Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ready, set, COLD...

My readers to the north - especially my Canadian readers - will probably find my idea of "cold" amusing. But here in North Carolina, lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's Officially Qualifies. 

At least we got some advance warning of the icy air that's settled over our area, so we had time to prepare. 

Here are some of the lessons on Preparing for Winter from our creatures - two legged and four-legged alike, as illustrated through pictures I've taken over the past three days:

1. Stock up on stuff(ing) for the house

2. Make sure there's plenty of food

3. Find a good book to read

4. Curl up with a friend

5. Put on your winter woolies

6. Break out the blankets

7. Make sure the quilts still work.


Andrea said...

This post is **adorable**

We have very little winter here. It was 77 today. *shrugs*

Morgan said...

I generally like fall and winter, even if it does increase my feed bill.

Christopher said...

There's something nice about the change of seasons, although here it seemed like it happened so suddenly. It was in the high 70's one day and suddenly dropping into the 30's overnight.

And the good thing about cold weather is you can always pile on more layers--whereas with hot weather you can only take off so much.

Morgan said...

Christopher, I say that *all* the time. There's just no getting cool when it's hot and humid.
And it did get cold fast, didn't it. I don't know if you guys got the rain we did ahead of the front but the icy air came in before a lot of the mud in the pens could dry up so now we have frozen mud that thaws out just enough midday to make it nearly impossible to walk through.
It was supposed to warm up a tad this weekend, but the forecast changed overnight and now they're calling for even colder weather.

Anonymous said...


Just arrived here via "Palin's Deceptions" and have to tell you "love your blog!".....this post is great for today....I'm in CO and we've got an especially cold day today....70 yesterday 30'ish and freezing rain today, brrrr!

I WILL be back....can't wait to look around :)


Christopher said...

Morgan, it did get cold fast, but we were spared the rain you got. It's been cold but dry here. A few trees have turned nice colors but a few went straight from green to brown.

Susan, I wouldn't wish freezing rain on anyone. We get too much of it here. And ice storms. Every winter I hope for at least one nice snow.

Morgan said...

Hi Susan, and welcome! And thanks for your kind words about my blog. It's pretty random. I might spend a week writing about sheep and then suddenly switch to politics. So if you like sharp turns, then you should enjoy reading here. I hope.

It's in the upper 40's today, a far cry from freezing rain. I agree with Christopher - that's the worst kind of precipitation, although I'd love to have a bit of snow. Every year we hope, but it never comes with the exception of a once-in-a-decade storm that dumps a foot on us.

Although it doesn't matter whether it's a foot or an inch around here. Just a flurry is enough to trigger some odd biological instinct to race to the store for bread and milk then drive straight into the ditch less than a mile down the road.

We are pathetic drivers here if there's any ice on the roads. It may be easier for us to just park our cars in the ditch when even the chance of snow is in the forecast. :-)

Anonymous said...

Morgan, Random is great!! I can def. do random ;) I've been so stuck in a political rut for the last bit of time that I could use a good dose of random.

regarding the freezing rain: This weather we are having in my neck of the woods is a little unusual. We usually have the nice fluffy, dry snow. This fall, not much of anything.....we've only had one little snow fall and today's drizzly, slush. I'm blaming McCain and Palin. They were fighting for Colorado pretty hard for awhile there.....I think they screwed with the weather patterns while they were here ;)

I'm originally from FL.....I'm a weather wimp....didn't do well with the heat and humidity and when it dips into the 30's here I'm under a blanket and in front of a fire with my critters! Although, I did a bit of "ditch diving" myself when I first moved here! Florida girl on snowy roads = one serious all-wheel drive car shopper!

off to make tea!


thimscool said...

The word "peace" is just an expression, used to say "bye" when it's time to jet...

We can do random...

Anonymous said...

yep, peace=bye or peace=no war ;) take your pick!

cool vid, btw!

peace (usually the way i sign-off ;)


Morgan said...

I dunno, Susan. If Palin had affected the weather, wouldn't it be raining Stupid?

