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Winter advice for people new to winter

 
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Just a few more nice day shots from yesterday. Today’s snowstorm makes yesterday seem like a dream.  There are tulips and crocuses  just waiting to pop up under all that snow.  First it all has to melt hopefully not too fast.
8642BF68-902E-4CED-8906-DC39DDE2A597.jpeg
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Shelter we built for little Valentine, unfortunately the bull uses it for his personal spa
D12364E0-8ED2-4376-A9C8-B77EF113CC76.jpeg
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Last summers calf
B12EF5CE-1196-4F13-887A-E0EC2A49CEA0.jpeg
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Some of the girls
3702D751-3295-486A-84CD-A75E373D2C05.jpeg
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Hope the bees survived.
 
pollinator
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Mary-Ellen, the pic you posted of your door is about half-way to a Newfie beer fridge  



The cans in the pic are from Nova Scotia and it says it's Canadian, but all the guys I know from the Rock call it a Newfie fridge.

I had some friends who lived in Labrador and, in winter, they'd get into and out of the house by the second storey windows.  
 
pollinator
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To keep water from freezing in the winter, I have a heated base that I plug in. We've had temps of -39 F this winter and it never failed us. It keeps water just above freezing no matter what the temperature is.
Here is a link to what I mean:
https://www.midlandhardware.com/186930.html?dfw_tracker=14396-186930&gclid=CjwKCAiAiJPkBRAuEiwAEDXZZb9tB8iZxW0QPnqDBfd4IRmuwFpi3QAO_ksoCTccb3f5bQTf4kxmPhoCvBwQAvD_BwE
On top of that , you place a metal chicken waterer, like that: [I'm not sure if a plastic one would melt, but I'm not going to try]. The base is never too hot to touch, so it *should* be OK.
https://www.midlandhardware.com/186934.html?dfw_tracker=14396-186934&gclid=CjwKCAiAiJPkBRAuEiwAEDXZZRwWj_vVS3jADd5JuWUyLZQzIwfBOgZmHJ-NBOx3iV1GFOuAVJ1F8xoCKc8QAvD_BwE
I built a stool of sorts for the entire contraption. it is a very simple 2"X 4" square frame with reinforcements [about 3'X 3'], about 10"off the floor. This way, if they want a drink, they have to jump up onto the stool, which is covered with 1/2"hardware cloth. If they poop on the hardware cloth, it falls through or stay on it. either way, no pooping in the water. (That is for adult chickens, of course. If and when I get baby chicks, it will not be when it is freezing, but either way, they will have to jump upon a lower one as soon as they feather a bit). Preventing them from soiling their water is 9/10th of the battle!
Atop the metal chicken waterer, I put a traffic cone. like this:
https://www.trafficconesforless.com/sport-cone-18-inch-red.html?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=TC&gclid=CjwKCAiAiJPkBRAuEiwAEDXZZc8xlV5qjlw5fBx-F30rzvdbaS93c6gsJEoyKoq0cxz3dma3kciQmhoCHukQAvD_BwE
This way, they cannot manure into their water: The traffic cone is very light so it could not injure them if they attempted to perch on top to do their thing. They never tried because of the very steep sides and the pointy top.
Mary Ellen, I hope all your hard work will bear fruit with the little Valentine, and I'm glad it survived.
We just got another 5" dumped on, but the temps will rise above freezing in a couple of days. This winter has to end soon!
 
Timothy Markus
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I've used a tin waterer heater for a few winters.  When it got below -20C I had to have two 75 watt bulbs on.  I ended up with that all the time in case one blew, but rough service bulbs are pretty good.  I used a plastic waterer on it with no issues, plus it's not conductive.  Make sure you ground the tin; I would bolt the ground wire to the tin.  I never let the waterer go dry, so no problems with too much heat, but a dry waterer on a two bulb tin could be worth watching.
 
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@R Ranson - and other members from the Pacific Wet Coast
The paper claims that we're stuck with another 2 weeks of below average and night temps below freezing. There is still treacherous, icy snow on the north slope into our field, but enough snow has melted that the geese have grass to eat.
This picture is OT - but it is to cheer us all up!
crocuses-coping-with-snow.JPG
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Hardy, determined, little plants - like we need to be!
 
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My chicken waterer did great all winter.  It's a 3 gallon heated water bucket from Tractor Supply.  I then made a wooden lid for it and hung it from the ceiling of the coop.  Since it's hanging they can't roost on it.

Then I got some chicken nipples (the kind that screw in from the side).  The heater in the bucket kept the water and the nipples unfrozen down to -29F.

