Highlight: Without a doubt, the highlight for this period was Valentine’s Day. Our own soon to be world famous Chef Monte prepared a Valentine Cherry Pie for us that was, shall we say, the “cat’s meow”. (See How to make Valentine Pie, by Mr. Monte) Continue reading “SFH Journal: 2019-02-08 through 16”
Highlight 1: A walk along the bank of the river here at Serendipity Farmhouse brings us two signs of seasonal change. Daffodils have broken through searching for sunshine and warmth. Meanwhile, wild chives have emerged to give company to the daffodils.
And, although most of you have shown no interest, several more garlic sprouts have pushed away their blanket of soil. They appear to be gauging the temperature and angle of the sun. They will know when the time is right to make their move. – – Yours truly, an inveterate garlic lover awaits. I am expectant.
Highlight 2: The Serendipity Farmhouse roving photographer recently made an excursion to the streets of Washington, D.C. It’s quite amazing what sights can be captured on the streets of our nation’s capitol.
The picture to the left has three points of interest. The first is a large propane bottle next to the driver’s side door. The second is a warning sign that clearly state: “DANGER – PROPANE – NO SMOKING – NO OPEN FLAMES“. The third point of interest is the lit cigarette in the left hand of the driver, directly above the propane bottle. – – – It is quite appropriate that enormous flames are pictured on the side of the truck.
(Please note: we changed the phone number on the side of the truck, otherwise the photo is untouched.)
SFH WX Station: The best you can say for the period is – changeable. The cold weather is coming back. The daffodils, chives, and garlic will be watching conditions closely.
Weekly WX Summary 01-07 FEB:
|Temperature||76.8 °F||1.2 °F||38.2 °F|
|Dew Point||52.3 °F||-14.1 °F||28.8 °F|
|Wind Speed||6.7 mph||—||0.3 mph|
|Wind Gust||9.2 mph||—||—|
|Pressure||30.36 in||29.82 in||—|
Highlight: In early November last year, beautiful wife decided that Serendipity Farmhouse will become “garlic self sufficient”. (See SFH Journal: 2018-11-04 through 07 for details.) Oh, she didn’t say it in exactly those words, but I could see it in her determination as she was planting. Her “garlic independence” was set to begin from the moment she had planted the several garlic cloves we had remaining from our local community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Enterprising wife was ready to be the “captain of her fate” – at least so far as garlic goes.
It remains to be seen whether her quest for self sufficiency will be rewarded with an abundance of that most delightful of nature’s garden herbs and spices. But, on this day, January 25th, 2019, at least three sprouts of garlic, enthusiastic about life and sunshine, have shown they are waiting to make dear wife’s dream come to fruition this coming Spring. – – – There is great hope that the soon to be famous SFH Test Kitchen will be filled with the joyfully delicious aroma of garlic tops, and cloves of fresh garlic will follow in early Summer!
SFH WX Station: The day has finally come! The SFH WX Station near real-time weather readings feature is now installed on the blog. The feature shows up as a widget on the far right hand column of the home page. It will look like the picture to the right of this paragraph.
Starting with our next SFH Journal post, we will discontinue the daily weather summary. Now we will provide an end of month summary. We will also provide a summary for any week that has been unusual or extreme.
2019-01-25 Full details here.
|Temperature||41.5 °F||21 °F||31.2 °F|
|Dew Point||23.9 °F||5.7 °F||18.1 °F|
Highlight: The Serendipity Farmhouse motto is Pray, Prepare, Preserve. Recently, we here at the Farmhouse have had to live by that motto. Two family members have had to undergo serious medical procedures. This has been a time where our close family has grown closer. We have prayed with hope and humility. We have prepared for outcomes, both the favorable and the not so favorable. We have preserved our faith in God and our trust in each other. As a family, this is what we do and who we are.
Now you can understand why we may have seemed a bit preoccupied and why there haven’t been many posts. Family takes precedence. Even Mr. Monte knows that. This week he has been exceptionally well behaved – no teeth and no claws for yours truly and he has stayed close to my beautiful wife, ever showing that he understands her concerns.
In need of cheer, my wonderfully talented spouse brought color and beauty to the soon to be world famous SFH Test Kitchen. It was a simple addition and it was a truly welcomed addition – a few colorful flowers, simply arranged in a porcelain five-finger vase. Now, the place where we make our meals has also become a place to lift our spirits. It’s just another way, in a world so filled with doubts and fears, to Pray, Prepare, Preserve.
