Saturday, January 13, 2007

Farm Photo: 1/13/07


The Ice Is On Its Way

A whole new weather vocabulary opened up to me when I moved from California to the country: Flash Flood Watch, Tornado Alert, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Heat Advisory, Ponding. (Yes, Ponding.) Today they are calling for Freezing Rain and Ice Accumulation, with temperatures turning "very cold" by Monday--lows 7 to 11 above. Chance of precipitation 100 percent. Ice Pellets and Light Sleet were mentioned.

And so the ritual begins. Forget the little hay cart. Instead toss a dozen bales of hay in the truck and drive them down to the barn. Hook up the hose and fill the sheep's water trough before the freezeless hydrant freezes and you'll have to haul buckets of water from the spring. Plug in the tank de-icer. Give the sheep and Donkey Doodle Dandy plenty of grain to keep their bodies warm overnight. Harvest as much bounty as you can in the greenhouse and set up the little heater to help protect what is left. Check the timers and heat lamps and heaters scattered around the farm--in the henhouse, in the old well house, in the new well house.

Back inside, clomp up the narrow, uneven staircase to retrieve sleeping bags for covering up the picture windows in the living room. Dig out the insulated winter suits and hang them near the woodstove. Throw another quilt on the bed. Stack firewood high on the porch. Give extra food to the dogs and cats and make sure everyone has a wool bed to curl up on. Set the shower faucet at a drip to help keep the pipes from freezing, but fill up every empty water container you can find because they probably will anyway. Cross your fingers that the power stays on. Dream of thick hearty soup and freshly baked bread and cozying up with a good book or a favorite movie. Wonder what you are forgetting.

Do all of this before the Ice Storm Warning goes into effect.

Realize that rain has started pounding on the old tin roof above your head. Check the online weather forecast. Too late. Take a deep breath, bundle up, and head outside--knowing in your heart that everything will be okay.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
1/13/06: Defrosting
1/12/06:
Donkey Doodle Dandy Soaks Up Some Morning Sun

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37 comments:

  1. Good luck to you and yours during this Ice storm. We have been prepping in our own small way down here in Texas. Not that we will get the bulk of it, but enough to make us glad for a full pantry, a nice stock pile of wood, board games, cozy slippers, and frequent checks on the NOAA site.

    Stay warm!!!

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  2. Good luck holding out against the ice. I know full well what can happen during an ice storm, especially when the power is out for several days. He's now 9 years old. =D

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  3. I love this photo. And here in sunny California, its incredibly cold. Cold enough to take icy shots at noon. Stay cozy!

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  4. I absolutely love your blog. You are living my dream and inspiring me to save the money to do it myself one day.
    That sounds like so much work to prepare for the storm, but it also sounds like heaven to me. Here is wishing you a safe haven in the storm.
    Take care

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  5. Good luck to you; hope you're ok. Here in St. Louis we prepared for the worst and got nothing. Which is better than the opposite, obviously. And all the clothes are clean!

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  6. No ice here, just snow. And not much of that. But baby it's COLD. Wind chills were below zero all day. Thankfully we're at the tail end of winter and this won't last long. Hope your power stays on. You might consider a generator purchase next. Good luck!

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  7. On several recent nights, it has gotten down to ~20 which is plenty damned cold for me! Well think warm thoughts your way. Y'all should get New Cat (et al) and snuggle up. Maybe a good time to bring Cary back in. Stay warm!

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  8. Yes, I remember it well. It was so much work, but we had such a feeling of accomplishment when we had completed the work and sat safely inside patiently waiting. We would also staple plastic over the outside of the windows to keep the cold wind out. There was still enough fresh air seeping in the other cracks here and there around the house. You have stirred up so many wonderful memories for me.
    Pull up close to the fire, and stay warm.

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  9. My Gosh women it reminds me of reading a Laura Ingalls books Just awesome. Thanks for sharing. I love reading about your everyday life. Thank you

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  10. Here on the Sunshine Coast, winter has thrown everyone for a loop so far...snow, hail, windstorms and cold temperatures. The bluebells and peonies are poking out of the ground, but they're out of luck unless it warms up. Hope your power stays on...

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  11. I need a woolly bed too. Our boiler finally bit the dust for good and now one can come until next Monday to fix it. Unbelievable if you ask me. I thought that heat was a basic right.

    I hope all goes well and you don't get too much ice after all. Jane

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  12. Good luck! You have amazing strength in the face of adversity. You are as prepared as anyone can be to face Mother Nature.

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  13. Hang in there, FG! You'll make it through this one, too!

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  14. Winter wishes as you wait this one out! Hope the storm is being somewhat considerate of your animals and precious plants, too. We're getting it here at Freeman House, though not nearly as brutally. I'm remembering Victor Hugo's: Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart...

    Be cozy!
    Brin

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  15. Wonderful site! Good to see others sharing their ice storms stories! We've had power on and off, limbs breaking, etc. You can see some other Missouri ice storm photos at our blog- foxhavenjournal.com. I would rather have the snow I think... :) - Beau

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  16. Meanwhile here in Washington D.C. we've decided to skip winter and go from fall to spring. Actually, we had winter last Wednesday...it was quite a shock and we couldn't find our coats and mittens; by the time we did the temperature had gone back up to the 60s and the crocuses were coming up. I can't say I like this...I think Mother Nature is trying to say something to those global-warming-denying folk in high places (have we succeeded in voting them all out? sure hope so).

