05 December 2010

MAILBOXES AND OLD BARNS — Sunday Open Forum

Here is another episode of Mailboxes and Old Barns brought to you by our very own emmajeri1010

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We weren’t frustrated by winter because we didn’t try to evade it. Winters on our farm during the 1950’s featured *unheated second floor bedrooms with light snow cover on the blankets in the morning; frozen rabbit turd collections* in the wheelbarrow, *shotguns in the moonlight and kittens in the barn. The cattle required extra work during storms: if it got real bad, over a hundred head of beef would be packed into the barn so they wouldn’t freeze to death. The big red barn was so cozy and smelled so bad when we had to do that. (*Details another time!)

Winter storm details don’t fill my memories, but I remember winter storm feelings: security…coziness…and fun. The worse the storm, the more unusual things Mom would allow to keep us busy: ping-pong in the dining room, roller-skating in the basement, playing grocery store in the kitchen. Besides that, a really good storm had this payoff: we could count on great tobogganing after the system which had come out of the west from Idaho, or perhaps down from Saskatchewan, went on its way to North Dakota or Wyoming.

The best toboggan ride is directly south of the farmyard on a square half-mile of open pasture where the flat, packed snow has a thick crunchy surface that sparkles in the sun. On this day my brother (two years older) and I decide to increase the level of difficulty by riding the toboggan standing up. He stands near the back, holding the rope like the reins of a horse and it’s up to me, standing in front of him with nothing to hold on to, to maintain my footing freestyle. Of course, in this configuration we have no way to steer but since we haven’t thought of that, we aren’t concerned. So….here we go.

Halfway down the hill a large piece of metal sticks 10-15 inches out of the snow. Oh, no. It’s a toboggan magnet. Oh! No! Well, there’s nothing for it: we’re clipping along! Whooshing toward the toboggan magnet which is frozen into the Montana sod, we hit it with a thunk, coming to a STOP. I’m first down~~hitting amidships and landing very hard on the curved front of the toboggan and~~bonus for him~~breaking his fall. I wonder if I’m broken inside. It’s so hard to breathe. He heads down the hill and leaves me where I landed—draped over the nose of the toboggan.

He has to make a report at the house, 10 minutes away. (It is his responsibility to go and report. It’s my responsibility not to make a fuss.) I make it to my feet and somewhat shakily arrive in the house in time to hear his summary statement: “I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She’s just laying there groaning.”

Now, at the time, twelve year old brothers weren’t likely to get caught worrying about ten year old sisters. But later that evening, I see him sneaking a look at me to see if I really am ok.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Because of enforced down-time due to DH’s hip replacement surgery, the snowy and stormy beginning of our 2010 winter has felt different, less stressful. Now I realize why: we haven’t felt any compulsion to try to evade winter. We’re just sitting here watching it. What are you doing with winter: Evading? Watching? Resisting? Enjoying?

74 Responses to MAILBOXES AND OLD BARNS — Sunday Open Forum

  1. pistol pete says:

    This brings back a lot of memories.I grew up on a small dairy farm and winters were a challenge.We had a coa; furnace that had to be stoked every morning and for all practical purposes,iy was either 100 degees or freezing.We sometimes had to wade through 3 foot snowdrifts to get to the barn where 50 holsteins were bawling to come inside to get fed and milked.Sometimes the motor that ran the vacuum line for the milk machines would freeze up and we were left to milk by hand.When chores were done,cattle turned out and calves fed,we’d go back in the house where grandma had coffee and hot cocoa waiting .We usually had bacon and eggs from our own chickens or sausage gravy and grandma’s homemade biscuits.she’d always say:”if a man’s gotta work,he’s gotta eat.”I always felt a little more grown up when she said that.Then she’d drive me to school,an hour late and smelling like a barn.

    I have to wonder what memories today’s youth will have when they reach their sixties.

    • Pat P says:

      Pete, my brother (20 years older) grew up helping his Grandpa and Grandma on a dairy farm in Ontario, Canada.