Jay, please stop teasing us with your flowers .  Here's a picture from two days ago as we were getting 2.5' of snow off the house and garage.
Mar-8-2019-clearing-garage-roof.jpg
[Thumbnail for Mar-8-2019-clearing-garage-roof.jpg]
 
Jay Angler
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Sorry Mike. This week's the annual flower count in the Greater Victoria Region at the south end of Vancouver Island. Normally our lows are about +2 C at this time of year, and they've been 0 to -2 for weeks now. We will pay for it later - it's very hard to get the intense warmth that is required to ripen tomatoes when the average high temp in Aug. is 23 C (~73F), and the average low is 11.8 (53F). Normally we count on this time of year to be growing lots of cool weather veggies before the drought hits, but a few fresh from the vine tomatoes are hard work.
I'm well aware that the weather in the center of this continent has been pretty pathetic this year. Hang in there and hopefully the weather will settle down and spring will come!
 
Mike Haasl
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That's ok Jay, I was just kidding.  And whining a bit.  It was my decision to live here...
 
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Mike Jay wrote:.........  Here's a picture from two days ago as we were getting 2.5' of snow off the house and garage.



Yup.....ditto.  After the disaster posted yesterday, we were out shoveling off all of the shallow-sloped roofs that looking stressed.  Those with steeper roofs had snow just sliding off of them today.....which brings its own hazards of course.

At least the guy below never seems to mind how long winter lasts......
P1180395.JPG
[Thumbnail for P1180395.JPG]
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Just learned a new word: roovalanche. Heard it on TV the other day, and it makes perfect sense: It describes an avalanche coming from a roof. We used to have a regular asphalt shingled roof. Not only are shingles very heavy, the snow does not come off them. With the snow and the rain, we could always trust to find in the gutter a couple of handfuls of tiny shingle pebbles, to the point, after years of use, that we decided to change the roof. We opted for a metal roof, with a little texture, and dark brown.
We chose well in that as soon as the temperature climbs to 35 F, the snow slides right off. Yesterday, we experienced our 3rd 'roovalanche'. I must say, the noise is terrifying until you understand what is happening. You would think that the roof is collapsing. There is a very loud rumble as the snow slides off and falls to the ground below.
The big plus, of course, is that we do not have to shovel the snow off the roof. I did something similar on the "bee shelter": A 3 sided building opening to the south with a cheap corrugated transparent plastic like they use on green houses. [It was $17 a 4 X 8 sheet, so with 3 sheets, I had the roof covered]. Yesterday, it too had its "roovalanche". I had been concerned that it might collapse with the almost 2 ft of snow that fell, but when it warmed up just a little, the snow came down, so we only had the one foot that fell more recently.
Lesson learned: I'm not sure how many more buildings I'll build, but smooth and with a good slope does it. Dark in color helps as well, as the sun will start melting the edge and loosen the grip of the snow over the whole structure.
 
Mike Haasl
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I knew some people who upgraded their cabin roof from asphalt to metal.  The only problem was when the roovalanche happened (love that word), it dumped all that snow in front of their front door.  So when they'd come up to the cabin in the winter to visit, sometimes they'd have a 5' pile of snow to bust through to get into the cabin.  The back door had the same problem

They do make clips you can attach to metal roofing to hold the roovalanche in place if needed.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:I knew some people who upgraded their cabin roof from asphalt to metal.  The only problem was when the roovalanche happened (love that word), it dumped all that snow in front of their front door.  So when they'd come up to the cabin in the winter to visit, sometimes they'd have a 5' pile of snow to bust through to get into the cabin.  The back door had the same problem
They do make clips you can attach to metal roofing to hold the roovalanche in place if needed.



Yep. We have the clips in a couple of spots: One is above the front door, the other one is above the window in my office: There is a window well underneath where the basement is! That would plug it up easy.
The metal roof doesn't plug my driveway because the roof pitches left and right above it, but yeah. It can be a concern if you don't want the roovalanche to fall there!
 
pollinator
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I knew some people who upgraded their cabin roof from asphalt to metal.  The only problem was when the roovalanche happened (love that word), it dumped all that snow in front of their front door.  So when they'd come up to the cabin in the winter to visit, sometimes they'd have a 5' pile of snow to bust through to get into the cabin.  The back door had the same problem
They do make clips you can attach to metal roofing to hold the roovalanche in place if needed.



Yep. We have the clips in a couple of spots: One is above the front door, the other one is above the window in my office: There is a window well underneath where the basement is! That would plug it up easy.
The metal roof doesn't plug my driveway because the roof pitches left and right above it, but yeah. It can be a concern if you don't want the avalanche to fall there!



Might I suggest adding a vestibule roof above your doors to redirect the roofalanche to either side of your doorways? You may have to give it some extra heavy duty supports to handle the force of large amounts of snow.
 
Mike Haasl
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Yup, that would definitely work as well.  If you put on metal roofing and didn't realize this could be a problem, the clips can save your butt for a lot less $$$
 
Mark Kissinger
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Mike Jay wrote:Yup, that would definitely work as well.  If you put on metal roofing and didn't realize this could be a problem, the clips can save your butt for a lot less $$$



Until the snow load suddenly gives way when the weight overpowers the clips. The vestibule would avoid that problem, and would also put any icicles falls from melting/freezing snow out of harm's way. You only build it once, but the advantages last as long as the building stands...
 
