Archive for December, 2011

Hoar Frost

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Hoar frost is a most amazing phenomenon where fog crystallizes on everything.

hoar frost bouquet

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Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

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Christmas 2011. God continues to shower us with gifts every day. Friends, family, fellowship, and the beauty of His creation.


Foil The Gift-Guesser In Your House

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

My family has a long tradition of “guessing” what is in our Christmas gifts. As a young lad I was good at guessing because, prior to Christmas, I would have carefully opened my gifts and then carefully put them back. This stopped later in life, honest.

In marriage the guessing tradition continues. So, here’s a trick we’ve been using for years to detour guesses. We call it, decoying the gift. Making it “sound” like something that it’s not.

Step 1: select a container that will make a distinct sound such as an old vitamin bottle.

Step 2: Place some items that will rattle around inside the container.

Step 3: Place the decoy inside the gift package and wrap it up.


Step 4: Don’t even think of putting the gift in a box that is similar in size to the actual gift.

Step 5: If the gift is light, add some ballast to the box. A rock, bottle of sand or shampoo will work just fine.

Now the guesser will be foiled. Yes, Jenny will read this before Christmas. It’s no secret in our house that guessing is practically impossible anymore.

Heat – Very Under Rated

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The Leo household has been on backup heat (pellet stove, space heaters, coats, blankets, and cats) after a unfortunate failure of our heat pump exactly a week ago. Thanks to the remote help of a very kind technician over the phone who coached me through the process and helped us get wholesale prices on the replacement part hiding behind the wires in the picture. We saved hundreds of dollars and I didn’t electrocute myself.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Baby chickens lay baby eggs. Eighteen for the price of twelve was the deal of the day from Hairy (yes, he spells his name that way) our neighbor and egg supplier. Why? Here’s a shot of a store bought egg against the eggs that came out of Hairy’s young chickens. Being a city boy, I just through that chickens wouldn’t bother laying eggs until they were old enough to lay the standard size.

It’s a cold day in Dec. without the furnace

Monday, December 12th, 2011

For the last 5 days the Leo house has been a bit chilly. Thursday night I realized that the furnace/heat pump wasn’t working. Thanks to the help of a furnace expert over the phone, I was able to hotwire the thermostat wires so that the furnace fan would circulate the heat produced by our pellet stove. This was to be resolved by Saturday when the furnace guy showed up.

Today is Monday an we’re waiting for Tuesday to get the part needed to fix the heat pump. In the mean time the pellet stove is supplementing the heat that is being produced by the furnace. Without the heat pump the furnace is rather expensive so we’re keeping temps down quite a bit.

We’re very thankful for the pellet stove to back up the furnace, to be warm enough and for having all those snuggy blankets to sleep under.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Train vs. Car

It doesn’t matter how well marked the train crossing here in town is, without the blinking lights and gates, I’ve almost missed it a few times. The consequences are dire. And with over 50-60 trains per day, this was bound to happen.

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Thankfully, it appears that this guy realized that a train was bearing down on the the intersection soon enough to avoid a complete calamity. Here he is walking around smoking a cigarette while waiting for the tow truck. And there is his car in the back ground thrown down into the ravine.

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