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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party 2015 and Energy Giveaway Now

Vicki, at 2 Bags Full, is hosting her third Grow Your Blog Party. Sign up is here and sign up deadline is Jan 17...hurry! It's a great way to be introduced to new to you bloggers and your participation can be as full or limited as you want/need. It's also a great way to introduce bloggers to your blog...hurry!
Okay, I've officially become my parents. What's the weather like where you're located? Here, it's enough to make grown men cry and women stay inside. Except there aren't any men, grown or otherwise, around here so I'm the one crying...while outside doing chores. Last night temps were well below zero with wind chills 15 to 20 below zero. When it's that cold there's no keeping the house anything other than warm with a few chilly spots.  Fortunately, oil was delivered last night so I cranked the thermostats up to 64 F. Most of the time, they're kept at 60 or 62 which is very comfortable. I also don't believe in keeping a hot house because, when I work outside, it's best to be better acclimated to the cold so there's no hot/cold, cold/hot from inside outside or reverse. It also keeps me healthier or has over the past 20 years.

Although, I'm beginning to consider wearing Depends, when doing chores, this cold frigid weather, there's NO way I'm shucking my pants to take a quick wet when caught at the barn. (Is that TMI?) Besides, experience has taught me I'm too old to shuck quickly and my knees feel like shattered glass so there's not much quick getting to my feet again. I'm just telling you this as a public service announcement...if you're blessed, you'll get old some day. Seriously, I'm only being helpful here.

Prepping for winter is a huge job because it includes prepping the house, farm, outbuildings, barns, studio, sheds, water trough and all vehicles. When the job is done correctly, it takes weeks. This past autumn, I finished pointing the foundation...mortaring, meaning patching, the places where ever mortar has fallen out over the past one hundred plus years. It's not a hard job and, truth be told, I enjoyed it. Someone asked me (in a tone of voice that was, to my ear, more than a bit snippy and superior, "Well, did you use historically correct mortar?" I looked at this Simple Susan woman and replied, "You live in an apartment, don't you?" Immediately, she became indigent but it's the truth, isn't it? She doesn't have to worry about pipes freezing or mortaring the foundation or even replacing light bulbs in the hallway. All she has to do is call and complain which, I must say, isn't the least bit impressive. Not to me anyway. What is impressive (to me), is I taught myself how to mix mortar, apply it, how to take care of my vehicles...checking and topping off fluids...wrapping pipes and a myriad of other skills that make me proud of me and thankful to God.  Yes, I sometimes ask for help or for someone to teach me how to do something but my attitude is, I can at least try. If I foul up, I can always call in a professional.

One quick, easy, inexpensive energy fix is to use Duck Socket Sealer behind light outlets, switch plates and decorative plates. You would be *amazed* at the cold air that comes in around those switches and these little babies Stop. The. Cold. Wouldn't you know it...I only needed one or two and have most of the box left. If you'd like a chance to, randomly, win, leave a comment telling me how cold it is where you're living. And, if it's Florida (Rainey -  :)...), Hawaii or someplace else warm...don't tell me. I'd hate for something like that to come between our friendship.


So...let's see...we'll run this until Monday...'cause it's going to keep getting cold and if you need this enough to enter...YOU NEED THIS NOW! Monday, January 12 at 5 p.m. and, weather permitting, it'll be mailed Tuesday. So, you'll need to respond, quickly, to my request for your snail mail address. Now quick...comment!

Blessings ~ a fire in the wood stove, making the house warm as warm can be ~ easy, inexpensive fixes for energy savings ~ Duck Socket Sealers ~ skills ~ Vicki, 2 Bags Full ~ Grow Your Blog Party 2015 ~


  1. Well, it's 9 degrees F. with snow and wind, up from -14 F. early morning. I can't imagine going to the barn every morning in this weather. I think Depends are definitely the way to go. Lol. Stay warm! Off to throw another log on the fire.

  2. I laughed at your depends comments! I remember doing all the winterizing in the north. It is 36 in Texas Hill Country right now, supposed to be in the 21st tonight with freezing rain. That's cold for us!

