We just had a southern snowstorm in my neck of the woods. To some that means grocery stores were cleaned out of milk and bread, which they were; and to some that means little to no precipitation actually made landfall. While folks in Maine, Wisconsin and Alaska probably are laughing at our snowfall here, for this area we got a significant amount. We live about 2.5 hours north of Memphis, TN and we got 8 inches of snow. Overnight. For us that is a true Snowmaggedon. The state closed roads, snow plows were in the ditch and people were stuck wherever they happened to be. For my husband and I, thankfully that meant at home. I had managed to drive home from work Sunday night on terrible roads and it took me an hour and a half longer to get here than usual. But I made it home. The next day the snow replaced the freezing rain. We tried getting my car out so we could stock up on chicken feed, but ended up stuck in the yard, which is where we pushed the car after we got it out of the ditch across the road. It snowed until the wee hours of the next morning, and we stopping counting at 7″, but according to records, we got 8+. And with sub-zero temps this week, it hasn’t gone anywhere. A couple of things have come from all this crazy for us weather.
For one thing, we got to play in the snow, something I have complained about not being able to do at Christmas every year since we move to TN. I like snow, I like playing in snow, and I miss having snow on Christmas like we did when I was a kid. My handsome husband and I have gone for walks around the property, thrown snow balls and started a snowman. We’ve been feeding the wild birds and watching not only their antics, but also the cats sitting at the backdoor wishing they could get to those little birds.
We also went out in our mini blizzard to recover a window in the chicken coop and cover their combs with Vaseline to help prevent frostbite. We have one hen who already has frostbite setting in, and we are keeping a close eye on her. Later, when it warms up some, we may have to remove some comb, but if that is the worst that we get with this weather, we are grateful. We have kept the girls confined to their coop and their run this week, even though they wouldn’t go out in snow for treats. We pulled the large warmed water trough up to the back of the coop right by their door to the run, which is a fold down hatch, and they sit on the hatch door and drink from the water trough. No way are those hens setting a single toe in the cold ice and snow if they don’t have to. And we have had to gather eggs frequently through out the day to make sure they’re not all frozen. I’m personally just happy that even though I miss having the pigs, we aren’t trying to find ways to keep them warm right now.
One thing that has been really good for us is the necessity of cooking. We both love to cook, and we both love trying new foods, new ingredients and new recipes, but sometimes, like everyone else, we just don’t want to cook. And unfortunately for our waistlines, health and wallets we live less than 5 miles from town. Which means it’s not a huge hassle to go into town and grab a bite if we aren’t feeling the cooking thing. But there was no chance of getting to town this week, so no chance of lazy days and restaurant food. It has sparked some creativity here, which is always a good thing, because redundancy in meals will quickly make a person cheat on their diet. Now we don’t follow an incredibly strict diet by any means, but when we are trying to eat healthier, it is so easy to get in a rut and mess up any progress we have made with one trip to the Italian place in town. So being snowed in has been good for cooking at home. It has inspired me to dig into our freezers and find something to try out in a different way than what we usually do.
As someone who can do just that, dig into one of our three chest freezers and find something healthy to eat, it kind of boggles my mind when I see people posting on social media that despite the skating rink conditions, they have to try to get out to go to the store. We have genuinely been snowed in for three days, and people are out of food at home. And it is so many more people than I would have thought; I understand not many people do what we do, and not many people have interest in it, but to only have three days worth of food? That is crazy to me! Of course that triggered the thought, what will these people do when there is a real emergency? What if there is no way to get to a grocery store for a week? A month? Longer? I have not had very many people tell me that what we do is weird or anything like that; I know that other homesteaders are very alienated in their communities for their lifestyle. But in times like this, wouldn’t you feel better if you had enough cans of veggies and enough meat in the freezer to not have to worry about how will we get to the store, but instead enjoy a snow day with your family? Maybe it’s just me.
Enjoy the weather for what it is: a chance to slow down, relax and read a book, or watch a movie with your significant other, or play board games with your kids.