;

Hanging In

Feb
17

I think that would be winter hanging in. I was feeling a little bit on the verge of a meltdown (and not talking about the temperature) this morning when my neighbor Andy showed up by surprise to plow my driveway.
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That was really nice of him, though it’s supposed to snow some more tomorrow.
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But one can but dream when–
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–there’s already 7 inches of snow on the ground.
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Pretty sure was school was cancelled today.
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I don’t see any school bus tracks. Just dog tracks.
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And people tracks.
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And cow tracks.
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Nobody looks real happy except for this crazy thing.
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With their thick double mountain coats, Great Pyrs are made for this weather.
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The rest of us are just hanging in!

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Late Bloomer

Feb
16

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Hello, Winter.

This has not been a rough winter so far, or really what I’d even call a winter. This winter has been a late bloomer. It’s been nothing to compare to last year when I had water frozen at the house and the barn and was hauling buckets of water in the back of the truck from my neighbor’s house. Or when the furnace went out twice and I had no wood. Or how about that time my PARKED car slid out of the driveway into the middle of the road? Or when it was so cold, the milking machine wouldn’t even work? Or all the times I climbed over the barnyard gate because it was frozen in place? Then there was that hen who froze to death on the studio deck. Or the sheep that got trampled by the cows in the doorway of the outdoor access stall and was frozen in the ground for a month before I could remove it.

I HAVE STORIES.

But let’s forget about last winter. I didn’t really like it.

I was all prepared for this winter, better than ever. New gas wall heaters in the studio, cellar, and house to keep things toasty. Enough wood for two winters. Space heaters to point at all necessary locations for added heat on especially cold nights. A stockpile of necessities to avoid trips to the store on bad weeks.

So far, all these preparations have just been a feel-good thing because other than a few sporadic bouts of cold weather, it hasn’t been bad. There haven’t been any extended severe temperatures or deep snow. That all changed this weekend with almost whiteout conditions on Friday and temperatures dropping into the single digits at night over the weekend. These super freezing temperatures are going to continue through this week and we’re expecting six to ten inches of snow today alone. February finally found our long lost winter and brought her home.

WHY, February, WHY? The cruelty of it. Let sleeping winters lie.

And yet. I have a stockpile of food. I have toilet paper, wine, food for the animals. Priorities not necessarily in that order. I have no hot water running in the house today (DESPITE all my efforts), but I have a warm fire and a gas wall heater in case the power goes out, and I have a sweet puppy on my lap and three hours of The Bachelor on my DVR. I’m sure a few hours of watching crazy women fight over this cute guy on TV will fortify me for my sub-freezing chores. And then, yes, THEN.
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I’ll have a glass of wine.

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  1. IMG_4283

    January 26, 2015 - Street Cred

    I’m not a hoarder.

    I’ve moved many times in my life–several times during childhood, several times during my marriage, and several times since then. Repeatedly moving causes you to repeatedly evaluate your stuff because you have to pack it. My last move was to this farm, and the house here is very small (1300 square feet). The size of the house caused me to be even more hard on myself as I packed, … Continued…

  1. IMG_7539

    January 15, 2015 - Surprise Visitor

    My first hired man, Adam, with my beloved Beulah Petunia.

    I want to thank the reader who spotted Adam at the Wal-Mart in Spencer recently. He stopped by my farm, unexpectedly, and told me that he’d been at Wal-Mart and a woman came up to him and said, Why haven’t you been to the chicken farm? You’ve been replaced by two other guys. You need … Continued…

  1. IMG_3965

    January 8, 2015 - Stocking Up

    I have a new favorite grocery store. It’s the studio.

    Since I got rid of the beloved yet pesky Explorer, I don’t have a four-wheel drive.

    I don’t like driving on snowy icy roads in any case. I did that. I’m all done. Snowy icy road at the other farm:… Continued…

  1. IMG_2897

    December 31, 2014 - The Farmhouse Year in Review 2014

    The year in highlights!

    January.

    It snowed a lot last winter. As in, a LOT. School was closed more than it was open, and it was Morgan’s senior year. Seniors don’t have to make up snow days, but she was upset anyway because she loves school! Looking back at posts from last winter gets me worried when I remember all the troubles I had with … Continued…

  1. IMG_3651

    December 8, 2014 - A Squirrely Obsession

    The two-week buck season in West Virginia is over now and my current obsession is squirrel hunting. Around here, the people I’ve talked to who go squirrel hunting use either a shotgun or a .22. Ammo for a .22 long rifle is getting hard to find. I’ve tried using both my .22 and a 20 gauge and have had no luck so far, but … Continued…

  1. vacation

    November 26, 2014 - Nabbed!

    Me, hanging with my new Marlin 30-30, ready for hunting.

    First of all, I need to apologize because I took vacation without saying I was taking vacation. That was because I was so into my vacation.

    However! I’m back and with excitement.

    This Monday started the two-week buck season here. We have had a non-stop problem with poachers here since we moved in. Yesterday, it came … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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