Settling in for Winter

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We’ve put the final winterized touches on the Dashwood abode—extra bedding in the coop and straw on the ground in the run. We’ve got the plastic up all around the run already to keep the wind and snow out. The water heater has been out a few weeks now keeping their water from freezing. And the heat lamp in the coop is clean and ready to go for when the temperatures drop to near zero F, which they almost did last week when our low was 5F/-15C.

The garden is in bed. The trees are leafless. James and I had to make the switch from fall jacket to winter coat, hat and mittens. The forecast talks about wind chill now instead of heat index. And we are no longer surprised when we look out the window and see snowflakes.

My outdoor cycling is done for the season, and what a great season it was! Now I have indoor Zwift season on the trainer and all the fun events and workouts that brings with it.

The apple cider vinegar making is moving along. It got bubbly and James strained the big apple bits out of it. Now it continues to ferment on the back of the sink and we have to burp the jar a couple times a day. It definitely has a vinegar smell to it, though not strong. So we have decided it is a success even if it could be better.

There are so many zero waste resources out there these days online and in print it is sometimes hard to weed through it all and find the truly useful ones. Any zero waste proponent who insists you have to buy stuff, preferably from their online shop, is pretty much full of poo and should be avoided. And there are so many of them! However, I recently found a great book at the library, Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson. It’s a comprehensive book that covers all areas of the house. She covers the easy to the more challenging. She also has two children so you can trust that her suggestions are doable for families.

And while she talks about environmental impact, she also emphasizes the pleasures that come with making these changes. Sure, some of them take time and effort, but there is a sort of trade off of convenience for self-sufficiency and satisfaction. She also has little quotes sprinkled around the book one of which is a proverb that I have adopted as my new motto:

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

I found an awesome blog post on how to make my own bulk food bags out of old pillow cases. I happen to have some old pillow cases I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to throw out. Now I have a project! Time to dust off the sewing machine.

I have a pinterest knitting board and not long ago came across a pin on another board about how to darn socks. I saved it to my board. And as pinterest is so good at doing, sending me “we think you’d like this” emails, I eventually came across a bunch of pins and then boards on mending. To my delight, visible mending is both a statement and an art. This is amazing! I have things I can do this to!

I no longer have to consign a sweater or sweatshirt or shirt with a little hole in it to the “wear it when I am cleaning grubby things pile!” I have a favorite pair of jeans with the bottom edges beginning to fray and I have scrap ribbons I have collected over the years. The hard part is going to be deciding what ribbon to choose to edge my jeans.

It turns out there are books on the subject with pictures, tips, and ideas. My library has several and all of them have a hold queue. Visible mending is obviously a thing and I am late to the party and have some catching up to do!