Tag: Winter (page 3 of 3)

Chilly Cranky

My sweet blue male kitten is so fluffy, he looks like a nice warm slipper. Yes, I am chilled.

It’s a cooler day with no sun most of the day, just a few moments here and there earlier this afternoon, but that was it. It’s not really “cold” but it feels so when in the house it’s 55 degrees in warmest spot. πŸ˜‰ A clear sky means warming in house from sunlight hitting the back of the house. That’s what we need.

So we are needing to get the fireplace figured out and able to run — Winter is coming, sooner or later, but will come suddenly when it does, no doubt. A fire brings such cheer on a gray day. I’ve written about that before. So I’m thinking about the fireplace and imagining it’s going full force. One can go a bit farther with that, than not thinking of anything but “I’m chilled”, or keeping that thought in the back, but not thinking really of warmth except to hope for some and do their thing hoping for warmth. I think it’s better to imagine it, it comes alive and sort of really works to warm oneself deep down.

So right now the kitten is on my lap. Ah, nice and warm. I’ve had the other kitten on my lap here earlier, and Strider, of course, and Dixie even … those three fought over me several times this morning. The boy kitten wanted to, but stayed back out of the way. So he’s here now. πŸ™‚ I like him. He’s so sweet. His sister I like too, but she can be such a “spitfire” out of nowhere … she’s so much like Dixie, and the boy is so much like Strider. It’s funny.

So at least there is something usually around to warm my lap, but that doesn’t help my toes!

We all need some new socks this year, and that’s my biggy — warm woolen soft socks to where in the house, and with boots. I like my toes to be warm. It hurts so to have cold toes in shoes, doesn’t it? Sure does to me! It’s an instant cranky-maker.

So I am hoping to find some good deals on good stuff that’s warm and wearable. Right now I have old big cotton socks on, and they aren’t doing the trick. This is warning-time: Winter will throw worst this way, and I must be ready for the whole family!

Cooler weather is here

Autumn is here. Summer is over. The day, yesterday, was in the 60’s but the house chilly. It was sunny, but the house chilly. It’s chilly now, early morning in the house (I’ve been up since 2am).

The forescast for the next 15 days is for the highs at the most in the low 60’s and that makes for a chilly house, since most temps will be in the 50’s to the 30’s. Not COLD just chilly, the kind that gets to you after awhile if you aren’t dressed warm enough, which means socks, shoes, etc. a must from here on out until Spring, for the most part.

For us girls, me and Victoria, since we wear dresses all the time it also means warmer stuff for under dresses. Tights, leg warmers, whatever.

For me it means BOOTS! Yeah, my favorite kind of shoe is more comfy in the Chilly Times.

It also means wood and fireplace activity. I’m ready for starting some early morning small fires, late evening small fires. Our wood pile, on the other hand, is NOT ready. πŸ™„

Part of our wood pile is ontop of the hennie penny pens, holding down the metal roof panels, since they aren’t permanently afixed. Yeah, our temporary quarters for the hens still exist in full use. One of these days that will change, dreams and plans exist, it’s just the implementation of getting it done at all.

I’m hoping to get a Winter pen ready for near the back of the house, and get a movable type of run to attach to it, let them out on nice days, even move them out for a bit if possible, and then move them back to the more winterperm pen.

All this is dreaming, of course. I’m not sure who will be with us, Leghorns or not. And it all depends on whether or not we can convert the pen that was being built earlier this year but didn’t work out — all in all, hens are fine in GA in the pens they have, they are grown and fair well in cold. Heat does them in faster.

Forecasting for National weather trends this Winter have us not expecting a very mild winter, but a more usual cold and wet, as opposed to drier and milder. It’ll be interesting. This is our second Autumn/Winter with no central heat. I don’t mind that at all. I detest artificial central heat (I can’t breathe well, and get so stuffy headed) Wood heat feels best. Our central heat was a heat pump, and not as bad as other types of central heat, but our system wasn’t set up for our house very well, and also, a heat pump isn’t efficient once temp drop around freezing. Electric heat is Emergency Heat on the heat pump we have, but it didn’t work past the first year, and we never had it looked at since we really didn’t want to use it anyhow. Last year the air system was making me ill, so turning it off made all the difference and we have to have it overhauled and just haven’t had the money, and need extra anyhow to get the whole house HVAC set up, as it’s not entirely set up, and what we did have running wasn’t sufficient to the house in the first place. What a messy sounding thing it is. Basically it’s not as bad as it sounds, we just don’t have a/c or central heat. It is possible to live in North GA without them. πŸ™‚

The idea is to have enough wood to keep the fireplace going, and also to get a wood stove in the downstairs family room. Don’t know if we can do that this year, but if not, we’ll move the TV up by the fireplace πŸ˜‰ probably.

