I'm not much of a writer anymore, but here we go with a journal.
|Winter is here. Everything outside is white and slippery. I still go out there every day, to run, to fill bird feeders, to go to the store, to bring in the last crops from the garden, etc. But much less outdoors until outdoors stops acting like a big, grouchy snowball.
I've just discovered that if I take the branch clippers out an shove aside the snow, I can use them to hack off a whole kale plant at the stem bottom. Bring it inside and stick it upside-down in the largest bowl available till most of the ice melts off, then rinse it, cut the leaves off, let them dry off a bit more, and save them in a plastic bag in the fridge. I'd never harvested anything but Brussels sprouts out from under the snow before, and thought a leaf crop would end up a sloppy, ruined mess. But as long as you don't cut leaves off the stalk until they've thawed out, they stay perky and fresh. The best kale I've ever grown, actually.
Still, winter means a lot more time indoors. I wonder about people who live in Wisconsin and paint all their rooms trendy shades of white. (Research box: This year these shades include Cloud, Chantilly, Swiss Coffee, and Strong White.) Everything is a white outside here half the year anyway. Why have neutral colors indoors? The people need color!
My bedroom is jade green, the living room is blue. The dining room is amber-shellaced wood. The kitchen is deep purple with gilt lettering. The back room is a baffling patchwork-wallpaper made of old children's books and quilting fabric and discontinued calendar pages, with lavendar trim with glitter sprinkled in, and big south- and east-facing windows. Kid A's room (now the memory room, with him off in Texas) is gray with white trim, with old pictures on the wall so it feels like a flashback. The utility room has a print of Miro's Singing Fish my dad gave me and pink, yellow, lavendar, and lime green trim against white (I don't totally hate white) walls. The bathroom a graded aqua from a deep bottom to a frothy-light top that makes you feel like you're under water. And everywhere plants plants plants, toys, art, washi tape, fixtures that resemble mythical creatures, things to read, cats, cat toys, and absolutely no curtains.
I'm sure when I die the kids will have to paint everything white before they can sell the house, but hey, at least I won't have died of depression.