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DayCreek Journal

February 1 , 2007

The State of the State of the House

There's nothing like a rude awakening. It's 4:30 in the morning and I have just managed to pull myself out of bed after experiencing a rather painful "Charley Horse". Who in the world named a muscle cramp a "Charley Horse"? There's no horse here named Charley. There's Blondie, Jo and Ruby -- three of my neighbor's horses down in the pasture, but no Charley here except in my leg!

According to the Internet, (which means it has to be true) its origins may be linked to Chicago, baseball and horses. Here's what I found on Wikipedia:

"The term may date back to American baseball slang of the 1880s, possibly from the pitcher Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourne who is said to have suffered from cramps. Another story mentions a horse named Charley that used to work at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox' ballpark in Chicago. In those days, an old, perhaps lame, retired horse was often called "Charley."

How appropriate that a painful event be linked to the Chicago White Sox. (My arch-rival since I am a Chicago Cub fan.)

Medically speaking "they" say that muscle cramps become more numerous with age...or...athletes get them too. (I am so glad that I am an athlete and it's not old age.)

Okay, enough banter—on to other minutia.

Well, winter is finally here! It officially arrived about two weeks ago after an abnormally long period of above normal temperatures. El Nino has been blamed by the National Weather Service, but then if El Nino is to blame, why are we having so many "El Nino" events over the past 25 years?

Could it be global warming? Nope. We can't blame global warming on ONE abnormally warm winter season for global warming. It requires MANY years of abnormally high average temperatures. I wonder how many, MANY is? We seem to be having a long string of abnormally warm years. Let's see..."long string"...that sounds like it could be MANY.

Whatever the case, it looks like we are now in a deep freeze for a while. There's about three inches of snow on the ground here—not a whole lot, but enough of a thermal blanket to keep things rather chilly in the foreseeable future.

So while things are cold, now is a good time to work on indoor projects right? You know, like put a kitchen in the house, finish the electrical work, add a second bathroom, etc. Well...uh...maybe.

Let the truth be known, I've been busy doing other stuff like trying to get my second web site up and running. My passion is bird photography and I have decided to build a second web site devoted to it. Plans are to get the web site up and running soon! Currently the web site offers nothing more than a cover page, but here's the web address in case it ever does get completed:

Speaking of bird photography, I did take second place and honorable mention in a recent photo contest here in the midwest sponsored by The Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Refuges. The winning photographs will be on display throughout the year at boat shows, sports/fishing shows and other events here in the Midwest. If you happen to be at one of these events, look for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service booth and be sure to vote for my photo. The "best of show" photographer will win $200 at the end of the year.

Moving on to other bird photography news, I have just learned that several of my photographs will be made into signs that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use along the Upper Mississippi River for educational purposes. I am more thrilled about this than I am the contest. I have been trying to get my name "out there", and slowly it looks like that will be happening.

I am also hopeful that a number of my photographs will be used in an upcoming children's book about Minnesota birds. Keep your fingers crossed!

The State of the State of the House
I have been getting quite a few emails of late wondering what's going on regarding the completion of our house, homesteading, our health and other related questions. So here's the answer to some of the questions I have been getting:

Is everything okay?
Yes, things are peachy-keen. Life is good and we have no complaints. (Well...we do have our complaints, but that's beside the point.) (Thanks for the concern.)

What about the Journal?
Yes, I still plan on continuing the journal. I will write when I have the time. I'll do my best to at least write one journal per month—I promise. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in day! When I get going on home related projects, I will document them as usual.

What about the House?
The house will get done when it gets done. I still have a lot of work to do on the interior of the house, but the house is quite livable the way it is. Maybe that's a good thing or maybe that's a bad thing. It could be considered a bad thing I guess because the impetus for completion now isn't as great as it used to be. As they say...a house is never really finished.

I do plan on putting in a "real" kitchen this spring and a few other projects too, but I'm in no big hurry at the moment and either is Jo. I will certainly keep the journal updated as projects take place.

What about the Future?
George Bush will no longer be president. mean about us? Plans are still to move Jo and the cats up here when the time is right. Jo has been with her current employer for over 20 years now and has a few years to go before she can "officially" retire from her job. In the mean time, I will hold down the fort and work on my "To Do" list. (The list is so long it stretches clear across the state of Minnesota.)

That's about it. Looks like the coldest weather of the season is about to hit, so time to put another log on the fire.

Stay Warm! Peace!

Here's the photo that took 2nd place in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Contest.