M

Remember this post?

I know, it’s been a while since that came up. But still, unbeknownst to her, we have our grand, 1,000th comment on the Livlife blog.

Can you believe it?

At least one thousand separate times, someone has thought to express themselves in regard to something I have written. That is pretty amazing.

Any guesses who it is?

I’ll tell you what, I thought it was going to be Elena. She’s been commenting like crazy lately, and only I knew how close it was getting.

Then, I figured Kelly had a good chance, except it snuck into summer vacation and she spends a lot less time online. She did, however come up with the 999th comment.

Who does that leave?

The grand champion is none other than my mother, the amazing Kaye, with this comment (added to the previous post):

Not to worry…we survived! And our power came back on at 10:31 am. So, all worked out ok. Arionna couldn’t figure it out though, she kept telling me to “fix it grandma, you just need new batteries” How cute is that? If only it was that easy:)

There it is. The wisdomous words of my favorite mom. (Guess what, wisdomous is not a word. It should be. I hereby decree it thusly, whilst using it authoritatively).

And for her prize, she now gets an entire blog post, all to herself. Tell me, Mom, what would you like me to write about. Anything under the sun, it is all yours!

Congrats! And thank you, to everyone for commenting, it makes this blogging so much more rewarding.

400

After posting that last one, WordPress was kind enough to tell me it was my 399th post. Which means…this is 400!

Congrats to us all.

I hit just over 500 at my last site, Mindsay, which means I’ve written nearly 1,000 blog posts in my life. That’s incredible to me.

I’m also surprised that I am that high on this site. It seems like just yesterday that I started this blog. As a matter of fact, let me check.

I did my first post on Mindsay on December 9, 2007 and hit my 400th post on March 24, 2010. That is 837 days to get to 400 posts. That seems like a long time, right? 2 years, 3 months and 16 days.

By comparison, I did my first post on WordPress on August, 15,2010 and am doing my 400th…well, now. This is it, people. Pay attention! That means it only took me 635 days to reach that milestone for a second time. Or, 1 year, 8 months, 26 days. That’s considerably less. I blog so much faster now! Or else I’ve got more to talk about, who knows!

The cool thing I think is that I am officially 917 total posts into this blogging thing and it has been 1,615 days I’ve been a blogger. Or 4 years, 5 months, 2 days. My five year anniversary is this year. I will also hit 1,000 total posts and 500 WP posts this year. That’s pretty cool and a pretty impressive record for blogging, if you ask me. And I’m just the girl who started this because a librarian friend told her to. I never intended to be a blogger. But, today, right now, I’m sure glad I am.

Thanks for reading!

Birthday Week Contest!!!

I love doing contests. Participating, sure, but mostly hosting. It’s so fun to watch people compete.

I was just doing some routine maintenance on my blog when I noticed I’m getting up there in total comments. It’s a high number (that I’m not going to share) but it is creeping ever closer to 1,000 comments. That seems like a pretty big milestone to me, so we’re going to do a special blog contest.

For whomever leaves the 1,000th comment on my blog, I will write a blog, just for you. It can be about anything you want. You let me know what the subject is (the subject can even be YOU) and I will write a special post just for you.

That’s it. The contest is open until the 1000th post is achieved. I’m not telling how many are left to reach that number, but do remember that this counts all replies, even the ones I make to your comments.

Good luck, have fun, and keep commenting!

P.S. And it is only two days left until my birthday (Thursday, March 15, if you don’t have a calendar handy). It is probably too late to order me something from Amazon, but if you go to a brick-and-mortar store, you’ve still got plenty of time! And the contest, as you’ve guessed, has absolutely nothing to do with my birthday, just that I’m announcing it during birthday week.

Happy (almost) birthday to me!

The Blogs

We’re going to take a break from our whirlwind tour of Chicago, to talk about something that happened today. Or, actually, many somethings.

First, I was so tired last night I went to bed at 9:30. That’s cool, right? I was out in approximately…damn, does anyone know how long it actually takes for your head to hit the pillow? I slept like a log, right up until 4:30 am. That’s right, my day began at 4:30 when I was rudely jolted awake by – nothing at all. I have no idea what woke me up. I was warm, comfortable, I didn’t need to pee, there were no loud noises, AND I WAS STILL TIRED. So why did I wake up? No one will ever know. This is doomed to be one of life’s great mysteries.

The terrible part, and I mean the truly terrible part, is that I was having the BEST dream. Possibly the best dream ever. I dreamed I was in Madison, visiting my friend Niki, and our friend Frodo was there. They took me to a piano bar. (Is there even a piano bar in Madison?) We were sitting on a leather couch, eerily similar to the one in my living room, and this announcer (because all piano bars have announcers) says, “please give a warm welcome for Christian Kane”. And I flipped my shit. No kidding. I went teenage, the-beatles-are-here, bat shit crazy, in my dream. The whole audience was looking at me because I was screaming and it turned out I was the only CK fan in the bar. The only one. Which is sad, of course, and extremely awesome. So, he comes on the stage and Niki and Frodo are asking me, “do you know this guy?”, because I’m freaking out. And I’m all “of COURSE I do, it’s Christian KANE, he’s my favorite singer” but then I remember they don’t read my blog and they might not know that. But there he is, on the stage and he’s about four feet in front of our leather couch. It’s just him and his guitar and he sits on a stool and he sings. Oh and he had short hair. Which was weird, because he has long hair and I adore his hair and I don’t know why I’d dream about him otherwise, except I’m watching reruns of Angel and he had short hair while he was in Angel, so maybe that’s why.

