Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy and Old Man Winter

  It's time to face it.  It's truly the end of the season, and even worse -- Sandy is on it's way to the East Coast. The reality is, the gardening season is over and the winter is coming; there's no stopping it.  So we took advantage of the warmer temps a few days ago and began putting away all of the outdoor garden objects that risk ruin if left out for the next few months.  My husband drives his lawn tractor with a trailer behind and we go around the yard loading it up with all sorts of odds and ends -- clay pots, garden decor, and lawn furniture.  They all must be packed away in a very tight space in our storage shed.  It's a big job, and it seems to get more difficult each year.

    Now, as we watch the weather reports with the rest of the country, we are also getting prepared to face some windy days which will reach as far as Michigan, 600 miles from the Eastern seaboard, coming from the "perfect storm."  We quite often lose our electricity;. it doesn't take much for that to happen here. There are old wires running from the Croton Dam and lots of trees, which always seem to be crashing into them.   In the year and a half we have lived here we have lost electricity on an average of once a month.  So since we moved, we decided to be more proactive about taking care of ourselves. Hurricane Sandy just points out to us all, how we should always be prepared.
     We now own a professional-sized generator which is wired directly to the house, we have 5 gas cans filled at all times, we have a stash of food in a room in the basement, we have two large water containers filled and ready for cooking or flushing if we should run out of gas for the generator, and several cases of bottled water for drinking. There is also a supply of pharmacy items.  And we could never forget my darling dog, so we also have a large bag of dog food.
     I have learned a lot about being self-sustained here in the north country. I think I'm ready for Hurricane Sandy and the winter to come.  Are you?

You might also like to visit my cooking blogs at An Herbal Bedfellow and my restaurant reviews at Grabbin' A Bite

Monday, October 22, 2012

Coyotes in Michigan

Last night I had a new experience. Coyotes!.
I have heard a coyote call before, even two of them howling back and forth to each other. But last night at 10:00 p.m., when saying goodbye to our company, we heard a pack begin to call and yip in the woods behind our house.  They seemed close but I am not sure how far their calls carry in the woods, so they may have been farther away than I thought;  even so, it was loud and unsettling.
About a half hour later my husband took the dog out (always on a leash, just for this reason) and he quickly came back in to get me. The howling had begun once again, but this time they were calling to other packs.  We could hear one pack n the woods across the highway which is only one street away. and the other pack was at the end of the cul-de-sac, a heavily wooded area also. We were surrounded by sounds of the wild.  Multiple calling and yelping back and forth from all sides.  It was absolutely amazing. Terrifying and thrilling at the same time.
These animals, though beautiful can be very destructive to small livestock, cats, and dogs.  But for the most part they keep the rodent and rabbit population under control and feast on carrion, therefore cleaning the environment.
I'll keep a healthy respect for my coyote neighbors, and will always keep my sweet little shih tzu by my side on a leash at night, but I can't wait to hear their wild night calls once again.

You might also like to visit my cooking blogs at An Herbal Bedfellow and my restaurant reviews at Grabbin' A Bite