I was able to capture the later sunset and colorful, rainbow like sundogs. The pictures will help explain that better. We are getting longer days for which we are all thankful. Today was negative 15 degrees F and it was a good thing I didn’t know that as I started my car to go to work. I KNEW it was cold, but not THAT cold. The day before there was a biting wind so the windchill was probably that or worse!
We are into Week 5 of our semester with about ten more weeks to go. I am helping my folks clear out their place and burning the extra letters and other debris that they have been storing. My Mom has been a very prolific letter writer over the years and I want to “bless” people with some of the pictures I have found for each of the sibling’s families and my cousins and other more distant relatives. I have created about 20 different piles of various density, mostly pictures.
My sister came up for the THIRD time from the Cities which is quite a sacrifice because she lives five hours away. She helped this last time combing through all the letters and pictures that were left. Now there are only boxes full of tax returns from ten years ago up to last year. My Mom will plow through that.
So, when I got home last night I promptly started a bonfire, the third one so far and had the backdrop of the setting sun. On the way home through I was able to capture the colorful sundogs. Life is good…as long as I get enough sleep and keep one step ahead of my students.
Okay, we have finished ONE week of classes and have had several blizzards after returning from Arizona where it was sun and fun filled with grandkids. Now we are bracing ourselves for the brutal, long and cold days. Yet there is beauty in all of this as these pictures show.
I went to a funeral the other day for a man who was a pillar of our community, he would have lived to be 100 years old if he could have made it to July of this year. Not to be…I was there for his daughter who was a classmate of mine. There were four of us who graduated in the same year who came to support our friend Judy. My folks were there and it was a nice military tribute to a man who had seen much. Someone alluded to the boating accident he was in where he was fishing with two gals and another guy. The boat couldn’t get started again and so the two girls jumped out but went over the dam. The other guy perished too. But not Russ, he was in good physical shape because he was in the military and was on leave at the time.
As the story goes and what I heard from the speaker at the funeral was that he remembers climbing and climbing stairs and when he awoke he was on the shore of the river bank. He believed that the angel had brought him enough strength to keep climbing to the surface. I had found this story out in the obituaries for the two sisters and the one man who drowned in this accident. I talked to my friend Judy to find out what she knew…she told me her mother had told her about this mishap that everyone in town knew about. However, what is interesting is that everyone in town knew him as the hobby shop guy, the one who had all the games to sell. He told jokes and did little pranks and had earlier been involved with several of the movie theaters.
Well, it was fun to have my friend Suzi stay with us after the funeral, she got to see our sundogs. Yes, we were stormed in the next day so we sat and sang songs together. Good use of our time. So, today was the last day of teaching for the week, my husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate our first week of teaching. My friend Suzi joined us and then she went off to spend time with her family. She came for the funeral from Florida but also to see her 93-year-old dad who is failing quickly.
So, looking out our windows upstairs and downstairs was quite a scenery shot for my friend Suzi from Florida. I wanted to share these with you so you can see the beauty of our winter scape even though you might not feel the very cold temps of minus 20 F. Only the few can stand this. I am just glad my car started right up this morning despite the cold. I had baked some pumpkin bread and blueberry scones that I brought to my students.
southern sundog with sunrise
northern sundog with early morning sunrise
These sunrise photos were quite the hit with people on my Facebook hometown page. I just took it with my simple camera that does NOT have a wide angle lens which would have been helpful to catch BOTH sundogs at the same time. I also showed the photos to my students and asked if they knew what sundogs were. A few did but many others didn’t. That particular morning was about 10 degrees BELOW Fahrenheit and that is when this phenomenon happens, when it is extremely cold. I asked if they had ever seen moondogs, fewer had seen that.
Anyway, when there is nothing much else to report, mid-February sundogs seem appropriate. I just went to a Professional Development workshop yesterday…all day. It was somewhat helpful about doing “active teaching.” Something that I already do with my composition students. I WANT them to be actively engaged in what they are learning. We had a concurrent session in the afternoon, after a nice buffet lunch, that was about relieving stress, what to do about it. We were asked to eat a chocolate covered potato chip. I have NEVER eaten one so slowly, usually those chippers go down very quickly. They are hand made by our local candy store, one chip at a time. No factory or mechanization involved and they are very popular for those long winter nights.
I said that singing helps with stress even though I recognized that not everyone in the group is musical. The moderators agreed that singing is a GOOD thing to promote in order to take the burdens off. I led in worship on Sunday and that was not as stressful because I had other singers who supported me and we were able to pull it off. It was a last minute request of me the night before. It would have been stressful for me but I chose songs that *I* liked and that I knew other people knew. For Valentines day and my husband gave me three, beautiful red roses. I gave him some bulky Smartwool socks. I go for beauty, he goes for functionality.
Another good thing that happened already in February was that our fireproof vault has shelves. They are ready to have the brown packaged newspapers put on them. We have old newspapers from the 1880s and up to the 1980s. Not just of our town but all the towns that had newspapers in our county. That is a LOT of archival material that we already have on microfilm. That will be for a project in March that I will work on moving things over to the vault from where they are stored right now. In the meantime, I am doing this blog because I have almost 30 papers to grade for my composition classes and I don’t want to do them. Blogging is a stress reliever!
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