Deep Winter at the Homestead

Dogs PlayingAh, winter. The snow is pretty and the days are getting perceptibly longer. But I don’t like this time of year. It’s cold and wet out. Lots of folks are getting sick. The driving can be awful. I want to hibernate. As much as I appreciate the variety of the seasons, winter is just not my favorite one.

So, while I’m cooped up inside, what does this cat do? Play with my four-legged friends, for one thing. Aine puppy is growing fast and learning a lot. Star dog is much more comfortable with her now, and it’s fun to watch them wrestle and play tug-of-war.

Percy and Merlin are spending a lot more time indoors, and one of their new favorite sleeping spots is the laundry basket near the basement door. Often they can be found curled up there together peacefully, though sometimes there is a bit of jostling for the best position.Laundry Basket Cats

Our winter fare is hearty and warm. We still drink green smoothies for breakfast, but dinners are more likely to be vegan soups, stews, or casseroles. We’ve recently enjoyed an African peanut soup, hot curry, and BlackLion’s new creation, Blacksmith’s Pie (a variation on Shepherd’s Pie). My favorite drink at this time of year is chai decaf tea with almond milk and honey.

My home decluttering project is ongoing. Before the Winter Solstice, we removed several bags of items and have donated them to our local thrift store. We also gave a bunch of ElvenTiger’s outgrown clothing to some younger friends. She had a lot of nice things, some homemade, that were now too small for her, and the girls were delighted to add to their wardrobes.

Currently I’m working on clearing out and decluttering my desk and filing cabinets. My desk, which is in a corner of my bedroom, had mostly become a storage space for papers that had no home. My goal is to get it back to being a working space. Merlin desk catIt sounds odd, but it’s actually kind of fun going through old papers and sorting them into piles for filing, use, or recycling. Sorting out photos is also fun, and supplies plenty of material to work on at the Scrapbooking Club I’m part of at our homeschool co-op.

I’ve started an art journal, and that’s a wonderful winter project. Of course, as a bookworm, I always have a few good books going. Some of the other things our family does in the depths of winter: jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, board games, World of Warcraft, and watching shows on Netflix (some current favorites: Downton Abbey, Big Bang Theory, That 70’s Show, and Once Upon a Time). ElvenTiger loves sledding, and she and I have gotten back into ice skating as well. When the weather permits, we take the dogs out for walks, getting Aine used to the idea of the leash. We’re lucky that we live in a place where the dogs can play outdoors in our big yard safely, but we still need her to be able to walk near roads at times, so the training begins.

Our next holiday is Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day, coming up at the beginning of February. It’s a time to look deep within and focus on your intentions for the coming year. Ask yourself questions about your path. Now that you have chosen your goals, how will you nurture them and help them grow? How will you support and encourage your creativity? What advice do your guides have for you? It’s also a good time to make and bless candles, and if you haven’t yet created a vision board this year, try your hand at crafting one.Percy in Winter

I guess that’s all for my midwinter update. I’ll try not to get too discouraged, and remember that spring is on its way. Get plenty of sunshine, and take your vitamin D! Blessings!

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