Really very cold days, me and the children will cuddle in bed and read and watch movies.

Or go to Barnes and Noble. πŸ™‚

Brrr II and birds

It’s early, and cold. We kept the fire going late last night, so it’d warm the house longer, and also make it easier to get it going in the morning. Good thing. When it’s down below freezing, it gets cold in here FAST. There’s a certain edge of chilliness that can’t be shaken from the main floor of the house unless a good fire is in the fireplace, or if the temperature outside goes up in the 60’s or higher with a couple of Sunny days to boot.

We aren’t using our air system at all this past Autumn and then Winter/Spring so far. It needs cleaned out and so we just decided to go with the flow for now. Natural with supplemental windows open or shut just enough, fires when needed, curtains or shades up or down when sun wanted or not. It’s worked out, but definitely showed us that we need a better thing than this silly fireplace. A stove would be a better deal.

Well, for a cold morning, the birds outside are still acting like Spring is here, which it is, just colder a bit today. There were a pair of twitterpated House Finches on the deck a while ago, and I just chased off a bunch of European Starlings which were bothering the Easter Bluebird couple. This is a nice arrangement. I watch out for them, and when I see Starlings hanging out by the Bluebird’s nesting box, I go outside and clap and yell “Shoo!” and the Starlings fly away. The Bluebirds stay. πŸ™‚

Today the Bluebirds were in one of the Apple Trees near the nest box, and Mr. Bluebird was very excited, flapping his wings wildly, while Mrs. Bluebird just sat there a few feet away on another branch.

There is activity in the nest box. They’ve been watching over it all along since last breeding season. I cleaned it out for them last week. There was a big Daring Jumping Spider living in it. They seemed to be thankful for my getting it out, as they now have a small circle of dried grass materials on the bottom of the box … a sure sign that they are thinking of building soon. From Mr. Bluebirds behaviour this morning, I suspect we’ll see lots more of that twitterpated flapping of wings over on the South side of the backyard now.

Winter Wonderland

It’s nearly the end of February, and we got our first real snowfall for the Winter over night.

It was raining off and on yesterday, and continued doing that at night, with wind picking up, and lots of gusts … I had a hard time sleeping, with the pelting rain at the window, and hearing things flap and bang with the wind gusts. (metal edges of the hen pens particularly).

I got up a few times to be sure the hen pens were alright. They were. Frank got up last, around 3:05am. Everything was fine.

We both slept finally, until around 6am, and Frank told me there was snow on the ground. So of course, now I’m awake, and he went back to sleep. urg.

I had a really hot fire in the fireplace last night, and it was definitely not going to cool down before we went to bed, so I left it. I was able to start a fire fairly fast without any aid of firestick or match … the embers underneath the ashes did the work. So I’m up with a fire going, and no one else yet is awake. The sunrise is yet to be: 7:08am. Everything is slowly brightening up outside, with twilight growing.

It’s nice to see the snow, it covers everything, the light and warmth from the snow is nice. The children will be thrilled when they wake up.

I’m estimating an inch of wet snow is on the ground here. Maybe more. It’s instant snowball kind of snow. Grab it and you’re ready to throw.

The wind is still a bit breezy to gusty … and we are under wintry weather advisories most of the day … with more snow or sleet maybe … a good day to stay home. πŸ™‚

Hopefully the digital camera will cooperate for some pictures a bit later.

Weather is warming soon!

In viewing the weather for the next 15 days, tonights cold will end the coldest for awhile. Most every day hence for the 15 day forcast is highs in the 50’s and 60’s, nay, even to the high 60’s some days. Wow! Spring is near. There is one day, the 25th I think it is, that snow is forecast off and on that night, with temps down to 32. Besides that, all nights are in the higher 30’s or more. It’ll change, for certain, before the 15 days plays out, that’s for sure. Even so, this forecast is a nice one to ponder, due to the “balmy” temperatures it speak to my heart with πŸ˜‰

Fireplace, Movies, Bread

Well it’s fireplace day for us. It was very cold in the house yesterday, with enough wood for that day or this day. So we held out. Today I also held out as long as we could, so now the fire is started.

