We are winding down our first real day of winter - winter: the environment as modified by temperature altered forms of water. Or, it's getting real cold and what ain't snow, is ice. We had a few inches of snow last night, enough that the snowplows were out and I had to crank up the big orange Husqvarna snowblower. Old Hussy is a cold-blooded girl and after her long summer estivation, she was a little reluctant to fire up. After some swearing, threatening and kicking, eventually she woke up and together we cleared away the snow so Lorna could go to one of her Saturday touchy-feely women's retreat things. I suspect mostly the women of the town gather to eat, drink and share stories about how dumb their men are. And of course they're right. The only thing that came out of this one, that affects me, was that Lorna caucused over in the corner with some other Oakwood women. They took it upon themselves to cancel the annual Oakwood Christmas party at the last minute, in lieu of a New Years Eve party. The Christmas party has gotten to be a contest to up the ante every year and I suspect the food preparation time and cost became onerous. New Years Eve should be easier - BYOB and the snack of your choice and we're ready to roll.