Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Weather Advisory

If I never hear those three words will be too soon.

I don't think it would be news to anyone if I told you that this country had been hit by some very nasty weather this past week.  The actual extent is beyond my comprehension and my news coverage.  I threw that last bit in there because we are probably one of three families left in the United States of America that do not have cable or satellite television.

I will wait until you have recovered.  (pause)

We actually rely on an antennae that is in our attic, and we receive the major local channels.  Our television viewing has been limited for the last 10 years, and it really isn't that bad for me.  I know that between sports seasons it can be a little tedious for the Man in Charge, but other than that it really isn't a huge thing for us.  I am not a huge watcher of television.  I have one show that I try not to miss during the week, but I can take or leave the rest.  If I had 257 channels to choose from I would not get anything done around here.  I would live on the couch watching the Food Network and as many home or gardening channels as possible.  Then I would have to throw in the Discovery Channel and the History Channel, and there wouldn't be any time for cooking or gardening.

The shortfalls of this decision become apparent in a week like this last one.  We have three major local networks and they were all very busy giving us the updates of the weather catastrophe.  I am of the opinion that they should not broadcast live all day long though.  It seems like they get desperate and start reporting anything and everything.  It also seems like some of these reporters live very unrealistic lives.  Their commentary varies from informational to humorous to "No!  He really didn't just say that!"

The times that I did spend watching the news, I really wished that they would show us the rest of the country.  I knew via the Internet that a large number of states were being impacted, and that would have been news to me.  Not the female reporter that chose to report on the train crossing arms that were stuck in the down position for an entire morning.  She just stood there.  Informing us of the fact that the arms were down and the lights were flashing.  A picture would have been sufficient for that information.  The more interesting fact was that there was not traffic in this area.  They never showed one car.  Amazing that people get paid for that.  I wanted to call someone and tell them to have her just walk over there and push the arms up.  Then she could go about her business of finding some real news to report.  I mean, really?  Who cares?

Sorry.  It may just be amazing that I didn't throw something at the television.

There is an endless list of things that you can learn from a week like this one.  I am going to try to share mine with you.

1.  You have to prepare, prepare, prepare, and when you have covered all your bases you better start covering everyone else's.  There is always someone that will let you down if you are not careful.

2.  You will need a list.

3.  Even under the pressure of a pending storm, you can find time to throw in some last minute projects.  Monday I managed to disassemble and then re-build my chicken roosts.

Monday was a 15 hour day.
4.  Wow!  Quite a list.

5.  Texas weather should never surprise anyone.

6.  My horses have nice winter blankets, but when it gets down to 8 degrees, they appreciate a second one on also.

Yes, I am aware that they are spoiled.

7.  Kid can, and will, go into hibernation mode during weather like this.  That cat has slept more than any animal I have ever seen this week.  He is waking for meals, but not much else.

No worries.  He is sleeping inside.

8.  Chickens are resilient.  I was a little more than worried going into this week.  I have been through so much just raising these birds, I would be very upset if they froze to death.

9.  Heat lamps work great in chicken coops for heat, light, and they keep their water from freezing.

10.  During rolling black outs, you will consider bringing your chickens inside by the fireplace.  You will be grateful that you don't have to and you will be very worried about the fact that you considered it.

11.  When you and your faithful helper are schlepping the wheel barrow out to the manure pile, you will both drop and grab snow at the exact same time.     

12.  Snow comes in different sizes. You can't make a snowball with just any old snow.

13.  In the absence of snowballs, wrestling becomes the next best thing.

14.  Cardio exercises are extremely hard in snow, in winter gear, and in air that is so cold it hurts to breathe.

15.  Carrying two 5 gallon buckets of hot water to the barn, three times a day for 4 days in a row will make your arms feel like they are an inch longer.

16.  As nasty as your mood gets, so does everyone else's.

17.  At some point you will find a reason to leave your home and drive on icy streets just for your peace of mind.

18.  When you have a 92 year old friend that tells you about the storm back in '33... you will feel better.

19.  Add a colorful scarf and toboggan to your coveralls and you can still make a fashion statement.

20.  When you rely on propane to heat your home, you will hear a cheer resounding from everyone when the delivery truck pulls up.

Re-read lesson number one.

21.  If you want to make your faithful helper laugh until she cries, just say, "Can you give me an S ?" 

22.  A 50+ pound dog will become a lap dog if she gets cold enough, and she won't ask.

23.  On top of all the ice and snow, you will whine and cry when you see snow headed your way on the radar. 
24.  All of that whining and crying will be nothing compared to what you do when you wake up to 3 more inches of snow than they predicted.

25.  I never thought I would be so excited about 32 degree temperatures. 

I can't wait until tomorrow.

To be continued...

Feel free to ask questions regarding these lessons in the comment section.
Anwers will also be posted in the comment section, so be sure to check back.


  1. I am so thankful that this is YOUR life and that I get to participate just by reading! Ahhh, me and the cat..... on the couch watching cable TV!

  2. You could have called with a national weather report? It helps put things in perspective if I can get a bigger picture.

  3. Sometimes it just helps to hear a friend say, "Put your head down and suck it up. It's bad everywhere. Forget cable! You don't have time to watch television."

    Could someone remind me of these things on Monday and then again on Wednesday because here we go again.