“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's mighty cold.


The cold air mass we've been expecting has arrived.  There was one day of torrential rain, and as soon as that moved out it  was the new ice age.

So far, no power failures.  I took the truck into town, then couldn't get back up the mountain. The jeep trail is covered with dead leaves. The dead leaves soaked up the water from the rain, then froze. It's like a skating rink.  So the truck is down by the hard surface road until it warms up enough for that ice to melt. Given that it is now 19 degrees outside, with a high for today predicted to be below freezing, I don't plan on going anywhere.

As it happened, the trail froze over at the same time I was hauling three cats back from the vet. So I had to carry three carrying cages up the mountain, which meant three trips down to the truck and back. One cage per trip was all I could do. I had to get it done because I couldn't leave the cats in the truck, where they would have frozen.  After the second trip, the cold made me a bit woozy and I wondered if I was having a heart attack, but I had to go back to get the third cat anyway. If I had been, and I'd croaked, at least it would be a quick exit. When you quit doing things you have to do because you are all whiny and needy about your health, then you might as well check out anyway, and save other people the trouble of listening to it. Personally, I hope that's how I go, and not languishing in some hospital bed, laying there snoring with my mouth open and wetting the bed. That would be a terrible ending to what has been a very good life.


47 comments:

  1. I like your style my friend. I work at a hospital, and I do believe that would be the worst way to go.

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    1. Quick and on my feet, that's the ticket. Why spoil a good thing?

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    2. That's my preferred way too, although I always consider the old joke. "I want to die in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the other people in the car."

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  2. We had that rain here, and now the cold. I wore triple layers to get my 5 mile run in this morning.

    I have done that before - getting woozy from extreme cold. It was one really cold blustery winter day. REALLY cold. I was wearing snow bibs and a heavy jacket, but was still not warm. Anyhow, I had the farrier out to trim the horses' hooves. I was pregnant with the twins, but not very far along. I started to pass out and had to go inside to warm up. I was so embarrassed! I've been using the same farrier for 16+ years, so he was really nice about it.

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    1. I wish you had a running partner. You know what will happen if you go out running in this bitter cold and something goes wrong. It doesn't take long to freeze. I hope you have a darn good cell phone and coverage is consistent there!

      Sucking in all that cold air and getting tired hauling those cat cages is what about wore me out. Those cats are not light weights!

      I'm sure the farrier just wanted you to be safe. No need to be embarrassed.

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  3. I think you need an alpaca scarf - there's nothing warmer, and, pulled up over your mouth and nose would help to warm the air before it hits your nasal passage / throat / lungs.

    They say that alpaca is 5 -7 times warner than other wool :)

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    1. yak hair. nothing hotter, it is said.
      deb h.

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    2. Alas, alpaca wool is rare here, and I think Yak hair might be impossible to acquire. ;-)

      I do have a scarf my mom sent me, it's red flannel. I ought to start carrying it in the truck in case I have to leg it again. A scarf would have helped keep me from freezing, breathing in that cold air. Good idea, ladies.

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  4. Replies
    1. I think it may be worse up there. I watched Fox News today and the Weather Channel. People stuck in their cars, 40 something people stranded on some freeway in Minnesota or some such place. It's just really cold and icy here, no snow thank God.

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  5. I always say, "If you can't control it, enjoy it."
    Of course laying in the driveway, drooling, while trying to push a cat carrier to the house isn't fun for everyone so I'm glad you are all good.
    Next time use one of those red plastic sleds. If you can't get all the carriers into it you can at least haul ass back to the truck each trip :)

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    1. I've got a plastic sled that I use to haul groceries , kerosene or whatever I run out of from as close to the place as I can get on up the mountain. Didn't expect to have trouble getting back up because there was no snow forecast.

      I wouldn't have tried to push the cat cage up the mountain if I had conked out. I'd have opened it and the cat would have had a shot at making it home on her own. I'm a practical person. ;- )

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    2. You continue to make me laugh! Awesome!

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  6. It's cold in Nebraska to! I heard a teen an hour from where I live died from the cold yesterday. That made me wonder what he was doing out in it for so long. With you there's no where to go if you out and about. Here there are plenty of places to escape to.

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    1. It doesn't take long for the cold to get you, and when it does, your judgement goes towards the end. That's sad about the kid, I can't imagine what he was thinking being out in the cold.

      I have a sleeping bag in the truck and if worse came to worse I could just run the engine and stay in the truck until it got light, at least. But it would be very uncomfortable, especially with three cats in there with me.