  3. I feel a little of your pain, we bought a house older than yours! :D After our laundry room pipes froze last year we got that mortar done!!! No longer any north winds whistling under there.
    We don't have outdoor animals. Last winter made me appreciate that. Your house has almost 2x our square footage and we are also struggling to stay warm.I always dreamed of living in an old home, but it's expensive, work intensive and not always comfortable. I've enjoyed our experience. We're looking at smaller homes for retirement. You be careful!

  4. Definitely not that cold here, thank goodness. I don't like the cold at all. Takes a strong person to keep doing what needs to be done around the homestead in those conditions. We live in concrete buildings with no heat and often times it feels colder inside than out. I'm always in layers this time of year as whatever cold we do have just goes straight to your bones.

    Many people don't actually think before they speak, words just come spewing out of their mouths without taking into consideration the energy that others put into their daily lives. :)

    Sending warm wishes your way, Tammy

  5. "If you're blessed, you'll get old some day." Indeed. And shoot, go for the Depends, why not. Stay warm! ♥

  6. not as cold as you but we are pretty cold we were just below 0 this morning but all day even with the sun-finally showing up-we were minus 16 wind chill. and cold here too for the next several days.
    but lucky me no animals to take care of outdoors except for the wildlife and I do bundle up and give corn and keep the birds fed.
    my house is really cold too we have no back up system just a woodstove at either end of the house-so the house is around 60 degrees-I agree I think it is healthier than a super hot house too-hugs and stay safe and warm Kathy

  7. It was a whopping 10 degrees this morning in Michigan. Those socket sealers would come in handy. I can feel the draft coming in through the sockets on the outside walls.

  8. Hi Sandra, well it's very cold here too but nothing like you have there on the farm. I love hearing of the preparations you take to get the house and homestead ready for a long winter. You are amazing!!! and could write a book.
    Even living just outside the city we have things to do every fall to prepare our home and outside yard for colder Texas days and nights.

    Wishing you warm winter days inside.
    Blessings for a great weekend!

  9. Well, yesterday it got up to a whopping 9F here, so that's been a big improvement over the minus-12F the night before. As long as the wind isn't blowing, I am grateful and try to bear it cheerfully, But I don't GRIN and bear it, because in this weather, that could be fatal! ;)

  10. Today we have sunshine and a whopping 10*!!! We started out below zero so we've had a good uptick in temp today. I know what you mean about not wanting to shuck down the pants in sub zero temps. Brrrr!

    Stay warm by that fire.

  11. It was 7 this morning and I admit Depends is on my mind too! Seems like every time I go to the chicken coop in this weather I gotta go must be the cold! It is so cold my hens aren't laying which doesn't happen often! I keep my house at 70 year round, My arthritis just doesn't do well when it is colder in the house and I might could use these socket things on a few! Thank you for thinking of the rest of us. I have a neighbor like that woman and she never does outside work told her last time to put on some gloves and help, she shut up real quick!

  12. Working at staying warm here on the prairie. It's only 24 outside and that cold to me. The wind isn't howling and that helps. Another arctic blast is on the horizon.

    Blessings to you this new year,

  13. I live where it is usually not too cold, but this morning I've been walking my yard, camera in hand. I first noticed little icicles on my trash can. Then on all the vegetation. I'd covered the plants knowing the cold was coming, but was delighted to see this display. Not too much to do any damage. A light dusting.

    Anyway, not in for the Duck sealer - too many northerners that could use it. Just wanted to tell you I enjoyed the read. And 64 in the house? I'd freeze to death.

  14. tonight is amazingly warm, 22, I'm sitting here with the furnace going, a space heater in front of me "(dread seeing the electric bill), 2 sets of clothes, and 2 blankets over me. no fun for a freezy squezzy like me, but then again that is warm, it was 2 a few mornings ago. hugs and blessings to you on the farm.

  15. I'm going to look for those Duck Socket sealers. What a great idea.

  16. Oh, Sandra dear, you make me giggle. We enjoy the same kind of humor. And I can't tell you how encouraging it is to me to read how you have taught yourself to do so much, to take care of things, to not wait and whine and depend on others, but to get AFTER IT :) Well, it's about 65º here and sunny, and I'm past the giveaway anyway - haha! Stay warm.


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