Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Tuesday-3:30pm

We had our Christmas on Friday the 6th of January.
Leah and the boys came first while Dagan stopped off at Fleet Farm on the way over to pick up more wild bird seed for me.  :)
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First we just hung out.  Ian ran right over to get those toys--what do you call them?
 Flip and drain?  LOL!
Liam watched Gramma... 
 ...and Ian. 
Liam pays a lot of attention to what is going on.
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 Just had a no fuss dinner--salad, pizza, and frozen yogurt.  But before dinner we opened presents.  The Bristle blocks were the biggest hit.

Ian got to help Liam open his presents.  (I noticed he even picked a present for Liam first.)  Ian wanted to help me open mine, too, and Gramma agreed.  
(I get awfully excited, too--LOL!)  

Just a wonderful day!  Even though poor Leah was getting over a cough/cold that Ian had already had.  Was such a nice time.  :)
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Otherwise--been pretty quiet around here.  Had been terrifically cold for so long that when it suddenly got to 30-some degrees yesterday it felt like spring!  Leah dropped some stuff off for me yesterday and I only needed a sweater to run out to her car.  It's 37 degrees right now today--whoohoo!  Snow is melting and it does feel like a change in the seasons.  Of course we have a snowstorm coming through tomorrow and we're supposed to be back in the deep freeze again by Thursday.  It's just a little Mother Nature tease.  ;)
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A couple times I have seen a regular cottontail rabbit here late in the evening when it is almost dark, but almost every afternoon/early evening the jackrabbits dominate.
 They do not seem bothered by Annie...
 ...obviously.
 She can be inches away on the other side of the glass and they could care less and just chew away.
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I actually suddenly shifted over to very early hours for several days.  We're talking waking up before dawn.  Crazy ridiculous for me.
 I often see the five girls parked someplace nearby in the mornings.
 One freezing morning after a fresh snow the seven girls were all tucked into nice warm holes across the way...
 ...waiting for the five to eat their fill and get out of Dodge.  See them in the background?
 The seven have flown or run in by accident when they haven't seen the five already tucked into the patio...and they must be feeling quite feisty in the springlike weather because in the past two days they've boldly tried to usurp the territory.  This has created grouse chases all over the lawn out there.  There is a lot of flapping of wings, bodies popping into the air, squawking, and brief general mayhem 2 or 3 times a day.  More like what I see in the actual spring--so maybe they have spring fever, too?
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I tried to catch it yesterday, but by the time I get the camera ready to go most of it was over with.  Figures!  Oh well--I tried.
Anyways, that is what's been happening up here.  Since we're supposed to get a snowstorm tomorrow I switched my eye doctor checkup to next week.  So now I have both the dentist and eye doctor checkups next week.  If the weather is okay Dagan and Ian plan to come over Friday for Gramma Day.  You know it will be all about the Bristle Blocks.  ;)
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While I was typing there was another grouse covey flapping-chasing event that lasted a couple minutes.  The five are chowing down--alongside a ton of small birds.  It's almost time for the jackrabbits to show up, too.  Have a beautiful day!!  :)
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"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
Confucious

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve- 11am

Farewell to 2017.
Greetings and salutations to 2018!
Please, please be a kinder year filled with positive changes for us all.  
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My little corner of the world is touched by kindness and positives but I wish I could spread that energy far and wide.  I haven't been this worried about our country since the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War when we learned how to hide under our desks at school if they dropped the bomb...or all the various protests and riots of the 60s when police shot unarmed students and beat people with clubs...or with Watergate when our president was a crook.  But this year has been much scarier than anything I've lived through before.  Now it's corporations and greed trying to change who we are...lead us down the garden path.  We mustn't let our very foundation crumble.  I still believe in the people of this wonderful country...that you can't push us too far.  That the silent majority is like a sleeping giant...slowly waking up...beginning to roar.  Not just in our country.  This fear, hate, and greed disease is gradually spreading all over the earth...going for positions of power and indoctrinating those without power.  But it never wins in the end.
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  Never has.
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 Never will.  
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You know I usually don't talk about politics on my blog but sitting here on New Year's Eve thinking about this past year...kind of couldn't help mentioning the elephant in the room.  ;)  
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Okay, that over with...
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On to happier subjects.  :):)
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Here's Ian helping to decorate the tree.
And remember the picture of Ian buried in the snow?  Leah took a video of his escape.
We can't forget little brother, Liam.