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  7. 4 degrees here in Oregon with about an inch of snow on the ground that is frozen and sparkly. I agree about carrying on as best you can. I figure as long as I stay vertical I am OK. I can just picture you trudging up that driveway with a cat carrier....three times no less. A lightweight plastic sled sounds like a good idea. Keep it in the truck with a bungee cord. Great for hauling cats and groceries on the slippery slope. Stay warm.

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    1. I didn't anticipate any trouble getting back up, or I would have cancelled the appointment at the vets. The combination of rain, wet leaves and a very sudden major drop in temperature caught me by surprise. I've got some pictures somewhere of my wife and I hauling groceries up the mountain on the sled. I try to avoid that, it's a lot of work, but sometimes if the snow just stays on the ground, we wind up doing it.

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  8. You are a good man, Harry. There are some who would have just left the cats to their own devices.
    The first major snowfall dumped over a foot of snow north of where I live and the second tracked to the south. There are maybe two inches of snow on the ground with temps well below freezing. It is hot chocolate and good book weather.
    I have to agree with you in your choice of ways to depart this earth. I have nightmares about ending my days in a nursing home, drooling onto my bib and waiting for a diaper change. Those horrors are what keep me moving and staying as independent as I can.

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    1. When my daughter was a teenager, she sang in a choir. They sang at the old folks home in town, sometimes. My wife used to want me to go to be supportive, so I did. But I wish I hadn't, really.

      There was an old man here, who lived in a tiny little house next to a field he owned. He planted it himself and he was the last to plow with a mule. One day he was out plowing and he died, and the mule just stood there and waited til somebody came. That's the way to go, he was really old, but he was independent til the day he died and clear in his mind.

      Somehow, telling my wife I left her cats to freeze in the truck does not conjure up good images in my mind. Better, I think, to take my chances with the cold. ;-)

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  9. The older I get, it seems the winters get to me more. The bad part is that we are just getting started! Last year I cut my grass towards the end of March, from right now, that seems a long way off. Supposed to get to fifteen degrees here tonight, it should cross into the mountains about Thurs. A.M., so throw another log on the fire.

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    1. Cold and damp play hobb with my knees and wrists. It's harder to stay warm, too. I think older people just don't handle the cold as well. Things are fine as long as I stay inside, but I have to go out and pour boiling water into the animal drinking tanks periodically, which is no fun.

      I think your part of Tennessee is colder tonight than we are supposed to be. It's 19 outside , I don't know if it will get colder tonight but I hope not.

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  10. So glad you and all cats made it! Very true about simply doing what has to be done. And so it is with this kind of lifestyle.

    The frigid rain and air hit us yesterday, knocking all my color out of the trees and leaving everything grey and brown. Staying cozy by the fire tonight!

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    1. Leigh, I hope you and all your animals are warm enough. Especially the two pigs, since they haven't got much of a coat to protect them. This weather is tough on everybody.

      No leaves left here. Everything is stark and gray.

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  11. Harry,
    I am in the same/similar situation as you. Steep driveway that ices up and even with tire studs I cannot get up but, my driveway of 1/2 mile is off a paved plowed road.


    Chaining up was a PITA until I found these by Autp-Trac/ Run about $ 90 per set but they go on and off in less than 2 minutes per tire and no jockeying(?) the truck about. They come off just as easily. Pulled my butt out of several disasters as they are placed while the truck is stuck and poof, I'm no longer stuck.

    They come off with the same ease. Get these for both axles and you'll never leave your truck at the bottom of the hill again. Most times, I only put them on the front and drag the ass end along with me. with your steep terrain, maybe all four tires might be used as needed.

    They work in both Ice and Snow for me as my grade is well over 6-8%.

    http://www.amazon.com/Peerless-0154005-Auto-Trac-Tire-Chain/dp/B0091RCHQ8

    https://www.google.com/search?q=auto+trac+chains&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=Palemoon:en-US&client=palemoon

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    1. JeffG,
      Thanks for that link! I wasn't aware of that type of chain system. I just ordered a set.
      -Havenseeker

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    2. I've actually been looking for chains for the truck, so your tip is well timed. I hate putting chains on and taking them off, especially since there is almost no flat, paved space at my place. Thanks for heads up.

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  12. Theres a gas station a few blocks from me that has a sign over the door with the owners name. Its one of those non-national-brand gas stations....sole proprietor kinda thing. Guy has been running it for forty years because he was a Big Car Guy. Nice old Art Deco gas station from the thirties....you could tell the neighborhood grew up around it, it was so out of place. Couple years ago i picked up the paper and saw that the guy had died. Was out on a recovery, hooked up a vehicle to his tow truck, stood up, and died right there. *boom*. I thought "Awesome way to die. Quick and doing what you enjoy doing." It sounds corny to say it was a 'good way to die', but I really think that for him, it was.

