Category Archives: Seasons

How Hot Can it Get?

This was posted by one of our local weather people on Facebook yesterday. He said today would be much the same. We are in Greenwood (left column).

On that happy note – we plan to do a lot of staying inside!

I hope YOUR weather is much more sensible.  Enjoy your Monday.

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Nice and Toasty

We made this mailbox decoration years ago. We haven’t put it up this year and have others scheduled, but this is the way I’ve been feeling lately. The heat indices are between 105 and 110+ degrees each afternoon. You walk outside and it feels as though Mother Nature is slapping you in the face and sucking the breath from your body.

Needless to say, we are thankful for good air conditioning in our house and vehicles, and thankful that we can choose when we go out to do the yard work, working in short sessions, with lots of resting and water in-between.

My husband and I are reasonably active – for folks our age – but this weather really shows up how different things were for us 50 years ago…  We happily go about our days, feeling pretty good and doing a good amount of work, blissfully ignoring the passage of the years. THEN – we try to do something outside, coming in wringing wet and panting after only a short time, taking longer and longer to recover with each session, reality rearing its ugly head.

I plan to tackle my to-do list today with ONE thing from the INSIDE list – vacuuming the first floor – and ONE thing from my OUTSIDE list – weed whacking. Anything more will be gravy.

I hope that the weather where YOU are is pleasant.

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Solution?

I told you a couple of days ago I was bitten/stung – yet again – by fire ants while I was out working in the yard. Apparently, I’m at least mildly allergic, since my forearm swelled up, had welts on it, and itched and hurt for two days before finally subsiding. I’m ready for war.

I talked to my good friend, Nora, who sent me a solution that has worked for her. I’m going to try it and wanted to share it with you.

RECIPE:

1/4 cup Borax

3/4 cup sugar

Enough water to make a thicky syrup

 

USING:

Soak cotton ball in mixture, and put near ant nest. (Apparently, the ants are drawn to the sugar and are killed by the borax in a couple of days.)

 

I will definitely try this.  I’ll let you know if it works for me.

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Aftermath of the Severe Weather

Photo by Fort Smith Police Department

Yesterday, when our weather radio alerted us that we were under a tornado warning and that we should take cover, an as-yet unofficial tornado hit the south side of Fort Smith, one city away from where we live in Greenwood, Arkansas.  This is one of the pics showing the damage.

Reports today are saying 30 to 40 homes were damaged or destroyed, trees downed, roofs of businesses torn off, power out, etc. The good news is that no one seems to have been hurt or killed.  I hope our governor can declare an emergency and release Federal funds for those who need it.

Even though my husband scoffed at the weather alert, I’m really glad we have the radio. We are under tornado ‘watches’ all summer long, so I don’t pay a lot of attention to the run of the mill alerts; but when they say a rotation has been confirmed and is heading toward Greenwood, I DO!. I’m very grateful that we haven’t found any damage.

In fact, today is a gorgeous day – sunshine and 80 degrees. My husband and I laid more bricks on our planter this morning. We should be able to finish it tomorrow. It’s been 30 years since we built the planters and our skills have deteriorated since then. We will be delighted if the planter is sturdy, holds the dirt in, and we can plant beautiful things in it, regardless of how it looks. :0)

After we rested and drank water, I went out to my garden to weed. The weeds really love Mel’s Mix, the soil alternative we use in the raised boxes, so I had a lot to do. I did finish that, though, and after resting again, mixed up a 2-gallon container of KilzAll, the wonderful weed killer that was recommended to me a couple of years ago by a good friend in Tulsa. The container is a pump-up variety, so I can murder a lot of weeds without killing myself as well. I used the whole container on the weeds UNDER my raised boxes in the garden. As soon as I have them under control I’ll get more wood chips to spread over the fabric weed barrier we put down several years ago.

After we finished laying bricks this morning, I came in and washed my hair in the kitchen sink. I came in after weeding really hot, huffing and puffing, my whole head wet. I washed my hair again, hating to walk around with dirty, yucky hair. Now I’ve come in from murdering weeds, my whole head wet again, and I look like I’ve been run over by a truck. I refuse to wash my hair more than twice a day, so my poor husband will have to put up with me the rest of the day. There are more weeds out there calling my name – so I’ll probably go out one more time and spray another container-ful before I call it a day.

I hope that Mother Nature is being kind to you today and that you’re enjoying your Sunday.

 

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Flying Hair Balls!

