Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spring is on its way

Until about an hour ago, we had terrible weather. The wind was howling across the chimney here in the back sitting room and there was sideways rain. In celebration of the break in the weather, here are some evening shots of my garden.

Corkscrew Hazel - corylus avenella contorta. This beauty comes into its own at this time of year with the lovely catkins dangling off it like a geisha's hair ornament. It can be used for flower arrangements later, but as it is SO slow growing, I am loathe to cut it. I'm going to try to get a few cuttings to sprout and have more of them.
Snowdrops are getting past their best, but still pretty.

I have one little dogwood. I'm going to trim it up this year in the hopes that it becomes "shrubbier". Again I'll try to root the cuttings on for more plants. There is nothing more uplifting this time of year than the scarlet red branches of dogwood.

No frogs or frog spawn in the pond yet, but it won't be long now.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some Kids Have All the Luck

You may know that our youngest boy, George is away this week on a school sponsored ski trip. The thing is, this school ski trip is to the Italian Alps! Here are a few shots of the highlights so far.

The children who are going on this trip, and so many kids signed up that there are two coach loads of them, will have a record of their trip via a website. The website has been broken down into different pages, starting with the outward journey. These photos have been pinched from the school site so that I can show you.

Parents and family waving the skiers off! Bye Mum! Bye Dad!George on the coach somewhere near the Dover/Calais crossing.
On the Autoroute towards Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Peage (toll)Mont Blanc! Mont Blanc tunnel - French side When you get out the other side, you are miraculously in Italy! The snow doesn't look much different.
The hotel that the kids are staying in for the week.George and his pals getting the ski equipment on for the first time. The first ski lesson . . . .

Now George is full of confidence!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday in The Lake District

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:-
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils

Written by William Wordsworth after an inspirational walk with his friend in April 1802. The poem wasn't published until 1807 and the above is a revised version that was published in 1815.

Today as I walked through the Lake District, there were green daffodil spikes everywhere. I suppose in April, they'll be at their peak. I often think of this poem when I go for a walk in Cumbria's Lake District. It was beautiful today. There wasn't a breath of wind so the lakes were like mirrors.

One of a pair of Mute Swans.

It was difficult for me to take lots of photos. Polly has never been more bouncy. She is shattered now. She slept all the way back north. While we were walking it was a job to get her to be still long enough for the camera to focus. I must say that I didn't complain too much when she was pulling on her lead. I had a sort of Staffie assisted ascent up this hill. Going down the rocky paths later, she had to behave herself and not pull.

Here are some of the other Staffordshire Bull Terriers that were on the walk today. ALL the dogs had a great time. Don't they all have beautiful faces?

This young girl was Polly's pal today on the walk. Sadly, I've forgotten her name. Her owners were darling too.

This is Ben. We met Ben last year and he has lost a lot of weight. The wideness he has now is all muscle, believe me!

Jake. He's a pretty boy, isn't he?

Betty and Bradley. Betty is the smaller of the two, a real pint sized Staffie.

Last but by no means least is Rocky. What a low clearance he has. He was in front of us for a portion of the walk. I hope Rocky's feelings aren't hurt, but walking behind him is very comical.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ciao Georgio!

