Reinventing the Snow Shovel

This winter, try an eco-friendly snow thrower called the Sno Wovel. Recognized by Co-op America and National Green Pages for its positive, pollution-free environmental standards, it was also chosen Time Magazine’s “best invention.” The wheeled snow shovel design clears away snow three times faster than shoveling, and greatly reduces the physical strain of shoveling and the related risks of back and heart injuries. No fuel, fumes, or deafening noise to harm the environment or the operator.

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If you know how to use a seesaw, then you can Wovel. The Wovel works on the principle of leverage. “Give me but one firm spot in which to stand,” Archimedes declared 2,200 years ago,” and I will move the earth.” The Wovel gives you the power of leverage to safely move more snow in less time with greater ease then ever before.

Watch a variety of videos of the Sno Wovel in action here.

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Upcycled Holidays

What to do with all those little bits and pieces of remnant doilies and edgings? Paint them with water-diluted Mod Podge in layers until the piece is stiff enough to hold its shape. Put a wire hook in the top and call it a snowflake ornament!

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a bit of holiday shopping …

Baby, it’s cold outside! With temperatures at zero and the windchill factor scheduled to be in the negative twenties, we’re all noticing where the cold is creeping in. Hubby is home installing that storm door we’ve been meaning to get to all fall and my dad is out hanging plywood to the milking parlor and hay barn. Our animal shelters were built with their openings facing east because our winds always come from the west, but the winds are coming cold and fast from the east like they never do … go figure.

And me, well, I’m also finding ways to avoid the chill. Christmas shopping. For cold weather attire none-the-less, and perfect for any farmgirl …

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Handmade, cozy leg warmers. Love them! And it’s a beautiful story. Owner of Grace and Lace, Melissa, was moved by the loss of her infant daughter to get busy with her hands, thus evolved a line of hand-knit items for sale. I mean, how cute are these?

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And this tiny pair? I can think of a few farmgirls I know that need a pair of these. Precious! Thanks to Melissa for sharing her story and her fabulous knitting skills.

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Our Thanksgiving Travels

Look who we found while shopping for a few Thanksgiving ingredients at Whole Foods last week…

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I should clarify… Mia hollered, “Nanny!” and ran up to give the snowman and Nanny a big smooch. After that excitement, I enjoyed a big salad for breakfast just because the salad bar at Whole Foods is so fun to pick from with so many options. Then we headed back to the house where we were staying to get cooking! (Excuse the quality of the photos of our pie; I’ll get better at taking pictures!)

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The ingredients looked pretty yummy, but the end result was even better.

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Ice Music

When temperatures drop and the forecasts fill up with snow, many of us feel irrepressible urges to create.

You’re feeling it, right?

Me too.

Thoughts of knitting, baking, and holiday decorating …

But when I caught wind of a sonorous story lilting from the frozen waters of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, I realized …

Not all cold weather creativity happens indoors.

Needless to say, the Russians are a hearty breed, and a particular group of intrepid percussionists have not let sub-zero temperatures keep them cooped up inside.

Sergei Purtyan, a member of the Etnobit Percussion Group, discovered themagically melodic potential of the world’s deepest lake when his wife took a tumble on the ice.

Let’s just say, a new form of holiday music was about to be made …

“As she landed on the ice, she made a very musical ‘boooooom’ sound, so nice and deep that her husband, who has a very good ear, said ‘Hold on, what was it? How did you make that noise?'” the group’s founder, Natalya Vlasevskaya, told the Siberian Times: “She laughed, but then got curious, too, and they started touching and drumming on the bits of ice, realizing it was making a melody. He recorded it on the phone, got back to Irkutsk, and let us listen, asking if we might want to go together to the same spot and try and record our ice drumming.”

For some reason, as yet unknown, the specific spot where Purtyan’s wife fell has unique resonance and harmony when thumped, and Etnobit was thrilled to try their hands at ice drumming.

“Never mind that it was a six-hour drive to that particular spot!” Vlasevskaya says.

Ice in other parts of the lake, which reaches depths of 5,387 feet, doesn’t produce the same sounds. The group’s natural masterpiece was recorded with only about 15 feet of water below them.

“You see your hand touching the ice, you hear the sound, but your mind just can’t take it in,” Vlasevskaya explains. “You cannot believe that, yes, this beautiful clear sound is indeed produced by ice.”

It is lovely, as you can hear for yourself in this video: