Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Weather Journal

February Weather Journal
2/1/17-- The month begins with 58 degrees and clouds. Is it too much to hope for sun? The temperature is supposed to drop tonight, and rain is on the way. I am leery about this month, afraid it will be like January, nothing but a cold dungeon. I shouldn't complain because, so far, we haven't seen the pipe shattering temps of a polar vortex. I am determined to take at least one photograph a day, but a dark house creates challenges.
2/2/17 -- I put on old clothes and cleaned the side yard. During January, I ate the leftover Christmas candy, and now I'm a hippopotamus. How can something as small and innocent as fudge cause a massive weight gain? Surely exercise will burn a few calories.

2/3/17 -- It's cold and cloudy. I should gather a few grocery store flowers and take pictures. But I'm just not in the mood. And I don't care if I'm fat. I'm drinking coffee and eating an English muffin all slathered with grape jelly. Supper should be hearty, beef stew with crusty bread. 

2/4/17 -- 42 degrees and sunny. It looks as if the white spirea is trying to bloom, but that's not possible. We're only a few days into February. I bend closer to the bush and see tight little buds. Thought of the day: The Great Wheel of Fortune is always turning, and it stops for no man, woman or spirea.

2/5/17 -- Sunlight sputters, then vanishes. I don't have time to lollygag. Come on, get up, get busy. Work on a vignette. Edit ruthlessly. Don't rush. Do your best. If your old bones start aching, take an Advil.
2/6/17 -- A rainy Monday, 52 degrees, yet brighter than any day in January. I'm working on vignettes--composition, balance, color. But it's so damn hard for me. I adore clutter. I'm a more is more gal, but the photos are better if I remove a few items. It's easier to get everything into the frame. By 3:20 p.m., the sun is gone, and the house is dark.  

2/7/17 -- A dull, rainy day, 55 degrees. I could take photos near a window, but I still haven't figured out how to use the ISO setting on my camera. I need a basic photography course. The one I'm taking is way, way over my head. No matter the path, I must travel with purpose and be fully committed.
2/11/17 -- 63 degrees, damp and sunless. Still, I can't complain. I stopped by the antique mall and bought an old door for $20. It had been reduced numerous times, but I'd never noticed it. And I'd been looking for a door. The owner of the booth said she felt terrible to charge so much, that she'd been trying to get rid of that door for ages. That took me aback, but I assured her that the door would have a loving home. "What're you gonna do with it?" she asked. "Use it as a photography backdrop," I said. She told me that she understood completely, that she decorates her guest bath tubs with little step stools, figurines, and flowers.

2/12/17 -- Wind and rain, 64 degrees. My husband says he wants to retire to a warm, sunny place, like Naples, Florida. Oh, Lord. We just moved to the hilltop. I haven't even hung all of the pictures. Well, I'm not going to Naples.
2/13/17 -- 46 degrees and sunny. A wise writer once told me that a little selfishness is healthy. We all need time to read, work, and play. By 3 pm, the sun is gone. I'm still reading The Plantagenets by Dan Jones. I am bogged down in John Lackland's reign. His parents, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, had a slew of male children, heirs and spares galore, and they ended up backstabbing each other. John, the baby, possessed the Plantagenet rage but not their diplomatic skills. I wonder why Henry VIII didn't learn a lesson from English history? 
2/14/17 -- 43 degrees and rain. The florist brought a peppy spring bouquet for Valentine's Day. On the card, my husband's name, Mahlon, was spelled Milon. Ah, I have a new admirer, I told him. A guy named Milon. 💗 By 12:45 pm, the rain had lifted. The radar showed an inescapable deluge: a thick band of stormy weather stretched from Mexico to Missouri. But you know what? It will end.

2/16/17 -- 46 degrees, but it feels colder. Rain fell and fell, hammering against the skylights, but it passed. Now the sun is shining, weaving in and out of trees. The next 10 days may not bring the light I crave, but we'll see May-like temperatures. On the menu tonight: a huge pot of chili.
2/17/17 -- Morning light blazed through the window. This is a gift, one that I do not take lightly. Today the sun will set at 5:31 pm. Not too long ago, at 4:30 pm, the sky was black. Now, day by day, as we move to the summer solstice, we're receiving the gift of more light.
There's a lesson here: be like the sun. Give for the sake of giving.

2/18/17 -- Rain, 50 degrees. Shadows pour into the house, seeping into corners. I'm reading about Edward II, and I'm so depressed, I had to look at a Beatrix Potter book. I flew through The Wars of the Roses, but I keep putting down The Plantagenets. It's good but intense: wars, treachery, stupidity, self-indulgence, rebellions, regicide. 
2/19/17 -- 63 degrees and partly sunny. Last night I dreamed about our old Scottish Terrier girls, Scout and Scarlett, two Southern Scotties, to be sure. They were smart and loving, the best girls ever. I wonder if my subconscious is telling me to look for a Scottie and not a Yorkie?