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    1. I don't think that sounds corney at all. I think he grabbed the brass ring. My dad went out the hard way, and I don't want to be like that.

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  13. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    With your luck 'Harry, you will drop over dead in Nova Scotia trying to save a cat from being an appetizer for a Polar Bear!

    I guess kymber would have to plant you in the permafrost somehow?

    Personally I want to die with my 'boots on' charging into a hail of 7.62 by 39mm gun fire while sitting in a saddle strapped to a 400 LBS "Texas Feral Hog" riding into a mosque filled with Isis Islamic extremist's yellin' Yippie Ki Yeah' motherpluckers!

    if your going to go down, go down swinging.

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    1. I see how that would be ok, except getting shot hurts a hell of a lot, or so I am told by those who have experienced it and lived to tell the tale. Maybe you should catch a giant wave and ride it to glory like the movie Point Break.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Point Break! Point Break! Point Break!

      That's not a real good example of surf movies. It ain't real bad, but
      kinda hookey if you catch my drift.

      The best surf movie ever made was 'Big Wensday" by the director 'John Milnius who wrote the script for 'Wolverines' in 1984 and also who wrote the screen play for 'Apocalypes Now" in 1979.
      John Milnius is a former surfer from the 50's and 60's and knows surfers are not stereotypes like what people see on tv or in the movies.

      Harry' if you can dig up "Big Wensday" on the internet, watch it.

      Also of interest. The professional surfer at the end of Big Wensday, is Gerry Lopez.
      Gerry Lopez went on to star as 'Subiti the Archer in 'Conan the Barbarian' that also was written by John Milinus.
      (not bad for a surfer)

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  14. Oh Harry! if that was my Mr, I would be going spare right now. Like others have said please strap a plastic sledge to your truck just in case for the future. I bought my parents one of these

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GN63DZ4/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=479289247&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001QGUFDO&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=140EEJ97PT76JD4TGWA0

    they live on the side of a cliff and Eddie the Eagle would love to practice on it if it was his house. They also use it to take all the gubbins for the great grand kids to the beach. They leave it in the boot of the car and haul their shopping up to the house.

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    1. Sol, I will look up that address and see what it is. I am always interested in something to make life easier. What are gubbins?

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    2. ummm gubbins is slang for stuff? equipment. so the gubbins my parents take to the beach is towels, kiddies buckets and spades, picnic bits...

      www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gubbins
      general clutter, stuff, a collection or assortment of unconnected items.

      lol I will have to think before I type stuff. Hope you are staying warm and are nice and safe. Good thing you did the dog kennel thing with the straw bales.

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    3. Just improving my English vocabulary.

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  15. No kidding, I don't want to go out that way either. My husband says he wants to drop dead with a beer in one hand and a pork steak in the other! Glad you got up OK, that snow surprised us all here. They are not even carrying Salt at the farm supply yet.

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    1. Kathy, I think most of us would agree with your husband. Everyone wants to cash in their chips with dignity and not be a burden to the family or an object of contempt and ridicule. The bitter cold I had expected, but not the rain that preceded it. I just wasn't in the right mindset for winter this early.

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  16. G'day Harry,

    Send some of that cold down here, forecast for this coming Sunday 109.4 deg F!!! I suppose that means that summer is now upon us.

    Is that picture a frozen waterfall? I just can't get my mind around how cold it must be to freeze a waterfall!

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  17. Reminds me of that old joke "I hope I die in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming like the passengers in his car..."
    Seriously though, keep safe!

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  18. SGT, That's water on a rock face by the road. I've got to find a picture I took some years back of a frozen waterfall near my place . That was during a rare subzero period here. Sounds really toasty there. Wish we had a little of that heat.

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  19. Kev , I like that joke. Never heard it before. I am just taking things easy right now. Nothing earthshaking going on.

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  20. Dang that is cold! I used to think it would be cool to go-out riding an Enduro Race, but it's a big hassle for people to have to deal with and I'd more likely just hour-out, feel like crap, and beg coffee off a check-crew...

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  21. Harry,

    Glad to hear you were able to get all the cats back home after the Vet. visit.
    Do you have a wheel barrow, or a garden wagon you can leave down at the base of the mountain when you have to go into town and pickup things? This will help make life easier when the truck is full of items. It was cold here too, it snowed.....now the snow is gone. Tonight, temperatures are dropping again.....and the wind is picking up to about 48-50mph.

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    1. Warmer here tonight. it's going to get cold again this weekend.

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  22. AAARRRIGHT! Getting worried here. Everything OK?

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  23. Yes, just taking this easy right now.

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