Here in Crestview and Northwest Florida, we generally have temperate weather, so when it gets cold for several days, it can be a shock to us.

I am so thankful I don't live in the frozen north or Midwest. If you have any potted plants outside, be sure to bring them in so they don't freeze.

This is also a good time of year to clean up your yard. Ours certainly needs it. Leaves can be raked and bagged. Limbs and sticks that have blown down during the past few months can be picked up and thrown away, as well as trimming overgrowth and undergrowth in the yard and pulling any early weeds.

Since things grow more slowly this time of year, it is easier to catch up and spruce up your yard for spring. Now is also the time to be thinking about your spring garden. Think about where and what you want to plant.

Prepare your soil with fertilizer, potting soil and other nutrients before the planting season. This will help you have a beautiful spring garden.

Our new collie thinks yards are for digging holes. We have a myriad in the backyard that Jim, my husband, will be filling in. Hopefully, she will get out of the digging stage soon.

We think she might benefit from some agility training as she just loves to run "zoomies" (racing around the yard as fast as one can, just for fun). Since she is a collie, she would undoubtedly do a great job herding sheep or goats, however, we have no livestock in our backyard.

Have you been faithful in moving more each day and eating healthier? This is a good goal for all of us and one that Jim and I are working on.

I hope that you have also taken the time to change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Having fresh batteries could potentially save your life, or at the very least, save you listening to an obnoxious beeping reminder to change them. Most detectors use 9-volt batteries, which are available at any store that sells batteries.

Stay healthy, Crestview and keep walking.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.