For the most part, we've gotten ourselves and our house ready for winter.

Last year winter hit us early and often and we never really got the chance to catch up. We weren't left completely unprepared, but there were a couple of loose ends that we would have liked to tidy up before the snow flew. This year, we're in much better shape. This morning we raked the lawn for the lawn for the last time and put the rakes away. Then we mowed the lawn nice and short, put a tarp over the potting bench, cut down any standing, but dead, vegetation in the gardens, and finished up a few other minor details. There isn't any snow forecast for the week, but at this point we're ready. It feels good to have everything put away.

Both Sarah and I were off of work yesterday due to illness. I had been fighting a cold most of the week and she was congested and fatigued so we both called in sick and laid around the house. We're both feeling better today, so after the yard work, we took Dalla, picked up Olive, and went hiking south of town. I'm always mystified that more people aren't out the woods this time of year. That's not a complaint as I enjoy seeing almost nobody every time we go hiking, but I wonder what they're doing instead of enjoying the scenery and the weather.

Curling season started two weeks ago for me and my team is currently 2-0. I have no illusions that we'll go through the season undefeated, but it's a good feeling to start off the year with a couple of wins.

For some unknown reason, Dalla is in the midst of another case of heavy shedding. We vacuum the floors just about every other day and we still can't keep up with the tumblefurs. We were wondering if the 70 degree weather we had a couple of weeks ago somehow confused her fur management system into thinking that spring had arrived. Hopefully, she'll give up on this shedding kick soon so that we can go back to our normal floor cleaning routines.

Sarah and I have been busy getting the baby's room ready over the last couple of weeks. I've got all the pictures off the walls, and am ready to paint all the spackled holes. The cuckoo clock that used to hang in that room is now in the hallway and a light that would have been directly over the crib has been relocated to the basement. Sarah picked out the fabric for the curtains and she's started the process of sewing the new valances. We've still got plenty of work to do in there, but at least we've started the process and can see what have yet to do.