I don't usually look forward to Winter too much, but this year is different. No 40 mile commute on ice (with kids in the car!) gives me a whole different outlook! I am definitely looking forward to seeing our new place with snow for the first time! But, we also have a lot to do to get ready for the cold and snow, and to be prepared for the blizzards that we know we can expect to start in the next couple of months. After the 35 inches of snow those folks in Western South Dakota got a couple of weeks ago we know it's time to start getting ready!
Here are a few of the things we are working on to hopefully be prepared, some of them are specific to where we live and being on a farm or in a rural area, some are a good idea for anyone, and things we did years ago, even when we lived in the city:
-Making sure our generators are in good working order and that we have plenty of gas to keep them running for awhile. One thing we liked about this place was that it is already set up so that we can plug our generator into a central location and run anything we need on the whole farm.
-One thing we don't like: our house doesn't have a wood-burning heat source yet. Unfortunately, since we got moved in kind of late in the year we didn't get one put in yet so this year we will have to use the oil-burning furnace. The oil is very expensive, so we are planning to keep the thermostat set low and are using Edenpure electric heaters to keep it warmer. These are nice heaters because there are no hot places on them to worry about with the kids, and they heat a large area really well. By next Winter we hope to have our wood heat in, but this year we need to do some weatherstripping of doors and windows to try to save on the heating bills.
-Stocking up our pantry. Since once bad weather hits I won't be making too many trips to the store, we are getting the pantry filled up and making sure we have the stuff we may need/want between shopping trips. We do have a really small grocery store in our little town, which is not too far away, but prices are very high, so we'll only go there when we really have to. In addition to food that keeps for a long time and water, we also are making sure to have batteries, candles, matches, paper products, and any medications anyone in the house needs.
-Making sure the animal's heated water bowls are working so that we don't have to go break up ice out in the cold.
-.Getting heat lamps ready for the chickens.
-Making sure we have plenty of gas and oil for the chainsaws. We've had to cut up branches and trees in order to get out of our road quite a few times before, and with where we are now, we could easily have to do that on our own road as well as the County Road we have to take to get into town.
There are so many more things to get done, but it's a start!
It's a beautiful, sunny, 56 degrees out today, but i know when we wake up to snow I'll be glad I got us ready early!
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