The morning wasn’t so bad really, but by 11am cold toes were beginning in my boots. I’ve been making bread, so that kept me busy (not as busy as most of you probably think though πŸ˜‰ ) as well as doing some more looking for movie stuff online.

Frank wants to see Master and Commander at the theatre, and he’s away today, so I thought I’d see what stuff is on their website and get a Desktop for him, or make one if need be. I found that their trailer is one that is only stream-able … pooh to that. So then I saw on their front US interface something about “broadband users” and clicked on it. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a channel in Maven, a tool that different companies can utilize to distribute content. Maven is a light install, and then the “channels” are downloaded behind the scene. Content is richer than is on the website. And it’s on ones own computer en total when desiring to view it. Nice.

The movie clips are all Windows media player files, seemless in the Master and Commander “Maven” interface. But if you know where to look for them on your computer, you can snag them to view in Windows Media Player. .wmv files.

There are other “channels” you can get … but nothing I’m interested in yet. There is a National Geographic one that may be coming soon, that’ll be interesting to check out, not knowing what IT’S content may be, and seeing if it’ll be available to just “anyone”.

OK then, my bread. I experienment with bread whenever I make it for the last couple of years. This time I’m using a 2-cup 2-day-old sponge … flour and water and 1-teaspoon of active dry yeast in a widemouth jar. I shake or stir it everyonce in awhile and just let it do it’s thing. It was really smelly this morning, as expected. Very much what I was looking for this time. It’s a sourdough taste, but using modern yeast. Something that’s not “really sourdough” but it’s a nice flavor.

I use that then with other ingredients and a few pinches of active dry yeast to make the dough. It’s resting/proofing in a bowl in the oven right now. I’ll put it in pan in less than an hour, and keep them in the oven too. I wet papertowels and place them over the loaves while they rise, replenishing the wetmenss as need be. I put the oven on warm for a few minutes, then turn it off. This is a decent environment for the bread.

Well I’ve left this post for a bit, and since I don’t feel like editing it, I’ll just say, time has past, the dough is in the pans and proofing.

What recipe do I use? None. I worked out developing my own “from memory” kind of recipe. So I just add stuff like:

Fresh ground Wheat Montana Prairie Gold flour
Eggs
Butter
Salt
Yogurt
Milk
Honey
Black Strap Molasses

I usually start out with some kind of culture or sponge. In the Spring, Summer, Fall, I used Piima cultured milk in my sponge, but this colder house this winter has had me stop making it. So I’ve adapted to making odd cultures instead … not actually trying to make a wild yeast culture, it’s too cold for that. Instead I use teeny tiny amounts of yeast to get a little bit of flour and water to start bubbling, then feeding it as one would a real sourdough culture. A few days of that and I hold it in the fridge, bring it out beforehand to warm it up if going to use it. I take part, then feed it and a day or so later back in the fridge it goes.

It adds flavor and helps to rise any dough I make, and I only then add a tinier bit of fresh active dry yeast to the dough recipe.

This probably sounds confusing to y’all, of course. I am doing this in my quest to do thing olde world style, for the reason of getting out of modern methods of cooking some things. Bread is the first and foremost. We have advantages of equipment that grind flour fast, so I’m trying to get WHOLE GRAINS done in an olde world style, utilizing no store flour at all.

Sometime I do use store flour, only unbleached regular flour. About two-cups of that in a bowl, some water to make it goupy and two-teaspoon of yeast, stir well, in fact, beat it. Let it sit in a warm place, covered for a few hours, then add more water if you want to, or not. Salt, and more flour to make a nice soft dough. Let this proof, punch it down, let it proof again, punch it down, at this point let it proof again or form a long loaf, just whatever time tells you is right.

This is basic bread making. Add olive oil to the recipe and it’s pizza dough. Add yogurt and it improves flavor and texture. Add something of a flour culture or sponge and get better flavor and texture. Use part whole grain, but only if using a long proofing -punch down phase of making it. Using cultured things in it helps to break down the whole grain to be much more palatable to mouth and body.

My goal is only to be able to make any kind of bread with the most pure ingredients, and without using a book. When I say “most pure ingredients” I mean simple whole foods kinds of things. Nothing fancy manufactured-only.

