Ways To Stay Busy Shut-In by the Cold

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)January 6, 2014

When Bev mentioned the things she does to stay occupied during really cold weather, I wondered just what other folks might do.

Also, assuming you keep your power and such, what movies would you watch now?

What books would be great to read?

For me, the movies first, because they must be located and placed near the BluRay player now.

I plan to watch A MONTH BY THE LAKE tonight. Vanessa Redgrave, John Fox, Uma Thurman, and several others, but this is all about Vanessa and Mr. Fox and Uma Thurman.Beautiful scenery, spring weather. And in the summer just before WWII begins. Somewhere in Italy I believe, on a lake, at a resort which caters to British.

The other movie is THE BOSTONIANS. Merchant-Ivory film with Christopher Reeves, Vanessa Redgrave, John Fox I believe, etc. I chose it for my DH who may become impatient with longer movies only Boston is his life arena.

Of course, I've seen both movies, love them.

Not so critical to make a choice of one or two there, since I keep many options on my e-reader, downloaded and ready to go. Even if the lights go off, the backlight works like a charm, even serving as a light on trips down the hallway in the dark.

My new Smart Oven is coming tomorrow, so I'm reading a cookbook GOURMET DISHES FOR TOASTER OVENS. Yeah, a convection toaster SMART oven!

I'm reading the John Barry ROGER WILLIAMS AND THE MAKING OF THE AMERICAN SOUL. John Barry writes beautifully, his RISING TIDE was my introduction to him. I'd say he's right up there with David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Imminently readable, anything he writes.

I just read and returned to the library the gardening book, SOUTHERN SHADE, which had a lot of correct information (it tied in with my experience) about growing hosta in the south. So anyone between here and Washington DC, it might be of interest to you.

Now I know many of you have the basement with grow lights and seedlings to watch over. So if you were going to read to your seedlings, what would be a good story to tell?


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I was off work for 3 weeks due to foot surgery. Today is my first day back and the wind chill was -57 at 4:00am - just a special treat for me!

Right before my surgery I ordered 20 years of Horticulture Magazine on two DVDs. They were on sale for $5 a piece. Money well spent.

During those 3 weeks I also cleaned up my email. And I cleaned up and organized my Photobucket account. And cleaned the text messages, old photos and videos out of my phone. And I started a new tracking system for plants in the garden. Three weeks went way too fast for me!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 3:30PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Quilt. It will be cold for me tonight, cool for you guys, so I quilt. Recently 3D 60 degree diamonds has been a great learning tool.

Or I shop on line. Danger for my wallet.

-57 and you left your house? It is 47 here so we have 104 degrees between us. Paula

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:02PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i keep chiming in and mocking funn for her definition on what cold is...

speaking of which.. its time for another update ... lol


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:04PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

Right now I'm taking down Christmas. It takes about 10 days to get it all up and 3 weeks to get it all down.

I got photo editing software for Christmas, and both programs look like there's a steep learning curve.

We bought a pile of DVDs for Christmas, some for me (Warm Bodies), some for my husband (Django and Pacific Rim) and some to share (most of Bones).

And I'm still slowing working through editing pictures from last October's vacation. THAT will keep me busy until April.

10 below this morning, but still went to the gym. What is it down south, Mocc, the lower 30s? I guess it's all relative, the Canadians think us zone 5 people are wimps.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 4:32PM
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It finally happened. I've been hearing about it for years .....

Ken - this is the definition of cold.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:21PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

It's supposed to be between 10 and 14 degrees F here tomorrow morning. Now, that's cold for Dallas, TX. (Ken might even put on a jacket at that temp.)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Don't have much confidence in weather predictions most do not come to pass when it involves extremes. So will we be 15 F tonight?. In case it is yes and power goes out, my parrots are what I must keep safe, special needs.

Brr, ....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:02PM
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Hobbies, hobbies, hobbies. Way too many to ever complete everything I would like to. And read. And, I like to do jigsaw puzzles on jigidi.com. They relax me.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:51PM
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I'm hunkered down for the winter.

I've always been enthralled with Native American culture, history, etc. Just watched my new dvd of STOLEN WOMEN CAPTURED HEARTS which is based on a true story and was originally a made for TV movie in 1996. It stars the brilliant Cree Canadian artist, ballet dancer, choreographer and actor, Michael Greyeyes.

The movie contains in my opinion the best ever demonstration of a passionate kiss by a man. Too much info I know. HA HA! You can watch the whole movie on Youtube.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

We've had sunny days in the low 60's with nights in the low 40's. Hostas are sleeping nicely. I knit and crochet here, when I'm not out weeding. Camellias are blooming...but I can feel your pain. I lived in Chicago area for 32 years.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:00PM
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WOW, BKay! You ain't kidding, I didn't even know Dallas got that cold, ever!

Don B.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 9:53PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Teresa,I've been to that place! Hell ,Michigan,not too far from Ken. Phil

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:46PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Sewing, reading, plant shopping, genealogy, on milder days snowshoeing and sometimes I even clean my house.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:34PM
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I recorded, and am now watching the World War II In Color marathon on Military Channel. I learned something; General Rommel smart, Hitler Dum-de-dum-dum-DUMB!!!!....LOL (Actually already knew that, but this series' writing and film footage illustates the point beautifully)...

Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 1:55

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:28AM
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I am not able to just stay home, got to leave shortly to wrest a living from ill-mannered high school students with an overgrown sense of entitlement. It's going to be 8-14 degrees out, -12 or something like that. Boy am I glad my battery died two weeks ago in front of my home so I could control its replacement, instead of being stranded out somewhere in this cold.

BTW, do I ever water the two pots of hostas snuggled up under the garbage can lid and the contractor bags during the winter?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 7:00AM
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Jon 6a SE MA


You surely
don't need to worry about dormancy this year.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:14AM
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jan_on zone 5b

It's -40 C. here with windchill (conveniently 40 below F), and all area schools closed yesterday and today. Forecast above freezing by the weekend!

But - Hosta Choice Gardens have posted their hosta availability list for 2014, complete with about 100 new offerings. Keeps me warm just thinking!

And - we watched an entire season of Downton Abbey in a day- long marathon. And - I treated myself to an ipad air and with no previous exposure to anything 'smart' there is a steep learning curve.

Being snowed in is a blessing!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Saved the Hell icicle picture, it says it all without words....

And JonnyB, true I am not too worried about dormancy, just crown rot. Time will tell.

So, Jan, let me hear how you like your new Air device. My learning curve is so bad I keep GOING IN CIRCLES....

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Esther, that's a tricky question to answer...try this:
Stick your finger in the potting soil. If it feels cool and your finger comes out with dirt on it, moisture is present, do not water.

If the potting soil feels dry and crumbly you should lightly water and cover again using your lid and bag method.

Two options for watering:

If snow is present, sprinkle a handful of snow on the soil. It will add moisture when it eventually melts.

If there is no snow, I'd very lightly water with cold tap. Keep in mind, if you water too heavily it can freeze, expand in the pot and crack it.

You have carefully taken precautions, but overwintering in a pot is always risky. I suspect that, if the pot was initially protected with moisture present, the contractor's bag will hold moisture in and it will not need watered.

Sorry OP for momentarily going off topic.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:22PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

esther... one ice cube each.. once per month ...

dormant plants DO NOT NEED WATER ....

just a little moisture in the media to avoid total dryness ...

i am differentiating between WATERING... and media MOISTURE... see the difference ...

wish this were in its own post.. so others would see it ...

soooooo ... NEVER WATER IN WINTER ... eh .... and that is the specific answer to the words you used .... [deb... you recommend the snowball theory.. why not remember the ice cube theory ... no watering can .. too much room for error]


    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:07PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I believe most places are going to warm up a little today! We're on the plus size this morning (+1 F. earlier +2 F. now :-) and expected to warm all the way up to +8 F. The low tonight is still supposed to be -10 F. but that's the last minus number I see in the 10 day forecast! And if that's not enough, we might even top the freezing mark on Saturday and Sunday!

In the meantime, my hostas are fast asleep under 40+ inches of snow, and we have purchased a new snow blower that could easily blow snow high enough to bury our garage. This winter... I'm not sure even that can go high enough to move all the snow we might end up with into the limited areas we have to pile it, but we're going to give it a try!

We move snow and spend time caring for our poor little Ginger (15 year old Pekinese mix) who is having heart problems. We took her to the vet when she developed a bad cough and then started crumpling to the ground after any (even mild) exertion. An xray confirmed an enlarged heart (Stage 3 heart disease). The vet says that currently available medications (she's now on one to strengthen her heart, one for blood pressure, and also a diuretic) can hopefully give her good quality of life for a while. I hope so. She is elderly, but we are not ready to lose her yet. Some days, my heart just breaks.

In between, we watch movies, read, play games on our kindles.... had to give up baking after the holidays, due to bad side effects (holiday weight gain). And, we wait for spring.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:15AM
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Busy, busy this winter. We've walked the woods looking for interesting wood, and have been making hand-finished walking sticks, and I've been working on my jewelry-making and small leather amulet/ medicine bags. In addition, I have become a newspaper columnist for the Joplin Globe, writing about (what else?) gardening, started a new facebook page, A Parrillel Universe of Wonderful Things, and writing in my blog. Not a lot of spare time this year! Can't get out and garden right now anyway, it's all covered with snow, but next week we're supposed to get a January thaw so I can at least get out there and see what's happening!

The last entry on my blog was last Sunday's newspaper column if you would like to read it. Hope you enjoy it!


Here is a link that might be useful: Welcome to Chaos

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:35AM
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Ken, thanks for the reminder. I'll use the ice cube theory for my hosta in pots if the media becomes dry.

Here's a pic of how we stay busy before getting shut in by the cold and snow.

To keep busy while shut in (since Saturday), we chucked about 1/2 of a row in the furnace.

Supposed to rain/sleet tonight and tomorrow high of 42F...weather sure is weird...

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:41PM
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bernd ny zone5

No need for the wood, the natural gas keeps flowing nicely here.
Our big thing is that 60 inch TV which we got for Xmas from our son. I love those football games, feeling like being on the field. Otherwise, need to go to watch the hosta seedligs again, must have grown another 1/32 inch overnight. Bernd

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:40AM
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