We entered January with colder than our normal cold temps & wind chills, and we're going out with the same.
It's been just too cold to go outside & do much for recreation, be it snowshoeing, photography, or play, so while I sit by the fire, I'm indulging in photos of winters past.
Five facts from "The Coldest Area in the Country":
1. We have three heat sources in our home. A big off-peak electric storage unit in our basement. It does little more than take the edge off winter, so we installed a Jøtul Oslo wood stove in our living room several years ago. It's awesome. We now have a second wood furnace on the other end of the house and they've all been running non-stop. Thankful for the firewood we're flying through.
(The Barn in Winter)
2. It's normal to walk and even drive on frozen lakes here for a few solid months every year.
We aren't all that big on ice fishing, but the lakes around us are dotted - some of them covered - with fish houses. When I was a small kid, my dad would tie a rope around me so I didn't fall in
the spear fishing hole. My dad was big on safety, we were fluent in
(Lilly & Beau on Dinner Pail Lake)
3. School isn't canceled due to the cold temps here very often. It may be delayed a couple of hours if buses are having trouble starting in the morning, or more likely due to a heap of heavy snow. But we've had multiple cancellations both early & late this month due to extreme & dangerous cold. We've enjoyed the extra time home together and have been playing a lot of Yahtzee.
(Fact: Our kids go outside for recess all winter as long as it's above 0°F.)
(Snowshoeing last year. I haven't been out this year, darnit.)
4. I have to be careful getting fresh fruit home from the grocery store in the winter.
On our coldest evening back on Jan. 6th, when we were colder than the North Pole & South Pole, I had to venture out to town for much needed supplies & groceries. (I hadn't been to town since Christmas Eve.) I triple bagged my bananas and then zipped them up in the front of my winter coat for the drive home. I looked pregnant with produce. It worked.
(Last April: The Winter That Wouldn't End. Hoping for an earlier spring.)
5. Lilly has been doing a fantastic job with her chicken chores every day, no matter the conditions. Her trio of hens have pulled through the harsh winter well so far. As my aunt said when we were visiting for a family fun day a couple of weeks ago, they can handle the cold as long as they have water. Lilly heads out with a fresh bucket every day, along with a bucket of household treats.
(The view out our back door.)
While I speak lightly of Yahtzee & carrying bunches of bananas marsupial style, it's definitely not all fun & games. This winter has been a hardship for many - fuel oil & propane costs are dreadful.
Monday, the Governor of MN declared a state of peacetime
emergency in response to the persistent cold weather and the increased
risk that households may run out of heating fuel.
residents of our nearby small town lost their home & everything in
it to fire, caused by a space heater.
We may not be doing many of our usual winter activities this winter, but we've been safe and we're warm, and I am grateful.
Sharing with Our World Tuesday & Random 5 Friday