Well we are getting ready for the our first real cold spell of the winter. Today it is zero at our homestead, although I'm guessing it is more like ten below zero in town and in the low lying areas. They are forecasting lows ranging from fifteen to thirty-five below zero over the coming days. Luckily we live in the hills, and we face away from the Tanana Valley, which makes a big difference as far as temperatures go this time of year. The cold tends to settle in the valleys and the warm air rises. Also, the south facing hills that butt up against the expansive low lying valleys are at the fore front of the cold air. Whereas those of us further back in the hills are buffered from the extreme cold - a small comfort this time of year as we fore-go the few hours of direct sun which south facing properties still receive.
Cold temperatures in the forecast have most of us thinking, yep guess it's about time, we are in Fairbanks, Alaska after all. At least we have a good six to eight inches of snow cover on the ground to protect the perennial plants. When it gets really cold we hunker down, keep the wood stove blazing, eat lots of hot food, and don't leave the house unless we have to. Tomorrow I'll be taking the kids to the library for our weekly story time, regardless of temperatures - small children must leave house occasionally for everyone's peace of mind.
I've been getting the kids outside each afternoon, even if it is just to get all their gear on and toss them out till their hands get too cold (in Avery's case; ten minutes). Yesterday the kids and I cleared the snow off the back porch and then went sledding. The snow was too deep for good sledding, but we worked on packing down a trail. I pulled Noah on the sled while running with Avery (who was fussy but didn't want to go inside) on my hip.
Today we are receiving Azure Standard and Frontier ordered goods. I have been eagerly awaiting the Frontier order. It is the first order I've placed since realizing how great of deals we could get through the wholesale buying club. I ordered a couple hundred dollars of essential oils to use in making lotions, lip balm, bug repellent, tooth paste, mouth wash, cleaning products, soap, and various other skin products and herbal treatments. First on my list to make is a nourishing and gentle face cream, followed by lip balm. My skin is fine most of the year without any special care, but this time of year my face and lips are more dry and irritated than usual. I've been out of most of the essential oils I rely on, as I've been holding out on buying any for this big order. Essential oils not only add fragrance to products, but depending on the oil, some have antibacterial and antifungal properties, in addition to providing various other therapeutic qualities.
Other than starting some crafts and gift ideas for the Holidays, I won't be doing too much exciting around here other than hunkering down and enjoying the beauty of winter from indoors, where we are toasty warm and well fed.