Saturday, February 27, 2021


The snow is not quite gone yet. The less snow, the more ugly the yard is. Every other day, I trudge around picking up five-to-ten pounds of dog poop that the snow kept well hidden. Ugh!

This past week I saw my hip surgeon for a follow-up visit; all is well with that joint. Then I met with a shoulder surgeon, as I have severe arthritis in both shoulders. As we discussed surgery, I questioned him about what I'll be able to do post-replacement. Yoga poses like downward dog? Does Dr. Hip know you are doing that? Well, no. You shouldn't be bending over. What?!? I bend over all the time, especially when weeding. Ever since then, I have noticed just how much bending over I do, to pick up dog poop and clean the litter boxes and perform other household chores, let alone yardwork. Dr. Shoulder nixed downward dog since after surgery I should not pick up more than 25 pounds EVER. My SO may have to provide more of the heavy lifting around here.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Winter trudge

I decided to risk walking the dogs yesterday, since we had received more snow and the icy patches were well covered. They were excited... at first. Due to the snow banks lining the streets, they could not check their "pee-mail". I was a little surprised that several neighbors had made no effort to clear their driveways or have them cleared. These are not snowbound seniors but younger folks. There were a few people trying to unblock gutters and downspouts. Icicles hang from my gutters, but the eaves on my house are very deep for the most part. I don't mind shoveling, as long as there is not too much snow and it is not too heavy, but I draw the line at wrestling in the snow with a ladder.

I skipped dog walking this morning because it was only 5 (five!) degrees out. Later I tromped around the backyard to fill some birdfeeders. "Fill" is a relative term. The only ones that were empty were the millet one, where the birds seem intent on scattering that onto the ground, or in this case, snow, and the meal worm one, which the starlings can empty in minutes. I put *some* feed in each of these most days, but definitely don't fill them up.

Starting tomorrow, the weather forecast promises warmer temps. My prediction is the snow will be gone in a week or so. Then it will be time to ramp up the "fall cleanup".

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Still snowy, with more on the way

The temps remain low, so we still have snow on the ground. Yesterday was gray and bleak, despite the white stuff, but today there is sun. Tonight more snow is on the way. Fortunately, my excellent neighbor has fixed his snowblower.

Hanging on my refrigerator is a list of chores for my son-in-law, including the replacement of the outdoor faucets. I don't know much about plumbing; these taps are "frost proof". They also drip and the plastic handles are breaking off bit by bit.

There seem to be fewer and fewer birds at the feeders these days, even starlings. Did the cold weather finally send them farther south? Between the weather and the home improvement projects, I hadn't been walking the dogs, but that could not go on forever. As long as it is not too windy, we go out.

Erin asked about my fruit trees. Alas, they are no more. When I first started growing Meyer lemons inside, you could not buy them in the local stores. Not so anymore. Also, fruit trees in containers require a lot more attention that I gave them. Outside, I decided to eliminate the apple and cherry trees, as they too require too much care. Even growing herbs inside feels like a big endeavor these days!

Every year I usually joke that February is the longest month of the year. This year it seems to be flying by, yet spring feels very far away. Must be the snow.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Sunshine on snow

This area of Indiana is known for its gray and taupe winters - gray skies, taupe landscape. But last week's snow is still here, thanks to some very cold temps. The sun is shining as well. My neighbor's snowblower broke, so I had to do some shoveling, but I did not mind, too much. My shoulders did not appreciate the extra exercise.

Inside, I had my kitchen cabinets refaced and the vanities in the bathrooms replaced. Now that things have settled down, it's time give indoor herb gardening another go and to contemplate what I hope to accomplish in the yard this year. In the past, I created overly optimistic to-do lists. There is really only one thing on my list this year: continue with downsizing. In the past, I have tried to nurture a meadow in the southwest corner of the backyard. I still think about that, so I will leave that area for last, to keep my options open.

The sparrows really like the millet; groundfeeding juncos seem to like it, too. I put some "bark butter" on the trees in the front yard, but it looks untouched so far. The berry-and-nut suet I tried was a hit with almost everyone, even a squirrel. Now I am trying a pure suet block.