Winter Blahs…

The winter blahs hit me today full force. I’ve been kidding myself, and pretending that I was just hopeful for spring and just trying to keep busy and warm, content to wait for the gentle little breezes of warm spring air to drift down and tickle me. But today, it just really slapped me in the face like a scorned woman.

I was out getting eggs, feeding the hens. We just had gotten done from a round of errands, feed store, bank, gas station, hardware and then visiting Dale, our hay guy. We had just feed the hoof stock hay after being out of it for a day. They acted like they had never eaten ever the way they were grabbing and snatching big mouthfuls of hay off our sleds as we dragged them back to their huts. (Mind you, they had been grazing all day on the stubby yard grass, which isn’t great, but still, something and they had gotten a bucket of grass hay pellets and sweet feed in the morning… so they were HARDLY starving, but still, they were very ready to tear into a nice fresh bale from Mr. Dale.)

But I digress.

I was standing there, watching the sheep chow in their hay, with my basket of eggs, hands and feet cold, and all I could think about was how dreadful the place looked. I mean, mud and straw and leaves all turned brown and yucky and fallen branches and little piles of pony poop and chicken feathers here and there from the molt. The house looks dirty and dingy, the pathways are all mud because we don’t seem to be able to do justice to winter here in Northern Ohio and let the ground actually freeze up. The yard is getting chewed up because it’s so soggy and rainy and yucky. It’s just cold enough with the wind that I can’t really stay outside too long before my feet get numb and my fingers ache. Even with good gear on. It’s just a blah yucky part of rural living.

The mud season.

It’s dark all day long, hardly see much sunshine. It’s been raining off and on again and is just dreary. Makes me want to write sad, sad lonesome bluegrass songs. Convinces me to stay and linger in bed extra long because the house is cold in the mornings before we start up the kerosene heaters and it’s dark and rainy. Ugh.

I just can’t imagine how it used to be in the old days, without DVDs and the internet to suck up all your blah time. No phones, no easy contact, days and days without seeing hardly anyone but your own family members. Trying to stay warm, trying to keep the mud and the dingy gray light from driving you insane! It must have been dreadful some long gray and cold days out in the prairies or anywhere rural.

I try hard to remember that everyone’s little farms seem to look pretty much the same. Some a little more tidy, others, well, even worse. I contemplate hiring some lawn care guy to come out and try and make the place look better! Silly me. Waste of money. I know it will look better as soon as the grass starts to grow and the sunshine returns and the trees start to bud and flower. I try and remember how the place looked when we moved in, back in April last year. It was dreadful!

Still… in my mind’s eye I think about the pretty little stereotype farms and grade ours against Martha’s places or like the Bob Evans farm… and we sure fail in comparison. I know it’s stupid… those are people with multi-million dollar estates and staff and all that. Windhaven would look magnificent if I was making a zillion dollars a year doing ah, whatever.

Too much thinking like that leads to a feeling of discontentment and that is just not like me. I know the well thing is kinda wearing me down some. I suppose the easy way would be to go and borrow the money from someone, but I just don’t want to. We’re getting close to having enough to fix it and I guess another week or two and we’ll be there. My feed guy just gave me a good lead on a local fellow that does heating and cooling, plumbing and wells and is well recommended. I’m going to give him a call and see if I can get an estimate from him. Got about $700 saved up so far, and I’ll feel happier with a grand ready. If it’s less, fantastic! More, well, we’ll just save another week or so. I want my girls to understand that sometimes you have to wait, work hard and budget to deal with unexpected trials in your life. No one is suffering or anything, it’s just a little annoying to keep forgetting the water is off and trying to flush or run the kitchen sink out of habit.

Oh well… I’m sorry to sound a little down in the dumps, but I am, just a little bit. Just would like to find something to distract myself when I’m out back and all. To keep those discontentful thoughts from my head and enjoy life as it is today, at this moment.

I got a kick out of Cody stealing hay from our bales as we tugged them out to the barns. He was as gleeful as a colt and he danced and pranced around us as we brought room service out to him. At one point he even dashed ahead and scattered the sheep in pure orneriness. He’s funny to watch when he’s done something clever, at least in his little pony brain. He stops and snorts and shakes his little hairy head and just looks positively pleased with himself. He dashed in to his barn and began gobbling up mouthfuls of hay, nudging us and being silly. And then he dashed back out to follow me to the sheep shack and make a point of eating some of their hay as well before frolicking off to do a victory lap around the yard like a big goof.

