I love how the sound of scent of something can instantly transport you back in time to a great memory stored in your brain. That happened to me a couple of weekends ago when we were in the 40s and it started to feel like spring. I had left a load of clothes in the dryer for a few hours and when I went to finally pull the clothes out I noticed they smelled like they had been dried outside on the line. The fresh air from outside must have made its way down the vent to scent the clothes.
The instant I smelled the clothes my mind flashed back to a memory of late spring when I wasn't old enough to go to school, but old enough to go outside with my mom and help her take down the clothes from the line. I still remember what she was wearing and twirling around in the sheets full of that fresh outdoor scent. You don't see too many people hanging clothes out on the line these days. I think more of us should, to save on energy and, at the very least, create a good smell memory.
I’ll admit it. Math was never my best subject in school. What can I say? I’m very right-brained. Math homework would stress me out and sometimes make me cry or give me a stomach ache. So, I find it humorous that one of my favorite things to do as an adult is Sudoku puzzles.
I got hooked on Sudoku a few years ago when I spent a very rainy week at a cottage in Door County. Since I couldn’t get out and go hiking, I rummaged through the stack of games they had. And since it’s kind of hard to play Monopoly with the dog, I thought I’d just “try” this Sudoku wooden puzzle game. The booklet gives you different puzzles to solve by placing certain tiles in the grid and you figure out the rest. I think most people understand the concept of how to solve Sudoku, so I won’t bore you with those details.
I now own my own wooden Sudoku puzzle board and I have to say I’m addicted. I literally can sit and play for hours on a snowy weekend or on a weeknight before I go to bed. It’s challenging without being aggravating, and I love the feeling of victory I get for solving it without having to look up any “clues” on the solution page in the back of the booklet.
If you have a math phobia, like I did, go ahead and give Sudoku a try. You might be surprised at how much fun it is.
A dear friend of mine always gives me a thoughtful gift for Christmas each year. This year she gave me a gift card to Wild Birds Unlimited. She knows I’m a big birder and Wild Birds is one of my favorite shops. I decided to use it to buy “gourmet” bird seed. It is the freshest, fruitiest, nuttiest mix of goodness to attract all sorts of backyard birds.
Boy, does it ever work. In less than a half hour, I had birds flocking to the feeder. And within two hours I had five pairs of cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, juncos, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, sparrows AND my red bellied woodpecker that I haven’t seen since last winter. I’m still waiting for the evening grosbeaks to show up. That will completely make my year if they do. A tufted titmouse would also be a treat.
There is nothing I love more on a cold January Sunday than to sit at my window in my fuzzy pajamas and blanket and watch the birds at the feeder. My binoculars, bird book and cup of tea are always close at hand. Even though I still have Christmas decorations to take down, laundry to do and the kitchen floor to mop, I can’t help feeling that those things all can wait. Having a little quiet time with the birds is all I need to be doing at this moment.