I do use black strap molasses, but only sometimes, and it’s not something I need to use. I use it to add color, or flavor, particularly if my honey supply is low.

I make french bread as described in the basic way above. My sandwhich kind of bread is the main bread I make with whole grains only, and that’s my biggest experiment. I use steel pans, and coat them well with butter before adding the dough.

These kind doughs must rise and be slashed in some manner before baking, to keep the top from separating from the body of the bread — or making smiley face bread, as you may know it.

Well, this is a mis-mash post. It’s what life is usually like here, many things going on in and out, over and under, weaving, forgotten, remembered … πŸ™‚

Cold, diversion needed

It’s a cold day. It was so nice the last few days. Well, DH is out-of-town, in the Carolina’s where there is snow from this same weather system we had here yesterday and today. We don’t have that though.

It’s 44 degrees F. right now, with overcast skies. No warming sun, just residual cold left and lingering so that if feels much colder. The house got very cold inside overnight. Frank’s away, there’s not enough firewood for a whole day of fire, let alone two in a row — like we’ll need, so we suffer today. πŸ˜‰

Frank gets back home late tomorrow night, and the next day is supposed to be nice, no need of a fire then. Figures.

So to keep warm, I’m going in and out of fantasy land on my computer. I’ve been looking at Movie Trailers, and saving them on my ‘puter, and photos and such from the movies, like Spider-Man, Spider-Man-2, Peter Pan (2003), Secondhand Lions (fun site, all the dogs bark when you pass your mouse over them, cool, makes our pups bark for real πŸ™‚ ), etc.

I view trailers online with Quicktime. They are .mov files. I have my plugin options for saving the .mov in Temperary Internet Files if possible for each. Usually, without that setting, they are there, unless they are a streaming video (as is Pirates of the Carribean, πŸ™ ). You can also snag Windows Media Player videos this way, (Temporary Internet Files) .asx files.

Go to your Temporary Internet Files folder, find the things you want to save permanently, highlight them and Ctrl-C (copy) then Ctrl-V (paste) it where you want to keep it.

Pictures, sound files, movie files, web pages, whatever you want they are in that folder. Most people don’t seem to realize that to view something online means it’s been downloaded to your computer somewhere. That’s important to know, since those files build up over time, and it’s needful to purge them every so often if you don’t have a huge unused harddrive.

On Win XP find your temp internet files here:

Documents and Settings\Your USER NAME\LOCAL SETTINGS\Temporary Internet Files

(LOCAL SETTINGS may not be visible, go to TOOLS, FOLDER OPTIONS, View, Hidden File Folders — check Show hidden files and folders click OK and LOCAL SETTINGS should now be visible)

Good Idea: Make a shorcut to that folder if you’d like to frequently gleen information out of it. If you’d like to just filter that stuff into a folder quickly: set up a folder and put a shortcut to it in your SendTo folder. Then in your Temp Int. Files you can highlight what you want to save, then right-click on it and choose “Send To …” the folder you set up for it.

SendTo is also a hidden folder, visible via the above Folder Options settings. It’s in your main profile folder:

Documents and Setttings\Your USER NAME\SendTo

Little Flock in our yard

Victoria called me to her room a bit ago, said there was a red-headed bird, like a woodpecker that she was looking at. I asked her if it was on a tree, and she said “No, it’s on the grass”.

So I went in there and lo and behold, it wasn’t a woodpecker … it was 25+ American Robins looking for worms in our front yard. This is the biggest batch of them that I have seen this year (so this isn’t particularly scientific data). I counted, definitely, 25 and there were more coming in when I stopped counting, not too many more.

So what this means in terms of Spring? We have rain forecasted for today through tomorrow, off and on. The radar is showing quite a large mass of rain heading NE, so whether it actually hits us or not … we are forecasted a high temp of 53 today, and tomorrow a high of 60 degrees F. πŸ™‚ No sun though, not much at the least.

Dear Victoria was happy to learn the real name of the bird, and didn’t bat an eye when I remarked that there were so many of them, not just one. It seems one bird, twenty-five birds, nah, same thing practically speaking πŸ˜†

It’s still early in the day. Must be a morning thing, she DOES know what a Robin looks like, and has ID’d them fine in the past.

