Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ice Storm a' Coming

The news guys have been warning us for the past three days that we were in for a Sleet / Ice / Snow storm.  Figures.  The past few days have been in the mid to upper 60's.  What better way to usher in an ice storm than with weather requiring one to wear a t-shirt and shorts while doing barn chores....and then two days later have you bundled up in your Carharts hacking ice from the animal water tanks with an ax?

I guess we're due for a nasty ice storm, although I wouldn't have expected it this early in the season.  The last one was in 2009.  It was our first ice storm since moving here.  Mostly just a big inconvenience for us, but truly a nightmare for a lot of other people.  A home just a few miles from us burned to the ground because the fire trucks couldn't make the drive up / down / around the hills in the subdivision with the thick layer of ice on the road.  People farther out in the country were without power for over three weeks.  We went thirteen days without power, although we did have a generator to keep the large freezers from spoiling all the beef & pork we just filled it with (of course) and a wood stove for heating the house.

Knowing what could happen if we did get hit with the storm, I've been outside the last two days getting things in order.  A lot of the chores should have probably been done already, but what can I say?  I work best under pressure (i.e. I'm a lazyass).  Got the wood piles covered with tarps.  Moved wood to the porch and filled up a pallet with even more wood and moved it closer to the house.

Extra bedding in the chicken coop & goat huts.  Closed up the barn windows.  Made sure tarps were over the hay hoop houses.  Topped off all the water tanks / buckets / pails.  I even made a hillbilly makeshift cover for the "feeding" hay (as opposed to the stored hay).  Because you know, if the hay gets wet, or iced or even the slightest bit moist, the goats won't eat it.

This is something I've been meaning to do forever, but the thought of having those picky bugger goats turning their nose up at hay with snow or ice on it (or even close proximity to it) had me scrambling to do something - anything - to cover it up.  So I scrounged up half a cattle panel, a t-post, some bailing twine and used plastic sheeting and came up with this:
Hillybilly-esque?  Darn right!  Effective?  I hope so.
In reality, an extended power outage isn't that traumatic for us because we're kind of prepared for it.  The generator will keep the freezers going.  We have access to city (i.e. running) water just up the road.  Plenty of flashlights & oil lamps.  Wood burning stove for heat & cooking.  The biggest problem is taking care of the livestock.  Water will have to be hauled several times a day to the goats / chickens, but that isn't very far from the house.  Ms. Melman and Nugget, however, are pastured a mile up the road.  And if the ice is bad, even the truck won't be able to make it up the big hill to the barn.  So even though there is city water at the barn, there's the possibility that I'll have to hike up there to make sure they have adequate water, and, if the electricity is out the tank water heater won't work so ice forming in the buckets will be a problem.  But I guess we'll take that task on when we come to it.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to vacuum the rugs again and make sure there's no dirty laundry or dishes.  And maybe make another couple loaves of bread.  And if we manage to somehow avoid all this snow / ice, at least the house will be clean!

Are you in the path of this storm?  Are you ready for it?  I hope so.  If not, get yer butt in gear!

11 comments:

  1. Those of us living the kind of homesteady life we do are so much more prepared for storms than others. Before storms the warnings to make sure you have enough food and supplies for three days make me laugh.

    Never hurts to have a storm coming to truly get our butts in gear though. There are always things we've meant to do, but not gotten around to.

    Our snowstorm is over but we had high winds most of the day yesterday so lots of drifts to contend with today. Hope that nasty storm misses you.

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    1. Funny how the threat of an ice storm is about the only thing that can convince me that I need to clean up those huge waste hay piles & get them in the compost heap. The only real "panic shopping" I did was to get more goat feed & chicken scratch. And then when I put them in the barn, realized that I really didn't need it. Not like it's going to go to waste though.
      Well, the storm is hitting us still. No power outage (yet).

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  2. I see we work on the same schedule - last minute. Nothing like the threat of an unknown number of days without power to get things moving. I hope the worst of the storm doesn't hit you and you end up with extra bread, a clean house, and edible goat hay...

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    1. Extra bread, check! Clean house, kind'a check! Dry hay & goats eating it, check-a-roony!

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  3. As much as they are hyping it up my bet is all we are gonna get is the cold part.

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    1. As of 11'ish, we've had a solid two hours of ice pellets & sleet. Ick. Just waiting for the power to go out.

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  4. The weather was 58° this morning, and it's now down in the 20's. Freezing rain is expected in a few hours, and then possible snow. Not sure how bad it will be yet.

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    1. Hope your ready! Hunker down & stay safe :)

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  5. Carolyn,

    We arrived home last night from Texas, I'm thankful we did. The roads are bad here. It's been sleeting, all morning, and it's still going. Were expecting 5 to 8 inches of snow.

    Everything is situated for the storm. I even made a lasagna...........going to put it in the oven now. I've spread salt all over areas we walk to make sure we don't fall on our butts. We have the generator ready to drive up to our window and all cords ready just in case. The oil lamps are out, and alternate heat source is ready to rock and roll when needed.

    Be safe, stay warm, and give Rhiannon a hug :-)

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  6. Like you we leave some things to the last minute. Jewel (Jersey heifer) of course hasn't calved yet.....she is waiting the the zero temperature. We still have to open a shed for her and the milk cow tonight. We have about 4 inches of snow on right now and it is 17°'. Good luck; I hope you don't get ice!

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  7. We're getting ready for almost 0 degrees and 1" - 2" of snow. Brrrr... don't mind the snow but that's cold! Chickens got extar treats, put out more bird food, and filled the birdbaths. Batten down the hatches...

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