Snowy Weather, Valentine’s Day, and Birds in Central Texas

It is COLD right now.

Like, chance for snow here in 30 minutes and then in the forecast for the next few days. Forecasted snow is a new one for me- when it does snow it’s usually a fluke thing. The neighbors are all concerned about pipes… but not me. Knowing how much AC we lose through the floors (you can feel it on the outside of the house or when you’re underneath it) I expect there will be a significant enough amount of warm air seeping through the floors and this should keep the pipes safe.

Bless that new AC and heater that can actually sufficiently warm the house now… bless.

It’s been raining too, so I lost last week’s step challenge again to my brother. The jerk. Second place only got me a bunch of better night’s sleep and 6 pounds lighter. Total bullshit, lemme tell ya.

Here’s the thing- in freaking rainy cold weather he got 63,000 steps. Like… what? It took me an hour to get 4,227 on my aunt and uncle’s treadmill- and I was at a solid pace!

I masked up and they hung out in the other room while I walked and listened to a training webinar for work- they’re super accommodating. (Webinar was on how to improve your sales team. Hey- have you ever thought about telling them you expect more from them? That was the gist.)

Let’s say he can get 5,000 steps in an hour, by taking teeny tiny Chihuahua steps. That still means the fucker walked for TWELVE hours last week? Or no… because he’s also running some, but he says he bikes more than he runs. I have to get the bike out and see if the fitbit registers how much ground is covered on a bike as steps. How many calories does researching ways to cheat a fitbit burn?

This project certainly earned me plenty of steps behind a wheelbarrow, but we still moved less of it than I would have liked this week:

7 yards of dirt is always more than I remember

So our timing was IMPECCABLE getting dirt delivered right before all the rain and snow- so there it sits, still in our driveway, covered by a tarp, while our cars are parked on the street. It mocks us. We’re adding it to the side of the backyard where the Meyer lemon tree and this year’s tomatoes will go. We’ll also have enough to top up the side yard beds and the driveway bed too- but we have to get a move on because planting season is right around the corner!

In other news the neighborhood craft fair looks like it may be back on- we’re having a meeting this week to discuss it. Or maybe not because it was supposed to be a meeting outside, and now with this weather… we may have to Zoom it. But we’re shooting for April or May for the show itself- figuring a good number of us would have the vaccines by then and we’d still require masks.

The youngest is painting rocks, the middle one is doing origami boxes, the oldest is casting around for a craft still, and I will ice dye some scarves (SNOW DYE! JUST REALIZED I CAN SNOW DYE THESE THINGS- WOOT WOOT). To be honest I’m a bit sick of the scarves. It’s no good saying it though- I have a bunch of scarves and dye packs already bought that can’t go unused… so I need to do them up. I just wanted something a bit more creative and different and so I give to you:

Weird animal and fish paintings on scrap lumber:

People still love sardines, right?
Might sell that one… depends on how cheap I set them. That sounds like a pun but its not.

Told my friend about it and she suggested painting some Easter bunnies; so I thought, sure, I can pander with the best of em let me give that a shot. But oh no…

It’s less of an Easter bunny and more of a bunny with all of it’s skin flayed off aside from it’s tail and ruff. I see now I should have gone with blue.

So we’ll see how it goes. Art is so personal… it doesn’t fly off the shelves like the scarves do… but it has been fun to bust out the painting set again.

Oh! And I mention the origami boxes my middle daughter is making- let me show you one of the awesome ones she did for Valentine’s Day:

T-rex origami holding an origami heart, on top of an origami box. Origami.

in other news the Cedar Waxwings have moved through central Texas. Which means having a white car was a bit of a detriment for a few days as they poop purple over EVERYTHING from the berries they stripped off the Ligustrum tree in the back corner of the yard. They sure are pretty though.

Cedar Waxwing
View from my desk of the flock that set up in the bare pecan tree for a few hours on Friday

Speaking of birds… I will need to winterize the chickens for the coming cold days. That involves new bedding and minimizing the drafts in the coop. I will also probably string up some incandescent Christmas lights for them. The lights give a little ambient heat but aren’t a fire risk like a legitimate heat lamp would be. I’ll either have to put them in a big mason jar or string them up high in the coop so the chickens don’t peck at them… which is a thing those idiots would do. Luckily Buff Orpingtons are big, fluffy birds so they are rated down to zero degrees… so would probably be fine regardless. But still, they aren’t USED to this weather, so I figure I better do something on the heating front.

In fact- this will be a good test of my nails- which are now “painted with those stick on polish strips and are SUPPOSED to be dang hearty even if you’re tough on your hands. (I am super rough on my hands so we’ll see)

Why is it so hard to take a picture of your own hand? And yes my cuticles are still very rough and I have a hangnail… and that’s the better hand. And I’m also writing in bed again… it’s cold, don’t judge me.

Now, I haven’t had painted nails since high school. Both because my hands are short, squat peasant hands made for threshing wheat (which I realize is a thing I actually do in my 21st century life…) and because the skin on my face was allergic to fingernail polish and I used to get red streaks on my cheeks from it in high school. And either my skin is less sensitive now or the peel and stick polish things don’t irritate my skin the way liquid polish did.

This all is very weird to me, to have hands with polish that look in a way I’m not used to seeing my hands look. (Kinda like the double take you do after you cut your long hair short.) Here’s the thing, mine was a real urchin-chic look in my youth. You know: messy hair, no makeup, no fashion sense, and dirty nails. It worked for a time… but ya can’t be a 40 year old urchin, you just start looking homeless, so I figure this whole pain in the ass grooming thing might be worth looking into.

Also, it MIGHT have to do with the fact that other day my youngest was holding my hand and asked me: “Mom why does your hand look so old?” She then (before I could respond) said: “Oh I’m sorry Mom, I’m sorry- I mean why does your hand look older?” To which I just laughed and said: “Because I’m old?” I don’t know where her sensitivity to calling something old looking comes from… but considering she spent the night recently at my folks house I can kinda guess she got a lecture about it out there. What I wouldn’t give to have heard that conversation. (But also it’s called manners and don’t be calling other people old, kid.)

I’d say I just laughed it off and yet here I sit with painted nails so…

And in other, other news: Valentine’s is coming up- I am really looking forward to it, as I always do. Hopefully the winter weather isn’t so severe that the McNay museum is closed- because that’s our midday date plan for the day. The husband and I try to do it up for Valentine’s Day- because gifts are cool and romance is better- hell, I even wrote an article about it once! HERE Ain’t nobody gots to buy chocolates and $100 dozen roses though so I never do get what all the bitching is about.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to y’all, keep warm, and keep buying fresh flowers… just not this week!

Delphiniums prove spring is coming… soon. It will be here soon.

3 thoughts on “Snowy Weather, Valentine’s Day, and Birds in Central Texas

  1. Good to hear what you’re up to these days, Lauren. I like the idea of the paintings on the wood. They’re really pretty and I bet they’re fun to do. We just got a dump of snow so I looked at your photos with ENVY! Have a great weekend.

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