I do so little these days that I can put an entire month of good, bad, happy, sad news in one post.
The first three days of the month I was able to walk through the neighborhoods and enjoy unicorns and chickens in local yards. Each brightened my day considerably.
I imagine it is much easier to keep chickens in town than it was for us in the country where all manner of creatures including foxes and snakes managed to make their way through the fences and somehow into the wooden chicken house we thought we had critter proofed.
Still for many years, I took several dozen eggs a week into work to sell to buyers eager for free range organic eggs.
Then came the first of the snowS.
The first one was January 3rd to start the New Year with troubles for nearly everyone. 5 inches and downed power lines.
Because the woodstoves have not been used in over ten years, I am sure their seals are no longer adequate and need to be replaced. The chimneys would also need to be cleaned as well and wood would have to be procured from some where since my woodsman can no longer provide it. The farm road would be 3/4 of a mile of impassible snow. And of course power outages are very likely for a house at the end of the power line that goes over a mountain and miles to the next occupied house on its line. Don’t get me started on why the farm is not on the line with the folks at the end of the lane.
For these reasons, though I would much rather have spent a snow storm at the Farm, and have such very fond memories of doing so in the past, I reluctantly find myself in Charlottesville overlooking Winnona.
It turned out to be a wise choice as the power was out at the farm for nearly a week which without wood stoves would have meant no heat, no stove for cooking, as well as well as no water (of course I could have filled the bathtub as we used to) and no refrigerator. When the 3 of us were there for years, snow was a cause for celebration as we had everything we needed anyway but now, alone, it seemed not wise.
All of these pictures are taken “in town” where many many people lost their power for 5 days or more but where those on this street were very lucky not to. In fact, except for us, everyone I know in Charlottesville and its surroundings lost their power for days.
Judging from the pile of snow on the table, maybe it was a lot more than 5”
These 3 pictures were taken while it was snowing. You can see it coming down best in the 3rd one.
Not sure who made the tracks in the snow. It wasn’t anyone from the city clearing the streets but whoever it was made sledding more difficult.
What ARE Ruby, Winnona and I doing here?
On the left, Weather.com reminds me of what I’d be having were it not for the vandals-high 74 low 49; while on the right is what’s actually happening in my world high 39 low 16.
I am getting by with help from my friends like Mary who came up to help shovel my walk and Pam who knitted me a great warm hat and my wonderful daughter who gave me this amazingly warm fleece jacket for Christmas since my supply of winter clothing has diminished or disappeared over the past 11 years.
The second snow happened on the 7th. Better sledding.
The 8th would have been David’s 75th birthday and he so loved to play in the snow at the farm. I suspect I would have been out there, power or no, had he been here. He would have made it possible. I miss him in so very many ways. This photo is from 4 months before he died, he’s doing one of his favorite things. In 3 days he will have been gone for 3 years. That seems impossible. It’s definitely been a rough 3 years.
But I go on.
More snow and I’m getting serious cabin fever so I decide to go out and try to get in 10,000 steps. The streets have been plowed and sidewalks under threat from the city have been shoveled. But the much touted walking/biking path across the railroad tracks and through McIntire Park looks like this. Apparently the city doesn’t have to follow its own rules.
Later I can get out for groceries. Much of the power is back on. There are parking spots around the mountains of snow.
Between snows, luckily I was able to drive Winnona the 60 miles to the repair shop where she is now in line to get her side windows put in and a few other things done. I drove her in on the 12th. She is still in line on the 31st with no indication of when work on her might even begin let alone be completed.
I was able to locate with the help of a number of other people most notably my friend Jody in Vermont, the roll up driver’s window at a salvage yard. It was sent to the shop on the 21st and still hasn’t arrived. I’m trying not to fear the worst since I have no idea where I would find another.
I had some pretty bad overdoers back pain for a long while but I have recovered mostly from the 3 hours of shoveling I did to get everything out and drivable. It’s just a twinge at this point but is not completely gone.
Perhaps the best thing this month was the book boxes.
It was such a treat and so exciting to get the Book Box Laurie gave me for my birthday, (See most recent post above), that with all this freezing weather and snow, I order myself some of the past boxes that were on sale so they could empty their stock.
They came all at once in the mail in bright red plastic coverings. SO exciting. I will “parcel” them out to myself one at a time. Notice snow boots on the right. Hmmmmm
So here it is, the end of the month. More snow, Continuing freezing temperatures.
Not quite as much snow as the earlier ones, but poor Ruby, neither she nor I are used to this.
Twice during the month I have made new reservations in the Florida State Parks for 11 months to the date despite the fact that I am still cancelling the ones I made for this year. The new system is – If you can believe it – MORE difficult than Reserve America. I have made reservations for all of November, all of December and almost half of January thus far but not at the parks I wanted. I was unable to compete there. So I’ll start out at Fort Clinch, move to the non Ocean side of Gamble Rogers for the first time ever, to Wekiwa Springs, to Alafia and to Highlands Hammock. I tried over and over for Anastasia, Ocean Side Gamble Rogers and Oscar Scherer to no avail. There are just too many folks out there on the road these days and perhaps my mobile hot spot internet connection is not fast enough. Anyone with better mobile internet ideas please comment.
With the snow and cold weather, I did A LOT of reading this month and waited until I had finished the current book before opening my first book box.
When I took it out of the weather proof red bag it was a sturdy white box. I’m doing the details step by step because it was so much fun and I want to remember it.
It looked like this when I opened the lid except that this picture was taken after I’d opened the paper so there is a tear by the sticker
This is what I found.
I moved the things around so I could see them. The book was wrapped also in red tissue paper with a red ribbon and a book mark. It prolonged the suspense. The brochure on the top fight told me that with this box the Travelling Reader was taking me to Marlow in Buckinhamshire England.
When I opened things up I found the book was The Marlow Murder Club. It is definitely my next read.
Here are some close ups of what came with it.
So I’ve got a cup map of Buckinghamshire to drink my sold by a local shop in Buckinhamshire tea and 100% Real Belgian Milk chocolate “drinking chocolate” also from a local shop. I can drink and read and eat Mandarin & Lime drops. Sadly the great chocolate tin was dented but the chocolate inside unharmed.
About all that reading… Here’s some of it. You’ll notice Three Women and a Boat which was what started the book boxes. It was such a great book that Laurie and I read it together in January, 2nd time for me, for our weekly book club. Feast Your Eyes was the book I had to finish before opening the box with The Marlow Murder Club.
I’d like to add Feast to our book club list as well as The Painted Drum. They were both terrific and I’m happy to read them again.
I have others I’m currently reading but I’ll include them when they are finished.
This has been some year to have been trapped for the winter in Virginia. The RV situation is still up in the air and I’m nervous about the whereabouts of that very hard, nearly impossible to come by window. But thanks to my friends, my books, and the great fun of the book boxes I’m beginning the new year smiling.
Maybe a haircut should be on the calendar for February.
Looking forward to hearing your comments on my January.