Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday, 31 March 2007 - Hope that springs eternal

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for hope that springs eternal.

Lord of the springtime, Father of flower, field and fruit, smile on us in these earnest days when the work is heavy and the toil wearisome; lift up our hearts, O God, to the things worthwhile - sunshine and night, the dripping rain, the song of the birds, books and music, and the voices of our friends. Lift up our hearts to these this night and grant us Thy peace. Amen. ~W.E.B. Du Bois

Spring means so much to me this year. I embrace the notion of renewal, of beginning again, of brand new starts. In a remote corner of my memory, I bury the disappointments and hurts that flourished in winter's cold, dark months. No tombstone will mark these feelings. I don't want to find them again. Ever.

I want my life to bloom. I want my current path to lead me to great adventures, exciting encounters with new and familiar faces, moments of pure splendor and many months of good work. I am starving for foreign environments, challenges that stretch my imagination and knowledge, and opportunities to give away more of myself than I ever thought possible.

As my gardens awaken from their winter sleep, I marvel at their resilience. A few months ago, sub-zero temperatures and snow prevailed. Now, after only a few weeks of sunshine and mild temperatures, the perennials are sprouting new leaves, the bulbs beginning to display their finest blooms.

Easter Sunday approaches. It's time for me to write my own resurrection story. Stay tuned.

For this blessing, I am very grateful.


Photo: T plays with one of his chickens on this cool but sunny day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday, 30 March 2007 - A pair of robins

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a pair of robins.

The neighborhood birds are out in force looking for nesting sites. A pair of robins seems to favor one of the pine trees in the front yard. I suspect but can't confirm that they're building a nest.

I watch the perky male with his bright red breast and the shy female with her more subdued wardrobe roam the garden. They rummage tirelessly for nest building materials and dig for worms and grubs in the warm, moist dirt.

I'm surprised that the robins don't fly away when T and I approach the garden from the sidewalk or driveway. The male stares at us for a moment before resuming the task at hand. The female continues her work beneath the pine tree's lowest boughs. T studies them for a minute or so before losing interest in our new friends. I could watch them for hours but have to go grocery shopping this morning and attend to my chores.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: The male robin pauses near juniper bushes in our neighbor's yard.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007 - Resisting temptation

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the strength to resist temptation.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that several neighbors, probably tempted by the sunny and warm March weather, planted fragile annuals in their front yard gardens. I shook my head and murmured, "Too early." The lovely blooms did not survive last night's hard freeze and snow flurries.

I learn from other people's mistakes and heed sage advice when it comes to gardening. My gardening friends tell me repeatedly to resist the temptation to plant until May 15. And, so, I will.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: The storm clouds gather over the neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday, 28 March 2007 - Five hours of sleep

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for five hours of sleep.

T had a very restless night - he always does when his dad is out of town. During S's business trips, I'm extra sensitive to T's sleeping behavior. My vigilance keeps me from my "dead to the world" beauty sleep.

By 3 AM, T finally settled down. Five hours later, however, he was up and around, begging for a morning walk. No wonder I'm so tired.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - Diatomaceous earth

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for diatomaceous earth (DE).

The ants are back in full force. I noticed several new mounds this morning near the foundation and compost bins. I hoped our bitter cold winter with many days of sub-zero temperatures would kill most of the colonies near the house. But, no. Like us, the ants have adapted to Colorado's quirky winters.

To control the ants, I sprinkle DE around the foundation and in the garden. Because DE has a flour-like consistency, I use a sieve for this task.

This natural insecticide seems to do the trick for us. Unfortunately, the effect is temporary. As the ants multiply, so must my efforts. Not quite a losing battle - yet. I will concede this: despite my diligence, I won't win this war.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday, 26 March 2007 - Day-to-day differences

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for day-to-day differences.

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,

The mist and cloud will turn to rain,

The rain to mist and cloud again,

Tomorrow be today.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is the 21st time March 26 has arrived during our tenure in Colorado. Each occurrence has been different yet the same.

While the calendar reads, March 26, just like it did last year and the year before, today is unique in its composition, attitude and delivery.

All the same.
All different.
What I eat for breakfast.
What I am thinking this very moment.
The quality of dreams.
The intensity of hope.
The number of tears in one teaspoon.
My ability or inability to decide.
My sensitivity to light.
Even silence -
The void through which my soul sings,
Sounds different this year.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday, 25 March 2007 - Final days of cable TV

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for our final days of cable TV.

