Here we are, we’ve already made it to February. I used to dislike February. Even though it has the least number of days, it always felt like the longest month. By February, winter felt like it had last forever and that Spring would never arrive. But I don’t hate February anymore. It’s just another beautiful month in winter, one of my favorite seasons. Winter is when the landscape is dressed beautifully and peacefully in white. It’s when the wildlife come to the feeders where I can enjoy them. It’s when I enjoy the coziness of drinking hot beverages, wrapped in an afghan, cuddling with Hannah Joy. There’s a lot to enjoy about winter.

My other favorite seasons are Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

EJ did a bit of grocery shopping at the 24-hour grocery store on his way home from work Friday morning. EJ and I enjoy shopping together but if we have a short list of things we need, it saves time and gas if he just does it after work. Although he’s tired after work, he says he doesn’t mind shopping in the wee hours of the night because the store isn’t crowded–it’s usually just him and the store employees.

Friday I re-organized the chest freezer in the pantry. the freezer has dividers. I put all the poultry in one section, all the beef in another, the vegetables and fruit in separate sections. Now I can more easily see what I have and what I need to replenish.

Next, EJ and I tackled the kitchen cupboards. Over time, the cupboards get in disarray and it’s helpful to go through and re-organize them. We made sure that everything was in a mouse-proof plastic or glass jar. I’ve not seen any mice in the food cupboards, but there have been mice in the pot/pans cupboard near the sink. We have to figure out how to stop them from getting in. Hannah Joy tried to do her part–a couple weeks ago she heard a mouse in those cupboards and wanted me to help her get it. I opened the cupboard doors for her, but the mouse had already gotten behind the dishwasher. Hannah ordered me to pull out the dishwasher, but it’s built-in and I couldn’t do it. She was very upset with me.

I’m still trying to figure out how to keep the chickens from eating the outside cats’ food. I put a little dish for the cats in one of the outdoor dog houses, but if the weather is mild and the chickens go outside, they find it and eat it. So I’ve been putting an additional dish of food on the patio table on the front porch. The other day, I saw a blue jay eating the cat food. Sigh. I haven’t given up trying to figure out how to keep the food inaccessible to everyone except the cats.

Our cat, Annie, died yesterday. She’s quite old and her health was deteriorating over the winter so we knew it was only a matter of time. Still, it’s sad. Annie was a Manx (tailless) cat who didn’t simply meow–she sang her meows with melodious trills. I’ve never heard a more musical meow. Annie is one of the cats that came with us when we moved from downstate. We transported all the animals on the day we drove north to close on our new house. We brought only enough items to “camp out” in the house until our friends could help us move the next weekend. EJ had a quiet drive with our dog, Danny, but I (with JJ) drove our car the four hours with seven cats all loudly harmonizing their displeasure at being contained in cat carriers. They all sang differently so it was rather interesting–and created memories that we won’t soon forget.

I worked for a week or so designing a crocheted square that was inspired by our Hannah Joy. The squares can be used to make pillows, afghans, blankets. I’m selling the pattern, but I’m also willing to make the finished items. Here is what I ended up with:

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