Let It Snow!

Though nothing like the snowfall around Buffalo, New York, or the local ski resorts (472″ of snow, YTD, Alta, for example), it has been many years since I’ve seen so much snow. Local people tell me, “25, maybe 30 years ago since we’ve had this much snow”.

All this snow is a very good thing, as this part of the world had been under severe drought conditions for many years. Some are predicting that the Great Salt Lake could disappear within five years. I am sorely tempted to launch into a diatribe, but fatigue and time pressure constrain me.

A bit closer to home, the PRICE-SAN RAFAEL water basin is at 196% of normal – that is very good news, though a rapid warming in the spring could lead to flooding.

When I start worrying myself about big-picture issues, I often fall back on the advice of Voltaire at the end of Candide:

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”

So, on site, there have been many snow storms over the past several weeks, most of them just a dusting, but at least four with significant accumulations. And less than 24 hours ago (the morning of January 31st, that is), my thermometer recorded -5.3°F (-20.7°C) and 39.9°F in the seed room. A space heater keeps the office/bedroom above 55°F; so as long as the electricity stays own, temperatures are just right here! On sunny days, with this large, south-facing window, it can reach 80° while I package seeds in the glorious sunshine.

Heavy Snow on January 15, 2023
Ominous, very loud thundersnow, unfortunately not caught on video

Tomato seed processing from the 2022 season is finally completed!

January 8th – last batches of seeds extracted from fermenting tomatoes
January 14th – seeds shared at the Utah Farm and Food Conference
January 19th – last batches of seeds packaged

Inventory and data entry – not yet completed (30-40 hours needed)
Seed extraction from peppers, squash, eggplants, etc. – not yet completed (50-60 hours needed)

With apologies to Dean Martin’s Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, and at the risk of forever ruining this song for others, following is my rendition, focused narrowly upon what consumes my life this time of year:

Alternate title for this blog post:

“A Day in the Life, revisited”

What day was it, Thursday, January 23rd? Doesn’t really matter, as there are so many days like this.

8:15 p.m. – Hard at work, but went to bed extra early; crashed from sheer exhaustion. Very fitful sleep, endured what seemed like hours of the most intense bout of sleep paralysis (temporary tetraplegia) of my life. Underlying theme/stressor was packaging seeds, but there was severe agony and indescribably intense effort to wake up, get up, and get back to work. Lucid dreaming on steroids; the movie “Inception” comes to mind. Details of the agonizing struggles are of no interest or consequence.

10:30 p.m. – Finally managed to drag myself out of sleep paralysis; let’s see, how many times did I imagine or actually bang my fist against the wall? Got right back to work, and worked steady until,

6:30 a.m. – Sheer exhaustion again, after 8 solid hours of preparing labels, hunting up seeds for seed orders, etc. Crashed again until,

9:15 a.m. – Awoke with a start, so anxious about trying to get caught up and not disappoint. Worked like a maniac until forced once again to take a short nap from

1:30-2:15 p.m. – Another compulsory nap. My father taught me, “MIND OVER MATTRESS“, but this adage is not working so well for me.

4:30 p.m. – the daily ritual of rushing to the post office to drop of envelopes with seed orders for my fellow gardeners, from all over the planet. Very satisfying every time I get seeds sent on their way to a good home! But I have to admit, there is at least a 50% chance that I will pass away between 3:30-5:00 p.m. on a weekday, as all of my energies and focus is on getting as many seed orders out as possible before the last mail pickup time for the day.

7:00 p.m. – crashed again, followed by another night of fitful, interrupted, agitated sleep.

This explanation of Sleep Paralysis, from Wikipedia, could not be more spot on:

The condition can be triggered by sleep deprivation, psychological stress, or abnormal sleep cycles. The underlying mechanism is believed to involve a dysfunction in REM sleep. Lucid dreaming doesn’t affect the chances of sleep paralysis but some lucid dreamers use this as a method of having a lucid dream.”

At best, I get maybe one good night of sleep per month, meaning 7+ hours of uninterrupted sleep, including good REM sleep with typical dream patterns. It’s rare that I can sleep for 5 hours without waking up, nearly always stressed and anxious to get back to work. Bouts of sleep are typically 3-4 hours long, with 2-3 compulsory naps every day, most of them lasting from 15 to 45 minutes, and always at the most inconvenient times.

But nobody asked, so what’s the point of telling?

Business has picked up significantly over the past month, thanks in large part to this unexpected post by Jen Joy:

Delectation of Tomatoes SEEDS HAUL

Thanks so much Jen, and no, I’m not blaming you for my sleep disturbances! 😵🤪 🥱

Some day (year?) soon, I hope to be able to hire somebody to help with Delectation of Tomatoes, at least on a part-time basis. There really are dimensions to me in addition to that of “tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes – everywhere tomatoes”. Those dimensions are just suppressed, at least for now.

2 thoughts on “Let It Snow!

    • Thanks! Every bit helps, and one day soon I will have an assistant! Thanks to everyone who contributes in any way to the preservation, propagation, promotion, and growing of heirloom varieties! (And of course the eating – that’s the most fun!)

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