Polar vortex and staying warm

It is bitterly cold this week. The wind chill factor has brought the temperatures down to -6’C tonight (21’F) and tomorrow should be even colder with half an inch of freezing rain. The gusts of wind have been reaching 45 km/h (27 mph) and that should also get increasingly worse as the week moves along. Needless to say, much time has been spent indoors the last 2 days and I suspect there will be more snuggling warmly in our cozy little home for the next few days to come.

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Today called for crafts and pjs. Nobody but my husband (who still went to work by bike, bless his soul) felt the need to do much but stay warm. But I bet sweet hubby would have stayed home if work didn’t call him out. We made crowns and played with blocks, ate preserved peaches and hemp seed crepes with fresh honey. How wonderful it is to start popping open those beautiful rainbow colored jars. I was hoping to not have to dig into our winter preserves quite yet, but cold weather gardening didn’t quite happen this year and with our CSA closed up for the year, it’s time to start eating what we worked so hard to put by.

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked “shop” so to speak. Our little burgeoning homestead has been tucked in for winter, the beds covered in leaves after having been filled with over 15 cubic feet of fresh dirt.  That is right, the pile is gone! We added a new bed in the front yard, almost 200 square feet. After observing a lot of the sun exposure over the summer, we realized that about 25% of our front yard was getting hit by direct sunlight for over 10 hours a day. That seemed like a waste of a good space if you ask me! So my husband double-dug and lasagna planted us a 5 ft X 24 ft bed with a keyhole feature around a baby magnolia tree sapling we put into the ground less than a year ago. Needless to say we have great plans for this new little garden patch.

New bed (800x533)

Another interesting piece of news : We have gained back over 30% of our backyard. Let me explain : A while back, I walked you through our little 1/3 acre property. Well, if you remember, the back of our land was thick with trees, shrubs, bushes and a row of 100 year old pine trees that were separating us from our neighbors. That only meant one thing : shade, shade and more shade! Well, we were approached by them last week asking if we minded if they took down some of the pines. See, their lot is filled with them and they haven’t been able to grow anything due to the extreme acidity of the soil. Really, the trees are on their land so we couldn’t really say anything, but they were sweet to ask and we gave them the green light.

And then, in return, they gave us LIGHT!

This was the end of the day before (picture taken when we first bought our home):

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And this is the end of the day now :

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Again, can we say possibilities?!?!

So we are excited for this coming year. We’ve already started planning for next spring, having fun exploring new veggies and fruit we would want to try. We are thinking that now, everything is pretty much within our reach. It seems like things are lining up and confirming that the choices we made are the right ones. And I thank the Universe everyday for this blessed life I lead.

Good night everyone! xo

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About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Food preservation, Gardening, Gratitude, Homesteading, Learning at home, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Polar vortex and staying warm

  1. Oh my word! I am so sorry to hear that the polar vortex is back! I hear that cold temps are on its way to us later this week. Stay warm, my friend! xo

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you dear… I think you guys are getting snow over the next few days huh? Hopefully you get to enjoy it. We are still waiting for our fuzzy white blanket. I always find that snow softens the cold. Makes it not so bad. can’t wait for it to get here. 🙂

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  2. mountaingmom says:

    Keep warm. We are expecting cold from the vortex, but nothing like you are experiencing.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Thank you, you stay warm as well. I find cold to be relative… whatever you are not used to is cold, you know? I know that half the continent will be hit with colder than normal weather. I remember when I lived in Richmond, VA, we didn’t even have heat in our apartment. Just space heaters… and when it would snow, everything would shut down. We would be days with no one driving because the streets were snowed in and icy. I feel blessed to be where I am when the cold hits. We are equipped! You know?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s awesome! It looks like everything is going well! I’m sure your gardens will be great next year! I was curious as to whereabouts you live. My sister is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and they just got 12 inches of snow last night. And, here in lower michigan, it’s already freezing!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      We always say we garden 12 months a year : 7 months outdoors and 5 months in our hearts! LOL! We are in Quebec, Canada. we have family in MI peninsula and will actually be heading there on vacation next spring. 🙂 We have about the same climate all around if I remember correctly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooh, so cold! But So much good food and fun to make staying indoors easier. And congratulations on gaining some light and garden space. Two things that always seem to be in short supply. I have lots of light, but, alas, no dirt to plant anything, though I look forward to a day when I can. I hope your family is able to weather this, ahem, weather.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      The first few very cold days are always the hardest. We just have to get our bodies used to it, bring out the winter wear, get used to walking with an extra 5-10 lbs of gear… But winter is life here (5-6 months out of the year) so we just got to get our heads into it. LOL! Sorry you don’t have a little yard of your own. Are you in an apartment?

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      • I live in a townhouse with a hill behind us that shades the “backyard” and a deck at the front where I have some potted berry plants. The front gets lots of warm sunshine, but those couple pots have already overwhelmed the space.

