Michigan Spring

I’m looking out my window at a beautiful blue sky and a landscape with only a few small pockets of snow. The temperature is a warmish 43 degrees. However, the forecast warns that a storm will hit tonight bringing some snow and ice. We are alternating between Winter, Spring, and back to Winter. Cold, warm, and back to cold. Snow, sunshine, rain, ice, and back to snow. I feel as if we are being toyed with. Of course, that’s Michigan. We can experience several seasons in one week–or even a day!

The chickens hate winter weather, but they enjoy being outside when the days are nice. We let them wander in the garden before planting and after harvesting. They still have a good-sized pen to enjoy even when they are excluded from the garden during the growing season. The hens are beginning to lay eggs after their winter break so soon we might be able to start selling them again.

I’ve been taking Hannah Joy for walks down our long, steep driveway to the mailbox now that there is more mud and less snow. I don’t walk her down when it’s snowy, icy, and slippery out because a few years ago, I slipped on ice while taking her for a walk and broke my wrist. The break was bad enough that it required surgery to put in a metal plate. I’m careful now in the winter months. Hannah Joy doesn’t mind–she doesn’t like wintry weather either. She goes outside to quickly do her “business” and then runs back to the house. However, now that it’s becoming more Spring-like, she keeps wanting to walk down the driveway. I am trying to walk her down every day but NOT every time we go outside! I hate to say this but she is not very fun to walk with. I have her on a long retractable leash so she can explore a bit, but I can’t let her pause too long because she will either find something nasty to eat (like deer poop) or she will roll in something nasty.

EJ and I are really enjoying our new phones. We always text each other each night while he is at work–during his break and then during his lunch. With these new phones, we are able to converse much more than we ever could before.

I’ve always wanted to learn Hebrew so that I can read the Bible in its original language. For several years, a friend and I studied together, which was really fun with lots of laughter. However, life for both of us has interfered and we haven’t studied together in several years. I believe that if I don’t start studying, I will never learn the language. I have already forgotten a lot of what I once knew. It’s very difficult to study without a partner because there is no one to correct me if I make a mistake and it’s hard to remain motivated. But then I got my new phone and discovered there are language apps! Very cool! I wasn’t sure which was the best so I ended up downloading multiple Hebrew apps. After exploring them, I uninstall those that I don’t like. I’m still left with many apps. I’m finding it difficult to choose between them because they each have different strengths so I have begun studying from several of them every day. One of them nags me every day to study, which provides needed motivation. I’m enjoying it.

Now that we have our new phones, we decided it would be wise to get better security on both them and our computers. I spent Friday afternoon (after we got our taxes done in the morning…bleagh) researching and then Sunday, with EJ’s agreement, I signed up for a 30-day free trial with a company that has good ratings and isn’t terribly expensive. As soon as I installed the software on all our devices, it warned me that my WIFI was unsecured and unsafe. It gave me instructions on how to change settings in the router but although I am comfortable exploring features of a phone or computer, I am not technically knowledgeable about important settings that could totally screw up my devices. I called my local ISP. I didn’t know if this was something that they could help me with, but I thought it was worth a try. It turns out that they COULD help me; I learned that I never could have done it myself. I spent two hours with the expert on the phone. It’s is not easy for an expert to tell a clueless person what to do over the phone. He was concerned that our router was too old to handle the updated security. I almost gave up and told him that we would just rent a router from them, but the expert said, “Let me try a few more things so you won’t have the extra expense of renting a router from us.” He ended up updating the firmware on my router and changing the security settings for me so now our WIFI is totally secure. Yay! I’m so impressed with the service of our ISP.

For several years, we’ve bought TWO turkeys in November–one for Thanksgiving and one for later in the year. Turkeys are the cheapest just before the holiday. The day after Thanksgiving, I always make multiple homemade potpies with the leftover turkey. I put them in the freezer and cook one whenever we are busy and/or don’t feel like cooking. We ate our last frozen potpie a couple weeks ago so EJ cooked our second turkey on Sunday. When we were first married, EJ cooked the turkey because he had cooked one before and I never had. It developed into a tradition that he cooks the turkey and I make the homemade dinner rolls, pies, dishes–and do most of the cleanup afterward. Monday afternoon I mixed up a triple batch of filling and today I completed the pies. I made six potpies. One I baked for lunch today and five I put in the freezer. I have more turkey so tomorrow I will make more pies.

That’s what I’ve done over the last few days. Meanwhile, EJ has been busy doing necessary maintenance on the truck.

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