I hope everyone had a Christmas filled with love and peace. I also pray that you all safely made it to your Christmas destinations and home again.
The weather outside was frightful for much of the USA. I heard some Media calling it “THE WORST STORM IN A GENERATION!” It was hardly that–at least for us. We do occasionally get snowstorms in winter, you know. Maybe it was worse in other areas. EJ and I do not panic over storms, but we believe that any severe weather ought to be viewed with respect and precautions taken. We have emergency supplies near at hand at home and EJ keeps a kit in the truck during the winter. It distresses me that so many people do not pay attention to the weather and get stranded on the road or in accidents. A little awareness and preparation can prevent a lot of hardship.
Our area had Blizzard Warnings from Thursday night through Saturday night.. Two feet of snow, high winds, and cold temperatures were forecasted. We’ve had mild winters over the last couple of years, but a foot or two of snow is quite normal for a Michigan winter storm. Michigan has big plows to clear the roads so snow isn’t that much of a problem. The bigger problem is high winds, which can cause drifts and white-out conditions that make driving difficult. Also, snow and wind can cause power outages and downed trees.
EJ’s regular schedule is to work ten hours Monday through Thursday. Since he works second shifts and drives home in the wee hours of the morning, he took Thursday off to avoid the worst of the storm. We stayed safely at home and our power did not go out. It was cozy to look out at the falling snow. At times it snowed so hard that it hid the view. The strong wind often blew clouds of snow across the landscamp or swirled it into snow-nadoes, making me think of Hoth, the snowy planet in Star Wars. EJ estimates we got about 15 inches of snow Friday and Saturday with another inch or so yesterday and today.
I shoveled paths to the coop several times because they drifted shut. One time, I got caught in a snow-nado. I shielded my face and laughed. The chickens hate wintry weather and were not interested in leaving their coop so I didn’t open their little door. I gave them plenty of cracked corn. It raises their body temperature as they digest it and helps keep them warm. Their combined body heat also helps the coop stay warm.
The outside cats were uninterested in leaving the garage. We’ve made them several warm places in the garage that they shelter in when it’s cold–and they have also found a few of their own. I made them an additional shelter using the old dishwasher we removed from the kitchen a couple of months ago. We have never used it; I prefer to wash dishes by hand. So we finally pulled it out and moved our little egg fridge into its spot. Since we put the dishwasher in the garage until we can get rid of it, I propped the door open and put blankets inside for the cats.
Poor Hannah Joy really hates winter weather as much as the other critters. Saturday evening she asked to go out and when EJ and I took her out, she tinkled a little and then dashed madly for the door. A few minutes later, she pleaded to go out again. When we took her out, she walked into the snow and then turned around and dashed for the door again. A few minutes later, she pleaded to go out again. I told her, “You know it’s not going to be any better this time, right? It’s going to be just as cold and snowy.” But she pleaded. This time EJ went out first and shoveled a spot for her. Then she “did her business” before dashing for the door. LOL.
Christmas afternoon our neighbor drove up in his tractor and snowblowed our driveway for us. He has kept our driveway cleared for several years–ever since he saw me clearing our driveway with our little walk-behind snowblower. He didn’t even know us when he first started snowblowing our driveway. He is such a blessing. It took us at least two hours and multiple trips to snowblow our driveway but he can do it with a couple quick passes, up and down, up and down, and off he goes. He refuses all payment.
Here is a video I took on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t snowing much at the time, but the wind was whipping up the snow.