Our cable TV days are numbered. We're cancelling the service because of the cost in real dollars and in the number of hours we spend watching the tube (we feel guilty not using something we've paid for). Anyway, our final days of BBC America, Food Network and Turner Classic Movies are on the horizon.

Better warn the library. I'll be stopping by more regularly for books (regular and audio) and DVDs.

T has his own TV. In the photo, note the hole in the fence just above his neck. When our neighbors are in their backyard, T runs to the fence and spies on them through this peephole (how embarrassing from a people perspective). We call the channel the "**** Family Network." It's T's favorite channel.

Unchecked, T would glady watch his TV for hours, especially when the boys are playing catch in the yard. That's too long! So, if he's stood at the fence for a while, we call to him and lure him back to the house.

Our neighbors really love T and never complain about the surveillance. I'm sure, however, that they appreciate it when T leaves the fence. We all deserve a little privacy.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday, 24 March 2007 - Spring rain

Dear God:

Today, I am grateful for spring rain.

Rain is grace;
rain is the sky condescending to the earth;

without rain, there would be no life.

~John Updike

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: T stands near the collection bins - each holds about an inch of fresh rainwater.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday, 23 March 2007 - The smell of rain

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the smell of rain.

Traditionally, March and April are our wettest months. Except for last year and, now, this year. March has been dry as a bone. My gardens are not yet thirsty, but they will soon be unless the spring storms materialize. I'm not ready to water the landscape with city water.

The weather people report that a major storm system has started its slow journey to our region. By early afternoon, the front moves in. The morning's clear blue skies grow gray and cloudy. I take T and his friend, Sage, to the park early. Just in case. I don't like walking in the rain with two soggy canines.

Dark, heavy clouds gather at dusk. We lose sunlight quickly. The winds die down.

I think I smell rain.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday, 22 March 2007 - One yellow wristband

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for one yellow wristband.

I rarely leave the house without wearing a distinctive yellow livestrong wristband on my right wrist. Sometimes I wear two. Sometimes three. I also carry extras in my handbag. If I meet someone who wants one, I give him/her one from my stash. Gratis. No questions asked.

Why do I wear it?

To remember people I know who died from cancer.
To honor people I know who have survived cancer.
To remind me that the war against cancer is one we must win.
So that I never take my own good health for granted.

And, in case you're wondering, I live strong for:
  • Uncle Ken, mom's older brother (deceased, colon cancer)
  • Uncle George, dad's younger brother (deceased, brain cancer)
  • Carol, co-worker (deceased, breast cancer)
  • Joy from church (deceased, brain cancer)
  • Phyllis, Christine's mother (deceased, ovarian cancer)
  • My brother-in-law's sister (survivor, ovarian cancer)
  • Lance Armstrong, personal hero (survivor, testicular cancer)
  • Casandra, a California woman I met on (early survivor, breast cancer)
  • Elizabeth Edwards, Senator John Edwards' wife and a personal hero (recovering from breast cancer diagnosed in 2004; just learned that breast cancer has spread, incurable but treatable)
For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday, 21 March 2007 - Spring, Bach and $30.00

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for three things: spring's arrival, Bach and $30.00.
  1. Spring - After surviving a bitter cold winter, my garden and I are delighted that the season of hope, renewal and growth has finally arrived. While my garden slowly awakens under the warm sun and Chinook winds, I'm getting ready for a season of personal transformation.
  2. Bach - Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian.
  3. $30.00 - I planned to give our neighbor, Hayden, some spending money for his spring break trip to San Diego. The high school band is competing there. I just didn't know how much to give. For whatever reason, I decided on $30. When T and I dropped off the gift, his mother said that that's exactly how much Hayden asked her for this morning. Imagine that!
For these blessings, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 - Seeds and seedlings

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for seeds and seedlings.

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.
~Welsh Proverb

Several of the seeds I planted a few weeks ago are beginning to grow. Unfortunately, I forgot to mark the bins. So, except for the mirabilis multiflora, I can't tell one seedling from another. I'll be able to identify the plants in a few weeks once they've grown more leaves. Each plant variety has a distinctive leaf shape.

I'm quite pleased at my good luck. Now my gardens - especially the backyard locations - will have new additions. I will give any surplus to friends and neighbors. Free plants from a reliable source - a real luxury when you're an avid gardener with limited funding.

I also want to note that the amaryllis that my sister, J, gave me for Christmas is thriving (see white pot in the photo). I think it may bloom in a few days.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: This afternoon, T lies near the planting bins that contain a variety of seedlings. At sundown, I bring the bins indoors to protect the young plants from our chilly evenings and mornings.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday, 19 March 2007 - Sewing store

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a new sewing store.

