Welcoming Spring (with snow)

March 21, 2012 · 10 comments

My Twitter/Instagram feed is full of folks bragging about unseasonably warm weather and photos of blooming cherry trees on this second day of spring. It’s nice to know that spring has sprung in other parts of the country.

We have snow. A LOT of snow. When people ask me if it snows in Western Oregon, I used to tell them that it usually snows one to five times each winter with little or no accumulation. This year, it’s probably snowed 20 times, and today, we’re snowed in with no end in sight. It’s getting ridiculous.














I overheard Henry talking on the phone this morning, and I could tell he got that question that I’ve had to answer many times, “Did you lose power?” He laughed. I laughed. I guess one of the upsides of living off the grid is that no matter how much of a pain our independent energy system may be, at least it’s pretty reliable no matter the weather. Our solar panels are under snow, but the generator has gas, and our battery bank is charged up, so we’re good.

In areas all around us, though, there are thousands of homes without power. My brother and sister in law live in Eugene with their new baby and some out of town visitors, and they lost power today. They’ve got food and water and plenty of board games, but their heat isn’t working, so it’s less than ideal.














Our driveway is a disaster waiting to happen, so we’re hunkered down at home today and probably tomorrow, too. In some ways, it’s kind of nice, but both Henry and I have things to do in town, so we’re looking forward to the melt.


























Exy the cat is pretty disgruntled about the weather, and the daffodils are taking a beating.














It’s been snowing nonstop all day, and at this point, we probably have at least seven inches of accumulation.














If nothing else, the kids got to have fun playing in the snow this morning. *sigh* Maybe I should take a lesson from them and quit being so grumpy about this stormy start to spring.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy March 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Oh, wow! The pics are beautiful and living off the grid is amazing, but I dont think I could take that cold weather. My mood directly corresponds to how much the sun is shining! Which is a decent amount of time here in South Carolina. Love reading your blog and more power to you (that was my attempt at being funny, haha). I know y0u have no worries about that.


Camille March 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Yeah, we have some dark days here during the winter, but the beautiful springs, summers, and falls make it worth it (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself).


David March 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

O bah humbug you guys, I know you’re loving it! Wheres the old fashioned toboggan? Those kids are looking a little too warm and dry! I don’t want to hear anybody in Oregon complain about a little white stuff until you’ve lived in a place where you just can’t even SEE the (dead) grass for at least 2-3 weeks after the streets are dry and you have to put on your nice clothes and go back to work…. I for one am super stoked that 2 inches is a snow day up in here!


Marta March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

Could you at some point blog more about your off-grid system? I get my electricity the same way – solar and “jenny” :) – but need to get newer batteries, since they don’t hold the charge real well. Currently researching options for panels and batteries. Also, what cars/trucks do you guys drive? Mine keep breaking down due to heavy off-road use or cold temps… Thanks for the informative blog, it helps me on dark winter nights to know other people CHOOSE to live like this too :)


Camille March 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Yeah, our energy infrastructure is a topic that I have plans to blog about someday, hopefully sooner rather than later. It very well may not be the ideal system for other folks, but we get what we need.

I drive a ’01 Subaru Forester, which I love (more here). Henry drives a diesel Dodge pickup for work and a 4 x 4 Mitsubishi Fuso flatbed for hauling hay/firewood/loads of manure/etc.


Marta March 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I can’t wait to read your off-grid post! We do great on sunny days, otherwise use LED X-mas lights, internet is Hughes, appliances only get used when jenny is running. Toast on top of the woodstove, fridge is propane.

Thanx for the car tip, I’ve been wanting a Forester too! We have an old Jeep with plow to get in and out (see header of my blog to give you an idea). Going from 3000 to 2300 on a steep dirt road in under 1 mile eats cars like crazy. 2wd Ranger is not really cut out for this road.

I also wondered about coyotes coming through and messing with your goats and chickens. How do you keep them safe?

Good luck, I hope the birthing is quick an easy!


Blair March 31, 2012 at 3:46 am

We are planning to build a barn for critters and when perusing your blog (I could linger here all day) I came across a picture in this post (last one) of what I assume is your quarters for critters. Can you direct me to other pictures or descriptions that highlight it? Cheers!


Camille March 31, 2012 at 8:23 am

Yeah, you should look at this older post http://waywardspark.com/?p=1852, which gives a pretty thorough description of our little goat barn. I should be able to answer other barn questions if you need more info.


Susie April 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I haven’t been keeping up on your blog this winter and was wondering how you were handling the snow and the RAIN. Your pictures, as always, are gorgeous! It’s just will not stop raining in the valley this spring. I’m going stir crazy and I live in a 1,200′ home….complete with electricity, the internet, dish network and Netflix.


Camille April 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

We’re actually handling the less-than-perfect weather rather well. It’s nice to see a few signs of spring, though. I can’t wait for more sunny days.


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