posts tagged with 'weather'

snow days

As of a few days ago the garlic and rhubarb were up in the garden, and the daffodils and crocuses growing fast in the beds; I assume they're still growing, but it's hard to tell because yesterday we got like two feet of snow.

lots of snow on the back porch

pretty good for one storm in March...

I measure it at 18 inches, actually, but I hear from neighbors with reliable information that we actually got over 20; either way, it was enough to close school for two days. So our schedule—never particularly rigorous to begin with—was thrown out the window so our kids could entertain their friends who were suddenly deprived of their usual weekday framework. I missed school today too: I'm taking part in a class at work, and it was cancelled today. It's interesting and engaging material, to be sure, but I don't think I'll even get too old to appreciate a snow day.

Especially one like today, with some sun and reasonably mild temperatures. Just the thing for spending a few hours shoveling! I still fully trust that March will go out with a lamb, but it has plenty of time yet—and we have another 8-12 inch storm forecast for next week. Flowers or snow-forts, we'll enjoy whatever we get.

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still very lion-like

Harvey's tiny snowman, with him building a big one in the background

snow, man!

The weather continues to be wild. After a summer-like warm spell it's hard to feel ready for a blizzard, but it's still winter and we're in New England, so. It could have been worse; the front half of the storm, all day Wednesday, was all rain. But overnight Wednesday to Thursday brought plenty of snow—heavy, wet, solid snow, just right for epic snowmen. And for bringing trees down too, as it happens.

About a third of Bedford was still without electricity yesterday evening, and there are limbs and trees down all over our neighborhood. We didn't lose anything important; the neighbors' lilac breaking onto Leah's car wasn't really a problem.

Harvey clearing Mama's car of snow

pretty heavy

We had friends over for most of the day, in order to help their parents out with school being cancelled. After they left Harvey and I enjoyed some relaxing outside time. Even with dry wood from our newly-built woodpile shelter our fire wasn't totally successful—too much snow in the fireplace—but it made a nice smell and some cheery smoke. And nothing could be more successful than Harvey's snowmen. We can still enjoy winter!

the face of Harvey's snowman

with real home-made charcoal!

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the livin is easy

the boys in summer clothes playing on the street

easy riders

Just like last year, February vacation week has seen a bizarre warm spell. Tuesday it was mild and springlike in the afternoon, and yesterday, all day, it was downright summery. While it's always strange when the climate behaves oddly, we couldn't help but enjoy the sudden break from winter. It's so lovely to have outside be as easy and accessible as inside! The kids spent hours running and playing, and we even had a picnic dinner, with steak and hot dogs cooked over the fire.

Of course, nothing can ever be perfect, and two small imperfections marred our complete enjoyment of the warmth. For one thing, the mud is crazy. I had to put a plank out to cover the swampy patch outside our side door—I was worried some of the smaller kids would sink entirely! I'm also concerned about grass ever growing again on our lawn; with the mud it wasn't quite ready for the level of use we wanted to put it to. And then there's the injuries. Half an hour after remarking how easy it is to go play outside in the warm, Harvey came in noting how easy it also is to get hurt! All the boys except Lijah got are pretty marked up around the legs.. things hurt more when you're wearing shorts! There are also bugs.

But never mind! Far from taking away from the joy of warm spring weather, those things are all part of the experience and we were happy to dive into them. And now, since it's still February, we're happy to enjoy the snowfall forecast for this afternoon.

barefoot lijah watching the fire

a nice end to a summer day in February

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what to wear?

Changing weather is hard—at least, when it comes to knowing what to wear to go outside. Switching gears as the seasons change is always tricky, and all the more so when we have summer days in February followed by near-blizzards in March. The boys pretty much gave up on winter gear the first time it got warm, and besides when it was actually snowing they barely wore their jackets all through the barely-double-digit middle of March. Lijah refused his coat entirely for the entire second half of the winter: when I convinced him to wear it to go out in the rain-snow mix on Friday it was the first time it's been off the hanger since early February (not counting all the times the boys knocked it down, of course).

The last couple of days have been warm enough that Harvey and Zion have been rocking shorts and t-shirts, at least by mid morning—the weather has caught up to their expectations. Still, it's that in-between time where they have trouble, for example, getting in the side door of the house: tucked against the north side it's still snowy far past any other part of the yard, and they're mostly not fans of snow on bare feet. Still, they'll do it, such is their commitment to feeling summery.

