Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday's Musings: My Exciting Life (Snork!)

Being snowed in there isn’t a lot of exciting things going on in my life. Well, I suppose a blizzard falls into excitement category. Sort of. My husband went to work last Monday and was unable to get in again until Friday. It wasn’t like he didn’t try, but side roads aren’t a priority here. However, due to the volume of ice—4inches of the stuff, followed by 7 inches of snow—even the interstate (three miles of hell from our house) was in bad shape. He got about 6 miles from the house on the interstate missed being hit by a driver going too fast and not able to stop, and said screw this and turned around and came home. We were able to shovel the snow away but the ice was impossible to shovel on our driveway without the use of a jackhammer.

We were more than prepared for outages and no water. We had about 150 gallons of water set aside in the house. Sounds like a lot but I also have 3 horses, 3 outside Great Danes, and a rescue chow/lab mix, as well as 4 outside cats, so water is vital. Dogs all have insulated oak houses with plenty of hay bedding so they’re warm and toasty. Horses have a humongous barn to go into if they need shelter, although they rarely use it—they did during the blizzard.

We also have enough lanterns, lamps, and fuel to start a second hand shop not to mention long burning candles by dozens. We are fortunate to have three sources of heat for our house, central heating (which requires electricity to ignite), a big propane wall heater which operates whether we have electricity or not, and a cast iron wood stove which can double for cooking. I think we’ve use it all of two times. We have a very nice propane camp stove and a grill outside. I’ll take the camp stove, thank you. We take being prepared very seriously.

But we didn’t lose power. The linemen have been out daily the week before, cutting limbs, checking lines. The day before the storm, they were on our road finishing up a couple of pole/line replacements.

We live 7 miles from the nearest town—a mere flyspeck on the map but it does have a grocery store, two Dollar type stores, a couple of banks and diners, and about 3000 population and that's probably counting pets, lol! Our *big* town of 14, 000 is a little over 30 miles away. Our property is a mile down a gravel county road. It never sees a plow unless my neighbor hauls out his big combine styled tractor and clears it from his house (a mile away from us) to the paved road. He does that so he and his wife can get out if they need to.

Friday was sunny and clear. Really beautiful. We needed some supplies from the store after a week of being snowbound and another snowstorm due in Friday night (we got 7 inches of new snow). I needed to get out and see real people who weren’t on TV or my husband.

It was my first excursion outside my property driving a car. The car handled the 4 inches of packed sheet ice our little mile long section county road pretty good. Driver was only moderately white knuckled. The paved road was worse than my county road. Who would have thought that possible? I only had to traverse .4 miles of that and my car showed me how well it could shimmy. Yah, I zipped along going 15mph. Maybe. Then I was able to turn on a road that is usually plowed. It was better but still had lots of patches of ice, but at least I could see blacktop. Funny, I never paid attention to how hilly it was until Friday when I had to worry about,  a) not going off the road, b) getting up the next hill.

That road is only .9 of a mile long and it felt like ten. I was never so glad to see the stop sign and clear road. The two-lane interstate? Clear as a bell and dry. If I hadn't just snail-paced my way through 2.1 miles of rutted slushy, sheet iced yuck I would never have guessed how bad the side roads were.

Town roads were better. I did my banking and went to the grocery store, which at least had been sand & salted so it was mostly slush with patches of ice. It was nice to be out in the bright sunlight and I rode around a bit in town after shopping. The ugly clouds boiling up on the horizon made me realize the storm was imminent so I reluctantly headed home.

Return trip wasn't nearly as bad except the last 1.4 miles. Oh, and barely getting up my driveway. That took two tries and angling the car just right. By that time the clouds had caught up with me and most of the sunshine was gone. I did have time to feed and water the animals before the snow hit.

I lead such an exciting life.

So how have things been with you?


I’ll be posting a few reviews on some really good books I’ve read lately from Elaine Coffman, Linda Wisdom, and Olivia Cunning. I’ve also gotten the latest books by Judi Fennell (squeeee) and Stephanie Rowe. So long as I have good books to read let it snow—which it will be doing off and on the next 3 days or so.

Some upcoming guests on Over Coffee: I have a couple of Valentine Short stories this week and Deborah Cootnz, Anjali Banerjee, and Jane Odiwe, to name a few. I have a few more lined up but I’ll tell about those later.


Bethany said...

