage chaos by assembling some of the pieces and in so doing confirm that we really got it all.
Once you get the hang of it, assembling these products is easy and fast. Some parts literally fit themselves together with a satisfying "click" that says "you got it right, bucko!"
We won't have the kitchen anywhere near complete on this trip, but we've got a couple of base cabinets and a pantry whipped out, and have snapped together seven sturdy drawers that close softly.
We've reduced the IKEA pile, now we have an appointment with The Cable Guy, if you can call it that… they give themselves a "window" and you just wait during that time and hope he doesn't call at the end of the window (one IKEA third-party driver did this) to say he would be late and would we like to reschedule and waste another day? In California traffic it isn't fair to say anything but, "well, just do your best. If we had TV, I would watch it."
But seeing the cable guy today will be fun, a chance to sweetly get even with an innocent, for the years of frustration and nonsense meted out by his distant and unaccountable monopolist employer. Poor guy. We'll be gentle.

Works in progress. Sink unit on left, drawer unit on right, waiting to be moved into position later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Andy sees medicine through the eyes of kids at HCMC

A proud father just forwarded this article that appears in the current University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences publication. Our Hai Dang's son Andy has an internship at HCMC and likes it a lot.

By Lance Janssen

Andrew Dang’s internship is more than just fun and games. A Pediatric Team Ambassador at Hennepin County Medical Center’s (HCMC) Pediatric Inpatient Unit, he observes some of the most challenging child-related medical cases in the Twin Cities metro. While some may struggle with these intense cases, playing a game with a patient or getting out coloring books and crayons takes on a much bigger meaning for the biology major.

“I just love taking kids and parents mind off of what they’re worrying about,” says Dang. “When you can bring enough happiness to draw out a smile in such a difficult setting and time, it is completely worth all the crying babies that you encounter.”

As a team ambassador, Dang helps make sure patients’ and families’ stay is as enjoyable as it can be. He plays with the children, grabs supplies or does small errands for the nursing staff, and helps everyone feel at ease. An aspiring pediatric physician, Dang sees how volunteering in this role has already prepared him in unique ways for his future career.

“Working one on one with these children who are going through really challenging times helps build my empathy and that connection that I want to have with my patients in the future,” says Dang.

Dang first realized he wanted to go into pediatric medicine while in high school where he tutored, mentored middle school students and worked as a babysitter. Through these opportunities, he realized that he enjoys working with kids

“I really love to mentor people,” says Dang. “In some ways I feel like that’s similar to pediatrics in that you have patients who may not know everything about their situation and you work to help them feel better and learn more about their health.”

While garnering this experience and knowledge about his future career, Dang’s time at HCMC also changed his mindset about volunteering and work.

“Once you find a career area that you really are passionate about, it really will click and volunteering changes from a chore to something you absolutely love to do,” says Dang.

The San Jacinto Commuter Balloon?

Yesterday morning
Same time, today
Shortly after sunrise almost every morning, this hot air balloon lifts past our east window, rising in front of the San Jacinto mountains. We started to notice its regularity after a week or so, while we brewed morning coffee and watched the beginnings of the day.
Commuters suffer daily indignities on the freeways in these parts, giving rise to idle speculation that perhaps this daily balloon ride is just some folks trying to beat the traffic in a relaxing, innovative way.
The bag is decorated with flags of the world and seems to drift skyward from a base that we would guess to be about 20 miles east of here, could be more.
On their way to work, the balloon pool riders would be treated to a magnificent view of the San Jacinto range, said to have snow on it from time to time, as well as getting a clear look at the Palm Springs recreation area. Putting down in the employee lot, you'd arrive fresh and relaxed, ready for a productive work day.
But this is all idleness on our part. Time for a second cup of coffee. There's a pantry to assemble.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mr. Meticulous

