Tag Archives: winter weather

Homestead Update 3/31/2018

31 Mar

Yes, I’m back. I took a break from posting this winter but Spring is just around the corner. We had a really cold winter with two different spells of temperatures in the low single digits. Before the weather turned bad, I made sure we were prepared. I laid in a supply of firewood, serviced and ran the generators, checked the battery powered lights, bought kerosene for the lanterns and heaters, and made sure we had plenty of water and food stored in the pantry. Fortunately we didn’t need any of that but it is good to be prepared.

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We also had two light snow events such as this one where we received about 6 inches. I stepped out on the porch and snapped this photo just at sunrise and I thought it was pretty.

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I had my trail cams out behind the house and I saw this nice buck.

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I also saw this scraggly spike buck.

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A nice close-up of this little Doe.

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During one of the cold spells, we built a fire in the fireplace. At first, Brandi was afraid of the fire due to the popping and crackling sounds, but soon she decided “Hey I kinda like this!” She just stretched out and laid there like a big dog.

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The temperatures were low enough to kill the broccoli planted in the raised beds. I have it replanted now so there should be enough time for the new broccoli to make before hot weather comes. More to come, keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update

21 Feb

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Well, we have been iced in all week. I know that picture looks like snow, but it is 3 inches of sleet. I walked across the road and took this picture back towards our house.

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These are our neighbors farm shops across the road, as you can see it is still sleeting as this picture is taken.

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This is the road in front of our house, I don’t want to get out on that!

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But as you can see, some knuckle-head in a 4X4 just had to get out and drive, just to see if he could.

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Here is Wilma sitting and waiting for her food.

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Here is Jethro chowing down on his feed. the cold doesn’t seem to bother them much. Sometimes I look out towards the pen and they will be laying on the snow and ice just napping. I guess when they get cold enough they decide to get back inside their houses.

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Last Saturday was Valentine’s Day and I wanted my Sweetie to have a special day so I took her out to the Flea Market and Antique Malls. And we stayed out ALL day! We went from one place to the other, did I mention we stayed ALL day? Anyway, we started out the day at our favorite little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for breakfast. They don’t have a kitchen, they cook everything on a big grill right there behind the counter where you can watch it being done, and as always it was delicious.

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Since we spent so much time in the Antique Malls, I managed to find a few goodies for myself like this old bamboo flyrod. It was manufactured and imported from Japan in the 1950’s, and looking at the cork handle, I can tell it has never been used.

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It fits inside this nice wooden carrying box, it looks nice on display in my office.

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I also picked up this red leather chair where visitors can sit in my office. And it only cost $10, what a deal!

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I also picked up this one-man cross-cut saw. I have a good two-man saw hanging on the wall in my shop so this one-man version will look good hanging right below it. I hope I never have to resort to actually using them, but it is nice to know I have them just in case. If things get that hard I will just find some strong young studs and lend them my saws then lend them my knowledge and expertise. If times get that hard, I can just hear it now, “let’s go see old Swamp Dog, he really knows some stuff!”

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When we got home from ALL day shopping at the Antique Malls, we got ready and went to dinner with a couple of our friends. As Sweet Thing was getting ready, she called me to her dressing table and asked if her hair was level across the back. I said it was not so she had me cut her hair! I guess I will have to add hair stylist to my resume!

This frozen spell has lasted all week, but last night the temperatures finally rose above freezing for the first time in 6 days.

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So this morning we awoke to this sight, water all in the kitchen floor! We already knew we had a leak either in the front windows or where the porch joins the wall. The water is not leaking from the ceiling, it is running down inside the front wall. After we had a small 12 inch spot of water in the floor a few weeks ago the contractor came out and said he would fix it when the weather warmed up.

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All that sleet was dammed up in the valleys and as the rain melted the ice, it started running inside. Our contractor said he would have to pull those vinyl shake shingles off of the front wall and put more flashing around the windows and in the valleys. He said if he tried to remove the vinyl in these cold temperatures, the shingles would break and we have no extras and they were special ordered when we built originally.  I think I am going to just go order enough shingles to redo the entire area and tell him to go ahead and fix it, I can’t have water running down inside the walls, that could cause all sorts of rot and mold problems. After Sweet Thing mopped up our water, I suggested she call her Mom and check her basement. Sure enough, she had 2 inches of water standing in her basement so I met our young Nephew over there and we wet vacuumed all of the water out. Our Niece had a leaky roof at her house and the sheetrock ceiling collapsed in her pantry! Sweet Things sister had water flooding her lower level garage due to the ice buildup on the concrete. This frozen stuff is for the birds, I am ready for it to be all gone. Oh well, Spring will be here before you know it. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

15 Feb

I’ve been busy with job related tasks the last few weeks so I haven’t done much in the way of prepping.

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I have attended two meetings in Nashville and three meetings in Memphis in the past few weeks. While I was on the road, I stopped in a convenience store and I saw this firewood stacked by the door. It is for sale for $5.99 per bundle, and it looks like it would take two bundles to fill a 5-gallon bucket. Man, at that rate I bet I have $3000 worth of firewood just laying on the ground behind my barn. I better get out there and cover it up with a tarp, I didn’t realize it was so valuable!

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I also noticed the gas prices are going back up quickly. I think they got as low as $1.82 around here, now they are up to $2.09 at most stations. Oh well, I knew it was too good to last. I planned on getting my new diesel tank set up and filled while the prices were down, I think I better get on that next week before the prices go up any further. The weatherman is prediction snow and single digit temps for tonight, I hope he is wrong this time. P.S. As an update to this post, they are predicting 6-9 inches of snow and sleet, then freezing temps all week with one night possibly below 0! I can’t take that! I grew up in SE Arkansas about 30 miles from the Louisiana border, I am practically a Cajun!

