I never did hear any reasons for the weird winter we're having this year. Is it El Niño, La Niña? Whatever it is, I feel like this is what a Seattle winter must be like. We've had endless gloomy, gray, rainy days, and almost zero snow. I am no longer a winter hater, but this "winter lite" has been tough on me. I need sunshine! And snow is much more pleasant to look at than all this gloom.
But here it is, the end of February, and spring is trying to arrive without winter ever really getting here first. My crocus is in bloom, and the pansy pot never really stopped blooming from last fall. I'm sure the other early bulbs will follow quickly.
However, the chilly rain keeps us from enjoying the outdoors very often. I'm still hunkered down planning next years garden, and working on my winter crafts. The seed catalogs have been studied, lists made, and all seeds are purchased for the year. I just love to think about how all my vegetables and flowers are waiting for me inside these packets.
Since outdoor gardening is out of the question in winter, that's when I concentrate on my craft projects. I do a little bit of rock painting, and even taught the garden club how to make these cute ladybug rocks for the garden. But mostly I crochet. Since it's too warm to have a big crochet afghan laying on your lap in the summer, I try to do all those in the winter.
Winter is also a good time to explore the city. I heard about this strange and weird crochet art piece at the Columbus Museum of Art, so I was off to check it out. It was every bit as delightful as I thought it would be! The artist collected various cast off pieces and connected them into these Dr. Seuss style shapes. Of course I looked at more traditional art while I was there, but the crochet pieces were definitely my favorite.
Of course I also visit the Franklin Park Conservatory in winter. Their focus is orchids this time of year, and they were especially lovely this year.
Sometimes I just plain enjoy being home and cozy in the winter. I don't cook very often, but when I do, it's usually soup. I went really outside the box and made this Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil soup, and it was one of the most delicious soups I've ever had. I'll definitely be making it again. If you want to try it out, you can find the recipe here. Be careful with the cayenne, I used much less than the recipe calls for.
Needless to say, I use flower bouquets at home to remind me of my garden.
Once in awhile, the skies clear and we see a sunset. Winter wears on, but it is winding down. By the time I post here again, I'll have bulbs aplenty blooming, and winter should be on its way out. And hopefully there will be many more sunsets to see.