Fine, so he starts to sing and he opens with my favorite song – Different Kind of Knight. Then he rolls into my next two favorite songs by him. Then, he pauses for breath, looks right at me and says, “what do you want me to sing next?” and – BAM! – I’m jerked into wakefulness. Maybe my heart stopped in my dream because he talked to me. I don’t know. But then I’m awake. So I lay there and I remember every second. I could even tell you what shirt he was wearing. Crystal clear. But I cannot get back to sleep. At all. Laying there, laying there, laying there.

Pretty soon an hour passes. 5:30 am. I begin to think about what I can get up and read. Then I realize that I forgot to take out my garbage and recycling last night because I was so tired. So I get up and do that. Isn’t that what everyone does before six in the morning on a Friday?

I finally left for work. The whole drive in, my left eye was watering and my eyelashes itch. Yes, I know it’s weird, but my left eyelashes itch. Still.

I got to work and the parking lot is full. Normally, on Fridays, there are so few people here, I get to park by the front door. Today, for some reason, so many cars I can’t park in the west lot at all, I drive to the east lot and it is full I had no choice and parked in visitor parking, which I am not supposed to do, but I did anyway.

I arrived at the library and right away something was up. My Kleenex box, left out for student use, was all messed up. Who would pull all the tissues out and then stuff them back in? Then, I looked closer and realized someone had done this:
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Who does that? But isn’t it awesome? No note. Just left for me to find. Wacky and wonderful, my favorite kind of surprise.

Then, a full two weeks ahead of schedule the guys show up to remove my slat wall from the library. Ahead of schedule. When does that happen…um, never is the answer. It means, though, that there are guys drilling about 8 feet from where I sit. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but I’m a bit off because I’ve already been awake for over six hours and it is only 10:45 am. Plus, I’ve got Kleenex flowers and itchy eyelashes and an interrupted dream. I should be crabby. I should. This day is weird. But, I’m not. I’m in surprisingly good cheer. AGAIN. Third day in a row that my mood just can’t be beat. Reiki massage. More on that later. (Because this is weird enough and I’m still not done). Also, I just stopped to sop up that watery left eye. WTF? (And if anyone suggests I’m getting sick, I might actually use the voodoo doll I own, {thanks, Mindy} to reign fire and doom upon your life. I am healthy as a goddamn horse! Someone suggested I was sick earlier this week because I sneezed. Once. One sneeze and he was all, “you poor thing, it’s going around.” What does that mean? I just sneezed. People do sneeze when they are not ill. And it is birthday month and I don’t get sick in birthday month, that’s a commandment, get your Bible and check it out. Also, could this little parenthetical note possibly be any longer? It’s a paragraph for Pete’s sake).

While checking my email this morning, I got this regular email that I subscribe to. It gives book recommendations. I love book recommendations. This morning, the entry began, “Happy Birthday, Girl!” and I thought it was written directly to me because my birthday is only six days away. SIX DAYS! (still time for presents, for you latecomers). My birthday is Thursday. I love saying that.

At any rate, I read the recs, most of it was junk. Kind of a letdown, after the exciting intro, which was actually about the author, whose birthday is today and she was reporting the books she’s most excited to read and she’s gifted herself with the weekend to do nothing but read. However, she wrote this one thing: “Then Jenny Lawson’s memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, which is coming in April. Someone sent me this link to her blog, and I really did laugh until I cried.”

That made me curious, because that’s a strong statement to make in an email that goes out to many, many people. I generally find that my humor does not match up with the average Joe. When people post things on their blogs and say “read this” or “watch this” or whatever because it’s so funny, I never find it funny. But I always look, because who doesn’t want more funny in their lives?

The link takes you to a specific post of a blog called The Bloggess. That will give you some background if you’re interested. I read the post linked above, and no lie I was actually LOL. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate that phrase? I do, I detest it. People don’t use it right. I think I’ve ranted about this before, it seems familiar. I’m going to check. Pause, please. Okay, I can’t find it. Maybe I’m delirious from getting up so early. Back to my new favorite blog.

For the record, I follow 75 blogs. Nope, not a typo. That’s an INsane number of blogs, I get that. Some don’t blog much, some are not “reading” blogs–that would be cooking blogs and a few humor blogs. In the last few weeks I’ve actually dropped five or six blogs. I drop a blog from my reader for inactivity, annoying habits, too many ads, too many “giveaways”, no more interest, what have you. But, I haven’t added a new one in quite some time. Mostly, when I find a new blog it is just more of the same. I pretty much already follow someone very similar.

Until now. The first page I read of The Bloggess had me in stitches (the link above) and then I clicked around and came across this. It’s from two days ago, just a random post. And, if it helps, Victor is her husband.

