Weather or Not

EJ says he worked with a guy once who lived in for a while in–I think–California. The guy said that no one in there talked much about the weather. Probably because their weather is nice most of the time? Here in Michigan, our weather changes a lot and has a big impact on our lives. When I was growing up, before the Internet, we could call a phone number to get the weather report for our area. I would call it often, especially in transitional seasons, to find out what to wear that day. For example, was it going to be cold so I should wear warm clothing? Or would it be warm so I could wear something lighter? Was it going to start out cool and then warm up so I should wear layers of clothing? And even now I check the weather to learn if it’s going to be cold or warm, nasty or nice so I know how to dress: Sweatshirt or t-shirt? Coat, jacket, or nothing? Boots or shoes? Umbrella? Will I have to be careful on ice? Can I work outside? Can we plant our garden? Is it time to put in the window screens for the summer or to take them out for the winter? Is it time to turn on or off our furnace for the next few months? The weather affects just about everything we do.

Also, EJ and I really are very interested in the weather. We love to watch radar on the Internet. I think in another life we could have been meteorologists.

Robin, the first sign of Spring (Photo from Pixabay)

I saw my first Robin on Friday–the day before the Spring equinox. In Michigan, the return of the Robins are a traditional indication that Spring has (or will soon) arrive! Seeing a Robin is very exciting. The Mourning Doves have also returned.

Over the last few days, the weather has been very nice with temperatures reaching as high as 70! I was tempted to put in the window screens so I could open the windows and let the fresh air into the house. I was also tempted to move the patio table and chairs to the deck. However, I checked the weather forecast for the next few days and, yup, just as I suspected, the weather will be cooler and rainy today and the meteorologists are predicting snow for Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…the window screens and patio furniture will have to wait.

However, yesterday I did go outside without a coat. The ground had thawed enough that I was able to pull my bird feeder post out of the ground and dig new holes in the new place where I wanted to place it.

My main reason for relocating the post was to prevent Hannah Joy from getting her her tie-out wrapped around it so that I had to rescue her. I had to move the post out of her reach but not too near the raised herb beds so that Theo, our sweet dunderheaded cat, could easily leap from them to the feeder. He loves to try catching the birds that come to the feeders. He never actually catches the birds, but he spills the seed everywhere which Hannah Joy loves to eat. Preventing her from getting to the seed is another reason for relocating the post. I think she will be upset when she learns that she can no longer eat the seed. She has epic tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants. Yesterday while we were outside, she saw a rock just out of her reach on the deck. She cried loudly until I gently kicked it to her. When she saw it wasn’t food she ignored it. Hannah Joy was kept outside and starved by her previous owners and I sometimes wonder what she ate to survive. I’m pretty sure that’s why she’s so obsessed with food, even though she gets plenty of food now.

I also tried to place the post to where both EJ and I could easily see the birds at the feeders as well as the bluebird house in the background. I love watching the bluebirds. I kept running into the house to sit in my and EJ’s chairs to see if we could both see the feeders and birdhouse, then running back out to “tweak” or move the post. After I was happy with the placement of the post, I hung all the feeders on it, trying to position them to prevent Theo from easily access the tray feeder, which is the one he usually aims for. It might not totally block him, but I’m hoping it will make it more difficult for him.

The rooster looking for escape

One of the times that I ran outside, I was surprised to see a rooster loose outside the fence. Yikes! It’s not safe for them outside the fence because we have predators: coyotes, bobcats, and bears–oh, my! I quickly grabbed the closest thing at hand, which was a long stick–really more of a tall plant stalk. It was flimsy, but it was enough to guide the rooster back through the gate I opened for him. No doubt he escaped through the small hole the cats use to get through the fence. Now that the rooster has figured out that he can escape, he has been patrolling that area. I tried to use an old gate to hide the hole from the rooster but make it accessible to the cats. The cats need to get through the fence to get to their food which I keep on the front porch, out of reach of the chickens who like to eat it. Theo likes birds, Hannah Joy likes birdseed, chickens like cat food, everyone likes eating what they are not supposed to. Sometimes I feel as if most of my time is spent trying to prevent the critters from outsmarting me.

My frozen shampoo cakes

Yesterday I made one of the homemade PH-balanced shampoo recipes I’ve been accumulating because I finally got all the ingredients I need. I used 2 Tbsps raw honey, 1 tsp sweet almond oil, 1 can coconut milk, and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. The recipes say that coconut milk has a short shelf life so they suggest freezing the shampoo in ice cube trays and only thawing what can be used in a week. I couldn’t find my ice cube trays–I might have gotten rid of them because we have a fridge with an ice maker? Instead, I used mini cupcake pans, which I rarely use it, preferring regular sized cupcakes and muffins. When they were frozen, I took them out of the cupcake pan, placed them in a container, and put them back into the freezer until needed.

I poured some of the shampoo into a bottle to use this week. I used it for the first time this morning. I warned EJ that my hair might look like crap for a few weeks until my hair adjust. I had learned that the harsh chemicals from commercial shampoos strip the natural oils from hair so the body produces more oil to compensate. When switching to a natural shampoo, the body has to go through a “detox phase” in which it adjust to not needing to make so much oil. Many articles said that this detox phase can be a bit tough and they suggest gradually eliminating the commercial shampoo and increasing the natural shampoo.

EJ wants to start using natural shampoo too, but he is allergic to coconut which is the main ingredient used in the PH balanced shampoo recipes I’ve found. Until/unless I find a coconut-free recipe, I’m going to have to stick with the castile soap for him. I am going to experiment with using different oils. I have a recipe I want to on him that uses castile soap, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil. The jojoba oil has proteins and minerals that mimic collagen and is closest to our natural skin oil. It also reduces inflammation, which EJ struggles with. I have ordered the jojoba oil and is waiting for it to arrive.

When EJ woke up this morning, he told me that when he arrived home from work early this morning, he surprised a rabbit at the bottom of the driveway. The rabbit made a dash to get away, but instead of running off to the side into the grass, he ran UP the driveway–where EJ was headed. With EJ driving slowly behind him, the rabbit ran all the way up the driveway and onto the front porch before dashing off to the side and safety. THAT is not something that happens everyday. We have a bunch of rabbits on our property but they mostly stay at the bottom of the driveway and we rarely see them.

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