Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hell Froze Over, A Snowball Has A Chance

When I woke up this morning I had this horrible vision in my head that my animals would all be dead and frozen despite all I have done to make this storm OK for them...
Maybe cause the other day when I drove to town for supplies I saw a horse somewhere in Leicester laying on the ground in a big field, appearing to be dead, after the last snow storm. And I thought, PLEASE gawd don't let that happen to JuJu Bean.
The last ten years here in western north carolina had really been pleasant during the winter (on a hot sauce scale it was the bland, mild, without spices) - until last year's hell-a-cious snow frenzy. It seems this season has picked up right where last year left off it's white fluffy drama (on the hot sauce scale it's now spicy, tongue burning, tear jerking, nose running, red HOT).
Except, it's FrOcking cold.
So frigid in fact, the water i filled up in my tub INSIDE my cabin is now frozen solid.
The spring water for the animals to drink finally froze over too. A thick layer of ice formed which i crushed hard by kicking it in with my boots then lifted pieces up outta the way. Unfortunately, not much water was underneath, and I had to smoosh the pot into the cold mud to gather anything. I also had to smash/slam the hell out of the pot against a tree trunk to get the frozen water out. (A rebel yell or grunt makes it easier when swinging!)
JuJu the donkey is now limping also. Which worries me, i kept scraping snow off the favored hoof and breathing warmth onto her ears. As I pushed my feet through a foot of snow back to the Luck Cabin I was thinking about tropical islands( yes, mmmmm), i was finally 'getting' why people are obsessive about moving to costa rica and some such places. I was longing for my hometown of New Orleans, if only for a lil warmth and sunshine. I was also thinking... building a sustainable place to live, all alone, in a frigid cold harsh winter'ed location is NOT a good idea. (Note to self: Dont ask if you made a mistake cause it's too late!) Too hard, unless you have a partner who is there to help each day and minute with the unforeseen trials and tribulations of this kind of lifestyle.
Until then I can go between laughing and crying when i fall down in the snow over and over, and beg all powers in the universe to spare my animals.
Not much is making me feel better....
but Billy Idol helps. Thanks BaBY JEzuz for keeping Our ELECtricty On! ;)



Jenn said...

we need my dad to come up there. he is a drama queen but he is also an ex-vietnam, vet that was a survivalist that was dropped by helicopter in the middle of jungles in vietnam for months on end. plus he is from here, years ago (65) when conditions were much worse and he would know exactly what to do and is not lazy. doesnt mind working hard. you need some man/woman power to help.

i found an insulation project for you, for the barn and house. i asked my dad about it and he said it was an excellent idea. taking old wool blankets, the ones that people no longer use and donate usually bc they have that hard feel to them and you cut them to size and line the inside of your woodbeams with them. you nail them so it makes it easier to take down in the summer. the people that did it actually said it got too warm and they had to take some down. it is extremely efficient. the same can be done in the barn for the animals. but you would need to make the barn enclosed instead of open.

someone needs to shovel snow paths for you so its easier to walk and you dont fall down anymore. i hope they get the road up doggett mountain clear today. we can get up there tomorrow to help you.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Jenn!
you are so sweet!
I love the blanket idea and owuld have done it already if it wasnt for my chemmical sensitivites to the detergants & perfumes in the ones bought used (sometimes bought new too- not to mention the detergents all have gluten in them) --- I would be so sick in here if i surrounded my house in anything with those smells. I am saving up for sheeps wool insulation but it wont happen till next year i am sure.... or by the end of this winter. I have been planning on doing the sheeps wool on the outside of the cabin and under the floors, then will put new wood siding on top, hopefully made from the trees i have to cut down here, with a portable lumber mill.
I just had too many projects going out here since spring, to finish them all in time - even though i did TONS before this winter actually came.
Yes, people power helps.... i dont even know what i can do at the moment. My health makes easy solutions a lil bit harder.

Jenn said...

jesus, i dont know what i was thinking, i totally forgot! hmmm....i wonder if we can find a way around this. maybe we can find some very wealthy person to donate sheep wool, which is a great idea! we can help you with the man power come spring when you do it, but for now we have to brain storm for this winter. the only thing i can think to tell you is when the road is clear we can get up there to help in whatever way possible and then once we move out there, you are more than welcome to stay with us, when storms come. we can try to transport Juju to a barn with heat. im sure my landlord has one and would be willing to let you use it! she is the sweetest old lady ever! warder. btw send me your number, i lost the email it was in....i can let you know if we can get out there.

Joyful Living said...

This is probably for next year - but wondering if you ever read about the natural alternatives out there for insulation - http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/QandA/materials/insulation.htm

Stay safe and warm. Good wishes to all of you there.

Liberty said...

so sorry to hear you're going through this Leslie :(

thinking of you and wishing for warmth.
can't imagine how cold your cabin must be for inside water to freeze!! :(

Diane Costanza said...

You're a brave soul. You live the life my husband always wanted to live if only he could give up the luxuries of Long Island, LOL. The closest we come is heating our house with a wood-burning stove.

Stay warm

Joe said...

Have you had pine tree tea? What trees do you use if so? Trying to find out if Eastern White Pine is a good choice. I know the tea has super high vitamins.

Lou Cheese said...

Rural life requires a much more sophisticated mindset and range of abilities than society expects. You have to be part mechanic, part biologist, part meteorologist, part zoologist, etc. It's a harder life than those who can avoid it entirely, but IMO, it's a much richer life.

As far as the frozen bathtub is concerned, go out and grab the biggest rocks you can carry back into the cabin. Place them on top of your cast iron stove and let them sit there overnight. In the morning put on oven mitts and place the stones on the ice, in the center of the tub. That should melt the ice and re-humidify the interior of your cabin, the cast iron stove might lower that to less than optimal levels. Just don't get carried away, when the porcelain or enamaled exteriors expand faster than the iron underneath it (this happens with cookware, I'm guessing it will be the same with a cabin bathtub) the exterior surface might crack because it is expanding faster than the interior.