Tag Archives: ice

And So We Endure Jan. 14, 2018

After the nearly 3 weeks of Arctic weather, we were due for a reprieve.  Daughter and family had moved  out nearly all of their furniture that had been moved in for their period of house sharing with us and our furniture that had been relocated to other parts of the house or stored returned.  Jim and I dismantled the bunk bed, storing the full size bottom bunk in the garage until they could pick it up yesterday and the twin size top bunk set up in a corner of the basement to provide another place to put family members if we have too many for the other beds.  The smaller south bedroom was scrubbed down, vacuumed, dusted, and the full size bed, tall chest, nightstand, and rocking chair returned to it.  New Navy blue curtains were hung, but once out of the package, I realized that they are not lined, so some lining fabric will be purchased and I will make the lining and sew it in.

Monday was supposed to be the first warmer day and the grand’s first day at their new school, but Ole Man Winter decided to play a trick and instead of a warmer dry day, we got an ice storm warning.  Schools closed throughout the region in anticipation and we ended up with the grands with us.  Grandson arrived in a too small knit hat that looked like a mouse had chewed it.  He helped me pick yarns and I told him I would trade him a new hat for the one he was wearing

Though initially we thought that it was unnecessary to close the schools, we did indeed get ice.   We got the grands home before it got too bad, but Monday night Jim went out to try to get the two male dogs back in and slipped, landing hard on his hip.  I didn’t hear him calling for help until he had crawled back to the front porch in pain.  As the night wore on, his more intense pain subsided, but he has continued to have a lot of soreness, not enough to keep us from our walks when weather permitted.  Tuesday the schools were to be delayed two hours to give the roads a chance to clear, but by 9 a.m., they again closed.  We were unsure we could get down our mountain road to get the grands, so SIL had to wait for the alternative care program to get straightened out and took the kids there, going in to work late.

The week did finally warm up and we enjoyed a few nice day, enough for the ice on the creeks and the blocks from the chicken watering pan to thaw.  Each day the pan was dumped and fresh water poured in and the yard and chicken run were littered with blocks the shape of the pan or the bucket.  Friday we got much needed rain, and mud.  The dogs come and go through the front door as the deck repair is still in progress out the back.  Late Friday, the rain turned to sleet then to snow and the temperature dropped.  It was 40ºf colder yesterday than Friday.  We got no more than a dusting as the snow blew horizontally until early afternoon when the wind died down, the clouds broke but the thermometer didn’t rise.  Our high yesterday was 21.  Last night to 10.

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The cold, blustery, snowy day encouraged me to continue putting the house together, the front bedroom received the same treatment that the other one got last weekend.  The walls swept down, windows and floor vacuumed and mopped or wiped down, fresh linen on the bed, the heavy quilt that has been stored for 3 years was returned to the bed and new insulated, room darkening curtains hung.

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Friday night when they came to pick up their dog and two housecats, he got his new hat, just in time for yesterday’s frigid weather.

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He had it on yesterday when they came to get the bed and a few more boxes.  I hope it keeps him warm as we endure another week of subfreezing days and bitter nights before the next break.  In the meantime, I am again accumulating blocks of ice from the water pans and buckets and though I thought I only got 1 egg yesterday, this morning when I let the hens out into the yard, I found 4 more, frozen and cracked in a corner of the coop, not in nesting boxes where they could be found.

The Crystal Palace

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The storm of yesterday has passed, again creating a snow covered swathe diagonally up across Virginia and to the north east.  Today the sun is brilliant and the day so far is frigid.  Yesterday afternoon, the chickens were huddled underneath the coop as the snow fell, they were soaked and I was worried about frostbite.  Have you ever tried to herd chickens?  Not an easy task, but one by one they were prodded out from under the coop to a small patch that I cleared right by their ladder and most willingly went inside.  A few had to be picked up and placed inside, the pop door closed and a couple of extra scoops of whole grain feed tossed down to both entertain and warm them as I hoped they would dry before the single digit cold arrived and arrive it did.  We plunged from the mid 30’s yesterday morning to 6f (-14.5c) early this morning.

