The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Longer Days, Shorter Nights

Christmas ornamentsHere in the mountains, the winter sun peeks over the hill later and later every day until by the solstice it is barely hitting the trailer at noon.  Although I know I won't be able to notice the longer days for a couple of weeks, I can already feel the relief of knowing that we're on the upward swing of daylight.

Mark and I went to a solstice party at our neighbors' yesterday afternoon --- 2 pm to 5 pm, the perfect time of day to haul me out of my shell.  I succumbed to the impulse to show off, making chicken potstickers and cheese crackers as our potluck items.  We came home with three gift bags of homemade goodies --- jams and jellies, wound ointment, biscotti, dried apples.  That's the kind of gift I can reciprocate with joy.

At home, I put together gift bags for my family out of extra things I had around the house plus food items Mark and I won't eat but think they will.  (I become more like my mother every day....)  Then I decorated our plant shelf with homemade ornaments --- gingerbread cookies from my family, elves I made out of candy wrappers ten years ago, little figures Mark made out of clothes pins when he was in the cub scouts.  When it doesn't spiral out of control, I have to admit that I like the decorations and hidden gifts of Christmas.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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