When I sew, I love to make simple, designer-chic clothes in unique, natural fiber fabrics with a touch of lycra for comfort. In the mid-1990s, I lost my local fabric source when Wilhemina's, an upscale sewing boutique closed. No more Liberty of London cottons, heathered wool knits, rayon challis in fabulous prints, heavy boiled wool, luscious silks, Swiss batiste and antique glass buttons.

These days, I prefer to buy knit and woven fabric made from sustainable fibers like hemp, bamboo, silk, organic cotton and wool. The Peruvian Connection and Anthropologie catalogues inspire me. Luckily, I can find patterns that fit. But, I can't find high quality fabric.

I've shopped at an online store that has an excellent selection of sustainable fabric at reasonable prices. But, it's not the same. I yearn for a brick and mortar store where I can touch and drape the fabric, test the color against my skin in natural light, discuss fashion and sewing with expert sewers and hone my fitting and sewing skills.

That's why I'm delighted by an upscale sewing boutique on the south side of town - close enough to my main westside shopping corridor but not so close that I'm tempted to make weekly visits. Anyway, I happened to visit during their 25% off everything sale. I bought a Liberty of London-style cotton print for a summer dress and a textured charcoal wool knit for a winter ensemble (probably a 3/4 length jacket and knee length skirt).

I'm determined to sew every piece of fabric that I buy - no more fabric hoarding, no more growing stash, no more guilt over unstarted and unfinished sewing projects.

(Sigh.) So much fabric, so many projects, so little time.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday, 18 March 2007 - My parents

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my parents as they celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary.

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.
~Paul Sweeney

Grow old with me!
The best is yet to be.
~Robert Browning

I would not be here (at least under my current identity) if my parents had not met and married. I'm very thankful for the countless sacrifices they made on my behalf. They put aside their dreams (I'm sure they had many) in order to help me build mine.

My parents helped mold the foundation of my character: fierce independence, strong work ethic, self-discipline, respect for others, "never say can't" attitude, accountability, solid moral compass, liberal/progressive ideals and competitive spirit. They also gave me a very wide berth in which to operate and the freedom to make my own decisions.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

For this blessing, I am grateful.



Top: Miniature irises
Middle: Red Rock Canyon - Geese, duck pond, Pikes Peak
Bottom: Red Rock Canyon - T watches the visiting geese

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday, 17 March 2007 - All things green

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for all things green.

I'm thinking about trees, grasses, shrubs, flowers, salad fixings, veggies (especially broccoli, spinach, asparagus and sugar snap peas), gemstones (tsavorite garnet, tourmaline, emerald, peridot), beach glass, T's collar and leash, Mrs. Camry, shamrocks and money.

I'm also thinking about my lifestyle, my energy footprint, my buying decisions, my contributions to the Earth's present and future health, my attitudes and my passions.


For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday, 16 March 2007 - March madness

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for March madness.

I confess that I'm a college basketball fan. My love for the sport began in high school where our team was a consistent contender for league champion (my boyfriend was the captain of the varsity team). Then, I attended basketball-crazy UCLA. I was there for John Wooden's last NCAA championship and final year as coach.

These days, I'm not the basketball fanatic or student of the game that I was years ago. I no longer complete the tournament bracket before the first tip-off - don't know enough about the competition to predict wins and losses. S and I always follow UCLA, Arizona and the other PAC-10 teams (S earned his masters degree at the University of Arizona). Note that I still have a hard time cheering for USC.

This year, we're having exceptional March weather. So, if we need to choose between going rock climbing or watching UCLA play on television, rock climbing wins out every time. Sorry, Bruins. We'll check the scores later on the Internet.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday, 15 March 2007 - A birthday surprise

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a birthday surprise.

I grew up loving daffodils because, on my birthday, they were always in bloom. But, that was sunny, garden friendly Southern California. A bulb's life in Colorado is less predictable and more precarious.

So, on my 53rd birthday, I am thrilled to see the early blooming bulbs doing their thing in the front yard garden. The miniature daffodils and petite irises are showing their vivid spring colors. Gold and blue, of course. Perfect for this UCLA alumnus.

To celebrate my birthday, S and I will share a bottle of premium nut brown ale. We'll also go climbing in Red Rock Canyon when the weather clears up.

