Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Almost Ice Storm

Poor little outside kitty (not really)  looking in....Tempe 
 Yesterday morning was pleasant--rather damp and cloudy but still at 48 degrees it was a good morning to work outside.   I was even able to get the outside windows washed.  (Yes, I know, that's messed up).

Tempe makes use of the ice--if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!
By mid afternoon it started raining and by chore time it was starting to freeze on the trees.   Since losing power for 13 days in 2007's mighty Ice Storm, anytime there is ice forming on the trees is a time of dread and subdued panic.   Throughout the evening it continued to rain.  I think altogether we got two inches of rain --some before it froze.   I got caught up on laundry and put everything that could be charged on the charger, and had buckets standing by to fill if it started to really going bad.  As bad as it was looking it turned out fine.  The wind picked up and the rain turned to a sleety snow and then stopped.  In fact the hard surfaces of the sidewalks and paths 'freeze-dried' so it wasn't even very slick.

Chaco cleverly hides in a pile of hay--never mind that the birds can easily spot him....
Today is very cold though, topping out in the mid 20s and tonight will be pretty awful in the lower teens.   It's not too bad in the house, so far I've been able to keep the temp up to about 74.  After yesterdays working spree I'm taking it fairly easy.

Icy Branches
I'm experimenting making stuffed shells and there is apple cider bread in the machine on the dough cycle (to be baked in the oven).  It all smells good anyway.  Other than that and keeping the livestock going it's been a quiet day.  Well, as quiet as it can be with a jillion cats and three dogs (who finally 'talked' me into letting them into the house). 

More ice on the branches against a grey sky
The cats really like to go out in their catio and bird hunt, er, watch so I knew it would be a long day with restless kitties if I didn't come up with a plan.  A square of hay solved the problem and gave the cats tons of 'free' fun.  Setting up several strategic piles allowed them to dive bomb it, tunnel through, hide from the birds and each other and gave them a warm place to rest their oh so fragile toes.

We got lucky...
Still and all it was like having a bunch of little kids that wanted to go out to play but would rush back in because it was too cold.  Only thankfully I didn't have to put on and take off little snow suits every time they rushed in to sit by the stove and then back out again to see what was going on with the birds.  There was a steady click-clack of the cat flap during the morning hours.

Carly says her toes are freezing off!
The dogs on the other hand got booted outside when I got up.  I opened the front yard gate and let them have free access to the place (it's all perimeter fenced).  They had fun rushing about and it helped them stay warm.   I finally relented and brought them in for a few hours this afternoon and they are chewing on a rare rawhide bones treat.  They spend the nights in the house now anyway.  Not much use as farm dogs but evidently I'm turning into a big softie and they are very good.

Please, please let us in!
I need to work on an end of the year post.  Not because it's going to make good reading, but for the purpose of this blog to keep a record of the tiny farm.  It hadn't been a very pleasant year.  At the moment I'm trying to get insurance on my home reinstated after being dropped from the company I was with for ten years.  Maybe I'll blog about that too.  Seems wood heat, a 48 year old home and collies are just too big a risk.   Sure I've simplified it, but in a nutshell that is the problem.  Never mind the building is concrete with brick, cement floors and steel roofing.  And about those rabid collies....
Gabe's Feral Cat Impersonation

Hope you all have a good week!
 
Hungry birds at my (new for Christmas) feeder

Lovely Cardinal under the feeder

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh, those glorious cardinals! The closest we have here to that intensity of color are the red finches.

So glad you dodged a power outage! It's always more worrisome for those of us with animal dependents....

Vicki Lane said...

Sounds like a pleasant day. I expect your cold weather is on its way to us -- it was shirtsleeves warm here today in the NC mountains -- rather unsettling...

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Having lost power 3 times we have also learned those lessons when it happens, and I can't decide if it's better happening in winter or summer--But I'm glad you didn't lose your power, but glad you all got to enjoy the day instead!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

You had me at stuffed shells and apple-cider bread. Glad you maintained electricity. Here in the NC Appalachians, y'all usually send your weather my way.

Sue said...

We lost power for 12 days in 2007 with 8 six week old puppies penned in the kitchen and my wrist in a cast. It's a time I don't like to remember. I'm so glad this storm didn't turn into much.

I never heard of apple cider bread but it sounds delicious. Is it your own recipe?
Sue

thecrazysheeplady said...

I well know the pre ice storm frenzy. Your dogs are lovely. Too bad they're so dangerous ;-). Sigh. Hope you get that all straightened out.

Tina T-P said...

We got dropped from our insurance after 17 years (I've had home-0wners with them since 1981....) because we made a claim on frozen pipes last year and they decided that they wouldn't cover our manufactured home even though it's set on cement blocks on a pad and has Sheetrock throughout - go figure. Sure glad we don't live on Long Island - those poor folks are still waiting for the feds to come to their rescue...

BeadedTail said...

We don't like the cold so are pretty sure we wouldn't like an ice storm. We do like birdies though and would love to have a catio to watch them from! The cardinal is very pretty!

Phyllis Oller said...

I`m so thankful that we haven`t been dropped.It would be devestating,I can imagine how you feel.
What a nice bird feeder! And you already have a woodpecker-normally shy-visiting it! I love your collies Christmas picture,I don`t know how I missed them,they are growing so fast & are simply beautiful.Take care,& have a great weekend.We are back in the thros of winter again,it had been nice,but now it`s freezing cold,& woke up to a bit of snow on the ground again,phyllis

Phyllis Oller said...

Great,I posted right away,Tammy!phyllis