Wednesday, October 26, 2011

snow tomorrow!

The weather is calling for snow tomorrow night, possibly even a few inches. It's not even Halloween and I might wake up Friday to a blanket of fresh snow. For the first time ever in my adult life, I am thrilled about the possibility of a snow storm on a weekday, because due to luck and circumstance: this weekday dump will be a Friday, and I darling, am home Fridays. Which means when I wake up to virgin snow my "work" will be firing up the woodstove, collecting eggs, feeding the animals, and then coming inside to work on the blog and pitch future books.

Can I get an AMEN?!

So here's a winter update, and I think some of you who read this blog through last winter will be happy to hear it. The farm is ready for winter, and the farmer is ready to cope. The wood stove has been installed and has been keeping the farmhouse warm, even on nights in the low thirties. I have yet to turn on any oil heat and for a girl who grew up here whole life with heating oil, this feels like I'm cheating on warmth. The last payment to The Stovery has been set up for Friday, which means as of Friday I have entirely completed debts on the chimney installation and hardware. It is a relief I can not describe in words.

There are 4 cords of wood stacked and ready to use in my driveway and under the cover of my side porch. Thanks to the work of folks at Antlerstock my fuel larder is full. Tonight I'll cart in a large load of wood to stack in the mudroom to ensure dry fuel for the coming days. The 1100 square foot farmhouse now has two wood stoves and together they are keeping this home warm and food baked and cooked regardless of the grid's power system, outages, and angry weather. If we lose all electricity due to a horrid storm: me and the farm are okay. I will have a place to prepare food and stay comfy as hell. I also have a few bottles of lamp oil, extra wicks, and candles stored up. Bring it, winter.

The roof was not repaired, but it was patched and the work deemed "get-you-through-this-winter" by a professional roofer. The Daughton boys: Tim and Holden, patched shingles and repaired the rising plywood that would cause water wells and leaks. With a good roof rake and some TLC, the house will remain dry.

Major projects such as the winter horse stall inside the barn was completed this summer, so Jasper has a safe place to ride out the worst of it. Inside the barn with him are four meat rabbits, two pigs, and the occasional chicken. There is a stash of hay, plenty to see us through a while. And winter chicken/pig/sheep fuels such as cracked corn, minerals, and grains. The sheep have their safe house, larger and solid on the hill. Tomorrow I will put down some fresh straw and make it the soft and warm place it will certainly be. The "annex" next door used for rams, sick sheep, and lambing will also be open for any outcasts from the flock to be sheltered from the weather if they choose.

The vehicle I now own is a 2004 4WD V8 pickup, instead of the 2WD 99 4cyl pickup I used to have (my Subaru died last year). It can handle my mountain, and get me to town or work safely. I have stored extra food, water, and plenty of quilts and blankets. There is half a tank of oil in the basement, a fuel-loaded generator just in case, and a landline installed if I need to call for help and my cell isn't charged or working. I have a plow man on call, a stocked first aid kit, waterproof boots, and plenty of knitting and books.

I am ready for this snow, and my farm is ready, too.

That's a lot of growing up in one year!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snow already! Why does it have to cut Fall off?! ;)


October 26, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Wow! Send some to TN.

October 26, 2011 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Victoria Nidetch said...

Yep it's about that time.

October 26, 2011 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Dancing shepherdess said...

I say this that rhymes with comet.......

October 26, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger sash said...

Oh G-d I heard that this morning. Here in Southern New England we may get some "wet snow" with the rain coming...then I remembered end of October we always get that threat. I look forward to the photos from upstate New York!

October 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Uh oh. No snow tires on my truck yet.

October 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger kippy said...

Time to stock up on chocolate and coffee!

October 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

You are ready!! See what a year can do!!!

I heard about the snow this morning....We are in southern New England and just expect a cold rain. I'm okay with that, though!

October 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger LindaSue said...

Sounds like all is well in your world. Isn't that a great feeling. A sense of accomplishment not many would understand or appreciate in the same way. And, you did it all on your own, with a little elbow grease from others. We don't stand alone, but with friends, who can't be bought or sold. Just warm friendship that is a wonderful thing. Your joy is felt here in south east Ala. Keep it up gal. A whole lot of us folks are cheering you on. For me I feel like I have gained another daughter. Take care and stay warm.

October 26, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

We've got a big early storm here in Colorado today--already about 6 inches with another 6 on the way! Every year we feel a bit more prepared, too. Good job, Jenna, this winter's going to be great!

October 26, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Kate said...


