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made it!

December 23, 2011

Whew!  I knew I could do it.  I have for 64 years straight, although it’s been a

nail biter sometimes.  Yet again I have survived that stretch of seven weeks

or so between the November switch from daylight to standard time, and the

return of the light with the December solstice.  Even though the amount of

daylight starts increasing ever so slightly, the psychological boost gets me

through winter, my least favourite season.


Of course, the days have been getting shorter since the June solstice, but it

doesn’t bother me until the time change.  I really miss that lost hour for the

first week as I scramble to adjust.  I’m not sure why we even bother with day-

light saving.  Its benefits are debatable.  My friend Ducks lives in Arizona,

where it’s not observed, and she much prefers it that way.



This time around, I drew comfort from our chickens.  In general, Gallus

gallus domesticus lays fewer eggs in winter.  Some farmers compensate for

this by lighting the coop.  We chose to stay natural, and production has ac-

tually gone up recently.  Not artificially stimulating them may help them

have a longer career, as well.

I have no scientific basis to say this, but I think the girls do better because

we interact with them.  They flock around Jude in the garden because she

uproots worms and bugs for them.  When I close up the coop for the night,

I stroke each one of them, call them by name, wish them pleasant dreams

and thank them for their effort.




Jude and I exchanged Christmas gifts last month.  Here’s mine:


These are 34″ snowshoes.  Jude’s are 25″.  We’ve already tried them out.


Jude starts an 11-day vacation today, during which we plan to tramp the trails

at nearby Mount Washington Alpine Resort.  I’ll file a full, photo-filled report.


We also got a really expensive gift, in a way.  For the past several weeks, we’d

been getting less power than usual from our micro-hydro system.  None of

the adjustments I made helped.  In fact, the last one I attempted knocked the

amperage way down and produced a low, grinding noise that sounded like the

opposite of optimum.


We shut it off and called Ian, the fellow who installed the system.  For a mere

$100, a cheeseburger and a dozen eggs, he brought it back to life and actually

increased its efficiency.  I thought I had permanently boogered the water

wheel and we’d have to replace it.  So it felt like we saved $2500.  What a gift!


I hope your holidays hold as many serendipities.  Please have the merriest 

Noel ever.  All that’s left for us to do is to await a visit from that jovial, ageless

gentleman who flies through the air in a vehicle that carries more than you’d

think it possibly could.  That’s right, it’s time for the “Doctor Who” Christmas


  1. beth reed permalink
    December 23, 2011 10:12 pm

    I actually thought of you and Jude today as I drank my coffee and thought of the soltice and I am not a winter fan either. That first week we set our clocks back it seems I am trying to crawl in bed at 6pm.
    Merry Christmas to you and Jude.
    Enjoy the vacation oh and I almost forgot to say congrats on the unexpected savings . You and Jude got a well deerved break.

    • December 25, 2011 11:44 am

      Merry Christmas to you as well, Beth. Certainly the New Year is going to be a better one for you than this one.

  2. Gordon permalink
    January 6, 2012 1:42 pm

    Why did I have a vision of snowshoes looking like tennis rackets? Too many comic books about Mounties or comic strips about Mark Trail?

    • January 7, 2012 10:49 am

      I had the same memory of them. Dudley Do-Right, maybe?

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