Snow, snow and more snow

The snow continued off and on all day on Sunday and was snowing hard when I got up yesterday. I was determined to not let the wind, gusts up to 40 mph yesterday keep me from snow play. My ski pants are too big, the weight loss since I last skied shows, but they have suspenders and over longjohns they were usable. Ski gloves, jacket, neck warmer, hat and hood, a sled in tow, I hiked to the top of the driveway to try to sled down. We did that a number of years ago after a heavy snow and ice storm. Not so much luck yesterday though. The snow was over my boots in places and my weight on the sled in deep snow did not make for good sliding. A walk back down to below the barn, I did slide down the hill toward the house, then tried to go down the hill on the opposite side of the house, again without much luck. Strong wind on loose snow sent tiny particles like needles at exposed skin, fortunately there wasn’t much of that. I tried, I quit.

This morning, the wind has died down, it is still only 27f outside. When I took thawed water and scratch grains to the hens, I threw down a thick mat of old hay in part of their run. One look out the pop door and they retreated back into the coop.

I decided to plow the driveway to thin the snowpack in hopes of encouraging some melt off as the sun has come out and disappeared behind the cloud cover off and on. I did a single pass down, just driving the tractor over the snow then used the blade for a single pass. It did help start some melt off as I discovered after putting all my ski clothes back on to take a walk up the nearly half mile to the paved road to see what the roads look like. I also discovered that my ski pants now fit over jeans, that wasn’t possible a few years ago.

Between my pass down on the tractor and my walk, the gravel road at the end of our driveway has been lightly plowed, but is very slick.

It would be perfect for sledding right now. We did that 4 years ago with daughter and grands. It was such fun, but you had to be careful because at the bottom of the hill is a cattle grate over a creek.

The paved road doesn’t look much better.

After preparing and eating lunch, I did more work with the tractor and blade, widening the pass down as the blade is only 5′ wide and at an angle doesn’t make a car passable swath. If we had to get out in an emergency at this point we could, but have no plans to go anywhere today. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid 40’s and rainy, so we will have a slushy, muddy mess, but will be able to get out to deliver a birthday card and gift to the local grandson who turns 15 tomorrow.

Thinking that we would have this behind us for a while, they are now calling for either 2 light to mid accumulation snows later in the week or 1 mid to heavy snow depending on how the fronts come together. This is after a late fall forcast of a warmer than normal, wetter than normal winter. As hubby said, they got it half right.

How to spend a snow day.

It started hours later than predicted, but the snow is quickly covering the ground and roads and the “Winterstorm Warning” is still saying at least 8″ maybe changing to sleet later today, with the heaviest bands yet to come.

The woodstove is burning and will continue throughout the day and tonight if I can drag myself down to the basement to stoke it in the middle of the night.

Though the house isn’t any cooler than usual, with the wind blowing outside, it seems colder and I am ensconced in my chair, wrapped in the wool shawl that I spun the yarn for a couple years ago for the Shave ’em 2 Save ’em event, then knit into the shawl, and draped in my Breed Blanket that I spun last year on my Jenkins Turkish spindles and knit for the year long challenge. A cup of hot tea, my spindles and wool, and I am set.

The chili and stew will be saved for rewarming if the power goes out and homemade pizza was on the menu for lunch while there is power to cook it.

An after lunch quick trip to dump compost and give the hens thawed water and scratch grains in their coop and gather eggs before they freeze, allowed me to see that the cover is now about 3″ and still falling fast, from an easterly direction so drifting into the coop through a drop window that doesn’t close fully.

The wild birds are flocking to the feeders, Nuthatches, Titmice, Chickadees, Wrens, Finches, a couple of woodpeckers, and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds that should be much farther south by now. I took a short video, but can’t get it to load.

So far we are warm, hope to stay that way. It is so quiet as it gets when snow mutes the outdoor sounds.

Almost a week. . .

Since I posted the Olio post. It has been a cold one, but we have gotten in our walk each day. We got caught in a sprinkling rain one day that turned into real rain and snow showers after we got back to the car.

The weather prognosticators are threatening us with a real winter storm starting tonight. The predictions have been all over the place from 8″ to 16″ of snow, maybe some ice, then more snow. We took heed, I brought in several loads of firewood for the wood stove and the fireplace. Our Sunday grocery run was moved up to Friday, a Farmer’s market run this morning with veggies, meats, and sourdough bread purchased, a large pot of chili made last night and stew tonight that can be heated on the wood stove or camp stove if we end up without power, and we will wait and see what it brings. More than about 6 inches and we won’t be going anywhere, our mountain roads aren’t priority for clearing.

The January spinning challenge has a changing theme every few days, but all encouraging the continuation of the practice. I am working on the batts that hubby gave me for Christmas to make myself a large scarf and simultaneously spinning neutrals for a second blanket that will have some repeat breeds and some I never got to on the first one. I must like these colors.

The base square is one that was too small for the first blanket and I am doing a log cabin pattern around it. It will be a small lap blanket when finished.

It is getting dark, the hens are secured with food and water. Regardless of tomorrow’s weather, they will need thawed water once or twice during the day and probably won’t come out of their coop until they can see hay or grass on the ground. The coop will need cleaning again once they do leave the confines of their indoor shelter.

The fall predictions for this winter were for warmer than average temperatures and wet. Instead it has been colder and white. I have concluded the way to tell the weather is to look outside and see what it is doing.

I have two paperback books and one ebook, lots of yarn, fiber, spindles, spinning wheels, and knitting needles. There are both a two burner camp stove and an alcohol burner that can be used for heating water or cooking. This won’t be the biggest snow we have had and we have no where to go, so we will just enjoy it. Maybe some Senior Olympics can be had with sled runs.