When I looked outside this morning, I saw some very interesting ice crystals that had grown out of the earth last night. I now know that the crystals grow by adding to the bottom of the structure. You can see dirt and pebbles perched on the tops of the ice spikes after taking the ride upward through the night:

Here's a funny plumbing story. We noticed that the kitchen faucet flow rate was quite slow. The weird thing about it was that the hose sprayer - which feeds from the same main 1/2-inch line - had plenty of power. So, I unscrewed the aerator from the end of the faucet nozzle and found a small piece of some kind of gasket thing blocking the tiny hole that allows a limited amount of water through. Where this piece of junk came from, I don't know. It doesn't really matter, and now we have decided to leave the aerator off for faster water flow. Problem solved. Fast and free!

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