Well, if she feels remotely like I do, she’s not in top form … πŸ™

Weather turns to ice again

We have ice now. I hadn’t checked the temp earlier, it was supposed to be down ot 38 last night and up to 40 today, not much difference, but above freezing. So it was raining during the night, as expected, then I got an advisory email just awhile ago, with an ice warning … a wedge of cold air was developing, apparently. Well I then looked out at the play structure in the backyard, and sure enough, icicles hanging from the roof of it. The floors look slick, like ice of course. This whole thing is suppose to be trees, plants, decks, bridges, etc. Same senario as before since it’s not cold enough to keep the ground frozen at all this Winter, thus far.

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

It’s a rainy day.

February Showers bring March/April Flowers πŸ˜‰

That’s what it’s like here. It’s chilly and wet. But it’s now February. Hurray!

Ice Storm

On Sunday late afternoon, the rain on trees started to turn to ice. So, we finally had an ice storm. It was mild here, the roads were mostly safe, as far as we know from what we experienced.

Everything was frozen through this morning, only melting as the morning warmed up finally. One and a half days of ice was nice … the tree’s are exceptionally pretty like that, but weak trees tend to break or fall over in a dangerous bend. Well planted, healthy trees are generally alright, but older and natural planted pines tend to have problems here in GA.

We were at the Mall of GA last night, B&N, and the sight was so silvery, so many trees all decked out in natures beautiful ice.

I would have pictures of our trees right now, but the Digital camera is not working again. I have film pictures, well, will have eventually.

I’m frustrated with this [digital] camera, it has worked alright, then didn’t at all, then did fine for awhile then now doesn’t work again. We’ll have to find the book and look to see if temps are going to make certain thing not work. The thing about the two “not working” times is that the are not the same. First time the lens did not come out at all. This time it does come out, then goes right back in.

So, it’s now soggy time, as the temps go up, and all that rain gets to absorb into the ground finally.

We are in for a few nights of below freezing though, and only Partly Cloudy days, which are not quite sunny or warm enough to make things warm in the house. Well, we had a couple of nice days before the ice days. Winter continues, cold, warm, mild conditions, a little wintry weather.

It is a late first ice we’ve had. It really wasn’t in the usual ahead forecasts. We do have the next forecast wintry weather on Feb 6. Rain, mixed with snow, then later snow possible. It’ll be interesting to see if we get that, and how soon or late, and if anything else crops up.

Mild Weather and trees

We’ve hit another mild spell in the weather. It was in the high 50’s to low 60’s on Monday (I say today, since I’ve yet to fall asleep πŸ™‚ ) Tomorrow (really “Today” Tuesday) it’s supposed to reach 63 degrees F. The low overnight tonigh should be down to 38, and that is so much nicer than 32 or thereabouts. It will be similar to this through Thursday, then back in the 40’s for highs, which if sunny out, are mild enough generally, in the back yard especially, where we get full sun all day. Our property is diagonally positioned so the sun rises at our back (when looking out the back door) left corner of the property (we have a straight-lined rectangular property.)

Our trees are all still too young to give any shade that amounts to much of anything. (We planted them in the front and back in Spring 2002) Our property was treeless, minus the one “weed tree” (what I called it before I knew what it was) that is on our SW property line at the point that our backyard fence meets the back of the front yard just behind the garage. It looked like an overgrown weird tree. I saw no glory in it that first year, then the second year as well. The third year we had a landscape designer come out to survey the property and draw up a plan. He asked some questions about it’s habits (that weedy tree) and he said it was a honey locust … that it had little white flowers in the Spring and a high fragrance … right? We said “No”. So well it was a Locust tree of some kind, but not a honey. So we thought.

After that, that tree grew more and more and finally turned into a lovely mid to late afternoon shade tree. Giving shade at the front West corner of the backyard. That hot sun plus that tree at least give a small space for the children to play in on afternoons.

We were in official drought the whole time we lived here, until 2003. In early 2003 we had enough rain. That weed tree BLOSSOMED! Whoa! It was the smell that made me notice it, never had it blossomed in our time living there. Tell tale things I’d learned before that blossom time were met with actual visual truth during the summer. The blossoms fertilized, green leather strips of seed pods were being formed and grew to long lengths. Autumn brought change to leaves, and the leaves all fell, and the seed pods began to dry out.

