Monday, January 16, 2012

The Long, Slow Winter . . . Where?

Jane at Hard Work Homestead beat me to the punch this morning when she stated in her post that she has yet to notice a slowing down of time in the winter . . . you know, when we're all supposed to have more time and get to read a lot, stay in our jammies all day, watch as many movies as we want, sleep late . . . that sort of thing. Well, padiddlepoo! It seems to me that just the job of living in the winter takes more time than in the summer. At least for those of us who choose to live in the northern part of the country where we get to deal with the harsher side of Mother Nature.

Even though we've had a scarcity of snow this year, Papa Pea has to scamper up to our roof top frequently to clear this one section of snow.

Our garage roof comes into the house roof at a wonky angle and if we don't keep it snow-free, the sun melts the snow and we end up with a nasty ice dam that causes a leak around the skylight in our back entry porch roof.

Then there's the general snow removal to deal with: the driveway, paths to the wood sheds, animal pens, bird feeders, and keeping the deck clear for the dogs' private lounging area on sunny days.

Since we heat with wood, we need to bring the wood from the wood sheds to the wood box on the back porch, and finally into the house and storage by two stoves in the house and one in Papa Pea's workshop area of the garage.

Don't forget the frequent cleaning out of the ashes from same wood stoves.

Unfortunately, we don't yet have space to get all our vehicles under cover so after each snowfall, they all have to be cleaned of snow and sometimes ice.

Care of the critters takes more time and effort in the winter. They're confined most of the time so they make more of a mess in their living quarters. Water freezes and needs to be replaced a couple of times each day. Eggs tend to freeze, too, so more frequent gathering is needed.

Just getting ourselves dressed each and every time to go outside sure takes more time than in the summer when you maybe have to only change footwear before dashing outside.

Then, of course, we use the winter months to try to catch up indoors on all the odd little (okay, some big) jobs that go by the wayside when we spend so many of our waking hours outside in the nice weather.

When you think about it, it's no wonder there doesn't seem to be a lot of extra time to be had on the homestead in the winter. It's amazing we don't wise up and stop thinking there will be.

If you hear of anyone complaining of the long, slow winter who is bored and having difficulty filling their daylight hours, feel free to send them our way.


Sue said...

I agree! My days just race by. I can't understand (and don't WANT to!) people that are "bored". How awful. My days are filled and I love it. I think I used to have free time, but since hubby retired, well--that's darn near a full time job right there!

2 Tramps said...

Yep, busy here, too. Heating with our antique wood cookstove requires a whole lot of wood chopping and it has to be cleaned every couple of days. Chores in the shop and house fill the winter - all the while we are getting ready for spring and summer. Winter hibernation is but a dream around here!

Sparkless said...

We only have two cats for pets and we heat with natural gas so no pet chores other than scooping the cat box. I'd love to have a yard full of beasties to take care of even in winter.

Judy T said...

With the kind of non-winter we've been having it seems like the outside work never ended except for the garden. We've still been able to do some landscaping work and it's even been warm enough to be able to finish wood in the shop so interior construction/ finishing work has kept going as well. The one difference is that there is no garden to deal with so that frees up a little extra time, which I promptly fill with other things ;-)
But I think I would be totally bored if things slowed down too much.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Ha! I agree with you regarding the retired husband! I do love having him home and we really do more since he's retired . . . in many ways. BUT I do think I got more of the things that were "my" responsibility done when he was gone during the day. Also feel like I could take a little more "me" time when he was not on the premises!

2 Tramps - Yup, even when we get snowed in (what's that?) that only means we have MORE work to do outside.

Sparkless - As much as it seems a dang bother to have to go outside to do chores, I always feel better when I come back in. Something about that fresh, crisp (COLD), invigorating air??

Judy - Your weather must be staying a smidge warmer than ours! I would never want to feel bored . . . but how could I with all the reading, quilting, blogging, etc. I'd do if I had the time!!

odiie said...

Well, that explains it. I was wondering what happened to all of that "free" time. :0 Keep warm this week, we're finally getting some winter.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Yup, we are forecast to get down near zero tonight but it's still 18 at almost 8:30 so I don't know if it's gonna get that cold. We still would like a good dumping of snow . . . please?

Anonymous said...

I am glad I'm not the only one feeling this way. Of course, part of mine is due to working full time again, plus the baby calves and lambs and so on... Stay warm.

dr momi said...

No slow down here either. Lots of winter projects barely started :-)

Stephanie said...

The only thing slow about winter is the time it takes to pass by :P

Karen L. said...

Geez, I had to go take a nap after reading this post because it wore me out!!! As mentioned, in winter there are very little gardening tasks to do but sure enough, the animals need a lot more tending. When we had our "farmette", it seemed like I was going outside more often in winter. And yes, it sure as heck does take longer to get prepared to go out .... remember when the kids were little and all the snowsuit prepping that had to be done? And as usual, get the snowsuit on and invariably, one of the kids would have to potty. Ugh! Ahh, the good old days ....not!

Erin said...

You stated things perfectly! What is going on here? LOL, I find myself looking forward to summer when I will have MORE TIME???? Definitely not the norm. Maybe it's that it has yet to get very cold, so I feel like I should be outside getting my spring cleanup done for planting, the yard is a mess, yet by the time I am able to do that, it's getting dark and I need to cook dinner. I can't seem to catch up yet alone get ahead this winter, and I haven't even opened a book or knitted anything decent yet this winter, Aaaaaargh!!!

Prairie Cat said...

I am slowly coming to this realization, too. I am working just as much this first winter on our farm as I was during the summer when the garden was in full swing!

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - You have my admiration for working full-time away from the farm/homestead AND doing all you do at home. I don't know how you fit everything in!

dr momi - Isn't it kinda scary when you think the winter is half over?

P.S. I STILL can't comment on your blog! :o( I still read it regularly though!

Stephanie - I don't even think it takes time to pass by! I often wish I had a couple more months of winter before the crazy, busy outside season begins! You, my dear, are simply NOT a cold weather gal!!

Karen L. - I think I'd actually rather stuff a kid into snowsuit and all the paraphernalia than stuff MYSELF into all I need to keep warm outside! And once I'm out the door, I often wish I'd made a stop in the bathroom first!!

Er in - When you can't find time to read or knit (or QUILT!) in the winter, we all be in BIG trouble! What are we going to do to fix it so we don't have so many things we're trying to fit into a day's time??

Prairie Cat - Just keep reminding yourself (and that includes me) this is the type life we want to be living. Wanna trade it for a high-rise condo in mid-city? Me neither! ;o}

dr momi said...

Mama Pea I switched my comment "controls" from "imbedded under" to "pop-up" ....see if that makes a diff. .....other blogs were talking about that. :-) I can f-e-e-l you reading my posts LOL.

Will Peartin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.