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helwen: (Due Consideration)
Oops, forgot to post here when we got home. Power and phone were back on when we got home. Got the minivan stuck in the driveway and had to dig it out twice before we could get it into its parking spot. From the blinking clocks we figured the power came back on around 2pm -- only a little over an hour before we got home, so pretty good guess on our part on when to return ;)

Roads were a mess coming back down Rt. 112 though, so we stayed home tonight.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Lost power and phone this morning. The UPSs on the PCs let us know when it happened. Currently at Elmer's as Lyle has some meetings today. I should have brought more work to do. He left me here while he went to check in on his mother and the chickens (all well), and drove to the other end of town to see what Rt. 112 was like (the road our road is off of), and it's pretty horrible. It would be quite the question as to whether or not we could leave again if we went back. Of course, at some point we have to, because we need to shovel/rake some of the snow off of the porch's and radiant room's roofs.

I don't know when it started snowing because it was already going when I got up a little before 6:30, but it has been a constant all morning and is still going quite heavily.

L checked our voicemail and there was a message from Verizon that a number of folks in our area have lost their phone lines and that the problem seems to be somewhere between Greenfield and Shelburne Falls. Nice to get an update, and to know that they're working on it. No update on power, but over 70 households up here don't have power, so likely a tree came down or something fun like that.

Unlike Nemo, this snow is heavy, packable snow -- which will be lovely to play with at some point, unless it turns to rain. If the problem is a downed tree or limb of a tree, it's possible the snow played a role, although I don't know if or how much it's snowing between SF and G'fld.

All the precipitation in the valley is rain, from what friends have said online. Personally, despite the inconvenience, I prefer the snow right now. We'll still have quite a bit of cold weather up here over the next month, so it's nice for the plants to have a blanket for a little while longer.


Feb. 10th, 2013 06:49 pm
helwen: (Due Consideration)
So, we got a bit of snow here. With rain/freezing rain/sleet in the forecast for Monday, our porch roof and the sugarhouse roof needed clearing. L (fitzw) wrote about the sugarhouse roof. I didn't help with that, as shoveling around the minivan yesterday was enough for my body, and today I was taking care of washing, candling, sorting and boxing eggs while L was out shoveling the sugarhouse roof. Thankful that nephew L showed up (taking his girlfriend around to various spots for her photography class), and helped out with the roof!

Took a break for lunch at around 3:30, got a couple quick things done inside when we got home, then went out snowshoeing around the yard, checking things out. The little river has ice and snow over much of it; quite lovely to look at, as is much of the area.

Then we sat down for a few minutes, until I remembered that we still hadn't cleared the porch roof. So L got the roof rake and started using it from the upstairs hallway window, but it was tough going. The snow was a combination of snow from the previous snows, the most recent snow and, while we were away today, snow that had slid from the upper roof. Heavy, wet, compacted, and standing about 4' high at the highest points.

So I got out one of the long-arm car window cleaners and started hacking and pushing with it from the bathroom window that also overlooks the porch. Then realized that wasn't going to be sufficient, but that the snow compacted quite nicely so I could make "ground" to stand on, and off I went to get a shovel. L joined me with another shovel once he'd cleared as much as he could with the roof rake from the hallway window, and between the two of us the roof is in good shape for tomorrow. And thank goodness for that, as I don't think I want to move much more tonight!
helwen: (Default)
...except for no main phone lines (first and second floor). The shop phone, which is almost never used, has a line that runs up to the house and it's fine.

Don't know how things are in town, although we know from WMECO's power outage page that quite a few people have lost power. Still, it's nothing compared to what's happened in NY and NJ. And of course, it isn't over yet for those for folks yet, either...wish I could help my friends down there :(


Oct. 29th, 2012 04:29 pm
helwen: (Due Consideration)
We're as prepared as can be for Sandy, and settled in for the duration. Made our last egg delivery yesterday evening.

Been interesting checking the power outage pages. The repair teams are out on the roads, trying to keep things going. I hope they'll all be okay. Storm is definitely being felt up here, and this is just the leading edge. Eye is supposed to make landfall around 8:00 p.m.

