Monday, January 5, 2015

It's HOW Cold?!


I'm happy to report we did NOT hit 40 below last night as the above image of a thermometer indicates.  Our low reading was only 21 below.  That, my friends, is way too cold without a good snow cover.  Over Friday and Saturday just past, we got 5+" of snow which caused everyone around here to breathe a sigh of relief.  Then the high winds marched in and scoured the snow off the field garden, off the raised beds, off the lines to our septic system, etc., etc.  Where did all that lovely snow go?  Mostly piled into drifts in inconvenient spots that had to be shoveled yesterday.

In the winter, we count on being able to pile snow up against our house which really helps keep it warmer.  Right now there's no snow with which to do that.  We're very fortunate that we're still warm and cozy inside, we have plenty of wood for heating and so far, water pipes and such have not been affected.  But we've already heard of others in the area that are having trouble with frozen pipes.  We need a good amount of snow if we're going to have these low, low temps.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I had a really good day yesterday doing things I wanted to do.


I've kept my canning and preserving recipes and notes I've made regarding same in a three-ring binder forever.  That poor binder was falling apart, one of the rings didn't close anymore, and I've been wanting to tidy up the contents and transfer everything to a new notebook.  Like so many tasks we put off, when I finally sat down yesterday morning to do it, I found it didn't take long at all and now all is filed away securely with easy-to-access tabs.  (Good job, Mama Pea.)

Finishing my quilted winter shower curtain was next on the list.  The only thing left to do was to put in the 12 buttonholes across the top edge where the shower rod rings attach.  I've got a slick buttonhole attchement for my computerized Janome sewing machine, but I could not get the buttonhole mode programmed in.  Arrrgh.  Now I need to contact the shop in the big city where I purchased my machine and see if they can talk me through getting things back on track.  I hope the fix will be as simple as that, but I may have to take the machine in next trip there.

Being just a teensy bit stubborn (ahem) and not wanting to have to put the shower curtain aside, I cobbled together satisfactory buttonholes utilizing a satin stitch on my older machine.  I was lucky in that the top border where the holes needed to go is a dark blue print, and I used a dark blue thread so the quasi-buttonholes just about don't even show.  All turned out well.  Except for the need to get my computerized machine back in working order.  (I can still use all the other functions on the machine, however . . . whew!)

I'll post pictures of the shower curtain and crocheted rug I made to match (which I also finished yesterday) as soon as I get the Christmas decorations down in the bathroom and the winter ones up.

I was determined to spend time yesterday snuggled under a quilt on the couch reading for a while.  I did.  For about 10 minutes before our daughter popped in.  I never did make it back to my book or couch.

The most fun of all was starting a new quilting project, but I'm keeping mum about that until I'm farther along because I'm not at all sure it's going to be a go . . . or a waste of fabric.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Knowing the house was going to be on the cool side this morning, last night before going to bed I pulled an unbaked pan of Apple Crunch out of the freezer and let it defrost on the counter overnight.  First thing this morning, I put it in the oven to bake knowing having the oven going would help warm up the kitchen.


Oh, but look!  I think a mouse (wearing Size 12 shoes) must have eaten a corner of it already.  Dang.

I'm off now to fold laundry.  It's Monday, laundry and ironing day, you know.  The clothes dryer (nope, I wouldn't even think about hanging anything outside today) is tumbling its second batch as we speak.  The heat from it is welcomed today, too, that's for sure.

Stay warm, everyone!
 


38 comments:

Sue said...

Sounds like you're getting lots of things done.

Our dryer joined in the 2014 Appliance Revolt and is dead--so I have turned my library into a drying room. Hubby strung up 2 lines in there running from the tops of the bookcases to the door frames. It's the warmest room in the house--the stuff dries beautifully. I may not buy another dryer!

Our snow got blown away too. I am really frustrated about the lack of skiing and snowmobiling. And you're so correct--that cover is needed not only for pipes, etc, but those trees, shrubs, and strawberry plants need it as well.
Well, enough of a novel---enjoy the days hunkered in. Hope you get back to the couch and book soon.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

It sure would be a good thing to have the snow up against the house wall to help keep the heat inside, and cut the massive amount of work hauling in wood.

You've been keeping pretty busy and warm I say, and that's a good thing. Can't wait to see pictures of your curtain and quilt.

Keeping a garden ledger along with canning notes is a wonderful tool to use throughout the gardening and canning seasons. I love referring back to my old notes to keep me on a straight when doing business.

