January

In the first week of 2019 we are confronted with a true winter climate. First snow was a fact last December, now it is a race to take down the Christmas Lights and bring the fairy lights dry inside. The amounts of snow are not the masses of > 50 cm per day as in Bavaria and Austria. But it is constantly snowing, sometimes more, sometimes less. Henk is, almost every morning, busy with the snowblower outside.

When it's dry for a few hours, we'll use that time to get “fresh” log/wood indoors, as the heating will burn day and night. The first storage place at the house is soon empty (7 thrown cubic metre) and we start emptying the next log-storage. Although winter seems to go on endlessly, we are not bored by the colour grey or white. We need a long time to bring the packed boxes with Christmas decorations up to the attic, it´s a lot of stairs to go up and down every time........

Sibylla’s bed is accessible again, without getting caught in any left decoration. During Advent we use her room as a stop-over for boxes and decorations.

We occupy ourselves in the hobby room with a diorama workshop and building a dolls house -Christmas house for next year.

We overhaul our website every winter. All the work for a fresh website takes much longer than usual. One of the reasons is Annette is not feeling well, but also because of security items: that turns out to be a big and complicated issue. In addition, website research runs differently whether it is in Dutch, German or English. It´s not just translating text, it needs to be embedded or related. Not everything is suitable or it needs many words. It is easier to explain something technical in different languages than a context or processes in the animal world.

Because of the snow layer I do not dare looking into the greenhouses. From time to time I brought some snow in, but now with these minus degrees it´s daring, hopefully the dirt and roots do not dry out completely.

Unfortunately, the winter service of the community let us down, they skip cleaning our part of the mountain road, thus forming a rink and ice layers where you could perform skating easily. One of the post delivery vans has already made a S-curve it had interpreted the snow layer as part of the road. Luckily 3 of its wheels drove on across the street and nothing happened.

The further the month progresses, the lower the temperature gets. At the beginning of January, the temperature was very low or even just crosses the freezing point during the day. From the 10th till today, winter is a real topic with all that goes with it. We are closing the stable doors every afternoon because of the heavy frost. Since that doors are closed at night, the donkeys and lamas are better protected against the cold. They do not have to go out to drink, because in the middle of the stable there is a warmed trough.

In the third weekend of the month there is great winter sports weather: the snow is high and the sun is bright. All mountain lifts are in operation and finally the sun was shining for 2 whole days, it is wonderful. But it is so cold that the sun cannot thaw the snow, it glistens, but it remains as hard as bones and crunches under our feet while walking the dog.

More pictures in the Pictures Galery