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We have a large, high, metal roof that provides shelter for cars and fire wood, chicken coop, etc. in front of our earth sheltered garage. There are two ridges of metal "snow stop" that run across the roof horizontally. They are quite effective and even in heavy snow we have never had snow fall into the driveway below. They are only about 4 inches high and I am surprised that they work so well.
 
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A few tips I haven’t seen posted yet (but haven’t read every post thoroughly):

Carry a backup emergency kit in your vehicle.
- heavy blanket or sleeping bag,
- rain jacket and warm layer or a winter coat
- boots and wool socks
- water
- calorie dense non perishable food

This can help even if you are not stuck in the snow, whether you just get I invited on a spur of the moment hike or camping trip, or if you have to sleep one off when you really ought not drive.

On the original post by Raven, I grew up in Seattle and remember the once every couple years snowpocolypse that overcame the NW when we got over 2” that stuck. All rules of the road seemed suspended. Adults and children existed in polar opposite universes. With seattle’s hills, getting to work could risk the adult’s life on the unplowed double black diamond runs that were previously roads, while children reveled in a day off shredding the slopes on sleds, saucers and shovels. I saw multiple multisection busses skid down hills towards me as a kid as we played on the very road it was attempting to traverse.  It was a perfect situation to fall in love with the snow and never have so much as to get sick of it.

Spending a week slogging through 4ft of snow in the Siskiyous over a very slow 60 miles cured me of that notion. A torn groin and frostbite makes the snow less fun when you can’t get out of it. If you have a vehicle to carrry what you need to be comfortable enough no matter what, it seems worth it even if it prevents you from feeling the need to drive or hike through really bad weather or road conditions.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mark Kissinger wrote:

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I knew some people who upgraded their cabin roof from asphalt to metal.  The only problem was when the roovalanche happened (love that word), it dumped all that snow in front of their front door.  So when they'd come up to the cabin in the winter to visit, sometimes they'd have a 5' pile of snow to bust through to get into the cabin.  The back door had the same problem
They do make clips you can attach to metal roofing to hold the roovalanche in place if needed.



Yep. We have the clips in a couple of spots: One is above the front door, the other one is above the window in my office: There is a window well underneath where the basement is! That would plug it up easy.
The metal roof doesn't plug my driveway because the roof pitches left and right above it, but yeah. It can be a concern if you don't want the avalanche to fall there!



Might I suggest adding a vestibule roof above your doors to redirect the roofalanche to either side of your doorways? You may have to give it some extra heavy duty supports to handle the force of large amounts of snow.



You know, Mark, that is an excellent idea. I would normally do it, and on my hubby's workshop, I just might do that to provide some cover on the side door, which is rotting away anyway. I'll have to replace that door this year.
With the roof on the house, it is more complicated because the design was very poor: We have 2 valleys joining right above the door [so 3 slopes gathering there]. There may not be enough height above the door, even with the 2 steps to accommodate the continuation of the roof [it would have to slope still] without creating a sizable bathtub right above the entryway. The gutter there originally had a 3" spout! [they didn't want to mar the view, I guess, with a big downspout!]. So that was my first change. The big downspout went in and it helped... a little. That, along with making sure the gutter is clean at all times. They tried to spread the horror with a 5 ft gutter, an elbow plus a 2 ft gutter, and the only downspout  is at the end of the 2 ft. gutter. The roof is sloping, I would guess, at 30 degrees. Not the steepest, but when we have a good downpour [like we are due to get tomorrow] there is just no way to avoid the water from gushing almost 2 ft away and destroy my foundation plantings!
I was thinking of using a second downspout at the other end of the gutter, and change the gutter to the widest thing they sell. I like your vestibule idea because as is, we don't really have a mudroom and we get in directly on a nice hardwood floor. It will be complicated carpentry, but could be done. The downspout would still need to be very large, and since we have a concrete apron, that would have to be busted and a solid pipe would have to run under the concrete to a water garden. That is what I did with the original conduit leading the water away from the foundation: They had placed a perforated pipe! in sand! Of course, it got clogged pretty fast: The sand had no difficulty entering it. Additionally, it ran only 10 ft. [I know because I discovered the relic and had to lift it out of the trench, wet sand and all!] I made it 20 ft. and not perforated, so I could use the low spot for the water garden. I'm not a mason, so I'd have to farm the work out. For a mason, that is not a big job to bust an 8" wide path about 4 ft, then patch over, but I risk to be standing in line for a while!
As I was pulling the perforated pipe full of wet sand out of the trench, I reflected that they probably did that to the other 3. And indeed...  I fixed 2. There is one more on the south side.
Another improvement I'm planning is fastening some black or electrical snow melting tape so that water runs, probably all the way up and down the gutter to the water garden. That is a lot of backbreaking work, so I keep exploring options. I bought a garden barrel last year to see if I could capture *some* of that water for foundation plantings. Looking at what still goes over the gutter, I would fill in seconds in a good downpour. We are talking  forearm sized flow!
Well, at least, we may be out of the roovalanche season: Temps are expected in the 40s this week and I'm hoping we won't have too much snow falling until flowers come up.
 
