Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sam, Fluffy, and SAD
Nov 29, 2012
Sam is staying!  Yay!  Actually, there was a bit of an uproar that he needed to leave by December 1st, so I suggested that he change forms for the winter and stay on with us until Spring.  It took some “thinking outside the box”, but now Sam is the unmeltable snowman.  He kept the stuff (straw in a white trash bag) of his Autumn self, added a wintery head (cotton balls in a clear produce bag), and viola’! Add winter hat(s), mittens, scarf, and other clothes, and he’s here to stay.  It has been fun seeing the creativity that Sam has brought out in the kids.  And, he remains as friendly and helpful as ever. When Sam gets done transforming maybe I will get a picture up.
On to Fluffy. And Garfield. And Midnight.  And Mousey Kitty, aka Meow Tse Tung.  We have acquired quite an unwanted cat population.  People seem to think “farm equals drop off your unwanted pets here.”  Or maybe the CATS think “farm equals rodents and other cats and food.” Either way, we have too many four-legged furry friends.  I started feeding them inside the barn instead of the garage, hoping they would get the hint not to constantly be underfoot and attempting to get into the house.  No such luck!  Our cats that we own have no problem moving out to the barn from the garage.  Why can’t the strays??
SAD= Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I do not know everything about it, but I suspect I have it. Basically, it’s a chemical/medical condition caused by the shortened hours of daylight in the winter.  It’s what causes “cabin fever” and “winter blues”.  I think mine set in early this year, like maybe last week during the Thanksgiving holiday.  The symptoms are alleviated by extra vitamins, spending time in front of special lights that mimic sunshine, exercise, adequate rest, and for those who need it, antidepressants.  Knowing the adverse effects of antidepressants and mood stabilizers, I choose to fight for as long as possible by using natural methods.  All that to say, I have officially set up my “atrium” or basement garden.  I have had plants in the basement and kitchen window every winter since moving to Ohio, I think.  But this is the first year that we have had our basement waterproofed, complete with glass windows! And, I now have 2 big wash-tub planters of herbs.  The herbs smelled so good as I lugged the tubs down the cellar steps, trimmed off the frozen extra limbs, and watered them.  I turned on the “plant light” over where I parked my planters, and am determined not to turn it off all winter!  I am actually EXCITED about wintering myself in our “new” basement this winter!  It was so bright between the plant light and the sunshine streaming in through the windows.  In addition to a bay for storage, we have a large play area for the kids, divided into a “boys side” and a “girls side”.  Under the stairs is a compact dressing room for ordinary girls to become princesses.  The playroom is next to my garden area, so the kids can play while I get my sunshine therapy.
Okay, that’s enough rambling for one day....Maybe it will give someone else some ideas or encouragement that they are not alone. At least I will be able to look back and remember my winter preparations.