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  17. Just after I left my previous comment I went to CNN and learned how badly Missouri got hit by this storm. I hope you guys are doing ok. Please let us know how things are going if you can.

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  18. I'm so outta touch - didn't know anything bad was going on! Sending you warm thoughts...

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  19. Sunday morning

    Thanks for the icestorm, Farmgirl -it was thoughtful of you to share it!

    Kat (iced in in NH)

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  20. Let us know how everything is going. I'm sending warm thoughts and hoping everyone is doing OK.

    I made the easy beer bread and a roast chicken last night. So comforting. Today I'm making the garlicy bean soup. I'm in Colorado, and it's snowy outside. After feeding the birds this morning, we're hibernating inside.

    Take care,
    D'Ann
    CO Springs, CO

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  21. Only 10 hours without power for Storm #3 in the past six months. Stay warm!

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  22. Glad I found your blog. Will visit again. The photo is lovely and white bean soup recipe looks delicious. I will have to try it.

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  23. So this is ice storm 27 for the year, right?

    Enough is enough, you all deserve a medal!

    Late today, I was snipping herbs from the garden for dinner tonight. Sounds like central Ohio will finally have some winter weather this week.

    Stay warm!

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  24. It's been great to find your blog. I have a small sheep farm in Massachusetts though I'm originally from Missouri! It's been raining most of the day here and it's icing now. We're in the midst of lambing and expecting one of our experienced ewes to go tonight or tomorrow. Maybe I should bake some chocolate chip cookies! The other night, while expecting lambs from this same ewe, we baked chocolate biscotti. They were delicious but they're long gone!

    Thanks for maintaining such a wonderful site!

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  25. Ice? Snow? Freezing.. That means something like winter I think... We have skipped the winterthing entirely here in the Netherlands. (Yes, that'll be Holland the land of skating and pea soup).
    Keep warm and cozy!

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  26. Good luck to you. The icy photos are incredible. Hope you manage the storm. Here it´s a bit frosty, just around zero and tulips are wondering, but anyway winter has to have it´s say.
    :)

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  27. Great post! You are so creative, even in times of possible adversity. You've go this "farm life thang" down. Looking for news today. Guess "no news" means "no power" in this case.

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  28. Been there, done that. I think I'll stay in my condo.

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  29. Just checking back to see if you are okay. I've seen the pictures of you ice on the news. "Pull up closer to the fire."

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  30. Susan,
    Hope you and all your loved ones made it safely and warmly through the storm. Thanks for capturing the view – even if it is a cold one.

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  31. Yes, I hope the ice storms pass quickly. I grew up in the Midwest and I remember what they were like. We usually had one major storm a year. But, we didn't live on a farm, so we didn't have as many duties as you, to say the least!!!

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  32. Linda Sue in Texas1/15/2007 1:04 PM

    Susan - trust that you and all the 2 or 4 legged beings on your place are OK. Even young'uns need to avoid falls when it is icey. We've had ice also - not as bad as predicted but if this is global warming the temperature needs to change! Praising trough/tank floating deicers, plenty of firewood and no power outages in our area - made your beer batter bread and roasted pork tenderloins for lunch - oh and pineapple upside down cake just for balance. Take care - no babies here yet but the does are doing a Goodyear Blimp imitation .

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  33. Hello! Hello! Hello!
    Just a quick note to thank you all so very much for your kind words, warm thoughts, and concern. I love reading your winter weather (or lack of) stories--so many wonderful images. Nicole--I'm wearing new cozy slippers right now. : ) Linda Sue--I am so envious of that delicious sounding lunch!

    We are here and fine, busy taking care of the critters and preparing for the temperature to plummet to around zero. I hope to have a photo and a paragraph or two up later. As soon as I shape the no-knead bread dough sitting by the woodstove into loaves I'm headed back outside.

    My fingertips quickly became numb with cold when I was out earlier, but there's nothing like mucking out the barn to get the blood flowing. (I know that seems a crazy thing to be doing right now, but I really do have a good reason. Well, a good reason for an obsessed kitchen gardener. . . : )

    Stay warm and eat well, everyone!

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  34. I heard on the radio this morning how hard Missouri got hit by the ice storm and immediately thought of you guys and all the animals. I hope all is well there and glad to see you had some power to post a quick reply today. Keep warm!

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  35. Congratulations on the blog award! That is awesome.

    It's finally cold here in north Texas, too. It's been three days. I'm ready for spring.

    Hope all of the critters, four and two-legged, survive the outages and nasty temperatures.

    Sandy

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  36. Bundle up, and keep warm! I know your cold will be here to us soon. And though I don't have all of the livestock and greenery to have to tend to, my precations for our little country cottage are much the same.

    I may steel your sleeping bag idea and replace the throws and towels that get poked around the doors and windows.

    Here's to a warm few nights nestled under your warm covers next to Farmer Joe.

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  37. I hope you all are doing fine. I lost power for three days in the same storm. Just got it back today and I am SO grateful! I'll never take electricity for granted again! Okay, until the next ice storm....

    I hope all the critters are warm!

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