The brilliant sun is causing the ice coated trees and shrubs to sparkle and glitter, the snow blindingly white.  Our total on this storm was only about 6″, but it is on ice.  The muddy ruts that had formed in our driveway are now frozen ruts but the next week is going to be spring like with a few periods of rain, so the ruts will return.

The chickens pen was cleared of enough snow to toss down their grain and coax them out to feed.

School has been cancelled for the second day in a row, the 14th day this school year.  Only one of those days has been made up and only 4 more make up days are currently in the schedule.  Their options are to extend the school day or add more days on to the end of the year.  They don’t really haven’t any vacation days built in to take that haven’t already been taken.  Spring break is only the Friday and Monday bracketing Easter Sunday.

The day is beautiful and the scenery is photo worthy, we didn’t lose power, but I am ready for winter to exit.

Creeping Deadlines

This month is flying and so much yet to do. We still don’t have a tree.  Maybe next week.  As I was going to bed down the chooks last evening, and to collect 5 very cold eggs, I was being gently pelted by small frozen pellets.  Our table sits in front of the French doors to the back deck and we watched during dinner as the stained wood was coated and turned white.  We weren’t really expecting much in the way of bad weather last night, the Nor’easter that was pounding up the coast to New England  wasn’t going to hit Virginia too hard and we were catching only the westerly edge of wind and moisture, chilled by our winter temperatures.  Awakening this morning with it still heavily overcast, the cedars, pines, and other firs looked like they had been sugar coated.

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All fog and frosting and totally enchanting.  After feeding pups and me breakfast, it was chicken chore time and on my way back from giving them their morning portion of grains and kitchen scraps, a glance in the same general direction showed a beautiful mountain phenomenon.

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The clouds breaking up but clinging to the hollows in the mountains, producing a floating ridge.  The sun will quickly melt the frosting on the trees, but it made for a beautiful holiday scene.

Last night I knitted until my hands were cramped, but met my yesterday’s goal of getting the body of grandson’s sweater finished.  Today’s goal is the hood and a desperately needed bath.  It has picked up dog hair and dust as it has been lugged around the house and in the car in an effort to get it completed.

A sweater

The hood is a simple 9″ long stockinette rectangle the width of the neckline plus a few stitches.  It should be done in a couple of hours then stitching up the seam to close the rectangle into a hood, stitch up the underarms and a quick wash.

The missing gift that is in the mail was near here according to tracking, perhaps to arrive today, so the box of Christmas that must be mailed away should be ready by tomorrow.

Back to the knitting goal.  Must get on it.

Stay Indoors weather

Our winter storm didn’t fizzle as we hoped, nor did it give us pretty snow.  Instead we are encrusted in ice.  The cars look like someone poured water over them in a deep freeze.  The yard is white and slick.  The chicken coop run has hay on the ground that has 1/2″ of ice on top.  The chooks aren’t happy.  I finally went out with a pitchfork and turned as much of it over as I could so that they had a place to stand and eat as they came out of the coop and practically knocked each other over trying to get back inside.

The weather prognosticators have extended the weather warnings “until further notice” with more ice, possibly freezing drizzle, maybe snow for the next 36 hours or so.  But they are predicting 61ºf by Friday, it is 27ºf now and has been since I got up this morning.

This is a day to stay indoors and read, just finished Jefferson Bass’ latest novel Cut to the Bone.  I am a fan of forensic science novels and found this to be a good read.  It is the prequel to the Body Farm series.  And to knit, still working on the sleeve.  I hate knitting sleeves, they are so boring.  Once I finish this sleeve, there is a feather and fan band to pick up and knit and I will have another sweater to add to my wardrobe.

This is Virginia, it is time for the winter to go away and bring us some springtime, though last year, we had light snow for 5 Fridays straight right up to mid April.  This winter is wearing on us.