      He loved it so much that, after WWII, he eventually bought his own farm – in the Sacramento Valley in California! I imagine his boyhood experiences had a lot to do with that.

  2. angelaisms says:

    I suppose we are technically wholly evading winter here on Oahu, though that’s not the reason we’re here. Still, it is kinda fun to tell my Utah-dwelling, snowbound family about how my new tomato plants out back have grown about a foot in the last couple of weeks.

    I do understand what you mean about enjoying the season that’s here rather than griping about it or simply trying to endure it. And this is a superb little vignette — though I’ve never actually ridden on a toboggan, I was right there with you.

    And I’m very curious to know how it snowed in your room.

    • Pat P says:

      My mother used to tell me that there would be snow on the quilts in the morning (she grew up on a farm in Michigan in the teens and twenties), they would grab their clothes and run to the kitchen where it was a little warmer!

    • When I was growing up on Oahu, we often went swimming on Christmas Day, just to say that we’d done so. It wasn’t really much fun, with the temperatures at a bone-chilling 72 degrees, but we did it anyway because we COULD!

      • And we were Spartans. Tough. Impervious to the elements. Brave……………………lol

        • Auntie Lib says:

          And now you live in NE Montana – where 27 degrees on Christmas can be considered balmy. As you will soon discover, Montana has two seasons – winter and “under construction”.

          • I suspect when it gets into the 50s people start running around naked to escape the “heat”!

            • AliRose says:

              HA! When I was in college at Central Michigan University, my roommates and I would love it when it got up to 50. We were so desperate for summer, we would sit on the lawn in our tank tops and shorts, “getting a tan.”

              Oh, how I miss those days…young and stupid!

            • TNWAHM says:

              I had an aunt and uncle that moved their family to northern MN. They rarely came back for Christmas, but one year I remember their kids hiking up their jeans and taking off their shoes because of the “heat wave” of 32 deg.

  3. Debra says:

    This was wonderful, Emma. I hope to be even a little bit like your mom and make great winter memories for my kids.

    What a great way to start off a Sunday morning! Loved it.

  4. stellap says:

    Emma,

    Your wonderful essay opens a window to your childhood on the plains. It reminds me that I should enjoy what I have today, rather than wishing for something else, and brings back good memories of my own childhood, and my own mom.

  5. GracieD says:

    Good Job Emma! Love the picture that you painted with your words.

  6. phillycon4 says:

    Emma:

    Please don’t laugh, but my only reference to what you describe is “Little House on the Prairie.” We grew up watching and loving that wonderful show. I have fond memories of my late grandmother, who spoke barely any English, enthralled with Laura Ingalls and her travails, it transcended cultural and linguistic lines!

    Honestly, this city girl feels like a wuss when I complain about the cold. As I get older, I have been learning to appreciate my situation, b/c there is a reason for it. Letting God takeover is also a part of it as well.

    This is a learned skill, b/c in this culture, we are “taught” to always want more, what we have is not good enough, a.k.a. “the Jones effect.”

    • emmajeri1010 says:

      You don’t have to feel like a wuss because you complain about the cold. Not at all. These days, complaining about the cold is the most exercise we boring adults get sometimes!!….it’s a word picture of a good time, with a lesson or two here and there for my remembering heart. No guilt trips allowed. Just some nostalgia that is actually the truth. In 1995-96 we had such a bitterly cold winter in these parts….38 below many nights, with highs of 20 below (that’s fahrenheit)…networks sent production crews to interview folks in Fargo as to how they were coping. Best one liner: old farmer just growled to the interviewer, “Who says we’re coping?” Those who live in these conditions now and those of us who grew up in them 50 years ago never thought it was special, or brave, or gave us bragging rights or anything. It just “was”!

    • Laura Ingalls Wilder came to my mind as well.

