Sunday, January 30, 2011

How a Frozen Ground Gardener Stays Sane - or Mostly So

What do you do when January seems like it has lasted five months already and your garden is under several feet of snow and the city keeps promising the plows will come and the wind chill is straight out of Mordor? You get creative. You play. You get goofy even. (Goofy not being a stretch for me, say some).


I am dancing to salsa music. Actually I should say working out to it because, really, I haven't mastered enough of the steps yet to say I am cha-cha-chaing. No matter. The music makes me want to move my butt and moving my butt I am, even if it hurts. I guess that's why they call the class Salsa Burn. Oh, my favourite move? It's called Washing the Windows. Soooo much better than really washing windows. Trust me.


I am drumming. Yes, I wanna bang on me drum all day! I took a workshop in Japanese drumming in the fall and loved it. So for January I decided to try hand drumming. What fun! It is a rather intimate experience, actually, with a little more 'touchy-feely' focus than I was expecting, but nobody in our little circle has gotten to the point of oversharing yet so I'm good. There is something quite joyful about playing in sync with others and just having hella fun. This week we actually did a little dancing with the drums. My science-minded husband raises his eyebrows and nods with that poker face he has perfected when I tell him what we have been up to. Then he raises the newspaper up over his face again. I think I've heard snorts from behind that paper, but it must be the dry air making his sinuses act up. Right?


For moments of real cabin fever, I have emergency seed catalogue stations around the house. Quick, page 12, the hellebores....ah....that's better...sigh. Breathe.

And I am bringing flowers in for mainline therapy. These blue hyacinth's are my latest fix. They make the house smell heavenly and give me something to stare at besides the white outside. Of course, I have taken a million photographs of them. But that's okay. It does seem to help.


Otherwise, you might hear a bellow across the frozen prairies of "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" And we don't want that now, do we?

Hope all the GWN (Great White North) gardeners out there are finding ways to keep the winter blahs at bay. Just remember, February is shorter. Better be, is all I can say. Where is that axe, anyway?

24 comments:

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Such a fun post!!! Washing the windows, oversharing lol. I am a scientist with dry sinuses, so I'm quite sure that's all it was from behind the newspaper. I have always wanted to try Japanese Drumming it looks like so much fun! (On my list of 'things to do one day'). Almost Feb, but sadly still a long way to go before anything happens in the garden. Not terribly helpful, am I? Love the blue hyacinths. :)

Laurrie said...

I love the moody purple photos paired with the exuberant drumming and dancing silliness! Winter is all about strange juxtapositions. I am glad you are surviving so well.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Ms. S, It sounds to me that you are positively partying your way through the dark and dreary days of winter. As for me, I gather branches of early flowering shrubs and force them in vases indoors.....and read, of course....no Salsa for me!

Marguerite said...

You've made January sound positively fun filled, who needs flowers when you can salsa the day away. Of course, it would be awfully nice to salsa on a hot humid night in some exotic locale - I think I need to go look at some travel brochures now...

sweetbay said...

Your hyacinth shots are gorgeous. I hope their beauty and fragrance helps keep you sane in winter's frigid grip! :)

Diane said...

I love how you're embracing life and new experiences! I also love the heavenly scent of those pretty hyacinths. Oh yes, and those seed catalogues too :)

Amy said...

It does sound like a party at your house ... drums, dancing. Also, I am glad no one is oversharing during class...that's funny. Your creative outlets are a great cure for cabin fever. Also, your photos are beautiful!!

Anna said...

I have not heard of Japanese drumming before - it sounds fun and I am off to find out more. Our winter here seems never ending this year but like you have adopted the hyacinth and seed catalogue remedy. I have also been doing tai chi so my knees will be supple when I can get back to work on my allotment :)

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Beautiful post..those phtos are divine...gorgeous! and yay sounds like you are having such fun drumming and salsa dancing...rock on!!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Rebecca: I'll take your word for on the sinuses! lol

Laurrie: Northern winters *are* all about extremes. It can change 40 degrees within a week. We learn to adapt. :)

Dear Edith: Thank you for stopping by. I love the idea of forcing buds on shrubs. I should try that with my double flowering plum. It is just covered in buds this winter.

