Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baby, Is It Cold Outside?

Orange, ripe for the picking in early December.
This time of year I obsess about the weather. It’s not so much that I want it to snow, which I do because, as a Texan, we long for those white holidays, where the entire state practically shuts down at the hint of snow, which inevitably turns into an ice mess. It’s for a wholly different reason: should I turn on the heater in the greenhouse? Four years ago, according to various Facebook friends sharing their memories for December 6, 2013, we had snow.

This year it’s been abnormally warm. I’m not gonna say “climate change,” but I’m seriously thinking climate change. We’ve hit record highs for November and December. Due to this odd weather, I’ve put off hauling my citrus trees, avocado tree, and other delicate plants I usually overwinter into the greenhouse. It’s not like we haven’t had chilly morning temperatures, but our mid-day to afternoon temps have been so high, having plants in the greenhouse would cook them. On a nice, balmy 57 degree day, the greenhouse temperature, even with a window cracked, can get up to 100 degrees if I don’t prop open the door and fully open the top and side windows.

So, due to our little late fall heatwaves, I have kept all those beautiful plants right out on the patio. I keep stalking the Weather Channel, though, just to see if I might possibly have to do an emergency clearing. So far, the scariest day coming up is this Thursday night/Friday morning, where for 14 hours straight the temperatures (at the airport, I’m sure) will be below 40. The high on Friday? 57 degrees.

I see this as a challenge- how long can I go before the plants need permanent winter shelter? Will it happen Thursday…I’m still debating that- if it happens, it’s going to happen tonight. The extended forecast has highs in the 60s and 70s through December 20th so far. I’m predicting we won't see a White Christmas in 2017.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Traveling Abroad Makes You Appreciate Home

Sacré-Cœur Basilica
I know I’ve written about it before, but I seriously practice introversion. I recently returned from a lovely vacation to Paris (part of the reason why I’ve been so absent from blogging!). It was beautiful and everything I thought it would be. The only problem I had was that I had to be around too many people to do it. I even planned the perfect, least touristy time to go- November. The crowds were in the usual places- museums, churches, airports- especially the airports.

While I completely fell in love with the city, I was never so happy as be back home. I am, at heart, a homebody. I truly enjoy being at my home…by myself. As we enter the holiday season (because I skipped my American Thanksgiving!), I am feeling more drawn to making my home the most cozy, inviting place to be, if only just for my family. I may go out to a holiday shindig once a week, but really, I just want to be home. It is time to nest in for the winter, read a good book, spend more time writing, plotting and planning online writing courses, and enjoy a random fire in my fireplace… even if winter in Texas means highs in the 70s!