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Your winter blues story cheered me up tonight after crying all day upon finding my little parakeet dead in her cage. She was elderly and probably died a natural death, but it was very sad. About the winter blues - fortunately, my husband was willing to move away from Minnesota to a warmer and sunnier place. MN was gray and dreary most of the winter and the cold was unbearable for my asthma. Texas can be dreary too in winter, but without the cold and snow. The bad thing here is that peonies and lilacs don't grow well so I live without them. To wake up our winter landscape, I plant things that have red winter color, but there are also many things that stay green all year, so there are always things to see and always signs of life such as buds ready to sprout on the rose bushes and blueberry bushes in January. Someone once said that to garden is to have hope (or faith in the future?). It's true. As for cleaning projects, we all have these challenges and understand. Too much stuff and will it ever be used? If I can't find a place to store it, it goes.