  7. EZBurns says:

    Winter is schizophrenic in South Georgia. One day 72o, the next, a bone chilling 30o (don’t laugh, for us it’s awful). Christmas sweaters alternate with short sleeved shirts for work—I’ve even work short sleeved tops and capris on Christmas day. Next year, light dusting of snow (a few flakes fall once every 4 years or so). Plus the added humidity of the creeks, swamp, river and nearby coast make the cold well, colder. You can have a blasting frost that leaves the grass brown, but suddenly all the narcissus leaves are popping up.

    The only critical care I have this time of year is extra feed for the yard birds, bringing in the tortoise when it gets too cold outside and bringing in the cockatoo for the night. However, the best part is I get to use my gas fireplace for heat.

  8. Patriot Dreamer says:

    For anyone who might be following Dr. Skittles’ birth certificate controversy, Miss Tickly has some new research out comparing the Hawaii Dept. of Health’s seal to the one on Dr. Skittles’ supposed BC. Her blog is:

    http://obamasgarden.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/unveiling-the-hdoh-seal/

    Good comments at:

    http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/they-aint-seen-nothin-yet/comment-page-1/#comment-35821

    and

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2637595/posts

  9. phillycon4 says:

    Anybody from South Carolina? Please, please, find someone to primary Lindsey Graham. We did our part and got rid of Specter, now its your turn!

    http://cubachi.com/2010/12/05/lindsey-graham-tax-cuts-would-have-passed-by-now-if-it-werent-for-the-tea-partys-horrible-choices/

  10. Thomas Hooker says:

    DH comments on the climate summit:

    From 03 Dec 2010

    Please bear with me for continuing this morning with my climate rant but some things are just too good to pass up.  Pardon also my delight at the failure of the Cancun summit.  Here is the headline from the Guardian:

    “Talks threatened with breakdown after forthright Japanese refusal to extend Kyoto emissions commitments”

    Japan.  Blocking extension of the Kyoto Accords.

    Even left-wing British press is more interesting than US mainstream media – it’s better formatted, better written and better illustrated than what you get from US newspapers.  Informative, even.

    The timing of the cold wave in Europe is delicious.  So too this satellite photo [UK snow-covered north to south].  You might think it was taken in December 2009 during the failed Copenhagen climate summit.  Nope.  It was taken yesterday, during the Cancun climate summit.

    The climate skeptics at ‘Watts Up With That’ helpfully add that November in Norway was the coldest since 1919.  I’m sure December won’t be any better.

    I’ve personally come to the conclusion that Al Gore has seriously offended the Norse gods with all his Warmist cant and Gaia worship.  Now the Norns of the Aesir are toying with him.  Poor Al can run off to tropical India or hide in his mansion in Nashville if he wants, but that won’t solve his problem.  Odin All-father must be appeased.  There is only one way.  I suggest tying up [redacted] (he of the faked [redacted] climate graph), covering his head with a leather hood, and tossing him into Tollund Bog.

    That’s in Denmark, you know.  They may have to break a hole in the ice first.  It’s probably about -20 C there.

    “Let the climate criminals be brought forth…”

    Continuing 05 Dec 2010

    This is Tikal.  From these demon-haunted ruins it’s not a far way across the Yucatan Peninsula to Cancun, there on the coast of Quintana Roo, where the UN climate summit is now underway.

    “Cancun talks start with a call to the gods

    With United Nations climate negotiators facing an uphill battle to advance their goal of reducing emissions linked to global warming, it’s no surprise that the woman steering the talks appealed to a Mayan goddess Monday.

    Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you – because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools.””

    This from yesterday’s Washington Post.  I don’t make this stuff up.

    Like most Mesoamerican gods and goddesses, Ixchel has many aspects.  One is the goddess of earth and war.

