“Welcome to Texas weather! Just wait 10 minutes and it’ll change…” I heard this phrase a lot when we first moved here to North Texas in late 2016, and long-time residents weren’t kidding!!! That first year we experienced snow right after Christmas with temps in the teens (in our very thin-walled first trailer ~ not a four-season trailer!), biting “chiggers” (which are really a type of mite), puss caterpillars (a nasty stinging creature which looks like a white cocoon in the grass ~ treat with rubbing alcohol on the skin, btw), stinging nettles and poison ivy…
Five years on, we are finally getting used to Texas’ swinging weather patterns and even the summer heat and humidity we are warming up to…
With this week’s crazy cold snowstorms across much of Texas, I thought I’d share some of our amazingly beautiful snowy weather with you that we’ve had on this Valentine’s Day and throughout this past week! And I have to tell you, I am so glad to be back up and running with internet. I cleaned around the house on Sunday afternoon, and I could work on crafts, I just haven’t felt like doing much, really. This winter has been all about rest for me and it’s enough to just work in the garden when the weather is nice and to create a few vignettes to share with you.
Have you felt the same this winter season?
Anyway, with notifications about the coming polar vortex broadcast the previous weekend, it was good to finish up planting the hollies and boxwood and get back inside! The garden was as prepped as it could be for this “Snow-pocalypse,” as my friend Kristen called it at school one day.
Snowmageddon for Valentine’s Day and beyond
I haven’t been able to get on the internet since early Sunday morning, so… All the posts I wanted to share for this week are getting out to you late. However, it has been a peaceful, restful week with schools closed down, most businesses throughout North Texas are also closed, no trash pick-up or mail service because they can’t get through, and interruptions in electricity a reality.
Many people are still without any source of heating due to power lines being down, so we are fortunate to have had only a few power outages here in our area. Our main issue is now unsafe drinking water, so we must boil for the time being… Really, a minor inconvenience if there ever was one!
I did go driving around two days ago to get our 30# propane tank filled in case we needed it for heating (Hubby will set up the tent heater inside our fireplace WITH the flue open!) and/or for cooking outside on the grill. We haven’t needed it, but kuddos major to Ferrell Gas here in Denton, Texas, for their employees! These young men stayed long past their shifts had ended and kept filling bottle-after-bottle of propane for customers!!!
This was only half of the bottles… More were lined up around the corner to my left (where my bottle was). I came back to Ferrell Gas after 7:00pm, after getting some groceries and having some dinner, to see how far my bottle had moved (several customers had stayed most of the day and had helped move bottles forward throughout the day). I helped move bottles forward for the rest of the evening.
Ferrell Gas would get their power on in 1 hour blocks, so the young men could only fill during that golden hour, then they would have to wait until the next time the power was switched on. They needed power to run the gas pumps, but otherwise the gas was flowing just fine!
For those of us still at Ferrell Gas at 8:00pm when the power went off, if you stayed until 9:00pm when the power came on again, the two men filled our bottles as the last for the night, and everyone stayed and helped move ALL of the remaining unfilled canisters inside the barbed wire-enclosed area, keeping them in order of drop-off.
I think this was pretty cool as customers had written their names and telephone numbers on each of their propane tanks and everyone present kept these canisters in order as they were being trudged over, passed forward and moved behind the gated area. The men would fill them all beginning at 7:00am the next morning. There were well over 100 propane canisters left to fill…
At the time I was out, Mr. Ethereal kept me updated with power losses so I decided to try and find fast food to bring home… McD had been open but their power was cycling, too (my guess) so I got out of that line, checked Jack in the Box next door but it, too, was cycled off.
KFC was open across the street and doing a booming business ~ it took an hour to get food but everyone waited patiently in line to order. Only a few selections were available, but hey! This beggar wasn’t choosey!!! The chicken was hot and tasty!
The first big snow…
I can’t remember now if this was Sunday, Valentine’s night (I think so) or the next night, Monday, 2/15/21, but I bundled up and trekked outside to shoot some photos in the 12 degree F weather. The wind wasn’t blowing so the cold wasn’t as biting and it was beautiful…
***ps I found another use for our PPD masks!!! They are great for keeping your face from freezing!
The first snow storm was a lot of fun and this is what we woke up to on Valentine’s Day with a few flurries throughout the day… Just a few inches of powered sugar snow, which when the sun came out on Monday, it sparkled!
It’ll be a few weeks before I know if I need to cut down any canes on the roses and what plants didn’t make it, but the roses should be fine. They have been covered with straw or leaves since Saturday and Sunday morning.
Most of the plants I purchased this fall are all cold-hardy down to -20 to -30 degrees, even the new hydrangea. I do have one lavender under straw and under a frost blanket along with the three camellias in the planter under our MBR window. It may or may not make it. I just didn’t have time that last Sunday to dig it up as it was getting dark…
The lavenders and smaller hydrangeas planted in pots, Mr. Ethereal helped me truck those indoors to the garage on Saturday ahead of the storms. The bougainvillea I already had in the garage along with the two unplanted rosemary plants.
The rosemary topiary and two mini agapanthus are inside the dining room near the windows. I sure hope we can build a new garden shed/greenhouse this year! It’d be a lot easier to haul them in there. 😉
This was definitely the first stormy day as the snow was low in the bowl. Now it looks like a bubble on top!
Our little angel’s head wreath crown is now the brim of her wintertime bun hat! So fun to go out and photograph when it sunny!
Going out for milk
Tuesday was bright and cheery! I took Yoda for the shortest of walks around the house but he didn’t want to go far on Valentine’s Day, so he has only gone out for restroom breaks.
Me? I am ready for a hike, friends!!!
Well, this is getting long so I’ll stop here for now!
Hope you have enjoyed this small tour of North Texas snows. It is the coldest it has been here in Texas since 1898 when settlers began keeping records, from one story I heard on the radio.
This IS still considered prairie country so no doubt there have been many, many years of really cold weather before 1898, when these were just windswept prairies… Before all the buildings were built and towns and cities grew up, when just cowboys and cattle roamed the small hills and valleys of Denton County…
Someday when you come to the D/FW area of Texas, come check out the Stockyards down in Fort Worth! Lots of history about Texas’ early cattle-driving days…
Keep warm, friends!