The new door is on the side of the house and leads directly from the guest suite around to the back yard patio.
Travis cast the first shadow in the bedroom.
We built the rough-opening. No comment
on it from Travis. . . but he's pretty quiet.
When a man walks into your house carrying his six-foot-long level, it's a comfort.
Breaking open a stucco wall, setting and sealing an exterior door and restoring three layers of stucco is a bit beyond our pay grade. . . so we invited Travis over to the new house in Southern California to help out. He came highly recommended by the superintendent who managed the original construction, so we were confident we got the right man. We did.
Travis had no problem carefully slipping our new door into its new slot, piece of cake for a pro with 25 years in the trades. What he couldn't figure out is how the Minnesota Gophers could play the Ohio Buckeyes today in 23 degree temperatures.
"How can that be," the lifetime California resident wondered. "It can be a home field advantage," we said, trying to put a positive spin on it.
Travis is working in long pants for only the second time this season. It's 69 degrees this afternoon but he figured jeans were a good bet when working with stucco.
He'll have the door buttoned up and the scratch coat of stucco applied by sundown.

Grand Opening.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Odd duck on an odd day

It was a San Francisco morning in Southern California. Tiny raindrops glanced off your cheeks and wet the nature trail winding through a foggy neighborhood. Distant mountains were shrouded in a damp cloak, tires made shushing sounds on damp pavement.
But there was nothing you could really call rain.

The brisk stroll included a circuit of Heritage Lake where an encounter with a flock of odd-looking black bird/duck creatures immediately brought our bird expert to mind.
Where is he when you need him?
So Greg, what ever is this species? There were dozens of them, feeding on the lawn, then jumping in the lake.

The webs on their chickenish feet are incomplete and they sort of prance around like they're afraid of stepping in bird doodoo. Which is quite possible, of course. But mostly they seem to swim. Never saw one fly, not even when approached.
Please look this up in your bird book. . . or maybe you know it by sight.
Signed: Curious in California.
Greg says: American Coot.  We have them in Minnesota.   They're very common.  Lots of
'em - always seem to be in large groups.  Like snowflakes.   

Wikipedia says:
The American coot (Fulica americana), also known as a mud hen, is a bird of the family Rallidae. Though commonly mistaken to be ducks, American coots belong to a distinct order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land.[2] Coots live near water, typically inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies in North America. Groups of coots are called covers or rafts. The oldest known coot lived to be 22 years old.[

A nice mix of grasses and trees bordered the trail.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Emily's Rules for Boys -- No Inaproprit

This public notice recently appeared on our eight-year-old granddaughter's bedroom door. It clarifies what the expectations are for any boys wishing to enter. It is by invitation only and No means No. And "if you want to touch my stuff, you can't come in." Emily is in charge here.
Her mother sent this along with a chuckle but no word on what prompted this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Now it's official

It's not a real project unless you sustain some kind of physical damage along the way. Stan was driving 3-inch screws into a jack post with an impact driver today when the phillips head slipped and stabbed his left thumbnail. Blood was shed.
The original purpose of a thumbnail is to protect the thumb from these kinds of events, and it gave itself up admirably today. The broken nail will be replaced eventually, of course, and, fortunately, it is on the left hand.
Detail of header. Snug. Plumb.
It was bandaged, then wrapped with painter's tape, then inserted into a glove. Good enough to get the header finished (see background).
The project went well, thanks in good measure to Jennifer's Billy Einstein, the intelligent framer who taught Stan a trick or two this summer -- particularly how to make a crooked stud come into line.
This wall was filled with twisted and turned, ugly materials, but now the rough opening for the exterior door is plumb and square, almost Biblical -- as it says in Isaiah 40,  "the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."
Billy would be proud of his pupil -- except for the phillips head screws. Billy uses square heads. Much safer.

