In like a lion

This winter keeps dragging on and on. We had snow and ice again last week, but we finally had a warm day yesterday with temperatures in the 70′s. Unfortunately, a cold front blew through during the night which brought more blustery and cold weather today.

Even though Mother Nature can’t make up her mind about the temperature, I am beginning to see signs of a change of seasons. Eastern Robins have been hopping over the lawn in search of worms, buds are adorning the trees, and daffodils are starting to push their leaves through the ground. The grass is even starting to green up a bit.

I have become a bit obsessed with landscaping over the past few years, so I am itching for warmer weather and the opportunity to get out and work in the yard. I have been sketching ideas for plant beds on notebook paper, and I would like to bring some of those ideas to life as soon as possible.

We recently had our property surveyed and marked, which makes it so much easier for me to tell exactly how our property line cuts through the hilly, wooded area behind the house. I have been exploring the woods over the past month, and absolutely love being in the middle of all the trees and knowing that it is all mine. Heaven on earth.

Even though we have been here four years already, I am still discovering things about this place that makes me happy. The woods are filled with dogwood trees, wildflowers, and even a huge burning bush that is growing inexplicably under the shade of a cedar tree. One of the small dogwoods trees was so lovely that I couldn’t resist transplanting it into the yard last weekend, even though the earth was so wet from the melting snow that I had to wear rubber boots.

I am so ready for Spring.

This is Spring?

Spring has officially sprung here in Kentucky, but I have seen very little evidence of it so far. We had a couple of warm days last week, but it is cold again with highs in the 40-degree range. There is even a chance of sleet and snow today and tomorrow!

I did get to work outside for a bit yesterday morning. Believe it or not, four years after our massive ice storm I am still using a chainsaw to remove damaged limbs from trees. Although the main portion of our lawn has been in pretty good shape since we moved here three years ago, the trees and undergrowth lining our wooded area is another story. Due to the threat of snakes and poison ivy, there is a very short window of opportunity each year for me to get in there and remove downed limbs, dead trees, etc. This time of year seems to work best for that; too cold for snakes, but not too cold for me.

Even so, I am about to die for warmer weather. As I was perusing some of my springtime photos from last year, I noticed they were dated March 15th. The photos showed blooming trees, bushes, flowers, and green grass. It is now almost April, but there is barely anything blooming outdoors. The jonquils are making a valiant effort, but the frosty mornings haven’t done them any favors. I do see the promising sight of buds on many of our trees though, so I know the beautiful blossoms are just around the corner.

spring_not

We recently had our front porch jack-hammered out, our back deck removed, and a new front porch and large back patio poured along with three new sets of steps. We are currently in the early stages of getting a roof added over our back patio so we can enjoy it regardless of the weather. Maybe by the time the roof is finished, it will actually be warm enough to BBQ.

One more thing… that groundhog in Pennsylvania is a liar.

In like a lion

March has already proven itself to be a very nasty month weather-wise in my neck of the woods. We have been in the storm shelter twice over the past three days due to tornado warnings, but thankfully we haven’t seen any damage aside from some broken branches. Others in our county and surrounding communities haven’t been so lucky.

I posted about my fear of tornadoes a few years ago, and I remember calling it “irrational.” I’m not sure I would still call it so, considering how many people have died over the past few days. I hope and pray we don’t see a repeat of last year’s horrifying loss of life and property.

Goings on

Windowgate 2011 continues. We have a new company lined up to remove the existing windows and install replacements as soon as the windows are ready. We currently have plastic over the two windows that leaked. It keeps the rain out, but also makes us look a little like “white trash.” Seeing how this is Kentucky, I’m sure most people don’t even notice.

Speaking of rain, we have had more of the wet stuff than you can imagine. We missed most of the bad storms here, although we spent plenty of time in the storm shelter due to an onslaught of tornado warnings. Several inches of rain fell last week and more is falling now. The area rivers are spilling over their banks, but most of them haven’t even crested yet. Homes in and around the flood plains are either sandbagged or flooded, so I am very happy to be living on a hill in a dry home… even if there is plastic on the windows.

We went to see Beth Hart in Nashville on Thursday night, where she was performing her first of two sold-out shows at 3rd & Lindsley. We got there just before 5pm, and were surprised to see people already in line since the doors didn’t open until six. Once inside, we headed straight for the balcony and grabbed an excellent spot right in front of the stage. The place is rather small, so our vantage point was probably 20 feet from Beth’s piano. Three hours later, she was belting out songs over a very enthusiastic crowd. I didn’t know I could become more of a fan, but somehow I did.

Saturday marked six years together for Honey and I. I found a dozen roses and a beautiful card on the counter when I got home from work – and immediately burst into tears. I love that out of all of the possible contenders in the world, he has chosen to spend his life with me.

2009 in review

This year has been both terrible and wonderful at the same time. That’s probably typical of every year, but this one had some exceptionally low lows; the kind where you know you’ll be a changed person when you finally recover. On the other hand, I’m blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful partner, a great job, a comfortable home, friends who love me, and three fluffy kitties to cuddle up with on cold winter nights.

Here are some of the highlights from my life over the last year:

  • We finally had central heating and air conditioning installed in our home.
  • Michael Jackson died, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I cried practically every day for a month and still tear up occasionally when I listen to him or watch videos. I wish so badly that he was still with us, but I’m also thankful to have been alive during the time that he made history and for having the chance to see him perform live.
  • We gave the inside of our home quite a makeover, which included ripping out the old doors and trim, painting, and a completely new color scheme in the living room and bathroom.
  • We upgraded to HDTV and bought a 46″ Samsung that is beyond amazing.
  • We joined our church – over three years after we started attending.
  • We met Barb.
  • I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal.
  • I moved my blog from WordPress.com to self-hosted.
  • I stopped keeping up with the news.
  • I bought a new car.
  • We went to Florida on vacation.
  • Honey graduated from college and I met his parents for the first time.
  • An ice storm disrupted our lives for eight days.
  • We got a Wii.
  • We went to see Kathy Griffin in concert.
  • Finally made it to Holiday World and thoroughly enjoyed the Voyage roller coaster.

All in all, a pretty good year. Here’s hoping our next trip around the sun is filled with joy, prosperity, and love. Happy New Year, kiddos.

What’s so good about it?

Good Friday. I’ve often wondered about the person that came up with that name. It seems rather morbid to call the day that Christ was murdered “good,” but I assume that is a reference to the the reason behind why he died – good news for all of us.

Anyway, other than being off from work today, there hasn’t been much positive about it so far. The weather has been atrocious, with two tornado warnings for our county this morning before lunch. Since we don’t have any real form of protection from such weather events at our home (basement/storm shelter), we drove to the local hospital before the storm hit. The staff ushered everyone into interior hallways and we huddled together as sirens wailed outside. One lady grabbed her husband’s hand and muttered prayers while clutching her chest. My anxiety was increased by a text message from my sister telling me that Mom had abandoned the mobile home that she lives in and was out in the storm trying to get somewhere safe. Thankfully, she managed to get to a more substantial building quickly.

Although we were completely isolated from the outside world while at the hospital, my cell phone was continually receiving important weather-related updates from The Weather Channel. I just signed up for their free text/email service last night and have been pleasantly surprised with its effectiveness so far. It even alerted me before my weather radio did on one occasion. Go here to sign up.