    An entwined serpent serves as Ixchel’s headdress, crossed bones may adorn her skirt, and instead of human hands and feet, she sometimes has claws. Very similar features are found with Aztec earth goddesses, of whom Tlaltecuhtli, Tocî, and Cihuacoatl were invoked by the midwives. More in particular, the jaguar goddess Ixchel could be conceived as a female warrior, with a gaping mouth suggestive of cannibalism, thus showing her affinity with Cihuacoatl Yaocihuatl ‘War Woman’. This manifestation of Cihuacoatl was always hungry for new victims…

    I understand this UN climate bureaucrat is a Costa Rican.  Perhaps she wanted to kick off her miserable meeting with something Mexican.  Seems to me it might have been more appropriate to call for the benign intervention of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Mexicans take great pride in their brown-skinned Madonna, the protectress of the humble.  But no.  The Warmists choose to worship the forces of nature.

    They may have gone too far this time.  Any good metaphysical philosopher (or exorcist) could tell you that demons may be summoned by the speaking of their name.  They have to be invited, you see.  Over the centuries the ancient gods of the land have faded away to almost nothing.  Worship gives them sustenance.  They drift back in, ghostly, from the dark chambers below Tikal and begin to apparate.  But they will want more, as was their due.  Sacrifices.  This UN lady may be willing to perform auto-sacrifice in the Mayan fashion, piercing her tongue with cactus needles.  That will not be enough.  The Dresden Codex is clear that Ixchel expects to be fed young unmarried women.

    If I were a young woman visiting Cancun – a smartly-dressed UN Deputy Underfunctionary on per diem, say, or a media sycophant – I’d be concerned about this.  Just because it’s still 2010 and the Mayan cycle has two years to run would be, in my view, insufficient consolation.

    A little situation awareness is called for while dining outdoors in some courtyard restaurant…  an occasional glance toward the darkened corners of the walls to look for vague, sinister shapes taking form.

    But perhaps – just perhaps – other forces may appear.  Something floating in the air.  Could it be?  No.  Impossible.  Yet it looks just like a snowflake.

    Snow would be a different sign.  Look to the sky then.  Look for other young unmarried women.  Riding celestial horses.  Wearing scale armor and helmets adorned with wings of metal.  And listen for a change in the background music.  If the Mariachi fades into Wagner then they have arrived.

    • Thomas Hooker says:

      An entwined serpant paragraph should be in quotes (from Wikipedia)

    • zmalfoy says:

      Tikal. “Demon-Haunted Ruins” is right. I got the worst sunburn of my life when I visited in college. Those with certain sensitivities have a hard time there– for weeks afterward I heard the screams when I tried to sleep. I dared not approach the altars or temples close enough to enter the shade, because I could smell the blood and there was badness there. While others in my group climbed the steep stairs, leaned against still-stained and rain-etched altars, I stood in the center of courtyards, my Irish-pale complexion reddening and blistering. It was only the astrological pyramid that I could climb, a little island of calm and reason in a lake of still echoing horror. That place– including Star Wars Tower– should have been left to the jungle, to be devoured by the trees and lichen. The Maya were not the pinnacles of enlightenment that many would have them be. They had a calender that was awesome. Otherwise, their religion and culture disappeared for a reason.

      Oddly, I did bring home a slate carving of Ixchel, in her Old Woman Healer aspect. But not even in my most heathen days did she get much from me. Those creatures were never stable, never worthy of trust.

      As for Mr. Gore– I am more and more convinced that his greatest achievement will be to prove, beyond all doubt, the existence of God, and that God does indeed still work in the world.

      And as far as the Norse deities. . . perhaps due to genetics, but I always found them far more reasonable than many of the pagan deities. In fact, last year before our area was hit by the SnowMaggedon (and the SnowPocalyse). . . about three days before, I had a dream of Ol’ One Eye standing silently in the shadows at the edge of a forest, while a bunch of other people hurried away to follow his order. (I knew it was him because of the two ravens in the branches above). “You know,” I told him, sitting on a stump. “In a few minutes, those people are going to remember that they’re good Christian people. . .” In the dream, he smiled, and said “As it should be.” He seemed to be on good terms with Christ. Somehow, I wasn’t too surprised.

