Winter wonder (part 2)

Several weeks after “the big snow,” we were enjoying balmy spring weather by taking our school outside – campfire cooking in several styles used by the Native Americans. (but that’s another post for another time)

My sister mentions that snow is forecast for the next week. I figure it’s just wishful thinking by the weatherman, no way this could happen twice! But as predictions of extreme cold and snow persist, Brian and I start covering plants, pipes and animal pens!

Well, snow came! Along with record low temps (went down to 6 degrees!) and power outages! The loss of power was somewhat expected – surely ice would knock a pole down somewhere, but we heat with a fireplace so we weren’t too concerned on that front. As the power stayed out however, other aspects of life had to change a bit.

Our heat option for the cat and kittens didn’t work so they enjoyed a number of days inside (doesn’t she look happy?) The dog spent three nights inside in her crate but then let it be known she would prefer to stay outside. Brian did a lot of hauling water out to the barn for the cow and chickens. The milk machine also needs power so we were hand milking for several days. Also had to gather eggs several times a day so they wouldn’t freeze.

I got a new, walk in freezer! So strange to just walk out on the porch and rummage through coolers (fridge replacement) and a laundry basket of frozen items.

Cooking also presented a new challenge. Since I cook largely from scratch I didn’t have things like cereal stocked in our pantry. Our stove is electric, so we had to get creative. We put coals from the fire place in a cast iron skillet and then put another skillet on top of that to fry eggs (which were coming in from the barn in dozens). I boiled water in the fireplace and poured it over oats to make a decent oatmeal.

I did have a gas grill so it was burgers one night and sausage and hot dogs another! My menu plan for the week had included several soups – but the power was too intermittent to have enough time to cook them. Eventually we were able to expect an hour of power whenever it turned on, so we’d jump up and do various chores  and I was even able to make some brownies!

Let me tell you – we just thought we’d cozy up inside, read books and watch movies! Not a chance – we worked out tails off!

In between chores we did take time to have some fun though! Here our dog leads the human sled team!

Exploring on the first morning, I was awed by a sight I never thought I would live to see – the neighbors pond frozen solid!! It wasn’t thick enough to walk on, but you could throw snowballs all over.

Beautiful ice crystals.

The creek under our road was a different story. Much shallower than the pond, this froze thick enough to hold the weight of 13 kids and a few adults!

We grabbed a few reeds from the side of the creek and attempted a game of ice hockey!

Garrison begged to go sledding again so he and Uncle Dan got to try out the slopes!

Labradors are built for the cold I guess, because this pup grabbed a piece of ice and took off. Later she lay in the snow and crunched the ice like a popsicle. Crazy mutt.

After a few days of clear cold, we had sleet that weighed down the trees.

My sister (lives next door) and her kids joined us for several days to enjoy the heat. Cousins played a lot of games (and enjoyed the kittens).

Brian’s brother had also come for a weekend visit….that turned into a week long visit. He was great at entertaining kids and holding little Ace.

With that much inside time, the kids still needed an outlet for energy so I had several wrestling matches with the little ones.

Also, spontaneous pillow fight broke out one morning.

Overall, it was a grand adventure, but I’m sure glad this happens at my house only once in a lifetime!

(In case you’re wondering if we had damage, Brian did such a good job of weather protecting our house and farm that only one thing froze and it was a sprinkler valve he had recently installed. Even the plants in the garden made it!)



2 responses to “Winter wonder (part 2)”

  1. Jack Paslay

    Looks like you were able to cope and have fun too.

  2. Joy

    Thank you for sharing. I love the pics. Still praying for you friend!!

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