The weather — so what else are we going to talk about? Every time we inch a little closer to spring, it snows again. I thought that our buying a snow blower this season would guarantee a snow-free year, but obviously I was wrong.

My husband Tom had knee surgery last week and he's just as glad not to have to make his 26-mile commute to work right now. And I have to give a shout-out to our dear Gray Rock neighbors who have helped with our snow removal and newspaper delivery to our door during this time of Tom's convalescence.

Oh, and the guy plowing our street last week also plowed down our mailbox, which is now precariously perched on a snow drift next to the post. I've contacted DPW with no results. Anyone have any ideas on how to deal with this while the ground is still frozen?

One thing Tom has been doing is planning his next walking tour of the historic district as soon as he is ambulatory. He loves to check out all of the new merchandise that comes in the many little shops up and down the street. I love when he does that too, as he might bring home a bar of soap from Su Casa, a scented candle from Randy and Steve's or some pretty paper napkins from Ellicott's Country Store.

I want to get there with him one Sunday to score some of Nathan's grand pizza at the Little French Market Café, and remind myself that the season for Second Sunday Farmer's Market is just around the corner.

My son Dave was in Fort Lauderdale on business last week (I know, poor thing, right?) and he actually was sorry he missed the latest snow event. He likes the snow as long as he doesn't have to commute too far in it.

A year of dates

While most of us are looking forward to maybe getting out to Sunday brunch soon, one lucky person will be winning an entire year of dates in a contest sponsored by Howard County Tourism. It's really easy to enter. All you need to do submit an original photograph of what you think is lovely in Howard County.

I can think of so many lovely sights in Howard County and I'm sure you can too. How about the view of Clark's Farm from the Iron Bridge Wine Co.? Or the view of Main Street from one of the two-tops in the front room of Tersiguel's? Or the winding Patapsco River from the bridge over to Baltimore County? Or the adorable tiny child blowing bubbles in front of the Forget-Me-Not Factory? Or the first daffodils coming up next to the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin?

You get the picture-and you can submit yours on Tourism's Facebook page or on Instagram with hashtag #lovelyhoco, or mail your entry to Shannon Carney at 8267 Main St., 20143. Entries must be submitted by March 14 and the winner will be announced on March 21 — the first day of spring. The winner will get dates in every season, including restaurant meals, scenic tours, hotel stays and dance lessons. Go for it!

Diamondback Tavern

The Diamondback Tavern has a good lure to get you down to the historic district. On Saturday, March 1, at 9 p.m., it will be featuring the live music of Vinny Vegas. Call 410-313-8320 for more information.

'Jack and the Giant'

The Howard County Center for the Arts is offering a performance by the Kinetics Dance Theater on Saturday, March 15. "Jack and the Giant" will be presented at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. and offers a fresh twist on the classic tale. The Center is at 8510 High Ridge Road. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. For information, and reservations, call 410-480-1686.

Show House

Historic Ellicott City Inc. is in the process of selecting its tDecorator Show House for 2014. Check the website at http://www.historicec.com for selection criteria, and if you would like your home to be considered, call 410-461-6908.