Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009

Lake Effect Snow

Savu, which means smoke in Finnish, has 1-1/2 blue eyes.

Marja's Christmas pullaa rising in front of the parlor stove.

Let it snow. A John Deere brings out the kid in the sandbox in all of us.

Daniel arrived in the early morning and carelessly threw his snowshoes on the ground, just before the big snowfall began. I didn't see them until pieces of them started flying out the chute of the snowgo.

Christmas Eve Dinner with traditional Finnish foods.

Followed by coffee, cake, cookies and pullaa.

Daniel and Gwen listening attentively while Grandpa makes an observation about the current administration.

Riisipuro ja sekahedelmasoppaa - our traditional Christmas morning breakfast, before opening presents.

Santa left quite a load under the tree.

Jonathan was a bit slow this morning.

Opening presents.

I got a genuine pair of insulated Carhartt overalls to wear while snowblowing. Sadly Surplus Outlet burned down the next day.

Mik and Jeni testing out their new camping chairs.
Jeni and Jonathan playing a board game with holes and rocks. Go figure.

Deanna brought here nieces and nephews to see the new pup.

One pup wasn't enough, so we got two. Heini (Hay-nee) is a beautiful sweet little girl dog who can hold her own in a tussle with brother Savu.

We set up a small pen for the pups next to our kitchen window so they can watch us while we're watching them.

Several times a day they are admitted into the house for some fun and games - and rawhide chews. Their are supposed to be pureblood Siberian huskies, but their mother and father had a lean racing look. I think they're going to have plenty of speed when they grow up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Preparations

The sauna and pumphouse at the Wiitala farm.

Kalevi relaxing in the snow after receiving medication from the vet. He had been struck by a car two days earlier and had been unable to lie down. His recovery is especially meaningful to us as we lost his brother Veikko in probably the same accident.

Winter light.

The Wiitala farm, as Andrew Wyeth might have painted it. A snow-covered field has a subtle beauty that conveys a sense of rest, and hope.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Arrives

December 6, Suomen Itsenaisyyspaiva - Finland's Independence Day.

Lake effect snow. I hadn't checked my plow and found that the controls didn't work. It was stuck in one position. Fortunately, that was two inches off the ground and slightly angled, so I was able to plow. Afterwards I cleaned up the banks with our new tractor-mounted snowgo. Unfortunately, I picked up some gravel and broke a shear pin. Of course, I didn't have a spare. When all else fails, however, the old trusty snow scoop will never let you down.

It's the most beautiful when it stops and you see a patch of sky. When it's coming down at the rate of 2"/hour it's dark and claustrophobic.

Even the power line in th backround was covered with fluffy snow.

Daniel came up for the weekend and we had a second Thanksgiving dinner, this time with home grown chicken instead of industrially grown turkey.

It got even deeper overnight.

The boys after a slog on snowshoes through deep powder. Earlier David had taken both dogs for the first skidog of the year. Said they pulled excellently.