KSFY.com

We are under a tornado watch the entire day, tonight, and into tomorrow morning.

It was sprinkling just slightly, with rain looking imminent this morning when we woke up, so we spent about half an hour cleaning up our ‘rebuilding-the-brick-planter’ work site, putting away tools, the partial bag of mortar, papers from the bricks we hauled, etc. We’ll wait and see what the situation is after the rains have come and gone before doing anything more.

We’re disappointed because we wanted to finish the first planter today.  A challenging job, though, is even less fun when you’re trying to beat the clock, betting against Mother Nature.

I’m going to get out and try to get my garden weeded before the rain, and then we’ll batten down the hatches and hope we don’t have damage from the storm.

I hope you’re safe wherever you are today.  Happy Saturday!

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1st Hummingbird of the Spring! May 2nd

Tim Fitzharris

 

We were sitting at the dining area table this morning -groggily trying to wake up – when we saw the first hummingbird of the season (that we’ve noticed) at the hummingbird feeder!  I had mainly put the feeder out to welcome the first hummingbirds, not actually having seen one.

He was only at the feeder just a second, sipped a bit and then flew off. We went out and got the feeder, filled it with fresh food, and put it back out. We feel so rich when we see hummingbirds dive-bombing each other at the feeders. We will put out several, so there is more than enough food for all, but nature overcomes. I hope this is a good year for the hummers.

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Rainy Wednesday

 Scary Mommy

“I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face.” – Katherine Mansfield

No work in the garden or weed whacking today. The bug spraying man came this morning, spread granules outside, treated the inside of the house and then left just before a gentle rain started.

Because of unforeseen circumstances, we had to make two trips into town to get our errands done this morning, but the rain mostly stopped when we had to get out of the car.

Now we are in full of a good lunch, enjoying some quiet time. We have front and back doors open so we can enjoy the nice breeze and the soothing sound of the rain…

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – Langston Hughes

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Reclaiming Our Screened Porch

Amber helped us reclaim our porch yesterday. It started with my husband removing three 4 x 8 foot sheets of plywood we had laid end to end across the bottom of the screened part of the porch and screwed into the uprights to try to keep Amber from destroying it. We decided that even though she is still definitely a puppy, we could now risk reclaiming part of our view.

We had an enormous amount of dirt, dog and cat hair, and a super-thick layer of pollen all over everything. I moved everything around, wiping the table and sweeping twice before ever trying to do more. Finally I got to the place where I could actually start CLEANING things, rather than simply uncovering them.

Our porch isn’t fancy, but we love the few weeks each year that we can eat out there, free from bugs and enjoying some glorious weather. Right now it’s too chilly for breakfast, perfect for lunch, and too chilly for dinner. We’re hoping to enjoy several meals before Mother Nature turns up the heat too much.

The porch is connected to our covered deck – again not fancy – but definitely a quality of life thing for us. I just planted a bunch of flowers in the deck planters, and we’re working on making sure the irrigation system is working properly to keep all happy out there.

I hope that you have a place that you can “bring the outside in” a bit, too.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, quality of life, Seasons

Pink

Slice of Life via Marianna Bellantoni

 

Esma CETIN – LinkedIn

 

“Petunias and Dahlia” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

Lin Ching Che via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

 

Lin Fengmian-via Elena-via Rachel Perman – LinkedIn

 

Lovka Mechkarova Via Tetiana Shevchuk – Linkedin

 

“Magnolia 1” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Why Not Always Pink?” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Sending Spring Your Way

The purple iris bloom first. As they fade, the yellow ones start.

This is now my husband’s favorite flower, so each time the blooms are spent, I split some and plant them in another place in the yard.

The wisteria has given us a nice display this year. We’re trying to get it to go up into the tree on the opposite end of the wood pile. We actually saw some blooms up there this year! Our rose bushes were looking sad at the end of the season, so I cut them  WAAAAAY  back, figuring they would either like it or croak.  They seem to be happy with lots of buds right now.

We have some yellow blooms since this picture was taken. I’ll see if I can get a pic to share with you later.

 

I love this time of year!

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And the Rains Continue

Depositphotos

We had strong storms last night with lots of lightning and thunder. Quite impressive. I was relieved to see that we had no discernible damage this morning. It’s raining now, but a quiet, soaky rain that will benefit everything – though my husband is grumbling because he can see the grass growing and he JUST mowed…

I’ve switched to INSIDE stuff today – regular household chores, but I’m going to make some breakfast and then do a session of yoga this morning so I can add another gold star to my calendar. :0)

I hope that the weather is nice where you are and that you’re enjoying your day, too.

