We have made it to February! Wintertime is one big mind-game for me. I really love it at the beginning. And I love parts of it all the way through. But then the deep cold days set in and it really is mind over matter. I try to tend to all of my five senses with candles, music, cozy clothes, baking, cooking and, honestly, the fire in the woodstove basically saves the whole season for me.
Here’s a little glimpse of our winter this far.
Most exciting is that the kids all got snow discs this year. The very best sledding day was the day after a rain/ice storm in December. There was no snow in the field, but every spike of grass was coated in ice and the kids flew across the field.
This was a huge and windy storm that left fantastic drifts. Super fun on the bunny hutch, but Rory was worried about the weight on the roof of the barn. What do you say? All I can do in these moments is pray and…grab my camera.
We have four goats and seven sheep this winter. It’s very exciting to know those numbers will multiply in March! That’s our new Billy Goat in the back corner…he doesn’t like people, which is fine. We just need him to like goats. I named him Mr. Tumnus, like the goat-guy in Narnia.
There is much rejoicing around here when a day is above freezing. My kids will tell each other excitedly, “It’s packing snow!” For them, this means snow forts and snowmen. For me, this means sticking smiley faces to all the trees by the road.
And we’re still walking every night! It has been a very cold winter, and even though my attitude can be sour while bundling up, and am ALWAYS glad after we get back. We walk one mile each night and I imagine this must be the very best thing I am doing this winter to fight the winter blues.
Also super helpful: Elsie has become the bread baker! She LOVES it! And the bread is amazing. When she is done, the kitchen is coated in flour and all of my dish rags have a sticky dough glue in every hole, but again, the bread is fantastic and Elsie is happiest while baking. A total joy.
In January I became an enthusiastic member of the Deep Winter Canning Club. I thought I was just lazy in September when I burned out of canning tomatoes. But I was actually giving myself a gift in January! I boiled my thawed tomatoes and the kitchen smelled of summer and was humid from all the evaporating and the water bath. For two days I processed tomatoes with complete gladness.
And that sort of paints the whole picture. I am fully expecting another six weeks of winter, because this isn’t my first rodeo, and there is often snow on my birthday… So we will continue to get outside, hunker by the fire, and enjoy all the cozy things before the Springtime Train starts up with all the new animal births, seed planting, tree tapping and project plans that come with it.
This brought tears to my eyes. I’m 65, and the “exciting” years of raising family are long ago. It’s just us two now and I’m so glad to have at least “us”, to have a reason to be; the children and families are so far away. Enjoy your walks and your canning, and other responsibilities. They make for a wonderful life!