Take care, folks!
helwen: (jug)
L and I missed it entirely. We were at the Greenfield Farmers Co-op taking advantage of their customer appreciation day (generally only happens once a year). Maybe it happened when we were getting the feed loaded? Hm...

Anyway, glad everyone's okay!

Next up is Hurricane Irene. Currently slated to make landfall in North Carolina, from what I've heard.

Likely all we'll get is rain, but best to check your food, water, and lighting supplies. Hm.... seems like a good reason to pick up some fresh fruit, if you haven't any of your own. I need to pick peaches tomorrow.


Jan. 29th, 2010 09:24 pm
helwen: (Default)
In case anyone around here hadn't noticed, there's a bit of wind outside.... I certainly didn't need the online weather alert to tell me that, with the wind howling and whistling, trying to rip the windows off the house. Worse than the last wind storm, as I can hear the trees nearby creaking and groaning, poor dears.

West and south of MA, there's a big messy, windy and wet storm plowing through, knocking down trees and powerlines. 145+K homes without power starting in Oklahoma and traveling eastward. I expect those numbers to go up, as that storm travels through the south, picking up moisture off the Gulf. Currently main body of the storm's expected to plow through Virginia.

One newspaper article I read today had a power rep saying that with all the damage it could be up to five (5) days to get power to those who were able to receive it. Not quite verbatim, but close -- in other words, some homes will be without power for longer than five days, because there will be no way to get power to them. Had that problem last winter too, I think? Hope people have learned and have better emergency plans this time around.

Be careful and be prepared, folks.


Aug. 21st, 2009 10:41 am
helwen: (Tower)
NOAA is soliciting opinions on what they should be doing for the next 25 years

In other news, an A/C is now installed in the bedroom because of this ongoing icky weather. Can't even make candy because of the humidity levels :P
helwen: (water drops)
... for surely the rain has been falling hard enough and thoroughly enough at times to remind me of some days when I lived in Hong Kong :(

L said just now that there's a forecast that we might be seeing a break in the rain starting on Sunday. I'll believe it when I see it.

Meanwhile, some of my potatoes can't drain well enough and are doing poorly. If we get a break in the rain today, we should get some hay and dirt to throw on top of them -- if they can survive long enough they might be able to start roots further up the stems and get above the soaking wet.

Might also be worth thinking about potting those rhubarb...


Well, could be worse. I could be living out there with them. So, housecleaning and re-org, and maybe even some sewing. My sore ribs and shoulders (staff work) and knees are relatively grateful for lighter duty as well today!
helwen: (water drops)
New England Rain Barrel

Sadly, they don't seem to have any pickup towns in western MA this year. But they do seem to have quite a few places in central and eastern MA. If you order a rainbarrel or two and arrange to pick it up through one of the towns they're working with, the rain barrels are only $72.95 each. They also sell some useful hardware, for if you're say, hooking two of them up together, quite reasonably.

Last year Greenfield was one of the towns and so we ordered two and picked them up on the appointed day. They were 60-something each last year but of course everything's gotten more expensive. Still, they're made from recycled plastic, are of food-grade quality materials, and work very well.

Could be a useful thing to have, especially if we have a dry summer (quite possible, given the weather we had this past weekend).

The company has arrangements with some towns in some neighboring states, so worth checking it out if you're interested. You can also order from them and pick it up at their main place, but it costs more for some reason (not a group order I guess). $119.95 I think -- which, if you do some searching online, is still not horrible, but.... Oh, and don't even think about having one shipped -- I did some research last year at a few companies and it doubles the price of the item, at least.

We'll be putting ours out, hopefully this week.
helwen: (Default)
Really, it is. Yes, lots of snow out there. Doesn't mean it isn't spring. It's just early spring. But the critters know, just ask [livejournal.com profile] calygrey, who posted about skunks coming out, and her birds have started laying. Oh yes, and the crows are back.

Here, the trees were tapped on Saturday, and as soon as the weather flips to warm during the day (soon) and cold at night again, the sap will be flowing. But the trees have been getting ready for a few weeks now, so we know.... spring is here.

