Friday, December 12, 2008

Things to do before everyone freaks out

It's that time of the year again when I start posting images like these:

This is currently *the* hot topic around here...on every news station, weather site, phone call, and friendly grocery store conversation:

Oregon has a fairly temperate climate, so when snow is in the forecast and temps are predicted to dip into the teens, Oregonians get nervous. Our local media takes advantage of this and soon every weather bulletin reads of imminent doom:
Chill is coming: are you winterized?
Coldest Weather in Nearly 5 Years Looms
Arctic Blast Bears Down on Region
9 Counties Now Under Advisories or Severe Weather Warnings

Being a small skeptic (and because our weather forecasters can be so terribly wrong), I tend to live by the "believe it when I see it" model, however, I also believe it's good to be prepared.

Preparation for me comes in the form of my personal priority list of things that need to be done prior to severe weather. An example of these things are:

Wash warm socks. I like warm feet:

Drain barn hose and shut off barn water for the winter:

Move Walter the wonder rabbit:

...from the way-too-cold barn: the (warmer and closer) garage:

Lay down extra pine bedding for warmth in coop:

Get Vaseline ready (to prevent frostbite on chicken combs and wattles) if temps drop suddenly:

Put out extra scratch for chicken energy to keep warm:

Put up ceramic heat lamp in coop, just in case (I'm a nervous chicken mom):

Gather kindling for fireplace. Not nearly as much fun without the donkeys:

Make cookies. With extra dark chocolate chips:

Go outside with Jim after dark and fall over each other trying to turn off the outside water spigots:

And finally, sprain ankle. Yeah. Though, this wasn't on my original list - I added it on. I cleverly fell into one of those ugly potholes (the ones I've been griping to everyone about for a week) while trying to retrieve my garbage can in the dark:

If something is there, I will be the first one to fall into it, over it, or down it. That's just the kind of gal I am.

It's hard to tell from this shot, but it's turning greenish-yellow and I have no ankle. It's more of a cankle (no differentiation between calf and ankle):

Fortunately the swelling has gone down now to where I can pull my boots on and get around the property. Things are just taking a bit longer to get done.

"What can I do to help?" Bippity is always the first to lend a hand:

She ran away when I asked her to carry me.


  1. We had to scramble around and get winterized early this year in mid november (usually we don't do it until December).

  2. I think your side is actually going to get it worse than we do. A rarity, and should be interesting. Sorry to hear about the cankle. ;)

  3. Oh, I am so relieved to hear that you too have the very same affliction that I do - if there is something to fall, trip, or stumble over, I am there to be the victim. This is particularly the case when I go out in the dark to close the chicken coop. If there is an extension cord out, I will find it with my feet, a little bucket in the way - I am on top of it, a pumpkin that we put out for the birds which subsequently froze into a pumpkin rock...yes, that too, I am all all over it. I feel your pain. Regularly. But I thought I was the only one.

  4. Oh, I am so sorry about your ankle! Of all times of the year to have that happen and slow you down.
    Do the chickens like having Vaseline on their pretty parts like cosmetics? Make them feel pretty??

  5. Love the cookies on your list! I'm sorry about your ankle. I hope it's better soon.

  6. Most excellent post - thank you for the dire warnings!! Laugh!!! I do tend to agree with you about our doomsday media around here...sooo funny, what if we really did have something horrendous to report? Perish the thought!! You are a good chicken mom - good for you!! Vaseline huh?? Learn something new everyday! Sorry about the cankle - yep, it's definitely bluish/green, no doubt about it - yikes!! I am one of those kinda gals too!! Stay warm!

  7. Hey, you got the most important thing done...the cookies!!! LOL
    Your poor ankle!! I hope you feel better soon. I can relate, I am a bit clumsy myslef.

  8. Same here...except my cankles are natural and not self-induced.
    I am strangely disappointed when all the weather hype doesn't come true. You have weather Jim and I have weather Barb (my neighbor) and she has been preparing me all week with daily reports. Yesterday I bought a bale of straw just to make her happy. Now they are backing off the prediction of snow. I'm not sure what Barb and I will talk about.
    Walter is very cute. I forgot you had a bunny.

