In the wee hours of the morning, I woke up to silence. After two weeks of nonstop logging machine noise, it was nice to hear nothing. Well, almost nothing. It was so quiet I could hear two great horned owls hooting to each other somewhere off in the woods. I rolled over, snuggled back under the comforter, and fell back asleep to the duet.
There is nothing like getting out of bed on a cold January morning to a nice fire in the wood stove, coffee ready in the coffee maker (I could live without a bread machine, I guess, but not the coffee maker!) and a pile of seed catalogs alongside my notebook. While I watch chickadees get their breakfast, I plot the garden of my dreams, compare tomato varieties, ponder what it is I really want in a potato (flavor/texture, storage, and scab resistance!), and make up the rough draft lists of what to order and from where. I have about four or five catalogs I try to order from each year, just so I stay on their mailing list and so they have my support for their efforts to keep an abundance of seed varieties available. I believe they are all listed in the sidebar, except maybe Territorial and Pinetree.
While I pondered seed catalogs, with the kids still asleep, The Hermit left to do some Christmas shopping (hows that for last minute!) My extended family, due to various factors, had not yet gotten together to celebrate Christmas, but the shindig was scheduled for this afternoon. Two minutes after he walked out the door, he called me from his cell phone to tell me there was a bald eagle perched in the neighbor's tree across the road. I hadn't had my eagle "fix" for over a week, so I walked out in my pajamas with a jacket thrown over just in time to see not only the bald eagle, but also a dark morph rough-legged hawk in a nearby tree.
That impromptu birding adventure took me out to the pond, which had about an inch of snow over mostly smooth ice. I thought how great it would be to clear off the pond and get in some skating with the kids before we had to leave for my relatives' house. I ran in and got more suitably dressed for the weather, and got my exercise clearing snow off the pond in less than an hour. Of course, as soon as I was finished, it started snowing lightly. The kids and I were still able to enjoy a short skate on the pond, but now I have my work cut out for me, another inch of snow. Oh well, the kids are improving with every skating session, and with my new skates I am rediscovering some of the moves I used to do. They really make a difference.
We made the hour long drive to my aunt and uncle's lake home where we exchanged gifts and news, and cousins played together. It is good and necessary to get together with family once in a while, but to tell the truth I would not have minded at all to stay home, do some more skating (or shoveling), watch birds, and get the garden planning done.