Thursday, December 30, 2010

Between Christmas and New Years

This week has always been a sort of week-in-limbo for me. First there’s the excitement of Christmas. After a day of recovery, my birthday creeps around yet again.

Then comes that period of anticipation of the new year ahead. It’s like we all pause and hold our breath, waiting for the new year to arrive, wishing for a better year to come with the changing of the calendar date on January first.

The residents here at Shady Hollow have been watching the slow melting process of our first white Christmas in what seems like forever. It was a beautiful Christmas Day, watching the snow fall in silent splendor. The air was hushed and still as the tiny flakes drifted downward. Simply awesome.



We were snug and warm inside the cottage. There were kitties at every window, watching the snowflakes float past. Occasionally a paw would tap the glass in an attempt to catch one. Jay Dog will not go out in snow, so papers were spread for his use and I again regretted not teaching him to use a litter box when he was a puppy.

It was a peaceful holiday for Pa and myself. We needed that.

I am spending some time in reflection of the year just past and also years further back in time as 2011 looms ever closer. Funny how you do that as you get older. Maybe I’ll post some of those reflections later this week. Some of them, at least a few, may be worth a post.

Be blessed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Adventures in the Snow and Cold

Last Sunday, we awoke to three inches of “30% chance of snow.” No biggie, it was Sunday and we didn’t have to go anywhere. I had stocked up on necessary items the day before. I had a “feeling” that the forecast was wrong.

About midday I decided to get laundry done and with a heaping basket of dirty cloths, headed off to the laundry room in the basement.

The basement floor was covered in water! What the heck was going on? Back upstairs to tell my husband. Then, flashlight in hand, back down again to track down the leak and see what had to be done.

The good news was that none of the inside pipes were leaking.

The bad news was that the leak was outside, about a foot from the basement wall. Water from the leak was seeping through the wall and flooding the basement. It would eventually destroy the wall. I know, it happened to my neighbor a few years ago. It only took a few hours to do tremendous damage to her house.

Then I did what any red-blooded Southern woman would do. . . I called my son. While he drove the 40 miles to come help, I started digging. 

I didn’t get the whole area dug out, but I made a start. My son arrived and in short order had the water turned off, hole dug and was on his way to get what was needed for the repairs.

Meanwhile, the artic cold air was pouring into our area, and snow had started flurrying again. It was cold and things didn’t want to cooperate, but my son finally got the pipe repaired. He was half frozen and muddy from head to toe.

Of course there was still plenty of work for me, moping and getting the basement floor dry. Luckily the major part of the flooding was in my husband’s shop area and the majority of his tools were up on benches and unharmed.

I also kept an eye out for signs of a failure in the repair work. My son was worried that it may not hold, due to the cold temperatures in place while he was doing the work. So far, so good on that issue. Maybe next summer we can dig it up again and do some major replacement of water line and prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. We’ll think about that seriously.

For now I’m just thankful the damage to the contents was minimal and that no structural damage was done to the foundation of the cottage.

I’m even more thankful to have a son who will drop what he’s doing and drive 40 miles to help his mother. How wonderful is that?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cold In The Mountains

It is COLD!!!

It isn’t even officially winter and the temperatures are plunging into the teens at night with single digit wind chills. Brrr!

We are staying warm enough. I got the insulated drapes up in the nick of time.

The bulbs are inside and the shrubs are planted. The potted shrubs are in a safe place to overwinter. I almost waited too long though and am thankful I listened to my inner voice and did those chores when I did.

Right now I can stand by the the dining room window and look out across the pond. It is obscured by foliage during summer. If the temperatures stay this low, I’ll be watching it freeze over soon. All together now. . . brrr!

If you are in the large area blanketed in cold air, please be careful and stay warm. If you’re not. . . you lucky rascal, enjoy it for you may be next.

Meanwhile, I’m staying in the cottage as much as possible. The gardens are dormant and so is the gardener.

Be Blessed!