It has been a gray day. Not exactly cold -- but not warm either -- and very gray. Low-lying clouds brought in by the advancing cold front (or perhaps from the advancing warm front coming up from the Gulf of Mexico) hung in the air, depositing a fine mist upon everything. Not enough to work the windshield wipers, but enough to be noticed, and felt upon the skin.
I worked this morning in the church office, as I do on every Monday (except when I declare myself a holiday.) I finished and mailed the year-end required reports to the state withheld tax division and to the Internal Revenue Service, calculated and prepared the January payroll checks, and remitted the withheld federal taxes to the appropriate governmental agency. It's all done online now, which in someways makes it easier, and in other ways more difficult. I've worked with payroll, and relevant taxes, for over 40 years, but it takes this old dog a bit longer to learn new tricks. I frequently have to refer to the several pages of paperwork received from the IRS last fall to be sure I'm doing it properly.
After leaving the church, I made a quick run by Gardening Daughter's home. She, hubby and the youngest child are in Texas visiting their son, who is stationed (oh, so sad...not!) at the Coast Guard Station on South Padre Island, leaving the care of the home in the hands of their daughters, aged 23 and 17. Older daughter has a job nearby and the 17 yr old is a junior in high school. Grandma, that would be me, makes two or three runs to the house during the hours they are both away to allow the dogs (Buddy and Snuggles) to roam the large fenced yard for ten or fifteen minutes. I don't mind this small duty at all. I'm just delighted that last year, after seven years of living in the house, they finally fenced the yard. I used to have to walk the dogs on leashes to let them do their business. That's OK in warm, dry weather, not so thrilling when it's cold and damp.
When I got home, I felt the need for a bit of color. First, I made a flowery greeting card for a far away friend who needs a special hug. We stampers like to say that "A handmade card is a hug with a fold in the middle." I got the card in the mail and, still seeking some color, I started looking through some of my old computer files containing photos I took a couple of years ago. Lots and lots of flowers, but they were not what I wanted. Then I came across the one above. It was just what I was looking for. And, this one:
These photos were taken at a local garden nursery which I visited in the company of Gardening Daughter and my then 4 yr old granddaughter. I was captivated by the nursery's beautiful Koi pond, and took several photographs of it that afternoon. I learned from reading the Wikipedia article (the link provided above) that Koi are among the longest-living vertebrates on Earth, some surviving for over 200 years!
I feel quite uplifted by these splashes of color!
More, later. Tomorrow is also a day.