Now, why can’t I feel like that crazy pony in this blah time? Just happy to be alive and get a big lunch of my favorite hay and torment my yardmates with a little fun teasing?

Maybe I need lunch out at Olive Garden with some friends, and a little cheesecake and maybe a BIG margarita and then something like oh, a movie or maybe taking the girls to a hotel with a pool and we can swim all afternoon and order pizza and have a slumber party! Yeah… I think we need a little something, just something different, friends, food and exercise! Hmmmm…..

I’ll have to think about what we could do that would be fun like that. And sort of cheap, still… just something fun to plan and look forward to. I think some swimming and a long soak in a hot tub and a nice warm hotel room… that would be fun. And if we found a place right around here, we could still check on the livestock and then hurry back after we’re done! (haha… a farmer’s vacation!)

How do you all pass these winter blues? I know not everyone is in the same climate as we are, and there are different sorts of things going on, but still… it’s the after holidays time where there isn’t a whole lot going on, how do you pass that time? I’m just wondering…

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Winter Blahs… — 16 Comments

  1. I do most of my sewing in winter. I have been making potholders lately.
    I spend quite a bit of time with my coupon facebook groups. I also have a craft/gardening FB group and we do quarterly group craft projects that we swap. Right now we’re designing and making bookmarks to swap.

    • That is cool… I used to do stamping swaps and enjoyed that… I have a few little sewing projects, maybe I should add that to my list and see if it helps a bit! Got a little footstool that could use a cute cover… I think we are going to work on our studio tomorrow and perhaps in the afternoon, that would be fun to find some fabric and do a little sewing!!! Thanks!


  2. It’s easy to see what “others have”…and what you might not see that glass as “half full”..not half empty. don’t have a 30 yr most great is that!! : )
    And just like old cars..houses..even NEW houses..always have upkeep. I’m sitting here as I type..thinking how much longer do I have..before my well pump burns out. And..yes I have a furnace..but..remember..I’m the one that went a winter without one..kerosene in one room..not flushing the toilet everything..oooo..and that ooo so nice hot bubble bath. I kno..there are lots of people out here..that never “do without” as far as the basics..but I’m hear to tell ya lady..those are not single moms..providing for their kids.
    And don’t forget where you was a little over a yr a moby..(it was nice!) had to be afraid of someone burning it down!!! wtf! Everything comes with time..and know..that my yard is also crappy..hey..even Ms Jan I’m sure ! And all those..chicken feathers..and pony poop..that’s love..that’s how I’m seeing it..healthy love. I have to say..I’m not envious of all your animals..that many is too much work for me..noooooooooooooo thank you..and I hope your not ..overextending yourself..I know its easy to do.
    So go..Ms Sherri..knowing that your glass is full..and think about our in a huge uninsulated house..with just one pot belled stove..that someone had to throw some wood into every morning. And about the old scrub boards for laundry day. Exposed wiring for electrical..or even more dangerous..the old gas lights!..AND..all the roads use to be heaters in I can go on and on. Don’t compare what you have to finally have that little farm..and that pony you wanted so bad..take a deep breathe..and smile and thank GOD… year is gonna be better : )

    • Thanks !! You always cheer me up with your posts! Yeah, I am blessed and I know it, it’s just sometimes you just want to get going on things but it feels like you’re trying to swim in jello… a WHOLE lot of effort and not a lot of progress! I know that good stuff and warm weather is right around the corner! I can’t believe it’s almost February… January has just flown by! A short little month and then March… March always has a few good hopeful days that encourage a body to get ready for the spring! Can’t wait!!! In the meanwhile, it’s time to just get my plate clean and clear so I can enjoy that time when it gets here!!!!



  3. PS..find yourself a nice “comfort Inn” in the the can get a room for around 30 bucks or so..order some chinese or pizza..and play in the pool..the place will be empty..alllllll yours!

