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Archive | December, 2019

​Middle School and High School Choirs Perform a Diverse Winter Concert


The Harmonic Chargers and Charger Voices collaborated for a song during their concert.

On Mon., Dec. 16, the middle school choir joined forces with the CTA Charger Voices (high school choir) for their first concert of the 2019-20 school year. The show kicked off with a performance of ​Once Upon a December​ from the animated film ​Anastasia​. This was followed by a performance of the holiday rhythmic song ​Yuletide Rhythm.​ In preparation for this concert, the middle school choir students, along with some guidance from their director, came up with their own choreography for ​Yuletide Rhythm​. Mr. Morlan even joined in on the fun, pulsing time with a large set of sleigh bells.

After a quick transition, the Charger Voices took the stage. They opened with the slow, flowing song ​The Snow Begins to Fall​. An interesting chance that the group took on this song was that certain members of the choir sang a different vocal part than what they would normally to meet the demands of the SATB writing. The choir quickly brought the energy back up with the hit song “Seize the Day” from Disney’s ​Newsies​.

To conclude the winter program, the middle school and high school groups collaborated to perform a moving rendition of the poem ​In Flanders Fields​. This work pays tribute to the lives lost in the horrors of World War One, and has been set to music by many different composers. Accompanied only by a very simple piano part played by Mr. Morlan, the group sang lusciously and full. The final song of the evening was the holiday classic ​Carol of the Bells​. Carrying on the old CTA tradition, the Fine Arts department was excited to welcome back alumni members Tobias Potter, Thomas McKiney, Violet Sidlauskas, and Autumn Watson. Mr. Morlan assures all that this tradition will continue, and hopes to have more and more alumni members return to the CTA concert stage every year.

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Open Enrollment Period For the 2020-2021 School Year


January 15, 2020 – February 15, 2020

You may register students for Grades K-5 by calling Mrs. Mattson and Grades 6-12 by calling Mrs. Colin at (616) 696-4905.

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SCHOOL CALENDAR


SCHOOL HOURS

Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

FlexTrac Grades 9-12: (7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. including 2 self-scheduled hours)

January

6 School Resumes

2nd Semester Begins

10 Early Release Day

13 Elementary Literacy Night @6:00 p.m. 

14 Jostens Cap/Gown/Ring Orders Due 15 

School Board Meeting @3:30 p.m.

16 CTA School Spelling Bee

20 Attaboy Concert (Secondary)

24 Early Release Day

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

• K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

• 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

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Chargers Basketball Starts off Strong


The CTA varsity girls basketball team is off to a great start. The team has secured two wins to start the season led by senior captains Faith Watson and Hannah Hofstra. The team hopes to continue growing and learning together and they look to be a contender in the Great Lakes 6 League.

CTA varsity boys basketball is off to a great start. First year head coach Eric Besmer is excited about the young team with some new players, they have a 1-1 record. Leading the team is senior Luke Hubbard and sophomore Ivan winters on the offense. Junior John Wortz is pushing the defense with some massive blocks and rebounds. Sophomores Ethan Watson and Evan Besmer along with freshmen Landon Winters, Avery Bishop and Parker Tompkins are working hard learning the plays as a team and valuable assets to being able to play when and where needed. Coach Besmer is seeing massive improvements they are making on a daily basis. Let’s go Chargers!

This season was a season of new things and incredible growth for the middle school boys basketball team as it was the first year for the school to have a middle school team. First-time basketball coach Mark Winters brought the young men together and taught them to play together as a team. It was a challenge having a young team of students who were just learning the game in so many ways, but Coach Winters has enjoyed watching their confidence grow with each game. “They have taught me more about the game and I’m truly grateful for each of them,” Coach Winters shared. “I encourage them to continue to practice, to learn and to grow in all aspects of the game.”

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Lady Red Hawk basketball heads into break with 5-1 Record


Cedar Springs sophomore Darrah Miller passes the ball to junior Kaelyn Colclasure during game action at Northpointe Christian.  Junior Maggie Prins looks on. Photo by Dennis Buttermore.

The Cedar Springs Girls basketball team has had a very successful first month of the season, starting with a 5-1 record. The Red Hawks have been tenacious on the defensive end holding opponents to 25 points a game.  

Last week the ladies traveled to Big Rapids where they suffered their first loss of the season, 29-18.  Once again, the Red Hawk defense was locked in, however the offense struggled.  

