Spring Moles!

February 7, 2018

No one is saying ‘it’, because everyone wants ‘it’ to be true.  Don’t tell anyone that I am saying this, but winter was not too bad.  Hardly any snow, not that cold, in fact it has been warm enough to have/make the kids at school eat lunch outside.  After all, it was practically 55 degrees today!

The ground-hog popped out and I don’t care what he saw, it seems like spring could be here early!  However, we’ve got one more rodent to deal with, and that’s a mole with a huge appetite.  My Loving Spouse has taken to war in his determination to rid our home of this ‘bloody Bad British word’!  He bought a collection of mole traps, but so far the only thing that has gotten ‘caught’ was him.  We’ve been given all sorts of mole removal tips each more diabolical than the next.  Perfectly normal people have been advising we gas them, shoot them, bomb them, put a fire in their hole!  Everyone agrees on one thing, the moles are horrible and they’ve got to go!

If ‘it’ is really here, we’ll be playing croquet before you know it.  I’ll have my game face on and uttering those famous words…

“No crying when I clean your clock!”

Watch out Mr. Mole!


Snow Day (Sew Day)

January 18, 2017

Today, for the first time in 20 years, the Ellensburg Schools are closed due to weather.  It is not completely a ‘snow day’.  It is more of a ‘freezing rain, black ice, dangerous road condition’ day.  The highways are closed….everyone is being told to stay in.

I am really okay with this idea.  You might even say, I am a tiny, tad thrilled.  Zoe and I get our chores done.Alfalfa bales slide quite easily on the ice, so we just pull them out to the hungry cows.  The weather as ‘promised’ by my Sort-of-smart phone weather app, has warmed up.  Not to the promised 41, but 28, we’ll take it.  I scoop mounds of horse poop.  Team Off-spring, tackles de-icing the walk ways and filling up the wood stack on the porch.  We are all now officially warm, cozy and read to enjoy our day off!

Snow Day…Sew Day!

I am making a lap quilt for My Boyfriend, Bob.  Bob does not read the blog.  Bob is now 99 and I do not believe he has a computer.  Those of you who know Bob, better not tell him about the surprise.  It will be black, gray, red and white, my inspiration comes from Bob and his church suit, black suit, white shirt, red tie.I am sure he will like it.  I need to get it done, while it is still cold (haha) and rainy in California, so he can properly enjoy it.

I’m off to sew and I am certainly blessed.



January 15, 2017

As of this moment, Winter is officially kicking our butt.  I had managed to maintain a sunny outlook on things, (even though there has been NO sun for a while now), utilizing an ‘attitude of gratitude’, as I drove to work in -12 degrees.

Frozen hot water pipes…

…glad we have a home with pipes to freeze.

Seriously, this only works for so long…

My Loving Spouse went straight to worry, which I cannot blame him.  The guy has three metal joints in his body and the SUB ZERO temps are making him ache.  The thought of burst pipes, cold  spaces, and crawling around under a house was a tad terrifying.  Luckily, he managed to thaw out the offending pipe, with fans and heaters and the bad British word.  We now do what goes completely against my drought laden Californian roots, we leave hot water taps dripping.

For warmth, we are burning a lot of wood and the bedrooms are running a lot of electricity for heaters.  We might have to sell the fatted calf next month to pay the electric bill, except beef prices are currently down.  Speaking of cows…the animals frost-free pipes all froze last weekend.  There was talk with Our Friend the Farmer about heat tapes, and other contraptions to thaw them out, but eventually we just had to get water to them the Californian way, which is why there is now 150 feet of garden hose in my beautiful claw foot tub.  We cannot leave it anywhere else or it will freeze.  We drag it out every other day to fill the animals water tanks and feed them lots of extra hay to help keep them warm.  I wish all I had to do to keep warm was eat more!My Sort-of-Smart phone’s weather app tantalizes us with reports of warmer weather in a few days time, then they change their mind when the days actually come.  Tomorrow was said to be 25 degrees, we had planned to clean out the poop filled chicken house, so the hens would start laying again.  Currently, we only have two hens laying and often by the time we get to the eggs, they are frozen.  Now, the app is saying that it will only be 20 tomorrow and I bet by the time tomorrow comes it will be lower still.

When we go out to take care of the animals, we prioritize and do the most important jobs first, food and water…poop can wait, and since we are feeding everybody more, there is plenty of frozen poop.  It is true, your nose hairs can freeze.  I come back inside when my hands hurt too much from the cold.

We are planning on a bug reduced summer, as these temperatures apparently do them in.  Now, that is a silver lining.  As I write this, it is starting to snow, which is always pretty and it means, that things are warming up!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Stay warm my friends!


Tough Stuff

January 4, 2017

It is winter and it is cold.  We are living in a multi-climate house.  It is very exciting.  No, that is a lie, it is crazy.  My goal (eventually) is for this home to often/usually/mostly be the same temperature (livable), give or take a few degrees in all the rooms.  Right now, it is a tad…chilly…but, not everywhere.  The family room and kitchen are toasty warm.  The bedrooms are reasonably comfortable with heaters and electric blankets.  The living room is a tad chilly.  The sewing room downright cold and the pantry is freezing!  Going from room to room…is…crazy.  Each morning My Loving Spouse or I fetch coffee for one another.  We adorn ourselves in slippers and robe for the journey to the kitchen.  My Loving Spouse wears all that stuff, because he is British.  I wear all that stuff, because I don’t want to freeze.

