Nature's Thermometer

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First the snow, then the rain, then the deep freeze. Here are my beloved rhododendron with icicles beginning to form. Just outside the kitchen window, the leaves tell me how cold it is. When they're closed tight I know it's well below freezing. When they open up I know it's not that bad. But either way, I don't mind grilling outdoors all winter long as, once I get close to the grills, their heat keeps me warm! My excuse for expanding the kitchen several years ago was so that I could put in a hood and fan over the cooktop that would vent to the outside. But then I found that grilling outdoors keeps the kitchen and rest of the house cleaner and free of smoke and the results are better as well. Surprisingly, I found that when the fire place is lit in the living room, if I turn the kitchen fan on it sucks the smoke out of the fire place and all over the house! Still, I have no regrets about having done the renovation. And in the not too distant future there will be a baker's kitchen in the basement. Of course postings to come!