After jumping out to an 11-4 first quarter lead, the offense could only muster 7 points the rest of the game. Junior Kaelyn Colclasure led the Red Hawks with 6 points and 4 rebounds. Maggie Prins totaled 5 steals on the night.

On Friday, December 20, the team was again on the road at Northpointe Christian. The team ramped up the defensive pressure and was able to get back to their winning ways by defeating NP Christian 44-9.  

Sophomore Darrah Miller led the Red Hawk attack with 12 points and 4 steals. Miller was followed by Colclasure with 7 points and 4 assists.  Junior Arianna Rau hauled in 6 rebounds. All players who dressed for the game were able to etch their name in the scoring column.

The Red Hawks are off for two weeks for the Christmas Holiday. They will be back in action on Friday, January 10, when they open OK Conference play at Forest Hills Northern. Girls varsity will start at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys varsity at 7:00pm.

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Varsity cheer takes first place at Jenison


JV takes first at Reeths Puffer

Varsity Cheer team.

The Cedar Springs High School Competitive Cheer team wrapped up 2019 with two competitions last week. On December 18th the Lady Red Hawks competed in the Jenison Invitational. The Varsity team secured first place in the Division 2/3 Bracket with a combined round three score of 706.06 and placed. The JV team were leading the JV Division after round two but were forced to sit out round three when one of their teammates became very sick. On December 21st, the team competed in the Reeths-Puffer Rockets Invitational. The JV team had performed very well in all three rounds and took 1st place in the JV Division with a combined round three score of 623.80. The Varsity team were leading the invitational after round two but fell short after a few crucial errors in round three. The Lady Red Hawks took second place with a combined round three score of 736.26.

Reflecting on the past two weeks, Coach Anne Olszewski commented, “We have competed three times before Christmas break, which is difficult to do because of the short amount of time we have to complete all three rounds, clean and perfect the stunts, and memorize quick changes.  Our rounds are difficult, and they are working diligently and progressing steadily. I am overall pleased.  Right now, we are battling mental errors due to the material still being new – and we are changing the rounds based on scores. We learn more every competition, not only about the sport but also about ourselves. These young women are some of the most talented and intelligent young women I have ever worked with.  They had an awesome experience from last year’s run to state finals and know that the only way we will get back to the big mat at is to work hard at every practice.  The girls who are new to the varsity level are figuring out that competing at the elite level requires serious commitment.  It’s exciting to watch them excel.”

JV Coach Katy Hradsky is very proud of the hard work of her team. “This week something happened to our JV team. I’m not sure it was the holiday spirit, the fact break was almost here, or the fact that we had spent the last 2 weeks and last 2 competitions scratching due to injuries and illness. The girls started pushing through mental blocks that had previously kept them from learning new skills, and they worked really hard to clean and repair all 3 rounds with a lesser number of teammates. All this hard work was evident on Saturday at Reeths Puffer. They scored 20 points higher in Round 1 and 30 points higher in Round 2 than they did on Wednesday and completely nailed their first ever full out of Round 3. I was so totally pleased with their performances on Saturday that I wasn’t really keeping watch of the scores. I was just pleased that they were running off the mat confident and happy with their performances and was in complete shock when they announced that we had won first place. I am so proud. It was a well-deserved win for a team that worked so hard and had a complete turnaround in just 2 days.”

The Lady Red Hawks will kick-off 2020 with their first OK White Conference meet in Lowell on January 8. Good luck ladies! 

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Bowlers on a roll


The Red Hawk girls bowling team after they placed 8th in their own invitational. Omani Morales (center) placed 5th in individuals.

On December 11, the Cedar Springs bowling teams had their first conference matches against Ottawa Hills at Ottawa Hills. The boys won 19-11 with sophomore Cody Marshall bowling his high school high of 244. The girls won 30-0 with freshman Chloe Fisk bowling her high school high of 236 and a 2-game series of 460. 

On December 14, Cedar springs held their invitational. The girls placed 8th going into the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round. The boys placed 8th. Senior Omani Morales placed 5th in individuals. 

On December 16, Cedar Springs bowled Forest Hills Central at Cedar Springs. The boys won 26-4 with Freshman Zach Vedders bowling his high school high of 171, and Isaiah Waite bowling his high school high of 199. Girls won 30-0. 

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Ten cool things the DNR did this past year


By Casey Warner and John Pepin, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A completed stretch of County Road 107 shows armoring in the form of large boulders placed to protect the shoreline and road from the waves of Lake Superior.
Photo courtesy of the DNR.

