* Southface, the place for sustainable building know-how in the southeastern United States, is hosting a Winter Solstice celebration and silent auction tonight (including mead made from Southface’s own beehive honey by my friend, who runs Folksy Brews and is hoping to open a meadery, of all things). And although I won’t be going (too much mom-juggling going on this week) the mention of Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year, which of course means the days will start getting longer afterwards) gets me thinking longingly about the eventual return of the sun. Kids playing outside again after school (my kids get home when it practically dark already now). Gardens growing abundantly. Pools and grills and bike riding. Eating dinner on the patio. Ah, spring, summer and fall here in Atlanta. And even, often, a few random warm days in the winter (like today). See Cool and the Gang (Summer Entertaining While You’re Sweltering) for a reminder. Okay, I can’t really complain, but this “festival of light” (throw in Christmas and Hanukkah, as well) does remind us of the power of that resource.
* Speaking of power, here is a smartypants idea if you happen to lose your power (as in, electricity–not personal power). My mom forwarded this to me (thanks, Mom). Oh, wait, back up, first you have to make sure you have some solar lights around your yard. THEN, if you lose your power, just bring the lights inside! Stick them in a bottle or a jar filled with sand and you have a little lantern, at least for a few hours, and there’s no chance of setting the house on fire (as with a candle). I love this.
* More ways to celebrate the season of lights include fireplaces (including this very cool one) and fire pits, and LED holiday lights (see String the Holiday Lights and Seeing the Light about Hiring Local), of course, but, frankly, it wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a disco ball, now, would it? Well, for me, a couple of pots and some wooden spoons with which to beat them while running around the block usually fits the bill–this is what people did where I grew up, although no amount of effort can help me convince my children that this is normal. But just look at this photo of a New Year’s celebration in Great Britain! You see? I’m not crazy. If you’d rather the disco ball, however, you still have time to jazz up your basement for a party (get a load of this amazing basement retro-renovation, complete with disco ball). Or string some lights, add a few space heaters outside on the patio and ring in the new year right there under the stars. See Create a Home That Makes Entertaining Easy. That sound of pots banging in the distance? That’s me.
Go to Kudzu and see the light about what local service providers can do to, shall we say, lighten your winter wearies. An electrician can fix and install lights, a remodeler can turn your basement or backyard patio into party central, and a fireplace company can bring winter’s glowing light into your home as we wait for the sun’s full return. In the meantime, dig out the pots and get ready to party.