The winter of my discontent

Our driveway today.
Our driveway today.

The older I get, the less I like winter.

It is so unbelievably cold here. We received several inches of snow last Sunday and Monday, then temperatures bottomed out under zero. More snow arrived on Wednesday, and then we had another round of freezing rain and sleet on Friday. Because the temperatures are so low, most of the snow we got is still sticking around.

A week later, I am not sure we can even get out of our driveway. We tried yesterday, but got the car stuck 3 times before we gave up. Honey wound up shoveling as much of it off as he could, but the driveway is fairly long and some of the snow wouldn’t budge.

I know the local main roads have been cleared of ice and snow, but our rural road wasn’t touched until a couple of days ago when someone came down it with a snow plow. Unfortunately, it wasn’t treated with any kind of salt or chemicals, so we have to wait for the sun to work its magic. Since temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Tuesday or Wednesday, I guess we will just have to be patient.

Honey was off work all week due to the weather, and I had to catch rides back and forth from coworkers with 4×4 vehicles. I have decided to sell my truck later this year and upgrade to something that will perform better on slick roads. It is too hard to rely on other people for transportation, and I feel trapped when I am at home without a way to go anywhere.

I have felt so sorry for the birds. Since the ground has been covered for days, they have had virtually nothing to eat. I meant to get bird seed before the storm hit, but it completely slipped my mind. I asked a coworker to run me to a local store yesterday, where I paid $3-4 for several very small bags of bird food. It was almost dark by the time I got home and filled the feeder, but I was happy to see them swarming it this morning when I got up.

Anyway, spring can’t come soon enough for me. I am so ready to work in the yard!

View out a back window.
View out a back window.

Checking in

It is hard to believe cold weather is already here, but our lawn is covered in leaves, and Honey has begun nagging me to put up the Christmas trees. As I watch my various plants and trees enter their dormant phase, I am already looking forward to next spring when they will burst forth with new life. The growing season never seems to last long enough, and this year seemed to fly by in record time.

Like every year, this one has had its highs and lows. I officially became a business partner on January 1st. The legalization of gay marriage in Illinois allowed us to travel to see our friends get hitched in Chicago, and we took that opportunity to continue on to Wisconsin to see our wonderful friend Barb. We saw Cher in Nashville. We spent several relaxing days in Gatlinburg last month.

Some of the low points included losing my coworker and friend, Jerry, and then learning of Barb’s passing a few months later. Both affected me deeply, but I try to focus on the good memories. I will never forget Jerry’s belly laugh, his dirty sense of humor, or the way he never ever let life get him down. I will always remember Barb’s unwavering courage and the way she exuded love to everyone around her. I am so thankful we took the time to go visit Barb this summer, and I feel blessed to have known and loved both of them.

We are currently in the middle of refinancing our home. I can get the interest rate down from 5.25% to 3.375% – which will shave 10 years off my loan while increasing my monthly payment by only $20. My goal is to have our home paid for in 10 years, just in time for my 50th (yikes!) birthday.

Other than that, life continues on as before. I always remind myself to appreciate the mundane moments, because it is hard to complain about being bored when you are comfortable and happy.

Random thoughts

I hate winter. I used to like it, but the ice storm we had in January completely changed my perspective.

I heard on the radio the other day that two books in the Bible, Esther and Song of Solomon, don’t mention God. Strange.

Pineapple Express is so freakin’ funny.

I am learning to not judge my paternal grandparents so harshly. They are who they are, and they aren’t going to change any more than I am. I’ve been spending quite a bit more time with them since going to work for my father, and it never fails to amaze me how physically fragile they have become.

We have been doing little projects around the house lately. One of the things we are planning to start within the next few weeks is replacing all the stained/varnished doors and trim with white.

Chris Brown is an idiot… and so is Rihanna for going back to him.

Do they really expect people to not continue calling it the Sears Tower?

Honey went with his mother to put their dog to sleep yesterday. Sparky had been with the family ever since he was a puppy and remained there after both Honey and his sister grew up and moved out of the house. Needless to say, it’s a great loss for all of them, but especially his mom.

I played Poker for the first time last night when we stopped by the home of our friends, Todd and Kelly. It all seemed terribly confusing at first, but I did pretty good once I figured out it was all about the ability to bluff.

I am making the switch from Microsoft Expression Web to Macromedia Dreamweaver for managing websites. It’s quite a bit different visually, but I think it will be far superior once I get used to it.