Mark Kissinger
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:[

You know, Mark, that is an excellent idea. I would normally do it, and on my hubby's workshop, I just might do that to provide some cover on the side door, which is rotting away anyway. I'll have to replace that door this year.
With the roof on the house, it is more complicated because the design was very poor: We have 2 valleys joining right above the door [so 3 slopes gathering there]. There may not be enough height above the door, even with the 2 steps to accommodate the continuation of the roof [it would have to slope still] without creating a sizable bathtub right above the entryway. The gutter there originally had a 3" spout! [they didn't want to mar the view, I guess, with a big downspout!]. So that was my first change. The big downspout went in and it helped... a little. That, along with making sure the gutter is clean at all times. They tried to spread the horror with a 5 ft gutter, an elbow plus a 2 ft gutter, and the only downspout  is at the end of the 2 ft. gutter. The roof is sloping, I would guess, at 30 degrees. Not the steepest, but when we have a good downpour [like we are due to get tomorrow] there is just no way to avoid the water from gushing almost 2 ft away and destroy my foundation plantings!
I was thinking of using a second downspout at the other end of the gutter, and change the gutter to the widest thing they sell. I like your vestibule idea because as is, we don't really have a mudroom and we get in directly on a nice hardwood floor. It will be complicated carpentry, but could be done. The downspout would still need to be very large, and since we have a concrete apron, that would have to be busted and a solid pipe would have to run under the concrete to a water garden. That is what I did with the original conduit leading the water away from the foundation: They had placed a perforated pipe! in sand! Of course, it got clogged pretty fast: The sand had no difficulty entering it. Additionally, it ran only 10 ft. [I know because I discovered the relic and had to lift it out of the trench, wet sand and all!] I made it 20 ft. and not perforated, so I could use the low spot for the water garden. I'm not a mason, so I'd have to farm the work out. For a mason, that is not a big job to bust an 8" wide path about 4 ft, then patch over, but I risk to be standing in line for a while!
As I was pulling the perforated pipe full of wet sand out of the trench, I reflected that they probably did that to the other 3. And indeed...  I fixed 2. There is one more on the south side.
Another improvement I'm planning is fastening some black or electrical snow melting tape so that water runs, probably all the way up and down the gutter to the water garden. That is a lot of backbreaking work, so I keep exploring options. I bought a garden barrel last year to see if I could capture *some* of that water for foundation plantings. Looking at what still goes over the gutter, I would fill in seconds in a good downpour. We are talking  forearm sized flow!
Well, at least, we may be out of the roovalanche season: Temps are expected in the 40s this week and I'm hoping we won't have too much snow falling until flowers come up.



I hadn't considered the predicament you are in. Good luck. Your rain barrel is probably going to fill up rapidly,considering the amount of flow you are getting from your rood surfaces. You might be able to store more water by connecting multiple barrels together, either at the bottom (to allow all of them to fill as one big tank), or by putting a pipe between each barrel at the top of the barrels to dill them up sequentially. Either way, you should try to calculate the volume of water that any one reainstorm is likely to produce, and size your outflow accordingly. considering the force of the water exiting your gutter-spouts, you have a lot of potential for rain water harvesting. Have you seen Brad Lancaster's books on the subject. I believe this site has a link to them somewhere.

Again, best of luck in fixing your problems.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mark Kissinger wrote:

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:[
You know, Mark, that is an excellent idea.



I hadn't considered the predicament you are in. Good luck. Your rain barrel is probably going to fill up rapidly,considering the amount of flow you are getting from your rood surfaces. You might be able to store more water by connecting multiple barrels together, either at the bottom (to allow all of them to fill as one big tank), or by putting a pipe between each barrel at the top of the barrels to dill them up sequentially. Either way, you should try to calculate the volume of water that any one reainstorm is likely to produce, and size your outflow accordingly. considering the force of the water exiting your gutter-spouts, you have a lot of potential for rain water harvesting. Have you seen Brad Lancaster's books on the subject. I believe this site has a link to them somewhere.
Again, best of luck in fixing your problems.



Yep. Amazing how much water we could harvest from a roof if we put our mind to it. Because I was curious about my roof, I had looked that up:
http://www.friendsoflittlehuntingcreek.org/description/roof.htm
If, in a one inch rainfall I could gather 623 gallons of water, yes, I would need quite a few rain barrels [Each is only about 50 gallons] I like that idea of joining rain barrels at the top so they each get filled in turn. Since we get 35 "of rain, that makes... drum roll: Over 21,000 gallons
Talk about Spring! Oops, this is the winter thread. My bad.
 
Mark Kissinger
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mark Kissinger wrote:

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:[
You know, Mark, that is an excellent idea.



