Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Well, it has been a while, hasn't it? Oh, dear, life just got sooooo busy. I am now working two part-time jobs, as well as trying to create an indoor garden!

This Chicago winter is living up fully to its reputation. For the past few years, we've had a decent amount of snow in December, only to have a ridiculously mild January. Well, that pattern seems to be over! This past weekend we ended up with a 10-inch snowfall in 24 hours, with only 1-3 inches predicted. Take that, weathermen!! Today we are under a winter weather advisory and blizzard warning, with a few more inches of snow predicted. It's beautiful, but hard to drive. My car has been stuck several times. This week we will have subzero temperatures, which will ensure several days at home for a while.

So far this winter, I've bought rock salt, two snow scrapers, a snow shovel to keep in my car, and a de-icer for my door locks. I've used everything but the de-icer.

Living in the city, I do not have a fireplace, something which belongs in every country cabin, right? But I do have a video of a log burning - no music, no sound other than the crackling of the fire. It's wonderful to watch, or just to have for background scenery. Fireplaces used to be a source not only of heat, and a cooking fire, but also entertainment. After a hard day's work, people would sit and stare at the fire, letting their thoughts unwind from the day's events. It must have been a calming way to end the day, much better than our current stimuli of TV and computers.

And now, the garden . . .

My tomato plants, which I grew from seed, grew strong and tall with blossoms, but the blossoms never opened. I eventually threw them out. A friend suggested that perhaps they needed a bit of fertilizer, which I think I will try next year.

I have been growing lettuce, which grows like a weed! Also, mint, basil, marigolds, and a new parsley plant which I bought from the store and a golden pothos from cuttings from a friendly woman on Freecycle. My basil is not quite dormant, but when all of its green leaves are gone, I will cut it down to about 6 inches (it's presently about 18 inches tall) and let it rest.

Well, time to go. Among my other activities planned for today, I need to transplant my lettuce and marigolds, and go dig out my car, which I'm sure has been blocked in by the city snowplows.

Keep warm and don't forget the hot chocolate!

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