This is my first "real" winter in my place. I moved in last February, and while it was cold, and I got some snow, it's not like early winter this year!
Before Christmas, it snowed for several days, then melted, and then snowed, and then melted, never melting completely off, so when it snowed for 2 days straight over Christmas, I ended up with 8-10" of the white stuff.
Other than the previously mentioned bucket brigade to get water to the animals, it's ok. I like snow. I like under a foot of snow. In Reno, the year that I moved to Oregon, I had 3 feet of snow, with drifts over the top of the hood of my 4wd Dodge truck (and sub-zero nights...)! I did NOT like that...
Tang is unfazed by the white stuff - in fact, she eats a lot of it, lessening the water chores. I still take buckets down each morning, bust the ice out of her trough and fling the ice floes out on the ground, but while she drinks some, she's clearly getting enough elsewhere. She also frequently has "elf toes" - hooves full of packed snow, which falls out when she gets excited about her next meal.
Given that it's almost a full-time job to keep my house warm with the wood stove, I'm spending a lot of time inside.
This weather is perfect for knitting. Well, "Duh," you say!
I've been exploring some patterns in my head, and knitting more hats (see here for the latest), a hat for my sister.
With my free-lance work becoming increasingly unpredictable, I'm faced with trying to find a job in an area with roughly 20% unemployment. While I would like to be able to work from home (dyeing, knitting, traffic plans, etc.), none of those add up to enough to make sure that I can pay the bills and have enough left over for emergencies (as Tang's colic demonstrated very clearly). I'll keep working towards developing the alternative income sources, but in the meantime, I'll need to find something steady.
I'm hoping to get over to the valley soon - I'm almost out of coffee. We don't have a WinCo on this side of the Cascades, and they have a Kona blend that's $6/lb. It's quite good. When I get over the mountain, I always stop there and stock up (it's a very inexpensive place to shop), and try to have 2 lbs. of coffee in the freezer at any given time. Their bulk flour is Bob's Red Mill, and I'm looking forward to exploring their gluten-free options.
I'm going to work on eliminating wheat from my diet - it's going to be a bit like not having mushrooms (having to read every label), but I've proved to myself that I can still bake, making GF spritz cookies for Christmas. Everyone loved them, and most didn't even know they were made without "normal" flour. I found this great blog, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, and I'm using that as a starting point. Obviously, meat and veggies and salad are wheat free (not counting dressing), so I've got a good motivation to start using the copious amounts of meat in my freezer!! I love to cook, but it's hard to cook for one. Mostly, I make more, and freeze the left-overs (unless it's something really good, and I have it for breakfast and lunch the next day!). Finding this blog, with her success in substituting alternative flours in baking, removes the main reason that I've put off leaving wheat out of my diet - bread!! I'll have to experiment a bit, but I'm looking forward to it. Anything truly hideous will become bird food...
On that note, I wish for all a happy, peaceful and fulfilling New Year. May yours be filled with what delights and inspires you!
Winter Olympics abstract art
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