Random 5 for February 3 – Frozen, excuses, relatives, friends, groundhogs

Here is Gracie keeping my boots warm between pond trips.

Pond woes – Something wonky happened to our outdoor electrical outlet which shut down the pond bubbler. It’s important to keep an open area in the pond so the gases can exchange and the fish don’t suffocate. At 7 a.m. on Tuesday I was out (with the temperatures hovering around 0 Fahrenheit) with buckets of super-hot water to open up an area in the frozen pond. We got the electric on by disconnecting something else and thought all was good. But the the next morning it was the same drill (and it’s getting pretty old at this point). We rigged up an extension cord to another outdoor GFI outlet and all seems good now. Temperatures are expected to climb this coming week so I’m hoping that the bitter cold is over. We will need to figure it all out later. Like when it’s warm.

Silver linings – Lugging hot water was enough exercise. I excused myself from further movement for the rest of the day. Yes, I did treat myself to a second mocha latte.

Reporting from the ancestry rabbit hole – Over the past few months I’ve received email from six different people asking about ancestry connections. Two had positive results and four didn’t (at least from anything as recent as the 1850’s). One person I knew when he was a child. He’s a second cousin and lives in another state. The other was the granddaughter of another cousin. When I was young, there were picnics and parties where all the cousins got to know each other. As we got older, that stopped. There were too many cousins and with the older generation dying off, no one kept it up. Now it’s fifty years later and I don’t remember all my cousins nor do I know what happened to them all.

So the outcome? – Although I’ve connected with two cousins, we don’t have much in common. I haven’t heard anything from the first one since the initial contact and I doubt I’ll hear much from the second (that contact was more recent). Reconnecting with relatives doesn’t mean getting new best friends. In some cases it’s just filling in a blank on your genealogy chart.

Punxsutawney Phil! – There is a local custom that if the groundhog climbs out of his burrow on Feb. 2 and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. Makes no sense to me. If he sees his shadow it means the sun is out and that’s warmer. Anyhow the little rodent did not see his shadow (so “they” say) so he predicted an early spring for us. First time in years. People are rejoicing. Hey, when people are looking for hope, they will grab onto anything, even a rodent! We already know the meteorologists aren’t always on mark.

So how was your week?

Weather-forecasting groundhog, courtesy of Wikipedia

54 thoughts on “Random 5 for February 3 – Frozen, excuses, relatives, friends, groundhogs

  1. For the sake of all who are in this freezing winter, I really do hope that early spring is getting closer! I am really sorry that you’ve had to address the pond’s issues in such terrible weather. How you are ever able to even leave the warmth of the house is amazing to me. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just want longer days. Light until 8 or 9pm every night like it is in the summer and I could put up with an arctic vortex for months. Of course I don’t work out of doors, so my life isn’t too terribly disaffected by the deep cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hauling buckets of water is exhausting – hot water in cold weather with desperation is even worse. Hope the little fins managed to find a safe spot while you worked things out. (I keep expecting to her from the HOA about the strings of lights I have hundred under the fluffy non cold tolerant picturesque little palms…when it sleets/rains a lot I have to keep watch to make sure they stay on..cold and wet is no fun)
    Happy Chinese New year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay for the groundhog! That tradition always makes me smile. Sorry for the glitch with your fish pond – hope all the fish are still OK? And glad to hear that you got to reconnect with some relatives, even if it isn’t going to lead to new closeness. It’s always good to know what’s up with family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The groundhog legend: If he sees his shadow we gets frightened and jumps back into his hole for another 6 weeks. Ergo, 6 more weeks of winter. If not, he stays out and we enjoy an early Spring.
    I think the stock market has a similar philosophy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoy your pond from afar. Through you I’ve learned what an effort it is to keep it going.

    I also find your forays into genealogy informative, too. I agree that knowing that you’re related to someone doesn’t mean they’ll give a care about you. It’s often all about putting the pieces together in a way that pleases you– or at least that’s my take on ancestry at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The pond really isn’t much work. Much less than a pool but nothing is no work. Even as I got the last email I realized that we weren’t close as kids (he’s younger than I am by a few years which is a lot in kid years). If we exchange a few emails about his siblings that will be good and if not, nothing ventured.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is astonishing this whole Groundhog Day thing. Faith is one thing but that old yarn about the groundhog being a predictor of weather seems just plain goofy. Professionally trained meteorologists can’t accurately predict and we’re supposed to trust a rodent? Puleez. It’s discriminatory against wooly caterpillars.😇Hope your pond issues get squared away soon and easily. Electrical issues frighten me. They lust after the checkbook.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Didn’t the rodent predict an early spring last year too?? I remember all sorts of memes about how wrong he was and “wanted” posters up for him last year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So how large does a pond have to be to not worry about gas exchanges when it freezes over? I’m thinking of a pond I ice-skated on when I was a kid, plus the frozen lakes in New Hampshire and wondering how those fish survive.

    Zero degrees and boiling water — you are a trooper, Kate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t really know but it may also have to do with the number of fish in the pond. We also have large ponds here that freeze over. We are overpopulated (I have horny fish). My pond is relatively small 5′ x 11′ and the pond place was very emphatic about making sure there was an opening in the ice.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Living in WNC we had to buy a floating pond heater as the bubbler just couldn’t do it all in extended cold days. For the life of me, I can’t remember the company we bought it from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had the floating donut (as we call it) and that seemed to not be working. It was the first item we detached from the outdoor outlet. We could flip the breaker switch and we thought all was good but it tripped again and froze the pond overnight. My friend has one that has a light on top so you can tell if it’s working. I may look into that. I like to have two different devices going in case on goes out. Now it seems like I should have two different electrical circuits too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Warm here, too. Everybody is out in their shorts riding their bicycles. We’ve had an 80 degree temperature swing in just a few days’ time. And in a few more, winter will return again, with snow and ice. I don’t believe that dratted groundhog!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not in touch with any of my cousins even though one turned up at Mum’s funeral last year and didn’t make herself known to me. My sister knew she was there as apparently she lives locally to them. I have nephews I haven’t heard from in decades (nor do I know where they actually are) and great nieces and nephews I’ve never even met. It doesn’t bother me though. Maybe in a hundred years someone will be looking up their family tree , come across me and maybe even wonder who I was.

    Liked by 2 people

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