Friday, September 26, 2008

Winter is Coming

Early snow last winter, on the mountain above our house.

This summer we started reading an epic fantasy series, Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, starting with A Game of Thrones. It features a land where seasons lasted years, not months. Years of summer, followed by years of winter. One of the protagonists has a family motto, "Winter is Coming." It reminds people that summer is lovely, but must be used to prepare for hard times, not to fool around wasting time and money on political intrigue.

I have my own task list to get ready for winter:

Major Project #1: Unload several rooms of my mother's house into a storage unit, so we can get major plumbing repairs done over the winter. We won't heat her house most of the winter. I hate to spend money renting storage, but there is no place else to go with it, and Mom could not handle the emotional strain of large-scale disposal.

Major Project #2: Our landlord won't insulate our attic, so we will. We need the space (otherwise finished) as a bedroom, to make room for my mother to stay with us this winter. That will mean shifting the girls to share the attic BR, put my mom in the warm BR next to the bathroom, and move all of our desks and bookcases to the second BR to make better living space downstairs. Yes, we are moving nearly everything we own from one room to another! :-)

Smaller Projects:
  • Order bubble wrap for the windows, and working on arranging the heavy window drapes.
  • Get garlic planted.
  • Buy a chest freezer so we can take advantage of friends' hunting prowess. We passed up a deer last year, that we could have had for the cost of butchering. (Done 9/26)
  • Finish fitting out the basement storage area. Make bulk food purchases of dry and canned goods, vegetables for cellaring, bulk meat for the freezer, and basic toiletries.
  • Get straw bales for mulching, and to make a cold frame. Bag leaves for mulch.
  • Buy another oil-filled electric radiator, our transitional heat source.
  • Sort through clothing barrels to see who needs more heavy winter clothing. Continue shopping at rummage sales - church bazaar season is starting.
  • Buy fermenting buckets to make hard cider. (Done 9/26)
  • Get the rest of the books in Martin's series, for winter reading.
  • Update our tetanus shots.
  • Hang rods for indoor clothes drying. (Done 9/30)
  • Late addition: Set up the worm composting bins.
What's on your list?


amanda said...

great list...sounds like you are well on your way!

Matriarchy said...

I have a lifetime habit of biting off more than I can chew. But I am learning to deal with some perfectionism that gets in the way of my finishing something unless I can do it "right." Now, it feels like "better than before" or "more than I had" is good enough, until I can come back for another round of improvement. As you say, "on my way" is MUCH better than "still trying to make the perfect plan." LOL

Sinfonian said...

Great list! Seems you live in a more rural setting than I, but I have been preserving everything extra from my garden that I could. So far that's only cukes as pickles, blueberries and beans, lots and lots of beans. Hehe. Oh, and potatoes, well some potatoes, and hopefully tons more once I harvest my russett bin.

I like to do indoor projects in the winter and outdoor projects in the nice weather (duh), so this winter is going to be touching up the projects we didn't finish last winter (I hate to say we've lived with some much needed finish work not being done). I also have to gut a storage/workshop bay of the garage and turn it into a play room for the kids big toys. I also need to prep an upstairs bedroom for my eldest to move up there next year. That means gutting it to the studs and starting over. Going to be a ton of work but well worth it. If we have time and money, we'll renovate the half-bath into a 3/4 bath. Another ton of work and money. Not sure.

Last year we replaced the furnace and insulated the attic, and redid the bathroom.

All that sounds like we just moved in, but we've been in the house for a decade and just now are getting around to these projects. hehe.

Matriarchy said...

OMG, I can hardly WAIT to see what is in your other potato bin. I've been watching all summer, while I make my own potato mistakes.

I've sort of juggling two houses, a small rowhouse in a small city, and my mom's nearby suburban houses. I think our overall region is agricultural, but we have an urban core, and are strongly tied to the Philadelphia region.

Carolyn said...

Thanks for stopping by my Blog and the great recipe ideas.

Looks like you will be busy this winter.