Sunday, December 8, 2013

Batten down the hatches!

Most people, when they hear the words "Winter Storm", prepare by going to the store to buy some bread, milk, and perhaps some batteries for that long neglected flashlight lying in a drawer. They pick up some cat liter to keep in the car for emergency traction and maybe a blanket but that's about it. Well, when you live in the country you have to take winter preparedness a little more seriously especially when you are homesteading.

For the last week our weather men have been trying to nail down the forecast for the winter storm that was headed our way. We knew it was coming so we started getting ready for it last weekend. My husband chopped wood and stacked it by the house in preparation for the cold weather that was headed our way the weekend before. Since the goats are in a pen that is moved almost daily, they were moved closer to the house so we could keep an eye on them.

Since we don't have running water I brought home an extra 20 gallons of water in case we couldn't, or didn't want to, get out. I did our grocery shopping before the storm hit so we wouldn't have to do it this weekend. I also got a charger, a deep cycle marine battery, and an inverter just in case it got really bad and we lost power. With the battery and the inverter we could at least charge the cell phone, tablets, run a lamp or the wi-fi so at least the kids wouldn't be completely bored. Plus having access to the internet would let us keep up on the news and storm conditions.

I didn't get a chance to pick up some hay for the goats before the storm so we headed over to our neighbors yesterday and picked up a bale which the goats were very pleased with. I also got over to the tractor supply store and picked up a Flock Block for the chickens. Most of them have refused to leave their coop with all of this snow on the ground. The block will give them something to peck at and provide grit for them. The geese don't seem to be bothered at all by the snow.

We ended up with about 3 1/2 inches of snow and no power outages. Our little wood heater has been keeping us quite warm and we added the cast iron tea kettle to add some humidity to the air. I have said before that homesteading leads to preparedness and preparedness leads to homesteading. If you choose the homesteading country lifestyle you need to be prepared to take care of most of your needs, at least for a short time, during these severe weather events.

The nice thing about winter storms is they do add a that little something that makes our everyday world seem a little more special.