 

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100 Percent Chance of Rain

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Usually, when the forecast says, “100% chance of rain,” they’re pretty sure. And they were right.

The twice-a-year opportunity to take hard-to-get-rid-of ‘stuff’ to either the city recycling center or the rural folks is today until 2 pm. We watch for this in the paper because we ALWAYS have metal scraps or other things the regular trash people refuse to deal with.  I think the city is wonderful to offer this. I think, otherwise, we might see unsightly stuff dropped off beside the roads. I particularly appreciate it this time, when the men are having to work in the rain.

On cue, the minute we started backing up to the shop door, the rain started. It wasn’t a downpour, so we continued. The rain got harder as we went toward town. The city center had a BIG line of trucks with their beds all full, so we decided to drive farther to the rural center. Happily, there wasn’t a line there and we left our stuff quickly. We got our mail on the way home and are now happily in our dry house.

KFSM TV

Greenwood is just southeast of Fort Smith. As you can see, we have lots of green, yellow, orange, and red blobs in our future today and tomorrow – about 2 inches total.  I’m hoping that the rain will be steady and reasonably gentle, giving our new flowers and veggies a great drink, but not washing them out of the ground.

I hope the people south and east of us stay safe today. It looks as if they might get more serious weather than we.

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Sharing Spring – Wisteria

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Welcome Signs of Spring – Redbud Trees

Since 2 of our 8-foot brick planters in the front collapsed and have to be rebuilt, we’re very short on sprouts and blooms this spring. The exception to this, though, is a lovely display of bloom from the redbud trees that Mother Nature dotted around. We love each of them and cut away things around them that might encroach, encouraging them to be healthy and happy.

 

The tree in the first picture faces the south of our property where we can pretend we own all we can see. :0)  This one is facing in the opposite direction.

Another one on the south.

And a close up of some of the blooms.

I go outside and walk around every day just to enjoy these!

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A Rainy Day

Elena-(Livia) D-LinkedIn

 

Today is a glorious rainy day here in Greenwood, Arkansas. I say “glorious” because the rain was timed perfectly.

Yesterday we had to buy a new tire for our little riding lawn mower. My husband got it onto the mower and did the first mowing of the season. The grass was a bit high, but he managed. Now it looks like someone actually lives here. :0)

Our garden also appreciated a nice drink without a lot of blowing or hail, too! (I’ll post pics in a bit)

So we’re spending the day being thankful we don’t have to be outside working in the rain and chill, happy to have a warm, dry house.

 

Anthony J. D’Angelo

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Filed under Attitude, Mother Nature, Seasons

Bringing You a Bit of Spring

“Face to Face” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Paul Militaru Photography, Seasons

Spring is Finally Springing

Ar Ali – Linkedin

FINALLY, signs of spring are popping up around here!  I’m delighted, though I feel bad for the people still getting more snow, and the awful flooding in the midsection of the country. I just know my spirits are rising with each passing day.

I still haven’t been able to find spinach plants locally (they said call again Wednesday), so I’m going to see if I can get another batch of seeds started, using another technique and keeping all appendages crossed for success. I would really love to shed my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” some day soon.

That said, the red onions and head lettuce plants in the garden are doing really well. I’ll see what other wonderful things I can find to plant when we go out for errands today.

I finally reached the bricklayer today, who said he was personally covered up with work, but would ask another good person to give us a call for an estimate on rebuilding the two brick planters that failed recently.

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring, too!

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Happy 1st Day of Spring!

Jim Hunt Illustration

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Spring MAY Be in the Air

“Simply…White” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Spring is in the Air” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“White” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“White Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

Wim Beunderman – LinkedIn

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Brrr!

“Squirrel in the Snow” – copyright-Kelly Lyon – http://www.nwf.org.PhotoContest – The Nat’l Wildlife Federation Blog

 

It’s almost noon and it’s still only 17 degrees F. here. I’ve been letting dogs and cats in and out over and over this morning. Everyone says they want to go out, but they don’t want to stay out LONG…

My poor seed starters are still covered up in the greenhouse. I covered my onion sets in my raised bed square foot garden with a sheet, but I’m afraid that won’t be enough to save them.  I’ll probably need to start over on everything once the cold spell is over. We’re dripping water in our utility room bathroom and in my husband’s sink upstairs, trying to avoid pipes freezing. We only got snow flurries, but the diving temperatures have sure gotten our attention. I save a few daffodils in a vase on the table, but the rest are looking really sad outside.

