Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Back to Normal

What's that? Is it foggy? Hazy? No, it's SNOW! 

Real snow! Falling right out of the sky and blowing past the windows! 

And there's more in the forecast! Back to normal, folks!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

P.S. The wreaths in the trapezoid windows are coming down today, as I needed a ladder and Mr. Cut Off to help me with those!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


When we moved to the Keweenaw, we fully anticipated being snowbound now and again. After all, we do get about 260" of snow each winter. What we didn't anticipate was being "slushbound." Slushbound? Yes, slushbound - as in unable to leave our home due to slush. To be fair, we can leave our home. Our legs are still working. We just can't navigate our driveway, and nothing is within walking distance. Since our driveway is very long (emphasis on the "very") and we live in the middle of nowhere, we are effectively slushbound. Don't worry about us, though. We have plenty of provisions - always do. Plus, a snow machine (aka snowmobile) is always an option if Mr. Cut Off runs out of milk! 

OK, now you're having trouble understanding WHY we can't navigate our driveway just because of a little slush. Let me try to explain. If you remember, I've told you before how it's necessary to build a thick mat/layer of snow on the stone driveway in order to plow it effectively. The mat enables the plow to skim easily across the surface. Mr. Cut Off works diligently on grooming that mat when the snow first begins to fall each season. He's truly a perfectionist about it. 

Now, let's cut to the weird weather we've been having since January 13th. No snow and temps above freezing. That's what I said. . . no snow and temps above freezing. Weird? Uh, yeah. Like. . . this doesn't happen up here in January. What has happened to that nice mat of snow on the driveway? Has it disappeared? Are you back down to stone? No such luck. It's just a deep, deep slushy mess! How deep? Like deep enough for your vehicles to sink into and get really, really stuck kind of mess. That's what happened this week. We barely made it out of the driveway on Sunday morning on the way to church and had to park in our turn-around area near the road when we returned. That's right; we trekked it on foot all the way back to the house. Mr. Cut Off had to go to town on Monday morning, and he was determined to get the vehicle back up the driveway and into the garage when he came back. Well, determination isn't always enough. Right again - stuck - good and stuck - down by our barn. Thankfully, Mr. Cut Off already has a good relationship with our shovels, so he was eventually able to get the Traverse out and parked nearby on the side of the barn. And, no, we can't use our 4WD plow truck. That's even heavier than the Traverse. That would get super duper stuck. The driveway has deteriorated even more since Monday, so we're definitely slushbound!

The snowmobile trails have taken a big hit, too, and that's never good news for our local businesses. Thus, we're all doing the "snow dance" up here - hoping for more snow and colder temps. It seems to be working, as there's good news in the forecast - hopefully starting tonight. Still, it will take a while for the driveway to be in decent shape again. We're hoping to be able to leave for church on Sunday. 

So, are we miserable? Hating every moment of every day? Feeling totally trapped? Nah, we're homebodies anyway. There's nothing we need. We have nowhere to go and plenty to do to keep us occupied. We both admitted that it's actually kind of fun! Yeah, we're weird like that. 

How much snow are we losing? Here's an illustration. We put a snowstick in our yard this winter - hoping to measure how much snow we would get. After the snow began to fall, we realized that it was probably in the worst possible place for an accurate measurement, as the wind blows the snow right past it during many storms. That means (1) we can't use it to accurately measure how much snow has fallen on any given day, and (2) the snow depth it shows in that area is much less than in most other areas of our property. (We'll move it next year for a more accurate measurement.) It does, however, show us the snow depth at that particular spot and how fast it's condensing/compacting/melting, etc. Note the depths and dates on the following 4 photos - beginning with January 12th - the day before our last snowfall. 




There you have it - a measly 21" today - and that 21" isn't looking quite as pristine and clean as it normally should. We'll look forward to more of this slushy mess in April when it actually means the end of winter. For now, though, we're happy that colder temps (to firm up the slush mat) and more beautiful white powder are supposed to be on the way!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Let Us Continue

The United States of America has a 45th President, Donald Trump. 

Let us continue to pray for America in the days ahead.

