Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chippy business.

I am getting a bit worried about one of our chippies.
The chipmunks go into hibernation in October and usually sleep right round until about April.
A few weeks ago, during Alanmas, we had a couple of milder days and this little guy came out to get some seed from beneath the birdie feeder.
I was amazed.
Alan was gobsmacked as he had never, ever seen a chipmunk here before.
They are running about all over the place during the spring, summer and autumn, but they are always tucked up and snoring ( I like to think they snore) their little heads off when he is here.
He has been coming over for 17 years and never seen one of the chippies.
I sort of understood it though.
Those couple of days were quite mild, for us, and maybe he wanted to replenish his supplies.
He shouldn't have been short of supplies as they emptied the bird feeder every five minutes during September/October.
Anyway....the above photo was taken yesterday.
The temperature was around minus 15 Celsius and it was blowing a gale.
Nothing meek or mild about that then.
There he was in the seed filling his chops again.

A bit later I noticed a lady stop and stare into our garden.
I was a bit perturbed because that usually means their dog is pooping in our garden or, as happened once last year, there was an injured bird which resulted in us making a trip with it to the humane society.
I looked out to see what she was staring at.
It was this....
It was the chippy sitting by his hole.
Can you see it?
He has dug a hole up through the snow from his tunnel.
His tail is still sticking down it.

He sat there for ages.
I do hope he isn't ill.
It is just very odd behaviour for a chipmunk.
We had more snow overnight so his hole must have filled in.
If he digs his hole out again today I might have to start calling him Merv.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Curious Case of The Missing Glove

Friday evening we went to Panera for our dinner.
We tend to go there a lot on Fridays and also for brekkie on Saturday morning.
It is rather good.
As the weather is still rather brisk, we have to wrap up well when we go out.
When I tried to put my gloves on as we came out, I found I only had one.
I thought about this muchly on the way home but then remembered putting them both on the table as we sat down to eat.
Never mind.  I would ask in the morning when we went back for brekkie.  Hopefully, someone would hand it in as there isn't much use for an odd glove.
So, Saturday morning I approached one of the ladies behind the counter, one who wasn't serving anyone, and, showing her my remaining glove, I asked if the other one had been handed in.
She replied rather sharply.
"It isn't here."
"Oh, I did lose it in here yesterday evening.", quoth I.
"It was here but it has gone now.", she replied without looking up.
"Where did it go?", I queried.
"I don't know.  It was down there, (pointing to behind the counter) but it has gone.  It isn't here.", she replied with an air of finality.

I gave up with her then.
I was very puzzled. I joined Philip as he was about to give in our order.
I asked the lady who was serving him.

"Have you seen the other glove to this?  The lady over there said it was here but it has gone."
"Oh yes, I saw it this morning.  It was back here but it isn't here now.", she replied looking puzzled herself.

There was a man standing near her who overheard.  He appeared to be the manager.
"Yes, I saw it.  I don't know where it can have gone.", he said.
At this point the first lady, having seen me talking with the manager bustled over and said very sweetly that she had seen it too.  She then started to actually pretend to look for the thing.
The manager, meanwhile, said helpfully, "I will go and have a look out the back.  It must be here somewhere."

Well, it appears it wasn't out the back or anywhere else come to that.
I am sure someone had thrown it out (probably first lady) because I don't believe anyone claimed a lonely glove.
It was strange though.  
I bought some more.
That wasn't as easy as you might think either.
Apparently, even though the snow is about 3 feet thick and the temperatures are minus 25 is now the time we should all be buying swimsuits and flip flops.
The first two big department stores we went in had no gloves at all.
I eventually found some in the 'clearance' section of the third store.
How mad is that?

Thursday, February 19, 2015


The photo above wasn't taken when it was really cold.
Really, really cold.
Now I can't even venture out to the dustbin without big coat, gloves and boots.
Minus 35C with windchill this morning. I heard the guy across the road struggling to get his car started this morning.  There was much door banging, much muttering and it didn't end well.
Apparently, extreme cold like this can drain a car battery and it had.
There was some cursing and a huge slamming of the car door and I knew it was over.
The cold had won.
I am probably getting a little stir crazy now.
This picture caught my attention.

If it wasn't so chuffing cold I would go out and do this.

So, what can I write the bog about if I haven't been anywhere. Well, I did go to work yesterday.  That is only because I got picked up and dropped off.
Same old, same old there.
We went out for breakfast on Sunday with Gary because it was his birthday.   Whilst in the restaurant a diner started choking and the waitress performed the Heimlich manoeuvre.
You don't see that every day.
Many years ago I used to have to go on first aid courses and learned about such things.
I have never seen it done in an emergency though.
The waitress said the same afterwards.  She had been taught it but never actually thought she would ever have to do it.
The man was ok, and although he didn't finish his brekkie, he did take it home with him.

Wouldn't you just love to do something like this?
It did make me chuckle.
I don't think it would work with one of our cats though.
Staying indoors has enabled me to practise some more jewellery making.
After a couple of dodgy starts, one resulting in teeny, tiny beads bouncing all over the kitchen floor.
I managed these.

They are quite nice and sparkly and I figured out what I was doing wrong that made it more difficult.
Well, I think I have.
I will let you know when I have done some more.
I also started another painting.
I painted the background.  Then I painted over it this morning as I wasn't happy with it.
I shall be continuing with this today.   Someone has requested it as a wedding present.
A dragon will make an unusual wedding gift I think.

