What is That White Stuff, Anyway?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere at St. Anne’s, recent snowfalls and blizzard conditions have really effected our lives.  Some staff have not been able to make it to work and others needed to leave early.  Adoration in our chapel had to be cancelled, and our dogs cannot go outside to “do their business” in the usual area, due to drifted snow.

This week, it seemed appropriate, to do an article about this “white stuff,” as we started off the season with a bang, getting over a foot of snow since Monday evening.

Enjoy some interesting facts about this substance, which many of us refer to as a four-letter word.

Did you realize that snow is actually not white?  According to an article by ‘Mental Floss,’ snow is actually colorless, or translucent.  It goes on to explain that “light does not pass through it easily (like it would transparent glass), but is rather reflected. It’s the light reflected off a snowflake’s faceted surface that creates its white appearance.”  This is because “some wavelengths of light are absorbed while others are reflected (remember, light is a spectrum of colors). The object takes on whatever color light is reflected…Since snow is made up of so many tiny surfaces, the light that hits it is scattered in many directions and will actually bounce around from one surface to the next as it’s reflected. This means no wavelength is absorbed or reflected with any consistency, so the white light bounces back as the color white.”

Another interesting fact pointed out by this source is that deep snow can even appear blue “because layers of snow can create a filter for the light, causing more red light to be absorbed than blue light,” causing it to look blue.  Stranger yet is pink snow found

“in high alpine areas and the coastal polar regions [where snow] contains cryophilic fresh-water algae that have a red pigment.”

Although there may be an exception (one case in Wisconsin was noted), it is often said that no two snowflakes are alike.  This is an amazing proposition since at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 snow crystals fall each winter in the United States.

Certainly, you wouldn’t readily find one like the 15-inch during an 1887 snow storm in Montana.

It would take a lot of these crystals to meet the record snowfall in the U.S. for a 24 hour period.  The current record is

75.8 inches, set in 1921 in Silver Lake, Colorado.

Image result for snowflakeA Huffington Post article on the top points out that snowflakes are formed in the clouds when water droplets freeze, forming a six-sided crystal structure.  As the temperature cools, more water vapor freezes and grows in branches from the six sides of the seed crystal. As the crystals form, they are randomly tossed about inside the clouds, which vary in temperature.”

The formation of the snowflake is effected greatly by the temperature at which it forms.

Snow is used for many things: igloos, recreation, etc.  Igloos are made from blocks of snow and can be over 100 degrees warmer than outside, heated simply by body heat.  As far as recreation goes, Seattle is created as the home of the largest snowball fight, engaging almost 6,000 people.  The proceeds benefited the Boys and Girls Clubs of Seattle.

However, as you know, snow can also be dangerous.  For a storm to qualify as a blizzard, it must reduce visibility to less than ¼ mile and winds must exceed 35 miles per hour.  Furthermore, it must last at least three hours.

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Do Your Christmas Shopping at St. Anne’s!

We just go another shipment in!

Stop by and check out our selection of assorted items, including fleece and woven throw blankets, flameless candles, knick nacks, religious goods, greeting cards and more!

It’s a wonderful way of getting affordable gifts for your loved ones and support a great cause at the same time.

Over the River and Through the Woods

By Sr. Christina M. Neumann

What is the most famous Thanksgiving song?  Most of us think of “Over the River and Through the Woods.”

This song actually has a special significance for St. Anne’s.

When I was working in Rugby, North Dakota, we used to spend our Thanksgiving weekend with our Sisters at St. Anne’s in Grand Forks.  The above-mentioned song was very apropos for us, for we were going to “Grandmother’s house.”  You see, St. Anne, the patroness of this facility is, in fact, the grandmother of Jesus.

This beloved and appropriate song actually originated as a poem.  According to one folk music source, it was first published in 1844 by slavery abolitionist, poet and novelist Lydia Marie Child.  It was originally entitled “The New England Boy’s Thanksgiving Poem.”

As you may remember, the song chronicles a trip to visit loved ones amidst “white and drifted snow.”  The original poem was actually twelve verses long!

According to Making Music Fun, the original “grandmother’s house” is still standing, near the Mystic River in Medford, MA.


Job Opening…Dietary Assistant

We have an opening in the dining room.