Me, I have the opposite problem. Once I start wearing my long underwear and wool cap in November or whenever, I have a hard time giving them up. It's been well established that I love the cold, but that doesn't mean I enjoy being cold—on the contrary, my enjoyment is predicated on being well-equipped to sit around outside without feeling any discomfort. So lots of layers. Now that it's spring it's probably time to pare down a bit, but as I say—it's hard. For one thing, our house is pretty chilly in the morning, and the inside of a pair of jeans isn't what I'd call cozy first thing! And then there's always the haunting notion that I might suffer a chill at any time: better safe than sorry.

Of course, when it hits 55° and I'm playing tag with the boys on the playground in my winter get-up I'm pretty sorry anyway! But at what point does the risk calculation swing conclusively towards worrying about overheating? I don't know... but I will say that, this afternoon, I traded my winter hat in for my High Mowing Seeds ball cap. That feels like a seasonal inflection point...

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ways in which times are changing, other ways they are not

Yeah, we had another storm yesterday. Winter holds us in its grip. And its grip feels particularly strong and fierce this evening, with all the snow that fell yesterday compressed into maybe five inches of icy cement, and giant solid snowballs lining the street. We're kind of over it; the boys declined to go sledding today. In their defense, they did play outside for a fair bit yesterday, despite the driving wind and icy snow-rain mix that fell all afternoon. Zion even helped shovel.

Zion shoveling in deep snow

digging out

But we don't even care about that, because we're enjoying the time change. Yes, you heard correctly; I've complained about losing our morning light before, vociferously in person and a little more mildly in these pages, but actually this year it's gone pretty well. We've managed to adjust bedtime to the new time almost instantly, and mornings are later but still relaxed. Most importantly for me, I'm getting up before the hens again! (long may it last).

This evening saw the boys outside to play after dinner for the first time this year. "Feel like" 15°F, but there was still sunlight so they they were. I think going out late put Zion in summer mode; his friends were wearing snow suits but all he managed was a sweatshirt. (Or maybe he just couldn't find his coat. That happens a lot these days.)

Judging by the forecast winter is going to stick around for a little while yet—that groundhog knew what she was talking about. But we know it can't last for ever, and all that hot sunlight coming through the skylight will be just the thing for starting seeds in a couple days.

So it's too bad that everyone else is finally starting to come around to my formerly grumpy view of time changes. We've had two great ones in a row, so now I'm happy enough to stick with the current system. But we're flexible; if you want to change it, that's cool too.

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summer in February

Zion and Nathan playing shirtless in the yard

warm work

It's not every year that the kids can have a snowball fight shirtless and with bare feet, but we witnessed it last week. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday—each day warmer than the last, melting a foot of snow down to almost nothing (rain Saturday night after a slightly cooler day finished it off). There was lots to enjoy: Leah got to run in shorts, Harvey took a long bike ride with a friend, the kids had the aforementioned snowball fight. We took a hike Friday and Harvey and Zion were in shorts and sandals (though we walked through enough snow that they maybe would have made a different footwear choice if they could do it again). But there's also the nagging sense that it shouldn't really be so warm in February, and that climate change is dooming us all. Kind of spoils the fun.

So, even though I probably have to abandon my plan of direct sowing arugula seeds in the garden this month (I was going to use row covers if it got cold again!), I was glad to see more seasonable weather make a return yesterday. Especially when we got home from church and I could put my hat on again—I forgot that you need to wear more clothes in the winter.

We marked the end of the crazy warm weather with a fire Saturday evening. The boys invited the neighbor kids over and we toasted marshmallows, then they played with fire for a while as the temperature dropped and a light rain started to fall. It was fun. We'll do it again... like, towards the end of April?

long-exposure shot of Harvey waving a spark around

fire drawing

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past midwinter

Yesterday morning everybody was up around 7:00 and we had our pancake breakfast done with before 8:00, leaving us with plenty of time for cleaning jobs before we went out to the bus stop. It's been a while since the morning has felt so spacious, but the winter's drawing on and that old sun is coming up earlier and earlier. Evenings have felt luxuriously late for a while now; yesterday the boys were out until 5:30 and it was still just dusky when they came in.

