I made it through the brutal cold! Sure, single digits aren’t normally considered brutal to most people, but when you’re huddled in a 28′ x 8′ space, it certainly is. Even so, with the extra blankets on the windows & door and cab area, with the propane heater running a couple times throughout the night, and with the heated blanket & mattress warmer, I made it through.
The first week of January was a bit of a haze, to be honest. Between being unable to sleep through the night (I refuse to run the propane heater while I’m sleeping so I would get up, run it for 30-45 minutes, then go back to bed – 3-4 times each night) and being unable to uncover the windows during the day (too much heat loss), I felt pretty disjointed. Since then, there have been a couple nights when the temperature dropped into the singles again, but then the next night was in the lower 20s. And my electric heater can handle that without a hitch.
I keep telling myself that this has been a learning experience, and it’s true. I know that the window coverings I made are great, but would be better if I was able to mount them outside, I know that the propane heater creates enough condensation that I ended up scraping 1/8″ thick ice from the inside of my windshield, I know that the solar panels can charge the batteries enough for lights and the blankets even on cloudy days (but not enough to cook or keep the fridge on, for that I need more sun). I have also learned to be more aware of my electrical usage and which appliances play well with others, that sunshine is a wondrous thing that can warm up my bedroom to the mid 80s even when it’s only 20° outside, and that candles create an aesthetic warmth that has very little to do with temperature. Oh, and that I will never again be without a heated blanket or mattress cover in the winter. And that the luxury of a shower is not to be taken for granted.
As the days slowly get longer and longer, I can’t help but to feel a little bit antsy to be outdoors more. The temperatures are beginning to even out a bit, too, and that’s a wonderful thing. I’m hoping to start taking drives soon to some of the mountains around here, probably with Khaleesi on her harness, and take lots of pictures. I’m also looking forward to finally getting the chance to visit with some of the people around here, especially now that I’m not needed in the RV during the day (I am not comfortable leaving it while the electric heater is running, so I can’t go anywhere unless it’s a sunny day).
On the crafty front, I’ve been able to help Ann smooth out her spindle-spinning, work out some kinks in Rachel’s knitting, and have been able to get a couple of my patterns off the paper and into actual patterns. There are still so many designs that I wrote or sketched over the years and it feels great to be able to work on them. The first sock release of 2018 is A Gentle Path and is only $1 until February 6. I’m hoping to have another one up within the next couple weeks. Oh, and there is a MKAL going on for the It’s a Mystery circular shawl (pattern is free until the end of March).
I have more news to share, but I still need to work out the details about it all. Once I do, you guys will certainly hear about it. In the meantime, I hope you’re all staying warm and safe.