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'17-'18 Saint Paul MN
Last week in December and first week in January. Mostly KAI!
'17 Aug and '07 May: Kansas City
2007 With Ken and Bill and Cheryl. What's there to do in KC? I'll let you know!

2017 AND THEN The Total Eclipse Of The SUN!
'16 Jun: Saint Paul, MN, and points Beyond
At home and a visit to Madison and The LAKE!
'13 Oct: Saint Paul, MN, and Lake Superior
The Kids!
'12 June Wedded Bliss!
Midwest Guy meets West Coast Girl.
'11 Feb: St Paul, MN, and Ely
With Cynthia for her birthday and to meet Mike and Kieran, and to go Ice Fishing!
'09 Nov: Wisconsin
With Cynthia for Thanksgiving, giving Thanks.
'09 Jun: Wisconsin
Oat and Aboat dun'cha kno yah, over dair hey, in dah Badger State with Cynthia, and Mark our local guide to all things Wisconsin.
'08 Oct: Minneapolis-St Paul
With Leigh, and Garrison Keillor!




Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.

November 25

An internet photo of the town of Chippewa Falls and it looks just like this today.

We, Cynthia and I, did our shopping and now we are resting in preparation for tomorrow's day of feasting and in preparation for an excellent week of delicious leftovers.

Tonight's accuweather: "Breezy with rain mixing with, then changing to snow, accumulating an inch or two."

November 26

Yes, we did! We did it!!

Yum-eeeee. You can just add a yum-eeeee after every item: turkey and dressing, yam and onion skillet, an indigenous dish know as Cheezy Potatoes made with frozen hash browns and cream of mushroom soup, green bean hot dish, waldorf salad, and cranberry-orange relish. Yum-eeeee.

Apple pie comin' right up.

November 27

Cynthia's half is on the left.

And her driveway is past the mailboxes.

Today is a sunny not at all windy not so cold day, high in the mid 40s. It didn't snow yesterday as it was predicted to do, and now the 15 day forecast is for no snow. So maybe it'll snow tomorrow.

For lunch we ate a left-over Thanksgiving dinner and for dinner we're going to eat another one. Yum-eeeee. And for breakfast tomorrow? Yup.

Cynthia says 'thank you Kaitlin for the sweet card. And thank you for making this wonderful bracelet. It fits me perfectly.'

Oh yeah, let's play!

Cynthia's neighbor gave her 'last year's' Christmas tree so in the spirit of the holiday season we did a little trim-the-tree party by making a few dozen White Doves Of Peace. The tree looks great!

November 28

We did shopping today, for food since Thanksgiving dinner probably won't last forever and to pick up supplies for some craft projects (here's Cynthia making a friendship bracelet) in anticipation of...

...the Holiday Season. Ho HO HO.

It was lovely again today - in the 40s, sunny and calm.

November 29

I looked out the window around noon just thinking nothing in particular and Look, Snow, only left in the shadows and all gone a few hours later. Probably it's going to be a White Christmas around here.

(...looking out the back window, a cute kid lives in the other half of the duplex.)

Here come three recent pictures from other people:

1) Trevor (kneeling) and Beth (leftmost) at a Honolulu Zoo fund raiser. They don't own those outfits, too bad, but what a great photo.

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2) Inga-Lill from her Mediterranean cruise. She had a FABulous time and took plenty of pictures for me to enjoy. Good job Lill!

??

3) Lucas, Betsy, Xander, and Anya out with friends at a Seattle botanical garden's light show. Thanks! (even if, as you say Betsy, you do have to get someone else's pictures to send!)

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November 30

Does this look cold? It WAS cold mostly because the wind had kicked in and the sun was finished for the day.

Out the car window, on the way to pick up Cynthia from work.
Chippewa River Industries
The Office.

Pretty grand isn't it. There are a lot of pines and other types of evergreens around, but predominately we've got the deciduous trees which make such a dramatic presence in winter photos.

December 2

This morning, coming out of the sky, snow.

Cynthia had told me many stories about driving out here. The gist being that sooner or later, usually sooner, every driver will experience two misadventures: 1) skid out on the ice and 2) every driver will hit a deer. I intend constant vigilance, sloooow watchfulness (they're too polite to honk...), trying really really hard to avoid both.

December 1

That's right, a bull with a cheese on his head, in front of the mega-Farm and Fleet where you can buy just about anything related to farms or fleets.

I bought some rubber shoes for when it rains. Although it may not rain. It's nuts how every few hours the weather forecast changes dramatically. Today was like the end of yesterday - not bad, low 40s, but a little cold with the wind.

December 3

Can't stop taking pictures of this tree!

Every morning I'm thinking that while Cynthia's at work I'll go out - walk, look around, do some stuff - and then every afternoon, I haven't. It's cold outside.

So I've been fooling around with craft projects, eating of course, messing around on the internet. The days just fly by.

December 4

I totally had to make myself go out of the house today. But I didn't have to make myself get out of the car.

Here are a few pictures snapped out the car window. The water tower for the town of Chippewa Falls, WI.

Near the house.