October 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Well done! Funny, the same system bringing you snow is bringing us a "perfect" weekend - dropping our daytime highs from 85 to 65. Hehehe.

October 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

As my dad would say: Damn you do good work!

October 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

Well done Jenna! You amaze me. Thanks for the update on the farm. Let it snow snow snow.

October 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

It never ceases to amaze me to look back with you and remember how much you've accomplished. From this end of the year, it's amazing! I had forgotten about your truck troubles last winter. One more item checked off that long long list from last spring.

October 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Doug Pitcher said...

I was working on a deck a few days ago for our new log house on our own little simple farm and the temperature dropped 10 degrees in about 10 mins and a snow storm shut me down for the night. I'm still trying to get my house weatherproofed before the winter comes. I'm envious of anyone as prepared as you. Maybe in a year or two I'll be there.

October 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Amari said...

I love your blog! It feels like back in the 70's when I used to love reading Anne LaBastille's Black Bear Lake books. I can just imagine myself in a setting like yours, except that I'm probably a bit lazy these days and I would be happy to sit in front of the stove with a good book, a cat curled on my lap, and a nice cup of tea. Anyhow, I'm in a great mood after reading your post!

October 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

You've learned your lessons well, my dear Jenna. Enjoy the snowfall.

October 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

You sound so amazingly prepared! But know you can safely whine anytime if you need to. That is what good reader/listeners are there for!!

October 26, 2011 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Just like Amari wrote in her comment, I'm always looking on the brightsight of things when I leave CAF.
The way you write and tell your story is just great. Enjoy the first snow.

October 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Lyssa said...

Your preparations sound perfect. It must be such an amazing feeling to be ready for everything, and snow sounds best when you don't have to drive to the office in it!

October 26, 2011 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Kate said...


October 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger kwalk said...

Impressive! Sounds like you're more than prepared. Rock on!

October 26, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger sash said...

You go, Jenna! All set and ready - a good feeling!

October 26, 2011 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Oh Jenna! your list of winter preparations is long, extensive, exhaustive and AWESOME. I'm so glad and so proud - can I be proud for you? - that you are so ready for this winter. And happy for you too - with all this prep. this winter will be so much easier for you than last winter was (last winter was hard, and scary in parts, and I was only reading your blog as you told us about it...)

October 26, 2011 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...


October 26, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Congratulations on your preparedness! What a great accomplishment. After reading along last winter, I am confident you are set to handle whatever mother earth sends you this winter.
Down here in Chester County PA they say the snow will blow over us and head north in your direction. We are ready with our wood and supplies, it just seems a bit too early for snow, especially before Halloween. If we have as much snow this year as we had rain, we are going to be buried. Enjoy Friday!

October 26, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Amen! I'm grinning ear to ear knowing that your more than ready to meet Winter head on this year. :)

October 26, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

NOT ready for snow yet. OK, physically ready, but not mentally. lol

October 26, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Sonja said...

Yay! Just reading how ready you are has me cheering that snow on for you! None such luck here in the boring side of Washington State.

October 26, 2011 at 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, good for you! Doesn't that give you a great feeling? We have had two unseasonably cold days for us (temps down to 30 degrees at night) here in Oregon. Unfortunately we have still had to much clear, dry weather, so the bucks aren't moving much, so we'll probably get skunked this hunting season. Luckily we are well stocked on wood also, but I'd like to have a bit more hay, feed for the critters and basic foods for us stocked up.

October 27, 2011 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Megan, a farmer at heart said...

You are so lucky to get snow! In ct it's just rain. Last winter was fun! We had a few times where it took us 3 hours to shovel out the little driveway. Oh yeah and the city kept putting more at the end of the driveway too. Fun times!

October 27, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Cait said...

Good for you! We are still learning the "winter" lesson preparing on the farm here in Ontario. We are spoiled starting on my parents' already up and running farm so will certainly learn the lessons again when we start up on our own land in a few years. Hopefully we'll have learned something while sharing here!

October 27, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

This one speaks to me, both of preparedness and comfort. Of the place where I want to get to. I woke up this morning thinking about this post and knew I needed to read it again, for motivation. You're helping me on my road to sustainability, and I thank you once again.

October 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Way to go, Jenna! I remember your scary winter and am so happy to hear of your preparedness. The animals sound cozy.

October 27, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I truly hope that with all the preparation you have done that you get one kick ass winter in Veryork!

October 27, 2011 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

proud of you!

October 28, 2011 at 9:15 PM  

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