Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Few Bad Decisions

The bad weather came in, as predicted. We had cold rain all day Thursday, and in the evening the temperature dropped enough that the rain turned to sleet. During the night, I could hear it pecking against the window every time I woke. By Friday morning, the temperature was cold enough that the sleet transitioned into snow, and it snowed for most of the day. I estimate we ended up with about three inches of snow on top of maybe a quarter-inch of ice. Many people lost electrical power, but we’ve been fortunate so far that ours has stayed on the whole time. Temperatures are very cold. This kind of weather is unusual for this time of year. My brother-in-law did a little research and found that the last time we had anything like this was in 2000, when the state was hit with two major snow/ice storms in December. Continue reading

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Filed under Book news

Whatever the Weather….

The weather here was perfect today–mostly sunny and about 70 degrees. However, if the weather forecasters can be believed, we are in for major changes. Starting sometime tonight, very cold air from Canada will start pushing into our area. It will interact with the moisture in our atmosphere, resulting in some kind of frozen precipitation. The forecast is leaning toward freezing rain for the place where I live. I’m really hoping we don’t lose power.

Everyone is preparing for the worst. Several of my friends on Facebook have posted pictures of empty bread shelves at their local Walmart stores (one friend posted a picture of empty potato bins in the produce area). I stopped by the farm/ranch supply store today to get a heat lamp for my hens, and I saw a guy with a space heater in his cart and stood in line behind another guy who was buying straw to put in his dog’s house. Several schools have already cancelled classes for tomorrow, and it’s still 50 degrees outside.

I can’t help thinking how this would have played out in the lives of people in the nineteenth century. They didn’t have a weather forecast at 5, 6, and 10 with “Accu-Radar.” There were no email alerts, no Facebook posts with images of the seven-day forecast. How would they know to prepare for such a cold snap? I didn’t really notice any of the usual indicators of a future weather change in the sky, like mackeral clouds. So it very well might be that someone might go to bed and let the fire go out, only to wake the next morning to find the house is really cold. What could a person do but take it in stride?

Sometimes I think we really over-react to impending bad weather, but then again, it is nice to be able to prepare for it–mentally as well as physically.

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Filed under 19th century life

Corn Pone, Again?

Corn poneRecently, a woman who has read His Promise True was talking to me about the book, and she asked, “What is corn pone? Why are the characters always eating corn pone?” (In her defense, she’s a transplanted Yankee.)

I looked at that as a perfect opportunity to do some hands-on research into 19th-century life. I knew already that corn pone is a type of simple cornbread, made with only a few ingredients, which would have made it something people who were traveling would have been able to cook easily on the road. But I’d never actually seen or eaten corn pone, so I decided to make this my opportunity to do so. Continue reading

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Filed under 19th century life, Food