No sidewalks, no street lights, no lane lines, plenty of electricity though. It's actually very excellent to be in a place that's not so overlit as is absolutely everywhere in LA.

Brrr, and in mostly black and white.

It's so early in the winter season I know this isn't the real deal winter, but even now, in the late afternoon, in the low 20s, 20mph wind...I'm having an Experience.

December 5

Big Day Today! First we drove through the countryside to the Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area Visitor's Center located along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

It is that Scenic Trail for which the Park is most well known and upon which we set not one foot even though the Ranger was on about how the trail was just perfect for snow-shoeing.

The Visitor's Center - interesting, informative, and touchy-feely friendly too.

There's a lake in the background but then in Wisconsin it seems there's always a lake.

A scene from the car window...

...and a scene from a quick jump out of the car.

Then mid-day the town of Chippewa Falls (population 13,000) was hosting a local brass band's concert in the Chippewa Valley Cultural Association's Heyde Center for the Arts.

What Fun!

The Community.

And there's more! Next we visited the light show in the town's Irvine Park. It was a drive-through experience, or you could park and stroll for however long you wanted to brave the cold.

More. And THEN...

...it's time for the Chippewa Falls Annual Christmas Parade! We left Irvine Park five minutes before the parade was to start, drove to the main street, parked one block away, and were in place right on time for the start of the parade. It's crazy. Here if you want to go somewhere, you just go there.

Most of the entrants were these trailer-floats pulled by pick-up trucks...

...or groups of kids dressed up in seasonal gear...

...with a couple of horse-drawn floats...

...and most incongruously and out of the blue, this HONKIN' truck advertising its truck driving school.

This guy is one of Cynthia's ShareRide drivers. He's in the passenger's side of the truck pulling his float - a Happy Birthday Jesus cake.

I don't remember what song they were playing on their sound system but there was another Happy Birthday Jesus float and they were playing Happy Birthday dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to Youuu.

And btw, yes, it was cold, but I was warm enough wearing a wool pull-down hat, a big wrap-around scarf, a shirt, a sweatshirt, a big long coat, gloves, long pants, knee-high wool socks, and my new waterproof shoes that seem to hold the heat in ok as long as I was moving.

December 6

The very first picture in this story is one I swiped off the internet. But this one is mine of the exact same scene. Whoever took that picture was standing almost exactly where I am standing. But maybe the trees have grown.

December 8

I spent this day like a very super lazy stay-at-home maybe don't even get dressed California Girl in Wonderland. How cool, to look out the window every hour or so and see the landscape changing before my very eyes.

If I was having a winter holiday at a tourist place I would be thinking not much of it but Cynthia LIVES here and that makes the whole thing so much more dramatic.

Remember the story about the ice and the deer?

Here we have both threatening. This used to be a four lane road now down to two icy paths and that sign says watch out for the leaping deer.

Cynthia snapped this one out the window as we were driving home. It is cold but not as cold as it looks. But then I was outside for no more than 10 consecutive seconds so I shouldn't really say.

cc.

December 9

Oh you bet-cha...

...the view out the front door at 8am this morning.

Between where I'm standing and the house across the 'street' is the supposed street I will be driving down to take Cynthia to work.

I am SO glad for the garage!

See that car in the lower right? That's our duplex-mate's car, not in the garage. And over there in the middle-left is the next door neighbor blowing out his driveway with some gigantic machine.

And there's no way I'm getting the car out until 'we' (read Cynthia) shovel this driveway.

Cynthia, slogging out to the 'street' with the trash.

And Cynthia slogging off to the next road where the plows have cleared a way so a taxi service can take her to work.

A telephoto out the back door and across the snow drifted meadow to the houses on the next street.

And the wind is so strong I can't even tell if the snow is still falling. accuweather thinks it'll be all over by tomorrow morning. I'll keep you posted!

December 10

From accuweather.com, and true.

The day dawned clear and bright and c.o.l.d.

Last night Cynthia shoveled her driveway. Can you tell which driveway was shoveled by the local girl and which by the California girl?

Yesterday was the Big Blow and I couldn't get out of the house, and the day before it was stormy and even though I could have gotten out, all I did was Cynthia's commute.

But today! I can go out! But it's BELOW ZERO wind chill. So I popped out of the car for a quick snap...

...snap. And back to the car with ice-fingers attached to my senseless palms. Check out how that lake is starting to freeze over. From now it's going to be months before the temperature gets above freezing.

I went to the Lake Wissota State Park but couldn't get in because the road wasn't plowed. Then I went to the boat docks but couldn't get to them because the road wasn't plowed. Then I went home.

December 11

In the morning...

...Chippewa River Industries.

And in the afternoon...

...Chippewa River Industries.

December 12

We visited the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire today. It's a college of around 12,000 students, small, and knowable.

Our destination was their bird exhibit which is, let's say, modest, but entertaining.

The campus is quite inviting, friendly, easy to get around in, and of a very human scale. And in their wiki entry the longerst paragraph was about the Marching Band so very cool on that.

From driving down the road and I had to stop.

Today is my last day. Tomorrow I leave. So this'll be the last picture of this scene...until next time!
Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.


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