I hadn't considered the predicament you are in. Good luck. Your rain barrel is probably going to fill up rapidly,considering the amount of flow you are getting from your rood surfaces. You might be able to store more water by connecting multiple barrels together, either at the bottom (to allow all of them to fill as one big tank), or by putting a pipe between each barrel at the top of the barrels to dill them up sequentially. Either way, you should try to calculate the volume of water that any one reainstorm is likely to produce, and size your outflow accordingly. considering the force of the water exiting your gutter-spouts, you have a lot of potential for rain water harvesting. Have you seen Brad Lancaster's books on the subject. I believe this site has a link to them somewhere.
Again, best of luck in fixing your problems.



Yep. Amazing how much water we could harvest from a roof if we put our mind to it. Because I was curious about my roof, I had looked that up:
http://www.friendsoflittlehuntingcreek.org/description/roof.htm
If, in a one inch rainfall I could gather 623 gallons of water, yes, I would need quite a few rain barrels [Each is only about 50 gallons] I like that idea of joining rain barrels at the top so they each get filled in turn. Since we get 35 "of rain, that makes... drum roll: Over 21,000 gallons
Talk about Spring! Oops, this is the winter thread. My bad.



Never hurts to "thimk ahead"! LOL!
 
Jay Angler
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

If, in a one inch rainfall I could gather 623 gallons of water, yes, I would need quite a few rain barrels [Each is only about 50 gallons] I like that idea of joining rain barrels at the top so they each get filled in turn. Since we get 35 "of rain, that makes... drum roll: Over 21,000 gallons

Yes, I've looked at all the snow and rain we've had this winter and truly wished there was some way to hold onto more of it for next summer's drought!
Rain barrels are really only much use if you have intermittent rain, rather than extended dry periods. I've got multiple barrels and stronger people than I, can actually move them onto the tractor forks, but unless we were to build a proper system that held the barrels at least 18 inches off the ground, it's *very* difficult to keep a siphon going and use the water effectively. The best I have managed is to try to redirect some of our water to areas where it will soak in as deeply as possible.
As Mark Kissinger said, "think ahead"! The snow isn't soo.... miserable if it means the spring grass will last longer into the summer.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Jay Angler wrote:Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

If, in a one inch rainfall I could gather 623 gallons of water, yes, I would need quite a few rain barrels [Each is only about 50 gallons] I like that idea of joining rain barrels at the top so they each get filled in turn. Since we get 35 "of rain, that makes... drum roll: Over 21,000 gallons

Yes, I've looked at all the snow and rain we've had this winter and truly wished there was some way to hold onto more of it for next summer's drought!
Rain barrels are really only much use if you have intermittent rain, rather than extended dry periods. I've got multiple barrels and stronger people than I, can actually move them onto the tractor forks, but unless we were to build a proper system that held the barrels at least 18 inches off the ground, it's *very* difficult to keep a siphon going and use the water effectively. The best I have managed is to try to redirect some of our water to areas where it will soak in as deeply as possible.
As Mark Kissinger said, "think ahead"! The snow isn't soo.... miserable if it means the spring grass will last longer into the summer.



Yeah, it is out of the question to move them when full. I installed a spigot very near the bottom of each and every one of them, with a regular garden hose attached. This way, I can water trees that are 100 ft or more away. I just need  the right hose length and I keep adding lengths if I have to. All I use is gravity: 3 of those 8"cinder blocks, arranged in a triangle will hold the barrel steady if well centered. The only requirement is that what you water must be lower than the spigot. I cannot usually drain the last 3"of the barrel. I could if I installed the spigot underneath the barrel, but that is not very workable. The water is just left in there until it rains again.
I like rain barrels also because the water will be held there and the cold groundwater will have a chance to warm up, so you don't chill your young transplants. If I want water that is richer in nutrients, I use a paint strainer. It is essentially a big mesh bag. I stuff it full of comfrey and wait a couple of weeks. Hold your nose because this stuff is powerful!
Because the barrels I use are very sturdy,[Thanks, makers of Coca-Cola syrup and other strong barrel makers] they can be left out full over the winter and will not burst. I made the mistake to use one that was not so sturdy and it ballooned outward at the bottom. It is not leaking but is perched perilously like a tower of Pisa on 3 cinder blocks. I have 2 sturdy ones out right now. For winter, you just must make very sure that the spigot is shut TIGHT and hose removed and drained, of course. The barrel will be OK since the sides are vertical, but any water in the spigot will freeze and burst the spigot. Otherwise, drain it in the fall and store it upside down, spigot wide open and be ready to place it under the downspout to harvest the first of the snowmelt.
If you are in a critical zone for drought, you can bury a cistern, but that is big engineering and big bucks, plus you would need a pump to retrieve the water.
 
Mary-Ellen Zands
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We are having a major issue with snow and ice on the roof.  Since yes it snowed again!  All last night.  Yes it looks like a winter wonderland but now I’m getting tired of this.  It was supposed to rain all night, that didn’t happen.  Spent the last 2 days on the metal roof of the house. Shoveling ice and snow off.  Afraid of the rain that’s in the forecast. On the news the last couple of days, they are talking about all the roof cave-ins in the area.  Don’t need that extra headache!  Trying to be proactive.  On our metal roof, we had these brakes installed at the bottom edge. Because we didn’t want the snow coming down in huge heaps and blocking the entrances to the house and damaging the trees and gardens that are close to the house.  
Well now we can’t get into the house via the garage or the garage door.  The piles of ice and snow are about 8feet high!  