Before 2019 fades completely from sight in the rearview mirror, we wanted to take one more glance back as we move forward at accomplishments over the past year.

With numerous notable achievements to consider, we’ve narrowed the list down to 10 cool things the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was involved with over the past year.

Isle Royale wolf translocation: In September, the Michigan DNR aided efforts by the National Park Service to translocate four wolves from the western Upper Peninsula mainland to Isle Royale. The effort increased the island’s wolf population to 17. Wolves at Isle Royale play a key function as predators to moose, which number roughly 2,000 on the archipelago. This large moose population has had negative impacts on island vegetation and other resources. Multiple agencies are involved in the work, with some participants lent to the Isle Royale project from other states. The key aim of the translocation efforts, which began in northeastern Minnesota in 2018 and continued in Ontario last winter, is to restore predation to the 132,000-acre island’s ecosystem. DNR biologists worked to trap the wolves, which were then transported by float plane to the island. The park service hopes to translocate 20-30 wolves to the island over a three- to five-year period.

Celebrating milestones: Throughout 2019, the DNR celebrated 100 years of Michigan’s state parks system. Focused on the centennial of the Michigan State Park Commission’s formation in 1919, the celebration included special events, podcasts, historical stories, videos, geocaching and more. It also sparked a partnership with Bob Ross, Inc., on the Happy Little Trees program, a tree-planting effort to help state parks recover from invasive forest pests and diseases that damage or kill trees. During the centennial year, hundreds of trees were planted at state parks around Michigan. In 2019 the DNR also celebrated fire-prevention icon Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday – including creation of the short video “Wildfires are a Scary Thing” – and the 100th anniversary Pigeon River Country State Forest, a 106,000-acre forest northeast of Gaylord that’s the largest block of contiguous undeveloped land in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Battling the fury of the Great Lakes: High water levels on the Great Lakes took center stage this summer as the DNR partnered with the Ontonagon County Road Commission to battle significant erosion that threatened to destroy County Road 107, the eastern entry road into Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The showdown at Michigan’s largest state park was one of many battles against high water around the state. If the road was undermined and forced to close, an 80-mile detour would be necessary to get visitors beyond the washout sections of the road. Prime attractions like the Lake of the Clouds overlook, Union Bay campground and numerous hiking trails potentially would have been blocked. The $651,400 project to stabilize the shoreline, over about a half-mile of the hardest-hit areas, has succeeded in so far preventing further damage in the face of strong snowstorms off Lake Superior. Meanwhile, a search for a long-term solution to the problem is underway. Several expense proposals are being vetted, including a nearly $12 million option of relocating the roadway away from the shoreline.

Kirtland’s warbler successful recovery: In October, the DNR celebrated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that the Kirtland’s warbler – a small songbird once on the brink of extinction – no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act thanks to decades of work by a diverse group of partners. The species, among the first in the U.S. identified as being at risk of extinction, nests only in young jack pine stands in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. Bird enthusiasts from around the world travel to northern Michigan in hopes of catching sight of the rare warbler, whose populations had dipped perilously low by the 1970s. Long-term efforts by partners such as the Michigan DNR, U.S. Forest Service and conservation groups to ensure the availability of needed jack pine habitat and control threats from competing brown-headed cowbirds led to the species’ steady ascent and eventual recovery. Conservation plans are in place to make sure Kirtland’s warblers continue to thrive.

Dow Chemical Co. settlement to restore natural resources: Under an agreement announced in November with federal, state and tribal governments, the Dow Chemical Company will settle an environmental complaint for an estimated $77 million in projects and funding that will restore fish, wildlife and habitats injured when hazardous substances were released in past decades from Dow’s manufacturing facility in Midland. The DNR is one of several entities acting together on behalf of the public as natural resources trustees. Under the settlement, Dow will carry out or fund restoration projects identified in Midland, Bay, Saginaw and nearby counties. These projects include fish spawning and fish passage improvements; restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands and other habitats; creation of multiple public nature areas with nature trails, fishing platforms and one bike trail segment; protection of a green corridor along the Tittabawassee River; and expansion of boating access at the mouth of the Saginaw River. The agreement is subject to public comment and approval in federal court.

