Tuesday, February 2, 2016


This little house where I live now was built in 1977 and has floorboard heaters, which Errol felt were not safe. Since I don't like them either, we made do with space heaters and the wood burning stove in the living room. I turn off all heaters at night and go to sleep under an enormous feather bed my friend Carol gave me when I first moved up here. So I didn't feel cold when I woke up this morning, even though it was 16F outside and 50 inside. 

But as soon as I got up, I realized how cold it was in the house. Since one of the two heaters in the living room conked out the other day, I knew it would be a while before the house got warm. I quickly turned on the other heater and built a fire, then went back to bed and had my breakfast. But the house would not heat up. We have had wind storms here for a long time it seems, the latest with gusts up to 70 mph; it has been unbelievable. I dressed in thermals and wool, but my feet were still so cold. No wonder, I slept in summer cotton socks. Then I remembered I had some very ancient raggsocks (a Scandinavian wool sock that really keeps you warm) stored somewhere. It has been so warm here in recent winters, I had to think to remember where they were. Once I found them and put them on, my feet were warm again. The raggsocks above are from Google Images. I know I complained about Google in my last post, but say what you will, you can find just about anything there.  

Last week, the CERT team from our canyon toured the Lehigh Cement Plant, located outside the city of Tehachapi. The lecture was interesting, but not sure about those filters to screen out mercury the tour guide reassured us about. A couple of years ago, they had a high emission rate of mercury, or so it said in articles at the time. 

But it was great to see everyone. Here I am to the left, holding on to my hat since the wind was strong. Our canyon CERT leader Dave, who with his wife Bernice arranged for the tour is to my right and the Tehachapi mountain range is behind us. And check out that magnificent cloud!

The cement plant employs around 110 people and has an interesting history going back to 1909, when limestone was first quarried and used to build the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Even though I drive by here all the time, I had not realized how huge the place is. The walking tour took a lot out of me, we stood around listening to our guide telling us about all the different buildings and processes; it was very windy, and when we went up (in an elevator) to the ninth floor of the tower, the wind was unbearable. Still, I'm glad I went, it was interesting, and I appreciate that our CERT leaders arranged the tour for us. At the same time though, I'm so happy I traveled when I was young. I think my touring days may be over......

Then these yellow clouds appeared the other day. You know I get the best clouds up here, but I've never seen any this bright yellow. Orange, yes, and these turned to orange after a while. They were so pretty, I wanted to share them.

And then the snow came and with it more severe winds. When I took the dogs out in the morning, one side of my road was clear of snow, then I stepped on to the other side and sank down in a snow drift way over my boots. But we love it, the dogs and I. 

This is Samson's tail after being out in a wet snowfall earlier this month. He just loves this time of the year. A true snow dog.

Only a few years ago, I know I liked cold and snow better than I do today. I still want it to snow and be cold, but I feel my age and I'm not as enthusiastic as I once was. Snuggling with Faith by the fire may just be more my thing now. 


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