Darn Mouse!!!!

Sparkless said...

Now that is cold. We don't get your cold temps in our part of BC. We did get about of foot of snow last night and it's snowing a bit again right now. No wind here either so the snow pretty much stays put.

Nancy po said...

Been there, luckily not in Boise, but in the Dakotas. I remember your photos last year of the snow up to the bottom of your windows. Brrrr..... Stay warm!!!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Yes, I keep looking out at our poor blueberries and raspberries standing out in the howling wind with next to no snow cover. How do they make it? At least the strawberries have a heavy layer of mulch on them. But I'm worried about the perennials in the garden -- your purple poppies and my herbs come to mind. The south border of our property is forested with really tall birch trees and I see them bending in the frigid wind and wonder they don't snap right off.

Good thinking on a way to hang the clothes in the house! My mom always hung laundry in our basement in the wintertime. I think a lot of people did. I've done so in our garage here, but we decided in this frigid weather we should have one vehicle in there "just in case." No room for the clotheslines then. Hugs to you!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I always make "garden notes" in mid summer after a stroll through the garden and then again at the end of the season. You know, what was good, what was bad, what to move where, that sort of thing. And of course I have the drawings of where everything was planted for each year. Helps with the rotation of crops, etc. Keeping records is a good thing to do in most all situations, don't you think? :o}

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Very envious of your foot of snow! Did you build a snowman??

Mama Pea said...

Nancy po - Oh my yes! The Dakotas can be serious snow country! This is definitely a different winter than last. One never knows what to expect!

1st Man said...

I honestly don't know how y'all do it. I don't like the low 30's or 20's. NEGATIVE temps? Yikes!

Stay warm and safe! And oh yeah, we have that same mouse down this way on occasion. ;-)

Mark said...

I must say that is cold! I think we touched on -20 F once last year and that was a rare thing. We're basking in a balmy 3F now and that's on the cold side for these parts. We have just enough white stuff on the ground to differentiate it from frost (or cottonwood seedlings in another season) but no more than that. That is a bit rare for this time if year.

Do make sure you and Papa Pea stay warm! Hopefully you get warmer temps or some fluffy white insulation soon.

Liz said...

We are expecting some pretty cold nights here (below 0) with no snow pack, make me worry about all of the new perennials. That cobbler sure looks good! Stay warm!

Tami said...

We're supposed to 14 for a low on Wed and we ALWAYS have to worry about frozen pipes when it gets that cold. Nothing worse than a burst pipe. I hope your's holds up. Can't imagine trying to deal with that in your climate.

Ilene Jones said...

You know, stuff like that happens in MY freezer, too! One time, I had baked my grown son a birthday cake -- his favorite carrot cake -- but he was too busy to come and get it so I stuck it in the freezer. By the time he got around to come and get it, there was only one little piece left? All fingers pointed to Hubs, who has a sweet tooth. He was not contrite about it at all. He told our son, "That's what happens when you leave cake unclaimed here!"

Leigh said...

Good grief! I love the idea of unbaked goodies in the freezer. There's nothing better than the warmth of baking something that warms the insides too. Well, winter is for all those projects we don't have time for in the summer. Sounds like you're putting your winter to good use.

Anonymous said...

We are keeping toasty even with the minus temps and no banks of snow. 'Got the house newly insulated and sided; it took all summer but it was well worth it! Right now I am enjoying my first day off in over a year and I am celebrating barefooted!-M

Mama Pea said...

1st Man - Gotta admit, some folks do wonder why in the world we CHOOSE to live here! :o) Most years (famous last words) we have ample snow cover and dry humidity so it really doesn't feel as cold as 30 damp degrees used to back in Illinois.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - From reports I'm hearing, it seems like much of the country is having colder temps than usual this winter. Supposed to go down to -28 tonight. May have to put an extra quilt on the bed!

Mama Pea said...

Liz - Yes, the perennials (especially new ones that aren't established really well yet) are worrisome. And they do suffer up here when we don't have a good snow cover. Darn.

Mama Pea said...

Tami - I'm betting your pipes aren't buried as deeply as ours are (5 ft. down is the rule) because you don't regularly have extreme cold. You hit the nail on the head . . . if one does have problems with frozen or burst pipes, it is AWFUL circumstances for dealing with them!

Mama Pea said...

Ilene Jones - This pan of goodies didn't get attacked until it was baked and on the counter cooling, but my sweets lovin' husband has been known to steal frozen cookies or bars from the freezer. Carrot cake frozen doesn't sound bad either!

