Weathering Winter With Dreams of Spring

As we continue to have days with no school, I am finding myself more and more anxious to get outside and do some serious work. The Valentine’s Day snow last week was about 2 feet of powdery fluff….since then we’ve had a couple more inches of wet snow and this morning(Feb 19) some sleety rain.

There was some nifty stuff with the last snow, for the first day it was light and fluffy and the kids and I enjoyed shoveling and tossing the powdery stuff onto each other. It was a blast watching our dog Brandy romp!October 2013 12October 2013 13October 2013 17

Though the sheer depth made hard going… for dogs and people.

The Dancer and I spent almost 2 hours snowshoeing to the neighbor’s house (normally about a 10 -15 minute walk) to care for her cats while she was away. Exhausting going on the way there…up hill and breaking the trail. The trip home, a mere 40 minutes downhill with our trail to follow.

14 feb 13 5We saw amazing Pileated Woodpecker and lots of deer trails and it was really beautiful. Then, day two was nearly 50 degrees and we found it hard going just shoveling what the plow had piled up. We also made two short lived but entertaining snow folk who seemed to briefly enjoy sitting in the green chairs where my husband and I often sit and talk, and dream, on warmer days.

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Another highlight was when I counted over 30 birds at the feeder. What fun!

After a great professional development day on Monday with my colleagues, we had a short day with students Tuesday(2 hr delay) and then today the sleety rain led to schools being closed again. It came at just the wrong time as by 11 it was over 50 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. Now it’s cloudy with some gusty wind….I won’t even try to guess what tomorrow will bring.

One of the things we have enjoyed on these days at home is dreaming of all we will do when the snow melts and the ground is workable. We have ordered lots of seeds, plants, trees, roses, berries, and shrubs to plant. Some of the seeds have come already. Like presents under the Christmas Tree, the temptation to open them is great, yet I know the anticipation is also part of the fun.

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i planted some narcissus bulbs and there are buds about to burst. Valentines day is always a great time to get in some flowers and take out the last of the evergreen arrangements from the winter holidays too.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking out the windows dreaming of the vibrant spring & summer greens that led  us to name this place Green Grove. After a muddy walk down the drive to get the mail and a slushy snow slog to fill the bird feeders with seed and suet, I make a cup of Mountain Rose Herb’s organic herbal Peace Tea, and get my bin…

photo-1…which holds my seed and nursery catalogs, garden planning and permaculture type books, garden journal and some graph paper and work on mapping out where everything will go. Roses and elderberries along the rail fence by the road, fruit trees on the western part of the front of the property, pomegranates near the stonework on the south facing back part of the house, almond trees between the walnut and the virginia pine that are anchors to the front yard, herb and vegetable beds meandering in the sunny spots with paths connecting it all and a few spots to sit and enjoy….

I’d say all in all we are weathering winter pretty well and with dreams of spring to inspire and sustain us, we will be digging in the dirt before we know it.

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Surprises

A few days ago my good friend Johanna Lawson of Village Wise Woman surprised me by nominating my blog,  Green Grove: A Place to Grow for not one but two awards, the  ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award and the Sunshine Blogger Award. I didn’t even know these existed and here I am writing an acceptance post. My oh my!

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Starting with the ABC award (those who know me will know that in my head I’m hearing Julie Andrews, as Maria vonTrapp in The Sound of Music, singing “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you read you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with……” as I write this.

The rules for this are as follows:
  • Download the award logo and add it to your acceptance post.
  • Nominate a few fellow bloggers. (This has to be done for both awards suit will come at the end of this post).
  • Take each letter of the alphabet and use it to tell something about yourself.

A- Always thinking….and thinking…and thinking

B- Bath Lover… a long soak with bubbles melts away any stress or cares

C- Cheery…most of the time

D- Dirt… under my nails makes me happy

E- Enthusiastic….too much so at times

F- Faithful…to friends and family and causes

G- Grateful… for my life at Green Grove

H- Helpful…sometimes to a fault

I- Intelligent…not Einstein but able to figure stuff out

J- Joy-full …I’ve learned to find joy even when happiness evades me

K- Kind…unless someone really makes me angry then not so much

L- Loving….I find loving comes really easy and sometimes I pay the price

M- Momma…One of my favorite titles,especially when I hear it from my children

N- Nature Nut….I love being in nature and am in a state of awe much of the time when outdoors

O- Outgoing…no surprise to those who know me well

P- Pagan…well Christo-Pagan or Episco-Pagan to be more exact(long story there)

Q- Questioning…it was this that led me to where I am spiritually

R- Reader…I’ve travelled the world, learned many new skills, and grown into me through reading

S- Seeker…always looking deeper

T- Teacher…not just as my job but my vocation

U- Understanding…I try to be

V- Vociferous….why say it with two words if you can use twenty

W- Woman…I love being a woman

X- Xylophone…one of my favorite instruments for little ones

Y-Young at Heart….Sort of like Peter Pan….

