Flexible Snow

>> Sunday, February 22, 2015

On Monday, February 16, we received over nine inches of snow.  I stepped outside and snapped a few pictures.  I took one showing the whole nine inches on the roof of our new woodshed.

Pix #1

Over the next few days the temperatures remained below freezing, part of the time even below zero.  Consequently there was no melting of the snow, just a bit of settling.  Friday night and most of the day Saturday we received rain.  This caused a bit of melting and more settling.  And, this all led to some unusual happenings.  With the snow becoming saturated with water that on the roof of the woodshed began to slowly slide.  I captured a photo of this on Sunday morning. 
Pix #2

With the whole roof full of snow sliding the expectation would be that the amount being pushed down would just fall from the lower edge of the roof.  Yeah, that was what I expected to happen anyway.  But, that wasn’t what occurred.  Here are a couple of photos, also taken on Sunday morning, of what did take place.

Pix #3

Pix #4

As the title indicates, the snow was very flexible, not breaking off and falling as expected. 


What Happened to 2014?

>> Wednesday, February 4, 2015






I know that there are some of you that check back from time to time, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I’ll put up a new post.  It has been a long wait.  All of 2014 got by without a new post.  So, what happened to 2014, or maybe the question should be, what happened in 2014.  Well, here in a “Reader’s Digest” or condensed version is the answer to that question.

In January we slaughtered and processed a cow for meat.  She was one that Darryl had for a milk cow for several years but due to some problems she was unable to conceive again and after over 2 years she had just quit producing milk.  She was a very healthy cow and Darryl did not want to ship her off to market knowing the way animals are often treated.  He made the decision that as she had been supplying milk for the family she would now supply meat. 

In February we had some work done on the car we had purchased in December of 2013.  We knew that the right turn signal was not working but figured that was just a flasher unit.  Wrong!  As it turned out it was in the switch, which one would think wouldn’t be too bad.  BUT, it was in the combination switch in the steering column that has all kinds of things in it, such as cruise control, windshield wipers and washer, turn signals, ignition, and on and on.  The dealer diagnosed the problem, for a price, and quoted switch and labor at about $725.00!  I told them I’d just have to roll the window down and use hand signals.  However, my regular mechanic was able to get an aftermarket switch and installed it for less than half that amount.

The last of March and the first part of April Connie and I made another trip to Texas.  As I have discussed here previously we are doing prison ministry, primarily within the state of Texas.  We spent three weekends, as one can only visit inmates on the weekends.  We had the opportunity to visit 9 individuals in 5 different units.  We were also privileged to be approved as special volunteers and able to go into 4 different units with the approved volunteers for services with the inmates in each of those units.  We were blessed to meet and address and visit briefly with about 70 men in those 4 units.  We were also able to visit 2 individuals that are now out of prison plus I visited once again with the 93 year old father of one of the fellows I write to and that we were able to visit.

Garry, Frank, Connie Apr 2014

                                   Garry, Frank and Connie

Late in April we made a trip to Indiana to visit our daughter and son-in-law.  We also were able to include a short visit to Connie’s sister, who lives about 70 miles from our daughter, in Greenville, Ohio.  We discovered that another of Connie’s sisters was also visiting from southern Indiana and it was a chance for the 3 girls to spend a little time together.

A memorable event occurred late in May.  I had been out for a walk and when I returned Connie informed me that there was a snake in the house.  She had discovered it in the window sill in the little alcove I wrote about in the post about the wall coming down.  However, when she left the room the snake left the window sill and she had no idea where it was.  We moved furniture and couldn’t find it.  We figured it would show up but knowing that and not knowing where or when made us both a little apprehensive.  Later in the afternoon one of the grandsons, Ramiah, came and helped Connie look.  He suggested that it might be under the china cabinet.  They pulled the cabinet out a ways and sure enough, there was the snake.  They called me in to catch it and carry it out of the house.  How did it get into the house?  There is a bit of a space under the screen door to the porch which he had to have come through and the door from the porch to the main part of the house was open. 

Since January we, Darryl, Ramiah and I, had been preparing for a 40 mile long backpacking trip in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  We were to be joined by Darryl’s brother-in-law, Steve, and his son, Joshua.  On June 22nd we drove to Cosby, Tennessee where we met Steve and Josh (they live in North Carolina). 

