Well, I'm feeling extravagant keeping my thermostat at 68 during the day, since I'm working at home. I don't cotton to the cold myself. Usually, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and have a fleece throw or robe around my legs because I'm chilly even with jeans.
It's been pretty cold up this way, maybe one day above freezing all month, and plenty of days that barely crept up to 20 above. It's winter in Michigan. No big deal. So, it was no surprise that this month's gas bill was $300+. Don't think the taxpayers are going to foot my bill though.
I know I'm not the leader of the free world, but you know, if Obama wants us all to sacrifice to free us from foreign oil, etc. would it hurt if he just put on a sweater and turned the 'stat down?
A year ago today, Ken and I were in a room at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak, as I was getting prepped for my transplant surgery. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already!
We have been so blessed in that year. I remember clearly how the prayers of our church and all of you sustained us so well in those first few days. Not to mention the hot meals that sustained us in my first couple of weeks at home.
God has certainly brought more changes our way since then. More challenges, more blessings. Sometimes I'm not sure which is which. But, just as I was certain that He provided for us and kept us during the time I was on dialysis, I am sure He has done the same this year, and will continue to do so.
There was a statement from the Experiencing God Bible study that kept coming back to me through all of the changes in the past year: You cannot stay where you are and go with God. Definitely I'm in a different place than I was last year at this time. Opportunities to serve His people have opened up in unexpected ways.
It's not often that I am able to experience "nature, red in tooth and claw" in my city backyard. But last week, as I was finishing my lunch, I noticed this huge bird of prey eating something in my backyard. Couldn't see it well with the naked eye.
Grabbed the camera, and you see the best result here, with the telephoto set as high as it would go. Called Ken, all excited, and he said we had his parents' old binoculars up in his closet. I got those and was able to get a good look. Watched the bird for about 30 minutes.
It had caught a fairly large pigeon. I got out our Roger Tory Peterson "Birds East of the Mississippi" but the best I could guess is that it was a marsh hawk or Northern harrier. Probably close to 2 feet from head to tail. Never saw it fly, so I couldn't guess at wing span. Breast was speckled/striped white and russet. So cool to watch it.
May not be so cool when I have to rake up feathers and whatnot in the spring.
I've never really cared much for the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations. Too much forced merriment in the former and cold, grey blahs on the latter.
So this year, Ken and I escaped all of that by taking a short golf vacation to Crystal River, Florida. We stayed at the Plantation Inn Golf Resort and Spa. Beautiful spot and lots of fun golf. Ken's sister, brother and their spouses are staying at a nearby campground, so we were able to play several rounds with our brother-in-law Tom and had dinner with the group at a different place every night.
I played pretty well, considering I haven't touched a club since Nov. 4. We played the 9-hole executive course several times, the front 9 on the 18-hole course once and the whole 18-hole course once. I played one stroke better than my best at Lost Lake, if that gives you any idea. By the last day, I was even making some good 12- to 15-foot putts. THAT was fun! Lots of water was in play, so we lost several balls every day. Good way to clean out all those old, yucky battered balls.
The wildlife was incredible. Next time, I am taking the Roger Tory Peterson field guide to birds, because there were so many we don't know. We also saw a big turtle in one of the water hazards and a small alligator.
Returned to work this morning feeling refreshed and energized. I guess I have found my favorite way to see in the new year.