  9. I am a skeptic too! Half the time it seems these forcasts never come to fruition. We shall see....
    all I know is that everyone is WA county ought to have enough birdseed---we've been busy at the shop!
    Ouch- I hate sprained ankles!

  10. Oh ouch! Your ankle looks pretty bad. Sure hope it's feeling better. Hopefully a load of gravel is in your future! What a sweet little bunny! I love all your animals. What fun!

  11. Its good that you have your priorities in place...I mean, dark choc chip cookies were a much better decision than say, peanut butter or snickerdoodles.

    Ugh. That ankle looks like it hurts. Im sorry that you fell in one of those man sized potholes at the end of the lane. We really should have had Shawn fill those while we were there.

  12. We had "Speedy the Wonder Pig" (guinea pig) You always need at least one animal with Wonder in it's name.

    BTW, that ankle is HID-E-US! You could make it big time as a freak in the carnival with that thing.

  13. Hi-just hopped over from Achorn Farm. I enjoyed reading through your blog. Your low temps gave me a chuckle...we are expecting a blizzard sat and sun with below zero temps and -45 below windchill! Hope you can stop in and visit me! Have a great evening and I hope your ankle is feeling better!

  14. Ouch on your ankle..err..cankle. I've done that a few times myself. Yours looks pretty colorful. I hope you put ice on it and stayed off of it for awhile (yeah, right.)

    Cute bunny. Good that you are prepared for the cold weather. I keep a yellow bug light bulb in a work light fixture just like yours and have it on at night for my chickens in cold winter weather. It really helps them stay warmer. Keeps their water from freezing over too. I didn't know about the vaseline for their combs. I will keep that preventive remedy in mind.

    We are supposed to get snow here in the Sierra Foothills on Sunday down to 1500 ft. My home is at 3000ft elevation, so we will surely get some. I am almost ready for it. Must get my cold frames in place to protect my herb garden for the winter. Probably oughta figure out how to use my new generator in case the power goes out during the storm as it usually does here.

  15. That storm is supposed to be heading my way tomorrow. It's a lot of 'the sky is falling' talk around here also.

    Cookies are an absolute necessity when planning for bad weather.

  16. I'm still wondering about the weather forcast picture from... FOX? You know they get a lot of the news wrong, right? :-)

  17. Goodness gracious girl!!! What the heck are you doing walking around in the dark like that!!! Ok here's how my mind was working with this post...
    1) "PHESHAAAAA! a couple years ago -20 was the high for 2 weeks straight! My little pixie says -11 as I type!"

    2) "Where did Walter come from??? Did I miss something! Hi Walter!!!"

    3)"Those are lucky chickens!"

    4)snif snif


    6) "Good job guys"

    7)"OH NO Dont get hurt!!!!!"

    Ok Danni take care of yourself, stay warm and rest.

    Oh the word verification for this post is "wines" maybe that is trying to tell you to sit back tonight, put your foot up, have a glass of wine and enjoy the good life!

  18. Around here, if the weatherman is calling for icy conditions, we fill the bathtub with water, in case we lose electricity.

    The ankle looks bad, keep it above your heart, and place a bag of frozen vegetable on it. Outside, make sure you wear shoes with good tread. I trashed my ankle a few times and then finally shattered it, not fractured, not broke, shattered the outside bone. When you pull the ligaments, the ankle gets weaker, be very careful.

  19. Hmmm...I think we're all waiting with baited breath around here....what will danni's weather be like this weekend?!?!? Keep us posted!

    And do the gas atendants still have to pump your gas in the meyham? They really should get a day off in a state weather emergency, don't you think? ;)

  20. Sorry about your ankle! Here in Georgia, you know the hot south, we've been down in the low 20s almost every night since Thanksgiving! I thought I left that stuff far behind.