The only problem with thinking about spring now is that we've barely had a winter! It hasn't been below freezing for several days, and the boys have completely forgotten about dressing warmly when they go outside. It's nice that they can just head out the door; less so when it does cool down some and we have to listen to them complaining that they're chilly when there isn't anything we can do about it! There's a little cold in the forecast the next couple days, and maybe even some snow. I do hope we get some more: one day of sledding in a winter just isn't enough!

winter is here

Snow on the yard and chicken coop at dawn

first light on first snow

It snowed Sunday night. After we put the boys to bed Leah asked me about the forecast for the day to come; checking the forecast I saw that the "current conditions" said snow. And so it was! (I did check). Not the most romantic way to notice the first snow of the season, but we'll take it. I was sad the boys couldn't see it falling—but on the other hand the surprise only intensified their joy in the morning.

Zion going down the steps into the lightly-snowed yard, the chickens in front of him

boy and chickens experiencing winter

Zion and Lijah made some time to play in it before breakfast. Harvey, being older and more heavily burdened with responsibilities, had to make due with bringing a snowball in along with the eggs as he did his chores. (Don't worry, they all got to have fun in it when we went out to the bus stop—we still do that).

When the sun got going at 11:00 or so the snow melted right away, but not before marking our morning with delight. On the other hand, it was pretty cold in the house all day, which we might have to do something about... but that's a topic for another blog post.

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a stroke of heat

It's been really hot here the last couple days: hot enough to take over our lives—our entire theory of existence. But we put the air conditioner up in the bedroom (to make napping possible) and I figured out how to open most of the stuck windows, so I think we're going to pull through. I got to the windows this morning when I went downstairs to discover it was maybe ten degrees warmer inside the house than outside—too much to fix with the doors open before the sun got up and the outdoor temperature raced back up again. So the house was warmish today, and we didn't know what we were going to do with ourselves all day; until the boys solved our dilemma by coming down with a debilitating fever. Then they were happy to lie on the couch with the fan on them and alternate between sleeping and watching movies!

Two of them, anyways; Lijah has escaped so far, so he spent his time at home jumping on his brothers, messing with the iPad, and putting the vomit bucket on his head as a helmet. To defend them he got to go on errands with Mama and Dada, and enjoy AC and samples at stores as diverse as Whole Foods and Costco (no points for guessing which outing goes with which parent). Here's a picture of Zion sleeping on the floor this morning; he dropped there on the way to the breakfast table for pancakes, and if Lijah hadn't sat on him he probably would have been there all day. As it was he transitioned to the couch where he stayed all day—until maybe 7:00 when he got up to have a pancake at long last.

Zion asleep on the kitchen floor

needs his rest

By that time the heat had broken (after a terrific windstorm with only a little rain). Yesterday it never broke at all: terrible hot well after dark. And we were all healthy, though less raring to go than we would have been in more temperate conditions. Though in retrospect, maybe the early warning signs were there. We certainly took very well to the news that it was, apparently, National Hammock Day.

Harvey in the hammock reading an Asterix book

celebrating in style

Just the thing when the heat index is over 100°.

I have no problem with it being hot in the summer. It's to be expected. And I think with the AC and the windows (and the hammock!) we're all set for a couple more days of this craziness—all set, that is, as long as the other three of us don't get sick!

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rainy day fun

It's been raining here for days, seems like, which is keeping us indoors a little more than we'd like. Not entirely, though! Tuesday was warm enough that when the rain lightened up and the sun threatened to break through the clouds for a moment, we were ready to jump into action. And there are good things about rain, too!

Harvey riding his scooter into a giant puddle

we love this puddle

Yes, besides several damp walks we enjoyed some time riding scooters into a giant puddle. Again. Because why wouldn't you?! And when I say we, I mean we; there are plenty of activities that, as a parent, I consider beneath my dignity—but riding a scooter at top speed into a mud puddle is emphatically not one of them. In fact, I can imaging nothing more dignified. Especially since I, unlike both of my older children, managed not to fall completely into the water.

muddy clothes scattered on the front porch

the aftermath

Actually, I think Harvey just sat down in the water on purpose after Zion fell, but the effect was the same. That put an end to the outdoor time, but they were happy enough to jump into the tub—where they stayed for the next hour or so. Water water everywhere; and obviously it continues to appeal!

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