He's turned into such a smiley little guy! 
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You may recall me showing you the snow-holes left by the grouse.  Well, here they were one morning...tucked in and grateful for the snowbanks. 
It has been so very cold here for so long now. 
Been going through seed like crazy! 
Feeding flocks of sparrows--I think maybe I do have juncos, too--and the two coveys of grouse...well, the jackrabbits have found my patio again, too. 
I saw evidence of the jackrabbit parties in the mornings. 
The footprints and tons of poop--LOL! 
Finally one came early enough at dusk that I caught a glimpse. 
Not of just the one... 
...but two...and later more but it was too dark to get pictures. 
They come every evening now.  In fact I occasionally see them in the afternoon! 
They don't seem to scared of me walking up to the patio door. 
Of course the blinds were pulled but twisted open. 
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 We had a hawk attack one day--at least I think so.  Birds hit the glass and scattered frantically.  Something swooped through the patio and was chasing a grouse toward the other apartment complex down between the garages.  I assume it might have been that hawk that was here quite a while back.
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I don't think it was a successful hunt unless it got a sparrow again--because I have still been able to count a covey of five and a covey of seven--whew!
 I know the hawks have to eat, too.  I just don't want to watch when I feel like I personally know dinner, you know?
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It has been below zero for so long with wind chill warnings of 40-50 below that critters are here almost constantly all day long.  This one jackrabbit figured out there was seed up in the feeder--LOL!  Discovered it's much easier to eat right out of the feeder trough than nibble across the ground at scattered seed.  So it parks itself by the table, goes up to grab a mouthful... 
...sits down--chews and chews... 
...then grabs another mouthful.  
Up and down.
 Other jackrabbits have observed this clever soul and have followed suit.  They eat quite a bit of seed during the night.  I am glad to help them out, too.
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 A couple days ago I saw this! 
Everyone was here at the same time. 
 Sparrows, juncos, grouse, and jackrabbits. 
Don't you wish we could all get along as well?  ;) 
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Let's see...after I last wrote I got another of those ocular migraines.  Spent three days not doing any close up work--computer, writing, crafting--with the blinds drawn and sunglasses on the better part of the day.  That's my second migraine...and for a few days after that my eyes were still touchy to the light...maybe still?  The bad headache was gone but if my eyes got flickery I was very careful not to do close-up work of any kind.  Therefore, I am quite behind on letters and Thank You cards--but they'll be coming soon. 
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I called Mary's supervisor at senior companions the Friday before Christmas and told her that I'd like her to let Mary know that I was opting out of the program.  The first thing Sheena said was, "Oh, no connection, then?" and asked me if I wanted to try someone else.  I told her not right now--agreed that there had not been a connection between Mary and I--maybe later on down the road I might try someone else.  (Doubtful, though.)
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So either Mary had already told Sheena that there was no connection between us or people have said this about Mary before.  Regardless, I was out.
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Of course, Mary called that following Wednesday to see if it was okay to come over.  I told her I had called Sheena the week before and told her I was opting out.  Mary tells me--"Oh, I had a message from her but I haven't listened to it yet so maybe that was what she wanted."  With a quick goodbye--finally done.  Unless she forgets.  ;)
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How odd that you wouldn't bother to call your supervisor back.  I am so relieved to be free of the Mary-stress--LOL!
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Now--confession time.
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I had seriously been considering quitting blogging indefinitely in 2018.  I actually thought I would be saying goodbye today.  I think with the not really connecting with anyone here (despite going down to events off and on for over two years) and then the recent Mary fiasco...well, I really began to question if I even had anything worthwhile to say anymore.  I think I am most certainly an odd combination of weird and boring...and am either silent or way too chatty when I am finally around people.  Even the fact of being contentedly housebound is weird to most people...and then I talk about having a guardian angel (GA) or my crazy colorful past or grouse and jackrabbits or calligraphy--LOL!  It's no wonder.
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My health has also taken a dip this past year.  Less energy, more pain.  Doesn't mean it will stay this way forever.  Fibro pain can move around, too. I once had knife pain in my tailbone for 2 1/2 years and it just left...or, shall we say, moved.  Settled into my lower back apparently.  Anyways, pain and brain fog effect the clarity of my focus and I have less to show you that I've made or been playing with.  I hope you haven't been too bored.  I hope I haven't been complaining too much.  (This goes for all my letter writing, too.)
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I am not bored, though.  But then I can be happy watching grouse.  ;)  And even with the new wonky eye acting up I can close the blinds, wear my new prescription sunglasses, and watch wonderful programs...with Annie in my comfy chair.  (Just tickles me how close we're getting.)
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But I wasn't sure I had anything to say worth anyone's time anymore.  Thought maybe it was just time for me to quit blogging while I was mostly ahead.  Or maybe already people were sighing when they saw a post from me.  I haven't been blogging very often and so they have been longer.  (For someone with little to say I sure can go on and on!)  The last thing I want to be is a burden to anyone.  I value all the wonderful people I have met online--but I could always just go visit you and leave comments from time to time.  I  didn't have to blog and waste anyone's time.  So I asked GA for a sign.  Was it time for me to stop blogging?
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Then yesterday I got a comment from a new person who had just found my silly little blog...came over from FarSide's blog.  She said she had started to read back over a few previous blog posts and then decided to go back to the beginning and read.  (We're talking June of 2006.)  She complimented my recording of and writing about my life--that I was a good writer--like FarSide (whom I admire with her daily blogs).  And right now this minute I have probably scared away my newest follower--because I was wiping my eyes as I read her comment and I knew she was my sign.  
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I'm wiping my eyes again right now. 
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And guess what her name is?!
Joy!!!
How perfect is that?
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So, welcome, Joy!  I am your newest follower, too.  I hope I haven't scared you away.  But whether you stick around, or read all the old posts, or run for the hills...your words were exactly what I needed to hear yesterday.  You were the sign I asked for.  So it's your fault if I am around to bore people some more--ROFL!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Kindness can make such a difference in someone else's life.  Your words are proof of that.  I hope you do decide to stick around.  :)
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I'm not sure if I will be up to blogging any more often or will be any more interesting--but I will be here in 2018 after all.
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So--please, please--let's make this that kinder year.  Just a thoughtful gesture or a positive word or a hug can make such a difference to someone else.  I know I am blessed to know each of you.  Happy New Year!!  :) :)
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“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” 
Henry James    