I hope Alan is having a good time in Whitstable.  I know he was planning some days out to London etc.
Hopefully, the weather is good and he can get around.  I know he is meeting up with old friends at the weekend too.
I am having to make my own tea when I get in from work. Sigh...... I have been spoiled for 6 weeks.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

All over

It was Alan's birthday on Tuesday.
I made him a Green Bay Packers cake.  He liked it.

He got presents.

And he got cards.



The Birthday cake was a success.
I was so glad....and relieved as it was a recipe I hadn't used before.  It was a ginger cake.
I know Alan and Philip both like ginger cake but it is always a worry in case it doesn't turn out right.

On Wednesday, his final evening before leaving for England, we all went bowling.  Well, I only technically went bowling as I didn't bowl.
My hands are too painful to be able to do it any more.  Just watching everyone throw those bowling balls made my hands hurt.
Alan really enjoyed it and his game has improved immensely.

He scored three strikes in a row during one game.
I am reliably informed that this is called " A Turkey".  I doubt if anyone could tell me why.

He seemed to have a good time bowling and then returning home for a 'wee dram' or three before bed.

This morning I got up with them to see him off.  I am always sad to see him leave, but at least this time he is spending a couple of weeks in Kent and catching up with some old friends.
I am glad about that.  I am sure he will have a lovely time before winging his way back to Guernsey.
Plus, it will only seem like a few weeks and he will be back again.
I just looked up his flight and he has now landed in JFK airport in New York.  His flight across the pond will be in another couple of hours.
Safe trip mate.  Give my love to everyone over there.

Sigh........ Now who is going to be my 'Sherper Tensing' and hold me up as I cross the north face of the Eiger to get to the mall?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Super Night Out

We took Alan to see the Milwaukee Admirals last night.
They were playing the Rockford Ice Hogs from Illinois.  Gary also came along.  It was the first ice hockey game we have attended this season.
As always, it was a lot of fun, spoiled slightly for me by the continuously flashing lights in the first and third periods of the game.
I have never noticed this before but it was really distracting.  At some points I was shielding my eyes.
Philip thinks it is because of this Instagram nonsense.
It wasn't the crowd using cameras/phones but large flashlights overhead being used to take photos.
It will make me hesitate to go again.

This is a picture of the kids that came out to play in the first break.  

They were very good, just lacking in the fighting skills that the adults have acquired.
The Admirals played well, fought well and sulked well.
The University of Wisconsin marching band were there to entertain us too.
They were blooming good even though they were not marching.  They danced around a lot.

The Blimp came and dropped free goodies down onto the crowd.
None came by us though, which is something of a blessing as it is often pursued by kids who will stop at nothing to clamber over everyone and everything in an attempt to grab a freebie.

Then we had a surprise.
They were setting up to do the competition....The Human Hockey Puck....when we noticed a bit of a celeb amongst the contestants.

Was that a super-hero in the line up of people from the crowd?
It certainly looked like one.

It was !!!
Captain America had come to watch the Admirals and decided to take part in The Human Hockey Puck competition.
Woo Hoo....
Of course no one else stood a chance and he won.

Oh and the Admirals also won 4 - 1 which was a bonus.

The highlight of the evening for me was a huge, shaven headed guy sitting a couple of rows in front of us.
He was obviously a Rockford Ice Hogs fan, wearing an Ice Hogs shirt and going crazy when they scored their first ( and only goal).
Oh he did impress me.  
He actually clapped every time The Admirals scored too.  
Now that was being a good sport. A very good sport.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Winter Storm Linus started on Saturday evening around 7pm.
Problem was Linus didn't know when to stop.
It went on until Monday morning.
This is a photo of our 6 ft tall back fence.  The snow has drifted nearly to the top and was still coming down.
It was a blizzard.  High winds blew the stuff into your face, if you were daft enough to go outside.
I explained to Donna it reminded me of one of those old films set at the north pole or somewhere, when you see the people huddled in a hut as the wind and snow rage outside.  Then someone opens a door and it all blows in.   That's how it was.
Merv was in and out like a fiddler's elbow.
There is no point trying to clear snow from pavements and paths when it is coming down like this and is set to continue for 36 hours.
As fast as you clear it, it is back.
Merv doesn't get that though.  He was snowblowing and shovelling all day.  We gave up counting after we had seen him out there 5 times.

Alan and Philip didn't go out to tackle it until about 9pm Sunday night.
They wanted to get the worst of it shifted before the morning.
As you can see, it was still snowing hard.

Philip's company and many others were closed on Monday.   Schools were closed too.  This doesn't happen very often here, surprisingly.   The roads took a long time to clear.  Our road still hasn't been cleared. The snowplough has been through a couple of times but there has been no salting etc.  They have to see to the main roads first.
Our poor little snowman is almost buried.  It looks like he is calling for help now.  

Alan did dig me a path so that I can fill up the birdie feeder.   It came up almost to my hips there so it would have been slightly awkward trying to reach it.

This one is looking out of the front door.  You can barely see the road.   You can see plenty of squirrel footprints though. 

The back fence again. Just amazing.  The snow was very fine, powder snow.  This makes the accumulation seem even more incredible.  It was so fine that it came through the window screens and was on the glass.  

But you can always find some fun it in.   I looked out of the window on Monday afternoon and caught Philip and Alan having a snow shovel fight as they were clearing it yet again.  It is here if you want to take a look.  Philip was rubbish at snow shovel fighting but he blames his bent shovel.

You will need to copy and paste it into your browser to be able to see it.

Oh and we have more snow coming this afternoon and evening.....that's nice.