Sunday, January 7, 2018


Current Cold Snap is a Good Test for Being Prepared

Seventy degrees in the home is not seventy degrees. There is a chill around that temperature. In the fall and spring, seventy degrees in our home would cause windows to be opened on the east and west sides to vent heat out. But the cold of winter is always more than I remember from year to year. This year, the cold drills deeper and is lasting longer. 

The dog lasts about 5 minutes when she goes out to do her business before she starts picking up her paws because they are getting uncomfortably cold. She is a quick learner and gets done what needs to get done and then prances to the in/out door for me to open. She expects me to go out with her and has me well trained. I do not mind, but like so many things in this weather, normal day events come at extra work.

Minding the wood stove has become an art form. Crisscrossing the fire box with select wood pieces, air intake throttle at half keeps the stove at maximum output. A wood stove that will literally drive us out of the house during "regular" winter is barely able to give off that wonderful warm home feeling out to ten feet away.  Longjohns on 24/7 and only off for a couple hours on laundry day. Waffle shirts layered along with sweats. If being outside longer than 5 minutes is required, it is a full snowsuit, bomber hat, gloves and best winter coat zipped to the neck.

Photo at the right was taken by son earlier in the week as he arrived at work.  

It is this stretch of cold weather that tests some of the prepping we do during the year. Mechanical things tend to fail in this cold weather if not well maintained. Older batteries fail quite easily. Water pipes are just waiting for us to forget to keep the hot water dripping in the kitchen. The old Dodge truck would not be starting had I not installed a new battery last year. The cold cranking ability of that battery has already been put to the test several times. It would not be a long stretch of the imagination for mother nature to add rain, snow and ice to all of this just for giggles. 

All the work moving and stacking wood last summer/fall is no more than an inconvenience today to load up armfuls and get it to the fire box. That work has paid hourly dividends this past month.  

Feeding the birds is a must in this kind of weather. None of them look thin or undernourished but they burn what they eat. We have two feeding stations that I fill early morning and late afternoon. 

My comings and goings near their feeders bothers them not as some have not moved from their spot when I have tossed seed in their direction. There must be some understanding that we have no intention of doing them harm.

This morning is a turning point in the next two weeks weather forecast. Last night was down to a -8 degrees and just may have been mother natures final cold blast push this winter season. Minus 7.2 at publishing time this morning is notice of the warming trend. Home room temperatures range from 57, 63, 71 and 67 degrees. Light blue skies with full sun rising over the Mink Hills is most welcome. 


A shorter post is fine me thinks. The cold this season owns many of us across the nation. Keeping the core of our lives safe, warm and comfortable is a full time job. 

If I have any advice for folks coming and going in this kind of weather, it is that the simplest of tasks can turn life-threatening in minutes. Make sure your vehicle is prepped with extra warm clothes for everyone, hand-warmers, toe-warmers, gloves, blankets, etc. Put in a few bags of mixed granola, water bottles wrapped in towels to help prevent freezing and keep your fuel tanks full. A few extra minutes up-grading your to and from vehicle could very well save your life. Think being stranded for 12 hours and prep for 24.

The new year is underway. Thanks as always for the visit this week. Stay vigilant. 


  Happy Birds from son's home

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