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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cottage Life - Thriving in a Very Real Winter

When we moved into our Oregon cottage 18 months ago the locals asked us if we would be able to stand the winters. Coming from the Rocky Mountains where we lived at 7,500 feet and experienced snow storms that dropped four feet of snow at a time in April and May, we were pretty certain that the winters they talked about would seem mild in comparison.


Outdoor Seating - Allenspark, Colorado

After all, average snowfall in these parts never amounted to more than a few inches at a time, and daytime temps hovered in the mid to high 20's. And, in fact, when we broke ground for our cottage in February 2015 there had been no snowfall and there wouldn't be for the rest of the winter. The construction team often worked in their shirt sleeves.


Holy cow, is our cottage really that small?

Last year we experienced more ice than snow, and I invested in a pair of grippers to wear over my shoes so I could walk without fear of slipping


Very stylish, don't you think?

Which brings us to this year's weather. Yesterday I took these photos of our town's maintenance crew removing snow from the neighborhood and transporting it out of the area.







We've received several feet of snow over the past month and more is expected. When it finally warms up enough to melt it could be problematic. Consequently, the relocation of 5' - 7' mounds from concentrated areas to help ease the runoff.

Temperatures have been in the single digits during the day and below zero at night, and that's on good days. I hear some griping and complaining, when I go out, but really, what good does that do? It is what it is, and I believe in making the best of it. This, too, shall pass.


If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

In the meantime, I appreciate the pristine beauty of fresh snow. It's so much prettier than brown lawns and bare trees. I'm blessed to live in a warm, cozy cottage and so thankful for my husband who designed it.


Photo taken before the "real" snow came.


And then there's comfort food. Homemade stews and hearty soups are my favorite dishes and this is the best time of year to make them. Last night we dined on Vegetable Beef soup. Over the weekend I made Chili with Black Beans, only this time I added a chopped sweet potato. Oh my, was it delicious. I don't think I'll ever make it any other way from now on.


My Chili with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes. Yum!


Hot drinks, warm quilts and the promise of spring keep my spirits up.






For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, 
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 
Song of Solomon 2:11-12


Believe it or not, spring will be here before we know it.

29 comments:

  1. Love the picture of the sweet cottage with snow. Sooooo pretty. Stay cozy and warm in your cottage. I am already dreaming of Spring and looking outside to see new life appearing and much more sunshine. Can't get here fasts enough for me. That stew looks so good.
    xoxo
    Kris

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  2. Enjoy hibernating a bit inside your cozy cottage.

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  3. We have had a crazy winter here, too, Nancy. Lots of snow and, worse than that- ice. I, for one, can't wait for Spring!!! xo Diana

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  4. Stay warm! Last winter was the nicest and warmest of all the years I've lived in this town This winter is the coldest. Brrrrrrrr counting the days until spring!

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  5. Hi dear Nancy ,, como llego el invierno por allá ,, que friooooo ,,que tengas un Buen Día
    Catiños

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    Replies
    1. Gracias por visitarnos, Angélica. Disfruta el resto de la semana.

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  6. Interesting weather changes from year to year.
    Happy you have some snow,
    sets off that beautiful red cottage perfectly!
    I liked the Wayne Dyer quote
    and the Song of Solomon scripture is a favorite.
    Happy cozy wintery days . . .

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  7. Youre right people need to make the best of things and complaining wont change mother nature lol. Love visiting your blog.

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  8. Stay warm! We're having our first winter storm today, which in Brittany means violent winds (especially close to the coast), heavy rain and hail. I was a bit worried until I got home from work. Now I've closed the windows, I stay warm at home, candles at the ready in case we loose power. It'll pass as you say and it's part of winter here!
    Stay warm!

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  9. Gorgeous pictures! Of course in the Northeast where we are supposed to get lots of snow, we're not! I love when everything is snow covered, the sun is out and the air is crisp. Today it was 60 degrees....crazy!

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  10. Our weather (I'm including both you and me in the "our") has been so different then anything I have experienced. Being rather new to Idaho, I thought this was normal.
    Old timers say this is not normal! I'm actually, glad to be experiencing all this snow and cold.
    I bought some of those gripper things, also. I walk around with ease. Best purchase this year!