My husband would love to move to Florida, but I told him I'm not going any further south. I'd love to live somewhere like New England. We've always said if we ever part ways it will be over geographical differences. And that may happen. I love the idea of dry, fluffy snow. Being from Florida I'm sure you're familiar with all the unpleasantries of southern weather - humidity, heat, hurricanes.

I don't drive so well in snow. Larry, being from northern climes, does. I've gotten a bit better over the years but generally if it's icy I avoid it if I can.

Luke, that was a good kind of random. Liked the song! And it's good to see you around. Hope all is well with you, the wife and those beautiful kids. I assume that Atticus hasn't made you send the baby back?

thimscool said...

Atticus and I have been discussing his trepidations about joining the workforce ever since I explained to him that there would come a time where he would be doing all the dishes. He doesn't wanna grow up!

Rosemary is a wrecking ball.

Christopher said...

Morgan, my parents live in Florida and occasionally call me to say it's dropped into the bitterly cold 50's. I like winter, though, even if we don't get as much snow around here as I'd like. And Florida's not all it's cracked up to be. I don't have a problem with alligators, but don't want to have to worry about losing my pets to one. Or having to deal with wild hogs tearing up my yard. So there are trade-offs with every place.

Morgan said...

Luke, please tell Atticus that growing up is mandatory, and that if he wants to avoid it entirely he can always become a writer. Tell him it worked for his Auntie Morgan, who is frequently chided by her husband to "Grow up."

I love your description of Rosemary as a wrecking ball. That's so appropriate for a toddler.

Lucas is into building things now. He's obsessed with anything scientific, especially trains and his favorite shows on television are "Extreme Trains" on the History Channel and "How It's Made" on Discovery.

It's funny how fast they come into their own and develop interests.

We did get some really bad news this week about one of the kids. My oldest son, Wesley, started developing leg pain as a teen. It was misdiagnosed as strained muscles from weight lifting. The pain would come and go but in the past months got really intense.

He went for an MRI and we learned he has two herniated discs, and the surgeon he saw this week has now diagnosed him with degenerative disc disease.

Wes will be 22 tomorrow. It's pretty tough to deal with, especially since he's facing surgery. The doctor said he doesn't want to do spinal surgery on someone so young, and we're going to hold off so Wes can use an inversion table for some relief. But he'll eventually have to have it because the doctor said his back is the back of an 85-year-old.

I try not to think about it too much. Wes is the kind of kid who - when I'd go see him on his day off - would suggest going to the playground and we'd play on the equipment and take pictures of each other being goofy. Now he's in constant pain and is pretty much afraid of asserting himself physically for fear of crippling himself.

I thought of blogging about it but everytime I started I cried, so I'll just tell you guys in the comments because I know the people who care the most here are the ones who comment.

We're all trying to stay positive, despite everything. Wes is a tough cookie and I feel like he's going to come through this, even if his days of hanging upside down from the monkey bars is over.

Morgan said...

Christopher, you can have Florida. And alligators. Larry used to have a huge reptile collection that included alligators and their even-less-friendly crocodilian cousin, the caiman. I used to watch them feed. The jaws are just unreal.

I respect alligators but would not want to live anywhere where they could come up into my yard. They used to be close to extinction in Florida, but the insistence of some animal rights type to move dangerous gators combined with the canal system saw some dangerous, relocated gators just finding their way "home" where they killed pets and even a few people.

I did an article several years ago on a colony of alligators at a local golf course. The photographer and I were near a nest and the mother rushed us. It was just for a few feet but you talk about having your heart in your throat...I will *never* forget that.

Besides hogs, there are a lot of other wildlife problems in Florida. So many exotics have gotten loose that now he state has problems with huge pythons that not only threaten the ecosystem, but also enjoy what cats and dogs the alligators can't get to:

Christopher said...

Morgan, thanks, but I don't want Florida. I'll leave it to my parents. I'm happy to go there and visit, but I don't want to live there. Oh yeah, and then there are hurricanes...As if the article link you provided weren't scary enough. Every time I've been down there I've heard about the devastation being done to the Everglades by exotic species. Giant Burmese pythons are bad, but I've heard there's a population of Komodo dragons there as well.

