We are not running the heat all day, but we turn it on in the mornings and then again a little at night. Just that little bit has doubled our energy use for this time of the year. (says the energy nerd, who keeps track of these things)
It is warming, but “warm” is relative. Compared to 19°F, 31°F is “warm.” In terms of hands and toes and cold tile floors, it is still very cold. I was reminded this morning of how very cold I was in Kuwait those few January days when it would get down to 0°C; when windows are not sealed tightly and all your floors are marble, it’s like having winter inside your home.
And that is how my doves must feel. Normally, they sleep under our rosemary bush, or snuggle down under the lavender. I think, now that we have pulled a lot of our larger potted plants in close to the house under the awning, they are sleeping under our plants. This morning, they know I am here, with my camera, and they don’t care. They want to catch a few more ZZZzzzz’s in the first few rays of the early morning sun.
They fluff up their wings to capture air and warm it with their bodies. Look how puffed up this one looks, about twice it’s normal size.
AdventureMan goes out every day and breaks the ice in the bird bath, and puts in fresh water. People are good about feeding birds, but forget how hard it can be for them to find water when outdoor temperatures fall into the freezing zone.
Seen in Pensacola:
In Qatar and Kuwait, I used to take photos of able bodied men and women parking in handicapped spots and strolling into the stores. There were penalties, but I guess these folks did not believe the law applied to them.
Parking karma exists. What goes around comes around.
People who drive these big-a$$ trucks get no sympathy from me. Squeeze, big guy. See, there are two little lines, and you are supposed to park between them. Parking like this is just ignorant.
“How about lunch?” our friend asked as we left the book club meeting at the library. This was not a meeting we usually attend, but they were discussion Donna Tartt’s book, The Goldfinch, which our group had also recently read and discussed, and we were eager to continue the discussion. She suggested the Cottage Cafe, just across the street, and it looked really cute.
We weren’t the first customers, although we were the only customers in the small dining room. A steady stream of phone calls were coming in, and a steady stream of orders were going out. When I ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad, they were already out of it! I sadly watched an order of about ten boxes leave on a bicycle delivery vehicle, knowing “my” salad was in that delivery.
Ah well. There were plenty of other selections on the menu. AdventureMan started with chili and cornbread, and raved about how good it was.
Our friend ordered the Cottage Cafe Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, and it looked scrumptious:
I ordered the BLAST, which was bacon, lettuce, avocado, sprouts and tomato, and it was tasty, and I could kid myself it was all veggy and healthy fats, etc, so good for me, right?
AdventureMan’s main meal was barbecued pork. He groaned as he finished it, telling us not to let him order a chili starter AND a BBQ Pork, but as he groaned, he was eating every bite and licking his fingers.
The downside was that it was all so delicious, we really did eat up our meals and did not have space for dessert, and their dessert options sounded fabulous. We’ll have to go back soon and start with dessert :-) They are only open until 3, as they also run the Pensacola Victorian Bed and Breakfast next door, the huge Victorian:
Why do they groan? Why do they grumble and look annoyed when I say it’s time for the Christmas Parade?
Once they get there, they have the best time! Who wouldn’t? It’s all noise and flash, great floats and loud bands, dancing in the street, dancing on the sidewalk, seeing all our friends from church and school and waving to friends on the floats – throwing BEADS!
Even 1 year old baby N totally gets into the beads! “Beads! Beads!” she shouts and holds out her hands. She marvels at their sparkle as they hang around her neck.
Here is what I love about Pensacola. It’s been a bad month, with Ferguson, with New York, and in Pensacola 50,000 people gather peacefully and party on the streets. It’s New Orleans with our clothes on, it’s Christmas/Mardi Gras Family Style. We dance, we party, we jump for those beads – and then we pass them along to the children. It’s a long, happy parade, with every school marching band and Mardi Gras group, a local radio station or two, the homeless, the counter culture, drinks in open containers, church groups, neighborhood meet-ups, Jesus is there, with Mary and Joseph – it’s all cool.
When the parade ends, we all go home. Peacefully.
Some may grumble, but for me, they show up, every year, and we celebrate a family tradition, the Pensacola Christmas Parade.
AdventureMan and his helper went down early Sunday morning and pulled a great Bead harvest out of the trees. Little grandson Q carefully sorted them into piles for his friend Chris, his mama and daddy, his two other sets of grandparents and for his room upstairs in our house.