Another problem on the north side of the house is ice curls.  They come crashing down on the deck and do a lot of damage to the kiwi vine and structure that are growing there.  Of course to the deck too. We’ve had to rebuild reweld metal structure from last year when it became all mangled.  So hopefully now I can stay on top of it by attacking the curls piece by piece from the bottom.
Ice-curls-coming-from-roof.jpeg
Ice curls coming from roof
Ice curls coming from roof
Kiwi-looks-so-pretty.jpg
Kiwi looks so pretty
Kiwi looks so pretty
 
Mark Kissinger
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Mary-Ellen Zands wrote:We are having a major issue with snow and ice on the roof.  Since yes it snowed again!  All last night.  Yes it looks like a winter wonderland but now I’m getting tired of this.  It was supposed to rain all night, that didn’t happen.  Spent the last 2 days on the metal roof of the house. Shoveling ice and snow off.  Afraid of the rain that’s in the forecast. On the news the last couple of days, they are talking about all the roof cave-ins in the area.  Don’t need that extra headache!  Trying to be proactive.  On our metal roof, we had these brakes installed at the bottom edge. Because we didn’t want the snow coming down in huge heaps and blocking the entrances to the house and damaging the trees and gardens that are close to the house.  
Well now we can’t get into the house via the garage or the garage door.  The piles of ice and snow are about 8feet high!  

Another problem on the north side of the house is ice curls.  They come crashing down on the deck and do a lot of damage to the kiwi vine and structure that are growing there.  Of course to the deck too. We’ve had to rebuild reweld metal structure from last year when it became all mangled.  So hopefully now I can stay on top of it by attacking the curls piece by piece from the bottom.



We had a similar problem following a blizzard in Colorado. I used to have a picture of the wind cornice almost touching the ground, but my stupid MAC seems to have eaten it. (I can't seem to find anything on it anymore!) I only have the less dramatic photo of the aftermath when the whole thing collapsed. The cornice almost touched the drift seen in the shadows on the left. Where the snow fell was like a tunnel formed by the snow cornice.

I REALLY HATE MY MAC!
Fallen-Snow-Cornice-12.24.2006.jpg
Fallen Snow Cornice 12.24.2006
Fallen Snow Cornice 12.24.2006
 
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Time to wake this thread up again!
Question: I'm driving my dad's 1995 Ford F250 diesel truck these days. When exactly do I want to add diesel gel stuff to the fuel? Does it hurt the truck to do it too soon? I have to start that truck tomorrow morning, it'll be around 40 degrees, do I add it today? I started it yesterday at about 37 degrees and it did it, but was pissy about it, was very hard to make catch, blew a lot of smoke that looked like steam: white, not black or blue. Do I gel it yet? Daytime temps still is the 60s, but nights are chilling down. Haven't started plugging it in yet. It is an old truck too, very very high mileage, if that matters (current mileage shows 277,526 me and mom both remember dad telling us it had turned over, many years and places apart, so we know it's turned at least twice. Dad took the actual mileage to his grave with him, unfortunately.)
Thanks!
I think I'll get the glow plugs checked on that beast before it gets totally cold. That might not be helping, I don't recall if we did it last year or not. I know we discussed it, and I replaced the block heater.
 
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I like to keep a cordless blower in the car, to deal with the regular dustings of flower blossoms, tree leaves and the occasional light snow.

About 20 years ago my parents pretty much adopted a Rwandan Tutsi named Pierre. He was very new to winter when he decided that he needed to drive an absolute wreck of a car north of the Great Lakes and across the Prairies to Calgary Alberta, in the dead of winter. Only good luck and the kindness of strangers prevented him from suffering the same fate as Sam McGee.
......
Edit.  The poet Robert service lived in the Yukon Territory, so he knew something about cold. He eventually migrated to my fair City, Victoria British Columbia which has the warmest winter weather in Canada. Here's his story about Sam McGee.
.......
The Cremation of Sam McGee

BY ROBERT W. SERVICE

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

      By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

      That would make your blood run cold;

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

      But the queerest they ever did see

Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

      I cremated Sam McGee.


Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.

Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.

He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;

Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."


On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.

Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.

If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;

It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.


And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,

And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,

He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;

And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."


Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:

"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.

Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;

So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."


A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;

And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.

He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;

And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.


There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,

With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;

It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,

But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."


Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.

In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.

In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,

Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.


And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;

And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;

The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;

And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.


Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;

It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."

And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;

Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."


Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;

Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;

The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;

And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.


Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;

And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.

It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;

And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.


I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;

But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;

I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.

I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.


And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;

And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.

It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—

Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."


There are strange things done in the midnight sun

      By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

      That would make your blood run cold;

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

      But the queerest they ever did see

Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

      I cremated Sam McGee.
 