We'll get to the green part of Spring eventually ;)


Mar. 2nd, 2009 11:00 am
helwen: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] nq3x gave me a picture today :)

Picture Here

Love it!

I'm doing better today, not as much coughing, and meds seem to work on it. L is not doing as well.... I expect heaving all those bales yesterday aggravated things :(

It's continuing to snow here of course. Also, windy. I do like watching the swirls of snow blowing up and off of the barn roof.... I have a nice view :)


Feb. 4th, 2009 09:21 am
helwen: (Default)
There's snow everywhere of course, but the sun is out too. We have the grey muck on the roads of course but with the wide expanse of the field and the difficult to climb hill nearby, most of our snow is still white and lovely-looking. Good thing I don't mind it much, since in a few weeks I'll likely be climbing that hill...

Feeling somewhat better today. Not as achey, and the cold or whatever it is seems to be more in-hand at the moment (for me a true cold is completely unresponsive to allergy meds, and this thing has sort of responded to them, so not a full-blown cold).

Maybe today I'll actually accomplish something...
helwen: (Default)
Roz had a rough night, which meant we had a rough night. Between the howling at 5:00 a.m. and my leg bothering me, I gave up on sleep an hour later. But I didn't want to turn on a light or use the computer, so I went into the living room and did some stretching, circling, and chi gong instead. You don't need a lot of light for these, and it was interesting watching the sun coming up. Then I thought maybe I would take a few pictures.

Here's a few photos, looking out from the living room )

L and I were going to go for a walk but first he had to plug the diesel tractor in so it could warm up enough to turn on and be used for plowing. The west door was out of whack -- L can write more about that. But it meant that we had to spend some time figuring things out, and I got the camera from the apartment and took a few pics, both of the door and around the barn. Then we went on a shorter walk, and got a few more pictures. I'll post some of those later on. Not the originally intended walk, but we were on the move for an hour, some of it breaking through a light crust so we definitely got some exercise!

Then back in for breakfast, and now L's out doing some of the plowing. Once he's done around the dooryard, barn, and the driveways out to the road, W will take over to do the sugarhouse and wood cutting areas. It was a bit windy last night, but the worst damage we've found so far to plant life is the lilac out back lost a branch. It should be fine though; it's pretty old but we pruned it back last year to give the newer branches room to grow. Come warm weather we'll take another look at it see what needs to be done to give it a good healthy shape.
helwen: (water drops)
Shutdown of Thermohaline Circulation - Wikipedia entry of discussions and research regarding likelihood of the ocean's current being shut down by too high infusion of fresh water, etc. Reasonable wiki entry, useful for better understanding of articles on climate change, etc.

Has a global map of the THC.

The Source of Europe's Mild Climate - regarding the myth that Europe's climate is mild directly because of the Gulf Stream/Atlantic Conveyor.
helwen: (me1)
Sunny out now, but very cold. We think the total for the weekend was 17" (drifting makes accurate measurements a little tricky).

[Edited for being stupid]
icicle picture, back of house picture and pretty picture )
helwen: (Woodsy)
Z and gf Megan won't be making it up for the family Christmas -- too much snow. *sigh* My SIL Doris and her husband Patrick won't be making it either as she'll ill. Nephew Travis will probably have to work, given the weather (plowing), which would mean both he and his gf Beth wouldn't be there. Despite all the certain and possible absences, there would still be 25 people, including one very cute little baby (I'm not a baby person generally speaking, but this one is actually not funny-looking and is quite cute).

William is out with the tractor, plowing the driveways for the farm. Town has been by at least once this morning. I don't know how much snow we have but it is at least 7" and snow is still falling.


Ashfield has a Solstice Celebration tonight. We didn't know about it in time last year, but will try to make it this year. Given the weather we'll see what the turnout's like. Juggler Meadow Morris is planning on being there - hope they can make it!

TIME: Gathering at 6:30 PM, Celebration 7:00 - 8:00 PM
PLACE: Ashfield Town Common
WHAT: Celebrating Winter Solstice with a Bonfire, Ancient Dance & Drama, Horn Dance, Morris Dancing, Songs, Stories

The flyer says meet on the Town Commons but I suspect some of this will be indoors.... not sure, guess we'll find out. And dress warmly, of course! Oh, and bring some change for when the dancers are bagging after their performances.

