The thunderstorm last night did very little damage. There were two impressive wind blasts that ripped through. My poor little anemometer showed a peak gust of 22 mph, but according to the Beaufort scale, the wind was roaring at close to 60 mph at times. I did get about ½” of rain. Here’s hoping I get a chance to mow the yard this week. I filled my yard waste container just with the clumps of leaves ripped from the silver maples. Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! It’s amazing how many restaurants start giving a senior discount at 55. Lucy was quite the bargain hunter and was looking forward to my birthday this year. I have a goodly stack of Buy One Get One (BOGO) free offers. The problem is most of them are expiring between the 11th and the 18th. Lucy’s birthday was February 5th. We would each sign up for these offers. The six month spread meant we could burn off the calories by the time the next wave of offers came through. Please keep my father-in-law in your thoughts and prayers. He’s had a terrible year and is battling some health issues. Losing my mother-in-law and Lucy eight months apart has not helped. He’s one of the nicest people in the world, too. It’s still insane at work. I went in for several hours today and will get use the VPN tonight to try getting a bit more stuff done. The yard work is slipping a bit and the kitchen is getting cluttered. Lucy wouldn’t be happy with that. The rain perked up the tamarisk, and the blue flax is reblooming. The white flax might bloom again. The Rudbeckia plants are blooming or close, and the bee balm and Echinacea are having a banner year. Even the clematis plants which got pummeled in a previous wind storm are blooming like crazy. I’m still trapping Japanese beetles, but it looks like they are winding down. I’m finding cicada skins all over the place and even got to see the final minutes of one emerging from the beetle skin and becoming a green flying insect. The dragonflies are plentiful and I saw a few iridescent damselflies this year despite the drought. I did have to see Lucy today. Even when I was doing the heavy business traveling, we always managed to spend time with each other for our birthdays. The string is still intact, though I will miss her birthday kiss. That’s one of the large number of adjustments one makes after losing a spouse. There are so many little things that go into a marriage, yet when all those little things are gone, it leaves a gaping hole. It’s also part of the healing process. One learns to adjust and keep trying to move forward. Thank you again for the birthday wishes!