As the days are lengthening we are beginning to find eggs from more birds each day. Whatever part of the year our hose is usable, my 10-, 7-, 5- and 4-year-old children care for all the animals themselves, except for putting down and maintaining bedding.

In the winter, I do not make them carry 5-gallon buckets of water outside so they have considerably less animal tending to do. I have heard lots of ways to deal with this problem, but I have yet to see one that seems safer or more financially prudent than just filling buckets.

Speaking of filling buckets, don't forget that, as usual this year, you can get two 5-gallon buckets of sand from the shed near the town garage on Skidgel Lane for each storm we get.

At this time of year the annual town meeting usually has a date set, but as was discussed Jan. 25 at the selectmen's meeting, there are obvious obstacles to a normal convening of the "ekklesia." Last year the Maine Legislature enacted a law allowing towns to forgo their regular town meetings under certain circumstances and with certain regulations.

A lot has happened since then, and Freedom actually had our annual town meeting as scheduled last year. This has left us in a curious position throughout the year.

This winter (which is not over yet) has been pretty mild and a mixture of disappointing and heartening. The many small accumulations have been great for finding tracks with the kids and packing new sledding paths, but there is something really fulfilling about having snowbanks 6 feet high along the road. I don't want that. But it is pretty.

I listen to any music that gets recommended to me, not matter how ridiculous it might seem. Some I end up hating but some I end up loving.

"Would you be upset if I told you we were dying, and every cure they gave us was a lie? Oh! They mean it when they say we're dead and doomed and every single symptom brings us closer to the tomb. And who will take the credit for our swift impending fall? Because it's not my fault." — Tomas Kalnoky