Congratulations Ford and Jennifer

Stan's nephew Ford, his wife Jennifer and their daughter Kaia have moved into their new Shakopee home. We're delighted and happy for them. There's a house tour posted on their blog, below right.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Astro is petering out in Shakopee

From: "Eddy, David" <>
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2014 8:39:15 AM
Subject: Winter Weather Update 11.10.14

Good morning.
Here is an update on the weather forecast.  It looks like there will be lower snowfall amounts in the south and central parts of the metro.
Weather Watch Update MSP: Unofficial 2.0" as of 8am. Dry slot working much farther north into central metro with little or no snow to fall south of 494 till this aftn. Adjusting storm totals down significantly to 1-3" south metro to 3-6" central. Only keeping 6-12" in forecast roughly north of 694.

We are sticking to our original plan but it may be altered on open ups in the central and southern metro areas if needed.  I hope to send out another update after the noon forecast comes in.

Take it easy out there.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Here comes Astro!

This space reserved for snow pictures.

"Trigger amounts" have been foretold in the first serious snowfall of the season. We got this note from the snowplow people today. Here we go!

From: "Eddy, David"
Sent: Sunday, November 9, 2014 1:25:35 PM
Subject: Winter Weather Update 11.9.14

Good Sunday afternoon. 
The local meteorologists are calling today the calm before the storm.  I also heard today that winter storms in the Upper Midwest now have names like hurricanes.  This one is called “Astro”. 
We will begin service sometime early tomorrow morning as service specifications and trigger amounts are reached.  We plan on completing open ups and keeping drive lanes/roadways cleared as outlined in your service agreement.  More than likely you will see multiple open ups as this snow event is going to continue dropping snow on us for over 24 hours.
Our crews began the process of removing fall cleanup equipment and installing plows and snow removal equipment last week.  All of our equipment has been serviced and is ready to go into action.
Being this is looking like a heavy and wet snow event and the ground is not frozen, there could be some plow damage to turf areas.  Our crews will do their best to avoid such damage, but with an event of this magnitude, it is bound to happen.  Rest assured that any damage we cause to your lawn and landscape will be repaired in the spring.

Enjoy the rest of the day and be safe if you are traveling in the metro area over the next couple of days.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Charge it at IKEA

Here we are with the shopping carts outside the IKEA in San Diego where we spotted an Electric Vehicle Charging Station. Don't know if it is for customers and you just plug your bug in while you're shopping or what, but this was a first for us. IKEA also has a huge array of solar panels on the roof and the Swedes claim they'll produce more power than they use by 2020.
We learned:
"IKEA San Diego has three electric vehicle charging stations operational in the parking lot near the entrance to the store, available to any EV driver with a Blink Incard. This initiative by IKEA is part of its partnership with CarCharging, the largest owner and operator of EV Charging infrastructure with 13,500+ charging stations in 35 states and two countries in its portfolio, and is consistent with our global commitment to the sustainable transport of people."
This pedestrian bridge is at the summit on a hill on I-15 entering San Diego. When traffic moves,
it moves, when it doesn't, it doesn't. We're timing things pretty good.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mystery parts

We have no idea. They're about the size of two matched pieces from a jigsaw puzzle. We're flummoxed.

Dear Delta Shower Door people:
We spent the afternoon installing your lovely heavy glass shower door system. It wasn't easy, but we carefully followed the directions, first by watching your informative video, then actually reading and rereading the well-written step-by-step instructions.
It went well, all things considered. Toughest part was using the hacksaw in the mitre box. The mitre box was too shallow for your hefty overhead bar, so things got a bit crooked. Took two more cuts to finally straighten it, but we did, and now we think we have a very handsome result. We're waiting for the silicone to dry before taking the first shower in it. We're very pleased. The big box stores charge $250 to install one, so it was a worthwhile afternoon.
One troubling note: After we finished and got everything cleaned up, we noticed these two parts. Are they essential? Did we screw up? There was no mention of those pieces in the directions. Will this void the warranty? Or are you just having fun annoying people?
Thank you.
Clueless in California
(We really like the doors.)

