I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. I can’t believe we are already at the end of February! That doesn’t seem possible. We just thawed out from both an ice and a snow storm and now we’re having temperatures in the 60s. I’ve always said, “Only in Tennessee can you have temperatures in the teens one day and then in the 50s or 60s the next day! I’m still staying in. I only get out to the grocery store about once a month, to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription or to go through a drive through pick up for a meal. I haven’t had a hair cut in 8 months and I’m so ready for one but probably won’t even do that until I have at least one vaccine. I thought I’d do a “Things I’m Loving These Days” post since I haven’t done one in a while.
We finally got snow!
Snow is not something we see much here in the southeast anymore. We get more ice than snow here. I have such happy memories of playing in the snow as a child (back in the days when we DID get deep snows here instead of just the dustings we get now) and I do miss it. Last week (on Valentine’s Day) we got an ice storm. It made driveways, sidewalks, and roads very treacherous as everything was covered in a thick glaze of ice. We got so much ice that it looked like snow. It sounded like shards of glass falling and I stood out on my porch just listening to it for quite a while. After the ice storm, we got a good 4 or more inches of snow. My northern friends probably think I’m crazy for wishing for snow and loving winter like I do. But I do welcome winter every year and a break from our heat and humidity. The ice can stay away but the snow is welcome! I love the bare trees of winter, breathing the cold, crisp air, smelling wood burning stoves and smoke from fireplace chimneys filling the air on my afternoon walks. To experience the quiet calm and smells of a winter day or a walk in the woods are a joy to me. I won’t say the long successive gray days of winter don’t get to me sometimes, but give me a pretty snow and I’m ready for a moonlight walk! I love the sense I have knowing that everything is resting and it seems just calm and quiet. The trees are shed bare and certain animals are hibernating. This “rest of nature” is all necessary for newer things to happen in a few weeks time.
Even my cats love it (it is something they don’t get to experience much in these parts here) and both were planted by windows when it was coming down hard.
Oh boy, where do I start? At one point a few weeks ago, I was watching four different giraffe cams! Yes, I probably need to be committed!!! There were three pregnant giraffes I was watching. There was Nasha, the pregnant Masai giraffe at the Nashville Zoo who was to be a first time mother. I watched her labor one night and knew she was close and then bam, the cameras went down. Turns out, Nasha was not progressing well and the veterinary team had to intervene. It was a sad ending and Nasha’s calf didn’t make it. There was some speculation that she might have stepped on the calf.
Did you know that about 25% of calves in captivity don’t survive? Many of them die during birth or shortly after. It gets worse in the wild, and up to 50% of calves don’t survive (mainly because they’re so vulnerable to predators).
And then there is Autumn, a Masai giraffe at Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. Autumn gave birth to a precious baby girl three days ago who stands at 6 ft. tall and weighed 148.5 lbs. I watched Autumn labor and give birth live and it was such a treat. If you missed it, here it is.
I’m also watching a giraffe at Animal Adventure Park in New York who is due anytime now. Her name is Johari (Joh for short) and she mated with Oliver (Ollie) who was also the sire of April the giraffe’s last two calves. April is now in retirement and is residing in barn #2. I watch her and her son occasionally on a live cam too. April is doing well but is aging and has arthritis and she recently got a new state of the art padded floor to make her more comfortable in her geriatric years. I had to laugh because the zoo went live on the cam the day they installed April’s floor. At one point, there were 3900+ people watching the floor installation. Even my hubby, who has absolutely no interest in watching pregnant giraffes on a live cam, watched it and said it was quite interesting. There were at the same time, 1700 people watching the live cam of Johari the pregnant giraffe. So yes, more people were watching April’s floor getting installed! I just thought that was so funny… but it is a testament of how much our April girl is so loved. She is such a gentle giant. Giraffe watching is so peaceful to me.
Black Beauty– by Anna Sewell
I’m 61 years old and I’m just getting around to reading the children’s book, Black Beauty. I’ve never been much of a “horse person” and never had much of an interest to read horse books when I was younger. But this book was on our shelf because it was on a reading list for my youngest son when he was in middle school (he’s 28 now). I remember back when he was reading the book, he said, “Mom, I think you’d like this book!” Several weeks ago I was up late flipping channels and the movie, Black Beauty, was on (the 1946 film). I watched most of it and liked it. So the other day I saw the book on our book shelf, and I thought, why not? And so I’m reading Black Beauty. I never knew the book was told from the horse’s standpoint, which makes it all the more interesting. I have to say, I’m enjoying it. It’s always fun to go back and read a good children’s book, isn’t it?
I love lighting candles and tealights all throughout the year but especially during the winter. I discovered these on Amazon.
I love the box they come in for storing them. They are so pretty when lit and they burn well and burn seven hours (I’ve had some burn even longer)! When I ordered a box just before Christmas, there were some red ones too! Considering you get 96 in a box, the price is good.
Bath and Body Works Wallflower Plug-in Paris Cafe Scent
I ordered this scent recently and loved it. It smells just like coffee brewing with a light scent of sweet pastries. I have it in the room where I’m typing now and the first night I plugged it in, I kept thinking my husband was brewing coffee (which was strange since he doesn’t like coffee). I think this might be a retired scent but if I find it again, I’ll definitely buy it!