We began our trip the following morning on the Baxter Creek Trail, a 6.2 mile hike with a climb of 4200 feet up to a campground at the top of Mt. Sterling.  The next day was an 11 mile hike, which turned out to be our hardest day.  Climbing had been hard but nothing like much of that 11 miles that was downhill.  We were all suffering in one way or another.  The 3rd day was about 8 miles, approximately half uphill and half downhill.  I was experiencing joint pain in my right knee.  Steve was having some issues with energy levels, etc.  We decided to cut our hike short and come on out on the 4th day, only a 5 mile gentle downhill trek.  So, we ended up with a shorter hike, only 30 miles instead of 40.  But, all in all, we were pretty happy with our accomplishment.  Some of the others had done some backpacking but this was a first for me.  I’m ready to go again.

                                  Darryl, Ramiah, Joshua, Steve and me

                                               on the trail

After returning home on Friday, the 27th, Connie and I drove to Sullivan, Illinois on Sunday the 29th for the Pifer Cousin Reunion.  We returned home the next day


July 19th was our 50th anniversary.  Our daughter and son-in-law from Indiana, our son and his daughter from Illinois, and our granddaughter and her son from Wisconsin were all able to be here for that weekend.  We received quite a few nice cards and we are into the next 50 years now.


In mid-August we went to the fair.  Not just any fair, but according to Connie, the best fair.  That fair was the Darke County Fair in Greenville, Ohio.  Connie has often commented when we attended other fairs, including the state fairs of Illinois and Kentucky, they were not as good as the Darke County Fair she attended a number of times in her teenage years. Connie’s sister and her husband, who live at Greenville, attend each year and we began planning after our visit to their home in 2013 to go up for the 2014 fair. 

We drove up to their home on the 17th and went to the fair on the 18th.  We selected that day partly because it was “Senior Citizen’s Day” and admission was free.  And, the fair did seem to live up to Connie’s expectations.

On our return home we stopped by and spent a night and most of a day with friends we have known for over 50 years.  They live at Lancaster, Kentucky, about 100 miles from us.  We had a very good visit.

Early in September I built a new woodshed.  The current woodshed will hold only enough wood for one season and I really wanted one a bit larger.  But, the biggest reason for building one was to have my wood storage closer to the house and in a location that would ease putting wood into it.  The current shed is down a bit of an incline in the backyard.  I am unable to drive down to it so all of the wood has to be unloaded from the truck and carried down to the woodshed to be stacked.  Even with a hand truck or wheelbarrow this creates added work.  And, then when we begin using the wood in the heating season it all has to be carried up the incline to the house.

Connie wasn’t totally pleased with my choice of location for the new woodshed but it answers all of the problems with the old one.  It was placed at the front of our parking area in front of the house.  It is close to the house, I can back right up to it to unload and stack wood and it is large enough to hold 3 years or more worth of wood if it is ever filled.


Later in the month of September we receive word of two deaths in the families.  Connie’s uncle, who lived at Arcanum, Ohio, and one of my cousins living in Sullivan, Illinois, died the same day.  Her uncle’s funeral was held on September 22nd, so we drove up on the 21st and spent a couple of nights at her sister’s home.  On the 23rd we drove over to Anderson, Indiana and spent that night with our daughter and son-in-law.  We drove on over to Sullivan on the 24th, went to my cousin’s visitation that evening and the funeral the next morning, the 25th.  Following the service we drove on back home.

In mid-October some friends from Arizona were spending some time near the Kentucky Dam on Kentucky Lake.  We drove over and spent a couple of days with them and had a good visit.

On October 18th we discovered that our 20 year old freezer had quit working.  The food was beginning to thaw some, especially near the top and around the sides.  I drove over to Glasgow, Kentucky to the Lowe’s store that evening and purchase a new freezer.  Thankfully no food was lost.

Thanksgiving weekend we drove up to our daughter’s home once again.  Her two grown children from Wisconsin were there, along with our granddaughter’s little son and her boy friend.  Our oldest son and his daughter came from Illinois.  We took the two oldest grandchildren from here on the farm with us.  A very good time was had by all.

And, that, as I said, is the condensed version of what happened with us in 2014.


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