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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Buds and Birds

Today has been gloriously sunny and warm! It's hard to believe that exactly one week ago we were trapped indoors after an ice storm. Today's high was 80F, with blue skies and warm breezes. Spring seems to be on it's way!

With the lengthening days, we've begun to notice the birds outside are thinking about nesting. The house sparrows are already adding straw and grass to the old bird house, and the feeder activity is picking up. Our neighborhood has several pairs of bluebirds, and several of them visit our suet feeders throughout the day. They are such beautiful birds! I would love to put up nesting boxes for them in our back yard, but a huge flock of house sparrows live there and would quickly take over. Feeding the adult bluebirds is the next best thing, though. We've also seen lots of woodpeckers, mourning doves, robins, and Carolina wrens. And the squirrels are already raising this year's first babies. A friend of my husband's rescued a nest of infant squirrels whose nest had blown down in last week's ice storm. Apparently the friend has a female Chihuahua that has taken on the role of mother to the babies. He said the pictures of them curled up together were just adorable!

There are other signs of spring, too. The trees that flower earliest are beginning to bud. Just this week I've noticed buds popping out on the ornamental pears, the tulip magnolias, and the redbud trees. And on my way to the grocery store today I saw my first daffodils of the year in a neighbor's yard. What a great time of year!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ice storm

Happy Valentine's Day! We're just emerging from the grip of a rare ice storm that descended on the area Tuesday afternoon. We ended up getting over an inch of ice, as well as a couple of inches of snow, and a large part of the state has been in a state of emergency. There are many thousands of people without power still, and crews from neighboring states are working night and day to try and restore electricity. With so many downed trees and power lines, especially in rural areas, it will probably be next week before everything is cleaned up and back to normal.

We were lucky; we only lost power for about 12 hours, and with our gas log fireplace we were able to stay warm and comfortable. The temperatures finally rose a bit above freezing yesterday afternoon and some of the ice melted, although it re-froze overnight. Today is sunny and with temperatures expected to rise into the 50's, we should see the last of the ice. Although it was beautiful, it caused so many problems that I'll be glad to see it gone. I've had enough of winter weather. Hurry up, Spring!

I hope everyone has a nice (and warm!) Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Enough!

I'm ready to run away from home.

Sigh.

If it's not one thing, it's another.

My car is in the shop for at least a week. My husband accidentally backed up against a big concrete planter in a parking lot, and there are deep scratches down the entire passenger side. It's going to require lots of replacement parts (bumper, side panels, etc etc.) We also have a $500 deductible to pay before the insurance will pick up the additional $2000. Then we discovered that the insurance we have doesn't cover a rental. Thank goodness my mom offered to let me use her car until mine is back. We certainly couldn't afford a rental on top of the $500 and sharing one vehicle (with very different working schedules) would have been a major headache.

My stomach hurts. I've been putting off seeing the doctor since my ER visit last October, hoping things would resolve themselves if I was careful about what I ate. No good. So I'm finally seeing the doctor tomorrow, and will probably have to have a whole lot of tests to see what's going on in there. I could barely sleep last night.

And yesterday, the heat in our house quit working. Actually, it works a little bit, but something inside the vents is making a horrible clanging noise whenever it's on that will slowly drive you crazy. In order to sleep last night, we had to turn it off and depend on the fireplace in the den. Which of course means that the rest of the house is frigid. The repair guys are supposed to be on their way today.

And work, as usual, sucks. I dread going in today. Although at least it's warm there.

I hope everyone is having a better week than me!