It’s November 15 and I awoke to the first snow of the season in mid-Missouri. If you have followed me for a while, you know I am not a fan of winter. However, as snows go, this was the perfect snow. It was a wet snow so all the trees, fences, and powerlines were painted in white fluffy lines. The streets were still warm enough that they are just wet, so traffic was unaffected. In short, the exterior scenes are beautiful. A little over a week ago we had 80 degree days. Hard to adjust to Missouri weather!!

While the weather was still warm, I spent my days getting ready for winter. Jobs like covering the a/c and putting the spent flowers of the Bee and Butterfly Garden into the compost pile, picking the last of the brussels sprouts, and digging the garden were the ways I spent my days. I took a soil sample of the garden and sent it to a lab. The results show I only need to add nitrogen to the soil, so that will be done in the spring. I raise red-wiggler worms so their castings will be put to good use. My continued addition of grass clippings and mulch to make the soil less compacted will be an ongoing project. Eventually, I hope to have the soil conditioned so that I don’t have to dig it each year.

As you know, my yard and garden are my “happy place”, but that is shut down for the winter. I now have to find indoor projects to keep me constructively occupied during the cold days. One of my first projects is going to be crocheting warm hats for the homeless. I have a lot of leftover yard from previous projects. I will continue to sew dresses for girls in Kenya. After Christmas I am going to try to teach myself to grow micro-greens. I have to challenge myself in some positive way.

I have also spent time looking for ways to winterize my home. With the cost of utilities rising and my income being fixed, using less gas and electricity is a necessity. During the days, I keep the doors to the bedrooms closed and only heat the actual living space. At night I am turning the thermostat down to 65 degrees. The heat is set to only 68 – 70 during the days and I wear warmer clothing to keep comfortable. Last summer I had a storm door installed on the front door, so that should help keep the house warm. I am sure I will think of more ways to save as the winter progresses. I like to “think outside the box”. Problem solving keeps my brain active.

Depending on where ever you live, I hope you keep comfortable and safe. Think of creative ways to keep your home the way you like it. Until next time…

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