Monday, January 16, 2012

No January doldrums in Texas

One of the things wrong with Texas summers besides the heat is the sameness. We wake every day knowing it is going to be hot. In normal years, we have a few days of rain, and not too many days over 100 degrees.

Last summer, we knew every single day was apt to be sunny, uncomfortably hot, and just like the day before and the day after. Boring.

I have to laugh, because this fall when most of the country was having the grass brown, ours was finally greening up. It still is green. We've mowed twice in December--as much as all last summer.

We have had several freezes, hard freezes. Hopefully that will slow down the fire ants. chiggers and fleas next summer. Today at noon it is 71 degrees. Tomorrow afternoon, same time, forecast is for 45 degrees. Then we will have several more days in the 70s. Teens may do a little sun-bathing, or we did back in my day....but that doesn't mean the month can't end with ice and sleet. The Fort Worth Rodeo and Stock Show started Saturday. There's a reason they call the end of January Stock Show Weather. Those same Texas teens that may get out and suntan a bit may wrap wool scarves around their necks to enjoy the carnival rides, sleet permitting.

Many tales are being told of how ranchers and farmers managed last year's drought. Many hopes are being expressed that this year won't be as bad. Already, they are encouraged because the rains came this fall, allowing winter hay to be planted to feed the remaining stock.

None of us around here liked 2011 very much. 2012 already looks better.

Wonder-dog Gracie is getting plenty of outside time today. Last week, following the rain, I kept her treats and an old towel by the back door, because after the rain, she came in muddy clear up to her belly. We negotiated. She agreed not to fight me for one tiny Milkbone treat per towel rub of each leg, and two treats to rub her belly. And then, just as I figured, she headed straight for the cream-colored couch. Not a smear in sight, thank you very much. That was MY end of the negotiation.

Tomorrow, we'll throw her tennis balls a lot inside until she's not the only one getting exercise. She can catch about half the balls on the fly now. Nothing stays the same with Gracie around. Life is never boring, and that leaves me in a permanent good mood.

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