January 10, 2014


Even though I don't watch or listen to commercial news outlets, I couldn't escape the hype of the arctic vortex forecasts earlier this week. Preemptive school closings, mobbed grocery stores (I went to the yarn store myself), and impending cold the only topic of small talk going.

While others fretted and stockpiled canned goods, I was gleeful. For those of you from cold climates, remember that childhood hopefulness of going to bed on a school night when snow was in the forecast? Hoping beyond hope that it would snow hard enough and long enough for school to be cancelled. And dreading the disruptiveness and letdown of only a two-hour delay. No, no, let it be a snow day!

Well, prior to the cold snap, our forecast was for 8-20 inches of snow. Heaven. I dug my snowshoes out of storage in excited anticipation of frigid, solitary explorations the following day. I was hoping beyond hope for a snow day. Only, it didn't snow. It rained all day. Then dusted about an inch of snow on top of the ice. That's it. I didn't get my snow day. And, yes, I felt the same letdown as I did when in grade school and my snow day dreams of skating and sledding and hot chocolate didn't pan out. 

But the consolation prize is I did get to have fun with the cold. The ice crystals on the inside of the screen porch were fascinating. Especially the east facing windows lit with delicate, soft grey-blue and peachy light. Many photos ensued. Then, since it was going to be below freezing for several days in a row (which I am beginning to realize is unusual around these parts), I tried my hand at making icy sun catchers. So simple, yet so fun. The project is from the January section of The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons by Amanda Blake Soule (SouleMama) with Stephen Soule. Basically, freeze a string hanger and a bunch of bits and bobs from nature in a vessel of water, remove icy block when solid, and hang outside to admire. I am particularly fond of the star filled with dried Christmas cactus blooms.

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