February 1st. One month closer to spring. The temperature has risen and the snow has melted from the back yard. The squirrels can’t figure out what’s going on. Time to order the garden catalogs and start cleaning up the seed starter trays. Hooray.

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Now that I’ve cleaned up my office and my closets and drawers, I’m still lacking inspiration.So much for the notion that purging excess possessions makes you feel lighter and energized.

Got my new iPhone, which is a marvel of technology, but whenever I pick up that lovely rose-gold rectangle, I remember that it costs the same as a one-week all-inclusive vacation at a 5-star resort in a hot country. Hub is still carrying around a12-year old analog model that sounds like a train whistle when it rings. I confess, I replace mine every two years, whether I need to or not.

Of course I want both, but I have to be realistic. This winter hasn’t been so bad, weather-wise, and I don’t feel the urge to escape yet. By the time I do, though, I’ll have rationalized my purchase enough not to mind.

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Not complaining, just agog at the contrast and trade-offs. And the sheer magnitude of what can be done with it. I hardly ever use the phone, in fact. It’s just an add-on to the camera, recorder, movie viewer, music player, podcast maker, etc. I want to get my YouTube Channel (Between the Book Sheets) active, and I’ve got a lavaliere mic and the attachments for my tripod. Hopefully the armoured case I ordered from Amazon will arrive today, so I can stop handling the phone like it’s an egg.

The one good thing about ubiquitous Apple is the store itself and all of the free classes I can take again and again, if I want. Yesterday was basic photography. Today is about learning how to shoot more artistic photos.

My baby brother is sixty today. Good grief – now all the sibs are in senior territory.

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I remember clearly when he was born. My dad took me to stand in the snow outside West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and a nurse held him up to the window so I could see him.

In those days, most women were anesthetized (un-drugged childbirth was considered barbaric) and the docs pulled the bay out with forceps. Children weren’t allowed in maternity wards – fear of germs and such.

In this millennium, I’ve heard of mothers and in-laws and even kids being in the room while mom is giving birth. Now that’s a gross and scary thought.

Call me old school, but labour and delivery are messy, often expletive-laced events and not family entertainment. Until the kid is wiped up, given a clean bill of health and swaddled tidily, I certainly wouldn’t want observers video-graphing my lady parts.

See, I told you I was distracted.

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I have to get back to slashing another 20,000 words from my novel, but even though I know what has to be done and where I need to cut, I’m not motivated. It’s going to get messy before I’m able to sew things up nicely and get the damned thing out there.

Monday. Another day of gratitude.