Sunday, December 31, 2017


I think most everyone in the United States knows that the country is in the grips of an Arctic air mass...

...while this certainly isn't as cold as many other places in the US, for us, it's almost record breaking.  They are saying will could see temps we haven't seen in 20+ years.  Possible TEENS.  Wind chills in the single digits.  For us, that is COLD.  And homes here aren't built for that.  And our plants, well, they are most often "tropical" in nature.  Hardware stores are out of supplies and garden centers are putting plants indoors.  I spent yesterday at the farm getting things prepped there.

I covered the citrus trees with special covers (more on that in an upcoming post).

I disconnected all the garden hoses and sprayers and put them up. 

I moved all the portable freeze sensitive plants inside the house (after watering of course) so they would get through the week.  This included the Aloe Vera that we forgot about last Winter and it froze.  A small part survived and came back so we want to keep that going this time around.

I thought I had done everything but realized I had forgotten the Olive trees.  They are freeze "tolerant" but not into the teens.  So I took the cart and moved the one on the left into the house.  Notice the one on the right?  It had a fire ant bed in it!  Arghhhh!  So I put some ant killer on it but still couldn't keep it in the house.  I put it in the mower shed, which is small and hopefully warmer than the barn would be.  I snuggled it up next to the Zen Machine and put cardboard around it.  

Lastly, "R" from 2nd Family came down and helped me drain the pipes.  We shut off the water to the house first and opened the faucets furthest away, the bathroom tub and sink.  He put his air compressor nozzle into the outside faucet and blew air into it which forced out water in the pipes through the faucets and into the sink and tub.  Once there was not much coming out, we opened the faucets in the kitchen and mudroom and he blew air in again.  We did that until there was nothing coming out but air meaning there was no water left in the pipes.  We left the taps open so there is no pressure in the system and that's it. We have done this the last two years and it's made it through the freezes just fine.  OH and of course we leave the water heater on so it keeps the water in the tank hot and there is no danger of that freezing.

It looks cold.  

It is cold.  

And getting colder. 

Fingers crossed there are no issues.  

We stay in for NYE, we like to watch the coverage on TV and stay away from crazy drivers on the roads.  And tonight it will be crazy drivers PLUS ice.  No thanks.

It also seems the older we get, the less we like crowds, ha.  

Steak is on the menu tonight and a bottle of sparkling shiraz that we love and save for special occasions.  More later.

Be safe and be warm!


  1. We have been having a light drizzle all day off and on and early this morning our back steps where just a little icy/slick. Roads where good as we found out when we went into town to get a few groceries but when we got home the ground was even getting covered with frost and a bit slick as well so really had to be careful and basically taking baby steps so we wouldn't fall. Was good to be back home and as usually we stay home on New Years Eve.
    This morning @ 5Am the temperature was 33 deg but has really dropped this afternoon.
    The roads will be icy in the morning and sad part is, hubby has to go to work tomorrow. :} Was @ Home Depot for a bit and people coming in asking for faucet covers and leaving upset cause they where all sold out. Earlier in the week they had 3 Large boxes full of facet covers but there are some who wait till the last minute and then get upset cause they are sold out.
    Hubby said that within a 1 1/2 hours their store where sold out.
    Everyone stay warm and stay safe.

  2. HNY 2018 to you and 2nd man and the kitties!
    we didn't get above 17F today, and yesterday we had 3" of fresh snow.
    but our house is built to withstand hideous northeast winters.
    spouse & I & cats are staying home also. plenty of food & drink on hand.

  3. Wishing you all the best in 2018. We live in the east Cascade foothills in Washington state, so we've had ice and snow for several days. We're used to it, I don't envy you having to prepare so much. At any rate, thank you for sharing your life on the farm!

  4. It's chilly here and it's supposed to rain tonight. I hope it keeps people indoors so they aren't frightening the dogs with their fireworks and guns. I really hate the way that so many people around here greet the new year by firing their guns. Stay cozy and enjoy yourselves. Happy New Year!


  5. Your dinner sounds delicious! :) I hope you have a nice evening, we're staying home too, way too cold out there! Best wishes for 2018! :)

  6. You had a very busy day yesterday. Hoping everything makes it through the big freeze. Yep, those fire ants love to surprise us with their homes in pot plants.
    I spent yesterday also getting ready for the big freeze. I picked all the fruit from the trees and covered the smaller trees. The others are just too big to cover. Since I lost my vegetable garden last year to a big freeze, I covered it this year, hoping that I can save it.
    After all that, I didn’t have time or energy to go to the grocery store, so I went this morning to get some things for soup. Everybody and their dog were there - and there were hardly any chickens left, so I guess everyone is making chicken noodle soup in this cold weather.
    Stay warm and safe.

  7. Happy New Years and we are just coming back from dinner out. Home by 8. It is 14 degrees here - cold too cold.

  8. Stay warm, stay safe.
    I hope all your preparation work pays dividends.

  9. Have you considered heat tape for your pipes? Since you have an uninsulated crawl space it may be worth considering.

    We are having Artic chills here in Ohio and have been getting a fair amount of snow. I have my fingers crossed I don't lose all my new heirloom saplings (3 apple and 2 peach) I bought this last summer. I didn't have a chance to plant them--they are in 5 gallon buckets. I nestled them against the garage (for thermal mass),nestled blocks, stone and straw around the base of the buckets, wrapped the trunks (to prevent sunscald from the snow/ ice reflection) and piled wood shavings/ straw on top if the buckets. If I don't lose them to freeze, I may lose them to burrowing rodents :(

  10. We are at -42C with the wind chill!! Now that is COLD!!!!! We did go to friends for a fondue which was lots of fun. The roads are pretty icy so we were home by 9pm and will watch the New Year come in on tv. Happy New Year!

  11. Hurricanes to deep freezes. Wow! It seems you've done everything possible to protect your investments. Sleep well,stay warm. Happy New Year.

  12. Happy New Year to both of you.


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