Saturday, September 13, 2014

Remember Me, Old Man Winter?

 Shock of shocks, Old Man Winter dumped on us. This picture is September 11. What is up?
One day it is this .... (note the low cloud cover)

... and the next this.
The weatherman just kept upping his predictions for precipitation and cold. At 6 in the morning on the 11th we woke up to 12 inches of the white heavy stuff. The trees were so... burdened they had started to break. These photos are from 6 a.m. before the next 5 inches came.
We shook and banged our shovel and rakes upward to release their burden for it was still snowing heavily. We received at least 5 more inches on Thursday. Besides the Big Horn Mountains, we happened to be the spot where the clouds unloaded their heaviest coat of white. Everyone else had snow but we had at least 17 inches. I don't know about you but it isn't normal for the first snow of the fall to be anything more than a dusting or a couple inches. In fact this is historic.
After Kirk's dad's funeral on Friday the kids, their mom, and I headed back to winter wonderland where I bundled them up and out they went into the snow. The first snowman of the end of summer or is it fall now is Olaf. All the kid's snowmen are now Olaf. Doesn't matter what they look like. Or rather this is a Mrs. Olaf, note the pink waist ribbon. With the fire blazing in the stove and my daughter and I snuggled up next to it laughing, we watched the kids out the back window on their hands and knees crawling in the snow. Wonder what animal they were? Maybe they were mimicking the panicked wildlife. The deer were leaping and running about very much distressed by this white stuff that came wa......y too early. The poor little wild turkeys I can only imagine had a horrible time just keeping their heads above the white wet stuff.

What is the weather predicted to do now, turn warm of course. Yes, 70's and 80"s are in the forecast for the next week. But with a high of mid 30's and a low below 20 F the garden is toast. Just before my family left (we had a family reunion on my side while we were dealing with funeral arrangements for Kirk's dad) they helped to pick the bulk of it. My garage is lined with buckets, a wheelbarrow of squash and pumpkins, and baskets until we can hardly get the car inside. I left the potatoes and the carrots still in the ground but everything else but the dried beans were picked. The countertop has pears and peaches piled high from the Colorado fruit truck to add to the cellar like look. As if we didn't have enough to process, just before the storm hit we rushed in to pick grapes at Kirk's dad's and came home with 2- 5 gallon buckets worth. I'm going to be canning like crazy for a while. That is in between painting the house while it is warm and yes, more company is to arrive tomorrow. Not that we are alone right now. Our oldest daughter is here and will leave tomorrow just before friends from the east arrive. But more about company later.

The dried beans just weren't ready in the garden. Why would they be when summer was so late in coming, we had no real spring, and winter arrived early even if it was for a brief few days? My hope is the blanket of heavy snow will protect them enough so that they will continue to produce. It might be wishful thinking but we shall see after the snow has melted today. We are to be 55. My sisters advised letting a light frost sweeten the apples on the trees but we never got a light frost. We picked in fear of the apples freezing on the trees. The trees were so laden with apples that some of the branches had begun to break. imagine what the 17 inches of snow would have done to a already burdened tree, bye bye, apple trees.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for my return. It still is going to be a rough going as we have more tough days ahead but I'm going to do my best to keep blogs coming. I've got lots of photos and stories to share. I've started a couple gallons of vinegar and wishing I had more stopper things for the tops of my gallon jars. I'm starting a new culture of sour dough today from grapes. My old one isn't happy at all and I'm not sure I'll be able to rescue it. Once again for those who have stuck with me I'm praying in a week quieter days are ahead. Not sure how much more of this I can take before I break.

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