      And finally, as for winter– I love snow, quilts, hot thick soups and stews. What’s not to love?

    • WeeWeed says:

      I’m late to this. But I vote for Tollund Bog. And I’m not being facetious, even though I can’t spell. Thanks, TH – I love history of ALL sorts!

      • WeeWeed says:

        And you, too, zmalfoy, since I ended up down here – we don’t do Mexico. They don’t seem to have changed much.

  11. AliRose says:

    My apologies if this is a repost. I have a headache this morning, can’t focus very well. It’s about WikiLeaks losing major support from companies, including Amazon and PayPal.

    http://news.findlaw.com/ap_stories/high_tech/1700/12-04-2010/20101204175000_07.html

    Based on this article, Assange should be classified as a terrorist, considering all of the threats he’s issued.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/12/05/wikileaks-ready-release-massive-insurance-file-shut/

  12. WeeWeed says:

    Great post, Emma! It reminded me of the time when we lived in Mass. one winter. Overnight we got about 2 or 3 feet of globull warming – too much for the road equipment to handle in time for school, so we got one of those treasured days off! My brothers and I, in our brilliance, decided to see what would happen if we threw the cat out of my second story window into a really deep drift.

    He was pi$$ed.

    (Not hurt at all, for all you PETA clowns out there, he died years later in LA, and never made any mention of missing snow!)

    • Integrity1st says:

      WeeWeed LOL. I didn’t know you were from Mass. I saw your post from the other day. THANK YOU. I love being thought of =) Still ruff times ahead – court tomorrow. If you don’t hear from me, you can legitimately be worried.

      As for my friend, visited his family today, lots of crying, but it felt good to do it with ‘somebody’ instead of all by myself. So surprised the wake and funeral aren’t til next Thurs., Fri, and then Sat.? It will be a long week, especially pending tomorrow, but I want to thank all buzzers for their support. IT TRULY HELPS.

      Emma, LOVED, LOVED your posting, and how it elicited others stories from days gone by, AND, I will use it to help me through New England Winters. I HATE THE COLD. And now I’m going to tell you exactly how I felt this time, and the last time you shared. Twice as much. It needs to be twice as much because I feel like I am getting half of an appetizer, not even the whole one, and then it’s over. And I was/am HUNGRY. So, if you would please take under advisement that it is my personal, and unhumble opinion that many would agree with that these posts need to be longer because you are teasing us with your good stuff. From all aspects, EXCELLENT except too little as our minds are just getting wrapped around it when it ends =)

      PS Todays post and thread were the PERFECT Sunday pleasure. Little of everyone and everything.

      • WeeWeed says:

        No, I1st, I’m not from Mass. but did attend Chicopee Comprehensive High School one year! My dad was what they call a “lifer” in the service, and we lived at Westover AFB at that particular time. I am like that Johnny Cash song – “I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere….” and was hatched in Albuquerque, NM! As far as court, try not to worry. Truth will out – and you be sure and check in with all of us tomorrow after work!!

        And a secret – I HATE COLD WEATHER, TOO!! If I never see another snowflake it will not hurt my feelers. We’ll all be thinking of you all day tomorrow, my friend. Arm yourself with a few WC quotes and you cannot go wrong!

  13. Library Countess says:

    I grew up in various parts of the NE (CT, NJ, PA) and for us beach people, winter was what you endured to get back to summer. It’s delightful right now in central FL but about to get colder than a witch’s elbow… [yes, I know … :D … it works better with small children and co-workers!] Since I’m headed back to Philadelphia for Christmas, I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on the cold weather as help in gearing myself up for having to wear both socks and shoes instead of sandals (the Michelin tireman will have nothing on me with all those layers!) At least for that time I won’t have to try to figure out what to wear in the morning that’ll keep me warm but won’t make me so hot in the afternoon I wonder what I was thinking. (EZ and AliRose … I hear ya!)