How cold is it?This was today’s single digit, when I went out to feed the animals.  The important part is the wind, catch the ‘feels’ like temperature.I fed the horses, put them out and cleaned their stalls.  I have learned it is easier to do this right after the horses have been in their stalls and everything is still ‘warm’.  Scooping up soggy hay is easier before it freezes to the barn floor.  The ‘road apples’ (horse poop) on the other hand seems to work the other way, once it is frozen, that poop just rolls around like marbles on a tin roof.

I was then off to school.  School is never canceled and certainly not for cold weather.  Recess in the country is a beautiful thing.  The playground is huge and the kids have plenty of play time.  The weather?  Handled with age-old common sense.


Go outside and play, you’ll be fine.


Go outside and play, you’ll be fine.


Go outside and play, you’ll be fine…and you, kindergarteners do not stand under rain gutter down spouts.

Cold weather, single digits as we had this morning?

We do not send them outside, don’t be silly.  We wait until it warms up.

15 degrees?

Go outside and play, you’ll be fine.

…and they were and always are, and we are as well.



Slippery When Wet

November 29, 2015

It says in the bible:

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house…”

Hmm, what about “thy neighbor’s insulation”?

Okay, I am guilty, completely and honestly of coveting…not even ‘better’ insulation, just any insulation.

It is cold.  Seriously, 14 degrees on our way home from church cold.  Our home is warmer than 14, but sometimes not by much.  I am convinced that the coldest place on the farm is our pantry….step through the kitchen door and you are hit by an Arctic blast and you can see your breath.  The pantry, fat room/dog room has 10 inch walls that were filled with sawdust for insulation…the important word here is ‘were’…as in no longer.  Most of the insulation fell out when we jacked the floor back up because the room was literally falling off of the house.  The rest of the insulation fell out this summer when I pressure washed the house in the great paint prep.

It is so cold in the pantry, that the dog’s water bowl froze.  We took pity on the pups and let them sleep in our bedroom again.  At any given time in the night there is a steady cacophony of dogs and people snoring.  We filled the dog’s water bowl last night, left it in the kitchen and went to bed for the snore fest.  The water bowl leaked, spilling water out on the kitchen floor and  it froze….solid….hard…slippery…cold.

We took the heat gun to the ice rink, as well as a portable heater.  This eventually worked to where it was defrosted enough to chip up the ice.icyIt is not even officially winter yet.

Want to come and visit?


Cold Adjustment

January 3, 2015

I have learned a lot about living in the cold, but apparently I still have some things to learn.  Who knew you should not jiggle a cold hose…coldpc1We do drain the hose after every time we use it by running it up and over a tall tree branch.coldpc2

Still sometimes there is a bit of ice in the line, so I thought I’d just jiggle the hose to break up the ice…yes, now I know…bad I idea.  Luckily the break was close to the water coming out part of the hose, so I could still use it to fill up the cow’s water.  The cow’s have a thing or two to learn about the cold as well…like do not pull out the tank heater that keeps your water from freezing.  If you do not believe me, here is the cow’s back up water tank without a heater….can you say…block of ice?coldpc3The cats appreciate the cow’s nice warm tank full of water…coldpc4It is a trade-off, but one great thing about it being this cold is that the ground is frozen…no more mud and that is a beautiful thing.


Fall Facts

The fact is, that Fall has always been my favorite season of the year.  Living here in the Pacific Northwest, where we actually have a change of season makes it even better!  Today was a stormy, rainy day, which succeed in making our mud…muddier.Having a full woodshed, makes me feel…ready.  The ‘herd’ would probably feel […]

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Signs of Spring

The first sign of spring has arrived, I turned off the seat warmer in my car.  I am pretty sure it has been on non-stop since October, but this week I turned it off, which must be a sign, that Spring is just around the corner.   Then came the wind…a sure sign that winter […]

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Bitter Cold

I had a title for this post all written out in my head.  It was going to be ‘A Calf in the Kitchen’.  Our Friend the Farmer called me in the morning with a ‘Calf situation’.  He had a weak calf, 4 days old that was still struggling and not doing well in the cold. […]

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Winter Tidbits

Just checked the weather and it is 3.  3 – as in degrees, previously 3 was an age, a time on the clock (once a day, in the afternoon, 3 in the morning…nah…I don’t think so) and 3 was a ‘few’ (as in cookies, yes thank you, I’ll have a ‘few’).  3 was not a […]

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Farm Prada

It is 10 degrees as I write!  Fahrenheit!  A tad chilly… I even broke down yesterday and wore my ‘Farm Prada’ coat to town.  I never even heard of ‘Farm Prada’ before I moved here, well actually, I never even heard of most of the stores where you can buy this brand until I moved […]

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After ‘denial’ comes ‘acceptance’… It was clear that I had arrived at ‘acceptance’ when I found myself ordering not one, but two firewood organizers.  Gone was any sense of my ‘denial’, ‘denial’ that the whole ‘cold’ season was a fluke last year and the need for warmth in the form of large, large piles of […]

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