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Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Colder than a Witch's..

A cantaloupe from last summer. A reminder that things
will warm up and plants will grow again.

It's cold today, colder than a brass monkey's balls.

Awoke to temps below zero and all the school's closed or at least on a 2 hour delay. I am wondering if the school's were closed/delayed because of cold or because of Superbowl flu? I doubt we will ever know the real story.

The plumbing is slowly freezing up which is a major bummer. So far the toilet has gone-we can manually fill and flush but the lines the bring water to the tank are frozen. the shower keeps trying to freeze up even with a drip going. The sink in the bathroom is the only thing that has not tried to freeze up in the bathroom. The water in the rest of the house seems to be A-OK.

Eugene has been in the crevices of the house making sure there are no holes bringing in freezing winds and has found several such holes both in the basement crawl spaces and in the attic. He also found a roll of insulation stuck back beyond the bathroom pipes and did stuff it into the the cracks and holes causing the pipes to freeze. He's also been trying to heat these recesses using electric space heaters and fans to blow heated air back into the crawl spaces where the water pipes are.

At this time last year we were heating with electric space heaters. Man, that would be brutal this year. We were barely able to keep the house at 59˚F last winter and had no weather nearly this cold. I know we would have had 100% of the water freeze on us if we were still heating with the space heaters as we believe the whole reason for the bathroom freezing partially is two fold.

1) We had a rat in the wall that has since become a frozen rat-cicle toy for the dogs (and he was a big sucker too) who moved the insulation around and chewed a hole in the wall near the pipes
2) We have not been keeping the house quite warm enough to stave of freezing of pipes. We like it around 60˚F. We now have the thermostat set to 64˚F which we are finding too warm but it seems to be keeping any more freezing from happening.

Soon enough the weather will warm up enough to start thawing things.

Eugene is planting some leek seeds today in 6" nursery pots as the Stella Natura tells us it is a good time to plant root crops and even though a leek grows above ground, because it is a close relative of the onions and garlics of the world, it is considered a root crop.

made a nice lunch from salad that we brought home with us from the party (most did stay at the Ferrario's, they do appreciate good salad greens, unlike too many Americans who think iceburg lettuce is good lettuce), snow peas from last spring I found in the freezer and a applesauce/yogurt/banana salad I made from applesauce I made this past fall, yogurt Eugene made from the raw milk we buy and consume, salad dressing made from dried herbs and fresh garlic we grew, local honey, plus olive oil, balsamic and rice vinegar I bought at Jungle Jim's and organic bananas from Kroger's. Here it is February, it is below zero outside and yet I was able to make a meal using 90% locally source ingredients (mostly things I put up this past summer and fall). Eating locally year round is quite possible with prior planning and preparation.


Chandira said...

Wow.. I used to have a bathroom that froze when I lived in Elgnad. No fun, is it. My toilet froze over one year. Luckily I had good friends.. lol

Ooh, I have leek and onion seeds, should I be planting them in starter pots already? OK. Thanks for the tip. I already started my asparagus going for the next 3 years' harvest away. 2010 seems like a long time to wait for home-grown asparagus.

Lucy said...


Since you live in Seattle you could be planting your onions and leeks outside in the fall and overwintering them with a bit of mulch.

My sister also lives in Seattle and has started some serious gardening already and it is Feb afterall and despite us midwesterners being locked up in snow and ice and frozen soils you guys are really in spring.

So YES start you onions and leeks!

Yoi do realize if you planted the asparagus from roots (not seeds) you can harvest up to 10% in 2008. Not much but a taste is better than no taste.

I find apsaragus to be one of the most stunning plants in the garden.