Sunday, January 16, 2011

Catching Up With You

   The last week has been a busy one, but it has been productive for me.  Thanks to all of you for your messages here and by email.  I was feeling a little overwhelmed with my to-do list, and needed to take care of a few things.

   Because I hold power of attorney for my Mom and for financial reasons with regards to the laws concerning Medicare/Medicaid and such, I had to pre-plan the arrangements for my mother's funeral expenses.  No, I don't foresee her death as being anytime in the immediate future, but as I said, the arrangements needed to be done.  I needed to drive three hours away to where the funeral home is (close to the cemetery and close to where most of my family on my mother's side lives) in order to do this, so it took most of a day there and back to handle this matter.  As you can imagine, this task wasn't a pleasant one.  It left me feeling emotionally drained, but I am relieved to have gotten it done.

   Also, because winter arrived here so early this year with bitter cold temperatures, and the cold has held tight onto us throughout December and January, my walks outside have become a thing of the past for the last couple of months.  I was feeling like quite the slug from the lack of exercise.  I needed to carve out some time to set aside for myself to get back in the habit of exercise.  Over the past week, I've re-established my visits to the local Y to spend time walking around the track there.  It means I am now up at 6:00 am every morning so I can drive to the Y and get my walking in before time for me to get ready to go to work.  Getting up earlier means going to bed earlier too.  So I've been trying to adjust to this change and make it a new habit.  Although it has only been a week, I already can tell a difference in the way that I feel.  I have more energy and am of a happier disposition.

   I also had several other projects that had been pushed to the back burner of late on which I wanted to focus some attention.  I am making some progress on those things as well.  So here I am back to blogging.  I have kept up with reading the blogs that I visit regularly, and will be around to say hello to everyone soon. 

   My son's girlfriend turned 18 this past week, and we attended a birthday party for her.  She also got new glasses this week.  I think they look quite nice on her.

     My son had a close call when he took her home the same night these pictures were made.  I let him take my new car to take her home because he hadn't had a chance to drive it yet.  Let me just say that black ice on the roads and a large buck deer that leaps out into the road right in front of you is not a good combination, but fortunately, he was able to stop in time.  He said when he got home that he was glad he was driving my new car instead of the old Metro because the new car handles better in the snow, and he wasn't sure he would have been able to stop in time if he had been in the Metro.  

   He saw one deer at the side of the road ahead of him and slowed down keeping his eye on it to make sure it wasn't going to jump in front of the car.  Well, while he was keeping an eye on that deer, another deer appeared from the darkness on the opposite side of the road and jumped into the road directly in front of him.  As I said, he did manage to avoid hitting it, but the near miss shook him up some.  He said the buck was as big as the whole front end of the car.

The weather has been cold and grey for what seems like a long time here.  Every time the snow starts to melt just a little, then another storm goes through to give us a new layer.  I'm missing blue skies and the sun, but I know they'll come back around here eventually.

   Here are some pictures of our snow and icicles on the house (Icicle pictures are for you, Mildred).  ;-)  The icicles aren't as big and impressive yet this year as they have been other years---not that I want them to be!!

These are across the front of our house.

This is from inside looking out through the front picture window in the living room.  Can you see the icicles hanging down from the eaves?  It is hard to photograph them when the sky is gray.  They are easier to see and are much prettier when the sky is blue, but I have to work with what we have. 

These are the icicles on the back of the house looking out through my kitchen window.

We finally had a blue sky for a little while this morning, and I got a couple of pictures then.

Before the most recent snowstorm we had, which left us with five inches of new snow, the squirrels were having a feeding frenzy digging up the maple whirlygigs from under the snow in the front yard.  This isn't a very clear picture, but maybe if you enlarge it you can see there are five squirrels there all in close proximity and all digging in the snow for the seeds.  I think they knew the storm was coming and were preparing for it.  It was kind of like how some people make a grocery run to buy milk and bread and eggs whenever a big storm is predicted.

This was sunrise this morning.  It wasn't a very spectacular one, but I wanted to show you this tree.  Whenever I look out at this view from our side window, I am amused by the guy in our tree there.  Can you see him?  Wait, let me draw some outlines on him.

   There, can you see him now?  He's sitting down with both arms and both legs sticking up in the air as if he has just slipped and fallen on the ice.  HA HA HA!

   Today my husband and I traveled to a surprise 60th birthday party for a friend of ours.  The party was about an hour and a half away.  There wasn't much to see on the way there or back--mostly more white snow on the  empty corn and soybean fields and gray skies above them.

   We did drive by a fruit orchard of some sort--apple trees, I believe, which gave a little break from the monotony of white snow-covered fields.

  We had fun at the party.  This is a picture of our friend who was celebrating his 60th birthday.

   After lunch, they broke out guitars and drums and rhythm instruments and played a few songs to entertain the guests.

  It was fun, but the trip made for a long day, and I was glad to be home again afterwards.  This is a shot of the courthouse square as we rolled into town today.

   I hope you all have had a good week since I last blogged and that an even better week is coming for you in the days ahead.