Another Snow Day

So it turns out that last week’s snow was not destined to be our only snow of the year. Yesterday we woke up to this.

IMG_5895

IMG_5919

IMG_5934

IMG_5905

IMG_5925

IMG_5929

In a few days we’ll have temperatures in the high 50’s again, so this won’t be here long.

And now the question becomes, what kind of March does nature have in store for us this year?

Rethinking Your Lenten Fast

On Sunday Seedbed published a blog post by me on the subject of Lenten fasting.  Go check it out HERE  if that sounds interesting.

Here’s the conclusion:

Rather than merely taking a temporary respite from some minor personal pleasure, perhaps we should see this Lenten season as an opportunity to commence a “perpetual fast” from “inferior appetites,” such as food that we know to be destructive of our health. At a minimum, might we not be able to identify one or two things that we know to be harmful to our health, and in the spirit of the solemnity of Lent begin the process of removing them from our lives altogether?

Snow Day

It started snowing last Monday afternoon and continued through the night. On Tuesday, we woke up to this.

IMG_5776

For many of you this snow would be unremarkable. For us, 3-4 inches is a big deal.

IMG_5769

Ginny’s ancestors are from Labrador. She’s enjoying our record cold temperatures.

IMG_5764

IMG_5709

IMG_5780

Looks like the wind carried away a shutter.  It didn't notice that until posting this.

Looks like the wind carried away a shutter. It didn’t notice that until posting this.

The Fatties don't seem to mind the snow.

The Fatties don’t seem to mind the snow.

It made for a beautiful day, but these kinds of things don’t last long around here.  A few days later we had 58 degree weather and it was all gone. I don’t miss it.  Still, it was pretty while it lasted.

IMG_5710

Noticing Things

Sometimes we can see things so many times that we just stop noticing them, no matter how striking or beautiful they were when we first saw them.  That happens to me at least.  Back when I worked in an office visitors would comment on what a beautiful view I had.  But I’d long ago stopped noticing. The same thing happens here sometimes (but I’m trying harder to resist it here).

Or it can small things that we’ve seen so many times we no longer really notice them.

Take my closet for example.

IMG_5677

I’m sure your eyes were drawn immediately to a strange-looking thing, which seems weird and out of place in a man’s closet.

Here’s a closer look at it.

IMG_5369

My daughter made it for me in pre-school about 20 years ago.  It’s a coin bank and I’ve been emptying my pockets into it for a couple of decades.  It has an outline of her hand on it and is precious to me.

But these days I can go years without really stopping to contemplate it. Happens all the time, with all sorts of things.

Oh, and there are a couple of other unusual things in my closet too.

IMG_5377

I found these on the farm years ago near one of the old houses, separately, at different times and places.  It seemed a shame to throw them away, so I put them in my closet.

I thought they were interesting.  Still do.  But I’ve seen them there for so long I don’t really pay any attention to them any more.

The closet opens into our bathroom.  Recently Cherie told me that we had a plumber over once doing some work in the bathroom.  She said he kept glancing nervously over into my closet and she reckoned it was because of the head.

But I can understand that.  I’m sure it must have looked bizarre then, because that was before I got rid of the spider webs that were in the eye sockets.

Bolder

The deer who has taken up with out goats is getting bolder.

When they see me in the pasture the goats come to me in hope of a treat.  Usually the deer keeps her distance, but this time she came with them.

IMG_5794

IMG_5796

IMG_5797

IMG_5799

She’s still too shy to come all the way though.

I think I'll just wait right here.

I think I’ll just wait right here.

Preparation

Our mild winter lulled had me into a false sense of security. But just as we were cruising along through a warm sunny winter, we got hit with a record-shattering Arctic blast.

Now I know that what feels like crazy Ice Age cold to us is just a normal winter day to some of y’all. But we’re not used to it.  And in my case, I wasn’t ready for it.

Until a couple of years ago I always had at least one full woodshed at all times.  I tried to let the wood dry and cure for a year before I burned it.

But as we’ve gotten busier on the farm in the non-winter months there just hasn’t been much time for cutting wood.  So I’ve been doing it all in the winter.

By December this year my reserve was almost all gone and the wood I was cutting was going straight to the stove that week. But instead of just setting aside a few days to cut enough wood to carry us all the way through, I would usually only cut enough for the next few days.

Then when the temperatures plunged we started burning a lot more wood.  On top of that the snow and ice made it difficult for me to get into the woods and I’d already used up all the low-hanging fruit. So when we needed wood the most, we came perilously close to running out.

We made it through, but barely.  And even if we had we run out we wouldn’t have frozen.  We have propane heat as a backup.  When the wind chills were sub-zero it was tempting to just turn things over to the propane company. But I was able to scrounge up enough wood to keep the fire going and now we’ve made it through the worst of it.

The lesson in this is to take advantage of those warm winter days to get the woodshed filled.  Time will tell if I learned it.