So far, 2017 has started off warm and humid. That’s about to change tomorrow. It’s windy this morning and I’m seeing, and hearing, more of the winter birds around the area you see in the photo.
Today will also be the last full day of a full house. My wife will return to work and the grandkids will return to school tomorrow. Today will also see the last of the Christmas decorations packed away for another year. Tomorrow the house will return to it’s close to normal self.
Looking around this yard, it appears very close to full winter… at least as far as the trees are concerned. There are just a few still holding onto the leaves they have to drop. The grass is still unseasonably green though. And the wisteria is strangely still mostly leaved. But all in all, this view is still predominated by the evergreens that surround me. And it’s this evergreen view that surrounds me that always surprises me when I venture out away from home and see the leaflets gray-brown look that predominates the rest of this part of the state.
Form the thunder rumbling in, I guess the weather is about to get interesting. I better finish this cup of coffee before I get run in the house.
The sun rose once again this winter over a white frosty landscape. I can only remember a few winters where I have seen frost as often. The number of nights when the lows have been in the 20’s is also passing any remembered winters past.
So, if any one reads these musings on a regular basis, my absence from the internets can be blamed on the weather and the family and a Kindle. I had forgotten how a new baby in the house can just eat up the time. Add in a toddler, and you almost don’t have any time at all.
Though, sitting at the computer with a babe in one arm and a mouse in the other hand isn’t even hard. trying to type with one hand is a skill I lost many years ago. Never having been a touch typist, I still need both hands and at least 4-5 fingers spread over both.
Then, if you factor in an addiction to reading flaring up again, you are left with nothing at all on your Daytimer. The addiction can be blamed on the arrival of a Kindle in my hands this past Christmas. A terrible thing the Kindle is…Carrying a whole box of books whenever you roam is a dream I have carried through my entire life. The dream almost came to fruition with the arrival of Microsoft Reader and a Pocket PC a decade ago…Just not quite. Few titles were available, mostly classics, though I still carry a working version and a library of titles on my laptop.
But, the instantaneousness of the Kindle experience is a thing of the 21st century 24-7 online expectations. I have probably bought more books for myself since it’s arrival than in the whole of last year. Though I still love to track down the occasional used book…Latest acquisition; Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto.
To give you an idea of how messed up my schedule is, I am still working on my coffee and my Coffee Muses at noon…And haven’t even started cooking lunch. Then when you factor in the fact that here it is 5 days after my birthday and I haven’t mad my birthday road-trip yet…Go figure.
It’s Sunday morning and we are sitting here with the back door wide open.
Listening to a light rain fall outside as the cool outside air filters in. It feels more like spring than the middle of winter. The low last night must not have fallen below 60°.
The last half of last week was one of those rare stretch of days in January when you actually wanted to spend most of your time outside. Temperatures kept pushing into the 70’s in the protected parts of the yard under crystal blue skies and bright, warming sunshine.
I am becoming addicted to the Kindle I was gifted on Christmas. Especially, when I take it outside and sit in the sunshine as Grandson #2 plays in the yard.
This coming week will be bringing our first Granddaughter into the family. Baby Abby is due to be delivered on Tuesday. Tuesday, I’ll be sitting at home with Cameron (GS#2) while the rest of the family is at the hospital.
The other thing stealing all of my blogging time has been finalizing plans for the house we are planning to build behind this old farmhouse. The home we planned to retire to in the mountains is now going to be right here where we have lived for the past seventeen years. It seems that while we were planning a move our kids were having kids of their own…Now my better half can not stand the thought of being half a country away from all of her little ones. Go figure. It looks like my “mountain dreams” will stay dreams and we’ll just have to visit often.
So, if I turn up missing here for a few days, you’ll know I’m just having a bit of a life moment…I’ll be back shortly just as opinionated as always…
I haven’t dropped of the face of the Earth this week…Just cruised off the face of Texas for a few days. The heat and humidity of summer along with a week of vacation for the wife and the chance to go “bird watching” on the Mississippi screamed Road Trip…
A Mini Mountain Fix
We headed north out of Houston on Tuesday before the sun came up and hit Oklahoma soon after noon. I had routed our trip to take advantage of the Arkansas Mountains…We had reservations at Queen Wilhelmena State Park for the first night of our travels. Taking the Talimena Scenic Drive into the park brought back memories of the Blue Ridge Parkway just with higher temperatures.
We had reservations at the Lodge in one of the two Queen’s Rooms. The four-poster bed and the huge fireplace made the room feel comfy. As we sat on the overlook that evening watching the shadows gather in the valleys below the breeze was a welcome relief from the 95° weather we had experienced all day long.
Watching the hummingbirds feed through the window wall of the restaurant as we had supper was an added bonus.
Day Two – Arkansas and Missouri
It was leaving the Mena area that brought us into some of the nicest driving we have ever done. The interstate heading north out of Fort Smith Arkansas is one of the most picturesque Interstate traveling we have every done…I’ll grant you that that isn’t saying too much, as I hate driving on the interstate system unless I just have to cover a lot of ground in a hurry…And that isn’t the reason I travel…Usually.
Anyway, once we hit Missouri it was time to put the pedal to the metal and cross the state as we had a date with an Arch on the Mississippi for that evening.
Playing hopscotch with a few hundred 18 wheelers for the day wasn’t what I had in mind when I planned this trip, but it’s what the trip became as we crossed the breadth of Missouri in an afternoon.
The evening view of the arch was the redeeming feature of our room. Watching night fall on the Mississippi River was how we spent our first night in St. Louis.
As it’s now time to check out and hit the road, I’ll try to post our “bird watching” story tomorrow.