Monday, February 5, 2018

February in the Black Hills

On Thursday, Ruthy gave us a look at her favorite February things. In case you missed it, go here to read her post. 

I loved Ruthy's post so much, that I thought we'd take a look at the Black Hills in February. After all, we need to celebrate this often maligned month, don't we?

So here's my list of what to enjoy about February:

1) The weather. I know some of you might be tired of snowy, blowy weather, but in February, we've barely begun our stormy weather as we head toward the equinox.

Our February days can look like this one day:

But then the sun comes out, and a couple days later we're enjoying this:

Did you know that Spearfish, South Dakota (just a bit north of us) holds the record for the fastest temperature change? On January 22, 1943, the temperatures swung from -4° to 45° in two minutes. Two minutes! But it wasn't done... it dropped back to -4° just two hours later. Blame it on (or give the credit to) warm Chinook winds that blow through our area. You can read about this phenomenon here: the Weather Channel

So we don't have time to get tired of snow...when the sun comes out, it either melts or evaporates.

2) The Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo. 

We didn't spend much time at the show this year (hubby's work schedule was crazy), but we were there during the saddle horse auction. As we went by the arena, the auctioneer said, "Who will give me $3250 for this horse?" I was ready to...but cooler heads prevailed and we went home without the horse.

Which is just as well. Our neighborhood doesn't allow horses...

But we got to walk around and see the sights, including Young Living's team of matched Percherons. Wow, talk about beautiful horses! I found this video on YouTube with six horses. Just imagine all eight horses that we saw hitched up!

But the best thing about the stock show? The cowboys. Definitely the cowboys.

3) An Anniversary. A year ago, we were getting ready for a wedding...which means that this year we get to celebrate Katie and Jacob's 1st anniversary!

A perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day, don't you think?

4) Chocolate. This is one time when I agree with Ruthy! You can never have too much chocolate!

And if you don't really want the sugar or those extra carbs, then this muffin is for you: Muffin in a Mug. But if you want fudge instead of a muffin, Mindy has you covered: Fudge on a Diet?

And if you just want chocolate without all that fuss, just dig into a bag of Ghiradelli Chocolate chips...

5) It's almost book release time! Watch for this book to hit the shelves in March!

Pre-order here!

This story...I have to admit it...this is the story I had to write. It took a little time to figure out how to fit my grandfather's story into a book, but when Judith needed a hero, Guy stepped into spot.

Here's a little bit about this book:

Love in Plain Sight 

As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp’s finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farmworker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own.

Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community—even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes—and hearts.

Next week we'll talk a bit about my grandfather's story and how it fits into this book.

So here's something to talk do you feel about February? Are you one of those who gets to February and can't wait until spring? Or are you like me - savoring these last few weeks of cozy winter evenings before the warm weather comes again?


  1. And the quest to clean up February's reputation continues! :)

    I don't mind February at all... but by March 1st, I'm ready to kick winter to the curb. That's 23 days from now.

    BUT... Like Jan being on the Midwestern plains, here on the shores of a Great Lake, spring doesn't come in March... Oh, the snow might be replaced by freezing rain now and again, and then just cold, cold, drenching rain.... but the same Great Lake that keeps us warm in fall (because water clings to temps a lot longer than air) keeps us cold in March and April. When the kids were running track and playing baseball, you keep winter clothes in the car because a shift in the wind takes a 60 degree day to a 30 degree wind chill real quick!

    But nothing like your quick shift in four minutes, Jan. Oh mylanta, that's crazy!!!!

    1. Good morning, Ruthy! My fellow February-lover!

      I know exactly what you mean about the Great Lakes affecting weather! I grew up in southwestern Michigan, downwind from Lake Michigan. The lake affected everything from the growing season to the amount of snowfall (A LOT!).

      I do miss that giant to the west/northwest tempering every part of my life, but these high plains with the winds... what can I say? Perhaps the love of my life has changed?

      Today we have a moderate north wind with strong gusts straight from the north...the wind chill is -6° this morning. In a few days, we'll have highs in the 40's with a wind from the southwest.

      What do the winds do? Think clean. Fresh. Pure. Folks come here from the congested Eastern cities and can't get over the air. There's nothing like it. :-)

  2. I like February because the sun is warmer and that makes me start garden dreaming BUT it can also be the coldest month of winter. This year that's not the case...yay...but it's early days yet. And I love that the days are noticeably longer. Ummm...I think I've run out of good February thoughts. lol Pass the chocolate!!!

    1. February is definitely a time to plan and dream! And the sun is stronger, right? At least that's what I tell myself!

      One of the things I like to keep track of in my planner is the time for the sunrise and sunset each day. (I know. Weather geek.) This time of year we are gaining three minutes of sunlight EVERY DAY! Isn't that fabulous? Goodbye, long, dark winter nights!

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  4. My daughter and I were talking about this yesterday. This January seemed endless. Did you see the FB memes? One had something about it being January 75th. February is okay - short. I do not love March because it is always cold and WINDY. She said April is the disappointing month because you expect spring but it rarely shows its face up north. I’m looking at a school year that is only half done, though the rest seems to go quickly.

    Happy Anniversary to the newlyweds!

    1. I understand that people get tired of cold weather. Hubby is ready for spring LONG before it comes, but I love snow. Even in February. :-)

  5. I do love living in the "banana belt" of the Hills, but I don't know if I can say I love the weather in February :) This is when I get jealous of places that are starting to see daffodils poke out of the ground. And although I have no intention of living anywhere else, this is when I consider being a six-week snow bird!

    Great list, Jan!

    1. Hi, Glynis!

      Since there won't be any snow-birding until hubby retires, we just have to enjoy the snow.

      But after that, who knows? Maybe a couple weeks visiting fellow snow birds in Arizona?

  6. I enjoy February changes with more daylight, snow and then sunshine to melt it away and celebrating events that surround President Lincoln's birthday in Illinois and of course Valentine's Day. I'm thankful to live where the weather can change quickly but each season is a testament of the amazing world God created for us.
    I hear The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart calling my name to read. : )

    1. Hi Marilyn!

      I also love living where the seasons change. Spring comes slowly here, and I enjoy every minute of it. :-)