The St. Anne's Scoop

Visit www.stannesguesthome.org/employment.html or stop by to pick up an application.  More information available by calling 746-9401.

Hours: Weds. and Thurs.: 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Every other weekend (Sat. & Sun.) 6:40 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.


Responsible for serving meals to the residents and visitors in a courteous manner; cleans and maintains the Dining Room area and washes dishes in the dish-washing room.


Is responsible to the Dietary Supervisor.


1.         Education:  High School diploma preferred
2.         Training/experience:  Will provide on-the-job training.
3.         Physical demands:
A.        Ability to tolerate walking, standing 90-95% of the time.
B.        Ability to lift or transfer a minimum of 50 lbs.
C.        Ability to frequently bend, stoop, stretch, pull, and climb three-step ladders.

4.         Ability to tolerate disinfectant soaps and bleach.

5.         Visual and auditory abilities to respond and communicate effectively with the residents and other staff members.

6.         Visual acuity…

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Just Two Weeks Away, #GivingTuesday is coming up!


Did you ever think about using your Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings to help us in our mission to the poor, elderly, and vulnerable who call St. Anne’s “home”?

St. Anne’s Guest Home has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving.

This annual observance is meant to inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.  It’s a reminder that the holiday season—while a heavy shopping season—is meant to be a season of giving, too.

#GivingTuesday is held every year now on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.); this yar, it falls on November 29th.

At St. Anne’s, our primary objective is to promote the self-worth, personal dignity, security, happiness, and healthful longevity of each elderly or disabled person we serve.  We seek to extend Christ’s merciful love to all those in our care.

If you’d like to be a part of this mission by joining in St. Anne’s Guest Home’s #GivingTuesday initiative, you can get to our online giving portal here.

We’d also encourage you to share the message with your friends and family members and help us in our mission of serving elderly and vulnerable adults in our community.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Thank You to our Veterans!

Flag outside St. Anne’s

November is known for a few things, particularly voting, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving, and not to be forgotten: Veterans’ Day.


There are no veterans left from World War I; there are few still alive from World War II and some more from the Korean War.  Our Vietnam vets are also getting older.

A lot of our veterans are now in their 80s and 90s.  There are still many people serving in foreign countries.  Countless veterans, from past decades and from our own time will be will never return.

A good number of our former and present residents are veterans.  Our activity staff are taking any interested current residents who are veterans to enjoy a free lunch for Veterans at the Texas Roadhouse.  Several other restaurants offer a free meal in appreciation to our veterans on this day in their honor.

To me, Veteran’s Day is a very important holiday.  We owe our freedom to these men and women.

If you see a vet or know a vet, thank them for our freedom.  If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.  God bless the veterans.

God bless America!

Carla Kennedy

Zoe & Gracie (our dogs) Like Pumpkin, Too!

img_0896After last weeks article, “Remember National Pumpkin Day,” one of our readers sent an email with some very interesting information.

She informed us that pumpkin is good for dogs for both weight control and improved digestion.

This information really peeked our interest.  We have several pumpkins (the combined weight of which exceeds 100 pounds) which we will be processing very soon.  That is quite a bit of pumpkin, but our residents will enjoy it.

Given that bit of information, we did a little experiment.  Sr. Christina cooked the pieces that had been cut out to make jack-o-lanterns and mashed them up.  We found that both Zoe (our Havanese Bichon) and Gracie (our yellow lab) really enjoyed it.

In recent weeks, Sr. Rebecca has discovered that Zoe also enjoys other cooked vegetables, such as carrots and beans.

Now, when we freeze the processed pumpkin, we can add a little extra to each bag.  Once we’ve measured what is needed for cookies or muffins, any extra can be used as a healthy treat for our four-legged friends.

In doing a little more research on feeding pumpkin to dogs, we found that it is good for digestive health, urinary health and weight loss (throughadogsear.com).  According to the Morris Animal Inn Blog, it is also good for adding bulk to a dog’s food and making them feel full. This probably ties in with its usefulness in weight control.  This same article shares its value as a source of important vitamins.

According to Pet360, pumpkin is also good for a dog’s skin and coat:  as well as fighting fur balls and parasites.  Even the pumpkin seeds are claimed to have benefits.

So, all the work of cleaning, cutting , baking and peeling our pumpkins is worthwhile, not only for humans but for our pets as well.