Friday, January 11, 2013

Living in a Christmas Card..


Oh yes, it is beautiful. It's lovely. It's gorgeous.

Still.. I'm ready for a return to our California winters with the following equation: snow storm = cold for a little bit = melting = warm temps = the ground exposed again. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

But it hasn't happened since this stormy weather hit back on December 21st. At the worst of the cold-snap the rooms inside this old place have been 27º. The norm is now hovering around 37-43º with the living room at 49º every morning. Outside temps have dropped to 0º.

Frost is almost melted off by noon on entry hall window! whoopee ;)
Do you know just how happy it makes me to know my babies are free of this?! I LOVE knowing you are all living in normal, warm homes.. wait a minute. That sounds real familiar. Do I say this to you several times every winter?

Just before New Year's I finally dug & chopped through the frozen, high center berm that had prevented the Honda from making it out the driveway for over a week. You may have heard a whoop and a holler of joy. That was me!

It was just as night was falling. There was this amazing, awesome, STUPENDOUS full moon rising over the valley with a mist just hovering above the creek between us and the farm buildings in the distance.

I was so excited to be free of Siberia that I jumped in my car and took a spin all around the valley. Well, no spinning. I've got front-wheel drive with those great studded snow tires. And I'm here to tell ya.. THAT was the definition of an honest-to-goodness joy-ride :D

Notice the awesome appearance of Mars straight up above the road way in this next shot:

Out the back by the garden. Amazing to think this is at night! Wish my camera setting had worked better..
So finally, at long last, just the-day-before-yesterday, there came the incredibly welcomed drip-drip-drip sound of snow melting off the trees & roof eaves. Didn't last. That night we got hit with another big snow & I was back out shoveling. Seems it's what I've mostly been doing for weeks now. Oh ya. It is.

These past two mornings the sun has been shining; the sky, a beautiful blue above. But we stay encased in a frozen white world.

The afternoons turn gray & cloudy. It's staying cold and the snow never falls off the slender branches of the deciduous trees. Tonight everything looks the same as it did when the sun came up. It is 5º and dropping.

Cold, cold, cold is predicted for days to come.. with more lows in the single digits & teens to highs in the mid 30's.

We are burnin' through the firewood. And I mean that both literally AND figuratively. We've gone through over half our winter wood supply & are now supplementing heavily with the living room propane heater.

Talked to Ben yesterday afternoon. He said he was driving with the air conditioning blasting. More of the same when Abby called today. Ahhh, the good life on the Islands!


Weber State called at 4:45am with an automated phone message. The University is closed due to a big storm over the Wasatch. Talked to Eli. Do you think logic would prevail & he'd stay home & do a way-cool papier-mâché project I emailed him with a catchy subject title of: Project For A Snowy Day?

Ohhh, nooooo.

Disregarding my respectable age & accompanying sage wisdom he said he was heading out 'Boarding'. 'Challenging-the-avalanche-weather-at-the-ski-park' is what I call it!

I'd feel better knowing he was doing the crafting.


First, the back story: Jenny's 3 acres of fencing is buried, collapsed, and/or broken under snow 2 feet deep in some places. So after discovering she'd been making escapes for a week we had to get drastic in order to protect her, the neighbors, and drivers from this mutt's wanderings.

I've always thought the unusual 'Silky' chickens were soo amazing & bizarre looking with their furry 'feathers' (hold on..this DOES tie in).

Despite all the breeds we've raised I never owned one. 'Til now:

Yep, this is the drastic action we had to take. [Silky] dog in the chicken coop.

Here she is getting up from the nest I made her (of last year's fluffy, dry, sweet orchard grass clippings), lickin' her chops & anticipating the cookie bone I brought..

..and then, the second after, when she realizes I also have *THE DREADED CAMERA*

So until the snows melt, and we can reconstruct her fencing, she lives either on a hundred foot leash (placed strategically around the property at her favorite spots) or in the ol' chicken coop where she mostly sleeps curled up in her cozy nest. Which is basically all she does when she's free anyhow. That's what I tell myself repeatedly so I'll feel better about her confinement.

Time to go break up Jenny's nice dinner. At least, it was nice when I made it for her a couple hours ago: hot turkey leavings strained from the broth I made, homemade heel of bread, and her favorite kibbles. By now, what she didn't consume, will be turning slushy in her dish in the garage. Good thing she's into smoothies...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ben's Truck Goes Tropical

After quite a bit of research, phone calls, & emails on Abby, Ben's, and my part.. more emails, phone calls, and paper work between me & PASHA Hawaii Shipping Lines in Reno & Buxton's Transport service out of Sacramento.. cleaning out the bed & cab (must be totally empty to ship).. getting a friend to help remove the contractor's rack... well, finally, Ben's Tundra is off on a cruise to the Islands.

And I cried.

Why? Well, (and I believe it was Abby that said this back when my car was stolen in the city & burned to the ground 2 years ago), our cars are more than just vehicles. We save up and buy them outright & intend to keep them around (ok, maybe not Eli's old camry :D)

They become literal symbols & conveyances of freedom & independence. We embrace them as members of the family. They take on each owner's personality.. so, especially in the case of them belonging to you kids, when they no longer are in the driveway here at home, it's a tangible feeling of YOU being gone. And that makes me miss each of ya so much...

Consequently, this experience has a more permanent feeling than seeing Ben off at the airport last November...

... so, bye, bye (again) Ben *sniff sniff*

Papa helps hold traffic & back rig onto Highway
..and away it goes