Friday, March 28, 2014


My sister reminded me that we haven't written a blog in a while.  I'd started one post, which I'll include below, but my aspirations for posting it with pictures and the whole shebang exceeded the time I was ultimately willing to give it.  This is in part because Peter and I have taken to watching West Wing in the evenings, and that was usually when I'd eke out time to write a blog.

But to catch you up, Peter is doing VERY well, and here's a picture to prove it:

In my file I titled this "Wood Choppin' Man" as a joke, because we often hear people say, "choppin' wood," when the better terms are "cutting" (when you're taking the tree down) and "splitting," (turning fat logs into smaller pieces)  which what Peter has been doing a lot of lately since the two March ice storms we've endured.  He's cut, split, and stacked a whole year's worth of wood or better, which is good, because we've burned about two winter's worth of wood in this one has been so darned long and cold!

Peter and I have not made the trek back to Philadelphia for a follow up scan.  I think we both want to leave well enough alone since things are so good, but I have a hunch someone from there will be calling before long.  I am hoping we can hold off until after Easter/Passover, since we're going to visit family then.

Well, so that I can get this posted, finally, I am just going to append what I had written earlier, slightly edited so you can tell that it is from today and not from two weeks ago.  Yeah, it is about the weather.  Is there anything else to talk about?


During the big snow storm that happened while Peter was in Philadelphia I found myself composing a blog while doing the various and numerous chores that kept me busy.  On my mind was the fact that I was being particularly careful, knowing that I was here alone.

That fact came home to me one afternoon as I dragged a hose out to fill one of the deep water troughs.  I have to feed the hose through a wooden fence, hook it to the trough, and then walk around, through a gate to the other side to position it for the water to flow in.

That afternoon I must have been rushed or impatient because as I reached through the fence to hook the hose to the trough, I started experimenting with wriggling through.  Could I get far enough to avoid having to trot the short way around?

But I stopped when I realized the possibility of getting stuck and spending a long and possibly fatal night halfway through a fence with my head dangling over an empty water trough (and probably nibbled on by curious equines).  With that realization came the giggles, imagining such a scene, and I really did have trouble extracting myself because I think the laughter swelled my rib cage.

But dangers are real.  Our hound dog, Schley, has a bum leg and has to be confined to a longish line.  Every time I moved her or had to walk through her space (usually carrying wood) I was aware that she seemed eager to cut my feet out from me with that line.  One afternoon I startled one of the ponies with the wheelbarrow and her hooves flew - nowhere close to me, but they were another reminder of how quickly an accident could happen.  I tried to remember to keep my phone in my pocket, though it doesn't work that well out here.

Now that Peter is home we've had several other snow/ice events followed by tastes of spring, and then more cold winds blowing in with those near-fifty-degree one-day drops in temperature.  If I didn't have to handle another horse blanket this winter I would be thrilled, but I am not holding my breath.  Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted a picture of the snow shovel in its spot on the front porch.  I am afraid to move it for fear of tempting the snow gods to pour down on us once again.  Next week is April, so hopefully...

We lost power with the big ice storm, as did many of our NC friends, and it was off four full days.  Thankfully I had filled a barrel with water at the last minute (when you live in the country, no power means no water), and as soon as the lights fell I had pans all over the woodstove, one labeled "washing" and one labeled "cooking," plus various pots of soup and even baked potatoes (it can be done).  After the ice came the summer temperatures and it was too warm for the stove, but I kept it going low for water and cooking.

Every evening we drove 5 miles to our friends' Joe and Geri's palatial home for a luxury shower, and twice we went out to eat with them.  Coming to their fine house from our dark home with the pan-covered woodstove made me feel like the country cousins, or perhaps even the Clampetts, heading to town for their weekly (or monthly) shower.  We could have put a tub in front of the wood stove, old-timey style, but it was good to have a real shower and lights in town.

I am grateful that we can handle a lengthy power outage, but it sure was a happy evening when the power came back on.  As full disclosure, we DID get the generator running, but it can't handle much more than a few lights and the freezer.  I am going to look into a system (solar?) that can power the well and the water heater.  Oh yes.

Well, that's it for now.  Thanks to you all.