|view from the front porch|
About 3:00 am this morning the power went off, and our generator isn’t working properly. When the repairman came last time, he said he couldn’t fix it because he had to see it while it was malfunctioning. Ricky called this morning—the guy is on vacation. Ricky started the generator manually so we could have morning coffee. It stayed on long enough for that important function, then stopped again.
The electricity is back on after six hours off so it’s all good. We have gas space heaters scattered throughout the house and cottage so we don’t freeze even when power is off. We light them during the day in cold weather. At night, we huddle under covers. When it’s cold and humid in the south, that chill creeps into the bones, something northerners may not realize if they haven’t experienced it firsthand.
Ricky built another bird feeder, a shelf that he attached to the wooden fence outside the library windows. We watch the birds and write down the different species we see. We are having so much fun! According to the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research study, Europeans who see the most bird species in their day-to-day lives are the happiest. The authors calculated that being around 14 bird species provided as much satisfaction as earning an additional $150 a month. During the pandemic as people have stayed at home more, birdwatching has become popular. Since I read the article correlating diversity of bird species and happiness, I’ve been trying to figure out if Ricky and I see 14 species of birds in our daily lives!
|what species of bird is eating sunflower seeds?|
Meanwhile, I’m studying the bird book trying to distinguish among all the brown birds at the feeders—are they juveniles of the species, displaying winter pattern feathers, or females? I give up.
Tufted titmice and juncos love the birdseed, and I recognize them. We also have multiple cardinals and purple and house finches eating sunflower seeds from the feeders. Blue jays and mockingbirds prefer to hang out in the bushes and trees in the front yard. Flickers walk up and down the old tallow tree in the back.
Like many people, I decorated with abandon this year for Christmas. It didn’t matter that very few people saw my decorations. It brought me joy. On this snow day in January, reminiscent of a White Christmas, I leave you with a few photographs of my holiday décor from this past Christmas.
|Santa and his bicycles on the roof of our house|
|Frazier fir in front foyer|
|dining room table set for Christmas|
|Christmas cards on display|
|photos in the music room|
|anything worth doing is worth overdoing: Christmas in the library|
|the plant room or sunporch|
|Santa Christmas tree upstairs, |
complete with old toys