The crocuses in the side garden are pretty much done -- we had a couple of nights with lows in the 20s (-4C), which only accelerated their demise. The giant crocuses (they're about twice the size of the regular ones) are blooming now, but we've been getting cold rain, which doesn't help. The tiny irises in the E garden turned into bunny (or deer) food. There are daffodil buds in the NW bed.

I got the leaf blankets cleared out of the two northern-most garden beds, and cut down/pulled out the milkweed and coneflower stems that I'd left up so the birds could get all the seed out of them.

SR tells me that 'our' flock of sandhill cranes is up to six. whee. Not really looking forward to them carrying on at dawn this summer, but it is what it is.

A squirrel managed to pull a feeder port out of one of the birdfeeders, again. This time, enough damage was done to the tube that it can't be fixed. I guess I should go get another one -- that's the one style that I don't have a backup of in the garage. But it's cold and rainy (although it is supposed to warm up) and I don't wanna go out.

The choir director has called a rehearsal for tonight (as she's going to be at church for Maundy Thursday service anyway) -- we really need to work on the anthem for Sunday. J will not be there (Robotics in Mason), and I dunno who else will be there. I should ask DB if he's working on Sunday (he does house for the church that meets at the old high school*) -- if not, he could come sing with us. Ghu knows we could use the help.

* the 'old high school' was replaced over 15 years ago, and it does have a "real" name, but hardly anyone uses it, even people who moved to town after the new high school opened.
- despite two days of near or above freezing temps, there's still ice in the pond, even though we added two inches of water on top of the ice (the water level had dropped due to evaporation when the rill was running in 20F weather). However, it's mostly a floating sheet, and should be completely gone by later in the week. It's not supposed to drop much below freezing until Thursday night, so we should be able to get the pump out. There were birds bathing in the rill even when it was cold -- they seem to prefer the running water to the still water in the birdbath (which has a heater & a thermostat so it doesn't freeze unless it gets really cold).

- yesterday's bonus "cello" performance at church was not horrible. It could have been far better (it could have been far worse, too). I needed some actual rehearsal time with just the pianist, so I could get her tempo changes. It helps that I'm used to singing with her, and am familiar with how she bends tempos, but still....

- I've been swapped down to alto for some of the Christmas music. The soprano part is just too high for me, and while DS would prefer to sing alto (less stress on her voice), she can sing the soprano parts.

- DB managed to hold off a cold for most of November (didn't have time, between the show and then finals), and so was sick over the holiday break. OTOH, Assassin's Creed IV was fresh out, so he and SR spent much of their weekend playing that. And Skyrim.

- Thanksgiving was quiet. Just the four of us for dinner, and I skipped most of the fancy sides. Salad, cranberry bread, roasted potatoes&apples, ham. With pumpkin pie squares for dessert. We forgot the crescent rolls, so we made them Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, we were pretty much out of leftovers -- there's a plate of ham shreds in the fridge, but many of them are too small for anything but putting into salad or soup.

- We got the tree up and decorated (we had to rearrange the living room to make a spot for it), and JO dropped by with the wreath we'd ordered, so it's beginning to look like Christmas is coming. Kid pix will be the weekend after next, so there's no need to start the letter yet. :)

- Sometime last week I strained my quadriceps. again. And a couple of days later, my knee started complaining. So back into the knee brace. mutter. Do Not Like. I like pain less, so there you are.

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