We are undergoing what could only be described as an unprecedentedly gigantic amount of snow here in the Boston area. The total stands at 71″ (aka over 5.5 feet) in the past 19 days with more predicted to fall. In case you were wondering, this quantity of snow yields snowbanks taller than two Frugal Hounds stacked on top of each other (now that’s a lot of hound).
It’s been snowfall after snowfall in a gloriously epic saga of what’s beginning to reveal itself as a never-ending blizzard of, well, snow. I’ve already confessed our unabashed adoration of these wintry months and our fervor has only intensified with these most recent outpourings of, well, snow. You’d think we’d be longing for a tropical island, but no, we’re hoping for more snow! Unbalanced? Perhaps.
You see, excessive snow strikes at the core of something Mr. Frugalwoods and I hold dear: self-sufficiency. There’s a great deal of self-reliance that goes into successfully weathering this type of battering storm, which has been born out in Mr. FW’s daily (sometimes hourly) shoveling of our loooooong walkway to the street, unearthing our car from snowbanks (repeatedly), knocking icicles off our gutters (moderately terrifying), and just the general idea that you need to take care of yourself and not pay other people to do every little thing for you. A major caveat here is that I acknowledge we’re lucky to be young and in good health and thus able to accomplish these tasks.
Furthermore, the region has been incredibly fortunate not to suffer significant power outages. One of the things we dislike about city life is that we’re entirely dependent on the grid. We have no fireplace, no woodstove, no solar, no wind, no well, no composting toilet… we’re as city slicker as you get because we have no other option in our dense, urban environment.
This is a huge motivator behind our homestead dream. We crave the sufficiency we’ll have once we’re able to heat with wood, rely on our well and septic, and hopefully have a solar array and possibly wind power as well. But for the time being, we’re enthralled with our mini self-sufficiency experiment amidst this snow-fueled wonderland.
Something I struggle to understand are the complaints I hear from colleagues and neighbors about so-called “cabin fever” and how “bored” they are being stuck inside with their families. It’s all I can do not to retort, “are you kidding me?!” It’s my dream come true to be “stuck” at home with the love of my life and our hound, working on projects that are meaningful to me. What’s boring about that, pray tell?
Here’s a small sampling of what we’ve been up to whilst snowbound:
Learned that you can use a fuzzy sock as a swiffer wipe. Earth shattering discoveries here, people.
- Baked pumpkin oatmeal spice cookies*.
- Hosted a frugal dinner party with frugal friends.
- Did yoga at home (with the slightly odd Pandora “yoga” station… let’s just say there were a few too many pan flutes for my taste).
- Conducted homestead research (did you know that some trees in central New England are more fire resistant than others? I do now).
Tried a faux beard on Frugal Hound, which Mr. FW’s aunt kindly knitted for us (thank you, Aunt R!).
- Wrote stuff for you fine folks to read on this here interwebs site.
- Baked focaccia bread (Mr. FW did, that is).
- Read books of assorted and sundry types.
- Mr. FW gave me this home haircut!
- Have embarked on a project to teach Frugal Hound how to high-five. Results thus far are mixed.
- Embraced the season for what it is. It’ll be spring soon enough. Might as well relish the moment.
*Untrue to my normal free-styling form, I actually followed this recipe for the pumpkin oatmeal spice cookies to a T and they turned out like perfection on a baking sheet. They are beyond delicious. BEYOND I tell you.
And we’re not stuck inside either–we take walks, we meandered through Goodwill and an art gallery the other day, we go to the grocery store–there’s plenty to do! Having the ability to entertain ourselves for $0 (with very minimal tv watching I might add) is a central tenet to frugal weirdness. We’re not dependent on external sources for stimulation–we create our own fun. And yes, sometimes that fun involves texting people photos of Frugal Hound “drinking” wine. I’m a very mature person, as you can see:
I will confess that this amount of snow doesn’t come without a few grumbles. Firstly, we’re running into a problem of where to put the snow… there’s so much of it at this point that we’re all out of space to relocate shoveled snow to. Mr. FW has ingeniously devised a snow mountain (referred to affectionately as “Snountain”) on our pip-squeak concrete patio, but at 8 feet tall, Snountain can’t hold too much more.
The other grumble we have is that drivers aren’t terribly nice to Mr. FW as he bikes to work these days. Since the bike lanes are entirely populated by snow, he has to bike in the car lane, which makes some impatient gas guzzlers twitchy. Despite their rudeness, he persists.
But on the whole, we delight in the alteration of our world that snow brings. It’s good to experience different challenges and temperatures and circumstances. Call it character-building or just call it living in the moment, either way, we’re enjoying ourselves. After all, why not? Bloom where and when you’re planted (even if it’s in a snow bank).
P.S. Another foot of snow is predicted to fall on Sunday… and again on Tuesday… we’re in it to winter win it!
P.P.S Wondering how Mr. FW and I are celebrating the holiday that occurs tomorrow (aka Valentine’s Day)? Wonder no more.