Ancient Dance and Drama will probably be doing the story of St. George and the Turkish Knight, a tale of life, death, and re-birth as well as some very cool sword dancing and much silliness too.

Laura, one of the ladies who run the hardware store, is definitely looking forward to it, even if, as she said, she just runs out to light a candle and then runs back inside for some cider :D


Sunday morning Oakstone was to meet at the Sunwheel, but it's looking more likely that we'll be holding that astrally, sigh. Supposed to be more snow coming in Sunday morning. S is going to try to make it down to the sunwheel anyway, around dawn.

I have gifts for folks in our group -- not required or expected, but I do like finding things. Got a particularly nifty find for the D-Man.


L's busy today already. He's helping Ma with the roasts, as they're quite heavy, as well as working on making oat farls and boiling sweet potatoes (prep for making the sweet potato dish is boiling them with their coats on).

I was going to be making whipped cream for the chocolate Yule log, but since Oakstone won't be getting together tomorrow. Hm.... maybe we can get together next weekend?

Jello salad is already done, completed that yesterday so it would be well set for today.

Wrapped all the presents yesterday. Will pop Z's into the mail on Monday.


I should see about getting some sewing done today. Family gathering isn't until 3/3:30ish.
helwen: (Default)
Checking weather news and read about the arctic wave that went through the northern plains/midwest this weekend -- wave entered Ontario area today. Phenomenal temps they were talking about. One shocker was the 30F drop in temp _in one hour_ in Missouri of all places. Hope folks in Canada don't get too much damage from this.

We're very fortunate here, that's for sure!

Okay, time to stop trying to catch up with everything and get more work done.
helwen: (Tower)
'tis Moving Day.

And an interesting day we had earlier, as I managed to pack and move some things, mostly up in the attic. L moved the heavier things of course. My mother called this afternoon with a bunch of computer techie problems (pretty easy stuff really, but she needs someone who's willing to repeat things several times without losing patience, and who can figure out what's going on from a very non-technical description -- L answered the one real software/security question, but now I know for future reference). Then we discussed a few book things, and then L came in and announced that it was snowing.

Snowing, and 48 degrees F outside.

Just a few flurries, but a reminder that we were going to be getting a hard frost tonight.

Plants are covered. More sewing accomplished. Kitties are settled finally. L is listening to ani-music - very cool.

May the new year bring you joy, good health, good company, lighter burdens, and illumination to light your way, wherever your path may lead you.
helwen: (Default)
No more fluffy snow, sigh. It's raining today. The car has a coat of snow because thankfully it snowed a few inches first; should make clearing it off tomorrow morning a little easier, having the snow between the car and the ice coating it's getting. Good thing William was able to get that load of wood to the new customer, and also more into the house (separate from the wood already inside, because it has snow on it and needs to dry out). L helped out with that of course, and even I helped a bit.

Do-It-Yourself Alternative Energy and Insulation Projects Site. And Go Romans!! )

Small But Awesome Water Use Thing )

Weaving, PT, Spinning )

And I should write up a report or two today as well. And somehow, maybe Thursday? I need to get out and shop for small thank-you gifts for the teachers for Saturday. I was hoping to find the asian market in Hadley last week, but we had to go all the way to Amherst instead. I'd really rather not drive to Amherst until Saturday, when we'll be picking up one of our folks to go to Novice Schola. I thought blank notebooks with an asian motif on the covers would be both useful and attractive, and appropriate to this time of year, of course.

Novice Schola is on Saturday. My class scheduler, Lady Kathleen, has been marvelous! And of course the Event Steward, Baroness Fiona, is right on top of things, and Luta and Lady Una as well. Our liaison, Lord Detharlion has been keeping us up-to-date on things at the church too, thank goodness. Now we just need the weather to cooperate, so that we can all get to the site and have fun teaching and learning all day!

Novice Schola Event
Novice Schola Class Schedule


helwen: (Default)

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