    • Integrity1st says:

      for us beach people, winter was what you endured to get back to summer.

      EXACTLY, but I will now put Emma’s spin on it and make it more cozy.

  14. sundancecracker says:

    Urgent…. Global Warming a farse.. Evidence? IRISH MINING DISASTER !While thousands braved the cold to begin their Christmas shopping, seven people in North Yorkshire are praying for better weather after being snowed into a pub for eight days and counting.

    Heavy snow showers and strong winds have left the group stuck in the Lion Inn pub in Blakey Ridge, Kirkbymoorside since last Friday, with little chance of an escape.

    Drifts of up to 16ft blocked the inn’s doors and windows, with the surrounding roads impassable, and to make matters worse, the stranded seven’s cars are buried under nine foot of snow.http://michellemalkin.com/2010/12/04/global-warming-update-blizzard-traps/

    Rescuers found the group after hearing a tapping sound. Those stuck in the pub said they would have tapped more but they only had three kegs.https://i1.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/party-smiley-550.gif

    Climate change experts say the likelihood of blizzards capable of trapping people inside pubs — referred to in some circles as “Irish mining disasters” — will be on the rise due to global warming.https://i2.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/eat-drink-smiley-7858.gif

    When the weather breaks, rescuers are expected to removed the trapped people, drunkest first, and so on. Sources tell me that so far 150 locals have volunteered to be lowered in to make sure everything’s okay. https://i0.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/eat-drink-smiley-5170.gif

  15. Bijou says:

    Emma, another WONDERFUL story! Thanks so much.

    Although I grew up in a small town rather than ‘out in the country’, your toboggan story reminded me of one of my own.

    One Christmas, mischievous Santa left a tobaggan hidden under the sofa, with just the nose sticking out. Well, with all the Christmas clutter in the living room, it wasn’t discovered until all the other many presents had been opened. My sister and I were thrilled! (BTW, my family LIVED ‘The Christmas Story’ movie, except we were two girls. My dad even resembled Darren McGavin.)

    And THEN…we also discovered a strange new device called a ‘Flying Saucer’ hidden behind the drapes. They were a whole new phenomenon at the time…an aluminum, slightly concave disc with a handle on each side. Wow…it looked really space age and we couldn’t wait to try it.

    I think I was about 10 and my sister about 6, so we got bundled up as female versions of Ralph and Randy (I can’t put my ARMS DOWN!) and dragged our new snow vehicles a couple of blocks to the schoolyard. That was the closest spot with a decent hill.

    We made a couple of runs on the tobaggan, which were only OK…the hill was steep, but too short, so it was rather disappointing, and hardly worth the effort of hauling it back up to the top.

    So, I decided to try the ‘Flying Saucer’. I set it at the edge of the hill and gingerly sat cross-legged and grabbed hold of the handles. I can still remember what it felt like anticipating the ride on this new, space age ‘sled’. It was so LIGHT.

    Eventually, somebody gave me a push and WOW! I flew down that hill like I was shot out of a cannon, spinning wildly and holding on for dear life. Towards the bottom, I hit a bump that sent me airborne. The thing finally landed in the snow and sort of skidded the rest of the way until the chain link fence finally stopped it.

    Although it scared me half to death, the Flying Saucer was my new love and I never bothered with the tobaggan again. Sorry, Santa!

    • emmajeri1010 says:

      I had forgotten about flying saucers…..they were fuuun. Unless you got on a hill that was more ice than snow…funny stuff could happen.

    • Integrity1st says:

      Bijou, loved that story, and it reminded me soooooo much of my favorite Easter story. I know, I know, wrong time of year, but the tobagon under the sofa after the presents was like the REAL bunny behind the curtains in the living room, after the hunt for the Easter Baskets. Childhood memories. Oh so great, and I must stress to us blessed with such good ones, I know many who had horrible childhoods. HOW WRONG IS THAT since there’s no way adulthood can ever be that stress and drama free!