I’m thankful we have a warm, dry house and we don’t HAVE to go outside, unless we choose to today.  My heart goes out to the people in Alabama, Georgia, and the rest of the southeast who had severe weather and tornadoes last night.

Be safe, everyone.

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My Cold Nose is Out of Joint

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

My cold nose is out of joint because, instead of spring, we’re having a return to winter for the coming days.

KFSM News

As you can see here, we’re in the middle of the ‘weather alert day.” It actually was snowing when we were eating breakfast! I’m NOT a happy camper. We have a 70% chance of ‘precipitation’ today – rain/sleet/ice/snow/flying hairballs. I’ve done all I can do to protect my sweet onion sets in the garden. (I covered them with a king-sized sheet.) I’ve done all I can to protect my seed starters in the greenhouse (covered them with towels.) I may be starting over by the time we get to Wednesday afternoon….

I gathered daffodils yesterday because of the forecast. They were right. They’re all hanging their heads all over the yard. We have some really pretty ones in one vase on the table, and that might be it for the spring daffodils.

We are safe and warm on top of our ridge line in Arkansas. We still have our snow tires on the truck, just in case we need them. We have food for ourselves and our sweet animals.

I wouldn’t feel so resentful if I hadn’t tried to get a head start on my spring garden… I’ll report again on this Wednesday afternoon when I’ve had a chance to assess where we are in the planting season.

I hope that you’re safe and warm wherever you are today.

 

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Sharing a Bit of Spring

I told you earlier that we’re due for some hard freezes starting tonight. UGH. :0(

I dashed out and cut some of the daffodils that are blooming all over the yard right now. The ones left out there probably won’t last through the night. It cheered me up to see them today, so I brought some in to save the idea of spring, and wanted to share them with you.

Hopefully, spring is actually coming – though the weather guy remarked that it is really unusual for us to have such cold weather this late.

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It’s Starting to Look Like Spring!

This is the view from the back of the house. We can see at least two distinct ridge line from atop ours AND pretend it’s all ours! Things are starting to green up around here!

This view is looking the other direction.

It seems I’ve been waiting forever for spring. I can feel my spirits rising!

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Snow-Goon Mailbox Decoration

We love Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson created the idea of Snow-Goons, evil snowmen who wreaked all sorts of havoc.

This is the front of our Snow-Goon decoration. He is one of the largest of our decorations. The piece is about 4 feet high and 3-1/2 fee wide. This one was also more challenging because of the attached arms holding the head. We like the 3-D effect.

This is the back of the piece.  I tried to blend the attachment bar into the snowman.  We’re in the middle of having a cold front move through, dropping our temperatures and threatening freezing rain, etc., so this decoration seemed appropriate.

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

After catching up with our good friends at Lunch Bunch and doing errands, we’re enjoying being home in a warm, dry house.

I hope you’re having a happy day, too.

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Filed under Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art, Seasons, snow people

Now THIS is the Winter of my Dreams!

Irma Nadal – LinkedIn

 

Old Quebec – Iahsen Haddou – LinkedIn

 

Switzerland – Iahsen HADDOU – LinkedIn

 

Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn

 

Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn

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Daffodils in February!

After some really awful weather, we are enjoying several days of spring-like weather. (It’s 71 degrees F. right now and sunny with a nice breeze.)

I walked around the yard yesterday and found THREE daffodils in bloom! I brought them in for us to enjoy, since we’re supposed to have a cold snap tomorrow night and it’s back to winter for awhile. We have more blooms today!

Our daffodils are always confused, shooting up in February and then getting frozen in a cold snap soon afterwards. Each year I hope they make it through, because we’ve had snow several times on my birthday in MARCH.

For the moment, though, I can dream of a beautiful spring. I’ll gather a few more blooms this afternoon before the cold comes.

I hope the weather is good where you are today.

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Creative Snow Art

pinterest

 

stomp.straitstimes.com

 

The Lakewood Scoop – Elias C.

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Yo-Yo Weather

Ciker

Our weather is driving me nuts. It’s a wonder EVERYONE isn’t down with a cold.

Yesterday afternoon and evening it was really cold and we were supposed to get snow. We lucked out and didn’t get it, but we needed to drip water from a couple of our sinks to be sure the pipes wouldn’t freeze, with a low of 18 degrees F.

