October Departs With Snow Showers As November Arrives With Sunny Skies And Cold

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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The end of October brought dire weather forecasts just in time for Halloween parades. Weather predictions were for thunderstorms and heavy rain so a lot of local Halloween parades were rescheduled. But, the weather turned out to be quite nice; no thunderstorms, no heavy rain. The parades went off without a hitch and the little ones got to go trick or treating in rather mild weather.

October 31st brought us our first snow showers and high wind. There isn’t a leaf left on the trees and a lot of branches came down. It’s that time of year when it looks rather gloomy even when the sun shines; bare trees and browning grass.

The bird feeders are filled several times a day to help the birds. Filling the feeders also brings in the Coopers hawk. It sits in the tree overlooking the bird feeders. That causes a lot of panic for the birds!

I took an inventory of my canned goods and decided I will make one more batch of preserves, orange marmalade. Otherwise, things are in good shape. Plenty of pickles, tomato juice, salsa, pizza sauce, and preserves including pumpkin butter, apple butter, apricot preserves and strawberry rhubarb preserves. I also have plenty of sauerkraut since the cabbage really seemed to like our odd summer weather this year.

One freezer is also loaded with beans, both green and yellow, strawberries and raspberries, peaches, green peppers and chopped onions.

Friends and I split a side of beef so we’re set with meat plus there is plenty of pork.

The wood racks are overloaded with wood for the wood furnace. John has been cutting a lot of wood and carrying his .22 rifle with him since he’s seen several coyotes in the area where he cuts wood.

And the propane tank was topped off. I only use propane for cooking and have the tank filled in early November because the drive is long, approximately 700 feet, steep and curving. There is no way a propane truck could make it up here if there’s snow and ice! The driver is always very grateful!

When I do my mental check list of things to do to get ready for winter, I can’t help but think what early Americans had to do to get ready. I know if I missed something, I can go to the store and stock up but in the early 17th and 18th centuries, they didn’t have that option. It would have been a matter of life and death.

Even though I like to have a big fire in the fireplace and do hearth cooking, it’s for the fun of it, not for keeping alive!

And if something should happen to the outdoor wood furnace, I have electric heat as a backup.

Old Man Winter, I think I’m ready for whatever you bring!

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