Today I am canning some strawberry jam, because canning is one of my favorite things to do in winter and the first local strawberries are just hitting the market. But I'm also doing it early in the morning, because later today it's expected to be about 70 degrees. Gotta grab winter when you can find it, and this year winter has pretty much been restricted to the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. We've had scant rain, except for one colossal two-inch storm that buried a lot of fire-ravaged Montecito (about two hours south of us) in mud, after the Thomas Fire of December burned away all the underbrush holding the hills down there in place.
To say it's been a weird winter is the understatement of the year. But it seems like they've all been weird in recent memory. Do you know anyone, honestly, in any part of the country who would say the last five years have been about average, normal, etc.? I don't. The times, they are a changin'. And quickly.
If you remember from my earlier blog posts, we were dining al fresco for Thanksgiving, and wearing t-shirts at Christmas, which certainly was pleasant enough, yet weird. Nonetheless, I am mindful of the future. I keep looking at those puffy, waterproof winter coats on clearance at Land's End and wondering if I should buy one. Since we're moving to Oregon in a few months, I logically know I should, but sitting in the middle of a 75 degree day it's pretty hard to get my head around it, and so I keep browsing instead of buying.
I also am starting to try and decide what plants will come with me and what ones I will give to friends here in CA, where the weather will be kinder to them. I have several citrus trees in pots that will possibly stay here, or if we have a sunroom or greenhouse in our new digs I may try and bring them along.
But one little plant is definitely coming with us...this little Scotch Pine. I bought it when a coworker's son was having a Boy Scout fundraiser, and ever since I planted it, it's been suffering in the summer heat. One entire side (the one you can't see in this pic) is scorched brown, yet it has survived and has actually grown a little bit. Last weekend, Big Ag and I dug it up and potted it so we can take it to cooler, wetter Oregon, where I think it will grow more and be happier in general. Isn't that just what we all want out of life, when it comes down to it? Anyway, I just can't take off for cooler climes myself and leave it behind here to burn, when it would rather be where we are going. So it's about to move states, along with us.
I've been around thrift stores less that usual, mainly because I have no idea what to buy -- except flannel. Flannel seems to be the unofficial tartan of The Clan Of The PNW, so I'm keeping an eye out for that anytime I see it. But I also snagged this lovely tablecloth on a trip to Goodwill recently. When I got it home, however and examined the label on it, it said the size was Full/Double. Yes, I am currently using a sheet as a tablecloth. Oh well. It's gorgeous, and perfect for this no-winter, early spring we appear to be having, so why not. And if you should happen to fall asleep at the table, I guess it can do double duty.
Hope whatever season you're in, it's going well, too.