Well, that's the boy away for an entire week. As I type this, the coach filled with students from Lockerbie Academy will be rolling onto the ferry at Dover. They'll travel all night through France and get to the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Once through that, he's in Italy where he will be enjoying an entire week of skiing in Italy's Aosta Valley.
We had a big morning of packing him a huge bag of food. They're going to be on this coach for about 21 hours. I made certain that all of his clothing choices were appropriate to the occasion, clean and pressed. He has his spending money, deck of cards and a surprise gift of travel Battleship! (I put a book in his bag too, just in case he gets bored. I live in hope.)
You can see from the photo that Henry has his "match day" shirt on. Right after we waved George off on his merry way, we pointed the car east towards Sunderland and The Stadium of Light. George wasn't going to be around to use his season ticket for today's game, so I went instead.
The game today was against Derby (pronounced DARbee) County. The final score was Sunderland 2 -Derby County 1!!! We won!!!!! Sunderland scored the winning point in the last minute of injury time. Talk about jubilation!! I haven't been to a home game since before Henry's mother passed away and I had a great time! I wish I had brought the camera into the stadium so you could see how full it was. 36,000 fans were there today.
The Man of the Place and I will have an entire child free week together. Aside from occasional sleep-overs that George has been on, we have never spend a chunk of time in our own home without children. We will be getting a week long window into what life is going to be like for us in five years. We stopped by a supermarket on our way home from the game. It was liberating to know that we could buy just about anything. Nobody to accuse of trying to poison them with mushrooms or spinach. We also had to remember to scale down the amounts we bought. Its just for the two of us.
Tomorrow I'm off with Polly the Wonderdog to The Lake District and Coniston for a Northern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Picnic Club Walk. Fingers crossed for good weather. The camera is coming with me.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Peg & Ma Conversations

Most of you know all about Microsoft's Instant Message programme, MSN. Both MSN and AOL's Instant Message have really helped me and my mom. Through no fault of her own, my mother is profoundly deaf. She wasn't always that way, she started losing her hearing at about the age of 26. She's going off for a cochlear implant at the end of next week. Please go to her blog to read all about it.

In the meantime, in these days before the thing is inserted into her head and before they tune it in, we use e-mail and instant messages to communicate. It could very well be that we communicate more now than we ever have.

It happens that when I get home from work, Ma is in her office in Washington D.C. and has just booted up the computer in her office. As she is at work, she often has to drop out and go "earn a crust". I feel bad sometimes for interrupting her working day, but when else can I catch her on line? She is often very busy and not at home during the weekends.

With a slight nod to Tink and her daily Hoop conversations, here is the transcript of today's conversation:

Peggy says: Hi Ma, TGIF! What's the mood in the office today?
M. E. says:
hahah....the mood in the office? sinking fast....
Peggy says:
George is leaving tomorrow morning for Italy
Peggy says:
lucky git
M. E. says:
buncha folks out sick. it is colder than hell this morning. the wind sucks the breath right out of you. ihad to go back home and put on my longies and fleece hoodie after i got to dupont circle today.
M. E. says:
wow! i forgot about that. just in the nick of time! it's what...55 degrees down there now? thought i saw t'other day.
Peggy says:
It is pretty mild here today
Peggy says:
no rain either
Peggy says:
How are you feeling? Less than a week to go!! BTW what luck that you can get your shot from student health
M. E. says:
well, wish him buono viaggio for me
Peggy says:
will do - we have to pack him up tonight
M. E. says:
hope he has a swell time.\
Peggy says:
He'll be fine. I don't envy him the journey. They're going by coach to the Alps. Driving across France will take almost a whole day
M. E. says:
yabbut.....wudn't u like 2 b drivin' cross france in a bus tmw? I WOULD!!!
Peggy says:
I bought a buncha goodies for his trip. Id love to be going along. I tried to volunteer, but oddly, they don't need any parents along for this particular trip
Peggy says:
I can ski and say thank you in Italian
M. E. says:
gee...i wonder why not?
Peggy says:
I'm sure that when they take a trip to the sorting centre of the post office, they'll need us parents again.
M. E. says:
how about "where's the bar?" and "i think his hat looks funny, too."
Peggy says:
I can also say More Grappa!
Peggy says:
and "one litre of house wine please"
Peggy says:
important stuff
M. E. says:
if you say "more grappa," your life is in danger. that stuff is WICKED
Peggy says:
that's an after dinner sentence
M. E. says:
i know...even after dinner the stuff smells and tastes like jet fuel
Peggy says:
I got travel battleship and a deck of cards for his trip. I also got him a paperback that looked interesting. I always hope that some book will light the reading touch paper for that kid.
M. E. says:
well, here's to that! btw, did you see maureen's "why i love wisconsin" poem this ayem?
Peggy says:
I did - I wrote back and said that I hope that she wasn't casting aspersions on the state of my birth.
M. E. says:
M. E. says:
i wouldn't brag too loudly about your birthplace...i'm thinking specifically of the hospital in antigo. as uncle jim used to say, "the lady comes in and mops the floor, then half an hour later she comes back wearing a hat and gives you a shot.
Peggy says:
M. E. says:
the food was divine, though. everything was homemade. EVERYTHING, including the bread for the sandwiches and the toast,
M. E. says:
if you were a nursing mother, they'd come by in the evening with a nice leftover roast beef sandwich on homemade bread.
Peggy says:
It always confuses me that none of my boys were ever big readers.
I remember you raving about the food in Antigo. You sure didn't like the food in Bismarck though. "Everything tastes of chemicals, except the coffee which tasted of tin."
M. E. says:
haha....too true. the first time i had a drink of water at our log house, i thought i'd been poisoned! it burned all the way down, and i could taste it for hours after. pure alkali with a heavy dose of iron.
Peggy says:
Gosh, I don't remember having bad tasting water.
Peggy says:
I do remember you buying bottled water for Tom when he was an infant.
M. E. says:
you probably got used to it.
M. E. says:
it was just at the log house that the water was so horble.
M. E. says:
our own well.....eck
Peggy says:
I wonder if they ever connected to the city main. They must have done as the place is no longer on the edge of town.
M. E. says:
most people with their own wells down there had an iron filter and whatever else made it halfway palatable
M. E. says:
gotta bounce....
Peggy says:
Poor guys from Sears having to come out to fix the pump and fainting because of the snakes.
Peggy says:

