I love winter. Or rather, I love it until about the end of February, at which point I want spring to come. But right now I'm enjoying cozy days in front of the fire (actually, I'm finishing a book, so mostly they are freezing days up in my chilly office, but since this is book #5 written at least partly over a cold season, I'm used to it - at least I now the fire is there ;-))), knitting, waiting for my seed order to come, thinking up other things to put on a few additional seed orders (Brad sent me a link to this wonderful resource if you are looking for something specific - Mother Earth News' Seed Finder) that usually get made late, winter sowing, canning up applesauce and other goodies from the root cellar and otherwise, taking advantage of the comparative quiet.
I love that the cookstove warms the house all day and seems to demand I put in a pan of pumpkin-chocolate chip bars and place a pot of Avgolemono soup on the back of the stove. I don't mind hauling wood, and I like visiting the barn in cold weather. Actually at the moment, it isn't all that cold - temps are supposed to peak near 50 today, and in the plans is an opening of all the windows I so carefully sealed up a month ago to let in fresh air and recirculate.
After that we're repairing, repainting and redecorating the kids' bedroom (we haven't done any of that since Asher moved in with his brothers when they were 2, 4, 6 and 8 - they are now 7, 9, 11 and going on 13 - of course we are doing it with used items.) And there are a host of smaller projects. But mostly I'm finishing the book, enjoying the winter and the last month of my maternity leave, and waiting...
So what about you?
Um....did I read "maternity leave"? Mmmmm. Did I miss something?
I'm learning to heat with wood and passive solar, plotting a root cellar (having had one, I hate being without one in the new house!), and figuring out where the fruit trees will go.
Ah, working, and dreaming of spring. Also trying to learn about indicator plants, so that when in a couple of years I buy land, I'll be able to judge something of its fertility, wetness, and so forth by the weeds and shrubs and native growth there.
Planning grape plantings along with hazelnut plantings. Workin' like a dog on the business. Insulating. 5th year in a row. Caulk is easier to apply in the right places when you can feel the 10 degree cold air blowin' in. Someday that heating bill will drop. Someday...
I'm slowly getting over a vicious, vicious cold. Yesterday and today were warm enough to get outside and do a bit of pruning and shaping on the adolescent fruit trees. Other than that, I've mostly huddled with books and dvds the last couple of weeks. I've put off thinking about the seed and root stock orders for the moment. Usually I've read and marked up all the seed catalogs many times over by mid-January, but this year I'm content to wait for the group seed order in early February.
I am spending this winter, with my husband and two young daughters, in Oaxaca Mexico with my in-laws. Right now, it's an uncomfortable 85 degrees in my bedroom, and it hasn't rained since October. Truth to tell, I am missing the long, cool, wet winter of my homeland, northwest Washington state. But it helps, a little, that all my relatives wish they could trade places with me.
i've been taking advantage of the mild mid-atlantic winter by growing lettuce and peas under what i guess are low tunnels. haven't harvested peas yet but there are abundant flowers, and have had salad non-stop. been cleaning out briars and ivy in the back of our small yard in hopes of getting hazelnuts soon. also looking into getting high tunnel hoops over my main garden area and seeing if i can direct the furnace output vent through it for next winter.
My ground actually thawed (SE Michigan), so I prepared a bed in the vegetable garden, and harvested some leeks and potatoes.
Julie: hazelnuts are common near me, but it is uncommon for me to harvest many - the wild animals get almost all, even in a big year. Hope you do better.
I guess so, Elizabeth. We took a foster placement of a newborn baby back in July, Baby Z. After a few weeks, I decided I'd cut waaay back on blog posting, so that I could give to this little guy the same time and attention that I had my others. It has been great - he's a happy, healthy, thriving six month old now, and signs are looking fairly good that he might stay with us (although anything can happen in foster care and usually does) for good. I officially said I'd be back from maternity leave in mid-February, so that's the general plan.
Ohhh, gotcha! Yes, of course I remember Baby Z....I just thought.....well, that maybe you had already made another baby announcement that I somehow missed..... especially since none of the other comments addressed your "maternity leave". Sorry about that! :)