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  11. OMG!! :O... so much snow?? I love the black bean soup.. it looks so yummy!!

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    1. Black beans are my favorite bean of all, and I really like them in chili.

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  12. I pinned that last picture Nancy...oh, the flowers!! They say that life is cyclical and I guess the weather is too. Some winters will be mild, some will not. When I was little, I remember mounds of snow everywhere, giant forts and snowball fights. In my teens and early 20's the snow seemed to disappear. So we booked a wedding February and it snowed 14" the day before. ; ) Figures. After several miserable ones in a row, this winter has been mild so far and I am all for that! I hope your spring comes soon and you continue to enjoy your cozy (red...swoon!) cottage until then! Hugs!

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  13. I truly think there's nothing quite as beautiful as fresh fallen snow. I'm making the most of this winter and trying to finish up all our indoor projects so we can "play" all summer. We've been eating lots of soups and comfort food during our cold spell, too. I'll have to try adding sweet potatoes to one of my soups. And you're right, spring will be here before you know it! Happy weekend!

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  14. We are experiencing the same weather! Ugh ! This too shall pass !!

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  15. Good morning dear Nancy!

    I am hearing of more people in different states getting way more snow than they've ever had. In California where they need the moisture so badly, much rain and lots of snow in the mountains has taken many places off the drought list. Truly, to be grateful for the seasons in all seasons is the only way to get through it! I remember two years ago here; we had so much snow it even started to get ridiculous to me, and I LOVE SNOW! This year, we're getting our share, but we're having more cold at long stretches. But just last night I got a pang of JOY just thinking about my spring/summer gardening plans. REJOICE!

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  16. P.S., the addition of sweet potato to beans is REALLY GOOD....my Puerto-Rican mother-in-law used to put them in her beans or sometimes even squash!

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  17. What a lovely post dear Nancy. I do hope you won't have any problems from melting snows later in the spring. Snow is pretty when it is fresh. I am glad though, that I don't live in it.

    Your chili looks delicious!

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  18. I love your attitude, Nancy -- and your snow pics! Hopefully your sweet spirit will rub off on some of the Grumpys around you. Stay warm and safe and have a wonderful weekend.

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  19. Nancy, you certainly make your home a joyful cottage through your lovely personality that shines through your writing. I can't believe your little cottage is 18 months old already it seems just like yesterday that I watched with excitement as you and hubby built your home and shared each step through your blog. Time does fly. Living in Northern Utah I am pretty use to this kind of snow that you have shown but for the city to send it someplace else is amazing. Winter is my very favorite time of year, it is beautiful, peaceful, and time to spend doing things that you just can't get to during the other months of the year. I like the idea of your non slip shoe covers. That's what I need, can you tell me where you found them? I have a elderly friend that could really use a pair of those to. Have a lovely wintery day and stay warm.
    xx Jo

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  20. The chili with black beans and sweet potato look delicious. The snow is pretty but I would not survive there. I hibernated last week for two days when the temps were 50 during the day. LOL Definitely a Florida girl.

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  21. This weather will make spring all the more sweeter won't it! I am so happy to see you are back posting again. Living in a small cottage myself, I so thoroughly enjoy your blog.

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    1. You're so kind. Thank you, Lily. And yes, I feel the same way about the coming of spring and how sweet it will be after this challenging winter. xo

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  22. That chili looks wonderful. One of my favorite meals is black beans, sauteed onions and sweet potato and then using the mixture as a taco or quesadilla filling. Black beans in the company of sweet potatoes taste wonderful.

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    1. I know! And now I'm wondering why it took me so long to figure that out!

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  23. You've really had a big snow this winter as has much of central and eastern Oregon! Love the way your sweet cottage 'shows' in the snow. Your words reminded me of an old, favorite song: 'thank God for the promise of Springtime - Once again my heart will sing - There's a brand new day a-dawning - Thank God for the promise of Spring.' So true wherever we live!
    ~Adrienne~

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