Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

It’s been a spectacular Autumn here… colors everywhere!  The leaves on the mulberry tree turned the most magnificent shade of lemon yellow, and the grapevines went from green to yellow to rust before releasing themselves from the canes.  In spite of the heavy rains in the past two weeks, the fruit trees have been reluctant to give up their foliage and continue to provide a glowing chartreuse to the landscape.  Color continues to brighten the view even as the season comes to an end.

While the color may be the upside of Autumn, the downside definitely is the maintenance.  Branches and leaves to be raked and burned, veggies to be tarped to protect them from frost, insulating the chicken coop to protect them from the cold nights, shoring up the banks of the creek to divert the overflow from the rains away from the barn, hauling alfalfa in the back of my car for the chickens (yes, I know I need a truck)… it’s quite the little job.  Five years from now, this season may get old but for now it’s still a pleasure.  And please, don’t remind me that I said the same thing about snow shoveling 15 years ago!

As we move closer to the dark days of Winter, I am reminded that I have been here almost a year.  How very different my life was last December… waiting for the moment when this chapter of my life would begin.  And, as the farm prepares itself for this cold season, the joy of Christmas has descended upon me.

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El Nino Treachery

These past few days have been not-so-gentle reminders about why I want to live in the foothills rather than in the mountains.  When the original date for closing escrow was in mid-December, I rejoiced over the fact that I would most likely never have to pick up a snow shovel again.  However, now that it’s almost the end of January and I’m still not living at the farm, I find it ironic that this final winter here in Twain Harte is almost avenging my decision to leave!

Snow, snow, power outages, and more snow… could this be my swan song, my last dance, my last chance…?  There was a time when picking up the snow shovel seemed like a novel thing to do.. a melancholy throwback to the stories of my father’s youth in Iowa.  But I was born and raised in San Francisco.  The only shovels we knew were those that my mother used to transplant her abundant flower garden; certainly a far (and much more productive) cry from the flaky white stuff that never ceases to end.

I’m thinking of having a yard sale once I finally move onto the “farm” and you can guess which item will be set out closest to the gate. A drop dead, knock out, ergonomically designed snow shovel!

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