Lifesaving efforts: Throughout the year, numerous DNR employees, many of them conservation officers, were recognized for their efforts to save lives – from helping get a fisherman who had fallen through the ice out of the water to rescuing a capsized kayaker suffering from hypothermia. Notably, in October Conservation Officer Jeff Ginn was honored with his fourth DNR Lifesaving Award for his actions to resuscitate a man found unresponsive in a Newaygo motel. A few weeks later, Ginn was featured on CNN’s “Beyond the Call of Duty,” a show that highlights inspiring stories about police and first responders who go above and beyond in the performance of their duties. Since conservation officers live in the communities they serve, they often are the first emergency responders to arrive at a scene. Several employees from the DNR Wildlife and Parks and Recreation divisions also received awards for their lifesaving efforts in 2019.

North Country National Scenic Trail rebuild: In October, the culmination of a collaborative project to rebuild a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Ontonagon County was celebrated. The work was completed with the combined strength of federal, state and local partners. The DNR provided more than a quarter of a million dollars in major grants to the project from the Iron Belle Trail grant program and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The rebuild took place over roughly 2 miles of the route from a trailhead to picturesque O Kun de Kun Falls on the Baltimore River. Previously, this section of the trail was often muddy and difficult to tread. Improvements include several new sections of boardwalk and wetland bridges, along with a raised gravel walking surface. As it does in several other areas, this portion of the North Country Trail doubles as part of the hiking route of Michigan’s signature Iron Belle Trail, which stretches more than 2,000 miles from Belle Isle Park in Detroit to Ironwood in Gogebic County. 

Moving closer to Arctic grayling’s return: In July, the DNR and its partners got one step closer to bringing Arctic grayling, a native fish that had disappeared from the state by the early 20th century, back to Michigan waters. The ultraviolet water disinfection system at Oden State Fish Hatchery in Emmet County was installed, meaning the facility is ready to welcome juvenile Arctic grayling. The UV system will protect fish from any pathogens that may inadvertently arrive with the grayling. This protection is critical for the long-term process of cultivating Michigan’s Arctic grayling broodstock (mature fish used for breeding), a goal of the Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative. This project was generously supported through grants and donations by private donors. The first in a series of three year-classes of fish that will make up the founding broodstock for the Arctic grayling effort arrived at the hatchery in August. The juvenile fish will be reared in isolation at Oden and, once cleared by fish health testing, transferred to Marquette State Fish Hatchery to continue maturing.

A Canada lynx looks around as it moves out of a carrier into a March afternoon in Schoolcraft County. The lynx had been relocated north from Sanilac County.
Photo courtesy of the DNR.

Releasing a Canada lynx back to the wild: A Canada lynx grabbed headlines when it was discovered in mid-March preying on a farmer’s geese in Sanilac County. Because the lynx had been behaving oddly – including being easily approachable – the DNR, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, worked with a local trapper to capture the lynx to evaluate its health. The female cat, which was thought to be less than a year old, weighed 18 pounds and measured over 4 feet long. The cat was moved 400 miles north to central Schoolcraft County, where it was released by DNR wildlife biologists. Canada lynx are threatened species in Michigan. They are rarely seen, and when they are it’s more likely to be in the Upper Peninsula. About three weeks after the successful release, which was conducted in partnership between the DNR and the Detroit Zoological Society, a relatively approachable Canada lynx was photographed about 100 miles away, along the shoreline of Lake Superior at Whitefish Point in Chippewa County. The animal could not be verified as the lynx released weeks earlier in Schoolcraft County. 

Moving and renovating former Ulysses S. Grant home: In collaboration with the Eastern Market Partnership, the DNR’s Michigan History Center in June embarked on a project to relocate the Detroit home of Julia and Lt. Ulysses S. Grant from the former state fairgrounds to the city’s Eastern Market. There, after renovation, it will become a new resource for residents, schoolchildren and visitors to explore Grant’s life and the impact he made on Detroit while living there, and later as a Civil War general and U.S. president. The Grants moved into the home in 1849 and lived there for a little over a year. The house was moved to the state fairgrounds in 1936, where it was opened to the public for tours for many decades. The fairgrounds hosted its last state fair in 2008, and plans to move the home have been in development for years. Moving, securing and renovating the house for public use are expected to take one to two years.

With the shining prospect of a new year ahead, the DNR is hopeful, anticipating many more achievements to celebrate in the coming months.

But for today, we’re happy to celebrate these successes we’ve had working over the past 12 months to preserve Michigan’s natural resources and recreation opportunities for today and tomorrow.

