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Spring Might Really Be Coming

Although it is a beautiful day, it is rather cold and the weather people still have a chance of snow in the forecast for this week. The temperatures are slowly moving upwards and it is supposed to actually reach the 60’s later this week and into next weekend. Around the house, my husband has a long list of things that needs to be done to ready the house and yard for spring.

Last weekend we made the first trek to the home improvement store for mulch and organic soil. The mulch is to spruce up the flower beds around the house and the soil is to start the prep for our garden that we will be planting. This weekend was the second trip for the rest of the mulch and to also start looking at brick landscape pavers. We would like to take out the stones that are in the front, which sort of blend into the scenery and replace them with something that goes more with house. That will be on the list for next spring. As for this year, the mulch is now finished so that is one item that my husband can mark off of his spring list. Our pug is happy because he has fresh mulch to frolic in and kick out of the flower beds, so tidying up the mulch will be on the list all summer long.

This morning, even though the temperature is only 38 degrees, my husband is currently prepping the lawn mower, as all of the weed and feed that he put on the lawn to help it grow is doing its job.  The weeds are growing very nicely and the grass is too. It will need to be cut soon, so that will be on the list for next weekend.

So has spring finally arrived where you are?

 

Photo © Lenalee

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What A Difference A Week Makes

1st full day of Spring-March 21, 2018

1 Week Later-March 28, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photos were taken one week apart. The first photo is the willow tree covered in snow from our last snowfall. It also happened to be on the first full day of spring. A week later, I took the second photo, which shows the willow tree’s buds starting to come out. The flowers and the trees seemed to have survived the snow without any issues. Of course, we have more snow in the forecast this week.

All photos © lenalee

Winter Reprieve

One of the things I hear most often at work is how long winter seems to be this year. Looking at the calendar, we are about two-thirds of the way through winter. It has been much colder than previous years. It may have something to do with the fact that the temperatures were below freezing for several weeks. When we finally got above freezing, it made everyone think that spring wasn’t too far off. Of course Ground Hog Day happened and was anyone surprised that the little guy saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter? I wasn’t. Of course I can add and 6 weeks + 6 weeks equals 12 weeks. And if I remember anything from school it was that each season lasts 12 weeks.

While we have had several snow events so far this winter, many people have started complaining that winter never really showed up this year. The first event gave us the most snow, around 6 inches. Each one that has come after has given us another 1-2 inches and mostly made travel a mess. Two days resulted in icy roads, which meant taking it easy when driving and watching out for those that don’t. It rained on and off most of last weekend and the temperature warmed up into the 60’s. The good news is that we were in the 50’s for most of the week. This only makes people think that winter is over, which might be a good thing because the daffodils are blooming even earlier than normal and the grass is starting to grow. But as with everything, Mother Nature has other plans and it is supposed to turn colder and snow is back in the forecast through the middle of March. I don’t think I’ll be packing away my sweaters any time soon.

What has winter been like where you are?

Missing: Winter

I am someone who enjoys winter. I like the cold temperatures. I love walking outside and hearing the crunch of the frozen grass and leaves underfoot. I love taking the dog out early in the morning bundled up in a wool throw and seeing my breath in the air. I love sitting on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate next to me. But this winter, I haven’t experienced much of that. Winter hasn’t really showed up to my part of Maryland.

1st Snow of the Winter

1st Snow of the Winter

We’ve had some cool temperatures and a few days in the teens, but most days have been in the 40’s or 50’s and last weekend we were in the 70’s. We had the windows open and I thought about putting on a pair of crop pants, but it is still February. Last year I wrote about the 37+ inches of snow that we received from the blizzard that dumped it all in one night. This year we had snow twice. The first snow was only about 1.5 inches. The picture to the left shows the snow from that “storm”. I use the term “storm” because all of the Weather people were making the storm out to be something major. Turns out it wasn’t much of one and they were even more bummed than me. The second snow was just a dusting. Neither of them covered the roads, so there wasn’t really problems from them.

The school children are upset that they haven’t used even one snow day. Of course they will get out of school earlier than they usually do, but when you want to play in the snow and there isn’t any, well, I can understand why they are upset. Also upset are the landscape companies that rely on earning money by plowing businesses during the winter. Some say that plowing is 50% of their income, so without it, they may not be able to continue. Most of all, a mild winter usually means that the summer will be especially buggy. Not a good thing for me. I am a bug magnet. If it bites or stings, they find their way to me. I’m not looking forward to being their snack.

Road Trip Time

Okay, we have been having a rather strange winter. We have only really had one measurable snow fall so far and that was in December. Most of the days have been in the low 40’s, so we have been able to take more weekend road trips around the area. Because of my fascination with the eagles in Florida, my husband decided to take me to see some for real. We recently made the trip to Conowingo Dam in Maryland, which is only about an hour from where we live. It is an area where eagles nest along the water which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

We were there for less than 5 minutes when we heard shouts of “Eagle!” and one was flying overhead, eventually landing in a nearby tree.  We saw several eagles, as well as blue herons and sea gulls. I took some pictures with my phone. My husband looked at all of the people around us with these huge cameras and lenses more than a foot long. He looked at me and said, “You’re going to need a better camera.” As of yesterday, I’m the proud owner of a Canon EOS Rebel T6. Now I just have to figure out how to use it. Until then, I’ll leave you with the eagle from my cell phone.

cd-eagle

(Photo taken by lenalee-2017)

All Through The House

When I was planning what goodies to make for the holidays, I asked my husband and son what they wanted. My son wanted his usual oatmeal cookies and my husband wanted his usual sugar cookies with vanilla frosting. I usually make one or two new cookies each year, so I found two recipes that I wanted to try. One was for German chocolate sugar cookies and the other was for a cheesecake cookie. Both sounded delicious. In addition, I usually make white chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate fudge too. Yes, we do like to indulge a little extra during the holidays.