Instant Message conversations are sometimes double conversations. While you are typing the response to one sentence, a new subject pops up. I'm very well known for changing the subject of a conversation mid-stream.

So, that's what's going on for me. George is off tomorrow for a week in the Italian Alps and Ma is getting a wire stuck in her head. Best of luck to the both of them.

I'd dearly love to be there at about April time when they fire up the cochlear implant and Mom will be able to hear again. I'll see what I can do about that. We could go try listening to music, birdsong, full conversations where I'm not struggling to remember what the ASL sign is for the letter "R". I know that there is a number of sessions that the implantee has to go through until they've reached the final tune in and hearing new sounds will be a gradual thing but I can hardly wait to phone her!

More immediately, The Man of the Place and I are going to be childless for a whole week. It will give us a window into what life will be like in five years time when this last child bolts off to university to drink beer and lose his virginity.

One last thing . . . . Why are all the sons of somebody who dearly loves to read completely uninterested in books?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Worrying Sheep (caution may be upsetting for the squeamish)

It is a bit more serious than telling the sheep that their bills are over due or that there is no after-life. If an untrained dog or dogs get into a field of sheep, they'll chase them down which is bad enough this time of year when the ewes are so heavy in lamb. The dogs can also bite and occasionally kill the sheep.

This happened yesterday morning in the field down the road. In fact, it was a field that we walked past on Sunday during our wonderful walk. I heard woodpeckers. How could something so horrible and violent happen less than 48 hours later?

A large black dog that looked like an over-sized rough coated border collie was seen by the gamekeeper. The dog had a sheep down and was gnawing away at it. The gamekeeper didn't have his gun with him or he would have shot the dog there and then. Farmers and gamekeepers are allowed to kill any dog that is found worrying sheep. The horrible thing was that the sheep was not dead. The dog was chewing away at its hind leg and hadn't killed the sheep.

My friend Innes, whose sheep it was showed me the poor thing later in the day when I was dropping his son Gordon off after school. It's bones were exposed. One of her tendons had been snapped and it could no longer use that rear hoof. Innes was just waiting for somebody to come over with a gun so they could put the poor beast out of it's misery.
This is Innes at a sheep show. This particular sheep won Reserve Champion. Let's hope it wasn't this sheep!

Naturally, it wasn't an ordinary sheep, it was one that he used to show. The ewe was pregnant with two good lambs inside her. They've been lost too. We don't know whose dog it is, but Innes is sure that when discovered and confronted, the owner will deny their dog's involvement.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras!