How often do I talk about other blogs on my blog? Rarely, I think. This one, though, just tickles my funny bone.

Okay, I think that sounds sufficiently crazy enough to post.

Snowstorm

About a week ago, the weather was predicting this HUGE snowstorm. People were talking about it for a week in advance, predicting feet of snow, closed schools, bitter cold, yadda yadda yadda.

I never really gave it much thought. It’s hard to think of a snowstorm when this is such a mild winter.

The day of the storm, I woke up and looked outside to see if the damage had started.
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Not so much. A powdery dusting of snow. It wasn’t even snowing when I took that picture. By the time I got to work, the sun had come out and it was warming up. So much for that.

Out of curiosity, I checked the weather online and saw they were still predicting a huge storm, they just downgraded it from snow to rain. It didn’t start raining until the late afternoon. Let me tell you, rain is one weird occurrence in February in Minnesota. When I left work that evening, it was still raining, but it was still also about 35°, so it was pretty mild. It smelled like spring. I headed off for my evening plans. (Dinner and shopping with Elena).

When I finally got home for the day, about 9 pm, things had changed. The temps had dropped and the rain was starting to freeze. As a matter of fact, this was the mirror on my car as I pulled into the driveway (ignore the fact that it’s broken, please).
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As you can see, frozen solid, with icicles dripping from the bottom. This does not bode well for morning driving. A few feet of snow is easier to drive in than an inch of ice.

When I woke up in the morning, I turned on my tv. I never use my tv. The last time it was turned on was to watch the ball drop on New Years Eve. But I excitedly flipped it on, hoping to see if I got a snow day. The ticker showing the closings was so long, I was worried I was going to be late for work trying to see if I had to go to work. It rolls alphabetically, I turned it on when it was in the Rs and I needed the Gs. It took 25 minutes to get back around! Meanwhile, practically every school in the state was shut down. I kept watching…and nothing. I checked my work email…nothing. Every school in our area was closed, but, we were open.

I hurriedly got ready and headed outside, to find that the world looked like this:
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As you can see, it is not much more dramatic than the morning before. At some point in the night, the rain had turned to snow, but only barely, since the entire world was crusted with ice. Ice is actually particularly beautiful. The tree over my head looked like this:
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Can you see the ice crystals formed on the branches? It looked cooler in person. How about a close up?
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That is all solid ice.

I started my drive, and as I thought, it was treacherous. I almost rear ended a guy at the first stop sign. I had to drive into the bank on the shoulder to avoid it. I learned and avoided following anyone closely at all.

It is now March and while March can certainly be a snowy month, I’m starting to think we missed our chance at having a snowstorm this year. It’s going to be 55° today and the 10-day forecast has those numbers holding steady (through my birthday! – only 9 more days…)

That’s my short weather story. Not very exciting, I know, but the pictures are pretty. And, I wanted to take a moment to teach a little something as well. A while back, Kelly wrote this story on her blog. At the bottom, she appeals to her favorite librarian to tell her why the frost looks like that.

The answer is it is called hoarfrost. Hoar is just one of the three main types of frost. Hoarfrost is formed when the air is damp – containing water vapor – and the vapor touches an extremely cold surface, such as plants, trees, branches, even cars. The air must be very cold (around freezing or below) and when the water vapor hits the cold surface, say a branch, it freezes instantly, often forming gnarled, or spiky fingers. That is exactly what Kelly saw in her blog post.

That’s a photo of hoarfrost I snagged from Google Images.

For the record, the other two types of frost are rime frost and fern frost. Rime frost is created when a damp, icy wind blows over things and it leaves a trail of frost which makes things look like they are frosted or have icing around the edges. Rime frost looks more like this:

Just a bit of frosting around the edges. Rime frost also looks like this:

I think, in MN, this is the most common type of frost that we see, because rime frost can only occur in very cold temperatures, far, far colder than hoarfrost. But, this winter has been so mild, that’s why Kelly saw a terrific example of hoarfrost.

Lastly, the final example is fern frost. Fern frost forms on windows. It happens when dew drops (moisture in the air) hits a cold window. They freeze into ice. But then more moisture freezes on top of the ice and eventually they form what look like icy patterns on the windows. If you live in MN I know you’ve seen this.

That can form on your car, your windows in your house, really any smooth cold surface. (all frost pictures are from Google Images)

A couple other things to note. The term hoar comes from the Old English and is used as an adjective to describe something showing signs of old age. It comes from the frost making trees and plants look like they are elderly, with white hair.

Frost is always white because the crystals contain air.

According to folklore, Jack Frost creates frost by running his icy fingers over windows (and plants I suppose).

In order for frost to form, the surface (on which the frost will form) must be colder than the air. This is why frost forms most readily around cracks in sidewalks, walls and doors and also on the edges of windows. It also explains why a car will frost more readily than concrete or the ground itself.

Think that’s everything you ever wanted to know about frost? Me too. But, I promise, the next time I notice frost, I will inspect it closely and see if I can determine which type it is!

That is your cold weather edition of TYNKYNK. Thanks, Kel!