So… I’m sort of vaguely semi-homesteading. Our house is heated completely by wood, but we do have gas as a backup, though we haven’t used it for years now. We grow as much of our own food as we can, though this year has been a bit of a dud because of the hot dryness of the season – fruit just simply hasn’t ripened, and now we finally get one cooler week and it all just starts to ripen… and a sudden weird early freeze is going to take most of our crop.
I’m going to do all I can to save all that I can. But I’m one person, and my Momma, who lives with me, is too disabled to help – especially with the weather front causing her a LOT of pain. I’ve been more sick than usual for four days, and now have the period from hell. I have a day and a half to do what I can, and temperatures in the upper nineties both days are not helping me do anything.
I’m reading a post from a gardening group that involves the pictures above. This is the produce that this person has processed *today*. It’s that time of season. It’s what’s necessary to produce – day after day – at this point in the year, to get yourself through winter with even a modicum of self-sufficiency.
Today marks the third anniversary of the surgery that I had that led from me being a human dynamo to this sickly weak lump of a person struggling to do a quarter of what I did before. As I sat in the bathroom flushing out the pus from a post-surgical infection that is still producing pus despite the highest level of oral antibiotics that I can have, I thought “I can’t do this anymore. Not on my own. Probably not even with someone else.” I think I have to be done. Dabble in a garden, sure. But the next place I buy, if I return to Australia, has to be much more finished, and my life so much less self reliant. No more major renovations on my own. No more trying to produce as much of my own food as I can. Just give up and get on with life as it is, rather than how I wish it would be.
At the beginning of April, I was supposed to have my ovaries removed. I have had huge issues with PMS – a few days before my period I go from a fairly level mood to often suicidal. I should note I’m writing from that state right now. I wasn’t willing to do the surgery because of Covid-19. It’s not worth dying for, but mygod, it is hard feeling like I’d love to die. My rational mind knows it is a lie, and I know that I have only a day or two more to endure, and then my period will start, and a few hours after that, this horrible horrible feelings and thoughts will go. With all the stress in my world, and the world in general, there is so much to latch on to and fuel my despair.
I’m on an antidepressant now, which has lowered the symptoms. I’m also working on taking micronutrients in high doses once my symptoms start. I did that religiously last month, and I had no symptoms at all. I wondered whether the antidepressants were enough and didn’t take them this month. Yeah. They might be necessary. Going to take them after this.
Added to the fact that I’m 48 and peri-menopause, and I never know when my next period is coming … this is a delightful surprise in my life every four to six weeks on average.
So – I have six days to get the garden ready for the first possible freeze of the year. I was SO hoping for a longer growing season, but instead the freeze is earlier than usual. We’re in the Moderate chance of a freeze.
My sense of overwhelm just went over the top. SO much to do to try and save our plants, in the hope we get another few weeks of growing time out of them. Oh well. I will do what I can.
Time to start antibiotics again, in the hope that I can feel well enough for a really hard couple of days of work on the 7th and 8th. Wish me luck!
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting a moderate to high risk of much-below normal temperatures on September 8 & 9 for much of the Northern to Central Great Plains region. In this high-risk area, there is a 60 percent chance of minimum temperatures falling to freezing or lower, and below the 15th percentile (that is, only 15 out of the past 100 years have seen colder temperatures on these dates; or said another way, the expected temperatures on Sept 8 & 9 will be lower than those observed in 85 out of the past 100 years during these same dates).On Sept 8, there is also a slight risk of high winds (gusts above 40mph) for the Great Plains, which could make temperatures feel even colder for humans, livestock, pets, etc.Regarding precipitation, NOAA CPC is not currently expecting any to accompany this cold-front. However, please check the weather forecast regularly as Sept 8 & 9 approaches, especially if you live or work at higher elevations where any precipitation that may fall (although not currently forecasted) could arrive as snow instead of rain.The map below shows which areas are at moderate to high risk of much-below normal temperatures. Note that areas shown as “high” risk are most likely to experience a freeze. For Nebraska, the Dakotas, and northeast Colorado if a freeze were to occur on Sept 8 or 9, this would be a couple of weeks earlier than normal.Please share this alert with any stakeholders whose crops, livestock, gardens, pets, irrigation systems, etc., might be vulnerable to an early freeze. Example concerns might include the following—this is not an exhaustive list, so please help identify any other possible concerns or vulnerabilities:
- livestock still grazing in the high-country, which might try moving to lower elevations or elsewhere to seek shelter from the cold;
- fall-calving operations with newborn or young animals, which might need additional shelter or insulation from the cold;
- calves that are being weaned just ahead of or during the cold-snap on Sept 8 & 9 might experience higher levels of stress than normal;
- livestock might have higher energy requirements during the cold-snap, especially those lacking a winter coat or already stressed from drought conditions;
- pets that live outdoors or spend extended amounts of time outside, which might need additional food, shelter, or insulation from the cold;
- cover crops or other fall-planted crops that germinate before the potential freeze on Sept 8 & 9 might suffer freeze-damage;
- unharvested vegetables and fruits, and temperature-sensitive horticultural plants, might suffer freeze-damage;
- irrigation systems that have not yet been drained might be at risk of freezing;
- water hoses that have not been detached from outdoor spigots might be at risk of freezing and causing pipes to break;
- other risks to crops, gardens, pets, livestock, and infrastructure not identified here.
To read the official NOAA CPC Hazard report, visit https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/threats/threats.php.Between now and Sept 8 & 9, please consult your nearest NWS (National Weather Service) Forecast Office’s website regularly for short-range weather forecasts for your local area.Thank you for helping share this information with anyone who may face risks associated with much-below normal temperatures around Sept 8 & 9.
USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub Team
“Friend” (showing article): Wow this person earns $5000 a week doing what you do. Do you earn that?
Me (reads article): No. But she has a wife who does all her logistics and helps her keep up with lagging clients etc, and has several related small gigs on the side, by the look of things.
“Friend”: Oh that’s a shame. I’m sorry you don’t earn much. I hope you at least manage to pay the bills.
Me (Starts typing): I didn’t say I didn’t earn much… (Stops. Thinks. Unfriends.)
I am ditching people so easily these days. No fricking patience.