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Monday, February 25th - The warmth was nice while it lasted

Last Thursday, the thermometer rose to 44F above zero. Skies were a beautiful blue, and the sound of drip, drip, drip could be heard all around the house. We actually broke the record for the warmest February 21st in history. It was lovely while it lasted, and made spring fever even more intense.

By Sunday, we were back to overnight lows that were below zero, but at least we were "warming up" to single digits. We have to stay below freezing so the ice sculptures don't melt too quickly this month! Speaking of the ice sculptures, the ice park officially opens tomorrow at 10am. As always, I'm very excited to see what the artists create this year.

The only thing I've photographed over the last week, is the squirrel who comes to my back yard for the sunflower seeds. It's been an unexciting week, and I've found myself hanging out around the house taking care of chores and preparing photos for March's First Friday.

I was gifted the cutest little moose from a friend in Texas. He's made totally of spoons and forks. He's about 7 inches tall and looks adorable in my kitchen. Such a clever creation! I love it!

I've started a new diet and exercise program in an attempt to take off the weight I've gained over the winter. The sad truth about living in a place with long winters, is that your body likes to compensate for the frigid cold by adding layers of fat. Fat is an excellent insulator, and it is thought that fat helps the body conserve heat, and protects internal organs. If that's the case, than I should be able to go outdoors without a parka, since the fat layer on me seems to have taken on a life of its own. I'm not alone in this winter weight gain struggle, but that doesn't make it any easier to accept.

It also doesn't help that I am married to a man who enjoys his Lays potato chips dipped in ranch or onion dip, likes to have a bowl of ice cream at night before going to bed, and typically eats large enough portions to feed a family of four. Yes, Steve gains weight too, but he only has to "cut back a little" for a week, and he loses 10 pounds. It is not fair that men have an easier time at taking off the excess baggage.

I hope that by writing about it here, I'll be more inclined to stick to my modified way of eating and get on the treadmill regularly too. Once the warm weather returns, and we can get outside more often, it'll be easier - and more fun - to exercise. I'd much rather hike 5 miles in the woods, than do 3 miles on a treadmill. Besides, when I hike, I also wear my camera backpack which burns even more calories.

Here are some photos I took over the last week. My next entry will most likely include ice sculpture photos, and will be much more interesting!

Squirrel Squirrel Squirrel Moonlight in the yard
Full Moon and Tail Lights

Welcome new readers to my journal! I enjoy sharing my life with the world and I hope you enjoy reading me.

Edited to add on February 26th:

I forgot to mention that I entered two photos in an online contest being hosted by Outdoor Photographer. There are many excellent photographs entered, and the odds are slim that I would get chosen as a winner, but there's no harm in trying, right?

I'd appreciate it if you could take the time to vote for one of my photos. You can only vote once each day. The voting ends on February 29th.

The contest is called WINTER. Below are the two photos I submitted. If you click on the thumbnail below, it will take you directly to the Outdoor Photographer site and my photo there. There, you'll find the vote link. Thank you!

Northern Lights over North Pole

Full Moon and Ice Fog

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© 2008 Susan L Stevenson