We had found traces of old seed pods in the yard the previous years, old ones from before we saw the house first in September of 1997. The mystery was solved, this tree DID produce them. It was a hard few years of drought. So the good rain we finally got gave good results. Enough good life to make a joyful blossoming tree. We had super thick pods on it this Autumn, and a few windy days blew them all off minus a few. Believe me, a decent blossom makes for massive pods which if not disposed of will be everywhere thickly for a long time.

It’s a tree I can appreciate, it grows fairly fast. And does give great shade, though it’s not a straight up and down tree, it usually has a few “trees” that sort of grow together in a clump, in it’s natural setting. It, of course, has thorns, big thorns. But it’s a great shader.

We planted 3 apple trees in March of 1998, and moved them Spring of 2003 before they started to blossom. We also planted several maple trees, Autumn Flame, October Glory, and Japanese Bloodgood. We had some sticks that we planted from “Arbor Day Foundation” (I call them sticks, they look like that, bare root sticks) Well one of them, only one, began to grow very well in 2002 so we moved it to nearer to the house, not knowing what it was, since I lost all ID of the seedlings. Well, all those are suppose to flower, but not so far. This tree is is incredible though, it was many inches shorter than me in Spring 2003 and is taller than me by several inches now. It has thorns too. It’s a nice thick, full tree.

We also now have two Paperbark Maples and a Weeping Willow. I checked several of these trees today, and the buds are getting rather prominent. We still have half of January, all of February, and half of March to get through before it’s nominally safe for the trees to start blooming. But there is no controling nature. So many mild spells are hopefully not going to spoil a beautiful spring KABOOM bloom this year.

I enjoy the temps warming though. This month is going fast, it’s the 13th already, and since it’s been rather sunny and not so bitter it seems like Spring is truly around the corner, but it’s really way to early even so. I’m still looking for nasty weather in the forcasts. I just checked and we have some below freezing temperature forcast for over a week away, no snow or anything though.

That’s what things are like mid-January. Just really odd.

Wintry Weather — sort of

I have always viewed “winter” as starting about Thanskgiving, or maybe a week later, when anywhere other than in Florida, where I’ve lived.

I know that the actual season begins with the winter solstace, later in December, but the weathe distinctiveness lulls me to the Winter feel early. As it does for many, I suspect.

We’ve had many nights so far around freezing, or below or right above. Higher than that as well. Days might get around 60, but mostly just above 50 degrees F. the last several or more days. I am not being precise, for all days flow into one, with the exception of Sunday, for me. πŸ™‚ Memory of temperature fluctutions then is not precise. One day if I get my wish of a digital weather station to mount around the house, then I’ll be able to easily be precise. For now then, it’s blurry ideas.

The most prolific thing about the weather is the temperature the house. We aren’t using our central heat system this year, taking things more natural instead. If it’s cloudly it’s very chilly inside. I keep a fire going most of the time on those days. Most every day demands a fire in the fireplace at least half the morning, if not longer. Evening time a fire is useful too. We turned our living room into our dining room. It is SO nice eating by the fireplace for dinner, lunch, or breakfast, fire or no fire inside it.

We have one small portable electric heater we can move around to different places. It takes the edge of coolness off when need be. Like bathrooms in the AM. πŸ™‚

I’m liking this all so far. It’s far more romantic and feels connected to previous generations. I do still use electricity, of course, but am wanting to grow less dependant on it. I sure need it for this medium, but less for others as time will hopefully allow. I’d love to have a woodburning stove, as well as a gas or electric cooktop. To bake in a woodburning stove is my dream. To use it in the cool weather, in particular for cooking and warming the kitchen. If we get to build our next house, we’ll include such a plan to accomodate my ‘dream’ kitchen. That’s not the all of it, just a part. I won’t wax on about my “dream kitchen” right now.

I love building and maintaining the fireplace fires. They are easy to do, but sometimes a challenge to start, depending on the wood. The crackle and occasional ‘pop’ of the wood burning is soothing, the flames as well.

Another aspect of it is coming close to natural human stuff. Flame for heat. It brings up pictures of Hell as well. The phrase “Fanning the Flames” take on new meaning if you work with fires. And Christmas songs come to mind.

We are on a countdown to official Winter. And once that hits, it’ll practically be Christmas Eve.

For us in Georgia, that then means another week until New Years, then a month of possible ice storms, maybe snow. Then the first sign of Spring will appear in February sometime. [whisper]It’s not far off![/whisper]

This is why I can enjoy Winter-like time so much, perhaps, it’s limited in days, unlike some places up North, which can have Winter stretch out far into the days when we are harvesting something from the garden, planted as a seed there that Spring. πŸ™‚

So for now, the days get shorter, the weather gets colder.

