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Why Paddy's not at work today ... - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Why Paddy's not at work today ...
So you've all heard about the ice storm sheathing central Illinois (and a lot of other places) in solid H2O.  (Thanks for the outage announcement, janetmiles.)  For some reason I was reminded of a favorite Irish song, "Why Paddy's Not at Work Today," which details a series of horrible accidents.  Here, it only took nature deciding to dress up in full-plate mail...


This is the view southwest from our house, shooting downward through one of Doug's office windows.  You can see some trees and the south hedge clad in ice.  Depending on what part of yard you check, the coating is mostly 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Some areas have little coating but most have quite a bit.  There are small branches down but so far no trees, and hopefully the ice will melt off before anything shatters.


Here I'm shooting almost level through Doug's other window, looking west.  Those are small branches coated in ice.


Here is a sycamore seed ball next to an icicle.This and the remaining pictures are shot looking eastward over our roof, from a window atop the stairs.


This is a glazed sycamore leaf. 


Most of the time, an ice storm leaves fairly smooth coatings, except for icicles on eaves and such.  This one, for some reason, produced a lot of small icicles everywhere.  Here is a picture of ice fringe on the sycamore tree.


So, that's where went with today's intended poetry fishbowl.  I'll have to reschedule that, probably for Tuesday 8.  The net connection did come back in late afternoon, too late to salvage the planned activities.  (Given previous experience, I suspect that connection may be spitty for the next day or two.)  Instead I've spent most of the day writing fiction, and we watched a movie over supper .

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Comments
red_trillium From: red_trillium Date: February 2nd, 2011 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool pictures! Wow, looks pretty darned cold!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 2nd, 2011 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

It is. The weather is predicted below freezing for most of the next week.
red_trillium From: red_trillium Date: February 2nd, 2011 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Stay safe and warm, ok?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 2nd, 2011 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Thanks. We'll do our best. The challenge is -- this storm caught us right before a shopping trip, so we're low on supplies. (We know better, but can't always afford to stock up as we'd like.) And the weather is crud for at least a week. We're supposed to get several inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. 0_o So, maybe after that gets plowed, it will produce navigable roads by covering the ice glaze. We'll have to wait and see.

Warm, yes. I'm very grateful for the power being on and hope it stays that way. We have a woodstove if we need it, though.

Positive thoughts are welcome. I'm still concerned about our trees under the weight of all that cladding.
red_trillium From: red_trillium Date: February 2nd, 2011 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Are both of you ok with gluten? I've found the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes is an easy recipe. You make about 4 pounds of it at a time, keep it refrigerated and bake as needed over 2 wks. It's no-knead and if you guys have flour, salt, sugar, water and yeast you're set. If the power goes off you could keep the dough in a cold room and bake in a cast iron pan with say doubled tin foil or in a cast iron dutch oven if you have one???

Master recipe here. They've also got a whole wheat sandwhich bread recipe on the site, it only keeps for a few days.

Positive thoughts to your trees too. I hope they are able to last through this storm.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 2nd, 2011 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

We're okay with gluten, yes. I can bake bread if it comes to that. What we're running low on are the perishables. We're in no danger of going without food, just some stuff that we like and use frequently. *chuckle* I think my mother and I tried making bread with the woodstove a time or two, when I was little. Certainly we cooked on it more than once, but that usually involved saucepans or skillets on top, which works rather well.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: February 2nd, 2011 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Maybe there's some value in having Ramen on hand, after all. :)
dakiwiboid From: dakiwiboid Date: February 2nd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Speaking of "Why Paddy's Not At Work Today"....

my former father-in-law was not a very wise man, to put it mildly (or a nice one or a kind one or... I could go on at length, but I'll stop.) One day, during a compulsory Sunday visit, he showed me a cutting from a newspaper, with the lyrics from Paddy recast as a news story.

I took one look at it and said, "Oh, that's "Why Paddy's Not At Work Today"! He stared at me and said "What?" I said, "It's a classic Irish folk song," and proceeded to sing it. He was appalled. "But it's IN THE PAPER!" He worked for the Post-Dispatch, and couldn't believe that someone would put a hoax item in a newspaper. I pointed out that someone had probably put it in another paper as a joke and the wire services had probably picked it up, and someone at the Post had likely put it in as filler. I don't think he ever forgave me for that, the old bastard.
eseme From: eseme Date: February 3rd, 2011 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh my! No wonder you could not run the Fishbowl.

Ice storms are terrible. We went through one my senior year of high school. The trees! The suffering was terrible. You could still see signs of it driving up the highways for years after.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 3rd, 2011 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

We have been lucky so far, actually, and I hope that continues. Part of a day without net, a power blink, some small branches down, and a missed grocery trip -- that's minor inconvenience for a storm sheathing the world in over 1/4" of ice. I just hope our luck holds until the ice melts safely away.

Today we went out to try freeing the car, with only partial success. I saw that some of the fallen twigs had 3/4" cladding in places. I think the tops of the trees got more than the lower branches. But I did manage to put fresh bird seed out for the wildlife. Earlier they were all scrabbling around trying to get through the ice to find food. The only things left accessible had been the suet cakes.
eseme From: eseme Date: February 3rd, 2011 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Yeah, it was about an inch of ice, all those years ago. The sound of branches cracking apart and hitting the ground is one I wish I didn't recognize. At one point people were advised not to go outside without protective headgear, unless they were in a very open area.

But Maine is very forested - we had a lot of trees to fall. The ones that bent, and are still, even over a decade later, still curved were hard to look at. It looked painful. Those poor birches.

I hope this current storm is not as bad.

I was glad to read that you have a woodstove. Ours kept us warm for a few days without power.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 3rd, 2011 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

>>Yeah, it was about an inch of ice, all those years ago.<<

*nod* An inch is bad news.

>> The sound of branches cracking apart and hitting the ground is one I wish I didn't recognize. <<

As long as the cladding isn't too thick, I like the song and chime of ice. You can tell from the sound, in fact, roughly how dangerous it is. When it stops sounding like windchimes and starts sounding like gunshots, that's trouble.

>>But Maine is very forested - we had a lot of trees to fall. The ones that bent, and are still, even over a decade later, still curved were hard to look at. It looked painful. <<

Where I live is mostly farmland reclaimed from swamp or prairie, scattered with upland forest. Our yard has quite a number of trees, though -- you've seen the pictures. With the ice storms here, trees usually either bend (and straighten back up when the ice melts) or just plain break. There are branches touching the ground now that will probably be 8-10 feet in the air later. Of course the sycamore is raining twigs and small branches like there's no tomorrow, but it's sort of designed to do that. It sheds in the rain, let alone ice.

>>I was glad to read that you have a woodstove. Ours kept us warm for a few days without power.<<

Sooth. I am very fond of our woodstove. I like not having to rely wholly on modern technology.
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