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Surviving Punxsutawney Phil's Weather Forecast

It's been an unusually cold winter here in northwest Washington State. Punxsutawney Phil's weather prediction that we would suffer 6 more weeks of winter is holding true so far. Here it is late February, and once again we've had several more days of snow with more to come.

While the snow is bitingly cold, I will say it is quite beautiful.  Walking down the long driveway to our newspaper box each morning gives me a chance to take in the frosty cold and pristine morning.

Thankfully we did have a few days of dry weather about a month ago, which allowed us to get the new windows installed in the house.  We chose Ply Gem windows and had a local installer put them in.  With the divided upper panes, it's hard to notice the difference visually from the 1940s single pane windows, which allowed us to retain the charm of old-style windows, but we certainly do notice a stark difference in how well the new windows keep in the heat.  Many of the cold drafts in the house have disappeared. I guess those cold spots weren't ghosts after all.

We saved all the old windows that were removed (along with the old storm windows) for building a greenhouse.  We now have 29 vintage windows and about that many storm windows as well.

With cold weather keeping us indoors, I've been planning a number of projects and my Pinterest boards reflect the latest inspiration. Some of my latest boards include:
  • Repurposed Old Windows. It's inspiring to see how many different ways old windows can be re-used. They not only work well for greenhouses, but you can also build tables and cabinets with them, and use them in many artistic ways!
  • Kombucha. Healthy living has been on my mind a lot.  Maybe it's middle age setting in, or maybe it's the country air. Recently I learned about Kombucha, a nutrient-rich fermented tea beverage that has many health benefits. It's horribly expensive to buy a bottle of this magical elixir, however, and so I decided to make my own.  I purchased a 1-gallon glass jar, a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), some starter Kombucha, and a warming band to regulate the temperature of the tea as it's fermenting.  It's like a science project happening on my kitchen counter.  More on this later...
  • Gardening. Spring can't get here soon enough! Our new tractor (well, new to's used) is sitting all lonely and neglected in the old milking shed.  We're planning our garden and getting ready to order seeds. Our order for fruit trees and berry plants is already in.  There's so much we need to learn how to do...tilling, using manure and compost, mulching, companion planting,'s a bit overwhelming, but I'm eager to get started.

  • 1940s Decor. I can't seem to stop looking at pictures of old houses. Since we own a 1940s house, I guess this is normal, right? It's frustrating how little there is out there on the topic.
  • Knotty Pine Walls Decorating. There's an abundance of knotty pine used throughout our house, and so I continue to look at examples of how others live with their wood walls.  We love ours.
  • Chickens. Our 3 hens are doing well enough. Miss Prissy Fuzzy Bottom has struggled with sour crop, and I babied her for a couple of weeks -- including keeping her indoors for a while, but to no avail.  She still seems a little mishappen in her shape (her crop unbalances her some).  I finally decided she should go back out to the coop and either live or die. She's not uncomfortable, she still eats voraciously and participates with enthusiasm with the other hens.  Her egg production stopped long ago. She's hanging in there, though. So, we'll see. Meanwhile, we are planning to pick up a few chicks soon. Our flock will grow this year.

Well, that's about all our news for right now.  Many blessings to you, and hope you are keeping warm!