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Trip from Andromeda

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller


Riding on a light beam for 2.5 million years at the speed of light. my friend Bob Raver and I traveled to Earth to investigate its ecosphere. Well this story needs further explanation. 

I was director for the Environmental Education School at Bryce Canyon National Park for a few years in the 1970’s. Student teachers from Southern Utah State College spent their summer teaching at the environmental school. Children were dropped at the school so parents could enjoy extensive hikes on canyon trails. Children explored the park wonders by perusing their interests with teachers. It was wonderful for parents and children.

I regularly stopped at the school to see if things were going well, if teachers needed assistance, and to review programming. Bob and I had told the teachers we came from the Andromeda Galaxy and they didn’t believe us. 

One day we arrived at the school before heading to our assigned 16-mile Fairyland Trail roving patrol to greet hikers in the backcountry. The teachers asked us to put pins on the world map at our home location. I put mine in Michigan and Bob put his in California. They said, “See, we knew you weren’t from Andromeda,” and showed us where they had written the galaxy name at map’s edge. We moved our pins to our galaxy home. 

Within the week a newspaper reporter arrived to do a story on the environmental school. In the subsequent article she listed locations where children came from. They included places like London, , Germany, Anchorage, Alaska, and Andromeda. Ever since, I have said, it must be true because it was in the paper. 

Hopefully people that listen to TV news, read newspapers, or look up Internet information, work to verify the accuracy of what is reported. Many things reported are short sound bites that are not fully supported with physical evidence. Fortunately, science requires multiple studies to verify conclusions before being accepted.

I make an effort to write things in niche articles that are supported with overwhelming physical empirical evidence. Hopefully, my errors are few and preferably zero. Scientific studies are sometimes not as well supported as thought but more frequently they are dismissed because they are not what people desire to believe. What we believe and what empirical evidence supports sometimes have different conclusions. 

Back to my “home” galaxy of Andromeda. It has about one trillion stars where it is statistically possible that some might have planets supporting life. The galaxy is similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy in several ways. It is a spiral galaxy. Elliptical and irregular galaxies are two other types that have been identified. 

Winter is a great time on a dark moonless night to observe Andromeda without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. During a recent dark clear night, I went out and looked “home.” To view it one needs to know where to look and how to see it. If one looks directly at it, the galaxy is invisible because eye cones are not sensitive to dim light. They are responsible for color vision and are concentrated toward the center of the eye. 

Rods are found numerously in high concentration farther from the pupil. When looking at Andromeda, it is necessary to look off to the side for our eyes to bring it into dim view. To find it, locate the Little Dipper constellation with the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia constellations on opposite sides of the Little Dipper. Cassiopeia looks like a lopsided W with five prominent stars. From the middle W star look to the lower right star. Allow your eye to travel about 2.5 times the distance between the two stars in Cassiopeia. The galaxy is not in straight alignment with the two stars. It is a little to one side of the straight line. 

For those wanting to see this dim closest galaxy, I will set up an observation night at Ody Brook for people to join at 9:30 p.m. It will require a clear night and if I cannot help you see it, we can enjoy stars, constellations, and discuss how early cultures used the sky for crop planting, travel, and other things. Contact me to sign up for night sky enjoyment. I will select a night for Earthlings to come and will have a telescope for our viewing.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Diary of a snow shoveler


December 8: 6:00 p.m. The first snow of the season. My wife and I sat for hours watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: Woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow. Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. The snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. 

December 12:The sun melted all our lovely snow. My neighbor Bob said not to worry, we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter that I’ll never want to see snow again.

December 14: It snowed 8” last night. The temperature dropped to 20F. The cold makes everything sparkle so. I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. The snowplow came back and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling.

December 15: 12-14 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought 2 extra shovels. My wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. My wife laughed for an hour, which I think was cruel.

December 17: Roads too icy to go anywhere. Electricity’s been off for 5 hours. Piled blankets on to stay warm. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. I hate it when she’s right.

December 20: Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the white stuff last night. More shoveling. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Called the only hardware store around about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22: 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23: Only 2” of snow today and it warmed up to 0. My wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24: Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the idiot who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 mph and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight my wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the stinkin’ snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. Snowed in. I hate the snow! The snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. My wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze. December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave-in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. 

December 30:  Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for $100,000 for the bump on his head. My wife went home to her mother. 9 inches predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling!

January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

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