Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Staying Sane in the North


Photo credit: Griszka Niewiadomski

I really didn’t feel like going outside today. The kids were busy making a snow fort, and I was only chapters away from the end of a good book. So tempting to grab a cup of tea and my book and soak up that rare quiet time.

But . . . we musn’t forget the importance of sanity. So I threw on my coat and a pair of gloves and headed out into the snowy outdoors.

Yes, going outside every day during the winter helps to keep me sane and happy. And it’s wise to stay sane and happy while homeschooling six children . . . and when your husband is home for the winter.

We’re just on the other side of the winter solstice, and praise God, the days are starting to lengthen again. But the sun doesn’t wake until 8:30 a.m. and it’s already dark again by 4:30 in the afternoon. With days so short, I need to bask in the sun while it shines.

I need the light and the fresh air and the exercise to push away the fogginess that tends to settle over my heart and brain during these long and cold northern winters.

When my friends share that they’re struggling to cope, I always ask if they’re getting fresh air and exercise. I sound like a parrot that only learned one phrase. I’m annoyingly persistent in asking this—because it’s that important.

I did get to my book after the kids were in bed for the night. I enjoyed two cups of tea, and the ending of the book was as satisfying as I’d hoped. I feel happy and healthy, and I know that’s in part because I made myself get outside for a good walk today.

Stay sane this winter!

❤ Rachel

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All of a sudden it feels like Spring has woken up. It is a slow process up here in the North, and a month or two will pass before the snow completely departs. Still, the snow is beginning to melt and the air feels balmy.

I really wanted to enjoy this winter, and I think a positive attitude helped the cold season fly by. I looked for the beauty of winter and found it! For a while we had a heavy fog that froze in the trees, and I spent some time snapping pictures. We also had some frozen rain that left beautiful icicles everywhere.

I really don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a winter so much.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures that I took over the past couple months. God bless!






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Snow Days

Winter Morning - Sun rising behind old Apple TreeIt is a winter wonderland outside my window today. We got fourteen inches of new snow overnight and it has been coming down heavily all day. The branches droop heavily under their mounds of snow and every once in a while a branch loses it load and there is a great shower of snow. The single branch then springs up light and bare.

It is a day that I am thankful for our toasty wood fire. I’m sorry, but electric heat just doesn’t come close to standing around a cozy stove with a “cuppa” hot cocoa. Today reminds me of a sweet story called “The Snowy Day”. Have you read it?

A little boy wakes up to find the world covered with snow. He is filled with joy as he spends his entire day playing in the white drifts. When he finally comes in, he brings a snow ball wedged in his pocket…to save for later. 🙂 It is one of those sweet stories that capture the wide eyed wonder of childhood.

Plans for this afternoon: go sledding with the children, catch snowflakes (and examine with a magnifying glass), have fun. 🙂



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Now That’s Cold!

We’ve had some pretty cold temperatures this week and it was down to -32 C last night (that’s about -25 F for those of you south of the border.) At -30 or lower you can throw a cup of boiling water into the air and it will explode into snow. I videotaped this so you can see for yourselves and be thankful that most of you live in warmer climes. 🙂

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It’s been almost 8 years, since we sold our home on the coast and headed North. That first winter was long and I honestly did struggle. I kept asking myself, “Why does anyone live up here? It’s winter 6 months of the year!”
I’ve learned a few tricks of survival since then. Actually, I kind of enjoy winter now. There is something satisfying about a deep freeze. The cold is sort of invigorating. I even find it exciting at times. Hey, you could die out there! Does that sort of thing excite anyone else, or am I just a nut?
Did you know, that at -30 C, you can throw boiling water into the air and it will explode into snow? No joke! We do it every winter. And when it’s that cold, we thank God for our warm house!
Some days, we wake up to unparalleled beauty. There’s nothing like going for a drive and soaking in the sights, of the fingers of frost reaching skyward, from every branch and twig. It’s even better on a sunny day, with the suns rays reflected, in a full spectrum of colour, in every direction.
I think a childlike approach to winter really helps too. Children don’t have a hard time enjoying winter. I know my kids are out there every day, flying down the sled hill, just behind our house. There are several different runs, some more terrifying than others! I joined the children one afternoon this week and it was a blast.
I don’t really think saucers are made for adults and I wasn’t really sure what to do with my legs. I admit it, I screamed louder than anyone. The kids loved it. Going down facing forward is scary enough, but these saucers have the uncanny ability, of spinning around backwards at the worst part. And wow, is it ever good exercise racing the kids up the hill!
We were able to go skating recently too. Some friends invited us over, to their absolutely amazing rink. I didn’t have skates, but Julie managed to find me some skates, that were only a little too big. Now keep in mind, that this was only the third or fourth time I’ve skated in 20 years. I wobbled and tottered and fell, but it was wonderful! We played a game of broom ball, and the fact that I couldn’t skate didn’t keep me from going after the ball! I fell about a dozen times and enjoyed every bit of it. There are few things that I enjoy more than a good laugh at myself!
There seems to be so many ways to enjoy the winter, now that I’ve made up my mind to have fun out there. Maybe I’ll try cross-country skiing next. Happy snow days!

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