Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A nasty, icy day here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor. Eldest and I got up early to try and run errands before it got too bad, and juuuust beat it out with a few slips and slides along the way. Ol’ Robbo does not like ice on the road, especially when it’s been some time since he last had to deal with it.

Somehow or other, it’s suddenly the middle of February. It occurs to me that I’d better get busy with cutting back the buddleia and getting the garden ready for spring, because it’s going to jump on me before I know it.

Not today, though, I think.

Another thing I have to do is replace the mailbox. Again. Regular friends of the decanter will recall reading Ol’ Robbo’s occasional rantings about the frequency with which his mailbox gets whacked. This time it wasn’t even a snowplow. Instead, in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, in perfectly dry and calm conditions, some yo-yo caught it with their side mirror. I came out to find the box on the driveway, the mirror mounting in several pieces, mirror glass scattered about, and the mail spread over the ditch. And of course whoever it was couldn’t be bothered to stop. Some people.

Again, though, not today. (I put the old one back up yesterday. It’ll do for the moment, but the front end is bashed in and the door won’t close properly now.)

On a completely different note, the Mothe used to sometimes try and get me interested in identifying the different types of sparrow that came into the feeders. I couldn’t see much point to it myself, as they’re all such dumpy, drab little birds. But now I find myself doing it, too. So far, I’ve nailed down House, White-Throated, Harris’, Chipping, and Field varieties. I suppose there’s some small intellectual pleasure to be gleaned from this, but otherwise they’re still just a gang of dumpy, drab little birds to me. (And what’s worse, voracious. I’ve a mixed gang of about a dozen or so and they can hoover out the feeder before one can say snap,)

And finally, speaking of birds, Decanter Kitten has developed an outright passion for going out on the porch so she can spy on the feeder through the screen door. She is constantly demanding quite loudly to be let out. The trouble is that five minutes later she gets cold and wants to come back in. This is getting tedious over the course of the day. (What is the saying about a cat always being on the wrong side of a closed door?) Among the many things Ol’ Robbo is looking forward to with warmer weather is being able to leave the porch door open so the kitteh can go in and out as she pleases.

SUNDAY GO-NOT-TO-MEETING UPDATE: Whelp, the Port Swiller Manor driveway was completely iced over this morning, so after a quick cup of kawfee, Ol’ Robbo went out and duly started hammering at it. Even after I threw down a coat of ice melt, it still took me three hours to clear the stuff, much more time than I had reckoned on. The result was that I was too late to get myself over to Mass so had to watch it on-line, much to my chagrin. (Since that was the whole point of the exercise – I easily could have waited until this afternoon when the stuff started melting on its own.) I am now a mass of achy muscles, too.