I hope everyone who celebrates any of the holidays that occur around the winter solstice had an enjoyable time. In my case, it was hectic, but that goes with the territory when you’re a parent to a present-crazy preschooler who gets spoiled rotten by his entire extended family. I lost track of the number of times I heard the phrase “Daddy? I’m ready for another present!”
The holidays weren’t too bad on the present front for myself, either. It’s tradition for both sides of the family to give lots of gifts to everyone, not just the kids, so I am expected to provide a list of things I’d like to receive. This year, instead of turning in the usual list of CD’s, books and computer paraphernalia, I put together a more sustainable-living sort of list. Santa smiled on me, apparently, for I received a couple of nice items, including a 7-quart cast iron Dutch Oven, a nice steam pressure canner/cooker, and a turkey fryer, which will become the centerpiece of my new homebrewery. I also recieved several gardening or cooking-related books that my mother snatched from a local library book sale… some recycled gifts if you will.
The weather here has been unseasonably warm here in Minnesota, and the trend appears to be continuing until sometime in early/mid January. Thank you el Nino! While the reduced stress on the heating bill has been nice, it’s very dry outside, and I’m starting to worry that the drought conditions that plagued much of the western US this year will move into my neck of the woods. My grass will survive, but I’m guessing that the local farmers won’t be either so lucky or so happy. We need snow, and I’m hoping we get a fair bit of it sometime in early 2007.
My seed catalogs should start arriving in the next few weeks, and I’m starting to put some serious thought into the vegetable garden I want to establish this year, along with a few small permaculture guilds that I’d like to accompany the shade trees that are already in the yard. More about this in a future post.