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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Cold weather and ways to keep warm

 Cullman,   AL

Like most of the country these last few weeks, here in north Alabama we have been hit by some cold, cold weather.   Fortunately we are not suffering as are folks in Texas and many other states.   

Having lived in NJ most of my life I am used to cold winters along with the snow.     For example, this is our old house in southern NJ.   We sold it to our daughter Terri back in 2009.  (She had since moved to Pa)  She took this picture only a few days after we left NJ in 2010 start our 7 years of full time RVing.

Yes we had snow here last week.   When it snows in the south everything shuts down.  These are pictures of our Alabama blizzard.

We woke to morning temps in the teens the last several days.   Today we expect to get up into the 40s.  Biscuit gets up every morning begging to be let outside.   A few of the colder, wet days he was happy to remain on his futon in my office.  But he is back now begging for the outside during the day.  Still loves what he consider his own room in the house at night.

Before it turned really cold in Texas and Louisiana etc. Len had talked to his brother Royce who lives in the Lake Charles area of Louisiana.   Royce was complaining about how cold it was there.  It was 62!  It was 27 here.   I do believe Royce now knows what cold really feels like.

The pond has been partially frozen over.   Still the ducks swim.   As the pond is in the front of the house and only about 20 feet from the road, the ducks are curious to what is on the other side.   The road is not a main thoroughfare as about a mile beyond us it turns into a one lane gravel road.   Therefore, the road is lightly traveled.  People who live on this road are used to seeing the ducks cross the road.  Our friend Judy tells us she has stopped and blown her horn to make them get out of the road.   Two weeks ago we put of these signs as a reminder.

The same day we installed the signs Len took down an apple tree that was in the front yard.   Each year it has produced apples however now it was mostly hollow and limbs were falling off.   Time to come down.   It took hardly a push of the tractor for it to topple.

We expected Boondockers to arrive today for a one night stay and another couple on Monday for one night.    The couple due Monday has changed their stay til Wednesday.  The couple expected today has cancelled.   Both say it is due the restrictions on their traveling due to the weather.  Todays couple said they can't get out of their driveway.

When we lived in NJ we installed a propane fireplace in the great room.  Leonard especially loved it.  How he could stand up next to that heat for a long period of time is beyond me.  Here it is.

We have been wanting to install one here.  This winter pushed us to do it.  We were going to install a propane fireplace but the propane dealer would not deliver to us as just the fireplace would not use enough propane to be worth it.   We thought about getting a 100 lb tank but that would mean we would have to get it into the truck and off to take it to be filled.

Len was talking to our neighbor up the street and Gary said he was connected to natural gas.  He lives on the corner of our road and main road so we did not expect there to be gas lines on our road.  Len called the local gas  company and a rep came to the house.   He told us the gas lines run pass our house and on to the large chicken farm down the road.   HOORAY.   

The gas company put us on schedule to run lines to our house.  In addition  they are giving us a gas tankless heater.  Wonderful as in this cold weather we are having  difficulties getting enough hot water to fill our walk-in tub.   And he suggested putting an infrared heater in our basement room.  This room is 26x26 with high ceiling.  The open steps leading down to it are between our living room and bedroom.  Sometimes we can feel cold air blowing up.  The thermostat is near those steps so would kick on due to the cold air.   This will also help  to warm our floors.

Once the gas company runs lines then we have a plumber to run house lines and connect us.

We purchased the fireplace from Lowes.  Of course we had to assemble it.  Easy to do.

All done except the logs.  That will be done once the gas company installs line and the plumber runs lines in the house.

That brings us pretty much up to date.

Until next time.  And stay warm.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

January into February

 Cullman,   AL

I am so looking forward to Spring.   Due to the weather, Len's not feeling his best and Covid most of our days are spent in front of the TV.   Len watching, me reading.

Len turned 72 in January.    We were invited to our son Lennie and wife Lois' for a lunch after church on the 24th.   They always ask Len what he wants for a birthday gift.  Always the same answer ..... coconut cream pie.   So that week we gained a few pounds.   The coconut cream pie plus cookies and cake sent from daughter Terri and hubby Steve.     His greatest joy was hearing from all our children and families plus grandson Justin who lives in Chicago and granddaughters Charlotte and Abby in Maryland.

We still host Boondockers but at a much less frequent rate than in October and November as RVers were leaving the north headed to Florida.   We expect to have lots of requests again starting next month when the opposite trips start.  We had one family from Chicago stay one night while on their way to Florida on January 31 and left the next morning.    They gave me these flowers on the 31st and they are still beautiful today February 9.

I had signed us up for the Covid vaccine about three weeks ago at the local hospital.   We waited and waited for them to call for an appointment.    At church on January 31 some people told us to check in at the local Health Department.   We went there the next morning at 8:30.   They gave us appointments for 8:50.   Whew!   That's done.    We go back on March 1 for the 2nd shot.  Then the next morning we get a call from the hospital regarding coming in there!  Too late.

My sister from NJ had planned on visiting for a few days in January.   But since she had been traveling and visiting  and we had not had shots, we all decided not to take the chance.  I was so disappointed.

There are several improvements we want to make here at home.   We need stone in one part of the driveway where puddles collect.   We talked to the person who had delivered stone a while back.  We were put on his list.   We didn't hear from him.   Come to find out, a tree fell on him and damaged an ankle.   He just got out of the hospital a last week.  

We also want to install either a propane or natural gas fireplace.  We had ordered one from Lowes that only ran on propane.   We ended up cancelling the order as we found out natural gas lines run at the end of our road, about 1,000 feet.  So Len called the gas company and we had an appointment last Monday for them to check out what it would take to get gas here.   They called that morning and canceled as there was a death in the mans family.   He is rescheduled for this afternoon.    

Yesterday we walked out to feed the fish.  Len looked in the duck house out by the pond and found this.

Elsie is not brooding (sitting on the eggs) at this time.  So we brought 6 eggs into the house to use, leaving 3.   We know to leave some because if all are removed she will nest elsewhere.   We are going to get some wooden eggs to leave.  Ducks aren't real smart.   This morning I checked and there were 4.  

I hope all is well with each reader and I do appreciate you still have an interest in reading this blog.

Until next time.