Jay Angler
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@ Pearl Sutton - Hubby says, "When it's cold, often a diesel engine will only start on 1-2 cylinders and the white 'smoke' is unburned fuel from the non firing cylinders. If the truck has "summer fuel", if it gets down to 20F you'll need jell, but if your fuel supplier has "winter" fuel, it shouldn't need gel." He suggested that the glow plugs are a likely problem from your description. He also said it's really complicated, and that's just the simple version, so hopefully some other knowledgeable permie will speak up.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Jay Angler wrote:@ Pearl Sutton - Hubby says, "When it's cold, often a diesel engine will only start on 1-2 cylinders and the white 'smoke' is unburned fuel from the non firing cylinders. If the truck has "summer fuel", if it gets down to 20F you'll need jell, but if your fuel supplier has "winter" fuel, it shouldn't need gel." He suggested that the glow plugs are a likely problem from your description. He also said it's really complicated, and that's just the simple version, so hopefully some other knowledgeable permie will speak up.


Tell your hubby thank you, that makes sense.  I think the mechanic probably has notes on whether we did glow plugs or not. I should have his bill around too. If they weren't done last fall, it's been at least 5 years for them.
I suspect the gas station is running summer fuel too, this cold snap was unexpected, and way early.
 
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When I ran a diesel, the glow plugs were half the issue. The other half was the wiring - the various connections between the battery and the plugs themselves. Each connection takes a wee bight out of the voltage and current sent on the to plugs; if the connections are not good, the wee bight turns in to a big chomp and the plugs don't get enough power to do their job well. IIRC, the want to draw 30 or so amps.

The latest (and last) diesel I owned was an '86 which did me good until maybe 2009, so I don't know how the "newer" models control their plugs. There is a Plan to it, a sequence of power to the plugs for a calculated few seconds, then, in some models, another shot a few seconds after the engine fires. Or not - makes and models differ. But I've read many folks just put a starter button or relay into the circuit to control the plugs directly. If you do that, you need to know what your plugs will "take" because they are _not_ designed for 5 minutes of burn; you _can_ burn them out quick and easy and that's a real painful expense. Read up on the plugs and system in your make/model/year if you reach the point of overriding the plug control system (people did that because in some vehicles, the control system itself was more finicky and prone to trouble). I did run a button, and used it regular, on my '82 Nissan station wagon diesel (drove that through 2008 or so, sold the engine with free packaging included, around 300k miles - the body about fell off). It wanted anywhere from 6 seconds to an absolute maximum of 15 seconds on the plugs. The higher number always kept me worried, but on 0F. days, it needed some encouragement; it lived outside and I never got around to plugging it in. Always started up and ran good after warm up.

I _like_ diesels. Treat them right and they keep going good and pretty much ignore the weather. But you need to keep up on the few items they depend on. Good fuel, oil changes, filters. And every 200-250k mile the injector pump wants replacing. On the old ones, anyway - don't know about the new ones.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Time to wake this thread up again!
Question: I'm driving my dad's 1995 Ford F250 diesel truck these days. When exactly do I want to add diesel gel stuff to the fuel? Does it hurt the truck to do it too soon? I have to start that truck tomorrow morning, it'll be around 40 degrees, do I add it today? I started it yesterday at about 37 degrees and it did it, but was pissy about it, was very hard to make catch, blew a lot of smoke that looked like steam: white, not black or blue. Do I gel it yet? Daytime temps still is the 60s, but nights are chilling down. Haven't started plugging it in yet. It is an old truck too, very very high mileage, if that matters (current mileage shows 277,526 me and mom both remember dad telling us it had turned over, many years and places apart, so we know it's turned at least twice. Dad took the actual mileage to his grave with him, unfortunately.)
Thanks!
I think I'll get the glow plugs checked on that beast before it gets totally cold. That might not be helping, I don't recall if we did it last year or not. I know we discussed it, and I replaced the block heater.



Good for you to be a bricolagier, but you certainly have gotten your money's worth out of the beast! Before too long, it may start to nickel and dime you to perdition. It is tempting to add just one more repair, but all these repairs add up to a lot of dough that might be better spent on a new good truck. If it is "pissy" at 37 F, I hate to think of what it will do at -40F. You may find yourself in a position where you absolutely have to have transportation [like to a hospital] or just to a warm and safe place for you and your kin, and find your transportation wanting.
As a retired teacher who never got rich, I have never paid for vehicles "on installment": As soon as I have a new vehicle, I started a fund for the next one. $20 here, $40 there, adding to the pot each month regularly enabled me to just walk in when my old car was on its last leg and pick what I want out of the showroom,  cash.
The trick is knowing when you will NEED a new ride. That is not easy and my hat off to you for making it last so long. Don't get me wrong: I have made every car last 8-10 years and did my share of 'fixing up'. This one trick [starting the purchase of the next vehicle as soon as I had one bought] has saved me tons of money over the years: More than the new car or the repairs, it is their "installment plan" that kills your finances. In an installment plan, you are buying "convenience", sort of, and nothing else.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson: thank you for your reply :D We  have other cars, this one is more reliable than another one that is younger than it. My dad took great care of it, my brother in law was a mechanic, and Papa's truck always got excellent care at his shop. We have a 2016 car that consistently runs, the truck, however, carries stuff that we don't want in the new car :)  I have never gotten a car loan in my life, and usually have more than one car.

