Settling in

I am slowly getting used to winter, enjoying it a little more, not being so restless. It helps to have a day like today where the temperature was moderate and travel wasn't quite so difficult. The pile of firewood is going down fast; at some point in the near future I am going to have to start sawing again.

I have started to read again--the first time I have done much reading since I taught some history classes last fall. Since then, I have had to get reading glasses. When I have them on, the hours of reading fly by. I wonder how long I was avoiding books because I couldn't see the print and didn't realize it.

Went to town today for bananas and milk. And a noon meal at the cafe. It was a good time. The folks at my table discussed our various English pet peeves. It was noted that the special at the cafe was escalloped potatoes, and it was spelled correctly, a rarity. Except--later we noticed that on the board at the other end of the cafe it was spelled "scalloped potatoes." Equal opportunity, I guess.

I then went to the hardware store and bought two bird feeders and some seed. I have been putting off feeding the birds because I was of the opinion that if I start feeding them and then stop when I go to Arizona or somewhere, there will be a bunch of birds who will starve due to my neglect.

Bruce, a bird photographer, assured me that was pure baloney. For good measure, he said that the notion that birds which eat the rice thrown at weddings puff up, explode and die is also a myth. Birds eat rice all the time. They eat it in the wild all over Asia. They eat wild rice here. As far as anybody can tell, exploding birds haven't been a problem.

So go ahead, throw rice at the weddings.

As of this afternoon, no birds had discovered the feeders yet. I wonder how long that will take.

Tomorrow, I drive to Alexandria to play and sing for a bank Christmas party. I never feel too up for performances this time of year, but I am not too worried. Company parties can be stiff. Everybody's uncomfortable. Attendance is obligatory for the employees and putting on the party is obligatory for the boss, so it's all in all a joyless affair. Everybody'd rather be home watching TV. But for some reason, I think this party is going to be fun.