Monday, December 04, 2006

there's weather...and then there's WEATHER


It's amazing how much I can talk about the weather!
When I last left the storm was coming....I thought of firewood...buckets of water....cooked people food.....shelters for the sheep....getting the loose sheep into the barn......but not how to open a can of tuna without electricity!
We are some of the lucky people living in Missouri who already have their electricity back....it will still be days before some of the wires are repaired. I love my electric company. You have no idea how much you miss the electrical things in life until you have to do without them.
Our closest neighbors called us about 10 the night the storm was raging. They wanted to warn us we couldn't get out because of the high water in the creek. During our brief conversation the lights went out, along with the phone....the computer was already shut down....the TV stopped telling us the storm news....and we started a fire in the wood stove. I had candles going in the front room and the kitchen. Someone had to stay awake to add wood....as it is a very small wood stove....so we could keep an eye on the cats. Soon they were all sleeping in the living room to be near the stove.
Don't you wonder what the cats and dog think about living in the dark? Do you think they wondered why we were all sitting in a dark room with not much heat? "Why don't they turn on the lights??"
About 4 in the morning, with gale force winds raging....my husband woke me to say someone was baaing. One lone ram lamb was outside in a pen. He was terrified of the flapping noise from the wind and the tarps....but while my husband held the flashlight, I tried and tried to catch the little guy in a pen...and couldn't. We closed the back door of the barn....keeping the dog inside....the sheep who had been so wet the night before....after 5 inches of rain....now had frozen fleeces from the cold wind. The minute that the rain changed over to ice, the lights went out. We couldn't see the water out there....but we could hear the roaring noise of high water going over the dam by the rams....and running in a circle outside our fences. Boy, when the lights go out and there is no moon....it is DARK out here.
We kept the wood stove burning all the next day...and into the night....as my husband went into the dark, cold bedroom to lie down, he mentioned running out of wood. ARGH!!!! I though we had plenty....but it seems that if the weather stays way below freezing....you use up a lot of wood. Fortunately for all our critters, the electricity came back on before morning the second night.
Enough cabin fever....I needed nuflor and some more small bales of hay for the sheep penned inside the barn. I couldn't let the girls out into the fields because the water was running too high behind the barn for them to cross. They had to be content with what little grass they could thaw, and the hay I fed in the barn. We wondered why we hadn't seen a single car go by since the storm started. When we drove a mile or so....we saw the reason....a big oak with it's leaves still on, had ripped out of the soaked ground and fallen all the way across the gravel road. Someone with a chain saw had opened a tunnel through the smaller branches at one side....and we drove through. But we couldn't make it to the highway, another pine tree...too heavy to move, was across the road. It was on a steep hill and a few 4-wheel drive cars had already gone around it by driving in the ditch....but with out little truck we couldn't take a chance. So we backed down the hill and took the fork in the road. Fortunately, that road had been cleared of trees and the water wasn't too high to drive through.
We are still cold here...the pond outside froze last night. I am trying to keep the cats in until the edges thaw. Our big cat fell into the middle.... one Christmas....and he had a really hard time getting back to the shore. Fortunately I went out side at the moment he ran for the house....there were wet tail patches frozen on the ground where he ran for home. Flash freeze the cat.
Just wanted you all to know we are fine here....we can again drive across the creek. The computer and tv's work. I can cook, run hot water for dishes....and open tuna cans without a church-key. I'll add can-opener to my christmas cookie shiopping list.
Wishing you all good weather and friendly sheep. May you stay healthy and enjoy all the Christmas-time preparations.
This was our first ice storm here in Missouri. I will say, after the fact, that is it beautiful!

3 Comments:

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Karen B. said...

Wow, you really got it. All that rain, then wind and cold and frozen fleeces. I hope the sheep are doing okay, that bad weather is alot to expect of any animal. Good thing that Shetlands are so hardy. Your trees look beautiful, hope you're thawing out soon.

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Pat's Place said...

Thank God you're OK! I knew better than to try and call - figured the phones and power would be out a lot longer, given the extensive damage that occurred.

Yes, you're right, it is exquisitely beautiful... I've often longed to catch shots like that on my camera, but with what you had to contend with to get that shot, I'll pass!

May you, Patrick and the animals all stay well.

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger Nancy K. said...

And to think that you left to get away from Minnesota winters.....!

;-)

I'm glad you're OK.

 

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