    • Yeah I like the idea of a little swim day party more and more! Heck, we don’t even have to stay the night if we don’t want… but it might be fun. We’ll have to see how the next week or so shapes up and check on a few of the local places with nice indoor pools!!! :-)


  4. You ladies have been through alot this winter with the stove, the pets, and now the water. Thats a huge amount of stress in ones life and still you trudge on. I am continually amazed each time I read your blog with all that you all do. I tell my husband all the time how you ladies are the hardest working gals I know. You really are. I think you are doing a great job. I go through this sometimes too and just learn to reconize what it is……winter blahs as you just said. It will pass, the sun will shine, the tress and flowers will bud and bloom and all will be right in the world again. Winter time here is muddy and ulgy too. I have learned to bundle up and get the work done outside and then stay busy with insode work. Save some thiings to do when it is too hot or cold to worl outside. The busier I stay, the shorter winter seems. you are right, in six weeks we will be pecking around in our gardens and getting ready to grow grow grow. So excited to see what all you will harvest this year. You inspire me to continue forward with my work also. Hang in there and hope the water is fixed soon. That will help alot. I too have been pondering the thought of a secure water supply that isn’t dependent on electric. We have our well and it is 680 feet deep. um yea. That is deep, we live up on a hill. great watwer, just impossible to pump by hand in emergencies. Still have some thinking to do about this and have to get other family members on board, (husband). So much to do always it seems and never enough time or money.

    Have a great day, Chanda

    • Oh my! 600+ foot well! Yes indeed, that would be a challenge to get water from in an emergency! You know though, I think I saw somewhere in my travels a small emergency well pump that will work with deep wells and it uses a small marine battery to operate it. Of course, it’s not 200 gallons a minute or something, but in an emergency, even a gallon a hour would be better than nothing.

      Thanks so much for you kind words! Haha, I don’t feel like we work hard but I guess we are just persistent and since we don’t have “day jobs” really, and our income needs are very low, we have a lot more time than a lot of folks do, to get more things done. There are days that I feel like we just did absolutely nothing but the most bare minimum of chores and such… ugh… but then we’ll turn around and have a good hard work day and that helps out. I guess we have ideas and goals and just want to reach them sooner than later. I just love that we’re already way way ahead on our 5 year plan! Heck, we didn’t even think we’d be out of the moby and on our own homestead for another year or two!!! I just have to remember that… sometimes it’s hard, like you said, in the ugly mud time! Things just look dingy and muddy and kinda of yucky. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that if every day was sunny and lovely and perfect, we would start to take those days for granted. With the dark comes the light and with the mud comes the sunshine and dry weather too… it will come. I think sometimes just acknowledging that you’re a little blah, can help you to climb out of the pit and get back on firm ground. Hopefully, not too muddy ground! haha…

      Thanks so much for writing!!!


  5. It sounds like you know what you and your daughters would enjoy, within the constraints of your homestead respondsibilities. I think you should do your best to go for it!

    As for me, I am iced in here in Wisconsin. My driveway is uphill (leaving) and we haven’t had any real big snows so far, but one of my sons plows me out as needed. But the last precip we had was rain. Nice coating of ice now. I haven’t left my rural property for 16 days, and I am happy as can be.

    I am pretty much universally laughed at by friends and family because I am happiest when I don’t have to go anywhere. People are so busy these days that running around seems to be the norm. Not for me. Running errands is something I dread. I hate shopping.

    I recently finished a nice large crocheted afghan for a friend. Now I’ve started a quilted wall hanging that will be 100% HAND stitched. I am scraping and sanding my pine floors, a little bit at a time because I have a sore right shoulder currantly. There are dozens of things I could work on in this house as well as having supplies on hand for plenty of sewing and crafts.

    I always start the winter with a full pantry and freezer. The only thing I have purchased since before Christmas has been fresh milk and eggs. The last batch of that was brought to me by my son.

    You would think I was 80 years old and frail….But I’m 56 and robust!

    Do what’s right for you and never apologize for it. You’ve hauled a lot of water and deserve a break!!!

    • You sound like me! I leave the hut here and I’m not hardly a mile down the road and I’m thinking about getting back as soon as I can! I would love to be “snowed” in for awhile, a good excuse to stay put! We are serious homebodies and I’m not totally sure there is anything wrong with that. I mean, running about, spending money, living the jet set life isn’t always what its cracked up to be. I found that life to be stressfull, lonely and unhappy for the most part. Just a veil of contentment that was very very thin.

      This is our first year and first winter on the homestead. It’s been enlightening to me. I know for example that we really need to put up a WHOLE lot more hay! haha… and that we need to gravel some our main pathways to help with the mud. And that we were sorely unready for the cold, and the need for personal serious gear for outside… not those little cute thin mittens and foo foo coats… Carhartts and thermal boots and gloves! Mother Nature has been trying her hardest to kick our butts but we’re still standing! Next winter, we will be SOOOOO much more prepared for sure!

