Well, we are full into January now, with cold days here in the north and enough white stuff on the ground that Rick is into cross country ski mode. I'm into nesting mode! Santas, out. Snowfolk, in.
I leave much of Christmas up for a rather long while (or at least those parts that look as much winter as Christmas), but I've started taking down some of the obvious things, I did decide to leave the mantel in place, though the Jeanie-meets-Santa photo is down and I've been adding some snowfolk to that scene.
Things like wrapping paper are finally being put away. We still have family Christmas with the Toddlers to schedule, but most can get put to rest.
We spent New Year's Eve with our "safe" friends, doing our annual Christmas Song exchange. This year, we picked from four songs and the other couple had to guess. We received gifts for "We Need a Little Christmas" and Mark and Jan received gifts from "The Most Fattening Time of the Year," a Bob Rivers spoof. After dinner and presents, we watched the new year come in as Mark and Jan's neighbors (they're in the country, so not too close!) had some wonderful fireworks.
Mostly we kept the door closed because it was awfully cold! But I had to get a good photo. Unfortunately, it's not that good!
A few days later we got our first real snow. I was happy to see my snow crew come by. They were paid in cash and cookies.
There has been a massive feeding frenzy at the bird feeder, delighting Lizzie.
Now that the snow is on the ground, they are here in force.
This little guy looks pretty puffed out!
I saw the ENT for my ears last week and while there mentioned my never-ending sinus infections. Since I have an appointment with an infectious disease doc in a few weeks, I wondered if pseudomonas, the bug I have colonized in my system, could also be in the sinuses, so he did a culture. Turns our that the answer to that question is yes and I also have MRSA there. That's pretty creepy and very antibiotic resistant. So, I'll be starting on one that hopefully works next week. (It's a compound antibiotic that they have to "make" at the apothecary, hence the delay.)
I was again reminded that these issues make me an extremely dicey case if I should get Covid. With omicron everywhere, I am laying really low. One of the sad things about this is that I am "giving up" my local grocery store. My recent visit was the last straw.
They have never really complied with Covid guidelines -- a bit at first, but those let up when the first wave eased. I started not feeling safe there, especially during surges. I'd already stopped shopping there except at odd times because of lack of plexi dividers and because none (yes, NONE) of the front-line employees were masked. On occasion I might see a mask on someone preparing food in the deli, but not the people cashiers or stock people who are out in the front where all the omicron-spreaders are encountering them.
The other night I needed something in a hurry and did go there and surprise! One checker was wearing a mask. I went to his line and thanked him for doing so, and told him I'd stopped shopping there because of their lack of Covid precautions. And he said -- "Well, I normally wouldn't wear a mask either, but my wife is sick and I thought I should."
He shouldn't have even been at work -- a first degree exposure. Well, she might just have the flu -- either way. Needless to say, I stepped back as far as I could and got out fast.
I'm done with them. There are other stores that do care and do a much better job. C'mon people. We can do this. Don't go out if you're sick and wear the mask even if you aren't. You may not care but for those who are high risk, we do and ask you help protect us as we would protect you. (And I know, I'm probably preaching to the converted, but I had to vent.)
Finally, the big tree is down. I was going to leave it up till the weekend after Twelfth Night but when I brushed by it and it started to tip, I realized it was telling me it was time to go. I caught it as it fell, propped it up with a chair and now... done. One down, ten to go.
So, once that's done, it looks like I'll be doing a lot of bird watching.
All things considered, it could be much worse!