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday-10:45am

Greetings!
Got the best picture of Ian and Liam in my Christmas card!  It's on the frig--with an Ian drawing above it.  They're about 3 1/2 years and 3 1/2 months.
Was having IBS issues Tuesday and Wednesday.  Mary did show up--without calling ahead, as usual.  I was okay at the time so we did visit.  After she'd been here about an hour she suddenly remembered that she had tried to call me and figured she had the wrong number.  She showed me her paperwork and--yes--she had my old land line number from where I used to live.  ??  I don't know why they gave her that number.  I thought I changed everything when I moved with the county, state, and federal.  ?? 
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Unless she looked my number up herself in an old phone book? lol!
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I gave her my correct number.  Later she suddenly remembered she had to babysit for her daughter and rushed out the door.
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Anyways, after she left and I ate dinner I was really in worse shape (IBS).  Also, couldn't sleep that night--till morning--and then only slept a couple of hours.  I thought--say, didn't this happen last time she was here?  
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Well, I journal every day...so I looked it up.  Yup!  I am having progressively worse stress reactions to Mary's visits.  Fibro and stress are not friends.  By now, things should be getting better and not worse.  I signed up for a senior companion thinking it would be fun.  Honestly didn't expect it to be more and more stressful and something I didn't look forward to. 
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I think we're just a poor match--despite having a few things in common.  Mary is always tired, rubbing her eyes, doesn't give much eye contact, and can't even remember to call ahead.  Even though every visit that was the last thing I said--reminding her to call ahead--and the first thing I said to her when she got here--you didn't call.  Every single time she'd say--oh, afraid you'll forget I'm coming?  Or, did you forget I was coming?  And every single time I'd have to explain to her--no, it was due to health issues and having bad days in my pajamas.  And every single time she'd say--oh, yes (like she'd remembered) and then tell me she's forgetful and might not remember.  And she never did.
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Just has never been any kind of "connection", you know?  Not even casual acquaintance kind of connection.  There have been a couple of times already that I mentioned something I talked about in a previous visit and there was a blankness to her eyes...like she either didn't remember or wasn't even listening at the moment.  (Bigger stuff like Dagan having heart defects, not small talk.)  So, I had decided to give it till the end of the year and if things didn't get better to just opt out of the program.
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Dagan came by last Friday to shovel off my patio for me.  We'd had rain and ice buildup so it got too crusty for me to handle.  I told him about the latest with Annie.  :):)
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I woke up on Thursday the 7th and saw Annie sitting in the doorway to the bedroom.  I invited her up on to the bed like I have many times before --but this time she came right up!  She only stayed a couple minutes the first time.  But once a barrier is broken with her inner shy self--things can change rapidly.  
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Well, within 4-5 days...now Annie comes and goes on the bed with me all the time!  She's a bad influence if I am half awake, deciding whether or not to get up, and she pops lightly up for a quick nap.  Too easy to doze off for a while with her.  ;)
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 Here she was deciding whether to head up on the bed for an afternoon nap.  I don't know why she pauses to seemingly think it over because she picks that spot almost every afternoon.  Silly girl.  Cats do like to make choices, though.
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Tuesday Caroline came to clean.  I told her about the Mary dilemma and Caroline agreed that Mary and I certainly didn't connect.  She thought I should quit Mary, too, but suggested maybe I wait till spring and try somebody else.  We'll see.  I thought I would give it another try with Mary but I was already not feeling well on Tuesday...again.  
