I mentioned before that Daniel is a solitary man who naps alone, often on the top shelf in our bedroom closet. Here’s the photographic proof of both his insolence and isolation. He’s got only some Maine Coon in him but he got a full serving of the arrogant portion. It serves him well.
The other two big boys in the house crash on the bed. Sneakers prefers to nap with Jasper if at all possible but he has been know to actually drop into a nap beside the dog. This must mean that Hell has now frozen over and in 2015 the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl. OK, maybe I took that metaphor a little too far.
That was the quote one of North Dakota’s old US Senators used to use when asked about our fierce winters. Of course, everyone is getting a blast of cold this weekend. But it’s still damn cold here.
Last night we went to a high school basketball game at our new gym. When Carjo and I were leaving the gym, it was face-freezing cold, especially into that west wind. I checked the temperatures when we got home and it was minus forty wind chill, and 18 below actual temperature. I just went to the post office and the temperature had just risen back to that level. That’s right, during the night it was far colder. The high today is going to be -16.
The poor dog goes out to do his business but he hasn’t got the smarts to always be quick about it. That’s when his feet start freezing, he whimpers, and starts limping and lifting his paws. One of us usually runs our in our stocking feet and carries him in. In a few minutes he’s back to joyful, mindless dog bliss…until the next time.
Arya and Sansa go near the door but always get buffeted back by the cold when the door opens. The rest of the cats have gone into winter mode. Sneakers and Jasper seek out quilts to lay on, Daniel goes for the sweaters on a closet shelf. Sometimes it’s best to be older and wiser.
I shoveled off the deck, pushing away the snow that had drifted onto it and pushing off the dog turds. There’s no picking up poo in forty below. It can wait. So next time Pippin goes out he might hesitate less choosing his spot. If there is one thing we learn in North Dakota, you have to make decisions fast in this weather, and they better be the right ones. My decision is not go outside again until Monday. Have a good, and warm, weekend.
I finished putting up the lights the day after Thanksgiving. We did all the Christmas decorating that weekend. Yesterday afternoon we blitzed through all of our Christmas cards. Other than the cooking and baking when family is here, everything is done.
I’m not going to post a picture of the lights because it’s just the same as last year. The only thing different is we didn’t have enough lights to cover the big pine in the corner due to a number of lights dying while they rested on a shelf in the basement. I guess the Great Light called them home. Depending on our cash flow we will restock right after Christmas. I plan on getting gutter clips and enough feet of lights to light up the gutters halfway around the house. Dad would like that.
Other than that, nothing to report here. Christmas might be short of cash or maybe not, we’ll see. But either way, Carjo and i will get by and enjoy the season, enjoy seeing family. Enjoy your season as well. I’m back to rewriting.
A Tedious but Necessary Exercise
Follow the link above and it will take you to an article on the site IO9. The always incomparable Charlie Jane Anders has compiled “4 Danger Signs to Search For, Before Sending Off Your Novel”. I would suggest that anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of writing or editing should check it out.
Out of the four, eliminating two of them come pretty easily. I have always been predatory towards adverbs and whatever exist in my book are serving a pretty specific chore. I’ve never had much trouble avoiding sentences beginning with “it” either. I do worry about passive voice so I got frantic about searching for “was being” and “were being”. Many offenders were found and all were banished. Which leaves “there was” and “there were”. The later had a few dozen instances but I was frightened to find over a hundred instances of the former. So I am hunting each one down, killing it on the spot unless it is in dialog, and rewriting the passage affected. It is slow, tedious work and I’m one that gets bored very fast. I blame the ADHD of course. Who knows what I will have to do if and when this ends up with a publisher and I have to copy edit. There’s a particular hell that no writer loves. But I am getting ahead of myself. Read Charlie’s article and if you have a work in progress, here’s a great tool to tidy up your precious darlings.
This is the view from a few minutes ago. While not winter in Westeros, I would like to point out that the deck you see was shoveled an hour before this photo was taken. So yah, it be comin’ down.
I went downtown to check the mail and get groceries. A car with Florida plates tried to take a left in front of me and missed me by a half a foot. Oh, this winter is going to go be one to remember. But at least a White Christmas is now guaranteed. This white stuff ain’t going anywhere.
In the full bathroom off the hallway, there hangs a yellow wall toilet. It should have been replaced long ago but I am certain that my mother didn’t want to replace it a.) because it matches the sink and tub and b.) because she was too goddamn cheap. Yes, you can see what kind of mood I am in.
Since we moved back into this house I’ve done a lot of work of this thing. What it needs it to have the entire tank kit replaced but that’s above my skill grade. I have gotten better and one of these days I’ll replace the flapper. Any way, today I replace the handle for the third time, the lift wire for the second time, and strung a new chain. My wife will be overjoyed that it flushes again and I will nurse the carpal tunnel in my right hand for the rest of the weekend. But it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it again. At least until my mother-in-law breaks it on Christmas Eve.