2/20/17 -- 70 degrees, with wobbly sun. In 8 days, February will end, but the yard looks like mid-spring. I'm going outside with a notebook and camera to document the blooms. According to the 10-day forecast, we will have unsteady temperatures, ranging from a high of 75 to a low of 54. My mother says we could still get snow. Back in the 90s, a February ice storm glazed streets and rooftops. I watched the power lines drop lower and lower, shimmering like glass cords. Finally, the electricity went out--and stayed out for four days. No, I don't trust February.

2/21/17 -- 68 degrees. Spotty rain. A sudden thinning of clouds made the room less gloomy. Many of the daffodils are blooming, and white blooms cover the spirea. I'm working outside in a tank top and Leggings. I have worn my wool coat 8 times this winter. 

2/23/17 -- My mother's 89th birthday. This sweet, intelligent woman is the soul of our little tribe. She still has trouble getting around without a walker, but she was so happy to see everyone, she wouldn't stay still. At her request, Tyler rented "Hacksaw Ridge," and a good time was had by all, as we say down south.

2/25/17 -- The temperature plunged. It's sunny but cold, the kind of cold that burns your ears. A hard freeze is expected tonight. We're gathering plastic and old sheets to cover the shrubs and daffodils.

2/26/17 -- A cold Sunday. Got up early and removed the sheets. Everything survived. For lunch, I made a cornbread salad. Well, it's not low cal, but sometimes the body needs cornbread croutons.
2/27/17 -- 59 degrees with timid sunlight. I woke up with a sore elbow and wrapped it in a heating pad. Tyler fixed a little TENS unit that he bought at the store, and it's helping. I don't mind gray hair and wrinkles, but I hate losing mobility. When an elbow goes out, it's hard to make the bed or carry groceries. But this gives me a chance to catch up with The Plantagenets

2/28/17 --  59 degrees and cloudy. Thunderstorms are predicted.My elbow is still hurting, but I'm powering ahead. In one day, we'll move into March, a month that forms a bridge between winter and spring. March brings legendary winds and capricious temperatures, but I'll be right here with my little notebook, ready for anything.  

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  1. Michael Lee, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your tidbits, thoughts and February weather notes. I smiled as I read along sipping on coffee, eating my cinnamon almonds like popcorn at the movies, picturing your clouds, hammering rain, wobbly and then blazing sun. I had to chuckle at: "My husband says he wants to retire to a warm, sunny place, like Napes, Florida. Oh, Lord. We just moved to the hilltop. I haven't even hung all of the pictures." :) Can't wait to read your weather and gardening notes next month. Wishing you bird chirping weather on your hilltop in March. Love your chippy door backdrop too. ♥

  2. Love this day-by-day process of yours! You always have the prettiest photos to go along with what you write.

  3. Micheal Lee, this was fun to read. I've been keeping a garden journal since we installed our renovated yard/landscape in 2004 (much more abbreviated). I found the usclimatedata (.com) website very helpful to track the precipitation also, and I print that each month to coincide with my notes. It's not that I'm a scientist or that I am trying to replace the Farmer's Almanac, but it's my nerdy way of trying to understand the weather cycles and seasons in my own postage stamp of earth. My husband says he's not going to mow this year (he's really good at it), and would also be happy to move to Naples. My idea would be to have a 2nd place to winter in, and since the properties there are too expensive to maintain this home and that (and I'm not leaving this house), we're updated and renovating here. ! I love my garden, and I'm not ready to leave.
    Here's to March - happy gardening.

  4. Your writing talent is Terrific! Made me laugh! Love your decor! Happy Bday to Mom !

  5. This was great ! So fun to read - enjoyed every word

  6. I have renewed faith in getting older after reading your journal from one day to the next. I don't know why calories add up but they sure do. Your photos are beautiful. Love every one. My sister's mother in law just sold her winter home in Naples, but loved it while she was there in colder months. But her husband passed and she didn't want to go back alone. Let's pray March doesn't come in like a lion but it just might. Carol

  7. I enjoyed reading your weather journal and tidbits. Your photos are entertaining also.

  8. I loved reading your stream of consciousness journal Michael Lee, I used to put one thought on my calendar a day, either something I wanted to focus on, think about or try to do, and it was so satisfying...you have inspired me to try more of a journal type thing. My friend Ricki Jill, Art @ Home, does beautiful journal pages that I think you'd love, you can see them on Instagram @westiechicks Happy March!

  9. This weather has been for the record books! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!