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writing2Hello, my name is Nina. I am the world’s worst speller. I will be suffering from this until the day I die … or stop writing … whichever comes first. My family thinks it’s hysterical that I went into this line of work.

But that’s not what this post is about.

When I was in 7th grade we had an assignment to make a list of as many homonyms as we could discover. (Words that sound alike, but are spelled differently). I am a competitive cuss and I went through the dictionary scouring for words that sounded the same. I had a reeeeally long list when I went into school the next morning proudly passing in my homework, confident I’d have the most. But it wasn’t to be … David Zobel had the most! How dare he? Of course he was the state spelling bee champion that year, perhaps that had something to do with it. He had a humungus vocabulary. I came in second. Man, did that stick in my craw!
 
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I can not tell a lie. I LOVED December in New England. Oh, not because it was winter–just the opposite in fact. Christmas Eve it was nearly 70F! I don’t ever remember that happening in my lifetime. But there was no hoping it could continue. But to make myself feel better, I thought I’d share with you some facts about snow. I’m not sure how the guys snuck in there. But try to suffer through the pictures if you don’t mind.

1. Almost 15.5 feet (475 cm) fell in Alaska over a 7 day period in 1957. (Well, with weather like that, you might as well crawl in bed and stay there.)

2. Snowflakes start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake which usually has six sides. (And six well-defined abdominal muscles is also a very pretty arrangement.)

3. In the early 1900s, skiers created their own terminology to describe types of snow, including the terms “fluffy snow,” “powder snow,” and “sticky snow.” Later, the terminology expanded to include descriptive terms such as “champagne powder,” “corduroy,” and “mashed potatoes.” (And I’m sure they’d name this one “yuuuummmy”.)

4. Each year an average of 105 snow-producing storms affect the continental United States. A typical storm will have a snow-producing lifetime of two to five days and will bring snow to portions of several states. (I don’t know ladies, do you think there’s enough of this guy to spread around?)

5. Snow at the North and South Pole reflect heat into space!! That happens because the ice acts like a mirror with the heat of the sun, and the heat bounces off the ice and into space. (Mirrors always seem to bounce spectacular views.)

6. Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the only permanent snowcap within sight of the equator. (Of course if you’re looking really close, you may find something even more appealing within sight of the equator.)

7. There is NOT a law of nature that prohibits 2 snowflakes from being identical. (This is also true of humans.)

8. The largest piece of ice to fall to earth was an ice block 6 meters (20 ft) across that fell in Scotland on 13 August 1849. (If this guy was around … it would have melted quickly!)

9. Practically every location in the United States has seen snowfall. Even most portions of southern Florida have seen a few snow flurries. (This poor darling seems to be in desperate need of some ice … come visit me pretty boy.)

10. In Australia, snowfalls are common above 1,500m in the Alps during the winter, but there are no permanent snowfields anywhere on the continent. (It’s probably better if these gentlemen don’t worry about cold weather anyway.)

11. I heard once that snowflakes were pieces of clouds shaken loose when the angels danced with God. (Well, if that’s who’s dancing, who am I to be upset about some snow?)

12. Snow can be further classified into six basic patterns called: Needles, columns, plates, columns capped with plates, dendrites, and stars. (And these gentlemen can be classified as tall, dark, and dangerous.)

13. When cloud temperatures are at the freezing point or below, and there is an ample supply of moisture in the air, ice crystals form around a core particle. As water vapor condenses and freezes, the complex pattern of a snowflake is born, one molecule at a time. A snowflake’s hexagonal shape is born at the atomic level. It is here that water molecules bond together into … (Yeah, yeah whatever … bring on the eye candy!)

This week before all Hallow’s Eve I wanted to share with you some interesting facts about Halloween. (And don’t mind the sexiness … the guys just haven’t been around for awhile and thought they’d just hang around and visit.)

1. Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Year’s on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night. (That’s one heck of a party! And after a night like that … it’s the morning after that would bring the walking dead!)

2. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. (I’m thinking they danced around a bon fire and made sure this guy was around to make sure it all stayed safe.)

3. Druids wore masks on Samhain to protect themselves from goblins, ghosts and evil spirits because it was believed the dead walked the earth. (And I’m thinking a little blindfold on Halloween might be juuuust enough.)

4. Vampire bats are real and they do drink blood. They live in Central and South America and feed on cattle, swine, and horses. Whether there are real human vampires depends on who you talk to. (And if there are vampires and they looked like Alex O’Lauglin … I’d happily let them take a bite out of me!)

5. Halloween’s colors are black and orange. To Pagans, orange represents strength, valor and energy. Black absorbed and banished evil. Non-Pagans viewed orange as the color of autumn and harvest; black as signs of death and malevolence. (Sometimes all you need is black and white.)

6. The original Jack-o-Lanterns were mangel-wurzels, large yellowish beets. According to legend, Jack was a mean spirited Irishman who outsmarted the devil. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to both Heaven and hell. The devil threw him a lump of coal to guide Jack on his eternal earthly journey and he put it in a mangel-wurzel.(Tht’s right sweetie, stay close, I won’t let you get lost in the dark.)

7. In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink. (I wonder what sort of acts this guy is up to?)

8. 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags. (Maybe we should bind his hands to be sure he’s a good boy. 😉 )

9. Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers will spend over $2.5 Billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods. (Pshaw… it’s the margarita mix and salt! Yee Haw!)

10. A man in Rhode Island broke the pumpkin record this year, growing a gourd that weighed 2009 pounds! He smashed the former record of 1818 pounds grown by a couple in Quebec, Canada in 2011. (Yeah, yeah, whatever … how about handling this guy?)

11. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end. (How about I wrap myself around this man candy just once?)

12. “Witch” comes from the Saxon word meaning “Wicca” which means wise one. Witches were thought to be wise enough to predict the future. (I’d just like this guy to work his magic on me!)

13. The world’s fastest time to carve a pumpkin recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records was 54.72 seconds by Stephen Clarke of the US. (Sorry, Stephen, there’s not one woman walking this earth that thinks 54 seconds is a good time!)

NOTE: No Ouji boards were harmed in the writing of this blog.

 

Next Monday Mr. Nina and I leave on a 10 day driving trip. So what could I do this week but honor 13 of my favorite roadtrip movies. Yes it’s true, most of them I saw in their original version at the theater. But I refuse to think I’m old … though did I mention Mr. Nina and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary while on the road? Really, I’m not old. (My new mantra.) Oh, and the pictures have nothing to do with the movies. I just thought it was time to post some man candy.

1. National Lampoons Family Vacation (1983)
Think this group would adopt me?

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Now this is one group I’d happily follow down the yellow brick road.

3. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Oh Mama, this is one bandit who speaks for himself!

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
And here’s some pilots that can take me anywhere.

5. Easy Rider (1967)
Ummm … yeah, he would be.

6. Into the Wild (2007)
The country doesn’t look so lonely from this perspective.

7. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
I don’t know about a missing bike, but I’d like to know what’s missing under this guy’s kilt.

8. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (remake 1970)
(But a drink with him could make it alllll better.)

9. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
That’s MR. Sunshine to you!

10. Cannonball Run (1981)
A race with this guy in the car … count me in!

11. Thelma and Louise (1991)
No woman in her right mind would leave this guy behind!

12. Paper Moon (1973)
This guy could talk me into any con.

13. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003) 
And yes, I would go to the ends of the earth with these three!

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