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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Nuthin' Much

Good morning from a foggy, wet Swamp River Ridge.  Blech!  We are scheduled for freezing rain today, and, while the temps seem to be just above 32 degrees now and any precip is just wet stuff, it does look like the winter driveway is gonna be a mess out there.  And, I really need to re-plow it, thanks to the snowmobilers.  This holiday week always brings the most activity, and, between the clean lines I made on Tuesday night and then yesterday, it was turned into a bumpy MESS by the snow machines.  WHY, oh why, do they have to ride UP AND DOWN the banks on the side of the road, pulling snow into the road?  Argh!  They can't seem to just ride in a straight line.  And, down at the bridge across the river, there's a big hill . . . which seems to REQUIRE a stop to run up and down and all around it.  This is why I'm not fond of snowmobilers . . . because of what they do to "my" road in the winter!  Mind you, there is a TRACKED TRAIL for them that runs parallel to the road, but, apparently, that's not fun enough for 'em.  Like I said, riding down a groomed trail doesn't seem to be an option.  Back and forth across the road and up and down the banks on the side is the order of the day.  Grrrrr.

Yesterday, Papa Pea made mention of how the weather might affect our New Year's Eve plans . . . because I was planning on hosting everyone out here.  I guess I'll know more once I'm out and about today, and we'll all keep our eyes on the temperature.

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I always sleep with the window above my head open a bit, if at all possible.  And, last night, I heard one of the geese in the chicken yard screech bloody murder.  The protective farmer in me flared for about a nano-second, thinking of suiting up and heading out . . . but I knew that if it was a predator after them, I probably wouldn't make it in time, anyway.  And, after that initial hub-bub, all noise did settle back down.  We'll see what there is to see this morning when I head out to do chores.  (Given this fall's predator situation, I'm keeping the chickens locked up in the chicken house for the winter.  The three remaining geese get to stay outside, but they do have a 3-sided shelter . . . not that they ever use it.)

After a gallery visit from our Virginia friends last night following a yummy dinner out, I stayed and worked until about 9:30, if memory serves.  I couldn't believe how TIRED I was, though, and I couldn't figure out exactly why?!  But, then I remembered Papa Pea's figuring that we'd probably all hiked 4 miles yesterday in the snow, some of us on snowshoes, some of us (yours truly) walking because the snow was packed enough.  And, as a matter of fact, I think everyone save the oldest boy (at 7+) took them off for the return home.  The same boy and his dad and Papa Pea got nearly a double workout during the day because they took chainsaws in hand in the morning to clear the year's deadfalls off the trail for the rest of us.

Son #1's eagle eyes also scored the find of the day, spotting a very cool looking feather in the snow with fresh blood on it!  Papa Pea identified the feather as belonging to some kind of woodpecker, and a quick perusal of the area we were all standing in revealed the "kill" spot . . . and it was FRESH!  It was definitely no more than a couple hours old, if that.  All that remained was a patch of scarlet blood in the snow and enough pretty feathers, complete with "war paint" for the boys to take home as souvenirs.  I really do love it when we can show visitors aspects of the North Woods like that.  :)

Another thing regarding the day's hike kind of haunted me on my drive home last night:  I think I owe the mama an apology.  I need to remember that I take the knowledge of our winter conditions for granted.  I think I teased her a bit TOO much regarding her concern for her boys yesterday.  Concern over keeping their hands dry and warm when their gloves filled with snow after falling down, concern over their feet getting wet when we had to ford small streams not yet frozen over.  It was, after all, probably one of their first long excursions in Minnesota's wintertime . . . certainly in NORTHERN Minnesota's wintertime.  In short, I need to learn how to keep my mouth SHUT.  Anyway, that will be first and foremost on my mind today when we girls (Mama Pea, her (she?), and yours truly) meet up for a relaxing lunch followed by shopping at a private yarn shop (the day I've most looked forward to this whole visit).  HOPEFULLY, I won't have stepped on her proverbial toes, but I need to clear the air, just in case!  I don't want to risk losing this new, wonderful friend!

We got pictures of the three of us girls yesterday with three different cameras.  The images on mine weren't fantastic, but they were okay.  I'm hoping that the others are better.  Once I find out, I'll post the best one, for sure.

And, with that, I'd best get on with the day.  I'm sure we'll make the decision tonight (or early tomorrow) about the best place to celebrate NYE.  If we DON'T have it here, that also means that our visitors won't get to see Swamp River Ridge, but a return trip is already in the planning stages for this summer . . . and, as we all know, that will be here BEFORE WE KNOW IT!  :)

Have a great (what day is it today?!) . . . Thursday!


  1. Rats. Here I was hoping your camera's picture of the three of us gals would be better than mine. I think the menfolk were standing too far away when they took the pictures, and didn't think to use the zoom. I'll post mine today and you should, too. Ya can't see faces, but our bodies are there!

  2. I pre-set the zoom before I handed it to Dad, so mine are close-up, but some of the smiles are more grimaces than anything. Fortunate for you, YOU look good in both of 'em!

  3. Ha! It's anonymous Erin again with no Internet! Puh-leeze, no apologies, took me a mom to figure out you were talking about me LOL! My kids will learn the hard way just like I did as a kid to not leave their mittens strewn around, I wasn't worried since it wasn't too cold and there was enough adult stuff to use, I
    ay be a worried mama sometimes but I can temper that with my own MN upbringing! I just chalk it up to another one of my "bad mommy" moments- apparently child must be told 7 times not 6 to remember his mittens! What I thought amusing was that he walked a ways with his hands hidden in his pockets because he KNEW he'd be in trouble once I found out LOL!

  4. We've got problems with snowmobilers here too. They come up for the weekend and tear up everything in site. I snowmobile--but on the hundreds of miles of trails. Why do they feel the need to go through everyone's yard?????
    I guess because they don't live here, they really don't care. And don't get me started about the trash they leave everywhere!!!

    Anyways, sounds like you guys are having a blast up there with Erin's visit. Enjoy!!

  5. Hope you're able to have your NYE celebration as planned. Ours will be quiet this year, followed by our traditional New Year's day morning Lake Michigan beach walk. Last year it was freezing and very snowy-this year it's almost 50 and rainy. Our snow is gone and none predicted for the near future. What a sad winter so far here in Michigan!

    Have a fun celebration whatever you all do and here's to a wonderful new year for all of us!

  6. How much do you want to bet those pesky snowmobilers are young and are trying to make it bounce and jump (and flip and break their necks) on those nice snow banks you piled up??


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!