  21. Oh OWWW! I'm sorry about your ankle. Was the pothole filled with water when you stumbled into it? Hope not!
    I was told when I was in Washington state last summer that the islands stay fairly temperate because of the water temperatures. Maybe you should move to one of the islands off the western coast. Can you tell I'm missing Orcas Island just a little bit?

    Stay very warm, pray for weather folk that are wrong, and know you did a good job preparing for the worst. The cankle gives you an excuse to stay indoors.

  22. Things were going so well there until the mishap with your ankle. It looks really sore!! Perhaps a couple of those cookies will help it to heal.

    I didn't know you had a bunny!!!! What a sweet little face. See...I knew there was another reason I liked you! :o)) Bunny, who is currently stretched out in front of our fireplace toasting his ample rump, sends his Best Wishes to Walter.

    We had a small dusting of snow here yesterday morning and nothing but rain since. Fingers, toes, legs & eyes are crossed....

  23. Ouchee! That ankle looks rough. Darn outdoor water spigots, but be grateful you have them. My Dear One decided when we built the house that's something he could do later. Guess it's not been later even though we've been in the house three years now.

    Your weather looks like our weather. Except we will probably stay too warm for snow.

  24. I didn't know about your ankle. You've had quite a few ankle injuries and need to be careful. Stormy winter weather is arriving and you need to protect home, hearth and animals - like a genuine farmer! Wouldn't it be fabulous to be really snowed in and be cozy and warm?
    Right now I'm cooking black beans - slowly with lots of fresh garlic, onion, sea salt, crushed black and white pepper, bay leaf, and lime wedges. I'll serve some German Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with that. A true winter meal! Let it snow.....

  25. First comment- I really enjoy your blog- feel a real kinship. Sorry to hear about your ankle, and Dots crown. Reminds me of my lucky, I lost 2 hens to a predator last weekend, couldn't figure out how anything got into my secure coop, decided to give the girls some extra bedding to help comfort them in our time of distress, poured a possum out of the bedding bag, onto my foot!!! Thank heaven for muckers!!!

  26. Ouch, I hope your ankle is healing. Keep it elevated! I have never heard of vaseline on the combs. This prevents frost bite? We were down to 12 this afternoon by 2pm. I turned the 250wt light on for the girls to keep them toasty. So far all have been in good shape. None of them wanted to leave the coop today, even for scratch on the snow. I dont blame them. Take care and get a flash light. LOL.

  27. Glad I'm not the only clutz!

    Now about that snow. You know that it just may be time to call at the national guard, close the schools and public buildings, put up the roadblocks. After all we might even get an...INCH!

    Schools were actually cancelled here last year once because there was snow in the forcast...not a flake in the sky, just some joker on tv saying it MIGHT snow and yep schools must be called off. Oh dear, its gonna be mayhem if we really get some of the white stuff! Kim

    BTW, it never did snow that day so all the kiddies were stuck home driving their mamas crazy "when is it gonna snow, huh, when mamam?" Surprised some mama didn't put out a hit on that weather man!

  28. I hope your ankle (cankle?) is feeling better!

    You are an amazing animal Mom! You even think about Vaseline for the chickens combs! I feel ashamed of myself!

    24 degrees here this morning and we had a bunch of snow....have to take some pics. The cold worries me....I like snow however. :)

  29. Those falling temps are making me sad. I am spending Christmas in the Portland area (The Dalles/Dufur) and was hoping for a break from the super cold MN weather. Oh well, at least it won't be minus 0 like it is here thiss week. Small victories. I hope the ankle feels better - I tend toward the super klutzy too.

  30. Ouch. My ankle hurts just looking at that picture. I'm limping, a little. And wondering of vaseline will keep MY wattle from drying out. A girl's gotta stay pretty.

  31. Oh Oregon. I haven't been able to get out to the horses to go for a ride. I am hoping tomorrow before the next bout of weather. My boyfriend has chickens here in Portland, only 3. Is there anything special to be done for the cool weather. They were all hanging outside of their coop in the run, I thought they would be hanging out inside for warmth. Maybe they just have coop fever. Sorry about your ankle.


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