Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Post Delayed Due to SNOW!

Friday morning
Wednesday morning
Last Wednesday I was all prepared to come into the office on Thursday and write a post about weather and tapping trees.  I always post from the office because our internet connection there is so much better than at home.  It had poured rain Tuesday night and into Wednesday and our yard looked like this on Wednesday morning.  We were under a winter storm warning for Wed night into Thursday, but the "local" weather forecast was saying 2" to 4" for our area, and 5" to 8" down to the south where I attend agility classes.  I guess around 3 am Thursday, our power went out and when I woke up, we had 11" of fresh snow that had started out very heavy and wet and changed over to light snow as the temperatures dropped.  And the snow continued to fall for several hours, resulting in about a foot of snow.
Thursday morning

And beautiful snow it was.  It coated everything with a thick layer of white, which was gorgeous when the sun finally came out on Friday morning.  I took so many photos!
But, needless to say I stayed home on Thursday and we had no power, no internet, no gas.......

So our gas to heat the house and cook comes from gas and oil wells here on the farm.  It comes from the wells to a pressure tank near the horse barn and from there into the house and garage.  Since January  we have been having a problem with our gas pressure, resulting in it going out on occasion.  Sam suspects there is a leak in the line somewhere, but since we have probably half a mile of gas line which comes down through the woods and along the creek and is currently covered over by snow and has been since the beginning of January, there is not much we can do to repair it.  This makes it difficult because our highest gas usage this time of year is the furnace, so we have been trying to heat with the woodburner as much as possible.  But is has been a very cold winter with many nights dropping below zero (-19 was our coldest), so the furnace is needed.  We also have a back up generator that kicks on when our power goes out, which is several times a year, and it runs on the same natural gas.  We need this since we are on a water well and we have animals that need water regardless of whether we have electricity to power the water pump.  Needless to say, we did not have enough gas pressure to run the generator.  Our power was out for 36 hours, with the temperature overnight Thursday dropping to -8.  Our house got very cold, despite the woodburner (can't use the blower on it without power), water pipes froze (again), the animals' water all froze and we had to scoop water from the creek  and carry it to them.   But Friday dawned bright and sunny and the power came on around 3 pm resulting in only 1 broken pipe in the bathroom, which was fun and exciting. *sarcasm*

But in the meantime, we did get out and enjoy the snow.  Sam and I had gone out Sunday afternoon and set taps on the maple trees and Sam had collected about 9 buckets of sap on Wednesday, in the rain, and he wanted to boil our first sap in the new sugar shack, so he did that on Thursday.

The new set up is working out well, we are inside out of any weather and the evaporator keeps it quite warm.

Sam put a bench seat from our old conversion mini van in there and I hung some clothing hooks, and made a paper towel holder and we have a little end table.  All the comforts of home.  Yesterday, Monday the 9th, I spent 8 hours boiling sap up there and knitting and doing Sudoku puzzles and was quite comfortable.  

Of course last week while Sam was up there, the dogs and I hiked up in the falling snow.

And then Saturday, bright and early, Grover and I headed out to Zanesville for our 4th agility trial.  We had a fun weekend.  We missed Q-ing on both our Jumpers with Weaves runs, but just barely.  He just didn't get his weave poles on Saturday and he knocked down a bar on Sunday.  Otherwise, we worked well together.  So our April goal will be a Q in Jumpers!  But on Saturday, we had a first place run and got the 3rd leg of our Novice Standard title!  So Grover now has an AKC title, and a blue ribbon.

Here we are coming off the teeter in our title run.  We scored 100 on this run, though it took Grover two attempts on his weave pole entry, but otherwise we did great.  And we moved up to Open Standard for Sunday.  Let's just say I think it had been a long weekend for Grover and we will perform THAT better next month!  Hopefully the weather will improve enough to allow us to set up our equipment here at home and start to practice every day again.  C'mon spring!

That pretty much covers the major events of the last 2 weeks.  I have a lot of things up and coming as usual and have some fiber-y things going on, but this post is long enough, so I will get to that stuff next week.  I could post 50 photos of incredibly beautiful snow and blue skies, but that would take a lot of space and editing time. So here are just a couple more from early Friday morning as the sun was coming up over the ridge and lighting our valley.


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