Marguerite: Oh, like you, I do dream of Salsa-ing in some balmy place...oh yes!:)

Sweetbay: It is helping...I will have to get something else next. Maybe those adorable primroses. :)

Diane: It's a new year and I've been through enough dark, cold January's here now to know that a candle at midnight is the best way to disagree with the darkness. Having fun is my candle!

Amy: I have brought my drumming and dancing home. My little son likes to march around with me and we shake those little egg shakers. He loves dancing with mommy. :)

Anna: I think you would really enjoy the drumming. Japanese drumming involves using big dowel type sticks on a tall drum that you stand up to use. It is a full body experience. You will find lots of it on youtube. :)

Kiki: Victoria, thank you! I am making the best of it. I love that expression "rock on". I will! :)

OF SPRING AND SUMMER said...

Hi,
Keep dancing, drumming, taking photographs and smelling those flowers!! Ignore noises from husband!
Have a lovely weekend.
Ingrid xx

Grace Peterson said...

Whatever trips your trigger! I think we're all going a little stir crazy these days. I love your remedies! I can practically smell the hyacinth and hear your cha, cha, chaing. :) February IS short and March means spring. It's coming, slow but sure!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Ms S I am late getting to read your very cute story here .. you had me snorting a lot because it is familiar to all of us GWN gardeners in pause mode till Spring !
I am on the treadmill .. but listening to fast beat music on my MP3 HELPS so much .. to the point I am driving myself a little too hard especially with last summer's big bad HURT .. wrist weights .. holy crap I thought they were light and not doing much until I felt my shoulder blade go OOPS ! now this morning it is a bit of an ouch time with old and new injuries but I am sticking to it all : )we are just stubborn aren't we ?
I love the thought of percussion lessons especially those fantastic Japanese drummers .. that is totally awesome girl !!
Lets stay strong and hold on till SPRING!! (Johnny doesn't live here .. right ?? *smirk* seeing Jack Nick's face all day now) hehehe

Laura said...

So true. Winter is a time of keeping busy! I love the salsa story! Too cute!

All hail the end of February! It can't be long now! ;)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Beautiful hyacinth pictures. (When I was in the grocery store earlier today, I bought a purple pot and some yellow tulips for good measure.) I was chucking to myself as I was reading through your post. For having the winter blahs you seem to be having an awful lot of fun!

Andrea said...

hahaha i love the way you do it. Why not travel for awhile when the snows are still lingering there! You will love it here in SE Asia. I've just been to Indonesia in January, haha! But i really love that flower you posted. We dont have much colors like that here in the tropics.

Landscape Design By Lee said...

Just stumbled upon your wonderful and fun post. Dancing and druming the time away-sounds like a great way to spend the winter. Love the hyacinth photos! Keep dancing-the days are getting longer...finally!

The Garden Ms. S said...

Thanks for the cheery comments, everyone! Halfway through Feb. now, yay! :)

Linda said...

What a coincidence! I'm just blog-hopping, having posted about trying to rationalise my lack of progress on my allotment just now by thinking of the situation of North American gardeners who have snow cover for months of the year. Now I know how you survive!

Liz said...

Hi,

I don't know how you lot 'up there' cope with such long winters... it's all fun for a day or two seeing fresh white snow, but after that I'm thoroughly bored and want Spring to arrive! :D

I can totally understand why you're salsaing around the house and fighting off the temptation to weild an axe and perhaps repeatedly say 'redrum' whilst riding on a child's tricycle lol.

Not to worry, it'll be here soon and until then you have a wonderful Hyacinth scent to appreciate.

ruthie said...

It does sound as if you have had some wonderful adventures through these dark & cold days. The drumming especially, sounds great fun. But still, Roll on Spring!

Kiki aka Victoria said...

So beautiful to revisit this post..gorgeous!! thankyou for your lovely visit and kind words!
kiki

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Thanks for your lovely words...hope you are having a wonderful wkd!
Kiki

anartistsgarden said...

Sounds like you had a fun January in spite of 'Old Man Winter'. Looking forward to the Robins returning!