We have had a couple of “mild” relative to last week, days. I sat on the south facing deck stairs in the sun this morning and had a phone conversation with an old friend. It was only 32 f but the wind was calm, the sun warm and no coat was required. By the time we left for our walk, it was in the low 40’s, but thick cloud cover had taken the sunshine and it felt much colder. Tonight through Friday morning, we will get the rainy edge of the winter storm moving northeast and our temperatures will again return to winter with the chance of ice or snow on Sunday. We still have snow in the woods and in more sheltered areas from the last storm. This is Virginia, not Vermont, Maine, or Colorado, snow never lasts this long. The paved rails to trails path we frequently walk was only about half cleared in the last storm and there are still areas of ice requiring you to leave the trail and walk in the grass on the edge. Much of the path is still only about half width with ice on the edges, making passing others going either direction a challenge, the path is only about 8 feet wide when fully cleared. We always drop into single file when we see a bicycle or approaching walker or jogger, and it amazes me how many people walking two or three abreast don’t both, eliminating any distance between you and them or even requiring us to step off the trail where possible. We don’t want to be aggressive and stand our ground, but the though has occurred to us and we wonder if they are so oblivious that they would walk into us.

Though it is still cold, definitely winter, when I went in the Natural Foods store today, their spring garden seed rack is up. I’m still trying to decide what I want to plant this year and what seed I still have on hand. After going in Tractor Supply last weekend to get pet supplies, chicken feed, and wild bird seed and seeing how elevated the prices have gone, I may use more of my garden to grow some dent corn for the chickens and sunflowers to save the seed for the wild birds. I often give the dogs an egg in the mornings, provided by the hens, but don’t like the smell of eggs cooking in the morning, so I had become lazy about preparing them until I accepted it was much more economical than the various supplemental feeds we could purchase. To get around the smell issue, I steamed half a dozen last night while preparing dinner and put them in the refrigerator to use for several mornings.

While sitting on the back steps, my friend was amused that I kept having to chase off chickens that came up on the steps to visit while I was talking. Those birds are really imprinted on me and come running anytime I am outdoors.

Ooops there goes another … repair. I don’t like messing with electricity and it has been more than 25 years since I installed or replaced a fixture, but as I was setting the table tonight and turned the dining room lights on, they flashed on then off. I replaced a bulb and tried again and nothing, though the fan works just fine. That light doesn’t appear to be on it’s own circuit or even one with the dining room wall outlet, so it must be connected to a kitchen circuit as it is one room. I guess I will have to figure out which one during daylight hours and go buy a new light fixture for the fan and have a go at it. Definitely not something I want to tackle, but better than having to replace the entire fan and light unit. I hope I can match the finish or get a light that doesn’t show it’s trim very well.

Last night as I was preparing dinner and watching for it to be dark enough to go lock up the hens, the light in the fields was an odd color. Stepping on the back deck, this gorgeous red sky was the reason.

There was no red sky tonight, just thick clouds signalling the beginning of the upcoming round of wet weather. I guess there will be no walk tomorrow unless we can dance between the raindrops.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

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