Category Archives: Weather

Another Week, Another Snowstorm

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

We got a good 6 to 8 inches Wednesday night into Thursday. They were predicting that, so I unhooked the rear blade and hooked the snowblower on the tractor on Tuesday. I hadn’t used the blower this year, so I had to put the hydraulic cylinder on it to rotate the spout, check the oil, grease the power takeoff shaft, and I was fairly impressed with myself that I could get in amongst the linkage and frame and get the power takeoff shift connected to the tractor. I would not have been able to do that last summer. BULLY FOR ME!  

It was kind of fun to blow snow again, I do things a little different with the blower than I do with the blade and it’s just been the last few years that I started using a blade for snow, so the skills for this came back pretty quick. I remembered it would be slower, but I forgot how much it makes my neck hurt because I’m looking over my right shoulder to do it. The seat swivels a bit, and I sit as sideways as I can, but it’s still looking over my shoulder. My next tractor will have heated mirrors so they stay clean. Or maybe my next tractor will have a blower on the front!

Kelly took some video of me, and I put my first video on YouTube.

One day I had to stop at Fleet Farm as I was looking for insulated winter boots. I found them over in the ice fishing section. You all know I’m not much of a sportsman so I don’t think I’ve ever walked through that area before. It was a little bit fascinating!

I found some boots; they’re keeping my feet much warmer than the plain rubber boots I had been wearing.

Then I went to Menards and walked around there for a while. After that, I had a meeting on the far end of the college campus, and by the time I got home I was pooped out. Nothing hurt! Just pooped out.

Kelly counted 17 pheasants in the yard one morning. The most we’ve ever had, and I love seeing them. I have one neighbor that always asks if he can pheasant hunt and I always tell him no.

My chickens from last spring are just coming into their peak. It’s not unusual to get 16 or 20 eggs a day lately. If anybody was up for a road trip again for eggs, this would be a good time. Although we should wait for the driveway to get better than glare ice.

After that rain we got on Monday, our yard and driveway became pretty slick. It’s been packed snow all winter, not thick, just a half-inch maybe, but that’s what rain does to it. I went to a meeting Monday night. I was impressed that I was even able to get out. Years of practice I told Kelly. After I got home, I used the loader and tried to scrape the ice on the hills and corners on the driveway. It didn’t do much, but it did rough it up a bit and that helps.

I went out to do chores while it was raining on Monday, I tried Kelly‘s yak traks, but they didn’t fit my boots, and I lost them on about the third step. Again, I’ve been doing this for years, I know how to aim for the gravel or bare ground or walk through the snow. Once I got to the feed room, I threw out a bunch of corn, and that gives some traction. Then I carried a bucket with me and scattered corn in front of me to make a path to walk on. A win for the crows and chickens and ducks, and a win for me.

I remember an old movie called Angel In My Pocket, Andy Griffith and a host of character actors that you would recognize. It came out in 1969, and a gentleman playing the church caretaker, Parker Fennelly, reminds me of my grandfather Hain. That was the only movie I was able to watch this week. I couldn’t find it online anywhere so I ordered the movie off eBay and it came from Australia. Spent a week in customs in Chicago. It a long way for some entertainment, but I really enjoy this movie and it makes me think of Grandpa.

I was filling the birdfeeders one day, and I love the fact that the chickadees don’t even wait for me to finish, and they don’t appear to be very scared. I was standing right there filling things and they just come and sit on the birdfeeder.

And here’s Humphrey breaking the corn cob into bits.  PHOTOS

Do you, or did your family do home movies?

Destined to Fail?

I looked out my bathroom window yesterday to see the scene in the photo above of my neighbor’s house to the north.

Based on having been a homeowner myself for 40+ years, I’m guessing Brian tried to knock down some icicles.   

Now YA and I have a pool going to see how long it takes for the balls to return to earth.  I say four days; YA says two.

Any projects that with hindsight just weren’t going to work out well?

The Weather Outside….