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      • Yanic A. says:

        I’m sorry you can’t grow anything in your backyard. And a hill is very “permanent”… Not much can be done. Have you thought of edible landscaping in the front?

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  5. Wow, that is chilly. We were at a balmy 14C yesterday, it felt like spring, though the cold is coming by the end of the week, and dare I say more snow!!!!

    Popping open those jars of food is one of the best feelings in the world. Enjoy. And new gardens, and light…whooo hooooo!!!!

    Have a great day!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Wow, what we would have done with 14’C weather… I’m jealous of the snow though, we’ve been getting short-lived dustings and slushy rain. I always say, if it,s gonna be that cold, at least give me snow! 🙂

      Have a wonderful day as well. xo

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  6. Janet says:

    Crafting and pjs sounds wonderful to me!! Such a great way to spend a cold day. It is going to be cold here too in a few days but not that cold 🙂 Have a beautiful day!!

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  7. Crystal L says:

    How awesome to be able to get better use from your space! I know you’ll fill it in no time!

    We’ve had nice weather here so far. It’s been in the low 70’s, but according to the weather, that’s changing in the next few days. We’ll be struggling to make the transition ourselves!

    Stay warm!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Oh yes indeed! There is a chain mail fence between our 2 properties and now that it’s wide open, we are thinking elderberry bushes an grape vines!!!! They are planning on pear trees. So we talked about it and whatever falls on either side is ours. That is what I call neighborly!!!!

      Stay warm as well. xox

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      • Crystal L says:

        You can’t pay for neighbors like that, you lucky girl! Sounds like a mini commune in the making!

        Where we lived before, we were living in a camper in a friend’s yard. A wanted to do a communal garden and all that. It’s one if the things I really miss.

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      • Yanic A. says:

        Our neighbors all around are amazing. We are very lucky. Our neighbor to the right is letting us pull out shrubs to make a living edible fence or corn and sunflowers. We will be digging a 4 ft by about 25 ft trench an planting in late spring. Again, we told him he could have the corn that grows on his side. 🙂 He lends us his mower cause we don’t have the money for one… barter barter barter…

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      • Crystal L says:

        I think bartering is a wonderful system. Hubby and I are hoping to set up some bartering when we get settled.

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  8. How exciting about the trees! Our neighbors have a huge Ailanthus tree right on the corner of their property which shades a good part of our front yard. Our maple keeps the rest shaded. We want to keep the maple, but we’re hoping we can convince the neighbors to cut the Ailanthus down with us. It is a really brittle, weedy, tree–always dropping large branches on our driveway. I day dream about how much more light we’ll have with it gone! In the meantime, having outgrown our current beds, we’re starting to look around our property and find spots for next season. Maybe more raised beds in the driveway? Roof top? Pondering possibilities is the joy of winter!

    And, it is winter. We also got hit with an arctic blast beginning on Monday. We’re snuggled in, except for John who had no choice but to show up and teacher, of course. But, I kept the kids home in protest–the roads are so bad and it was 0F this morning! At the moment everyone is tolerating the close indoor time. Lots of creativity and patience on the part of parents!

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    • Yanic A. says:

      0’F??? Oh my, I will not complain again, I promise! We will be getting sun tomorrow, cold, but sun… that always seems to make it better doesn’t it?

      And for the beds, yep… winter is a great time to dream! Having doubled our bed area this year, next year, we will be working on a club house and little forest retreat for the kids. The back of our lot has a little “forest” with lots of shade and soft ground cover. We hope to make it nice and comfy for them. Little Miss will me almost 5 and Little Man will be turning 2 so a bit of autonomy will be good for them. 🙂

      Can’t wait to see how your plans unfold! Hope you’ll share the progress on your blog.

      Like

  9. Yeah on the light! Aren’t you getting a nice start to next year already.

    I’m not looking forward to the polar vortex. I think it will be time to start knitting by the fire again. Stay warm and cozy!

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  10. KC says:

    Sounds so wonderful! I’m happy to year you have so much more gardening space. BUt holy moly that polar vortex sounds cold! I barely remember what it’s like to be cold. The temps at night are supposed to go down to 43 here in the next few days. Time for sweaters! 🙂

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    • Yanic A. says:

      Haha! Yes, but as I mentioned in an earlier comment, cold is relative… I don’t know how you guys deal with the extreme heat half the year. 🙂 But I love sweater time… its why I love fall so much.

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  11. appleshoe says:

    Fellow neighbor in Minnesota says pajama days are a must. We’ve been getting the cold as well. It snowed and the wind howled for three days straight. Today a beautiful sky, sparkling wind sculpted snow, and a heat wave of 19F greets us.

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    • Yanic A. says:

      LOL! I know you are “snow” people when you talk of heat waves of 19F. LOL! We are still waiting impatiently for snow. We got a few flurries, but nothing real. Send some out way okay???

      Like

  12. sally says:

    That sounds cold! Hope you are all cosy and warm inside and get a bit of sunshine at least.

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  13. Pingback: Around our home | Family, Faith, Food and Fabric

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