This just arrived in my inbox:
A WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BISMARCK HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING. EXPECT 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW & WINDS OVER 35 MPH FROM LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT. WIND CHILLS WILL FALL TO NEAR 40 BELOW LATE SUNDAY NIGHT. TRAVEL MAY BECOME IMPOSSIBLE. IF NECESSARY, RECONSIDER TRAVEL PLANS.
Our winter has been rather snowy lately. In fact, our driveway was snowed in yesterday, due to a small amount of snow and lots of blowing. Jonathan needed to get to his vacuuming job this afternoon, so Jim tried using the station wagon. No go. Jonathan walked back up our quarter mile driveway and got the pick up truck (in need of repair of the rear brakes; we keep losing brake fluid) to pull out the car and then continue on to the retreat center. Even the gravel road going past our land has yet to be plowed, which is unusual for our township. In previous winters the township plow has come in to clean out our driveway without us even asking, so it makes me think they are starting cost saving measures. We tried to call them all day today, but no one is around to take messages.
Last night I had allowed our German Shepherd to come into the house for a visit. The younger boys were in bed, and Jonathan had just gotten there as well. All of a sudden Samson let me know he wanted to go outside -- highly unusual. I let him out, and saw him look to the right and stare. I took a look, and there was one of our pigs! She had climbed on the frozen hay in their pen and gotten out. Andrew had said the two remaining pigs have been a bit restless since the other two were butchered, but I hope this doesn't happen on a regular basis. Jim was still working on his computer, so I let him know and also got Jonathan up. I had just finished cooking up a bunch of pumpkins, so gave them the scrap bucket with the peelings, and away they went. Unfortunately, "Nancy" wasn't interested in the scraps. Jonathan ended up pushing her all the way down the hill and into the pen. At least she sort of cooperated! They did some bracing of the pen, and were back in by 11:15. So far so good -- "Nancy" hasn't been up to visit us since.
We discovered something else this morning that we are not happy with: Somewhere during the night we had visitors on snowmobiles. Many times people on those machines would follow the power lines and cut through our fields, but this time they must have taken a nearby snowmobile trail and then veered into our big field, right down to the barns. They then rode their snowmobiles in between the barns and onto the lake. It would have been easy for them to hit a fence or two, and I just hope it doesn't happen again.
We were told once by a local snowmobile enthusiast that NO HUNTING OR TRESPASSING signs do not apply to snowmobilers, but landowners have to post NO SNOWMOBILING signs to let people know not to use the land for their recreation. To us, NO TRESPASSING means just that, but I guess we learned something new. There are plenty of trails up here for snowmobiles and even a state park that is noted for their trails. I hope it doesn't happen again.