Yesterday while it was still snowing, my neighbor to the north got his snowblower out and worked on his driveway.   A couple of hours later YA headed out with a shovel to do the steps and back sidewalk.  Across the street my neighbors were struggling to get their snowblower going.  One neighbor to the south was out doing her steps as well.

Me?  I’m sitting inside in sweatpants and fat socks, watching tv and sipping my beverage.  For some reason I have always been and “wait until it’s over” kind of person.  I would rather do 8” once than 4” twice. 

And this works out rather well for me most of the time.  For example, as I type this, my other neighbor to the south is currently doing OUR driveway (for which he will be rewarded generously with homemade cookies).  My neighbor to the north did our front sidewalk when he was out (cookies for him as well).  So by the time this ends and I finally venture out, I’ll have less to deal with!

How do you like to deal with winter’s excess?

Fat Bombs

I’m not hugely adventuresome when it comes to food.  Once I find something I like, I tend to stick to it.  Almond Butter Granola Waffle at Black Coffee & Waffle.  Vegetarian Reuben at Pub 42.  Blueberry Pancake at Lowbrow.  Quattro Formaggio at Punch.  It’s not that I’m afraid to try something new, it’s just that I can’t imagine not having my favorite in that moment.  There are a few things I’ll always try: tiramisu, sticky toffee pudding, anything made with macadamia nuts.

Although Hawaii is not the actual birthplace of the macadamia nut (and isn’t even the world’s largest producer of the nut), the 50th state has certainly taken the macadamia to heart.  I will say that every time I’ve traveled to Hawaii – I work hard to make it worth their while.  And the restaurants on Oahu and Maui did not disappoint this trip.

I learned to love macadamia nuts for breakfast years ago.  I was breakfasting with clients and the hotel sales person when I discovered coconut syrup on the waffle bar, along with chopped macadamia nuts.  Can we say “heavenly”?  I know in this global economy I can easily get nuts and syrup but I never get around to it so I was really looking forward to loading up on fat bombs (what a friend dubbed macadamia nuts long ago).

Our very first morning in Oahu, we hiked about 15 blocks to Eggs `n Things:

We had a great table out on the balcony, looking over a pretty park and they served me the Fresh Fruit Rainbow Pancake.  With macadamia nuts.  The photo is in the header above.  It was delicious and outrageous – how can anybody eat that much in one sitting?  Well, I showed them how it was done.  It was a good things we had a lot of walking to do that day.

We went to a different breakfast spot every day of our trip and I found pancakes with macadamia nuts every time – but only found coconut syrup once.  Aaaah well, the vicissitudes of travel!

Anything you can eat meal after meal?

Any Port In A Storm

I was delighted to read the story of the New York dentist and his wife who welcomed ten Korean tourists into their home after their van was stuck in the snow. They found beds for them, and they spent the storm cooking Korean dishes and watching football. What generous hospitality!

https://news.yahoo.com/10-south-korean-tourists-were-030651951.html

I figure with the Twin size air mattress and we have in the basement we could sleep nine extra people pretty comfortably. We have fourteen bed pillows and lots of sheets and blankets (Don’t ask. It is German thing) so there would be sufficient bedding. Our freezers are full, and we could certainly feed ten people for days. Being prepared for such an occurrence certainly speaks to keeping a well stocked stocked wine rack!

How many people could you accommodate in a pinch? What would you feed them? Tell of some weather bound experiences you may have had.

Winter with a knew knee!

Today’s post comes from Ben.

Boy, If I was gonna pick a week to stay inside, last week was the week to choose. Although 5 months ago when we set this up, I wasn’t expecting this weather yet. I think there’s some record of the second week of February being historically the coldest. I do remember February 1996. Daughter was born in 1995 and that February she was in the NICU with a bad cold. Kelly spent nights there with her. I was still milking cows and doing chores and it was -42° one morning. That’s the coldest I remember. An owl spent the night in the garage it was so cold. And some yahoo went 4-wheeling with his truck in one of our fields and got stuck and came into the barn looking for help. I wasn’t very nice to him, but I did pull him out. Eventually.

