NewBook has lost 10K words as I’ve read my way carefully through it, distracted far too often by phone-spam, weather, and of course politics. Most of the 10K were inline with recommendations from early readers, and leave room for tightening the plot. However, one of the other annoying aftermaths of the concussion is that when I look at the gaps, I do not quickly think what should go there in what order, even if (in two other files, Timeline and Ideas) there’s stuff that can, or will, go in. My ability to mentally squint and see/imagine how it will read if R goes before or after K…is much weaker.
We are having a whop-dolloping winter storm, for this part of Texas in February. Two days ago we had sunshine, wildflowers popping out, several bushes popping their buds and showing flowers (including two of my faves, elbowbush and rusty blackhaw viburnum. ) I was running out to the barn in shirtsleeves. Both these bushes can stand hard freezes up until the buds pop. The inner bud scales give some protection from overnight frosts. But this…hours and hours of below freezing w/o a day’s warmth for recovery, and the last night of this mess is supposed to take us down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. WAY below our usual “frost-low” of maybe 28 for an hour or so before dawn. Bluebonnets, the state flower, can handle hard freezes in the rosette stage, but once the rosettes lift up (bulge on top) they’re also susceptible to low temperatures. Last night it went below freezing in a cold fog, then we got thunderstorms as the temps dropped, with rain (first) then freezing rain, then sleet. An ice storm effect with every limb and twig covered in ice for hours. Icicles…and this is the warmest day of the bunch. We won’t see above freezing and subshine again until Tuesday, right after the lowest low. Max stress on the spring growth. Also on the line electricity, which has glitched repeatedly this afternoon. Our heat is propane, but won’t come on without the electricity because modern systems work that way. My stove is electric.
The horses are not making it easy, either. I’m about to layer myself into not-quite-warm-layers to give them early night hay, and then go out again around midnight to be sure they have some unfrozen water. Tigger, whose mane is longer, had icicles in his mane and tail earlier. He’d stood out in the sleet, staring into the distance, got back in the barn and the sleet melted, making him wetter and colder. He was shivering a lot at one point. But let me catch him and blanket him? No. (Addendum–R did my 8-8-30 pm check for me. I’ll go between 11:30 and midnight.)
To add to the fun, we were due a propane delivery today, but the propane company called in the morning and said they couldn’t get to us because of the road conditions (since this is an unusual storm, this area’s never prepared for icy or snowy roads.) The wintry stuff wasn’t supposed to be here until Friday.
But one spot of warm joy this evening was an indulgent supper of sausage balls. https://www.southyourmouth.com/2013/12/original-sausage-balls.html
We ate 22 of the 24 we made, dipping them in either or both ranch dressing & a cranberry/pepper relish from New Canaan Farms, Dripping Springs, TX, near Austin. Both were excellent with the sausage balls. Hot out of the oven…great. Unlike the South Your Mouth recipe, we used the “hot” version of Owen’s Country Sausage, which I like better than Jimmy Dean’s.