Spring, is that you lurking just around the corner?

No.  It is March after all, which means winter is coming.  The best storms and the most snow I have had in the almost 16 years I have been enduring  enjoying wannabe-farm life in the Sierra Nevada foothills have happened in March.

The other night I was up into the wee hours stormsitting.   Stormsitting is patrolling the farm outside, in the howling wind and pounding rain, with my 2 million mega-mega watt laser-powered flashlight searing holes in the dark for me to walk through, fashionably dressed for the occasion in my authentic Australian oiler coat and hat and tall rubber muck boots.  Storms are both fun and scary out here on the farm.

A fun part is bedding down the horses in the barn late at night and then sitting there listening to them eat contentedly while the rain pounds on the metal roof and the wind whips up a symphony in the pines and oaks on the hill behind.  Somehow getting the horses inside and quietly munching calms my nerves.  A lot can go wrong on the farm if the wind gets too strong.  But because horses are prey animals, they know when there is really something to be afraid of, and they let you know in no uncertain terms.  So as long as they feel safe enough to eat, I can feel safe.   And I can sit there with them and read my Kindle, since it has this cool thingamajig that lights the reading panel without needing external power.  Which by now has more than likely already gone out anyway.

Another fun part is being inside the house with a fire blazing in the woodstove, dogs and cats setting up their various homesteads on couches, the floor, window seat, inside the clothes dryer, and inside the kitchen cupboard where the baking pans live.  It is good to have something purring or snoring nearby when there is a storm.   Of course if you happen to go into the kitchen, the cat that is dozing on the cookie sheets inside the cupboard will make noises and you will think the skunk has returned.  Or the bats.  Or the ghost.     And then that becomes a scary part.

Scary is when the power goes out.  Not because I am afraid of the dark, I am not.  But because when there is no power, there is no water.  So when a storm threatens, I fill up every possible item that can hold water — pots, pans, bathtubs, washing machine, outside garbage cans.  With horses, there has to be a decent amount of water available at all times.    With me, there has to be a decent amount of coffee available at all times.  With dogs and cats, there has to be a toilet.  As long as I am on Restroom Plan B, they are fine.

Scary is when there is too much rain and the clay soil gets saturated and the barn floods.   I hate that.  But to make myself feel better I remind myself that there will be a lot of good exercise re-digging out the trenches around the barn, and that will be Good For Me.   It does make me feel better.  It also pisses me off.

Or when tree limbs from the couple of acres that are nothing but trees start flying around in the wind and who knows where or on what they are going to land.    Like on Stupidest Horse Rainy who won’t stay inside the barn during the storm.  Probably because of her name.  But then again her mother mare’s name is Stormy, and Stormy knows to stay inside the barn during a storm.   So, theory debunked.

The absolute scariest?  When the weather is angry enough to take out my Internet satellite dish.  Since then I would have to face housework or some other productive use of my storm time. Please, not that.