Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter Wonderlands and Craft Projects

It's spring in Aix en Provence and Sunday afternoon the world was out and about soaking up the 55 degree (13 C) temperatures and taking up a little sun. A far cry from the temperature in Minnesota the day I left....-20 F (-29 C)!

People here are incredulous when I tell them what sort of temperatures we live with in the northern midwest. What exactly do people DO in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the winter?  How do people entertain themselves when surrounded by sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow? It's not so bad really...you have to roll with the weather and not fight it. Walks in the woods are fun...allow time for rest, wear the right clothes and make sure the dog is wearing boots!

Walks along the lake are wonderful. Colder than bloody hell...but beautiful. This is Lake Superior which rarely, rarely freezes over so you have to walk along it, not on it.

Sometimes we have to help others in need. As someone did for me when my car broke down in -10 (-23 C) temperatures. Or when someone's plane lands on a frozen lake, breaks a ski and crashes.

We do spend a lot of time outdoors. It's actually fun to drink wine by the fire on a cold night. .

Some people think it's fun to drill a hole in the ice and stand there all day waiting for a fish to decide he'd rather be someone's meal than remain in the frozen water for one more moment. But truthfully, ice fishing really just an excuse for guys to get away from their wives everyone else and drink beer

We plow through all kinds of weather to get where we're going. And sometimes we even make it!

And we eat. Yessirree bob, we eat!  But, if we're lucky, we have a son who makes sure we do it very well.

Of course, often we have to just give in find something to do indoors. Playing games in a bar is an option. It's close to a beer tap and someone else cleans up after you.

And periodically, our indoor activity involves craft projects. This year's Christmas craft is actually the same as last year's. It's a simple project really and I'm going to share it with you so you too can do this at home.
You don't need much really. The most important item for this project is...
1 Frozen Mouse (keep in mind he has to have frozen quickly and never, ever thawed.

Then all you need is cotton, red ribbon, a glue gun, and... one... crazy... mother.

Decorate your mouse simple and elegantly (avoid dripping glue which we didn't do) and work quickly (advice from crazy mother) because a thawed Christmas Mouse is not a good thing.

Use your finished creation in any of your outdoor Christmas decorations.

I do believe, this is the only site on the internet with clear and concise instructions for this particular project. Happy crafting! Who needs spring anyway?



  1. OMG! Your mother is crazy! How'd she get the mouse to be so pristine? No trap marks at all.
    I'm so jealous that it is warm in Aix. It's 19 here and that feels positively balmy.
    I added your blog to my blog list.
    I'd rather not be a morning person, but I'm useless at night. Only the young are night people, so count yourself lucky.

  2. LOL. A very unique craft project. Trading all that snow for Aix - how could you? More to the point, how can I?

  3. You went to Duluth-- ma ville natale!

    And super cool craft project. Waouh.

  4. Amazing what men will do to get away from their wives and drink beer...no end to their ingenuity and powers of suffering.

  5. Paulita-I never said I was OUT at night! That would delay that wonderful "getting into my jammies" moment.

    Eileen- Need I say you're a smart ass?

    Susan-I've just been snooping around your blog. Are you moving to France?

    Neenuh-both my boys live in Duluth and I got to spend 6 wonderful...cold...days with them.

    Fly- I know, the pour souls. What they don't know is how much we like it when they go!

  6. Oh and Pauline-the mouse wasn't trapped. They fall into buckets and cans in the garage and freeze REALLY quickly!

  7. Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy!

    My side aches from laughing so hard. I thought my mother was the crazy one for building an indoor snowman!

    My daughter is currently looking at Minnesota Ballet (in Duluth) as a potential company...I hope living in Portland, Maine, has prepared her!

  8. OMG . all the snow makes me brrrrrrrrrrrrr.. We aren't having hot summer here in down under either. I think summer's already gone. Its only 10 degree in the morning. That's not summer is it? (lol)
    Cute mouse, I must said. (smile)

    Julie xx

  9. Oh, dear. I was so hoping you'd be offering instructions for the charming holiday vests you were all wearing this season. But I'll settle for the mouse. I decorate all my taxidermy for the holidays, so it's right up my alley!

  10. The photo of Lake Superior is beautiful. Freezing, but beautiful. And how cute is that frozen mouse with the little hat on? Adorable! Poor little guy,

  11. Dana-perhaps this is a family issue! As for the vests, I sense a bit of sarcasm! Dana...dahlink...Ryan found those in the Walgreens dumpster (tags still on...you can see them hanging under our arms) and presented to us all last Christmas. It will now never be Christmas without them. Secretly, I know you want one. Red or black?

    Sara-yes, freezing and beautiful. So freezing, in fact that I frostbit my little toe that day!

  12. Oh my gosh. I would be laughing out loud but it is very early morning in Iowa and Mark is still asleep. Your mom is hysterical.

  13. Loved the photos of Lake Superior and Minnesota winter. Makes me homesick for family; however, I don't miss the icy cold.

  14. Sherrie-and sometimes she makes me HYSTERICAL.

    Pat-When I look at them I get homesick for my family too. But no, I prefer my weather here. Here's to spring!

  15. I knew Sally was CRAZY. You guys are so FUN. Miss you tons already. Sorry we had such little time.

  16. Lord have mercy: you've left me with my mouth hanging open!

    I've got Minnesotan relatives, but I have never of anyone trying anything quite this...original/environmentally correct/authentic.

    Chapeau to your go-for-it mother!

  17. Kerry-of course she's crazy. It's a genetic problem. We'll have more time in May!

    Tammy-I never thought of it as environmentally correct! I'll have to tell her.


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