Sunday, 8 November

Posted November 8th, 2009 by IP

Yikes!  It’s been ages since I last posted.  In my opinion, we are well on our way into winter with temps below zero.  Spring, summer and autumn all seemed to run together with no clear delineation of seasons.  The Bubble Garden was taken down the last week of October.  Before then, we were able to dig up the shiso and salad greens, as well as some of the parsley, morning glories, zinneas and alyssum, and bring them indoors where they share space in our five sunny windows.

One night I discovered why our lettuce was not growing very well – Hunter our cat, who longs to go outdoors, was sitting in the lettuce pot essentially squashing it down.  Hunter is very optimistic that one day he will be able to get to the birds on the other side of the window!  After I moved the lettuce pot to the basement window in Josh’s bedroom, it thrived and we harvested the salad for dinner last week.

Since I last wrote, Jeffrey, Jesse and Josh have celebrated birthdays.  How the year is flying!

It has snowed five times since September 19.  We will soon begin the first of the Nine Nines of Winter.  In Mongolia, there are nine stages of winter. Each stage consists of nine days and begin with the first moon of mid-November, 81 days before the Lunar New Year which brings the first day of spring.  November 17th will be the new moon and the beginning of the nine nines.

First nine – shimijn arkhi (mild alcoholic beverage made of milk) congeals
Second nine – arkhi (vodka) congeals
Third nine – tail of three-year-old ox freezes
Fourth – horns of four-year-old ox freeze
Fifth nine – boiled rice does not congeal any more
Sixth nine – roads blacken
Seventh nine – hilltops blacken
Eighth nine – ground becomes damp
Ninth nine – warm days set in

I would have to say from our limited experience that last winter seemed to last much longer than nine nines!  One of my goals this winter is to be more active.  I really don’t like cold weather, but don’t want to become a hermit.  Once one gets outside of UB, the country side is gorgeous.  Hopefully the walking group a new staffer wants to organize will get us out and about.  I’ll close for today.  Til next time, keep well and happy!

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