Thursday, March 26

Got Buds

My lilac bush is budding! And my daffodils are standing tall, if not yet blooming. Also, I spotted Mr. and Mrs. Mourning Dove while I was out in the yard last weekend, and I do believe they are planning to start a family.

I love these first signs of spring. Although winter is relatively mild in my area, the dreary sameness of the landscape starts to grate on my nerves after a while and I find myself wondering if green grass and leaves on trees is a thing of the past, a story old-timers will sit around boring kids with. "When I was your age, we had real seasons. And there were four of them. Every single year. It was interesting. Not like it is today with all this sameness day after day. You young'ns don't even know what real seasons are like!" So at the first sign that life is, indeed, returning to my corner of the planet, I'm out there buying mulch and prepping the flower beds.

Saturday, while the ground was still soft from recent rains and the sun could get through the bare tree branches, I raked the front yard and put down some grass seed. My yard is patchy yet, but the grass I seeded last year made it through the winter and even stayed reasonably green. I figure if I do this twice a year for a while, I'm going to have a gorgeous yard in a decade or so. Even patchy, it looks better than the neighbors', ha!

Sunday was all about the back yard, and that's when I spotted the lilac buds. And the daffodil stalks; mine bloom a little later than the neighbor's, for some reason. And the doves. The whole time I was clearing out the flower bed, Mrs. Dove was eye-balling me from her perch on the edge of a lawn chair. The chair is stored under the raised deck, hanging from some hooks, and is the same place she made her nest last year so seeing her there again was pretty ... well, ominous, actually. There's no friction on the surface of that chair and last year the nest went tumbling in the first big storm. I'm going to keep an eye on it, and if she is really going to build there again (I did warn her) I'm going to have to jury rig something to make sure it stays in place.

My kingdom is very small, but it's all mine and I try to rule wisely.

Tuesday, March 3

Audible Affection

You know, I almost titled this post "I *heart* Audible" and then I remembered that saccarine makes me queasy. I am, however, really fond of

I love books and I love crochet. With audio books, I can have the best of both worlds. Audio books also provide distraction from mind numbing but necessary chores. When the whole iPod rage first started, I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I mean, I like music but I don't feel the compulsion to be plugged in 24/7. Then I discovered that audible content wasn't just about music. It was possible to download books, too! Now, I've been a fan of audio books for a long time and I've cheered on the revolution that took what was basically an assist for the deaf and turned into an assett for the average person. What used to be a small shelf in the bookstore has become a staple of publication. All the latest and greatest bestsellers come out in audio format. Taking it another step and allowing people to purchase downloadable content is, well, comparable to the invention of the wheel. Sure, you could technically move things from one place to the other before ... but now it's really portable.

So, I like MP3 and other format players, and I like audiobooks, and it follows that I like vendors who bring them together. My favorite? The array of content available on their site boggles the mind. But their customer service is the real reason I stick with them.

I got this email the other day which was a promotional deal. Anyone can purchase audio content from, but members get special offers and certain perks. I dont' want to bore you with the details; suffice it to say that I contacted because I thought something about the email was confusing. I wasn't complaining, my intent was to point out an issue that they might want to fix in the future. For my efforts I was rewarded with the equivalent of a $25 coupon to my account.

Now that's a company that wants to keep their customers happy. Is there any question why I'm so loyal to them?