Saturday, February 26, 2011

Introducing Lola Bear

8 weeks old, 28 pounds. She is a guardian dog who will protect the goats.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby It's Cold Inside

Central heat wasn't invented back in 1917 when our house was built by a banker. Originally a four room house with a full porch across the entire front, it was the finest home in Indiahoma. It is wood construction on cinder block foundation. You don't see that much anymore.

I don't know how the banker kept his family warm. We've put in efficiency windows, insulation, a gas fireplace and room heaters, but weather inside remains chilly whenever the temperature outside drops to near freezing. The banker's family must have been tough.

In the mid fifties the owners added a bedroom and an indoor bathroom to the south side of the house. They built a matching side porch the length of the bedroom. I'd like to attach the two porches so they become one big porch circling the southeast corner of the house. But then I'd want to enclose the whole thing so it would be usable space. We don't use our porches much because it's either too hot, too cold, too windy, too bug infested or like now covered in snow and not pleasant enough to sit outside. I wonder if an enclosed porch would make the inside of the house any warmer in winter.

We bought the house in 1982, just in time for Beth to be born, and a few years later added a family room on the back (it quickly morphed into a man cave) and an upstairs with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. The bedrooms have their own window heaters bought from a hotel that went out of business. They are both heaters and air conditioners. The upstairs is warmer partly because hot air rises. Maybe that's why it's cold downstairs.

We've lived here for almost thirty years and never considered central heat and air. It might be the cost or maybe we just enjoy the pioneer life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Favorite Character: Odd Thomas

The NaBloPoMo theme for February is character. The writing prompt for FEB 1 is: Who's your favorite character from a book, play, film, or other work of art?

Odd Thomas, created by Dean Koontz, came to mind first.

Odd is an ordinary young man who sees dead people and helps them when he can. That's where the similarities to The Ghost Whisperer end. Odd is quirky, funny, fearless and as different from Melinda Gordon as a weekly TV series is from a Dean Koontz thriller.

In an email I learned that there will be a new Odd Thomas book in 2012 (It's about time!) and there is a movie in the works. Dean (I only wish we were on a first name basis) said it was a done deal and should be out some time this year, except it's Hollywood so anything could happen.

Not everyone loves Odd the way I do, but if you enjoy quirky, weird, fun, out of this world crazy thrilling fiction, I suggest you give Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz a try.

February Where I Live

February blew in like a Polar Bear. It started just after midnight, February 1, 2011, rain turning to sleet and wind howling. We woke up this morning to snow covered surroundings, winds blowing powder snow up into drifts and too cold to stay outside in it for very long.

I needed to mail a birthday card. It was just going to Lawton but tomorrow is Susanna's birthday and I wanted her to get her birthday card on time, for once. Walking to the post office seemed easier than driving so I put on my hat, gloves, long winter coat with hood, long curly scarf that doubles as ear muffs, snow boots, grabbed the card and my camera and ventured out the front door. This is the view from my front porch.

This is my front porch. It's kind of cozy, if you're a snowman.

I tenderly and cautiously crossed the porch and walked down the steps.

On the sidewalk, out of the protection of my house, the wind almost blew me over. It uncurled the scarf from around my neck and blew my hat off.

This picture isn't blurry. That is snow blowing. It isn't falling form the sky but being blown up from the ground to be redeposited elsewhere.

The ground looks flat, doesn't it? When I crossed the street, I stepped into snow up to my knee. Who knew the gutter was so much lower than the sidewalk? I had made it across the street from my house and considered going back but I needed to get Susanna's birthday card mailed so I forged on.

There was a snow mountain in front of the post office. Susanna's card flew out of my gloved hand while I was trying to trudge around and through it. I chased the card and was able to catch it before it took off to Oz. Luckily this snow is dry so the card didn't get wet at all.

I made it into the post office. Mission accomplished and warmth!

I mailed my card and had a short conversation with a postal worker I'd never seen before. In the lobby I repositioned my hat, put the coat hood over it, wrapped the scarf around the hood to hold everything together and looked at the door. I didn't want to go outside, I wanted to live at the post office.

I thought about oatmeal cooking in the crock pot, fresh hot coffee, a fire in the fire place...and I headed out the door towards home.

A car piled with snow drove by me and stopped at the stop sign. I heard their tires squealing and turned to see that they were stuck in a snow drift. Walking was a better idea.

I snapped this picture of our church trees enjoying the moisture. This snow is some relief to our drought.

I like to take pictures of the little evergreen. We planted it as a Girl Scout project probably 20 years ago. He doesn't look 20 years old, does he?

The snow angel in my front yard greeted me on my return from the post office. I was almost back in the house.

My camera battery died after I took this picture.

These pictures will make my sister in California shiver. She hates the cold. My friend Sarah, from Wisconsin, probably still thinks we don't get snow in Oklahoma. This little bit doesn't count as real snow.

We don't know how to deal with snow so all of the schools in the county were closed today. I think it's a fun way to welcome February.

What is February like where you live?