Our favorite

There are tons of leaf-looker pictures posted this time of the year, but our favorite has to be this gorgeous shot posted Tuesday by classmate Bev Korkowski, along with her lamentations over the brevity of the season. This could be a painting. The entire arrangement, the curving road, overcast western Wisconsin sky and red and white shed is classic, but the best detail? The cow-crossing sign. Nice shot, Bev.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Today's project

Did we get the height right? Opinions were many and varied.
We're back at the Southern California project house. Today was mostly spent getting organized, buying tools and cleaning the garage. But on an impulse, we capped the day by hanging this light over the kitchen island, just the thing to bring out the cabinets and the floor details . . . and a dimmer to set the mood. Had to open a Heineken to celebrate the feeling. Not that there's anything special about a Heine's. It was the only beer left in the fridge. We're going to get some essentials tomorrow: Sam Adams and a cable tv hookup.
We're also going to tackle a sliding glass shower door for the upstairs jack and jill. The man said it would be easy to do, just some self-tapping screws, a hacksaw and a big tube of silicone.
What could go wrong?

Note from Wayne

We don't post a lot of YouTube stuff here, but Wayne sent us this safety message, and after a day in traffic, we thought it would be a good reminder.
Everyone should see this VW ad.  It is awesome and only takes a minute.
  A Hong Kong movie theater asks its patrons to leave their cell
phones "ON" when they enter the movie.
  Using that, Volkswagen made an eye opening ad. More than 1.5
million views in 3 days!


Sunday, November 02, 2014

He doesn't wear panties

Ingeborg with Jennifer and her chum Gina in 1989. Yeah, Jennifer was a red-head that week.
Newspapers today are marking the 25th anniversary of the removal of the Berlin Wall, beginning the reunification of Germany. 
Coincidently this morning, our long-time friend Ingeborg and her son, Thomas, emailed us from their home in Hannover, Germany.

Now hobbled by multiple sclerosis, Ingeborg loved her travels to the USA and spent many enthusiastic days with us during a number of month-long junkets over the years. Well-informed, we learned much about our own culture whenever she came for another well-planned and researched adventure.
Though she speaks excellent English, her occasional lapses were often quite amusing. American men wear Bermudas, shorts, cutoffs, briefs, slacks, jeans and pants. One afternoon Stan donned a pair of short pants and Ingeborg quickly took the opportunity to compliment him. "Stan," she said earnestly, "I like your panties."

Whenever Ingeborg writes, we're struck by the common issues faced by our respective nations.

"We are afraid," she writes, "of the monsters from Syria and in Germany there are a few hundred Salafist muslims that are operating here, they are being watched by the police and secret service, these mostly young guys have a Turkish and also a German identity and passport. But we are thankful that we get powerful military assistance from the United States.

"The offer off facebook, maybe google?! company to freeze womens eggs for ten or more years while these female workers stay on their job and should get their babies later is controversly discussed on tv. But a lot of women would not mind to save some eggs in a fridge and would like to become a mother in their 40ties.

"Anyhow, we hope you are safe and sound and we like to hear from you soon. The autumm/fall this year has been very warm and often sunny. During the day 20* celsius [68 fahrenheit], quite comfortable and nice climate. Do you already have some snow these days in the early November?

"Love, Inge and Thomas"

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Overspray from the waterfall froze into icicles. Hidden in the shadows, the formation lasted all day.

It's the first day of November. Nature gently turned its calendar page overnight, discreetly trimming the pond with a necklace of ice. Days are so short now that there's no light left over to save, so our clocks go back tonight.
We like the clocks that reset themselves -- anything to avoid yet another seasonal chore.
The storm windows are on, hoses stored in the garage, leaves mulched, furnace filter changed. We'll pull the pump out of the pond today. Goldfish and others will be on their own for oxygen. Good luck to them.
We're making tracks through frosty grass.

Closeup of ice sheet that edged the pond this morning. Lasted until 1 p.m.