Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Winter of No Sun

Oh, woe is me, how long are these gray, damp, dreary, sunless days going to drag on??

Solar power energy, sadly lacking.  Sunshine for greenhouse growing, near to non-existent.  Ice on all outdoor surfaces covered with water, good fer nuthin'!

Along with our grayness this winter, we've had higher than normal temperatures.  Wouldn't you think we who choose to live up here near the tundra would be happy about that?

Not so.

Temperatures above freezing this time of year mean lots of melting.  You might think that would indicate the snow will disappear earlier than usual and green grass and warm garden soil are just around the corner.  Nope.  What it means is ice.  And more ice.

No one is too happy about the thawing going on at the moment.  We all know freezing weather is most likely getting ready to descend upon us once again which means all this melting will soon be hard ice rather than the slippery, sloppy liquid we're presently sloshing around in.

For the past week or so we've had rain/sleet/freezing drizzle with a small amount of snow thrown into the mix.  We still have March, and most likely a good part of April, to get through with temps cold enough for real snowfall.  (Did you know, on the average, we get the most inches of our snow in the month of March?  No wonder spring doesn't come early up here.)

There is still plenty of cold weather to come in the next month two months three (?!) months.  We're certain to have more snow which, to my mind, is so much more preferable than the awful, damp, wet-wet-wet weather we're experiencing right now.

On the up side, and there always is an up side if we choose to focus on it, this weather is perfectly fine for inside projects.  (And also an intelligent choice rather than literally risky life and limb by being outside on the treacherous ice any more than necessary.)

Take for instance:

Reading -- I'm actually finishing books before
they're due back at the library.

Knitting -- Eighth (!) pair of socks nearly

Garage Cleaning -- Husband's current task
and, boy howdy, is he making good progress.

Plans for New Grow Houses and Poultry
Pens -- Again, mainly Papa Pea's endeavors,
but I get to put in my two cents' worth.

Sorting Through (way too many) Books
in My Quilt Room -- Twelve (oh, the fortitude
I'm exhibiting) are slated to go to
the library for their annual book sale.

Baking Bread -- Still at it, today
it's a new recipe for good ol' white bread.

Preparing and Eating Those Meals That Taste
the Best This Time of Year --
Today it's pork chops, homemade
sauerkraut, scalloped potatoes,
fresh frozen Brussels sprouts from the
garden and gingerbread with
whipped cream for dessert.

Ordering Some Things I've Been
Agonizing and Debating About For-EVAH --
Hubby's unspoken opinion:  "Oh, fer
criminy sakes, just DO it and be
done with it!"

Taking a Snooze on the Couch -
Tried that the other day and felt AWFUL
when I got up.  The body (or at least mine)
is not meant to sleep during daylight hours.

Still, there might be more energy and enthusiasm for the above listed inside projects (and who knows how many more) if some bright sunshine could be seen through the windows.  We sure wouldn't complain about that.  


Kim said...

I am a sunshine lover and believe it does a body good. I love me some sunshine and it makes me move faster and think clearer too.

Sparkless said...

It's been a very warm winter here too. The rain has melted all the snow and today I found a pansy blooming in our garden!

Sue said...

We got the rains as well and I can't begin to estimate how thick that ice is in the driveway and on the road. Our road doesn't get sun until mid-April, due to the TALL pines on the south side of said road, so unless the road commission decides to part with some salt (ha hahahahhahahahaha), every walk will be with cleats and any driving will be at a snails pace.
I love all the things you keep busy with.
Can you imagine that there are people out there that are BORED??????? What???????
Stay safe, dear lady. You don't want to end up with a broken bone before gardening starts!!!!!

Leigh said...

Living where we get a lot of ice, I know what you mean! It's way worse than snow. At least you are putting the time to good use!

gld said...

We have been very gray here this winter too. When the sun finally broke through a few days ago, it almost blinded us!

Your meals sounds wonderful except for those Brussels sprouts!

