We enjoyed a gorgeous February long weekend, with snow on the ground, sun in the sky, and ridiculously warm temperatures on Sunday. I spent time outside and doing some form of exercise every day, and I am definitely feeling the mental boost - despite having only 28 days, February can feel looooong! But there is beauty in today, and the hope of a few things coming up very soon (ha! literally!) - the snowdrops will appear (come up, get it?) in a few more weeks, we'll be adjusting to daylight saving time and enjoying more light in the evenings, and before we know it we'll be putting away winter coats and boots for another season. I most definitely do not want to wish away my time here on earth, but sometimes looking forward to things can make the current day more enjoyable.
I haven't mentioned it here, but we drilled a new well just after Christmas. (The very best imaginable Christmas gift). It was pricey, but much less than we anticipated, since they found water at a relatively shallow depth. I am still absolutely delighted every day to be able to wash laundry here - we had to take it somewhere else for seven months when the old well was dry last year. That is a loooong time to orchestrate laundry-lugging, with a washing machine sitting in the porch, unused. Looking forward again, I am so glad that I won't have the dread of the well running dry hanging over my head this summer. And we'll be able to water the garden! Oh, the possibilities and plans - this is the best time of year to garden - everything is possible in my mind's eye, without reality to get in the way.
At dusk on Sunday, the boys wanted Adam to throw snowballs at them from the top of the hill as I was putting the chickens in for the night. So he did, and much shouting, and many attempts to catch them, ensued.
I have been reading Rural Free by Rachel Peden for the past week or so, and I am completely smitten. Her writing is beautiful, her observations insightful, and I so wish that I could have met her. She died in 1975, so unfortunately, I can't - but I want to tell her that the joy her book has brought me must definitely offset some of the effort she expended in writing it. I love it so much that I simply had to do some highlighting and underlining, so it's become a sort of reference book for me, and that does not happen often.
Along with being on a reading streak, we're also on a self-imposed pantry and deep-freezer cleanout mode of menu planning lately, and we've had some pretty delicious meals. (A few mediocre ones, too, but such is life.) The freedom imposed by limits is an interesting concept that Gretchen Rubin talks about a fair bit, and I can definitely appreciate it in this context. Not only does it save money by reducing food waste, but it forces us to be creative and resourceful, which just feels right. It's tidy and efficient, and it turns out that I DO like strawberry rhubarb crisp. With cream, in an ideal world. Now we just have a few more layers to get through to reach the bottom of the freezer... wish us luck!