Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas eve dinner

It's hard not to overload your plate.

Grandma & Grandpa


Short track speed skating oval.

Mik burning through the final turn.

Straw in the doghouse, warm sunshine, does life get any better?

Pond hockey at its finest.

Dangerous Dan, also recipient of the the most spectacular speed skating award on the legendary "Death Course"

Fast and furious action on the rink...

...drew spectators from far and near.

In the more demanding form of pond hockey, nets are dispensed with. Instead, one must hit the bucket with the puck, a far more difficult target.

The path to the henhouse...

Where the cock-of-the-walk presides
...and keeps the hens on task.
Jeni quickly discovered that a down jacket gets a little warm for snowshoing on a sunny day.

Between skiing, skating, hockey, etc. copious amounts of coffee and coffee breads, cookies, etc. were consumed.

Jeni outfitted with her new librarian glasses and bookbag
Burning the midnight oil (candles).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pond Hockey

Pond hockey is arguably the purest form of hockey. It is generally uncorrupted by rules, excessive equipment, indoor machine-groomed ice, referees, etc.

Mother nature plays an important role, however, in determining the smoothness and size of the ice surface available to play on. Generally, this is about as much as you care to shovel off on an ongoing basis.

The advantage of a small rink quickly become apparent as it allows you to get up and down the ice without become winded after a single rush.

Competition plays a part, but laughter and good humor play a larger part. You can't take hockey too seriously when your skate is likely to fall into a deep rut and your goal is a five gallon pail lying on its side.

Still everyone tries their best.

Since there are no lines, camping out in front of the goal is a common strategy.

Generally more attention is paid to offense than defense, and most goals are scored on breakaways caused by having no one left back.

Even on a breakaway, putting the puck inside a pail is no sure thing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ice Rink

What's David doing at the pond?

He's carrying a big white pail....

...and pouring water on the ice.

And you didn't believe me!

He's dipping it out of a hole in the ice...

...a pretty big hole.

...and then he waters the ice.

To grow ice flowers?

Ice berries?

Or to chase that black thing they call a "puck"?

Maybe the man in the moon knows.

And they think we do silly things.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Settles In

You may take blue skies for granted during the summer, but during a Copper Country winter even a small patch of blue is a jewel.

While we rarely get the bitterly cold weather common to Northern Minnesota, we have already gotten several below zero nights.

Evening grosbeaks at our bird feeder.

An evening spent in the garage drilling holes in the seat blanks for two rocking chairs. I align the pencil lines on the seat with one on the table in order to get the right angles for the legs, back spindles and armrests. Once this is done, the hardest part is over.

Savu got left behind when Jonathan took Kalevi skijoring...

...and expressed his dismay in true Siberian Husky fashion. A chorus of huskies howling is a beautiful, wild sound.

Getting a Christmas tree. This spruce was about 25 feet high, but as it is close the garden, I felt justified in felling it....

for the top eight feet.

Another patch of blue on a cold, blustery day.