December 08 - January 09 Newsletter

Well, the flying has slowed down significantly, Mark the primary scheduler is in the lower 48 visiting his supporters from the middle of January until the end of March so I have the whole job until he gets back, Cat’s had back operation on 5 January; all this has meant that I won’t have flown for two months. So I guess the only thing to talk about is the weather. Overall the weather has been pretty good so far. Up until December we had very little snow, a total of maybe 6’ and the temperatures were near perfect in the 15 –25 deg F range.

Click on picture for more photos ...................................................................Snow Around Home

Then just before Christmas we got about a foot and a half of snow – enough for our daughter Cheramie to build a snow angel. On Christmas a cold snap set in as temperatures plummeted to between –20 to -30 deg F all the way through the rest of December & into January. Then during the second week of January it warmed up to nice temperatures for a couple of days then, bang, it went to 40deg F on about 10 January and has been there since. Just after the December snows all the trees, including the deciduous ones, were covered in snow.

Click on picture for more photos ...................................................................Playing in the Snow
(Trying video on Flickr for the first time. There is one of Cheramie building the snow angel - needs a fairly fast computer and internet link - I didn't get sound. Please let me know if this works for anyone)

The evergreens had about a foot of snow while the deciduous tress had about 6” of snow. What was unusual was that all the snow stayed on the trees. Then with the cold temperatures hit all the bushes got a covering of frost. For about a week the scenery was absolutely gorgeous around here. Today about half this snow is melted and I’m fighting rivers through my driveway I don’t normally get until March. It rained for two days this week and the roads were treacherous. I came home to check on cat and got stuck in my driveway. A bit of sand gave me traction but then I got stuck on the skating rink of a road outside my place on a slight hill. I decided to put the car in the garage and phone my boss to tell him he be without my services that afternoon. Walking into the house someone drove by and I remembered momentum. Making a second run at it I was able to get to the far side of the road and get some traction on the snow. Still I only drove 25 MPH on the side roads. The major streets were bare and wet.
Cat’s operation went well. While they were in stabilizing the L5 vertebrae by fusing it to S1 they found “a lot of arthritis” (Doctor’s words) which they took out giving the nerves room to breath. It was likely the arthritis that caused the pains down Cat’s legs that sent us to the doctors. During their investigations they saw the unstable L5 that could have been life threatening. Amazing. Post operation Cat has no pains down her legs but is very sore from the 4” incision in her lower back and the muscles they had to cut to get to the area of the vertebrae. She was in the hospital for a week. The first week home she was basically house bound. In the second week we went to a doctors appoint which required her to climb the 12 steps up to our driveway. This put her back about a week. We have been fighting to find the right dosage of pain reliever. If she takes enough to deal with the pain she gets a bit “loopy”, not able to complete a sentence. If she takes less long acting medicine she needs too much short acting medicine. Even when we figure this out it’s going to take some months for Cat to bounce back.
In December we were blessed to have our daughter, Cheramie, visit us for ten days. Don especially appreciated Cheramie cooking all 10 dinners while she was here. We spent some great time together. The weather warmed up on her second last day here so she was able to enjoy the snow.

We also took a Cessna 172 airplane for a tour around the peninsula and then went home to cut down one of our own trees for our Christmas.

Click on picture for more photos .............Cessna 172 Flight

One of our friends came over with a couple of rifles and a shotgun. We fired them plus the .38 pistol we have. When the sky refused to snow, we rounded out a great ten days by playing some games of cards

Click on picture for more photos ...............Target Shooting