"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, February 02, 2014

February & Flowers

The amaryllis was a gift from my mother at Christmastime, and it's putting on quite a show. Beside it is another, a Christmas gift from the church over a year ago, which presently has 4 buds of a very deep, dark red, and it is about to bloom. Soon I will bring out the one I've had for more than a decade--a pink/peach colour--and entice it out of dormancy.

It's the time of year when I rely on hyacinths of various hues for aroma and for beauty. Winters are long, and these flowering bulbs add to my wellbeing!

We had an unexpected visitor last weekend. This little shrew emerged from under the ground to nibble the dropped seeds under the bird feeder.

We've had some extremely frigid temperatures, but they always moderate. And of course, we've had snow--though not as much as other places on the Eastern and mid-Atlantic states.

We've been using these wonderful turf bricks in the woodstove. They put out a nice heat, and while they're burning--and even afterwards--the house smells wonderfully of peat. A nice reminder of our years when the Chap worked so frequently in Ireland.

Tree-trimming crews have been working in our neighbourhood. On the day they trimmed across the road from our house, I had fun watching the men in the buckets...but it was awfully cold weather.

Those aren't the only workmen we've had around. The installation of our generator is ongoing, after a long delay. We had a leaky water pipe in the kitchen--behind a wall--which caused a lot of damage. As a result, we'll get new flooring there and in the hall and the foyer. As a result the installation of our new gas range and range hood is held up. Some cabinets had to be taken down, and more of the wall needs to be cut away so insulation can be added. We've had to shop and select and make decisions in rather a hurry. After all those renovations we did last summer (new flooring, new paint, new lighting, electrical work, etc.) I didn't expect to be living in a construction zone again. It's especially difficult in the dead of winter, when I can't escape to the garden or the lake cottage. But we hope the disruption will be behind us in a couple of weeks. And the result will be wonderful! We didn't bother doing much with the kitchen last year because we were doing just about everything else. Little did we guess that it was fated to be updated!

Today is Candlemas, and Groundhog Day in the US. Punxatawney Phil, the "official" weather-prognosticating rodent, saw his shadow this morning, but Ground-dogs Ruth and Jewel did not. Signals are mixed. They were avidly watching Puppy Bowl X a little while ago, but now are napping comfortably on the sofa beside me.

I'm juggling writing, revising, and fitting in other projects as best I can. I'm also in garden-planning mode. I spend lots of time with the catalogues of rose vendors and on various websites, but with the ground completely covered in snow, I can't remember where I was planning to add more bushes. It's at least two months before I can do anything but dream.

Time to light some turf!

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