I planned to try to get all of my baking done in one weekend, but coming down with a cold that lingered for several weeks made it a little difficult to bake everything in one weekend. I kept wanting to take a nap, so I started with the cookies and made 10 dozen oatmeal cookies, which were placed in individual baggies with a dozen each so I could ration them for my son. Normally he would just take the container with all the cookies and he would come back a couple of days later with the empty container. So this year, I am making them last. He has grumbled about it, but that’s normal.

I then made 9 dozen frosted sugar cookies, which my husband has been rationing. He said I made them earlier than I usually do, so he wants to make them last. Next up were the German chocolate sugar cookies and they were actually easy to make and taste so yummy. They do not have a strong chocolate taste, but are just chocolate enough. Even my husband likes them and he is not a big dark chocolate fan. I will definitely keep this recipe to make again. I went to gather the ingredients for the cheesecake cookies, but didn’t have enough brown sugar, so I decided to make those next weekend for a New Year’s eve treat.

After work yesterday, I came home to a large box on the front porch from my mom. It was a box of Cheryl’s Gourmet Holiday Cookies. Faced with all the additional cookies, my husband said he didn’t think we needed to make the chocolate covered pretzels this year. I did make the fudge though. I love a cup of hot chocolate with a piece of fudge in front of the fire. The hot chocolate melts the fudge and it is so good. If it were snowing that would be even better. We don’t have any snow this year yet, but I know it will be here before long.

fudgeAnd now, I think it’s time for a little cookie break. Happy Holidays everyone!!!

 

 

The Weather Isn’t Cooperating

When we decided it was time to redo our deck, I was hoping that it would prove to be a relaxing way to end the day after work or in other words, help with the stress that comes with everyday life. The deck is finished, we have chairs and the weather has not cooperated at all in terms of being able to enjoy the deck.

Last Saturday morning, we picked up our gliders and even though the temperature was in the 50’s, I couldn’t wait and sat on the deck, bundled up with a fleece throw and watched my husband and son work in the yard. Since then, the weather has turned to either rainy or too cold. Last night, we had rain, then the wind picked up and there were strong thunderstorms. They were strong enough to set off car alarms and break off branches and flowers. During the night, the temperatures continued to drop and when I went to let our pug out this morning, there were snow pellets on the deck and chairs. The day looks beautiful now, but the temperature is in the 30’s and the wind chill is in the 20’s.

This week is supposed to be cooler and they have a chance of snow flurries in the forecast for several days. That means no relaxing on the deck just yet. It’s coming…soon…fingers crossed.

It’s Spring And We Have Snow Flakes

I think this sums things up quite nicely…

Cardinal

From Snow To Spring Breezes

Snow at Home

Snow at Home

View From Work

View From Work

The weather forecasters are saying that we may have seen the last of the snow for this winter. The snow that came through last Friday was one that didn’t accumulate on the sidewalks or streets, but made the trees look absolutely beautiful for most of the day. Last night was probably the last night to enjoy a fire. This week the temperatures are supposed to be in the mid 70’s. We will be going from using the furnace to having to use the air conditioning if the temps go up much more.

Growing up, I can remember sleeping with the windows open and using a fan in the hallway to keep the rooms cool. The only time our windows were shut were if you were leaving home for the day or if a storm was coming. And even then, the windows were kept cracked to keep the air flowing. Our house had a huge air conditioner at the back of the kitchen that was only used when the temperature went into the 90’s and it was usually turned off at night. I don’t remember it being too hot to sleep. I’m sure it was, but we were better able to deal with it as a child than we are now as an adult. I’m not able to tolerate the heat as well as I could before.

Gone are the days when I could open the windows to let the breeze air out the house and keep the house cool. Now, when we open our windows, I spend most of the day sneezing from the pollen and dust that comes in. But spring is coming so I will stock up on Kleenex because I want to enjoy the weather as long as I can before the air conditioning is on for months on end.

Under All That Snow…Flowers

Dafodil

We are finally seeing the last of the snow melt from the massive storm that hit the mid-Atlantic a few weeks ago. We had a few small snow events that added a couple of inches since then, but those melted off the roads and didn’t create much of a problem. You can still see the occasional pile of snow, mostly along the highways and pushed off to the sides in parking lots. It is still winter and still cold most days, although the temperature is slowly moving upwards and today we are supposed to be near 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), which isn’t too bad for February.

But as the snow slowly disappears around our house, underneath the snow, the first flowers of spring have begun to poke up through the soil. The daffodils and tulips are starting to come up and they will surely grow bigger with all the rain we have been having. Last week it rained several days in a row, very heavy at times, and what is left behind is grass that is mostly brown and puddles of mud everywhere. It is at this time of the year that you begin looking for signs of spring and the flowers are a sure sign that it will be here eventually. Of course there is snow in the forecast for the end of the week, but since the daffodils and tulips started growing underneath three feet of snow, a little bit shouldn’t make much difference. Here’s hoping we might have some pretty flowers for our Easter table.

 

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