We have had a very mild winter compared with last year – no snow to speak of and plenty of days with temps in the 40s and 50s. I’m very happy about this because it means we don’t have to use as much propane to heat the house, the chickens and goats aren’t suffering from the cold and we haven’t had a single ‘snow day’ at school. Since it’s been wet as well as mild, we have enough water in the cistern to shower more than once a week and can even do laundry (our largest water use) regularly.
The downside (and isn’t there always a downside?) is that our dirt driveway is a muddy quagmire. And Indiana mud isn’t just wet dirt – it’s a sticky clay that gathers on your boots with every step until you have acquired several pounds of muck that threaten to drag off your footwear with the next step! It’s nearly impossible to drive in (as the UPS driver discovered when he got stuck delivering a holiday package) and we’ve taken to parking on a higher and dryer patch of ground rather than in front of the house. It also diminishes the already limited ambiance of the homestead both inside (due to the amount of mud tracked in) and outside. Combined with the grey and dreary skies, dark leafless trees and short days it is an altogether depressing landscape right now.