And, with new tires on Mrs. Camry and loving wishes from S, T, my parents and sisters, I'm starting my 54th year in the very best way - with a big smile, a healthy body, an abundance of creative energy, a lively spirit, a grateful heart and a cup that still runneth over.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday, 14 March 2007 - New tires

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for new tires for Mrs. Camry.

We waited over a year before buying new tires for Mrs. Camry. They're my birthday present - practical but much appreciated.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday, 13 March 2007 - One more accomplishment

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for one more accomplishment before I turn 53.

I am two days away from my 53rd birthday and am still adding things to my list of personal accomplishments. I am very pleased to add this item:

Date: March 13, 2007

Location: Red Rock Canyon

Route: Aphrodite, 5.10a, 90 feet

What we did: Lead by S (one slip), climbed on toprope 2x (me), 2x (S)

Notes: Very challenging and athletic, used every climbing technique I've mastered, hands and feet are especially tired

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday, 12 March 2007 - Living relatively pain-free

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful that I live relatively pain-free.

Our neighbor, J, suffers from degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis). Although she is still young (early sixties), she has already endured one knee replacement surgery. A few weeks ago, she had laminectomy back surgery on three vertebrae to relieve pressure on her sciatic nerve. In a few weeks, she will undergo shoulder replacement surgery.
J is also a heart attack survivor. And, despite living with chronic pain, she is an avid and accomplished gardener. She inspires me with her courageous spirit and optimistic attitude.

My minor aches and pains from rock climbing and other athletic pursuits aren't even worth mentioning. I am thankful that I can move through life easily and on my own power. I plan to climb, bicycle, hike, dance and garden until the day I die.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday, 11 March 2007 - More photos

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for more photos.

If one picture is worth a thousand words, then my photo collection from the past year represents nearly 12 million words.

Yes, I've taken that many. Nearly 12,000. Mostly of T, my gardens and our climbing adventures.

12,000 photos.

Cost: one $300 digital camera plus several hours of my time

12,000 preserved moments and memories.


For this blessing, I am grateful.


(top) - T and big Lambie-Doodle
(bottom) - Red Rock Canyon during today's climbing adventure on The Whale

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday, 10 March 2007 - Garden surprises

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for garden surprises.

The thick layer of leaf mulch that protected the front garden through the very cold and snowy winter is matted and crusty. I spend several minutes breaking it up with my trusty three-pronged hoe. The leaves will soon turn to compost, enriching the native clay soil.

Beneath the mulch, my garden is coming to life. I note the daffodil and allium shoots breaking through the soil, green patches of thyme groundcover and new growth around the base of many perennials.

Our Colorado Springs weather can be very tempermental during March and April, so I resist the temptation to prune the plants. Next week or next month, the entire garden could be buried under a foot of wet snow.

Right now, however, I'm enjoying the sunshine, listening to a delightful bird symphony and carefully counting my garden's many blessings.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday, 09 March 2007 - 20 years in our house

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for 20 years of living in our Colorado Springs house.

There's no place like home. ~Dorothy in the movie, The Wizard of Oz
Home is where you find your heart. ~greeting card message

I wrote the following the poem in 2002. That summer, the Hayman fire, the largest fire in Colorado history, destroyed 133 structures and forced 5,340 people to evacuate their homes. I was interested in the meaning of home in the wake of such destruction. I now reprint the poem as a tribute to our house.

When House Becomes Home

The moment
House becomes home,
The building transforms
From brick and mortar
To keeper of history.
It captures the breadth and depth
Of all things -
Past, present, future -
Arising from the regular rhythms,
The mundane highs and lows,
The tedious ins and outs of
Everyday life.

When home is threatened,
We grab what we can
To preserve, not the building,
But the life contained within.
Home, after all, is not about
Four walls and a yard.
Home is
You and me,
Our stories and memories -
Each tied to that time, and
Anchored to this place,
The old familiar stage
On which we play

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday, 08 March 2007 - Perfect brownies

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for perfect brownies.

I've been brownie-challenged ever since we moved to Colorado Springs twenty years ago.

A real embarrassment for someone who likes to bake. Must be the high altitude (6700 feet).

My brownies are too fudgy or too cakey or too something-or-other. They bear no resemblance to the chocolate delights I baked in California and Texas.

Well, I'm pleased to report the end of my search for the "perfect" brownie recipe. I've tested a
Cook's Illustrated recipe four times. After making two modifications, I can honestly say that I love the results.

So, bring on the potluck meals, neighborhood block parties and charity bake sales. I'm finally ready to bring dessert.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday, 07 March 2007 - A new prayer

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a new prayer.

Let us take care of the children,

for they have a long way to go.

