Making the Most of a Warm November Day

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A sunny, 70 degree day in November in Upstate NY must be appreciated for the wonder that it is so I spent yesterday appreciating the unseasonably warm autumn day in many ways. Considering that the forecast is calling for snow starting Sunday, I’m sure I’ll wish I could bottle yesterday and open it in the midst of winter cold.

My original plan for the morning was to mow some of my back yard after the girls got on their busses and the grass dried out a bit. To that end, I hooked my mower battery up to the charger and let it sit charging for a while as I tidied up the deck, put plants away, emptied water out of my deck storage totes and so on. For whatever reason, mower batteries don’t seem to last for more than a year so I just hook mine up to the charger before I mow, give it time and it usually starts. Well yesterday, it didn’t want to start.

Not one to waste the amazingly warm morning, I left the mower hooked to the charger and finished putting my deck and yard furniture away in my sheds. I then decided to string up the colored icicle lights on my front bushes since it’s never a fun job when my hands are frozen. My bushes still have leaves on them but that didn’t hamper my lighting efforts and now the lights are all set and ready to be turned on whenever I so desire. I’m not one to wait until after turkey day to decorate for Christmas so they’ll probably be on at night rather soon.

By the time I was done tidying up my outside areas, there wasn’t enough time left to mow before I had to pick up my youngest daughter from school. She had half days this week and I babysat her Wednesday and yesterday until her father could pick her up. I always love more time with my girls so it’s never a problem taking them. Although there wasn’t time to mow, there was time for a short walk with Jazzmin so she and I set out.

It was shortly before 11 a.m. when we headed out for our walk and it was so nice out that I was wearing shorts and a tank top! It’s a rare treat indeed for it to be warm enough for that in an Upstate NY November. Jazzmin loved the walk as usual and when we got back, I packaged up my latest order of earrings to ship to their new owner. I’m always happy when someone else loves my jewelry as much as I do! It inspires me and motivates me to create more lovelies, which is extremely helpful since I need to build up more inventory after a run of successful sales.

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After picking my youngest daughter up from school, we stopped at the post office to mail the earrings and then headed home to enjoy the afternoon. She spent quite a while swinging in the warm sunshine and was happy to be done with school for the week. It was lovely having her for some bonus Friday time. I finally managed to get the mower running and did the section of the back yard that was especially long but left the rest unmowed and covered with leaves.

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When Jaycie’s father picked her up, it was 3 p.m. and still just too nice to stay inside so I decided to take Jazzmin for a second, longer walk. We went up the big hill and relished in the sunshine and warmth. There were grasshoppers jumping across the road, crickets chirping in the fields, peeper frogs in the ponds and streams and I even saw a small yellow butterfly fluttering by.

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Once we got back home, I gave Jazzmin her post walk treat and headed out into my back yard in bare feet. I walked back to the small crop of milkweed plants growing by the southeast corner of my property and smiled at the abundance of white fluffy seeds bursting free of the plant pods.
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I grabbed a few handfuls of seeds that were trying to work free of the pods and sent them into the air to carry my wishes and gratitude through the breeze.
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If the calendar didn’t say November, I would’ve sworn yesterday was an early spring day and not a late autumn day. It certainly made me feel that November had given all the nice days it could and wanted to go out on a high note. I think it accomplished that perfectly.

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Just a little clear up shower

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When my dad was alive and it would downpour like it has several times today, he was known to say “Oh, it’s just a little clear up shower.” He was being a little sarcastic of course, but now every time it rains cats and dogs, I recall those words and smile.

Today’s late afternoon rain did eventually let up and the sun came out, but by evening it was overcast and it started pouring after sunset. I’m not exactly sure what these “little” showers are clearing up, but I do know that they’re doing an effective job of overflowing local streams and runoff ditches. I had to drive through several road ponds on the way to pick up my daughters today and I was left wishing I had a boat instead of a car.

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It’s a rare thing lately to have more than one day in a row without some form of rain around here, but at least the sun comes back out eventually. When I took Jazzmin out for the last time tonight I saw a bat flying through the darkening sky and I’m sure he appreciates all the bugs that come out in the humidity. It’s always nice to see creatures benefiting from the unpredictable weather and it reminds me that the little clear up showers serve an important purpose in the circle of life.

Wicked Weather and Wake-Up Calls

According to my weather app it was iglooing out...

According to my weather app it was iglooing out…

My girls are returning to school tomorrow after a nice, long two-week holiday break. We all enjoyed sleeping in later and not having to go anywhere and none of us are looking forward to getting up early tomorrow. Without the girls going to school during the week, I lost track of the days so it feels more like a month has passed instead of two weeks. We loved every minute together though!

During those two weeks, Mama Nature threw all sorts of peculiar weather at us. A rapid warm up and falling rain thawed the existing mountains of snow I was certain guaranteed a white Christmas. Thankfully, Mother Nature saw fit to return the a few inches of snow on Christmas morning and all seemed right with the world again.

Then the New Year swept in on frigid wings that dropped a foot of snow and sent temperatures plummeting into single and negative digits. 2014 obviously wanted to make a memorable entrance! I’d always hoped that really cold temperatures and tons of snow couldn’t happen at the same time because that would just be unnecessarily torturous. Those hopes are dashed almost every winter but my optimism, or delusions, remain.

Today it warmed up enough to transform the sand-like powdery snow into something much more dense. Much of it melted off of my deck and out of my driveway for which I am truly grateful! The wind is whipping outside making my wind chimes sing and I can hear the rain hitting my kitchen window. The wind is supposed to continue as the temperatures drop back into the single digits Tuesday and I admit, I’m quite tired of this wicked weather nonsense. It will be hard enough to get back into school and work routines this week without Mama Nature stirring up the weather into unpredictable chaos. Again I ask: is it spring yet?