Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow days

We normally receive a lot of snow in the winter, and we are fully prepared to weather out the storm with a fully-stocked pantry, full firewood pile and lots of food for the critters.  Although this year started out pretty mild, we more than made up for it this week.
Wearing ice grabbers was the only way I could get around outside after 2 straight days of freezing rain.  They kept slipping off my feet, just as I was getting confident and down I'd go! I got tired of getting bruises, so tied them on with baling twine. (reduce, reuse, recycle!)
The freezing fog is so thick, it's almost impossible to see the barns or house.
Due to poor planning on our part, the large doors on the barn open under the side of the barn, right where all the snow falls off the roof.  So if we don't plan ahead and park the rigs snow-plow side out, we have to dig it out by hand.  Guess what I did this week?  ;-)
Had to knock the snow off the greenhouse, but it's pretty strong and held up well under the weight.
A momentary break in the weather.

Our poor tree!  When we were able to get to town, we were shocked and saddened seeing all the downed trees.
The snow was too deep to play in.  The 5yo came inside within 3 minutes, she kept falling down into the deep snow, she declared it 'NO FUN!'

Where did the truck go?

In order to plow, I had to dig out the truck, chain it up in a snowdrift, then slowly drive to the barn to get the plow.  Only took about an hour!

Had to dig out the path into the barn....planning ahead would have been a good thing.

Unhappy steer.

We were more fortunate than the rest of our neighbors, the electricity was out for about 4 days in the county, but we had more than enough from our wind generator and backup propane gen!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free ranging and the library

I love to read.  When I met my husband, he was shocked at how many books I would fly through.  Since I'm frugal (and speedy) it doesn't make sense to buy books, unless I really like them, so I've developed a wonderful relationship with my library.  Since we live out in the boonies, we rarely get to the main branch of the library, and instead visit one of our local branches.  I love living in a small town and I believe in being a free-range parent.  As a child, my parents let me roam wild, ringing a large bell when it was time to come home.  I spent many happy hours in the woods behind our house exploring and letting my inner tomboy run free.  I want to allow my children the same freedom.  They know to be aware of the dangers around them, but I do not want to stifle their adventurous side.  Also, how will they become self-reliant with me hovering over them all the time?

I've shared my love for reading with my children.  When we visit the library, I barely have the truck in park and the kids are out and deep in the stacks, deciding which new book they want to bring home and playing educational games on the kid-sized computers.  The librarians are wonderful, not only do they know my children by name, they also know their interests.

Last night we visited the new $38 million main library for the first time since they opened it last July.  It is gorgeous, although the parking situation could be a lot better.  We didn't actually go to see the books or check out the new building, but we were attending an event, ironically for a caucus viewing party for the only candidate who is for liberty and freedom.  I was standing in the foyer, and my girls were eyeballing the inside of the library with hunger in their eyes.  It was just too pretty not to explore!  I told them to take a quick look and let them go.  They didn't get more than 10 feet from me when a security guard came flying out to yell at me that my children were not allowed to be in the library unless I was with them at all times!  What?  Really?  They have a whole floor dedicated to children and children's activities!  They cannot be there alone?  From their website:  The third floor is dedicated to children, with an innovative Early Learning Center and tween area in addition to the children's collection and program spaces. 

So I'm left not only feeling angry that the guard yelled at me in front of 20 people, but that my children weren't able to explore on their own.  I love hearing about their findings.  I also have to wonder why there were any security guards in the library in the first place?   I guess we truly are becoming a police state.