Woo hoo! Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day! Time to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Eat up all the good stuff before tomorrow because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten fast. If you're really lucky, you'll be in Rio de Janero for the big party.

I'll not be in Brazil but I will be in SW Scotland where we will be having some wonderful crepes. I like them with lemon, butter and sugar. I made apple crepes one year and topped them off with calvados. I don't know what we'll be going for tonight, but we'll be having some good stuff here. Perhaps we'll have potato pancakes. It's not traditional Shrove Tuesday food, but we've certainly got loads of potatoes around here.

I will post tomorrow about Lent and what that's going to mean for me this year.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Glorious Day

We had a real gift of a day. I celebrated by taking the dog and two thirteen year old boys on my favourite dog walk. It was a bit muddier than I'd like, but gorgeous just the same. It was sunny, and wind-free. My good old purple fleece was a bit too much for me by the end of the walk.

I noticed that there were many more deer tracks in the mud than the last time I was up there.

In the shady spots, the puddles had a thin layer of ice on them. The boys discovered that if you lifted the ice carefully, you had a great flat sheet of what looks like glass. Punching, kicking and head butting this ice kept them amused for as long as there was puddle ice to harvest.

Polly ran herself silly. She is now sound asleep. It's funny how energetic dogs are much less obnoxious after you've taken them on a nice long walk.

I know that winter isn't over yet. We can still get a big dump of snow at any time between now and the middle of March. Even so, today felt like spring is on its way.

We were out of potatoes here at the house, so I went along to my old farmer friend Jackie. He and his brother-in-law Winston sell potatoes and fresh eggs. I bought a HUGE 25 kilo (approx. 55 lbs) sack of potatoes for £5. I fear that I have purchased too many. I'll have to share them out with my neighbours or they'll sprout arms before I can use them all. I must say that they make the whitest and fluffiest mashed potatoes. Jackie and Winston raise a few hill cattle as well as a crop of potatoes and sell their spuds to local chip shops.
While I was there getting my potatoes, I decided that I'd get some eggs as well. My chickens aren't laying yet and I may cull them and get better layers. I was invited to stay for a cup of tea. Jackie had been baking and there were some really lovely fairy cakes (cupcakes) and an apple pie to go with tea. What a lovely way to shop!
If anybody runs out of potatoes in the next week or so, please stop by. I've got loads!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Old Man and the Sea

Well, he's my old man.

This is The Man of the Place, 18 metres down under the Red Sea last week, grooving on a jelly fish floating by. The photo was taken by his dive buddy that day, Andy Martin.

Henry is looking very chilled out and happy to be in the sea.

I'm glad to have him home and glad he had a good week diving. Well, even a bad week diving is so much better than a good week at work.

When I look at the photo and I see my dive computer strapped to his wrist, envy does creep in a bit.

If anybody can identify what kind of jelly fish that is, we'd be grateful. My field guides and books of groovy things of the Red Sea don't list that particular jelly.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


On Tuesday when I came home from work, there was a large-ish bird in the cherry tree in the front garden. It didn't recognise it right off as the sun was in my eyes. When it flew over to our big cedar tree, I realized that it was a sparrowhawk. Oooh!
Note: This is where the sparrowhawk WAS - Don't look for him in this photo. He's gone.

Later I saw that it was back in the cherry tree and then hopping all over the top of the hedge in the front garden with a couple of little song birds freaking out below him.

I guess the bird feeders in the small clearing that is our front garden and all the tall trees near by makes for a perfect feeding ground for a hungry sparrowhawk.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Letters

I feel bad for lovers of today. E-mail and phone text has all but killed the love letter.

Years ago, I seemed to have a talent for having a boyfriend that didn't live where I lived. First, they were out of state and THEN my last boyfriend, who later became my husband lived in another country.

This would mean that in addition to having large phone bills, from time to time I would get a nice letter. A love letter. I adored them. Still do. I have all the letters that my husband ever wrote to me from the time we met until we were married. They're wrapped up, in date order and tied with a ribbon from my wedding bouquet.

There is nothing like the giddy thrill of discovering an envelope with your lover's handwriting on it in the pile of post.