      Thanks again for writing! Hearing back from folks really helps me too to see that we’re doing okay and I just love the feedback. It’s a good thing.


  6. Nancy GOSH..there are others..LIKE ME!? I so hate shopping..I live in Northern Ohio..and when Im snowed in..Im as happy as can be. I would SO love to be that person..that has a old cabin up atop a neighbors..just sorrowed myself by whatever makes me happy..fluffy kitty kats..warm comforters..and lots and lots of movies and munchie food..and darn it..hide the scales in the basement! lol..Im 59..spent nearly my whole life raising kids..and doing for its “my” time… not in my vocabulary..~ Linda

    • Linda, The only time I can remember being bored was when my (late) husband took me on a winter vacation to Texas for a month. EGAD that was boring!

      Evil internet…I ran out of quilt batting and ordered some online. Darn Amazon for having everything, so I ordered 5# of mini chocolate bars while I was at it. My scale gathers dust in my basement, too!!


  7. Well, Sherri, I have no advice to offer on how to cope with the winter blahs, however I want to comment on your writing.
    I wonder if you know how much your writing style and depth of expression continue to improve. It seems that the more you write the better you get. I’ve tried my hand at writing and know how difficult it can be to put down your thoughts (fictional or non): how much work and effort it takes to accurately describe the place, the time, the feeling. You have a deft way with words: even when you’re going through a trial, your strength and courage shine through.
    Writing is a skill that can be taught, but ‘style’ is what the individual writer shares of herself…and you have that in abundance along your willingness to be open about so much of your life.

    Thank you for your wonderful posts. We may not always leave a reply, but I’m sure there are many of us who appreciate your blog more than you know!


    • Thanks a bunch, that is sure nice.

      I’ve been writing since I was about 13. I started writing fan fiction Star Trek stories with a girlfriend… haha… they were dreadful but we loved them. I’ve written a few articles for bigger publications back in the day and do most of the writing for all our advertising and homeschool publications and such. Have written a couple gigantic fiction pieces (of course, never published) but maybe someday, I might try to polish them up and shop them around…. I love writing and really should do more, not less. But the blog is something different… something that I really didn’t set out to enjoy so much.

      If you think my writing style has been growing and evolving, I’m quite certain that you are 100% correct. When I first started this, it was more of an informational sort of thing… a look at this, enjoy that, try this, sort of record of some of the things I had been thinking about self sufficiency in the urban setting and such like that. But somewhere along the line, it started to change and evolve, as a sort of personal door into much more than my surface thoughts. it just felt good to talk and share and I have loved all the kind readers that have taken a few minutes to leave comments, or write me emails, just wonderful. I decided at some point that I wasn’t going to lament and over edit my blog, it was going to be as free form and flowing as I could make it, and it would be in my own voice and my own inflections and such… it would be me. And I think, it probably is pretty close to that. Or so say a good deal of my close friends.

      Sometimes I will revisit a post here and there and as I read I cringe at some of the grammar issues and wrong words and akwardly phrased sentences, but hey, that’s me. I’m not a super gammarian… I read a ton, and know lots of $5 words but I find in the end, that they just don’t always work and convey the thoughts and feelings I really want to share.

      Oh yeah, and I like to type fast. haha… so I can get a lot of words out before I have to move on to my next task of the day! I write big honking long emails too…. when I’m in the mood!

      So, I hope that helps to sort of fill in my personal timeline of the whole writing thing! I’m hoping that I will be able to squeeze out a little time and compose a few articles for some of these way cool homesteading and such magazines and then perhaps consider some sort of single mom one day at a time postive homesteading journal book some day! It’s a goal… I hope I can make it so, some day!

      In the meanwhile, thanks SO much for your kind words and your atta’ girl slap on the back of encouragement! It means so much to me, I don’t know that you will ever know how much I cherish everyone that takes a little time to wander down my path to my little world and sit a spell to visit.



      • Sherri, I want to send you my thanks for your writing as well. As a person who does not “do” Facebook, I appreciate your nice newsy posts here. Sometimes I wonder where you (three) fit everything in to your days, and then us blog readers sit here expecting you to keep us in the loop as well! We appreciate it!

        • Thanks a bunch, that’s nice! I do try, but sometimes I get behind and all. just not enough hours in the day! It sounds like you are a busy gal as well! I like to stay busy, I have a hard time just sitting around. Well, haha.. unless that is surfing the web, which, unfortuately, I can do very well. :-)