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[From my blog: http://thebeetgoeson.blogspot.com]

When I opened the curtains this morning, the sky was overcast. Our streak of nice-ish weather seemed over.

A while later, after The Spouse and children left, I looked out the window and saw people on the street carrying umbrellas.

That's not good.

Just a moment ago, I thought it suddenly seemed quite dark in here. I looked up.

It's snowing.

The kids went to school today in sneakers.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's Moscow. Expats tell me they've seen snow here in June.

But, see, the thing is . . . we now also have . . .

MOSQUITOES.

I had to shut the windows last night and turn on the AC (since the central heat is still on . . . good thing, too, cuz, it's like, snowing out there . . .). I went through my stash of plug-in mosquito repellent gadgets. I have no repellent to put in them. I even looked at the grocery store yesterday, but they still have the shoe polish display front and center.

It's too early for the mosquito repellent products.

But poor Spouse and Skittles: mosquitoes ignore me, but find them delicious. Especially Skittles. There was a rush for the anti-itch gel this morning.

In cheerier news, I seem to have solved the pussy willow mystery. All over town, I have seen people carrying small sprays of pussy willow. There are often babushkas outside the Metro selling them. I like pussy willow okay, but always preferred forcing forsythia in an effort to bring a little spring indoors.

Well, it seems there is a religious significance to the pussy willow here. It's not Palm Sunday, but Pussy Willow Sunday.

Palm branches weren't something one found this far north (although, you don't see many palm trees in the American Midwest either, yet everyone has a palm for Palm Sunday). Further, it seems, the people of Jerusalem cut "leafy branches" to lay before Jesus. The Orthodox Church doesn't see any strict requirement there, so any type of branch may be used.

So there you have it: your fun fact for the day.

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