You could probably print off the e-mails from your boyfriend or girlfriend and make an archive that way, but it's not the same. I say write more letters and send them by post. It's thrilling.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Nest Material

Did you know that the North American Great Horned Owls are nesting right now? Those poor fluffy little owl chicks. Man - they're hardy birds! The Great Horned Owl has the best owl hoot in the entire world. There was one near my house in Iowa City that came by from time to time to hoot near my bedroom window.

I don't know if anything is actually nesting over here in the UK, but there seems to be a lot of interest in the nest boxes. The next step is catching them hauling nesting material.

As there are thousands of sheep all around the place, birds are not short of nesting material. There is always some wool to be had on the fences. Sometimes, I think if I was industrious enough, I could harvest wool off the fences while walking the dog. Sadly we will never know if I could knit a garment from wool gathered in this manner. I'm never going to get further than thinking about it. Even with all the free wool about, the birds still manage to pinch great chunks off my hanging basket liners. When I find a nest outside the three nest boxes, there is always lots of fibres from my hanging baskets and natural moss in it. We have loads of different varieties of moss around here, covering the forest floors.

George is up at the farm tonight because I have to be out of here at about 5 a.m. to collect The Man of the Place from the Glasgow Airport. I know that George would probably be just fine on his own here at the house, but I feel much better knowing that somebody has taken charge of him. He's going to help them to scan sheep tomorrow morning.

Scanning sheep is a recent (within the past 10 years or so) practice. Somebody with a mobile veterinary scanning unit comes along and gives all the ewes that are expecting an ultrasound examination. Then they can mark the ewes according to what they are carrying. As most ewes carry two lambs, they aren't marked at all. Ewes carrying a single lamb will be marked with a blue dot. Ewes carrying three lambs will be marked with a red dot. The ones that aren't pregnant will be sent to a separate field.

George gets to help Gordon move the sheep from one pen to another as they organise them to file past the sheep scanning person. The scanner can scan very quickly, shouting out the number of lambs inside the ewe so that the person marking the ewe will know which colour to use.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nest Box Update

There has been no noticeable activity in the nest box on the north side of the house that I've signed up to Nest Box Challenge.

There has been some activity in one of the nest boxes on the south or front side of the house. Another couple of Blue Tits checking out the accommodation. This nest box has the same 25mm sized hole as the north nest box. We also have a nest box on the south side of the house with a slot instead of a hole. There was a family of Great Tits in that one last year. I'd really love to get a nest cam. Maybe someday.

With the homemade bird feed that I wrote about the other day, I have mushed a bunch of it directly onto the tree trunks. My thinking is that the nuthatches and woodpeckers will get a feed. They're really not bird feeder type birds. I've been hearing the woodpeckers out on the trees in the mornings again. Lets see if this fat and nuts on the trunks of trees will lure them in.

I've also moved the bird table back to where it was last year when we got our visiting red squirrel. I hope it tempts him back.

We've had almost a whole week of no rain!! There seems to be a bit of snow down south in England this morning. We had one of those clear crisp winter nights last night where the mercury drops further than it has all year.

It seemed that all the stars were out last night. George saw a shooting star. I missed it because I was driving.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Homemade Bird Feed

I took a recipe from Birdchick, a very groovy gal in Minnesota and modified it for UK purposes (made it metric) and concocted my own sort-of-suet-balls.

1 jar of cheap (cheep - snort!) peanut butter 450g - I used crunchy this time
1 block of lard 500g
melted these two ingredients in my big soup pot

Then added
cornmeal - 500 g
porridge oats - "some" approximately 300 g
flour - 300 g

You can also add in some berries or meal worms, whole peanuts, seeds whatever strikes your fancy.

Stir it all together. It smells like you're making peanut butter cookies and the temptation to taste a bit is fierce. I resisted, thinking of my cholesterol levels. Lard won't help the situation.

I spooned it into some plastic containers that were waiting for recycling and popped them in the fridge to re-solidify. I also took a great ladle full out to the bird feeder. An hour later, the chaffinches were giving it the first few pecks.

