However, hubby just looked at the thermometer and announced the temp has zoomed up to 20°. Um, what's with that at 7 p.m. when it should normally start dropping down, down, down? What's going on here? Dum-da-dum-dum! Another big snow coming? Twenty degrees is supposed to be the perfect snowing termperature, right?
Papa Pea was amazed that he was standing only fifteen to twenty feet from an attack in the chicken yard when a HUGE bird swooped down and just missed nailing one of our hens. (The hen reports that anytime you lose that many feathers, the event was plenty close enough for her.) Hubby didn't have a lot of time to study the characteristics of the bird for identification, but after coming in and consulting our bird books, he's pretty sure it was a Northern Hawk Owl. They are basically nonmigratory, but do come slightly south (which would possible put them in our area) during the winter. They also hunt in daylight as well as at night. He saw the owl's attempt at a chicken dinner in the mid-afternoon.
I know there are those of you who cannot wait for the days to start getting longer. Personally, I like the short days. (Ducking from barrage of snowballs aimed at my head.) I really enjoy the time around 4:30 in the afternoon when darkness descends outside, I'm in my cozy kitchen leisurely starting to pull dinner together while sipping a glass of wine. Except I'm in a bamboozling period (get out the violins) when I. cannot. drink. alcohol. One sip of anything (and I've been trying everything) and wham, I get an extremely uncomfortable feeling from the top of my head to the nether regions of my stomach. What's going on? Anyone who knows me can tell you I am not a person who has ever over-indulged, but heck, 'tis the season to be jolly and I'm expected to do it without tippling any spirits? Oh, well. Makes me a cheap date.
I also truly like the longer nights this time of year. I will admit I do not have to gird my loins and traverse the roads to go to a job in the dark in the morning and come home in the dark at night. (That scenario would cast a whole different glow on my rose-colored glasses.) Being able to be home as much as I choose, I love the dark early morning hours with the Christmas lights and music on which seems to create a slower, easier start to the day.
Typically, the evening hours are our "time off" from the daily hafta-do tasks so when it's pitch black outside from 4:30 p.m. on, evening starts pretty early and we feel we have longer "time off" hours each day.
I've asked Papa Pea (my personal Mr. Claus) for a couple/three books for Christmas and I've been waiting impatiently for them to arrive so I can take a quick peek at them before wrapping and putting them under the tree. (Yes, I have to wrap my own presents [are the violins still handy?] because I learned long ago that seeing how much of an onerous chore [and how much paper he used] wrapping was for my husband, I couldn't in good conscience inflict that task on him anymore. Actually, for years he gave my presents to our daughter to wrap for him, but I didn't feel that was fair either.) After Christmas, I'm looking forward to some very enjoyable hours on the couch, devouring my new books.
Speaking of the couch, I'm going to get my pj's and robe on right now and go snuggle on the couch for a long evening of