Saturday, October 25, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Getting Ready For Winter

I can almost see my neighbor's barn.  Can you?
The trees are shedding all their leaves and we need the extra quilt most nights.  That beautiful Autumn season will soon be behind us and I find the pressure of getting my world winterized with each day that passes.  I can't imagine what it is like for those of you who live on farms and homesteads!

I'm still getting tired easier than usual and this is the season when my sinuses complain about weather changes.  But considering how ill I have been previously, there are no complaints!  Just those twinges of frustration when my To Do list is longer than the energy level it can draw from.  ;)

The garden will be given attention later this week but there is a lot of work going on elsewhere.  If one were to walk into my backyard the past few days, they would have been startled to find what appears to be a rope and noose flung over the lowest branches of the black walnut tree.  Instead it is the garden hose in its' pre-shed draining mode.  A certain sign of the end of a season.

The twice-a-year changing of the well filters is now behind us.  That is always a weight off our shoulders, every May and October.  Hubby gets the worst of the job but those of us who assistant (that being me) also find it unnerving and challenging.  Someday we would like to get the well system changed and pipes moved, which would make this incredibly easier.  But if it takes $600 to get rid of bacteria, imagine the cost of that work!

The Farmer's Market is winding down so my budget included buying jars of raw honey from the Mennonite family at the Market.  For years now, I have purchased raw honey directly from bee keepers. If I run out, I can get raw local honey from the health food store but it obviously costs more with the middle man.  I don't buy grocery store honey.  Ever.  It's just not the same in taste or nutrition.

I no longer can stock a year's worth of honey as I once did but (thanks to a friend), I was able to purchase enough pints to get me through winter.  One jar will be used "medicinally" and the remaining jars are all destined for loaves of honey whole wheat bread.

I was asked if we had a freezer.  We bought a medium size chest style freezer a few years ago when I was still able to work part-time.  They are not expensive and we love having the extra freezer space.  It is the kind you don't have to defrost very often. 

Actually, it has never been defrosted but it needs it now.  I only have had it about 1/4th the way full through the summer so some frost has developed.  This is a good time of year to work in the garage when it is not too hot or too cold.  Yet.

I cleaned the refrigerator over the summer... one day when I had a burst of energy and was annoyed at how it looked.  But it needs a good touch up now, including going through and seeing if anything needs tossed.  One good thing about having a smaller-than-I-would-prefer frig is that it is harder for things to get lost in it.

I have a sturdy drop leaf coffee table by the door that goes out to the garage.  It was purchased at a garage sale quite a long time ago.  During the summer it often holds garden supplies and objects going out to the garage.  But come this time of year, it holds the baskets and such that I keep onions and various sizes of potatoes in (never onions and potatoes in the same baskets).  Next to a stack of books.  For there are always stacks of books.

Someday in the not too far distant future, the window on getting seasonal work accomplished will be shut and there will be plenty of time for working on indoor crafts and projects.  While I'm not certain the thought of biting cold winds are attractive, staying inside with hot tea and a book and a candle and other creative endeavors sounds like a good goal to keep in mind.


Unknown said...

It's nice to see what you are doing for winter preparation. I must admit, I am not as good at some of the deep cleaning items on your list. Maybe it's the season, I'm in! Lots of little kids is my excuse. That is such a good idea about stocking up on honey. Happy Weekend!

Terra said...

I think your activities have a nice seasonal rhythm to them and the local honey from the farmers sounds delicious and healthy. I think I see your neighbor's barn in your photo.

Anonymous said...

Love this post Brenda. It is a soothing and calming oasis from the seeming troubles in the daily media.

Scrappy quilter said...

I agree one of the best things about winter, being inside, covered with a quilt and a good book to read in hand.16

Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
Sounds like you've been busy lately. I never thought of hanging the hose from a tree branch, what a great idea. Cold weather will be with us soon, I need to give my flower beds one more going over. Sounds like your pretty well done. Have a great week end Love and Hugs, Nana

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We will be putting the garden to bed for the winter this week.

I did some extra cleaning today, namely the ceiling fans! They were in need of cleaning.

We are putting the flannel sheets on the beds, and putting extra blankets at the foot of the bed. We run hot in our family so it works just to put one on the end of the bed incase it is needed.

I love the changing of the seasons and this one in particular as my favorite holiday is in winter.


Heather said...

We have been preparing for winter here too. We are supposed to have another bad winter here in Delaware. :-(

I'm preparing my heart more than anything! After living in hot climates for 23 years,(last winter was my first in 23 years) I am not ready for being cold and freezing! :-) I am trying to remember to be content in all circumstances! :-)

Amanda said...

I need to get busy washing the windows before it gets too cold! I hate having streaked windows in the winter. Here in Northern Wisconsin, it is often too cold to go outside for any length of time, so having the windows clean is a real mood booster when all I can do is look out!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

We're in that season where we're freezing and have the heat on one day and next day we're hot and the AC is on. I'll be glad when it's just cooler every day. I love fall and working outside and in just doesn't seem like so much "work" for some reason.