I've made this specifically for the woodpeckers in the neighbourhood. I'm going to press some of this crumbly stuff onto the trees. The blocks of this stuff will go in the suet cage.

I bought the ingredients for much less than it costs me to buy suet cakes. If the birds like it. I'll do it more often.


I'm fishing for some sympathy here. I have big feet. I always have had them. I knew early on that I could never be Cinderella. That glass slipper wasn't ever going to fit on my foot even if I tried cutting off a toe or two. My feet are US size 10, UK size 8 and European size 42. Big fellas. You'd think I'd be taller than I am with feet of this size.

When I was a barefoot child, I was famous for stubbing my toes. I think I have always had a bit of trouble navigating them or judging the distance I need to have in front of me to prevent the stubbing of toes. I thought I had grown out of that stage and finally developed a bit of grace. Nope. Not me.

This evening, I had to dash out to return some DVDs to Blockbuster. I stepped out of my slippers and was going to pop my feet into my work shoes when I stubbed my toes. Specifically the fourth toe on my left foot - the toe that is right next to my deformed middle toe. Broken in the basket room of the municipal swimming pool in the summer of 1980. The colours that my foot turned when I broke my toe back then were spectacular! Yellow and green right up to my ankle! I had to wear sandals all summer so that there was room for the gauze and tape dressing.

Well, tonight, it smarted when I smashed my toes into a pile of skirting boards that the joiner (carpenter) is going to start putting in our new rooms tomorrow! I said a few ouch ouch ouch ouches, hopped around a bit on the good foot, put my shoes on and got into the car.

I didn't really notice the toes again until I got home. When I took my feet out of my shoes at the back door, I couldn't fail to notice that all the toes of my left foot were covered in blood! I had actually split a toe open. Crikey! My toe had been bleeding for the best part of an hour inside my shoe and covered all the other piggies in an impressive amount of blood.

Because The Man of the Place has the camera this week, you are spared a photo of the gore!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Under the Sea

The Man of the Place is off enjoying his birthday present. You may remember that his birthday was on the 6th of January. My present to him this year was a voucher for three days diving in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. It was credit for three days of diving that were unused at the end of our diving extravaganza in July.

After the New Year and through to the middle of February, holiday companies practically GIVE package holidays away. Encouraged by his voucher for diving, Henry managed to get himself quite a sweet little deal on line. He got a week's accommodation and flights for under £150. One of the perks of having all the years logged on as an employee of the local council, is that my husband enjoys a number extra days paid annual leave. He can be away this week and still have plenty of annual leave for our family's summer holiday plus time off at Christmas.

So with the bargain basement package and his voucher for three days of diving in the Red Sea, he was dropped off at the Glasgow airport yesterday afternoon. He is going to extend the three days into five days of diving (weather permitting). Until now we had the exact same number of logged dives each in our log books. Now, he'll be way ahead of me. On top of that, the Red Sea is a dream diving destination. The number and variety of fish is amazing.

We can't all go diving right now for two reasons 1) we can't afford it and 2) George has school. This is his birthday present. I know how much he will enjoy this. He can also fill up on falafel to his heart's content because there will be nobody to complain about the accompanying flatulence.

So, its me and George and the dog for the next week. We are camera-free too. The Man of the Place has taken our camera and it's underwater housing so that he can come back with envy inducing underwater photographs.

I'm not into diving on wrecks as the boys are, I prefer to look at the pretty fish. Here are some of my photos from the Red Sea in July.
Giant Moray

Regal Angel Fish

Red Sea Banner Fish

Friday, February 02, 2007

Nest Box Challenge

Taking my cue from Birdchick, I've signed one of the Whitelees bird nest boxes for National Nest Box Week.

The timing couldn't have been more fortuitous. I noticed that there were two Blue Tits popping in and out of the nest box just out the north window of our bedroom. Then, on Bird Chick's blog, Border Birds she had an entry about signing garden nest boxes in to a national survey. So, I'm game!
I'll keep you guys updated too. Is it a bit early for nest building? Maybe they're just shopping for a new house.