God bless America.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Winter Sunrise

We're experiencing something this week that we've never experienced since we've lived here - a true January thaw! We're talking temps in the 30's, blue skies - and it hasn't snowed since Friday! We're holding steady at 156" for the time being. Yeah, we can't believe it either! 

We needed to run some errands in Houghton this week and decided to get an early start that day. I was grabbing my jacket from the closet in the foyer when I happened to notice this through the front door.

A winter sunrise! We were able to enjoy more of it on the way down Hwy. 41, as it made the snow on the cliffs look pink.

My favorite shot, however, was the one I snapped through the open front door before we left home.

I love it when the Lord gives us unexpected treats like that!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Blue Sky & Shadows

What do you do when it stops snowing and the blue sky pops out for the first time since that brief period last Sunday?

You whip out the camera, of course!

Wouldn't want that blue sky & those spectacular shadows to go to waste!

These were all taken yesterday; more snow since then!

Yes, I know my Christmas decor is still up. My aunt was supposed to come up this weekend and wanted to see it, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Oh well, we've been enjoying it anyway. I'll take it all down on Monday and Tuesday.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gaining Perspective

Here's a shot I snapped along Hwy 41 on the way to church on Sunday morning.

You might be saying, "Wow, that's really pretty," but the picture doesn't really show you the height of the trees or rocky cliffs. You can guess based on the width of the road, but the next 2 photos will help you out. They were snapped just moments earlier.

That's a full-size Chevy pickup in front of us.

And. . . to help you gain a little perspective on the height of our snow banks, take a gander at the following shot - taken along Hwy 41 as we were going through Kearsarge.

Keweenaw County officially recorded 7" yesterday, but we definitely had more than that at our house. . .

and it's still snowing! 

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow - Deep & Beautiful

The Keweenaw County Road Commission won't give us the official snow total again until Monday or Tuesday of this coming week, but our total was 118" - thru Thursday. Our house has seen at least a foot since then - most of which fell last night - but we're not the official record keepers. No matter how you slice it, it's deep out there! But. . . it's also beautiful! Here's the view from the loft yesterday.

Now that our days are growing longer, I can enjoy this next view during dinner (the beginning of dinner anyway).

Again, do you understand why I didn't want the interior of our home to follow the current trend of white walls and white slipcovered furniture? 

Here's the 24-hour difference. First, Cocoa's old doghouse (which we must dismantle in 2017!) in a protected corner in back of the garage yesterday and today:

A huge tree stump at the edge of the woods yesterday and today:

The tree near the dining room window yesterday and today:

Lastly, the view from one of our bedroom windows comparing Jan. 3rd to today:

That's what approximately 130" of snow looks like - a picture postcard (as Mr. Cut Off always says).

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Big Blow

I guess I never told you about the big blow we had on Christmas night. The winds were really whipping - gusting up to about 50+ mph. We lost power for 9 hours or so, but it happened just as we were going to bed, so the timing for such an event was perfect. When we awoke the next morning, we discovered the top of a tree on the ground outside our bedroom window and 8 or 9 trees down by our barn - no harm done to our house or barn! Amen! The top of the tree was about 8 feet in length, and it was getting buried in snow. . .

until Steve moved it out of the way yesterday when he refilled the bird feeder.

It's snowing now, of course, and the forecast is calling for some impressive totals in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on my Snowfall Chart page in the left column for updates.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Make-Ahead Projects 5

It's a new year, but I still need to share one last project that you can make now for Christmas 2017. It's my Fun Fur Tree.

This project was super cheap because I used this Fun Fur yarn I found in a bin at Dollar Tree. (If I had used a homemade poster board cone instead of a foam cone, it would have been even cheaper.)

The color is Taupe.

Yep, I did the usual - wrapped the yarn around and around the cone until it was covered.

I topped it off with my last snowflake ornament - no glue - just pushed it down into the foam cone.

I really love how this one turned out - the color - the texture - everything about it!

I displayed it alone and also placed it on top of a wood slice coaster - again no glue. I could even change out the snowflake topper for a small pinecone. 

I hope these 5 make-ahead projects gave you some ideas on things you could do during the slower winter evenings of January to help you beat the Christmas rush of 2017. Happy crafting!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, January 1, 2017