Hanging In


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.
That was really nice of him, though it’s supposed to snow some more tomorrow.
But one can but dream when–
–there’s already 7 inches of snow on the ground.
Pretty sure was school was cancelled today.
I don’t see any school bus tracks. Just dog tracks.
And people tracks.
And cow tracks.
Nobody looks real happy except for this crazy thing.
With their thick double mountain coats, Great Pyrs are made for this weather.
The rest of us are just hanging in!

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Late Bloomer


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.


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.
I’ll have a glass of wine.

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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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