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heading down the home stretch

February 20, 2012

We above the equator have just about got it made.  We’re on the cusp of the last

third of official winter.  And you’re welcome to join me in starting spring March

1st.  I simply have to begin early to give hope to my bones and joints, which are

really feeling the damp cold weather.


There’s only nine days left in my truncated version of winter, and one of them is

Mardi Gras.  Tomorrow New Orleans has the largest North American celebration

of it, as Catholics prepare to (theoretically) give up a few bad habits for 40 days.

You can follow coverage of the big party in the Big Easy on the websites of local

TV stations like WWL.


Up here, about 3000 miles and two ferry rides away from the Crescent City, Jude

and I will mark the event with some red beans and rice.  She’ll be returning from

an overnight business trip, so we’d be celebrating anyway.  We ‘ll watch a special

Mardi Gras episode of Treme, HBO’s excellent series about a New Orleans neigh-

bourhood rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.


I won’t actually be giving up any bad habits, though.  That’s one of the benefits

of being agnostic — a trade-off, really, because we don’t get any religious holidays.


In other news, the community continues to struggle with the loss of Al the Mayor.

Yesterday Jude and I joined Jody, Chris and Mike for coffee.  More stories about Al

were swapped, and concern for his widow Sue’s future was shared.  We toasted the

old outlaw.  He’ll be toasted for a long time, I’m sure.


On the way home, we stopped to visit with a neighbour who was splitting logs

near the road.  Two other neighbours stopped and talked.  We caught up with

each others’ lives, swapped more Al tales, and basked in the recent great play

of the Canucks.


At home, Jude and I spread cardboard over a new area of the garden as Slinkee

and Ollie searched through it for field mice.  It rained on us most of the time.

Then we went inside and did 25 minutes of yoga, with my muscles constantly

carping.  We rewarded ourselves with a pizza, and  Jude finished packing for her



One less day of winter.  One day closer to spring.  We can do this.

  1. beth reed permalink
    February 20, 2012 6:46 pm

    Yep your one day closer to spring. Here it looks like sping has arrived. My pear tree is full of buds and small blossoms already, all the trees in the back are getting buds. But I know that this is a trick. Right before Easter we will probably get a cold snap. It ccould just get down below freezing, or we could get ice or snow or all three.
    I am not planting a thing until after Easter.
    Off to bed, a long day tomorrow.

    • February 21, 2012 1:13 pm

      Smart move, not planting too soon. After I posted yesterday about hanging on until March, I checked my weather records and was reminded that last March 1st we got 10 inches of snow. We got 3 more inches March 2nd and two more the 3rd. And last February 26th, we had a ten-inch snow. This is definitely the time of year I miss New Orleans most.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 20, 2012 11:30 pm

    I was thinking you’d be missing New Orleans at Mardi Gras. Hope your bones & joints don’t torment you too much.

    • Judy Bay permalink
      February 20, 2012 11:31 pm

      Solrry! That was me just now.

      • February 21, 2012 1:19 pm

        I went to the link I posted Monday to watch some Mardi Gras parade coverage and was informed I’m in a forbidden zone, which I assume is Canada. So I had a breakfast of coffee and a heavily-buttered muffin, which filled in for chicory and beignets. You can take a boy out of the French Quarter, but . . .

  3. beth reed permalink
    February 21, 2012 9:32 pm

    Oh yes Allen I remember all the snow and ice last year. Get this we are pushing 80 the next two days. You know what that means. Severe weather storms. Tornados scare me.
    You will have to blog about New Orleans. I know next to nothing about it or the culture. Today is Fat Tuesday but I have no idea what it means and now I am intrigued.

    • February 22, 2012 9:10 am

      I can’t remember if you got your internet access back, but wikipedia would be a great place to start learning about New Orleans. I’ve posted some personal memories about the great lady. Click here, here, here and here. Fat Tuesday refers to the day before Ash Wednesday, when Catholics give up bad habits for the 40 days before Easter.

  4. beth reed permalink
    February 22, 2012 9:26 pm

    Nope still no internet here. Still using my phone most of the time. My friend recently retired so i will be able to take my laptop over a little more and when the library gets their system back up i can be online more and I will check it out. Our library was struck by lightening and took out all the computers but 3 and yesterday mmy friend and I worked on them for two hours and still nothing.
    Thanks for filling me in and now I know.

    • February 23, 2012 6:33 pm

      Was the lightning strike from a recent storm?

  5. beth reed permalink
    February 23, 2012 9:02 pm

    The storm happened a couple of months ago. It was a hellacious storm. The winds really came in strong, knocking down some power lines and trees. The lightening hit the library and an apartment building across the street. For some strange reason the phones are still messed up too on that side of town and cell phones can barely get a signal.

    • February 24, 2012 12:21 pm

      I miss those kind of storms. Kansas has gullywashers with so much wind, thunder and lightning that even an atheist could believe that the gates of Hell had been opened.

  6. beth reed permalink
    February 25, 2012 9:13 pm

    You know Allen I love these kind of storms too…from a distance lol. when I was young they intrigued me and I would look out my bedroom window enjoying the crack of thunder and lightening show. The storms we have had lately are not even the same as when I was younger. I miss them.

    • February 26, 2012 11:06 am

      What the storms here lack in drama they make up for in consistency.

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