Notes from Windward: #66


Thanksgiving -- lots of pie and snow

     This year, Gina and Jacque got serious about making pies for our Thanksgiving dinner. In addition to the usual pumpkin and pecan pies, they made a traditional minced-meat pie--with real meat in it--and a new treat in the form of an apple-cranberry pie. It wasn't a recipe they'd found, just something that sounded like a good idea at the time, and which turned out to be very tasty.

pies ready for Thanksgiving dinner

     The picture above looks a bit cloudy because of moisture that condensed on the camera lens. The camera was cold, the kitchen was warm and humid from all the cooking going on, and hence the foggy appearance of the pic.

     Not a lot of progress to report since we've been continuing the process of getting ready for winter. The latest report is that we're in for a serious drop in temperature next week as a cold system slips down from Canada. Since it's a low pressure system, it will be drawing warm air in from the Pacific, and will pass on to the east relatively quickly. The weather systems that are a problem for us are the artic high pressure systems that come down into Idaho and send a steady blast of artic air at us--those can stall and sit there for weeks at a time.

     Still, it's another good reminder that there are still tasks needing to be attended to before serious winter sets in--and we're attending to those--but we're also taking time to enjoy an afternoon around the fire with a cup of hot tea, a slice of home-made pie and good company:-)

Windward lane in the first snow of the season

     We generally look for our first serious snowfall to come sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Well, this year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving we awoke to more than nine inches of snow, so it's safe to say that winter is officially here.

     The only concern we have with these relatively warm snowfalls is that they can put a heavy load on arched structures such as Vermadise. Our more traditional buildings have steep pitched metal roofs so they're good at sheding snow, but the arched buildings have a flat center that won't shed snow by itself.

     Later in the winter, when the temps are colder, the snow will remain loose and won't build up the weight the way that this warmer, damp snow can. And the greater concern is that the falling snow will turn to rain which will soak into the snow and make it all the heavier.

     And so, with early or late season snows, we're careful to take brooms and "sweep" the snow off as much of the roof as we can. The sweeping is actually done from the inside and feels to me like what the sport of curling must be like as they sweep the ice to control where the stone goes. In this case, we gently sweep the plastic thereby lifting the plastic some and helping to move the blocks of snow down to the steeper part where they'll slide the rest of the way off.

Vermadise with snow

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 66