What’s Good for the Goose…

Last week we had an ice storm. 

No, that’s overly dramatic and not very accurate.

Last week we had lots of nice beautiful snow.  Then the temperature did un-winter like things and the precipitation that fell was not snow. One morning I woke up to discover that we no longer had snow. Instead we had white ground covering what looked like snow but was actually ice and it was still raining/sleeting/hailing/anything-but-snowing.

It’s like snow, but instead ice with hail frozen to it’s surface between the puddles of water. Notice the dog isn’t even running- it was that slippery.

I headed out to do the chores and while ice was glistening on all the branches making a beautiful sight it took me an unprecedented amount of time to haul my buckets of water across the ice that was masquerading as a snowy yard to the birds. 

I let my birds out and the geese walked down their ramp and tried to walk across the snow-ice to their water pan but their big ol’ feet kept slipping in old ruts and they fell on their faces.  I would have taken a video but they don’t like me laughing at them and if they found out I had done that they would have held a grudge. You don’t want a goose with a grudge.

Instead, I slipped and slid and swore my way over to the brooder house with it’s winter supply of straw and then slipped and slid and swore my way back over to the poultry and spread them a nice layer of straw so they could stand and walk without slipping. Satisfied they’d be fine for the day I started back toward the house doing my now second-nature awkward penguin shuffle with the tiny steps as slipped in and out of every old foot print I ever made, occasionally flapping my arms like a dancing ostrich to keep my balance.

Then I stopped the insanity, looked back at the geese happily walking on their straw and headed back to the brooder house.

You know what they say, What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

And me and the dogs…

Happy with my straw trails, I shortcuted through the non-slippery house to the front to see what sort of beautiful ice coatings I could find and to check out the driveway.

The ice was indeed beautiful.

The driveway was indeed ice.

But what’s good for the goose…

… it looked odd, it was a bit unorthodox but it worked!

 

 

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The Best At Remembering

Recently Jane’s snow pants went missing. I’m not sure how regular of a reader you are, or if you live in the area, but this is January in Wisconsin. It’s cold and we do things outside. Snow pants are super necessary.

On the evening it was discovered that Jane’s snow pants were missing, we were on our way to the kids’ cross country ski lessons. Again, when you are seven and the windchill is in the single digits snow pants are super necessary for skiing.

In attempting to track down the snow pants we decided that they were either, still at the ski place from last time we were there, left at Grandma’s where the kids had been since the last time they skied or in the back of the truck in the ginormous pile of bags, ski clothes and general debris.

The only thing we knew for certain was that they weren’t in the truck and so a lively discussion of where they might be started. It was all hypothetical and going fine until Jane panicked when she realized she  might have left them at Grandma’s, about a two hour drive from home.  Then I reminded her that Grandma is a wonderful Grandma who will pack up forgotten items and send them in the mail the next day.

“Really?” says Clara, “I didn’t know she did that.”

“Yeah,” Jane says, “once she mailed me my rainbow crown.”

“What rainbow crown?”

“The rainbow crown that Otis broke and then that one guy was at our house I think his name was uhhh Matt, yeah Matt and he fixed it with that thing that started on fire in his pocket and then I left it at Grandma’s and then she mailed it to me” Jane explained.

I broke in with a “Wow. Yup. She’s right, good memory Jane” (Because Otis is a little boy who moved across the country almost three years ago and the man who fixed it was indeed named Matt and she only met him that one night, and no matter how you cut it that’s a pretty good memory).

“Yeah.” says Jane with not a hint of modesty, “I’m the best at remembering.”

“Okay remembering girl!” I said, “Remember me this! Where are your snow pants!!!”

“Mom. I don’t remember stuff like that!”

 

They were at the ski place. She… forgot… them there. 

Winter Weather

Spring hogs the word ephemeral with it’s wildflowers, ponds and streams that are here one day and gone the next.

I never hear the word ephemeral applied to winter but it should be. Those delicate flowers of spring have nothing on the changing moods of a winter day.

Grey snow fall to brilliant sun.

Snow that bites as it flies out of the sky can turn to softly falling frozen glitter in the span of moments.

Hoar frost that melts away with even the lightest touch of the low winter sun.

And ever changing blue shadows that crisscross the woods.

Spring may have flowers that come and go and storms that are here and gone again but there is nothing that can compare with the ephemeral nature of a winter day.

 

 

Five Snowy Books With A Family Connection

Winter comes with more than it’s fair share of holiday and family traditions but here are five books that celebrate family connections on ordinary days.

 

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen illustrated by John Schoenherr

A girl and her father go out looking for owls in a book that brings magic to an ordinary snowy night.

Snow Sisters by Kerri Kokias illustrated by Teagan White

 

Two sisters with very different ideas about what makes the perfect snow day.

 

What if Butterflies Loved Snow? by Jessie Stevens and Madhawi Karaya

 

A girl and her mother snuggle in bed and wonder what it would be like if butterflies brightened up the winter.

Snow Comes to the Farm by Nathaniel Tripp illustrated by Kate Kiesler

 

Brothers spend the day together watching the woods fill up with snow.

The Mitten by Jan Brett 

 

Grandmother knits her grandson a pair of snowy mittens in this silly winter story.

 

What’s your favorite winter book? Does it also celebrate a family connection?