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I refilled the firewood rack on the back porch. I hope we burn a fire because we want to and not because we HAVE to. Those cold winter days with no electricity really suck, but we are prepared as well as we can be I guess.

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I looked over towards the barn last night and noticed the security light was out. RATS! It burned about 2 years before the bulb burned out, but I have it replaced now.

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I ordered another beekeeping book. I have three electronic beekeeping books on my ipad, but it might be handy to have a hard copy of one just-in-case.

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I also just received an email from Sam’s Club about a fire extinguisher I purchased a few months ago. These units have been recalled by the manufacturer and I have to contact them to get a replacement. I hope we don’t have a fire in the meantime. I’ll probably go to Lowe’s tomorrow and get a couple to have on hand while I wait on my replacements to come in. Keep prepping everyone!

Dogs In The Snow

5 Mar

I went out to feed the dogs after the snow/sleet storm we had and I encountered a problem. The funnels and chutes I rigged up to feed the dogs from the outside of the pen were filled up solid with ice and I couldn’t get the feed into the pan. I tried to open the gate and go inside the pen but the ice had the gate frozen shut.

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I ended up just throwing the food through the fence. At first, they looked at me as if to say “hey, what’s going on here?” They ended up vacuuming up every piece of food eventually so they are well fed. I came back later in the day and dug out the gate with a shovel.

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While I had the gate open, I let them out to run in the snow and they had a blast! I hope this is the last freezing precipitation we have this winter, but in case it is not, keep prepping everyone!

P.S. The grader finally came by to clear the road and it pushed a big mound of ice up in the driveway. I used my Kubota to clear it out and we may try to go to town this afternoon, we are going stir crazy after only 4 days!

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Then I noticed the ice on top of my barn was trying to slide off in one solid piece, I am afraid to step under it! But at least we are getting a little melting at last.

Freezing Rain And Ice

23 Feb

Our weather has definitely taken a turn for the better around here. Instead of being 15 degrees below normal we are now 15 degrees above normal. The frogs in our stock pond are out and singing up a storm! Back when we had the ice storm, I was working in my office and I heard the heating unit outside my window making a funny sound. I looked outside and discovered this,,,

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The rain dripping off of the house was collecting on the unit and it was now covered with a solid sheet of ice on the top and all four sides! Normally the rain drip just misses the edge of the unit, but the ice freezing on the roof moved the drip outward just enough to catch the unit and it froze there just like it was freezing on the trees and grass. I discovered this just one hour before I was to leave for a meeting in the city. Great. I called the dealer who installed the unit and he suggested the first thing to do was to take warm water and pour it all over the unit to thaw the ice. After that he said I should be OK, but if I still wanted him to come check it he would. I figured it would take much longer to thaw the unit than the hour I had available but I got right on it and in 45 minutes it was completely ice-free! I am going to build some sort of roof to put over the unit the next time the weatherman predicts freezing rain. Keep prepping everyone.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

10 Feb

I think I gots the SADs! This Winter Wonderland we keep having is starting to get on my nerves.

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We have been below normal on temperatures for most of the Winter. The weatherman is predicting another week of below normal temps with a couple of chances of more freezing precipitation. I have heard several people remark they are ready for Spring to get here. I am not in that big of a hurry for a full-blown Spring just yet, I still have some cold weather projects I want to do before the snakes come out in the Spring. But, I would like to see some normal temps for a few days. Our Average temps for this date are 50 for the high and 34 for the low, that would suit me just fine. Especially if we had some sun to go along with it. I don’t think the sun has even peeked out for over 2 weeks.

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I’m sure Wilma and Jethro are tired of the snow as well.

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Although, I guess it doesn’t bother them too much. I bought these nice fleece blankets at the Dollar Store and put one of them in each of their dog houses and they drag they out on the ground. I go put them back in the houses, and the next day they drag them back out. I’ll go out tomorrow and hang them on the fence to dry and put them in the barn until the next round of single digit temps then I will put them in the houses one more time. Keep prepping everyone!

Don’t Drive On Jell-O Pudding

4 Jan

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Last week sweet Thing decided to drive down the hill behind the barn. Bad idea! The temps have been below freezing every day since we had the 8 inches of rain last week and we were just beginning to thaw out. The ground was so wet her car couldn’t make it back up the hill, it just kept sliding farther down the slope. I didn’t want to leave it there because the weather forecast is for more precipitation to come so I decided it was now or never. The shady areas were still mostly frozen with the top 1/2 inch thawed out, so you had a base of frozen soil with a 1/2 inch covering of Jell-O Pudding on top. No way to get much traction on that. I got my neighbor to help me get her car out and we had a bit of a mess. I hooked a chain to the front and tried to pull it up the hill with my Kubota tractor but I couldn’t get enough traction, all four wheels just kept spinning. I decided to try to go out the back way. I hooked the chain to the receiver on the rear and I told my neighbor to put it in reverse and just give it enough gas to spin the wheels and I would try to pull the rear wheels sideways. It worked well except the vehicle continued to slip further down the hill to come to a stop right next to some trees, briars and bramble.

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I took my chainsaw and cut down two 4 inch diameter trees, then took the FEL bucket on the Kubota and cleared a path for the vehicle to continue making the turn at the base of the hill. We finally pulled the vehicle over to where the sun had dried the ground a little better and we managed to pull it back up to the gravel driveway. Oh, my chainsaw started on the third pull, by the way. I couldn’t believe it! Usually when you really need something in a big hurry, it won’t start, but wonder of wonders it did! I’ve been trying to start all of my small engines at least once a month and that really helps. I just make that part of my prepping, if they don’t start, they are not much use. That is unless you are Marcel Ledbetter! You know what I’m talkin’ about don’t cha? Keep prepping everyone.