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Late Tuesday night Leah came over to make a Christmas gift card holder card.  She was here from 11pm till about 2:30am!!  I should have taken a picture of the card--duh!!  Loved it!!  We plan to make a spin-off of smaller Christmas cards.  This one was a larger size because it will be hand delivered and didn't need an envelope.
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While Leah was here I made the decision that I was done with Mary and would call her boss and opt out of the program--could just say health issues because that's true (unless she asks for more of an explanation).  Hate to say anything bad about her.  She didn't really do anything; can't help if she's ditsy and forgetful, like she says; or that we just didn't seem to connect for whatever reason.  Mary never seemed comfortable, either.  Or interested, for that matter--LOL!  
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But I still had to cancel for the next day...and I couldn't sleep again after Leah left.  I texted Mary at 6am to tell her that I had been up all night and was cancelling our visit.  I finally made it to bed at 8am.  Restless--up and down.
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   I heard the phone ring at about 1:15pm.  Mary finally did call to ask if it was okay to come for her visit--when I had hoped she wouldn't call--ROFL!!   I called her back and told her I had texted her that morning about being up all night.  She said she doesn't remember to check for those.  This entire companion thing has been a non-stop comedy of errors.
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  Anyways, since then--my guts stopped rolling around and I just felt relieved.  I never would have guessed that having someone over to visit and have coffee would have been so difficult and stressful.  I don't need to feel like work for somebody to get through--like they would rather be home in bed or doing something else--an obligation, you know?  Great idea, but maybe not for me.  So that's the end of the senior companion adventure. 
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Maybe after eleven years alone over at West Winds and my two years here (where I have attempted to be a little social but it didn't seem to take) I have become more of a recluse?  Can one be a chatty introvert?  
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In these last couple of years I have definitely learned that I have absolutely no desire for company just for company's sake.  Maybe I was a hermit in a past life.  A hermit scribe--LOL!  I am quite content alone and only seeing people that lift my soul just to lay eyes on.  (McFamily, of course, is number one on my in-the-flesh list.)  My social life is more on paper these days--LOL!  I have been a letter writer since I was nine and the last decade or so have added bloggers and email to the mix.  Envelopes in the mail, emails, blog posts--they make me light up, too.
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Maybe it's the priorities, you know?  When you have limited good hours to spend--minimal spoons--you want to spend them the best, most positive way you can, right?  I am very content with the way things are.  Annie and I will watch the birds...    
...my social life will be mostly conducted through my finger tips...and I will continue to feel the occasional joy of seeing loved ones walk through the door.  What was I thinking!?  I, honestly, have no complaints.  :)
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
We had a bit of snow last night!  
Enough for the plows to be out and small snow banks to appear.  I'm delighted, of course.  Christmas isn't Christmas without snow up here.  :) 
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 I tossed out some seed on to the snow this morning.  Looks like there were a lot of visitors.
Can you see where the grouse dug in against the cold?  Was 3 below zero when I got up this morning.  (That's minus 19.4 C)
The girls dig a hole in the snow, snuggle down, fluff up, and tuck in a bit to be protected from the wind.  So they are very happy to have snow, too.  ;)
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Speaking of--the five are out on the patio right now pecking and digging away for seed.  The sun is shining.  I have a stack of letters to answer.  And I slept really well last night!  ;)  Life is good.
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If I am not back before then...Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone!  From the Fargo recluse?  LOL!
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"There's a difference between solitude and loneliness."
Maggie Smith

