By now, you’ve likely heard of the “historic” CO snow storm.  It’s been all over CNN, weather channels, and I’ve even seen it on Yahoo.com.   Seeing as how I live right in the middle of it, I can tell you, it was impressive.  Now, I have seen more snow–much more snow–than this, but it was always way up in the mountains, around ski slopes and such.  I can remember taking photos as a child, standing next to a snow drift 10 or 12 feet deep.  Shoot, I can remember cross-country skiing over an open field that I thought was level, and suddenly plummeting 4 feet straight down, landing on my back on another drift when the terrain changed (but you can’t tell in bright, white, unmolested snow).  This wasn’t that incredible.  Nonetheless, it was impressive, actually breaking a 100 year old record for the area, and we received just under 18 inches. 

The “Before” photo, taken a couple months ago, after a light snowfall.

 The “After” photo, taken this weekend.

This is the master bedroom door leading out to the deck. Needless to say, I won't be using it for a while.

I have never had that much snow where I actually lived, and I’ve certainly never had to do outdoor chores in that much snow.  The kids have had a blast, digging, playing, making snow caves, etc.  R got her first taste of snow…literally.  The only real downside as far as they were concerned is that it was a very dry snow, meaning it won’t stick together, meaning they can’t make snowballs or snowmen. 

 

Here is a video clip of R:   http://youtu.be/-lCI80K5Q5U

With temps that have reached highs just over 30*, and then plummeted into the teens and twenties most of the time, though, it still made plenty of icicles, one of which fell out of a tree and hit me in the back of the neck yesterday!  I was walking out to the goat pen, minding my own business, and BAM!  Thankfully, it was a small one, and it caught in the back of my shirt, but it felt like I had been stung by some horrendously large creature.  It hurt!  No kidding, seeing as how it likely fell a good 25-30 feet from the nearest branches.  All the snow posed a major challenge at first, as we were in blizzard conditions for about 24 hours.  Everytime I tried to dig trails, they would simply fill in.  The first few times I did my farm chores, I would test my blood sugar before going out, be just fine, and then, thanks to all the exertion of trudging through knee-deep snow, 30 minutes later, my sugar would plummet into the 40’s, and I’d have to make my way back to the house for some juice or glucose.  It didn’t help that the snow was too deep for the baby goats to walk through, so I was having to carry them–all 30 or so pounds of them back and forth twice a day.  Finally, the snows let up, and S spent a couple hours digging trails from the house to all the places I needed to go.  He’s so sweet, and it made my chores sooo much easier.  The baby goats eagerly used the trails to race and bound from their night-time garage pen out to mom each morning after I milk. 

Me, all bundled in black. It ain't purty, but it keeps me warm!!

S even had his fun, reminiscing of his days living in iceland, and went out and showed the kiddos how to build real, usable, snow caves.  JR loved that, has wanted to do it for a couple years, but we have never had enough snow for it.  By the second day, it was packed and iced over just enough to make a great shelter. 

Here’s a video of the snow shelter:  http://youtu.be/GnEuE4hPrzk

I have to mention one thing that I found encouraging.  Due to the way we generally run our daily life now, I always have about a month’s worth of groceries on hand.  During the worst of the storm, we wound up totally stranded at home for about 48 hours.  Honestly, we never even noticed until after the storm ended, we were sitting around having a nice dinner, and it dawned on us that we were totally OK.  We have freezers full of food, pantries full of raw ingredients, all the cook books I could ever need, oil for the oil lamps, wood for the stove, milk only as far as the goat shed, and  fresh eggs in the coop.  We were fine.  In fact, the only area we found ourselves lacking was water–in the event we lost power, the well pump wouldn’t work.  Of course, with 18 inches of fresh snow, it wouldn’t be that difficult to melt what we needed over the wood burning stove.  It was fun and even encouraging realizing we had reached that point.  Even as little food as we produce ourselves at this point, we still weren’t completely dependant on the economy or society every single day to meet our needs.  Now that is a good feeling, and we had no choice but to thank the Lord that evening for how he has blessed us this past year!

The worst of the storm is over, though we are having flurries as I type.  As it is, several inches of pure ice has covered my front yard for the last 8 weeks.  With this much snow, I’m not confident it will melt before April or May.  In the mean time, I will utilize my dug out trails, the hens are appreciating the “patio” area S dug out for them, and we are grateful to the neighbor who came and used his case loader to dig out our driveway.  Since the goats won’t leave their shed (they don’t like to walk in the snow), and the hens won’t venture more than 3 feet from their coop (only in the dug out area), we are having to do lots of deep bedding to control muck and smell.  Good thing we stocked up on wood shavings for carbonaceous material!!  Despite the trials lots of snow and cold can bring, I still can’t help but marvel at the absolute, unadulterated, astounding beauty of God’s creation.

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