Wow Sia. Sounds terrifying and idyllic at the same time. No matter the weather, there's no place like home. A home safe and prepared. A home warm and cozy, with plenty of loving family members, furry or not, good books to read, tea to drink, and an internet connection so you can share more of your "exciting" life!

Tonya Kappes said...

I'm so glad you didn't lose power. And that you are safe and sound. We get lots of snow every year and it's not that big of a deal anymore. My kids rarely go out and play in it. I wish they did!! It's the ice we can't stand.

Jo said...

When I was younger, I would have been out there cross country skiing. It made winters shorter and more fun. As for power, in the Carolinas we had a generator for when the hurricanes knocked out the power, surprised you don't have one Sia.

Jo said...

I was wondering what you do for mail Sia? Guess you have a box in "town"?

~Sia McKye~ said...

We've considered it, Jo. although we get quite a bit of snow in January and February, we only lose power now and then. This year it was worse, but we've had some bad summer storms so Dan and I have looked at them. The trick is to get the correct type and size.

When I lived in Wisconsin, we did cross country and snowmobiling. Lots of fun. We don't get enough snow for that here. We get more icy snow than the fluffy sort.

Talli Roland said...

Yikes! I must say, after growing up in Canada, I certainly do not miss snow. Not at all! It's pretty but... so much work.

Glad to hear you stayed safe!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Jo, I don't have a box in town. I have a mail box and a mailman with a honkin' huge 4x4 suv he uses when the weather is bad. Hey, I got a package delivered by FED EX Saturday and he used his 4x4 heavy duty pick up truck to make deliveries after someone creamed his company box truck. I think we missed one day of mail. Hardy folk out here. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Talli, I've lived further north where snow starts on Halloween and lasts until April with a few snowstorms still possible in may. Snow is pretty but I'd just as soon not have any.lolol!

readwriteandedit said...

It doesn't even sound pretty, though the ice probably was. I like a few flurries and that's all I need. I certainly don't like the cold. Brrr. I guess I'm too much a southern baby these days.

But you sounded prepared, Sia, ready for anything. And you always make an adventure out of what I'd guess is truly hard work. I'm tipping my hat to you.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thank you Beth. I've learned over the years to be proactive rather than reactive. I take warnings seriously.

I have a philosophy. Laughter is the best medicine. Life presents all sorts of good and bad things. Laughter enhances the good times and diffuses and puts into perspective the not so fun things. I regularly poke fun at myself.

I do love having horses, dogs, and cats. They bring so much joy to my life. I don't mind the hard work that comes with it. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Bethany, I missed your comment waaaay up there. You always bring a smile to my face when you visit.

What would I do without my *Wombats*? Y'all are definitely in my good things list. Very nicely put and I concur! Hugs!

Kat Sheridan said...

What a siege you've had! When I was a kid, I was fascinated with Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, The Long Winter, about living through 7 months of blizzards in a little cabin. These days, all I can think is "how did her mother manage in a two room cabin with 4 kids, a husband, dangerously low food, no internet, and no TV?" Sorry, I'd be CLAWING my way through the snow to escape!

Jo said...

You wouldn't Kat, you'd have been too busy looking after your family and not missing what you didn't know about.

We had snow in NC once, 18 inches, and the mail girl, who had a 4 x 4, didn't come into our road for a week. Having lived in Canada for 13 years, we thought it was funny. Now we are back here, it doesn't do much harm to us because we don't have to shovel it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat, I LMAO when I read this. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the house with 4 kids and nothing to do now, much less then. All I can say is somehow my mom managed it with 9 kids and we all found things to do or she found things--read chores--for us to do. You learn pretty quick to shut up and find something to do even if it's turning your brothers' room into an *underwater* kingdom, which was a favorite scenario for us. The clean up what we did with sheets and blankets was worth id.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Girlfriend!

I'm inviting you to come see my very first time at being interviewed...that's right..instead of me doing the interview....I'm the one being interviewed! {8-O

I'd love to see all my friends show up and comment...I've never done an interview before! It's a two day will be a blurb of one of my books...I'm hoping you'll enjoy the steamy scene we put up and then tomorrow is the actual interview...please come! There is a link on my blog for Rhonda Print's place.

Big hugs...
BTW after seeing all that snow...I've got the guesthouse ready and waiting for your arrival!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. this is now 2 weeks later .. and I presume the snow has gone - 'cept you've had it really badly .. so perhaps still around - loved the story of your day though & sounds as though you're well set up .. cheers Hilary