Our First Snow… Great Things About Winter

Oh Joy of Joys! The first snow has fallen on the Northern Illinois region on November 11th. The dull, brown colors of spent perennials are now covered with a blanket of white…


A prairie on my way home

Did-ya catch the sarcasm? The joy does not eliminate from my eyes…. I’m not quite sure why I’m still here in the Midwest. Why do I stay in an area that is subjected to this type of climate??? In 1996, I tried to get away and moved to Safety Harbor, Florida. My bestest-friend-ever had moved there a few years earlier and I had visited her many times before making my decision. I don’t want this post to change into a ‘Florida Rant’, so to sum-up, there is a Karma trade-off for the good weather. I couldn’t handle the down-sides, as much as I enjoyed the weather, I moved back to Illinois.


My old Florida pad as shown currently on Google maps. Most of my landscaping has survived!

Ah, memories….   But back to reality!

image  image  image

I have SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. What Midwesterner doesn’t? As we race towards the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, I can’t get over the fact I rise before the sun and arrive home after she’s set. A million dollar idea would be if your computer screen could double as a light box! THAT would quench my need for sunlight and not disrupt my day to stare into a box. =-)



To try to combat the crappy feelings I have relating to the season, I’ve started compiling a list of things that are good or great about winter. Items on this list may sound odd to some folks, but that’s how my DNA arranged itself! =-)

I’d like you all to help me think of things for my list, if you will!!!

  1. The first snow.
  2. Watching my dogs play in said first snow. Snowballs are the best toys!!
  3. The smell of the first fire-up/burn off of dust from the furnace. Told you I was strange….
  4. Using my hot-tub. Too hot to use in summer.
  5. “Nosey-Time” = Now that the leaves are down, I can see into peoples yards. “Hmm, whatcha got over-dare??” 😉
  6. Egg White/Meringue Cookies – Not only does the recipe require the oven to be on for hours (about 4 – but only @ 200F), humidity kills the cookies in less than an hour. In the dry Winter is the only time I make them.
  7. This may be an ‘over-share’… However. I hate bras. When its cold and there are a few layers between the girls and the world, no one’s the wiser I’m commando!
  8. This one relates to above. I’m not a fan of leaving my home in my (clearly) pajama pants. But, I will put my full length coat and large scarf on over my yoga pants and t-shirt to go somewhere I’ll never remove my coat.
  9. I can’t NOT mention the holidays, but if I didn’t mention them here, all my responses will most likely revolve around them. I’m really not a fan, aside from seeing family, but we do that throughout the year! I’m not Christian/religious, although I’ve thoroughly studied the bible when I was young.  I think the holiday has just become a

    F*ck-fest for merchants. New Years is spent at home, as it’s amateur night out there (drunks) and I have lack of funds for a large hoop-ha. Just to round out the mix, my Birthday (which I don’t celebrate as I’m done aging) is the very next week. Gaaa! So! What was the good thing about the holidays you ask? My company closes during the holidays & I’m paid!!

  10. Sherpa blankets.
  11. All my houseplants are inside, and I like all my friends around me.
  12. My Solar-Powered Double Rainbow Maker! Because the sun is lower in the sky, the rainbows get thrown all over my home.



Snow-covered echinacea



Please share your favorite winter things!!

© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

20 thoughts on “Our First Snow… Great Things About Winter

    • Ohh! You came up with some great ones!! Nothing like those ‘personal heat waves’ kicking in at inappropriate times!
      About driving… Well, I’ll surely have a ‘rant post’ at some point about driving it.
      I do secretly wish for another 3′ blast like a few years ago. Can you say SNOW DAY?!?


  1. The good thing about indoor plants is indoor plant lights in the winter! I will really miss my old job because I worked from home and was surrounded by my plants and happy SAD fighting plant lights all day which really helps on dreary winter days.

    It sucks to only be home when it’s dark, I felt like a vampire when I was going into the office– watched the sunrise and sunset from work, ugh.

    Love the meringue cookies and going braless as winter perks! 🙂


  2. We have way too many things in common. I loved #9. lol And I love that wall hanging, “Gardeners know the best dirt.” I found your blog from The Belmont Rooster nominating you for an award. =) We’re in the same territory, roughly. SW Chicago area here.


    • Thanks! Mr. Rooster has an awesome blog, great info for us midwesterners. I’ll be revising this list as I think of things. Got a new item last night!
      Again, if you have any questions, activate your chair to keyboard interface and ask! 🙂 I will be posting individual veggie care posts, from a permiculture/organic standpoint, so stay tuned! 😀


  3. Snow good moping around when it comes to winter. I like you, not in having SAD but I do detest the dull dreary cold rainy days but SNOW on the other hand brightens up my day. Luckily in the UK such events are usually gone within a few days hence the excitement when the landscape becomes covered in the white stuff. Having said that, climate change is bringing us more prolonged spells of odd weather types such as July this year when it was baking hot, the long haul of Spring was desperate going for the farming fraternity. Then we have the unforgettable December of 2010, the coldest Winter month in the UK for over one hundred years. Oh, did I tell you I have a penchant for weather data, check out my website for more.

    Take Care and wrap up warmly.



    • ‘Snow good..” ha! you’re funny!
      OK, you have a point on the general ‘blaahs’ of the season… But with snow, it’s an ‘all or nothing’ kinda deal with me. If it’s going to snow, enough better fall that I’m off work =-) When only a few inches fall, it’s just messy and peeps forget how to drive.
      I still long for 2011-12 winter, where it really didn’t go below 40F for many days. But, I could achieve that by moving about 400 miles south! I do need to set time aside to check out your site more thoroughly. I’m contemplating taking a meteorology class this winter. Maybe…


      • Now I know why our 2011/12 Winter was a bore fest here in the UK in terms of snow and beautiful wintry scenes. Damn yanks! Oops. Global climate is a most odd system to even attempt to understand, ever heard of MJOs, ENSOs, NAOs, AOs, and Sudden Stratospheric Warmings. Well I have, but I understand how, why and when they occur and how they’re interrelated, nope but I’m willing to learn, as should man and womankind themselves. Anyway, why are we talking about Winter, it’s at least 28 days or so until the Winter Equinox? Talk about wishing our lives away………


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  6. What with winter getting closer down this end of town, I checked out this old post. We have a smattering of snow about every ten years. Once 20 years ago I couldn’t find my goat. It was lying down covered. But the snow had gone by the afternoon. Not sure I needed to know about the “bra” hangup. But !!.


    • This weekend we are celebrating a spring passage of Memorial Day Weekend. We celebrate for our veterans, but also because it’s usually the first good weekend of weather and of course we get Monday off work! Sorry about the over share about the bras! 😮


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