New Photos coming soon

I recently found a stash of photo’s … something that I put away. I’m seeing these photo’s as if I’ve really not seen them before. The year 2000, December. Cute little children. So I’ll be getting them ready … I just have to decide which are what, since there are two rolls, both not developed until March 2, 2001. They both have Photo CD’s, so obviously I thought these rolls important when they were taken in for developing. It feels silly, not remembering stuff, and having to guess about your own life, not so long ago. I truly mean to write a log when I take photos, I just never do. Immediate memory thinks far memory will be no problem. I should know better. I guess that just is something we can’t always convince ourselves about.

Well, since there are Photo CD’s that means I only have to take them into Photoshop Elements, what I currently use, and resize them for the Web, and make thumbnails. Easy, easy, easy to do. When I have them done, I’ll get them on the Photo Log.

The biggest star of these photos is of course Asa. He was about 3 months old then. So cute!

Winter, spring-longings, and Winter again

It’s been a bit warmer for a few days, into the 50’s then the low 60’s one day, and then the high 40’s today. Nights have been above freezing. Now tonight it’s going to get much colder, into the low 20’s, and tomorrow looks to be a COLD day, and the night in the one digit numbers. BRRRRR!

There is a bush next door to our house that has leaves coming out on it. Bad news. Even our Pussy Willow bush, which we installed in the front bern last early Spring, is starting to show it’s fuzzy little do-dads in some places. Too early, not yet guys!

Well, January is the month that we’ve seen some Spring bulbs starting to show green spikes coming up, like Tulips or Daffodils … they take their time coming up, and have to, as there is still another full month of Winter to get through before the massive threat of freezing weather has abated. But I’ve not seen really the leaves coming out, like next door, this early. I’ll have to be checking our dear plants a bit closer now. Most of them are new, just nearly a year old on the property. The Summer was tough, and some branches are dead on the Dogwoods. We have to prune them back before the sap starts really running.

I also found one of our little tiny trees whacked off down low the other day. It’s one of the trees you can get from the Arbor Day Foundation, for membership. It’s a few years old, well, it was. Seem the dog must have chewed it off. It’s sticking up several inches from the ground, but the branches are all gone, and a whole lot of the trunk. Poor little Redbud tree! It’s one that I was looking forward to seeing this Spring, and seeing it really grow up a bit more this year. πŸ™ So, is it beyond hope, dead? Don’t know. I don’t know that tree’s habits. We will see what happens.

I have some bulbs in the fridge, from my mother for Christmas. I have to plant them sometime in February, since they weren’t chilled until we got them in the snail mail system. I’m looking forward to digging in the dirt. So if the Winter weather would just do it’s thing and then go away for several months, it’d be nice!

Frank is promising to dig out my new garden for sure this year. I didn’t have one last year. I’ll have tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, yellow wax beens, and don’t know what else. Those are the ones I like the best. And we have our apple trees to consider. We want to do them as naturally as possible, but some spraying is necessary. We had a few apples that survived the season, last September. They were a nice snack for the family. Just that, not enough for anything else.

The trees that give the fruit are LIBERTY semi-dwarf apple trees. Nice, just taking their time getting into good production, and we need to help them better as well. It takes knowledge and $$ to do that. So we are dependent on Frank’s job situation for all our property improvements, like spraying trees, and planting vegetable and flowering plant gardens. So, maybe Winter lasting longer is alright, now that I’ve thought it out to this end. It’d give Frank more time to get a better job going.

Ok. So, let it snow! [none this year yet, so we are due!]

Cold temperatures, but Mild Winter so far

It’s cold tonight, supposed to be around 15 degrees F. That’s the coldest of the season. That means a mild Winter. No snow or ice storms as yet. We did have flurries this morning, but very light and not for very long. It rained last night, and the temperature was about 36 to 34 degrees, and the deck had some ice crystals forming on it for awhile. But the rain stopped, then the temperature dropped below freezing. No ice.

We have a heat pump, and that doesn’t works so well once the temperature is just above freezing. So it’s been cool at night in the house. We don’t have wood for the fireplace this year. Good thing it’s a mild Winter. We have a few more weeks to get through until early Spring, but so far it’s pretty good.

That’s our exciting news for the day!

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