Crazy winter days

yep, dropped that ball again. I think for the most part if it wasn’t expected, it is probably understandable. Right? We have had a slightly busy last few weeks. Yet, in busy, well it is not the same busy I am used to. For a part of it is because we don’t have very long days and part of it is because no one is very motivated.

Last Wednesday I had every intention of posting. However, Nature had a different plan for me. We were to get a big snowstorm starting that night. Of course that meant that I did not sleep Tuesday night. Oh I fell asleep fine, I just woke up in the middle of the night thinking of all the things that should get done before it started snowing. So we all woke up Wednesday morning to me telling everyone what they were going to do. It worked out alright. Natalie brought in wood and I stacked it. Little did we know that we brought in a weeks worth of wood. Our cabin preforms wonderfully as long as it is sunny. Even with it below freezing outside if it is sunny we get to about 60 degrees inside. It is nice. Anyway, Gwendy went around the farm and picked up things that could fly about and put all the tools, buckets, hay forks and such in one place so we could find them after it snowed. Layla brought in our canned goods that were still in the tent since we didn’t have a place to put them yet in here. We really did not want everything freezing and not only breaking our canning jars but ruining all the work I had done canning. Then Jack and I worked on trying to insulate our water tank. It didn’t work by the way. Our tank froze and now we have no water. That is interesting. We are hoping to get a 55 gallon barrel in here soon so we can have water again. Let me say that not having water means I don’t do dishes much. We got straw to bed down all the animals. Then we moved onto fixing the pig structure a little so when we got the insane winds they would be more comfortable. In all, we woke up and were out the door by 7:30 and were working hard until after noon. We got things done and it was good. Though at one point while we were working on the pig structure I told Jack that even with all the things we had and were doing there was probably something that we forgot. We were sure that we were going to have to go outside at some point during the blizzard and have to do something. Well, turns out we were wrong. Everyone was fine. Of course, we did not get the foot of snow that was called for. However, we haven’t seen above freezing since this happened either.

That night we got to unwind and not think about the coming storm. A birthday party was happening at DR. So we all got to go. It was great. It was a fancy dress party. There was also a contest involved. Jack, even gimpy, participated in the dance part of it, so did the girls. Gwendy also particpated in the talent portion. Well, Joan asked her for help. See, Joan is the strongest person in the world. You may not know this and that is alright. But now you do know. So, since Gwendy is made of iron and Joan needed someone to show how strong she was, she picked up Gwendy. Joan also picked up a man who is somewhere around 275 pounds and twirled him around, but that obviously is not as impressive as picking up Gwendy. Gwendy made quite an impression on the judges. Her poise and confidence was astounding. Gwendy won first prize. Oh and Gwendy was also wearing Layla’s old halloween costume of a rose fairy. She was simply stunning. Really it was great fun with many laughs and the crazy surprise of Gwendy winning over all the wonderful talent and beautiful dresses that were there that night. It was cold and rainy when we got home but it hadn’t started snowing just yet.

Of course, I didn’t sleep that night either waiting for it to start snowing. Oddly, the snow didn’t start until around 7:30 the next morning. We only got somewhere between four and six inches. It is hard to tell since the wind was insane. Which also made it really hard to start a fire come morning. We were decently toasty during the day though. We got to look out the windows at the amazing sight of wind and snow and were comforted by the fact that the animals all seemed to be doing just fine. I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the snow. I do have to say that looking out at our leasehold was a sight that almost took my breath away. Seeing the animals out grazing and well at least the sheep and the cows didn’t care at all was amazing. Since the temperature hasn’t really gotten above freezing the snow is pretty hard packed. We have layers of ice which makes things interesting and slightly dangerous. The girls have had a lot of work when it comes to getting the animals water. We have also had issues with our buckets freezing and then breaking. It isn’t fun. We actually had to go out yesterday and buy different buckets and hopefully they hold up to the weather here. It is tough for the girls though. They say that shortly after they get water from the cattle waterer it turns to slush in their buckets. The animals seem to be doing fine though. Even with the cold and the wind we have only seen the ducks with a little bit of frostbite on their legs and a few chickens with some frost damage on their combs. It has been cold though. This past week has also been cloudy. I have been checking the weather obsessively hoping that soon we will get above freezing and/or the sun will come out again. Today is starting out sunny but it is supposed to cloud up again very soon.

Since it isn’t very sunny that means our power has been low. Not so low that we can’t get online when we need, but low that we can’t use the freezer. This was bothering me for awhile. I mean, geez, it is cold and cloudy and we need our freezer. That is when I thought I was being really silly. So I cleaned out our freezer and put everything in a box outside our window. So now our freezer is a box outside our window on top of our frozen water tank. So part of me is glad that we aren’t getting above freezing, but another part of me still isn’t happy.

We had a nice Yule celebration. It amazes me and I sometimes wonder what is so different about my kids. That they are happy with the simplest things. We have our tradition of cinnamon rolls that are shaped/decorated like a tree. This year I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls and used colored sprinkles to make a tree. We also have a tradition of painting our tree. This started when we lived in Hawaii and could not have a tree because our living space was so small. It was definitely a good thing this year too. It is nice to see how our trees have changed throughout the years. When we started Natalie was the only one painting and she was three. Now Gwendy is the youngest at five. Our trees have changed A LOT in those years. Still, Yule is a very quiet holiday for us. We exchange gifts. This year the girls made everyone something. I got a very nice headband. The girls have grown out of me making them gifts and have now started to ask for their own craft stash. They got a lot of sewing supplies this year, including their OWN fabric shears. It was a quiet day of sewing and knitting and reading.

That is another thing that has been happening. Jack has been making shelves and we have been finally taking things out of storage. Things we haven’t had or seen in over two years. The girls, after getting all their books, talked me out of doing school this week, it wasn’t hard. They promised to read at least three books a day. The first day they each read over eight. They also got a lot of their toys yesterday. Gwendy has been reunited with Minotaur. She has had a fascination with Minotaur since she was just months old. It is great to see them so happy and for us to finally be settling. So wonderful.

So that is what has been happening here. I would say it is a calm craziness. It isn’t really calm, but sometimes something happens and it takes away all the crazy. Right now the thing that takes away the crazy is the moon. You would not believe it and I shudder to think of what it would be like if the nights were clear. I know I have talked about how bright the moon is on a clear summer night. How you can distinguish color and almost read. Well, the past week with the snow on the ground the moon has been giving off so much light it is almost hard to sleep. There have been a few times I have woken up and thought the sun was coming up. Looking outside on these nights and seeing the snow sparkle, it looks like some sort of fairy land. That takes away my crazy. Seeing my children come in freezing and sweating at the same time and sit down in front of the fire to read books they have been missing takes away my crazy. Seeing things finally having a place and being settled. There still is not enough daylight hours. We are still heading upstairs around seven or so and getting somewhere like ten hours of sleep a night. I am looking forward to more light and glad that Yule has come and gone and we are getting some longer days now. I keep hoping that this will give us some more time to get the things done that we need to get done.

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