Sunday, 8 January 2017

09:50 – It was 2.7F (-16.3C) when I let Colin out this morning. He ran out, peed on the bird feeder pole and well casing, and ran back in. I’m not sure what the new-fangled, politically-correct official wind chill is out there, but I’d estimate the actual wind chill at around -40F (-40C).

Ordinarily, I take Colin out for his morning constitutional, but yesterday and today Barbara did that. With as much snow and ice as we have on the ground and my balance issues, even if I took Colin off-leash, it’s very likely I’d fall.

Actually, it turns out that falling is an issue for Colin. When Barbara took him out, he plopped down on the snow. At first, we both thought he was telling her he wanted to play, but it soon became obvious that he had actually fallen and was having trouble getting up or standing. She lifted him by his tail, which we’ve done with all our dogs as they’ve gotten older. Colin turns six years old in about a month, and it seems that he’s developing a minor problem with his hips. So we’ll be very careful with him, particularly when there’s snow or ice on the ground.

I’d forgotten to mention that I’d gotten email from Jen about the ten-day readiness exercise they ran from before Christmas to New Year’s Day. She didn’t have much to report, because everything went pretty much without a hitch. Although this was their longest exercise to date, it’s the fourth or fifth one they’ve run and, as Jen says, they’ve pretty much got all the kinks worked out by now. They heated with wood, pumped well water with solar power, and cooked and baked LTS food and heated water with propane. As Jen said, although they had only a few snow flurries, it was pretty much like a snowed-in weekend with the family all present.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the other day Barbara’s comments about grocery shopping. Ordinarily, she makes a weekly supermarket run on Fridays on her way home from the gym. Because of the winter storm forecast, she decided to head to Lowe’s on Thursday to do her weekly grocery shopping. In Winston, it would have been a madhouse, crammed with people stocking up for the emergency, and the shelves empty of bread, milk, and eggs. Here in Sparta, it was just like an ordinary supermarket trip. No more shoppers than usual, and the shelves fully stocked. For people who live up in the mountains, a winter storm warning is just normal for this time of year. People don’t need to rush out and stock up because they’re already stocked up.