I went to town today and it was sunny out, making this the second day the sun has shone on me this year. Our west facing top of the hill perch is still in complete shade and will remain so for a few more weeks. On sunny days I can see the sun across the valley hitting the south east facing hillside. Every year at this time we dream of living on a south facing hillside. When we do, I will sit in the south facing windows as much as possible during the daylight hours this time of year and just soak up the warmth through the glass panes. Dustin and Noah went to town a while back and the sun was shining. D asked N when the last time he'd seen the sun was and N sarcastically replied "Last year!", and he was right, it had been at least since last year.
My intention for this month was to be more social than usual, and as a result we've spent most the month taking turns with a couple nasty bugs. I think we are in the clear. I have gotten very little accomplished this month other than morning lessons and chores, tidying in circles and cooking and dishes. I've done a small amount of knitting and needle felting in the afternoons, working on making some fruits and vegetables. I've been getting into a daily yoga routine, the kids join in at the end for a few minutes. We've been doing wet on wet water color painting in the afternoons as we tell an ongoing vowel story. I've been enjoying the painting immensely. It soothes the soul.
I placed my Fedco Seed order. If we weren't leaving for a few weeks I'd go ahead and start a few slow growing herbs just because, alas I have to wait until the first of March before we'll be back and can get started, which I fear is going to be too late to get the onions, leeks and shallots going, but I'm going to try it anyway.
We are down to seven does in the doe barn, the lowest number we've had in a few years. Five of them are supposed to be bred and I'm thinking of breeding one more. I'm hoping to sell a few with their kids right after kidding. It would make more sense to sell them before they kid, and I might do that as well, but only if I get around to drawing blood and confirming their pregnancies.
My kids have had the winter blues lately. They are beginning to long for summer and reminisce about being outside when it is warm. Winters are long here. On January days I dream of a homestead with a creak running through it that is thawed year round. I take the kids on daily walks to watch the water flow, and yes there are days where our boots crunch through the snow, but only for a month or two and not half a year.
The sun is still low on the horizon. Daylight wakes us around nine a.m. and darkness takes over again by five thirty or so. Of course on this hill, the day light hours are not bright, but more of a dim gray even during the middle of the day. The first week in February the sun will hit the tree tops on our land, and by the second week I think the sun will shine into our windows. For me that is a big winter turning point and I begin to think spring. Normally I would be comforting myself with daily hot chocolate, pies and bread pudding, but with winter vacation just around the corner I'm more self conscious than ever of how many calories I'm consuming - not something I usually worry about.
I am going to try to embrace the stillness of this month. Doesn't it feel as though this month is set apart from the rest in it's silence and stillness. I think the trickle begins in February and by March it feels as though we are well underway on a moving river of chores and jobs and projects that must be done in their allotted time; spring cleaning, seed starting and farm plans are put into action, but for now, it is still to dark to notice the dust that will eventually be highlighted by the intensity of the spring Sun, and so I will continue to enjoy this slow time of year and the lack of urgency to do much. Wishing you all brighter days than mine. (written with sincerity).