Let us take care of the elders,

for they have come a long way.

Let us take care of those in between

for they are doing the work.

~African prayer

Simple. Compassionate. Easy to memorize. Meaningful to my life.

To personalize the prayer, I add these lines:

Let us take care of the animals - wild and domestic,
For they join us in our journey.
Let us take care of the Earth,
for she must sustain us all.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday, 06 March 2007 - Improvement

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for improvement.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Success. Practice. Success. Practice. Practice. Practice.

With our gym workouts and frequent late winter climbing adventures, I think we'll be ready for the 5.10a route on the Wailing Wall by late spring or early summer.

Winter is waning but won't leave completely until May 15 (the theoretical date of our region's last hard frost). I'm praying that our good health continues (no injuries, please) and that Mother Nature keeps the spring snows at bay.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: Red Rock Canyon - Today was a balmy March day - great for climbing!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday, 05 March 2007 - Grace and forgiveness

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for grace and forgiveness.

I don't deserve either yet I'm thankful for both. I was rude to my husband when he didn't deserve it. And, even if he did deserve it, it wasn't my place to act like I did and to say what I said. Shame on me. Next time, I will count to ten before I open my big mouth. Fortunately, my husband has a very forgiving heart. Of course, it's still up to me to say, "I'm sorry."

Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.

~Margaret Lee Runbeck

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, 04 March 2007 - Rising temperatures

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for rising temperatures, soaring spirits.

The morning air is warming up nicely. I notice that the ice is melting on the driveway and the snow has disappeared from the garden. I'm very hopeful about the day's prospects. I think we'll be able to climb after all.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photos: Red Rock Canyon

Saturday, 03 March 2007 - Better things to do

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for better things to do.

I have no access to the Internet due to technical difficulties (Comcast's fault). Consequently, I'm forced to spend my time on more practical things.

I've spent the day decluttering my studio worktable, sorting my stash of sewing and knitting patterns and books into two piles (keep and giveaway), reading several chapters of a really good book (
The Poisonwood Bible) and baking brownies from scratch.

I realize how much time I waste throughout the day checking my various email accounts, reading news articles, watching videos from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, shopping on Ebay, Etsy and other favorite sites ... very sad indeed.

I think, no, I
know that I need a new rule. A rule that limits my discretionary time on the Internet to maybe one hour a day. I must spend the rest of my worktime writing, job hunting and decluttering the house. Otherwise, I will never finish my book, I will never find gainful employment, and I will eventually drown in all my unused stuff.

There. It's done. The rule is in place.

(sigh) My life in cyberspace will never be the same (which is probably a very good thing).

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Update: Internet access restored!


Horror of horrors!

On Friday, we lost all connectivity while our service transitioned from Adelphia to Comcast. S spent several frustrating hours on the phone with customer service reps trying this and that and the other thing. 'Twas all in vain.

Anyway, tonight, Comcast finally resolved the problem. The Internet is back so I will post entries tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Best regards,


Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday, 02 March 2007 - Homemade chicken soup

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for homemade chicken soup.

The wind's chill increases my discomfort during our morning walk, especially when we head in a northerly direction. I'm amazed that the wind, no matter how blustery, very rarely annoys T.

When we get home, I decide that a pot of soup will be today's perfect meal. This time, I make chicken soup flavored with assorted spices and teeming with shredded chicken breast, black beans, pearled barley, sliced carrots, onions and diced Yukon gold potatoes.

I busily chop the vegetables and stir the soup, adding a little more of this and a touch more of that. The aromas blend beautifully, teasing my appetite. I'll have to wait a few hours before I can enjoy a bowlful. In the meantime, I'll sip a mug of peppermint tea and nibble a handful of dried goji berries.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday, 01 March 2007 - March

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the month of March.

Women's History Month.
Our 20th anniversary in this house.
Daylight savings.
My 53rd birthday: beware the Ides of March.
St. Patrick's Day.
My parent's 57th wedding anniversary.
The first day of spring.

Day one arrives, escorted by fierce winds and blowing snow.
Sunny skies belie the bitter cold of winter's latest siege.

T and I leave the warm house in search of our daily adventure.

My gloved hands freeze within minutes of our departure.

I'm glad I wore my snuggest fleece hat.

I secretly hope that T will be happy with a short walk.

As we near the park entrance, the frenzied wind swirls around us.

I abruptly turn my face the other way, hoping to avoid a frosty confrontation with the North Wind.

Too late.

My right cheek can't escape his icy kiss.

For this blessing, I am grateful.