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The sense of being stared at

I was walking a dog at the shelter today and ventured up the hill behind the building so we could really stretch our legs. Something caught my eye sitting on the hillside in the sun… at first I thought “wow, what an ugly cat” but then I approached for a closer look:

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He or she never moved, even when we got about twenty feet away, I almost got the sense I could have just walked up and nudged it and it would have fallen over like a statue. Of course, being an opossum, it might well have done just that.

I can tell it’s the weekend…

…Because it snowed like hell again yesterday, everything’s white, roads are terrible. If anyone needs me, they can find me huddled in front of our fireplace cradling my baby herb seedlings and waiting for spring.

We got off fairly easy, this time

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Ice encrusted fence

We awoke yesterday morning to a sea of snow, slush, ice, and freezing rain. It was also pretty chilly because we’d turned off the heat the night before so we wouldn’t have to worry about the heat pump seizing with ice.  I’d already rescheduled my service calls for the day, which were way up near the NC/Virginia state line, and planned to work from home, but at 7:00 AM the power went off so I ended up having to call in and take a vacation day. At least we’d been able to heat the house back up and make coffee before we lost power.

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Ever wonder what it would be like to be inside the Slurpee machine at a 7-11?

The shelter was closed due to the bad weather but Joy and I went in for a few hours and helped clean and feed. Afterwards, since downtown still had power, we went out for lunch and picked up a few things from Ingles, and this proved to be a great day to go to the DMV to renew the Jeep’s registration – no lines!

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Ice-encrusted trees

By the time we were home for the day the power had come back on. We were really lucky – as of today there are still over 15,000 people in Henderson County without power. We did have some problems with our heat; I knew I was going to have to keep an eye on the heat pump icing up and even bought a heat gun to be prepared for this, but besides having to de-ice it ever few hours we also had an issue where the furnace would not shut off. We ran the heat pretty much full out for most of the day, in case we lost power again, and when we did finally cut it back the motor just kept running. I went up in the attic and there wasn’t any obvious switch or cutoff, so I finally flip the switch on the circuit breaker panel. This morning when I turned it back on it seemed to be working normally, maybe we had tripped some sort of relay or something?

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Icy power lines. That green blur, I think, is some effect of water pouring down, the edge of a Tibetan prayer flag, and the camera flash. Or ectoplasm. 😉

All in all, the storm wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and for us, impacted life pretty minimally. The gas logs kept the living room nice and warm while the power was out (we shut them off while we were at the shelter, of course) and we didn’t have any big downed limbs or anything like that. We hope those without power have it restored soon. I suppose we do need to figure out a better long term solution for the heat pump icing issue – maybe build the roof overhang out a bit? Spending the evening babysitting it, running out with the heat gun every couple of hours, was a bit nervewracking. But then again, this has been a really unusual run of weather, not typical at all, hopefully next winter the El Nino will have passed.

Cripes, enough already!

Here we are battening down for more bad weather, not even a week after the last stuff hit. This time it’s worse, Henderson County is supposedly ‘ground zero‘ for some serious ice accumulation, and with the ground already saturated and the trees getting pre-coated with wet heavy snow right now, there will probably be a lot of trees coming down.

We’ve got fresh batteries in the flashlight, lots of candles, and have the thermostat set higher than usual to get the house good and warm because we’re going to have to turn off the heat pump overnight due to the risk of it freezing and seizing up. There’s a really good chance we are going to lose power, so if the blog goes silent for a few days, that’s what happened. If the blog goes silent permanently, then it means we lost power for several days and Joy is in jail for murdering me; I don’t tend to cope real well with long term cold and darkness, and she can only be expected to take the whining for so long.