Monday, December 29, 2008


Monday, December 22nd, we could not believe what we saw when we woke up and looked outside! Yet another 8 inches of fresh snow on top of the existing snow and ice. That's 18" from the ground to the seat of the bench!
We ended up losing our power and then Christmas came ready or not, so that's why it's taken so long to update the blog, not to mention it was just too depressing at first. Remember the tough little Japanese maple from the last post that supposedly just bends and doesn't break? Well...this is a topside view from the upstairs window at what's left of it. 8 more inches of snow on top of it's ice laden branches was just too much for it. Now that the snow has melted away from the base you can tell it just split in two! Rather than cry over the loss of my favorite tree, I'm excited, hoping this means that we will get our sun room after all, and God knew how hard it would be for us to ruthlessly cut it down so He made the first cut!
Because of low hanging trees and deep snow in the back of our property, we prayed the water in our holding tank would hold out until thaw... But unfortunately it didn't!
That morning with no power, unable to get through to the outside world at first with not even any cell service, not to mention stuck up on a hill, we were feeling very isolated indeed! So the picture below reflects how overwhelmed we were feeling.
Some wise guy wrote this sentiment on our car.


This is what we woke up to! Before we could even feed the cats in the kennel, Josiah had to blaze a trail through yet more downed Mimosa limbs.Finally, Carissa was able to get food and fresh water through to Samson and Abigail. Our birch trees are now half their original height!
That's our driveway!
Our wonderful neighbor came over with his power saw and helped Josiah clear the branches blocking the driveway, while Jeremiah, Carissa, and I hauled them back to the burn pile through snow over our boots! The same awesome neighbor also loaned us a spare generator when our electricity went out and ran a hose over to our holding tank when we ran out of water with no way to get the tank trailer out of the snow let alone haul it full up our hill! Another neighbor plowed our driveway. So by the end of the day, that helpless feeling was replaced with gratefulness, as God sent the help we so desperately needed. We feel so blessed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Well it's the 8th day of the white stuff, now with icing on top! We are trapped up here with about 10" of snow topped by ice, and it's still raining and 28 degrees at noon!
I'm crying as we assess the damages to our trees. This is one of our Honey Locusts, which is one of my favorites. It's so beautiful with its yellow spring foliage, and it's open airy branching providing filtered shade. Well, we'll just have to look on the bright side. There will be more sun for my iris!The Mimosa also suffered pretty severe damage. It was finally doing well after the damage it suffered in the 2004 ice storm! A good portion of it is blocking our sidewalk back to the garden and barn. It made it very tricky to get to the cats in the kennel to feed them! But look at the beautiful icicles hanging on its broken branches. Isn't it just like our Lord, who can make beauty out of the destruction in our lives? We just love photographing the Japanese Maple. It's a tough little tree, bending but not breaking with the weight of snow and ice. This may be its last snow and ice storm if we get to go ahead with building our sun room. I'll really miss it, and will definitely plant another one.
Oscar also had a tough time navigating in this crunchy stuff. It was comical to watch him break though the ice layer with each step and sink in almost to his belly!
It looks like we have a new arbor over our arbor! The birch trees' delicate branches always have trouble with the snow and ice. But those same lacy branches add delicate beauty to our "normally" rainy winters.


Photagraphs in this post taken by Josiah.


"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". It's looking like it's not going to be just a dream but a reality. Even if it warms up, I doubt all this snow will be gone by Wednesday.Josiah took these pictures. He took the first two just as it was getting dark. It must have been about 4:30 because the curtain lights hadn't come on yet.
As darkness came the snow just kept on coming down...
And down...
It didn't switch over to freezing rain until about 7:30 pm. I dread what will happen to our trees by morning!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Before putting on the boots and venturing out to take pictures, I took this one from the living room window.
As the sun started to come up, Josiah captured its reflection in the living room window.Mount Pisgah beautiful as ever with the sunrise barely illuminating its snow covered fields and orderly orchard rows. A cozy corner any time of the year.
If you like similes and metaphors, how about these? The sundial like a giant cake stand sitting on a carpet of quilted Northern, topped with a perfect 8" layer cake...iced of course! I know. I have a big imagination!


Snowy arbors.Flanked by a pair of dipped cones.
The wrought iron bench is transformed into a fine piece of upholstered Victorian furniture!
The Bonica rose still with some pretty pink roses peeking out from under the blanket of snow.


Since Dennis has the only vehicle that can be chained up, the rest of us are stuck up on this mountainside. Monday, while the snow was still dry and powdery Josiah and I were able to walk down the hill. We walked to the post office to say "Hi" to Dennis and then continued on through the park to get these two pictures.
The rest of the week was just too icy, with highs only in the 20's to attempt to even walk anywhere. Tuesday morning Dennis slipped into the ditch going down the hill to work...with chains on! Thankfully he was able to drive back out!
Wednesday morning while going out to get the paper, Carissa took these pictures of the icicles forming on the trees by the paper box.
From our kitchen window, Josiah got a picture of the covey of quail that came to eat the sunflower seeds I put out.


An early morning sun break creating shadows on the snow.
All my nicely shoveled walks are filled in again! So what used to be a simple trek can be quite treacherous, but there's no point shoveling again until it stops snowing.I'm not used to having to bundle up and put boots on just to go out and feed the animals and birds every morning. At least Oscar is willing and ready to come along and keep me company!
You know what? I think the gate needs painting. Didn't notice it so much before it snowed. Snow even makes white look dirty! Makes me think of Jesus' blood making our sins whiter than snow! (Isaiah 1:18) That's pretty white! You know that's what Christmas is really all about! Think of it...God humbling himself to come as a helpless baby so we could know Him personally. And the forgiveness of all our sins made possible through His death and resurrection. But just like the Christmas gifts we will receive, we can't receive His gift of salvation unless we accept it for ourselves.
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." John 3:16 (The Message Bible)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Josiah took these beautiful pictures this morning before we left for church. "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas"? If it stays as cold as expected, it's a very real possibility. The low is expected to be in the teens tonight with highs only the low 30's all week! However, in Oregon, snow is like manna. It usually doesn't stick around very long. We added new lights this year. Josiah put them on another maple and net lights on the boxwood lining the front walk. Runway lights!
The Walnut tree still had its lights on since last Christmas. We actually plugged it in for the wedding that was held in our yard this summer. We also added a couple strings of C7's to the little Blue Spruce in front of the kitchen window. It was finally big enough! Last year it just had little white lights. I love the multicolored C7's but we're hoping to replace them the day after Christmas with LED's for next year. December's electric bill is a killer! We actually save up for it ahead of time. This year since Josiah wanted to compete with the new neighbor, he actually volunteered to pay half! What a kid! You should see the top of our hill...lights everywhere! Competition can be a good thing.

Well enough fun in the snow. If we were going to get to church we needed to chain up. It's not the going down the hill that's so difficult, it's trying to get back up! In the 18 years we've lived here, we've had to leave the car at the bottom of the hill and walk up many, many times. You'd think after 18 years we'd finally have a 4 wheel drive...just not economically feasible.