Today the high is supposed to be in the 50’s!  The sun is shining and it’s beautiful outside. We used this wonderful lull in our weather to fill up bird feeders on the deck. The birds were appreciative. :0)

Monday we’re supposed to get rain/ice/snow again….

We’re trying to dress in layers because no matter what you choose, you’re either too warm or too cool to be comfortable. Our doggies don’t seem to mind the cold-one-day-with-snow-on-the-ground and then almost t-shirt weather the next. I had to deal with the carcass of an armadillo they found and brought into the front yard to chew on yesterday. I gingerly picked it up – and it was the biggest armadillo I’ve personally ever seen – doubled bagged it and put it in the trash, then double-bagged the large trash bag… I have this illusion that our doggies are so SWEET and FUN-LOVING and AFFECTIONATE. It hurts my heart a bit when they stomp on those illusions a bit chewing on a stinky armadillo or deer skull… UGH.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

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Art in the Snow

pinterest.com

 

pinterest.com

 

pinterest.com

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World of White!

Our weather people were almost completely right this time. We awoke this morning to a world of white in Greenwood, Arkansas. The forecast was that we would get rain last night turning to snow this morning, but that we would get an inch or less from the fast-moving storm. It would be gone by 11 a.m.

By this morning, the Winter Weather Advisory had been moved south to include our area fully, and a ‘heavy band of snow’ had emerged, covering our area! (Now ‘heavy’ for Arkansas is probably a dusting in serious snow areas, but Arkansas doesn’t have snow plows. They have sand trucks – two for Greenwood – but they weren’t going to be used last night due to the rain.  Currently, the advisory now goes to 6 pm tonight. The front is supposed to be gone by about 3 pm.  The temperature started at 43 F. this morning, and is supposed to be 29 F by this afternoon.

This was earlier today. It’s a VERY wet snow, and quite slushy on our driveway pad.  My husband said both doggies came to a screeching halt just as they reached the opening garage door this morning. They looked at each other, then bounded happily into the snow to go take care of things before breakfast. Usually, they are gone exploring all around the yard for about 20 minutes before coming in with hungry stomachs. This morning they leaped out, ran through the snow happily barking, saying, “Here we are, world!” and then came RIGHT back, wanting to get to food and warmth.

We are snowed in up here on top of our ridge line when all of Greenwood has melted off and gone on with life. Our steep driveway is 650+ feet on the north side of our property and is one of the last places in, or outside of Greenwood, to thaw or melt. We love it up here, pretending we own all we can see, loving the privacy, but we DO have to take weather seriously. We filled up the gas tank in our truck yesterday and shopped for groceries, just in case our usual Sunday trip needed to be cancelled.

Happily, we can enjoy our pretty snow – not having to get out in it, or having to negotiate the steep driveway down and up again. We can go outside with the doggies, take pictures, look around and enjoy the unusual weather, enjoy being warm and dry inside, and look forward to warmer temperatures starting tomorrow.

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Weather Forecast

Today in Fort Smith via Cindy Basnett Thurman

 

Hahahahahahaha!  After Lunch Bunch today, my husband and I filled up on gas and then hit the grocery store in case we get snowed in tonight and tomorrow up on top of our ridge line. It might come to nothing. Actually, this time they’re NOT forecasting much accumulation – but, in case they’re WRONG – and we DO – we want to be prepared to stay up here until further notice.

We were stuck up here for 14 days in 2000 when we had a huge ice storm. It broke off our tree branches, sounding like gunshots as the branches gave up, broke off, and fell to the ground. We had so many trees whose branches broke, or ice-laden evergreens across our driveway, it took us three days with chain saws to hack our way down our 650+ steep driveway to the road that runs in front of the house. We had no public power or water. Our China Diesel generator in the well house blew a gasket. My husband and our son had to rig a barrel of water to keep it from burning up. They had to check things every half hour for the 14 days.

When we finally made it through THAT awful storm and its aftermath, we got serious about being able to survive up here, if we needed to, for however long it took. We can breathe easily now, although I still hate ice storms… I feel lucky to be able to be proactive. We have a warm, dry house. We have geothermal heat and air with a generator. We have a wood-burning fireplace. We have food and water for our pets and ourselves. We have movies and/or books. We have coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

I feel lucky to be able to be proactive. We have a warm, dry house. We have geothermal heat and air with a generator. We have a wood-burning fireplace. We have food and water for our pets and ourselves. We have movies and/or books. We have coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

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