  16. sundancecracker says:

    I Love, Love, Love, real stories and articles that highlight “real world” examples of progressive ideology failing…. Oh, tears O’ d’-joy well up to match my grin :)

    …” In England, youths are rioting. In Portugal, labor unions staged a national strike last Wednesday. A little over a month ago, France and Greece were subjected to large, violent demonstrations and riots. A common thread? In each of these countries, the unrest was engendered by economic austerity measures proposed and/or enacted by government. A far more salient common thread? The morally corruptive nature of the progressivist ideology.

    As the four recent examples, along with others occurring all over the world illustrate, a group of like-minded “thinkers” is emerging. It is a group composed in equal parts of economic illiteracy and pathological self-entitlement. Only an utter fool—or a dedicated progressive—would riot or strike because someone else can no longer afford to underwrite your lifestyle.

    What part of “running out of other people’s money” don’t the complainers understand?http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40314

    Progressives SUCK !! https://i2.wp.com/planetsmilies.net/tongue-smiley-8865.gif

  17. Emma, another Sunday tapestry from your childhood. Love your stories and your writing style:)

    Globull warming has hit my little corner of the world; had to scrape snow and ice off my windshield this a.m.

    I hope I didn’t miss too much interaction in the hive (yesterday’s thread is long! But I will catch up)…my snarky side just adores the UN Climate Summit (quoting Rush) and Bar Scene from Star Wars in Cancun happening when countries in the EU and the US and Canada are suffering from earlier than usual snowfalls and record setting cold snaps.

    It has to be really more awful than usual to be AlGore these days. Anyone else think that AlGore was ‘given’ the Popedom of the Church of Anthropogenic Globull Warming as kind of a consolation prize for loosing the Presidency? And now, he has lost that too. No wonder Tipper bailed. (And yes that is an ugly snarky line…but I am perpetually miserable around those curly, gray light emitting bulbs that ManBearPig is responsible for, so it really IS his fault.). Infact I hope Tipper buys any subsequent ‘male friend’ a 12 cyclinder Maserati to p/o her ex…

  18. To keep conversations about HB and KDJ in one place, this comment and Bijou’s response has been moved to “The Case” thread below. AFinch

    • Bijou says:

      This comment has been moved to “The Case” thread below.

    • AFinch says:

      Hey guys, sorry if this seems heavy-handed, but to keep the daily conversation focused away from that other place, the admins decided it was best to keep related comments on that specific, dedicated thread. Rest assured, we will never remove or edit one of your comments without telling you.

  19. Kristi says:

    Hello all!

    I have spent most of the day reading Sarah Palins new book. Its great!

  20. capechik says:

    Oh WOW!! Very grateful for the FB invitation. What a welcome sight to see so many familiar names. I had an idea what had happened at HB, but didn’t know there had been a regrouping. Great news! So many questions answered, but an awful lot to digest…

    Thanks to the power of 2-year-old twins united, I am down a computer yet again (and taking bets on how long the Christmas tree will make it), so I’m using my phone, which is a pain, but very much look forward to visiting later in the week when we’re back to full strength. Thanks again so much for finding me! Capechik/LHJ

  21. GracieD says:

    Hi capechik, good to see you here!

  22. MaryJane says:

    Thank you, Emma, for your wonderful memories. They inspired me to go back in time and remember breathing a perfectly defrosted circle in the frosty picture that had formed on the inside of my bedroom window.

    After school we would go ice skating on the grassy strip that bordered the train track – a friendly soul would flood a huge section of the strip and hang lights!

    Later on we moved out of the city and into a small town. The canal was right behind our house. We would skate from one canal to the next, crawling across bridges on our knees as we did not have modern figure skates with blade protectors but old-fashioned skates with leather straps that tied onto our feet. We always forgot that we had to get back, too, and always skated too far.

    Thanks, Emma, for the respite before getting back to reality and crappy news of backpacked idiots in Cancun, saving the world one degree at a time.

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