"Slightly pissy" is why I asked when the gel needs to be added, that cold snap was early, I don't usually put it in until it's consistently cold, and I plug it in too. I have never figured out if it's bad for it to be gelled early (or late into the spring.) If it had been seriously evil, it would have been at a shop, I only do minor things to the the diesel, gas engines I'll happily gut and rebuild, but I don't want to mess up our best truck, the other one is definitely moody. :)
 
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MUD FLAPS:  When did these become optional???  Just did yet another trip where it was not the precipitation (rain) that was the issue, but the massive amounts of water turned into clouds of vapor beneath the tires of the preceding vehicles.  The bigger the vehicle the more water is flung up in a never ending, mushrooming cloud of water vapor, severely impacting visibility.  I find it shocking the number of vehicles that no longer have mud flaps; and consider this a serious safety issue.  Your thoughts....
 
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Man, Lorinne, I hadn`t thought about it but it`s entirely true. And it seems like at least where I am, most cars are a bit up off their wheels and the spray goes out way far. Yet another thing to add to me "newfangled cranky-making" list.
 
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I think the mud flap issue is probably a fall down by the government.
In the USA it depends upon which state you are in, Arkansas for instance, has no law about mud flaps except for the Over the Road Tractors and  trailers.
My personal preference is to have them just out of courtesy to drivers behind me, if for no other reason.
They are great at stopping rocks stuck in the tread from slinging back into another vehicles windscreen or head lights.
My vehicles all have them, even though they aren't all the way to the road surface, they do work quite well I've noticed.

(we only have one that isn't lifted at least 4 inches)
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:MUD FLAPS:  When did these become optional???  Just did yet another trip where it was not the precipitation (rain) that was the issue, but the massive amounts of water turned into clouds of vapor beneath the tires of the preceding vehicles.  The bigger the vehicle the more water is flung up in a never ending, mushrooming cloud of water vapor, severely impacting visibility.  I find it shocking the number of vehicles that no longer have mud flaps; and consider this a serious safety issue.  Your thoughts....



When you are riding a motorcycle during or after a rain and a truck does not have mudflaps, you had better keep a safe distance from it. Unfortunately, if you are going in the opposite direction, you have no time to prepare and you can get seriously destabilized. On 2 wheels, that can be deadly. I ride a Can-Am now but yes, I'd like to know why some trucks don't have mudflaps. Even in dry weather, BTW: I was following a truck without mudflaps and I figured on passing it so I got closer. That truck went in the gravel and I got a shovelful of gravel tossed my way. Not a pleasant experience. there are many good reasons for mudflaps. Please keep them on!
 
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Someone told me it is newer cars (most of us don't have those, haha!) because it is not included on the newer vehicles. I didn't mean why don't "you" have mudflaps, I just wish they were considered a safety requirement, like seat belts or headlights, and were standard equipment...
 
Mike Haasl
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I'm guessing mud flaps reduce fuel efficiency so that might be why they're disappearing...
 
Jay Angler
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Mike Haasl wrote: I'm guessing mud flaps reduce fuel efficiency so that might be why they're disappearing...

I was thinking that myself, but what it means is that we need mud flaps re-engineered so as to be both useful and streamlined.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mike Jay Haasl wrote:I'm guessing mud flaps reduce fuel efficiency so that might be why they're disappearing...



That is an intriguing idea and it has the advantage of being logical. But for a different take, I found this interesting tidbit:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a9302/these-mud-flaps-can-help-trucks-slash-fuel-costs-15839470/
I do not know if it is true because it is counter intuitive and I'm no expert on this subject matter.
My take was that perhaps mudflaps encourage corrosion by creating more nooks and crannies where salt and sand can stick to vehicles' bodies. However, this too seems to be inaccurate:
https://www.carthrottle.com/post/wo49gkp/  tells you that:  "The particles that come in contact with the exterior and even the underside part can cause grime, stains and chip onto the paint of the vehicle. It can also ruin the paint and cause rust onto other metal parts on your vehicle. Mud flaps are made to protect the frame of your car from corrosion."
That was intriguing because it too is counter intuitive.
Determined to find the truth, I googled: "pros and cons of mudflaps" where I found an article that sums it all up in bullet points: [I winced at the article's title because it appears to have an "opinion before the facts" approach] but here it is: You be the judge:
https://www.partsengine.ca/t-buyersguide-whyyourrideneedsmudflaps.aspx
To me, the courtesy factor to have mudflaps is important, so I'm in favor of them: I've had windshields cracked because of stones kicked up in my face. *That* is more expensive than mudflaps, but in "the land of the free" we bend over backwards sometimes to let folks "do their thing". In my humble opinion, they should be standard on all vehicles.


 
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