Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cabin Fever

As Winter storms raged, and a massive arctic front (the "Polar Vortex") swept across the eastern half of the country, I remained largely holed up at our cabin. The snow accumulation often made it impossible to go out. I would have to wait until my husband Don could come home to plow our drive up to the house. And even so, local roads were often impassable.

Don plowing our road
Early snowfall
View from our living room - the side deck
View from the right side of my desk
Later as the snow continued to pile up
View from my desk
Getting my shipping done has been especially difficult, since we do have get postal service (we are considered "too rural"). I have to take go into town to the post office for that, about a 16 mile round trip.

My ride back from the post office last week (Clicking on this picture will open the video up in a separate window in facebook).

This past week was perhaps the most challenging, when the Polar Vortex descended rapidly across the midwest and north east, causing temperatures to plunge dramatically in our area, from the high (F) 40s down to - 40 wind chill in the space of 12 hours. I kept the wood stove going constantly as wind howled outside. The cabin groaned and popped from the stress of the sudden temperature drop, at times loud enough to cause me and the dogs to jump. When the trees around us became utterly frozen, the upper branches clattered loudly in the wind, like thousands of little bamboo wind chimes. I heard a few cracks and booms from the forest - probably limbs falling, or trees bursting from sap freezing too fast for the tree to handle. At one point during the night, I ventured to open the patio door for a peek outside. The clouds had cleared to reveal a stunning star scape overhead.

During the day or two after the arctic blast, I stayed indoors as it was still very cold out. I decided to work on stringing bead sets, and I have to admit to a bit of cabin fever crept into this task, resulting in some overly-elaborate bead stringing, a few bead sets verging on become jewelry (lol). I had to stop myself.

Leaf set with fancy leather cord and beads
Woodland Relics
A tropical-inspired set with fancy leather cord and czech beads
Urchin Bloom strung up with coordinating beads
Tribal inspired beads
A few stray Winter Owls crept into these strings, including the following storm-inspired owls...

I call this one "Snowmageddon Owl"
Winter Totem Owl
I got to hankering after spring and summer, and strung up these brighter-hued leaf and acorn sets. It felt so good to work in these sunny flora-inspired palettes!

Spring Leaf Totem sets
That about sums up my past two weeks of living in intense winter conditions and how I coped with it.

What did you do or make to survive the Winter Storms of 2013 / 2014? I'd like to hear!


  1. Holy cow! 16 miles to the post office! I am extra amazed now with how fast your shipments arrive. Your snow pictures are beautiful, but what a bear to have to haul all that out of the way just to do basic stuff. Never an idle moment! We move snow too, but living in town, the bulk of it gets done by the city. (And I'm two blocks from the post office!) We do get tired of having neighbors right on top of us, and listening to drunken (shouting) tourists stumble past the house on their way to their hotels (or pass out in the snow in the yard, as the case may be), and sometimes I think, ah, wouldn't it be nice to live in the forest somewhere, and then I think of all the costs and work involved with living in the backwoods in snow country. Takes some capital and lots of dedication! You guys have done a fierce amount of work.

    1. It's all worth it... as we get older we like more quiet and seclusion. Though I have to admit I sometimes miss the Big City Lights lol.

  2. Well, you can visit for some big city lights! lol You are a trooper to get those parcels mailed! I am in Tennessee and we had a bit of snow but it didn't stick on the roads. But we had temperatures down below 0 and that never happens here. I was thrilled when it moved on and I had no burst pipes! Thanks for the video. It was cool. :o)

  3. Wow! What a drive to the P O! Reminds me of upstate New York where I spent most of my life, driving snow, bitter cold. You certainly had some productive days! I spent mine with the grandsons. Their parents had to work and we decided that since it was so bitter cold outside, they should stay overnight at Mimi's house so they didn't have to get up in the morning. Lots of hanging out in warm jammies, board games, baking cookies and collapsing with laughter.
    I love all of your bead sets.

  4. Karen I had to giggle when you said your pieces almost became jewelry!! I know being rural is a challenge especially when mother nature desides we need a deep freeze.

  5. The views from your windows are beautiful. I love snow. I live in a place in the uk that gets a lot of snow and the roads often get cut off. Inconvenient and very cold but I love
    it. We haven't had snow yet -strange for this time of year- just lots of wind and rain resulting in flooding all over the country. Your beads are really pretty I especially like your leaf beads.

  6. You, my friend, are dedicated :-) I would love to live in seclusion like that, but at the same time I want to live in the heart of the city. It's all very confusing. What I don't want is to live in a suburb...our current condition. lol! Gorgeous beads that look like they want to live with me.


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