Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Winds & Bitter Skies

After the snow and ice, what could be next? How about wind and bitter cold! The first line of each stanza of this poem from Shakespeare's As You Like It describes the weather here:
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not. 
Heigh-ho! sing . .
Monday was bleak and cold. Last weekend's snow was still with us, but at least we could see Smith Mountain from the front porch. 

The boxwoods bent under the frozen snow.

The view from the back deck was equally bleak, but I could see Turkeycock Mountain in the distance.

Because the forecast called for more "wintry mix" on Tuesday—the day the kittens were scheduled to be neutered, we took Chloe and Jim-Bob to the Pet Clinic on Monday evening. After we dropped off the kittens, we stopped by Kroger and stocked up on groceries. We figured we wouldn't be able to make it in for Tuesday's Senior Citizen's Day.

Sure enough, by Tuesday morning, we'd gotten another half-inch of snow and the roads were slick. Mid-day I called the vet and learned that both kitties had come through their surgery fine, and we could pick them up on Wednesday. Tuesday's temps rose above freezing in the afternoon but the forecast was for strong winds on Wednesday. Really strong winds.

By late Tuesday afternoon, the forecast wasn't looking good. I called the vet again to see if I could get the kittens that afternoon. I could—if I kept them confined and quiet. Under a threatening sky, we headed for Rocky Mount, got them, and drove back in sleet. (The kittens, who were remarkably alert,  spent the night confined in the small bathroom. They weren't quiet about it, though.)

Late last night (early this morning?), temperatures dropped and the wind started blowing in earnest. When I went out to feed, the temperature was up to 20. Everything was frozen. The wind was bitter.

I had to break ice in the horse tubs (see below) and add hot water to the dog buckets.

For the last few days, we've had an ice overhang on the horse shed. Like a glacier, it's been inching its way down the sloping roof. Part of it came off Tuesday evening (that's what those big hunks in back of the tub are). By this morning, more ice had slid down and hung like the sword of Damocles. This is how it looked from inside the horses' shed:

Here's the view from outside the shed:

On the plus side, today's high winds didn't blow away any of our stuff. Anything that might blow away—lawn benches, garden carts, etc.—was all frozen to the ground. Limbs were already bent down and secured.

During the past week, we've endured heavy snow, sleet, ice, high winds, and two kittens screaming to go outside. 

I wonder what's next?


Blogger Snappy Di said...

Let's hope Spring is next. After the big thaw that is.


6:52 PM  
Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Let's hope we don't get any more bad weather - but the weatherman was using the "s" word for the first of the week.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

What's next? Toads falling from the sky!!!

I'm looking on the brightside too...since all my lawn furniture is frozen underground it's not flying through the air. These winds are corgi has been freaking out. He's looking at me like, "Mom, do something about it already, will ya?"

8:37 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

Actually Di's got a good point...the floods are next!

8:49 PM  

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