Friday, November 21, 2008

That Not-Nice Time of Year

We woke this morning to 6.3° and a strong wind howling. We still have no trace of snow as has, unfortunately, been the norm for cold Novembers the past several years. It's not critical yet, but if snow cover for insulation doesn't appear soon, we will have to start worrying about out-going lines of the septic system freezing and the cold creeping in around the house foundation.

Now at 9 a.m. we have weak sunshine, 10°, and still the wind is whipping the trees outside my window. The animals are snug in their respective shelters and, truth to tell, don't seem to mind being outside during the day. But keeping available water for them requires dumping the frozen waterers and refilling with fresh, tepid water a couple of times a day.

Roy has been participating in some classes held at the nearby folk school all this week (some of them wilderness/outside oriented . . . brrrr!), so I'm in charge of keeping the home fires burning. Yesterday when I went outside a couple of times to attend to chores and once when I made a run to get milk from our county's only farm and dairy, I couldn't coax Zoey, The Wonder Dog, out with me. This is very unusual as she's always eager to be outside or go for a ride. (Doesn't want to miss anything.) She spent the day nearly wrapped around the wood stove and each time I tried to entice her up and out with me, she just gave me a look that said, "Nuh-uh, I'm smarter than that.”

While Roy has been at the folk school taking classes, our son-in-law has been working on the school premises helping to erect a new building. They're currently working on getting the second story framed in and he spent the whole day yesterday up in the wind and cold. He needed to go back again today so opted to stay overnight here rather than make the hour long drive home and then back again first thing this morning. Not having gotten his deer yet this year, he set an alarm for before dawn so he could hike back up on our ridge in the hopes of spying some venison on the hoof. No luck though, so he came in just in time to thaw out and have some breakfast before heading to the folk school.

It's that time of year in our part of the country that's not, to my mind, very attractive. The fallen leaves have left the trees bare, the landscape is a myriad of blah neutrals, there is no snow to ski or snowshoe in, the sun doesn't shine much and when it does, it seems to lack any warmth. Yep, I'm ready for a boatload of snow to turn the out-of-doors into a winter wonderland to play in. I don't even mind bundling up so much to venture outside when there is snow around. Somehow, then it just feels warmer, and it sure is purdier!


  1. I've had the same problem with the outgoing septic lines the last few years. Not enough snow, and cold Novembers. I covered mine with several bags of leaves for insulation in hopes of combatting the dreaded septic line freeze.

  2. Hi, Annie - We don't have enough deciduous trees up here to make gathering leaves for insulation on the septic lines feasible. We have to go to straw which can get a little pricey since we're a far piece from farm country. But when we do, I resurrect the straw in the spring and use every bit of it for mulch in the garden. Today we have a morning temp of 30° so worry about the deep freeze is put off for a while at least!