Expound on those 'grow houses' please.

Mama Pea said...

Kim - Sunshine DOES do the body good . . . it's a proven fact. We all need the sun on exposed skin especially during the winter months People in our area with S.A.D. must be suffering this winter.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - A pansy blooming in your garden??!! Aren't they just the toughest little things?

Mama Pea said...

Sue - We've had so much ice this winter that the road crews are down to "just about out" on the salt pile.

A friend called yesterday to let me know some yarn she had ordered for me arrived but to NOT try to come to her house to get it as their driveway (on a slight slope) is so bad it's impossible to navigate it.

If I broke a bone before gardening season, you would be one busy gal traveling to my house to help one day and then back to your house the next! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - I think so many of us in the northern areas forget just how very much ice you folks in the more southern areas do get. I always think of friends who retired to your area (in the mountains though) and ended up ice-bound much more than they were ever snowbound here!

Mama Pea said...

gld - Yes, what's with this very gray, cloudy winter, huh?

Both my hubby and I are amazed at how we still have Brussels sprouts in the freezer . . . and we love them and eat them at lot! Guess our harvest was bigger than we thought. Please come visit and let me try to entice you to eat some . . . buttered with salt? Mmmmm, good! ;o]

I definitely will expound on the grow houses as we get into the construction of same this spring/summer. Up here we need to extend our growing season at both ends and the grow houses will be simple stick construction covered with greenhouse plastic. In the winter we're going to experiment with them housing ducks and geese!

odiie said...

Yep. Most driveways were impassable on Friday.
Did you see the sun yesterday afternoon? It came out here in all it's glory. Today....more snow and clouds.
I wish I could get as much done in the house as you do on these days. I run too much, and I don't mean the good exercise kind. :)

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Ha, love that list of things to do indoors. I was complaining to Hubby that our library is carrying more ebooks than the real books on newer books. He said the same thing...just buy it. Hope you get sunshine soon. We are getting it today again. I hear we are to get more snow soon too.

Rain said...

Winter has been up and down here too. Yesterday we got a heap of snow, then it rained all night. So we have a "crunchy" backyard this morning. The dogs weren't too thrilled and did their business in a hurry! It makes all the snow on the roof really heavy too, we have to assess if it needs clearing because it's going down to minus 20 Celcius tonight again and once it freezes, it'll be impossible to clear until the sun warms it up...and like you, our sun is hiding a lot these days! Good thing is that the birds and squirrels are out at the feeder again, which is always fun to watch. :)

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Nope, no sun at all here yesterday. Temp dropped overnight to around 15° and we woke to an inch or so of snow. Still coming down lightly.

You're "running" still uses up calories . . . more than my sitting knitting. (Maybe I need to learn to knit while walking from place to place like those old-time Scandinavian gals!)

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Enjoy your sunshine . . . for cleaning out the chicken coop! (Hey, better than doing it on a gray, damp, ishy day!)

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Yes, because of our rain/sleet/snow the pile up on our roofs is very, very heavy, too.

Our birds and squirrels have been active all winter even though in the warmer temps I don't think they've needed quite as much food for energy to keep their little bodies warm enough. They seem to stuff themselves regardless!

Bobbie said...

Many gray, wet days here too in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon). Not as bad as you've got it -- no snow or sleet where I live but wet, soggy ground that is so heavy my boots get stuck!

I'm being productive inside though. Learned to make bread (YEAH!). Planning our new vegetable garden and doing some in-door weeding (de-cluttering). I also have lots of crocheting to work on to keep me busy but nothing compares to the comfort of the warm sun, being outside and working the land.

Mama Pea said...

Bobbie - Even without snow or sleet or ice, having ground so soggy your boots get stuck is no fun!

Love your in-door "weeding" or de-cluttering! I'll have to remember that . . . weeding outside in the summer, weeding inside in the winter! :o]

Susan said...

Same here - with the exception of Saturday, which was so completely wonderful! I even hung clothes on the line!