Christmas Prep

The time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so exciting. I was a big help with decorating the house, the tree, and unwrapping gifts. 
Yes, unwrapping gifts. Especially edible ones. True to form, when all is quiet in the house something has gone wrong.
 This is a classic case of failed redirection. My Mom was wrapping some gifts and I attempted to sneak off with this premium chocolate bar. My Mom caught me and I asked if I could have it. She gave me some line of "Oh wouldn't like that. It has spices in it, unless you have changed your mind and now like spicy things. That line so did not pass the sniff test, Mother dearest is always lamenting about broadening my palette and such. I agreed and swiped the candy bar with the stealth of a Wall Streeter. A few moments later I gleefully gave myself away announcing I did in fact like spicy things. Yum! My Mom didn't actually lie there was cinnamon and cayenne pepper in the chocolate bar. See...I ate pepper, that counts as a spice and a vegetable.

Honestly, I don't know what she was so worked up about. I mean it was 100% organic. Doesn't she know the latest research has shown you should stock your pantry with healthy choices and let children graze like free range chickens. What? You don't believe me...I have links to the article. This hoarding and hiding of food it could lead to dinners that are actually eaten  obesity and crumb free floors unhealthy relationships with food. Think of the years of therapy I saved by pilfering somebody else's Christmas present.
I must have been forgiven for that act or my parents realized the error of their ways. The next day we were off on a trip to Minneapolis. It's a long car ride. I was prepared for a park stop on the way. Ankle deep powder is know match for me. Why these days I can manage post holing to my waist.
The long car trip was worth it as I got to star in a music video at the Minnesota Children's Museum. everyone gets to star in the video, but whose counting.
I also got to meet a good friend. Clifford. It was so cool. Bones for steps and a tail for a slide.
I love reading books. I think I spent the next hour reading books.
After that it was time to stock up on non perishables at Trader Joes's. Our cart was overflowing all our favorites. I spent a lot of time looking for the monkey I was used to finding in the So Cal stores but it turns out it is Edgar the Eagle in Minneapolis. I found him and instead of the So Cal issued stickers, I earned a sucker for my efforts. Awesome! My Mom must have been so thrilled because she is always complaining about stickers being a sticky mess.

After that it should have been nap time especially since  I partied at 0300 last night however in a one room hotel room there is just so much to do and no way for parents to effectively ignore their precious child soooo Mama cut her losses and we headed to the Barnes and Noble adjacent to our hotel.

Books and toys under one roof. My favorite place for sure ..except for home of course


Thanksgiving is a pretty great holiday. Politically, it's very correct. I mean who could possibly be offended about giving thanks except maybe a turkey or two.
Thanksgiving is a great time to relax by the fire enjoying books with loved ones.
It's also a lot of handwork preparing a feast for all. 
Judging by the above photo...Ah hemm
 I was hard at work in the kitchen, while my Mom was out playing. I think we were cursing her name and her farm to table attitude and about ready to open a can of Libby's pumpkin pie filling. The idea of getting to mash a pumpkin seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Well, it does appear my Mom wasn't the only one out having fun. Rumor has it Grandma can really drive a sled. 

Currently, I prefer non motorized winter sports. The "Silent Sports" they say.
It's hard work. I am up for a hot chocolate break.

Snow Biking

 The woods are lovely, dark and deep. And I have miles to ride before I sleep.

 What's not to love about a day like today.
 The air is fresh, the sky is blue, and the snow is squeaky and clean. I love crunchy snow.
 I love tall trees.
 It's a bit of bad luck to encounter a fallen tree in the middle of the bridge you are needing to cross.
 No worries and no sweat. Ok, maybe a little sweat but no sense feeling sorry for myself when this poor tree worked so hard to grow big and tall only to be knocked down in the first heavy snowfall BTW my Dad says if a tree falls down it was sick and ready to die, hope that's not what he tells his patients.
 Today was the opening day of deer season. It's kind of a big deal here. 
 I wonder if this basin will freeze smoothly enough to ice skate on. I am a champ on roller skates....Well sort of.
 Ah it's peaceful here
 Turns out kids in sleds make excellent groomers.
 I'm taking my job very seriously.

And Then Came Snow

Was it a trick or a treat? The real Halloween day came and so did snow. Having several costumes on hand I elected my Elmo one for the school parade. It was the warmest. However, with 30 mph wind gusts they move the parade of 30 pounders inside.
My Mom and Dad declared it a treat indeed and hit the trails for a ride. This fall's onset of preschool has done wonders for my Mom's ability to find time to ride. Mother natures precipitation has been beyond generous, thus making for some messy, messy  bikes. Seriously, sometimes my Mom shows up to preschool pick up smelling like duck poop soup. So needless to say frozen ground and a little clean white snow were a welcome change.
The following Sunday my parents were all smiles. Snow was in the forecast. It was the day before the predicted storm.The air was cool and the wet muck was frozen.  I'd say my Mom was tickled pink, but she's sporting hunters orange. You know Mom ... good job sporting safety in style...No there shouldn't be any shooting on the trails she rides but seriously if birds and deer are in season do you want to look like one?
My Dad really was hoping to get these bad boys out but the storm wasn't to hit until Monday. The summer toys were stowed and 29+ tires removed for full fats. Race bikes have about one use in the the kitchen as pizza cutters.
My Mom, or Mamma Jen Jen, as I call her was really hoping not to have to clean her bike up post ride. Apparently, she ate a little bit too much oatmeal for breakfast a broke through a swamp sized puddle about 2 minutes prior to ending her ride.
She really didn't feel like hooking up the hose to scrub her bike so she put it off until after lunch. We went outside and the ground looked liked this.
So if people do  salt scrubs at spas, shouldn't a bike like a snow scrub? Who needs a hose?
Don't worry the dirt from the bike was soon covered in clean snow. It kept snowing and snowing and snowing.
The next day school was cancelled. My Dad plowed the driveway before 6:00 a.m. 2 hours later one wouldn't have known. We attempted to head to an appointment. I was a short lasted attempt and a first ? In all my Mom's years of being a Yooper and living with a hilly driveway to date nobody has become stuck getting down a driveway. It's always getting up a driveway that gets one stuck however,  unless you had a full size pick up for clearance there was no way to clear the ridge of snow between the driveway and the one lane of semi plowed road. Being stuck at home is not the worst thing
I'll just have a seat on my imaginary couch.
Once upon a time this was a driveway.
My playhouse didn't used to be such a long walk.
Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, a trudging we will go!

This is my elephant tree. I rescued it from the heavy snow. Thus getting my first white wash in the process.
Life and love is a heavy, heavy load so they say
Home  is warm and cozy.

It was hard work getting there.

I am thankful to have a roof over head and shelter
Good thing Grandpa builds to code.

They don't make snow bikes my size, but that's ok. My cycling season isn't over.