Each Day is Getting Warmer and Lighter… Hurray!



Although the temperatures were bitterly cold during the Polar Vortex, it also was beautiful.
My friend Kristi Johnson captured these sundogs on January 28 in rural North Iowa.

Who else breathed a sigh of relief when we turned the calendar from January to February? January is historically the snowiest, coldest and darkest month of the year. This January was downright pleasant, however. I was looking forward to experiencing even warmer temperatures in February.

Of course, 2021 is anything but typical! The average temperature in North Iowa averages 29 degrees during February. Twenty-nine degrees ABOVE zero would have been welcome, especially compared to the subzero temperatures we experienced for about two weeks during the 2021 Polar Vortex. Windchills were 40 BELOW zero on Valentine’s Day. Did you know a person can experience frostbite within 10 minutes at such temperatures? (NOTE: It takes longer than 10 minutes to do chores.)

This is the third Polar Vortex we have experienced in three years, including January 2019 and February 2020. Thankfully, every one of our animals survived this month’s frigid temperatures. I am so thankful for warmer temperatures that I’m not even going to complain about the snow we received on Sunday, February 21. (A BIG thank you to my brother for moving the snow and creating a path for my goats to get to their water pail.) Although it created extra work on the farm, Sunday’s snowfall was quite pretty. I felt like I was stuck inside a snow globe as I watched the large, fluffy flakes fall.

The extremely cold temperatures, as well as the copious amounts of snow that we’ve experienced in 2021, have prompted to spend less time outside and more time in my kitchen. I recently talked with a dietician at Hy-Vee who reminded me how important it is to get enough sleep, practice self-care and fuel one’s body with nutritious food. Because we are in the season of Lent and many people are looking for ways to enjoy fish, I’m sharing this delicious recipe for Walnut-Crusted Salmon Winter Salad.

Winter salad seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I’m ready for Spring Salad. Now that we’re about to turn the calendar from February to March, the countdown to spring is on!