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Updated: May 7, 2020

Winters in Wyoming can be hard with its snow, sub-zero temperatures, and Arctic winds. I have lived in Northern Wyoming all my life. I would never leave it. Taking care of animals and just surviving in these conditions can be a struggle. But with the right supplies, know how, and frame of mind Winter can be very rewarding also. I will be honest with you winter is not my favorite season. I hate the dreary days of no sunshine and right now the icy slushy mud. Yes I said mud, in January. Just wait tell March and we will be stuck in mud up to our knees. Well maybe not that much mud but it feels like it with three boys traipsing it in and out of my house. Gravel path ways are in our future. I hope. But back to winter. I have found many tips and tricks that I thought I would share with you.

Tip #1 Dress for the Weather

This might seem obvious but what I am truly saying is get your tush outside. For years when I had little children and no chores outside I found the winters even harder to bear. It could have been the lack of sleep too. But I truly think it was not getting my self outside and get the stink off like my grandpa used to say. When we first got the chickens I couldn’t believe the sense of calm I felt after I would return to the house with a red cheeks. It was amazing. As the kids got older though those chores got put on them and I was again trapping myself inside. I say trapping because I was hiding behind the excuses of they are outside now I have time for myself or to clean this or to put away this. Even when my husband was home I continued to make the excuse for staying inside. But what I was truly missing besides time with my family was time for my self to enjoy the great outdoors. I was missing the smell of the pine wind as it drifted in before a snow storm. I was missing the sound of my boots crunching in the fresh fallen snow. I was missing the rush of endorphin your body gets when you get cold. It was all my fault. I had the coat, gloves, hat, and everything I need to dress for the weather but in my hope for finding some alone time I lost my self in the gloom of the everyday dishes and laundry. I also lost the most primal connection a Christian can have with God. I was missing out on his creation. The world that he made for us is not found in the things in our homes but in the sunrises, mountains views, and in the silence only winter can bring. You know that silence. That silence just after a snow storm and the only sounds you can hear is your own breathing or the wind rustling the brown dormant grass. Don’t miss out!

Trick #1 Give your self a daily outdoor chore

It is easy in our busy lives to say why do I need to go outside. I have dishes to do or maybe you would say, not me of course, all the kids are outside I could mop the floor. I do need to mop the floor though. Lucky with the addition of Goats I have my own chores again. This forces me to get outside even when the drifts are hip deep, even when I just don’t want to. Yes, there are still times I just don’t want to! But my girls are waiting for me! I think I summed this up best in my poem, A Homesteader’s Woe". Maybe you don’t have animals that need taken care of. You could go check the mail or put up a bird feeder. Birds love to have those extra little treats in the Winter.

Tip #2 Dream

Yes, winter can be a time of relaxation and catching up on your sleep. In fact I implore you to go to bed early the sun does, why not you. Back to dreaming, what I mean is dream about spring and the summer that will be. Winter is a great time to finalize your garden plans or design that new something you want to build. When you dream don’t fuss about the budget details or reality just yet. My husband is always saying, “ that’s nice dear but how are we going to pay for that.”Sometimes he is just too practical, he does bring the calm to my storm. But what I tell him, every time, is “with out a dream or a plan to accomplish it how will we ever begin.” Dreams can never become reality if it always stays in the dream stage. Get those dreams on paper. Draw them. Gather information about them. Then when the budget allows, guess what, all the work has been done. You will also know exactly how much you will need. How can one save if you don’t have a goal in mind.

Tip #3 Clean or Rearrange

I know I hate cleaning too. But if I get my cleaning schedule working like a well greased machine now, I can focus on outdoor things in the Spring and Summer when I love spending every waking hour outside. But I also hate feeling ashamed at the destruction zone my house can become in the summer. During the summer I would rather clean the barn then the house. But when it is a mess  I don’t feel like inviting our friends over.  I try to keep everyone outside when they do by chance stop by. But this doesn’t work unless you have a outdoor bathroom. Which I don’t.

Trick #2 Devote your cleaning to God

Remember when you clean and take care of your home you are not only doing it for yourself but for your family and God. God is glorified in everything we do, even in the things we do badly. God asks us and helps us to be the best we can be. That also means in cleaning our house. Yes, Include your cleaning skills in your prayers. For with God all things are possible.

Winter is a great time to rearrange, redecorate your home. While your deep cleaning each room burn some more calories and move that furniture too. You can also find a place for everything and everything in it’s place. When everything has a home in your home your home will naturally be easier to clean. I am not going to give you decorating advice because I am still working on decorating my home we built 10 years ago. I admit this is one of my skills I hope to work on this winter. Remember though redecorating doesn’t have to break the budget. You could use some of the extra time winter tends to give you and make it yourself.

Tip #4 Learn Something New

There are so many skills in the current generation that have been lost to Facebook and to those little rectangular devices in every person back pocket. You know what I mean, the cell phone. I remember a time when a portable phone was the size of a large lap dog. Instead let's use our cellphone to learn something new. There are many YouTube channels or websites devoted to teaching others. Some even teach old time hobbies. Old time hobbies can give you something to hold in your hand. They can give you a sense of accomplishment. These can be things like learning to make your own bacon, crocheting, knitting, sewing, or canning. The list is endless. Another way to learn old time hobbies is to tap into classes in your area. The best place to look would be at local stores who sell the products you need for your said hobby.

Tip #5 Educate yourself

The last tip is to find time to educate yourself. You can find more details about this in my Mother Culture Post.

Remember don’t let the world hold you back, Pray, Just Plant!

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