Saturday, January 4, 2014


We're getting ready for our first BIG freeze since we've owned the farm.
We thought those of you in in other countries might like to see this image.  It shows the forecast low temperatures for the United States*.

*Hard to believe some of those temps are THIRTY AND FORTY BELOW ZERO.


And it's amazing to see how that dip of frigid air just pushes down into almost all parts of the country.  We live in Texas, down in the part that is maroonish to white.  They are calling for temperatures in the mid to low 20's for us.

Very cold Sunday to Monday, warming up during the day Tuesday but then even colder on Tuesday night.  It's been several years since we've dipped in into the low 20's so of course, in Houston, if you watch the local news, you'd think it's the "Freezepocalypse" coming!

I'm almost embarrassed to post that it's "cold" when there are those up North that are suffering through something that looks like it's from the movie
"The Day After Tomorrow", ha.  But for us, this is cold, and it's the coldest we've been in a while so as usual, they are now talking about the "Four P's"...

Pets, pipes, people, plants
We don't have to worry about the pets or people, they/we are warm, but of course we do have to worry about the plants and most importantly, the pipes.

So, we're heading out to the farm to Winterize things.  Thankfully, 2nd Family, who live out there at the other end of the property, have already turned off our main water supply and opened the outside faucet to drain it and give us a head start.  When we get there, we'll open the taps and let the remaining water drain out of the lines.  And we'll just leave it all open since we won't turn the water back on until the next time we are out there.  It makes it pretty easy to Winterize things out there. 

Plants on the other hand, well, thankfully, I still have the plants I bought on clearance in town and they will be protected.  The only thing at the farm I'm worried about are the fruit trees and really, I think it's just the two citrus that we should have to worry about.  I need to research about the minimum temps they can survive in.  I think since we aren't having sustained subfreezing temps, they will be OK, but I'll have to make sure.

Wherever you are that's cold, stay warm and stay safe!  Here in Houston, it wouldn't surprise me if we are back up to 70 by this time next week.  That's the fortunate thing about our cold snaps, they are just that, snaps.

UPDATE:  Just saw the weather, they have revised us down to 22, with nine to twelve hours of below freezing temps both days.


  1. I know these temps may be spectacular for Houston but it looks mighty fine to me compared to where our temps are going. We will have ice, rain and snow on Sunday. Ice is very bad because it can cause electrical outages.

    1. I know, I was almost embarrassed to post this, ha. But it's part of our life down here and we aren't used to those really cold temps. Heck, if it snowed and we had ice, the entire city would grind to a halt. You stay warm!!!

  2. It's supposed to be 2 degrees Monday night here and only about 15 degrees on Tuesday. I wouldn't be surprised if school is closed so the kids don't have to freeze - literally!- while waiting for the bus. Stay warm!

  3. I will throw a cover over my 'owari' Satsuma Mandarin and two PARs under that, along with turning on the light already under the blanket covering my potted plants on my protected south-facing front porch.

  4. OMG! 20's is like a Heat Wave after the last couple of nights we just had. Try -2 and -4 degrees!

    I'll be down for those 20 degrees with my bathing suit! LOL!

    Hang in there guys - You will get through it! Just make sure you keep the kettle on and the tea or hot chocolate coming!

  5. Oh and by the way.....if your worried about the fruit trees try spraying the tree canopy with water right before the "Big Freeze" comes. That's what they do in Florida with all the Citrus Tress when they get Cold Snaps. ;)

    Here's more information

  6. Good luck. Our winters get down to around the same temps as Houston (as far as I could work out), - 8 Celcius being the worst and our citrus' (oranges, grapefruit, mandarins and lemons) survive though last year our Lisbon lemon had singed leaves on the top of the canopy. Hopefully your trees will survive too.Thinking of you freezing as we sit here sweltering. LOL.

  7. Well, I just washed my wooly long johns to prepare for the Arctic Blast coming in Sunday PM. Monday, here in Charles City, Iowa we are to have -15 temp for a high with a low of -24 for Sunday nite. Tuesday will be around zero or below for high. Most of the schools here are closed Monday and running late Tuesday. If you haven't heard, the Minnesota governor closed all MN schools for Monday.Yea, you guys be cold but we be damn cold!!! Stay warm. You will find Sparky and I curled up under the blankets Monday. Also, what is the website address for the map? I find it most interesting.

  8. We've been at 10 to 15 below the past week, so by now it's getting "old hat" around here. As long as the wind doesn't blow, I'm out there skiing or taking my daily walks. It's all a matter of wearing good clothing (and I'm not talking about Columbia, etc....those coats are just "fluff") I mean the GOOD stuff--snowmobile outerwear). Took me a long time to realize you gotta part with some serious cash to be warm! LOL!

  9. try to stay warm! we are going down to -30!

  10. Stay warm everyone. Layer on the clothes. Works wonders.:)

  11. This depends on the size of the trees for how quickly you can do it. If you have or can get the old incandescent christmas lights string them through the trees from center out to the tips. Keep them turned on throughout. Make sure the lights don't touch the frost cover and see if one of the families can check on them to make sure nothing goes to flames. Then cover with a frost cover (you can use old large sheets for this). Make sure the parts are securely connected. Then anchor the bottom edges to the ground with hay/straw. Get the bales and then lay them on the edges in the 3 to 4 inch sections. Don't fluff it. Or an alternative anchor is 2 liter bottles full of water but remember to leave room for expansion if they freeze.

    Good luck.

  12. 1st Man,

    Be careful with this cold weather, stay warm, and watch don't want to be around people who have the flu. The flu is running ramped here in OK, and parts of TX. Because we've been traveling back and for to TX from OK we went ahead and got the flu shot.
    Temperatures here this morning 18 degrees, the wind is blowing 30+knots, making it feel below zero.

  13. The Powers That Be have not been informed we are also a southern state. The snow is flying in from the north and it is supposed to be minus five tonight!

    I'm wishing warm safe places for everyone.

  14. It is all relative to what you are used to. Today we reached 30ºF during the day with lots of sunshine and it felt so warm. The past few weeks have barely made it to 20ºF with very little sun and most nights have been below 0º. It is good to take precautions. Frozen pipes are no fun to deal with. I hope your fruit trees survive the freeze ok. Stay warm!

  15. Does it sound weird if I say that the weather map, if you don't look at what it represents, is quite beautiful? Since I'm here in the same area as you, I've no advice to give, but am grateful to the other folks for theirs.


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