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - We're actually taking the month of January "off" from any work, work, work projects. I've been disappointed already though to find there are still plenty of "must do" items to eat up my free time each day! How does that happen? ;o

Mama Pea said...

M - Nothing like a bunch of good insulation to help keep the cold out where it belongs!

So what are you involved in that keeps you working 365 days with no days off? Unless it pays fantastically, I think you should quit that!

Susan said...

Egads! You had me going there - but -21? I promise not to whine about our low temps. It was a toasty 7 degrees this morning - we're basking in that high temp, as it will plummet over the next two days. I bet the house smelled divine with that apple crunch burbling away in your oven. Yum! (Can't wait to see that shower curtain. Cannot wait...)

Anonymous said...

Brrr, Brrr, Brrr! Really feel for the Pea family. Those kind of temps and winds are so hard on everything. Our part of the country must be in the abnormal winter flow (for which we are extremely grateful). We are having one of the mildest winters ever. We have only had approx. 1-1/2" of snow to date (lows in teens) and we actually got to 49* today! Wish I had your motivation to get organized. We've taken the last 2-3 weeks off (football and jigsaw puzzles being priorities) after just completing a major septic and leach field redo Huge, yucky project. So glad we didn't have to do it in snow and frozen ground. Take care and stay warm. Andy & Misty

Mama Pea said...

Susan - You and I need to put on our mukluks, run outside under the light of the moon tonight and do a snow dance. I was just wondering the other day how your new "garage" was working out as far as keeping the snow off your vehicle. Doin' a darn good job, eh? ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Andy and Misty - Oh, a major septic and leach field redo cannot have been fun. :o( You deserve the rest of the winter off after that!

Hubby talked with his brother M a few minutes ago. M reported the temp in San Diego was 80 today. 80 degrees on January 6th?? Nope, sorry but that just doesn't seem right to me!

Anonymous said...

In my five years of LA living, we always had an earthquake and or tremors in a heat wave in fall or winter. It was jokingly referred to as "shake-n-bake" weather. Hope that doesn't foretell anything! Are weather is flowing westerly from CA rather than from the NNW. That's why were so mild. Need to send hellos to M.

Kristina said...

It's cold here today, but not that cold. Brrr! Sounds like you are getting some organizing completed. That's always a good feeling.

The Weekend Homesteader said...

Wow, 21 below! And, I'm whining about a low of 18 tonight. But 18 is not normal for my neck of the woods so it's a shock to the system.

Mama Pea said...

Misty - I wouldn't have enjoyed those "shake-n-bake" times in CA! Glad you're in a safer spot now.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - The low temps aren't half as bad as the strong winds with them. That makes it down right dangerous. Ugh.

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - 18 degrees can be cold, too! Seems many folks are having colder than normal temps this winter. Stay warm!

Akannie said...

Cold here too...can't wait to see a picture of your shower curtain. I need to make a couple of window quilts for my kitchen and bedroom...as much as I hate the darkness from having all the drapes closed and windows covered, there is a lot of draft.

We got a tiny bit of way too dry snow the other night and it's still hanging around, but i all the wrong places. lol

Lisa said...

You make our lows of 12 seem kind of... 'warm'. Jeez. So clever of you to use a satin stitch for those buttonholes, though it's gotta' feel bad your computerized machine is having problems. Mine just got back from a simple maintenance/tune-up to the tune of $100. Sewing can sometimes not be an inexpensive hobby. Ooooooo, yes please, show us the quilt you have begun!! You are so good with colors and design, you do not need to worry about any of that not working out! Look forward to seeing your new shower curtain and crocheted rug! I so want to do a crochet rug like yours one day..... soon..... need more time in these days....! Keep warm!!!

Tombstone Livestock said...

And here I am whining about 29 degrees at night and 60's during the day,

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - We got only an inch of new snow today but as soon as it stopped, wouldn't ya know the winds picked up and blew it all into drifts . . . just where we didn't want it!

Hope to post pics of my new shower curtain tomorrow. Finally got it up after dinner tonight. I always like it when I change the curtain in there . . . really spiffs the little room up!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Seems to me the southern-ish parts of our country are tending to be on the cool (cold?) side this winter, no? It's about 8:30 p.m. now and our temp is hanging around 10 degrees ABOVE zero so perhaps our really frigid weather is vacating the premises. Hope so.

When you find a way to have more time in these days, please share your secret!

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Yep, you're a real whiner all right! ;o)