"It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"Some people can't stand being alone.  I love solitude and  silence.  But when I come out of it, I'm a regular talking machine.  It's all or nothing for me."
Celine Dion

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday-3:30pm

Good afternoon!
Been over two weeks again.  Was busy with Christmas cards and letters--and still feeling about the same so life remains at a very slow pace.  ;)
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Got some pictures from Leah.  Little Liam has turned into a very smiley little boy.  
 I was over to visit a couple Sundays ago but totally forgot to take pictures.  Gramma just gets lost in these faces and forgets.
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And what would a three year old do in the snow?  
Make snow angels, of course.  :) 
Love the hat! 
And somehow Ian got buried in the snow--LOL! 
Goodness!  They got a lot more snow than I did and I'm only a mile away.  But it did drift like crazy in the high winds.
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Two Wednesdays ago Mary (senior companion) did show up.  She had thought she'd told me she wouldn't be here the Wednesday before Thanksgiving...and I had asked her to call and double check before she comes (I have some really bad days where I am not up to company) and she forgot to do that, too.  Mary told me she was a little ditsy and forgetful--LOL!  We did have a nice visit, though.
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But last Wednesday I cancelled because it was definitely not a good day for company.  So far, tomorrow looks good, though.  I'll know more tomorrow, of course.
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This last Thursday I finished Christmas cards and got the last of them in the mail.  Was delightful to have them made up ahead of time for once.  Leah and I want to do that all the time now.  No more scrambling to finish them.  
Never again!!  ;)
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Dagan came by after work on Friday and we went over to Wells Fargo to close my checking account--tada!  All switched over to Gate City Bank and very happy about that, too.  :)
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When Dagan was here he was witness to the fact that I have two flocks of grouse coming here to eat!  Remember how I was concerned that I only had six of them for a couple of weeks?  Well, apparently the one who went off on a "walkabout" was really off to join up with a second flock of grouse--LOL!  The last couple weeks I had been concerned that I would see seven and then five and then seven?   
Well, when Dagan was here--we saw both flocks!  One of five on my patio and one of seven across by the garages.  No wonder I am going through so much seed this year--LOL!  
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I have a huge flock of sparrows but also another huge flock of another kind of small birds, too.  Those have lighter bellies and some dark on them, but don't look like the typical chickadees to me.  Not sure--but they're cute and I am happy to help them all out. 
Annie continues to scare off the small birds.
You can tell she has probably eaten a few of these in her younger days living on the street. 
 Oh, and that winter storm...the wind was a bit horizontal.  Enough to leave a lot of snow inside the bird feeder--LOL!  There's maybe an inch leeway up underneath the roof of the feeder...that is how horizontal we're talking. 
 Besides the usual daily stuff I am now working on the lower case alphabet...
...a letter a day. 
Annie and I watch the bird parties.  
 She still never lunges at the grouse--a little too large for her, I think. 
 But Annie has dreams.
This is what I wrote under this video on youtube:
Annie dreams of catching those birds on the patio that are so close but just out of reach. Maybe even tackling one of the big grouse. She also does just plain snore and has terribly potent, lingering farts, but one must take the bad with the good with those you care about. She is becoming a wonderful companion.
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So that's it from here.  
Until next time...
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"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
Victor Borge