This cold weather is also a helpful remind that I didn’t turn all the heat on in the house this fall when it first got cold. Because we have electric heat, all the rooms have thermostats and individual breakers. I turn them all off in the summer. When it started getting chilly, I turned on some of them. They’re not all labeled, so I only turned on what I thought were the important ones.

Then later we started saying ‘It sure is cold in the living room’ forgetting that I hadn’t turned everything on. Until last week. I managed to get my knew knee (I know that’s wrong, I just enjoy the alliteration) down to the basement for several things, including going in to check that breaker panel and oh. Yea. Only about half are on. We don’t use the basement for much, so I set those all to about 50° and turned on all the heaters. Boy, there’s nothing like the smell of dust burning off a heater.

Got my grade for Meteorology class. ‘A’. I don’t take classes spring semester; too much other stuff going on.

The ducks are spending all their time in the pond with this cold weather. Maybe to stay warm, maybe to keep it from freezing. It has shrunk up a little bit as the stream of water coming into it is pretty light. We seem to have picked up a couple stray ducks. One flies away when Kelly approaches, but there’s still an extra in the pond too. Alumni? Possible. And the chickens don’t have much interest in coming out of the coop either. Kelly opens the doors and throws out corn for them. But no Thanks. We’re fine. They do have water, corn, and egg layer ration in the pens. No reason to come out if they don’t want too. The guineas come out a bit further, but even they don’t go far.

I’m getting around pretty well on the knee. Better than I would have expected at this point. It’s still uncomfortable due to some swelling, and it’s still all sorts of colors. I get a little stiff in the shin and calf. Takes a few steps to get the muscles and tendons loose and moving. Using a cane 50% of the time and walker 25% and nothing 25%.

I’ve hit the BDDT phase of recovery. ‘bored, discouraged, depressed, and tired’. Hard to sleep at night just cause I have a hard time getting comfortable. And eventually, lack of sleep just makes me grumpy. But I’m surviving!

Did you know there is drone racing on TV?? On NBC! With fancy lighting. And drones, which I don’t care so much for, but the lighting is cool. Found a lot of old B&W movies on these new TV channels (new to us. Something called ‘Pluto TV’ which I haven’t quite got all figured out). Jack Lemmon in ‘Operation Mad Ball’. Spencer Tracey in ‘The Last Hurrah’ (with Basil Rathbone and John Carradine. Man, what a long face he has! And he sure could scowl!) ’12 Angry Men’ and things like ‘The Professional’, and several versions of Pink Panther movies. Plus, ‘St. Vincent’ on Netflix. Highly recommended.

Kelly continues to be my rock star. Not only doing all her work, but my work too. She really has never liked cold weather, so extra accolades on her for getting up early and going out to collect eggs and feed everybody. The day she spilled water into her boot I thought she’d quit. But she’s almost starting to enjoy driving the tractor and plowing snow. Almost.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A WEEK STUCK INSIDE?

Christmas Cheer

Yesterday was possibly the worst Christmas Day we have ever had, as all the things that could have gone wrong with Daughter’s flights home went wrong. Our weather in ND was awful, with snow, sleet, a Winter Weather Advisory, and then an Alberta Clipper with a High Wind Warning. Her flight from Denver was cancelled. To make matters worse, her flight from SeaTac to Denver was four hours late due to technical problems, and they allowed anyone at SeaTac who missed a connecting flight to depart the plane with their luggage. The cost and uncertainty and anxiety in rescheduling was too much for all of us, so she had a friend drive her back to her apartment in Tacoma. We will try to have her fly here for Easter. It is in early April. I know we have April blizzards, but this gives us some hope.

Daughter was as brave as could be, waiting on the plane for four hours. She would have had a couple of days waiting around in the Denver airport for a flight here, but that would have been too sentimental a decision. It was a tearful decision, but I am glad she is at her home in Tacoma. I will send her cookies and lefse and her presents.

When was your first Christmas alone? What are some good Christmas jokes? I need some humor!