Z- Zaney…you just never know when I’ll do something that is

That was harder than I thought it would be!!

Now for the Sunshine Blogger Award

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Here I have to nominate 10 fellow bloggers(Coming at end of post) and to write 11 facts about myself. Well having just given you 26,  some may be redundant…but here goes.

  1. I have wanted to live in a log cabin since I was a little girl and visited Lost River State Park and now I do….and not very far from the park either.
  2. It was through Matthew Fox‘s books Original Blessing and One River Many Wells that I discovered I could blend my Christianity with the things like celebrating the natural cycles that are typically considered pagan without feeling guilty. Thanks Matthew!
  3. I had a magical childhood thanks to my parents and my siblings who took me on wonderful trips, let me learn by doing and loved me even when I was a pain in the rear. Thank you family!
  4. I really like hunting, fishing, and trapping….I think I must have has a past life as a hunter gatherer.
  5. Speaking of Gathering…I like using wild and domestic herbs, barks, flowers etc. to season dishes, heal illnesses and wounds of body, mind, and spirit and work a little magick now and then. (I practice only very limited and ethical wildcrafting and try to grow as much as I can)
  6. I have three of the most interesting and fun children any woman could be blessed with. They keep my life rich, full and exciting.
  7. My husband is one of the most intelligent, honorable, supporting and loving people I’ve ever known and is truly a partner in all we undertake.
  8. I don’t like split pea soup or creamed spinach or liver. … most other foods I really enjoy eating and I’ve even tried ants, grasshoppers and rattlesnake all of which were tolerable.
  9. I dream every day of being as self sufficient as possible here at Green Grove because I find that work, even work as a Special Education Teacher which I love, just takes me away from this magickal spot for too many hours(well except this winter when we’ve had around 15 school closings due to weather).
  10. I am impatient with myself and others and sometimes set unrealistic expectations and timelines….
  11. I have been blessed with some really special and good friends, some of whom are also family, over the years and I treasure each of them in my heart in my daily prayers and intentions.

Now for the hard part deciding who to nominate, I doubt all of these will accept these nominations but here are the bloggers/bloggs I love most….today.

  1. Johanna Lawson — Village Wise Woman
  2. Chris Elmes — Random Ramblings
  3. Susan Lilly — The Gloria Sirens
  4. Lucinda Warner —Whispering Earth
  5. Silver Raven Wolf —The Crow at the Crossroads
  6. Jeffrey Pierce — Old Ways
  7. Susy — Chiot’s Run
  8. Gene Logsdon — The Contrary Farmer
  9. Sonya Cheney — Sonya Cheney

OK I only had nine …not bad for a novice blogger though.

I am truly honored and amazed that my friend Johanna Lawson nominated me for these…I really feel like my blog is still in it’s infancy. Thanks and I hope some of you will check out the blogs I nominated as they are all really fun to read!

Winter at Green Grove

Jan 29, 2014

Hi Everyone….no good excuse for such a long lapse between posts, other than that it’s winter and everything is moving much more slowly here.  It is extremely quiet as even the creek has frozen over and is not constantly singing to us. The birds are even very subdued…busy eating and eating and eating.

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One of the reasons we made this move was to be more in tune with nature and have a chance to live in the natural rhythm of the cycle of the seasons. We have had so many school closings due to either snow or extremely cold temperatures that I’ve lost count. I can tell you that since Jan 17 we have been in school for a total of 5 hours instructional time. NOT Enough in this high stakes testing, data driven world, but it is what it is. Somehow this unexpected break has been good  for our family.

What do you do with so much time? Well, we cook and clean, and do craft and home improvement projects.  We also talk with each other, and play cards and board games, and go for walks. I’ve worked ahead on projects for the two graduate level classes I’m enrolled in.  We have ordered plants and seeds for the garden. Kids have at home assignments to work on over the past few days. We’ve done a killer jigsaw puzzle. We’ve gone to the bookstore and refreshed our reading material and we’ve watched a few good movies and documentaries.photo-1

Are we at each other’s throats, NO! Are we bored? NO! Do we long for spring…YES! But only because that’s what it’s time to do. And that’s what ordering plants and seeds makes us do. In July will we long for cooler nights? YES! In October will be begin looking forward to the first snow flurries? YES! Oh my goodness, it seems that living here has gotten us pretty well in tune with the seasonal cycle and YES! That is a good thing!

I hope your winter, spring, summer, and fall are as magickal as they can be and that you treasure the slowness of winter knowing that the frantic business of spring will soon be here.