Being rushed by a mother alligator is pretty damned scary. When I've been down there to visit it's been in the fall. My mother always says it's a bad idea to visit during hurricane season, but she wants me to come during the spring--when the alligators are breeding. I don't want a pleasant morning walk to turn into sprinting for my life because some bull alligator thinks I'm moving in on his territory.

Morgan said...

Alligator mating season is actually interesting. The males make these really loud bellowing noises and do this thing where they vibrate the water around them. It's pretty impressive, really. I don't know how aggressive they are to other creatures during this time; I think mating is more on their mind than feeding and they'd probably be on the lookout more for other gators than for humans.

I'm skepitcal of the claims of Komodos in Florida. The first ones bred in captivity were by Trooper Walsh and I think that was in Atlanta. There aren't enough of those lizards in private hands to escape and populate. They're extremely rare and very expensive. Anyone who can afford a Komodo likely has the facilities to properly house it.

Smaller monitors, like Niles and Savannahs are running amock in Florida, along with lizards like tokays, basilisks, etc.

The stuff that ends up escaping and reproducing are the cheap, highly prolific animals.

Andrea said...

Morgan, I really feel for your son, that sounds terribly painful (is he taking anything for the pain?). I have a crappy left knee and that sucks enough, so I can't imagine being so young and dealing with that level of back pain. I hope he gets effective treatment from a good doctor. I know it's not much, but I'm pulling for him.

Andrea said...

As for the cold-blooded beasts...according to the reptile book I just read with my son, American alligator habitats are spreading - into Texas! Boo! Those things scare the shit out of me :(

Christopher said...

Morgan, I feel so badly for Wes. That's a horrible thing for anyone of any age to go through, but to have it happen so young is terrible. I know back problems aren't easily fixed, but I'm going to hope he can completely recover from this.

Morgan said...

Thanks, guys.

Wes is on a cocktail of medications, including Vicodin. I hate that he has to take stuff that strong and he hates it, too, especially since he experiences withdrawal headaches when he doesn't. He said last night that he's frustrated because he doesn't want to take the medication at work so he tries not to, but when he takes it once at home it knocks him out so it feels like he does nothing but sleep and work.

He recently got his first steroid injections, which were supposed to help but they didn't. Needless to say, this has been very difficult for Wes. And for those of us who love him.

thimscool said...

I thought I had back problems... ugh.

I'll do a shot in his honor tonight. I hope the surgery works out when the time comes.

You have my sympathy Morgan. I hate it when my kids get sick, and I can't imagine how bad you feel because of his pain.

I'm praying for you all.

Morgan said...

Yeah, it kind of puts my occasional aches and pains in perspective, too. If there were some way I could change places with him I would. I think it's so hard for him to feel so limited during what are really his most vital years.

Thanks for the kind sentiments, and the prayers. Both are much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Just had time to skim all the many, you people can talk! I love it!

Alligators! I was born in FL and lived there for 38 years before cutting the cord and moving to CO. I never had a negative experience with a gator, but know of people who did have pets go missing. I still can't drive by a lake without looking for the hump of a gator. Alas, no such luck in CO! It's a hard habit to break though ;)

Morgan, so very sorry to hear about your son! I know we feel the pain our children feel and want so badly to take it away. Sucks when we can't. Two years ago I had 2 horribly herniated discs in my neck....I had surgery (cadaver bone, plates & screws) and it was a huge success. It's very scary when talking about the spine, but amazing things can be done. Rehab is so important keep the supporting muscles healthy. I'll send out good vibes for your son and for you, the worried mom, too.

oh, i have a Lucas, too! A bit older than yours I think....14.....but just such a cool kid.

peace :)

laughingwolf said...

lol ;)

my sweetie lives in florida now, but just told me she's flying back to nc for xmas at her mama's, two of her four sisters live there as well, other two in florida

hey morg, how come ye never picked up yer award from my page? :(

[still writing my 50k word book, and when my animation software comes next week, will dive into it, too]

Lu' said...

Fantastic post. I so enjoy your photos. These captions are quite good too.