Emergency Snow Routes

We are currently experiencing our third snow storm in four weeks. Our city has major thoroughfares designated as Emergency Snow Routes where one is not allowed to park during storms so that the plows can clear them. Vehicles parked on those streets that aren’t moved are to be towed. Well, the Snow Emergency designated street I drive to work on has at least a dozen vehicles covered in snow that haven’t been moved since Halloween. They haven’t been towed. This seems unfair to me.

Our city has the oddest street clearing habits. We once had a major storm in late April that left huge amounts of snow and ice on the streets, and the city commissioners, to save money, chose to leave the streets uncleared because “Well, it is all going to melt in a week or two, anyway.” We drove in the worst bumpy conditions for more than a month!

I was concerned with Margaret’s dilemma yesterday of needing a vehicle towed. If she lived in my town, it seems that she could leave her car on the street with impunity.

What are your experiences with tow trucks? What municipal policies do you think are unfair?

The Best Laid Plans

Plan A: This plan originated in September, when Daughter purchased her tickets for a flight home for Christmas. She would leave Seattle/Tacoma on December 22, fly to MPLS, have a nice long layover, and fly into Bismarck at 11:00 PM. We would pick her up that night and take her home.

Plan B: This plan originated late last week when I saw that we were to have patchy blowing snow the night of the 22nd, and the wind chill was predicted to be -51. Daughter decided that she would spend the night of the 22nd in Mandan with the mother of her childhood best friend, and we would pick her up on Friday, when the snow was predicted to stop blowing.

Plan C: This plan emerged after Daughter saw that the weather was going to be a little snowy in MPLS, and that, if her flight to Bismarck was cancelled, she would stay with a friend in the Cities. Alternatively, if the friend couldn’t get to the airport to pick her up, she would stay in a hotel close to the airport. With either option, she would hope to get to Bismarck on the 23rd.

Plan D: By Sunday, Daughter started to panic, and thought that she wouldn’t get out of Seattle/Tacoma because there was a snow storm predicted on the 22nd, and there had already been many cancelled flights after only 1/2 inch of snow. She planned to prepare herself for being stuck in Tacoma.

Plan E: This plan emerged in the wee hours of Tuesday after Daughter saw the terrible storm predictions for MPLS. After convincing herself that she wasn’t being impulsive, she cancelled her reservations for the 22nd, and rebooked herself on another airline for the 25th that would take her to Denver, and thence directly to Dickinson by 9:00 PM. The weather and winds in Denver and Dickinson are predicted to be manageable on the 25th. She didn’t book this sort of flight in the first place because she really dislikes the Denver Airport.

What is your plan B? Have your thoughts about winter travel changed at all over the years? What is your opinion of John Steinbeck?

Advent Party

These weeks before Christmas are a time of waiting and anticipation for many Christian believers. In our community for the past several days we have had an additional anticipation event in the form of a “monstrous” snow storm predicted to last from Monday night into Thursday. We may get 8-11 inches after a spate of freezing drizzle.

Like most everyone else in town, Husband and I have been planning what we will need if we are stuck at home. We have been to the grocery store three times since Friday. A young couple was buying many gallons of paint in Ace Hardware yesterday in anticipation of finishing a home project if they are snowed in. There is a party atmosphere in the grocery stores, people chatting to each other in the checkout lines, strangers smiling at strangers. Excitement is in the air. People want to be snowed in. Husband insisted on buying a large quantity of dog toys and treats since no one wants to be cooped up with a bored terrier puppy. Kyrill is supposed to be neutered on Tuesday. We shall see if we can get to the vet office on Tuesday morning.

I had planned to finish all my Christmas baking by last night, so that I could get all the goodies we are sending to the UPS store today. The storm anticipation has helped me slow down, and I plan to finish everything in the next few days and send them out on Thursday or Friday. Being this frenetic isn’t good for me. It is interesting, though, how staying at home necessitates so much planning.

What is the most elaborate party you ever planned? What would you need to stock up on if you were to be snow bound and had time to plan? What is the allure of being snowed in?