SFH WX Station Report: The wood stove has had a workout this last week; temperatures dipped into the single digits. Another cold spell is expected within a few days. Winter is upon us.
2019-01-20 Full details here.
|Temperature||44.2 °F||17.2 °F||30.6 °F|
|Dew Point||40.6 °F||0.9 °F||21.1 °F|
2019-01-21 Full details here.
|Temperature||25 °F||11.7 °F||18.4 °F|
|Dew Point||4.5 °F||-7.2 °F||-2.7 °F|
2019-01-22 Full details here.
|Temperature||32.4 °F||9.5 °F||21 °F|
|Dew Point||14.5 °F||-2.2 °F||4.9 °F|
2019-01-23 Full details here.
|Temperature||51.8 °F||25.9 °F||38.8 °F|
|Dew Point||48.6 °F||11.8 °F||31.1 °F|
2019-01-24 Full details here.
|Temperature||57.2 °F||32.2 °F||44.7 °F|
|Dew Point||56.1 °F||21 °F||38.9 °F|
Highlight: They (Mr. Monte and Blondie) have called me a Weather Geek from Outer Space. They have tried to smear my good reputation. There are three things, however, that provide solace and perhaps even a touch of vindication:
- Several members of our vast and ever growing SFH audience provided positive comments defending my dedication to understanding that which surrounds us always – the weather.
- My beautiful wife asks me frequently what to expect with this erratic January weather. “Should we build a fire?” “Can we plan a shopping trip on such-and-such a day?” Yes, she comes to the Weather Geek for advice.
- Mr. Monte begs to go out on the porch, and then he comes running back in with a look of disgust – “Why didn’t you warn me that it was windy, rainy, and cold out there?” – I merely reply with a smile, slightly accentuated with a bit of sarcasm – “Foolish Cat!”
Thank you dear readers for your support.
SFH WX Station Report: Snow, wintry mix, rain, wind, etc. January is here and the pattern of unusually high precipitation events continues into the new year. The 19th saw over an inch of rain falling on SFH. The yard continues to be filled with standing water. The only good thing that will come of this will be that SFH will have a skating rink when the flash freeze arrives on the 20th.
2019-01-15 Full details here.
|Temperature||43.2 °F||16 °F||29.5 °F|
|Dew Point||25.5 °F||14.7 °F||21.6 °F|
2019-01-16 Full details here.
|Temperature||49.5 °F||14 °F||31.8 °F|
|Dew Point||29.5 °F||11.8 °F||21.6 °F|
2019-01-17 Full details here.
|Temperature||37.6 °F||24.8 °F||31.2 °F|
|Dew Point||30.2 °F||23.7 °F||27.3 °F|
2019-01-18 Full details here.
|Temperature||45.5 °F||26.2 °F||35.8 °F|
|Dew Point||37 °F||25.7 °F||32.1 °F|
2019-01-19 Full details here.
|Temperature||36.3 °F||32.7 °F||34.5 °F|
|Dew Point||35.2 °F||32.2 °F||33.5 °F|
Highlight: Winter Storm Gia has moved out of the area and the melting snow is the last reminder of its visit. The only problem now is the long trek to the woodshed to fetch a cartload of firewood to keep the wood stove fueled.
Meanwhile, that self-centered, 20-pound fuzzball Mr. Monte alternates between demanding a warm fire so he can be his lazy winter self and begging to go out onto the porch so that he can imagine that he is some sort of ice age Smilodon Fatalis.
Lately, my dear wife has been grumbling about my fixation on the new SFH WX station. Heck if I know why. Maybe she’s getting cabin fever. It couldn’t be anything I’ve done.
SFH WX Station Report: Winter Storm Gia continued to drop snow on SFH throughout the 13th. Using our highly advanced technical equipment we measured just over six inches of snow on the first day and just a little less than two inches on the second day of the storm.
2019-01-13 Full details here.
|Temperature||31.5 °F||27.5 °F||29.4 °F|
|Dew Point||28.4 °F||24.8 °F||26.7 °F|
2019-01-14 Full details here.
|Temperature||37 °F||16.3 °F||26.6 °F|
|Dew Point||28 °F||14.7 °F||23.6 °F|
Highlight: The big news for this part of Virginia is the arrival of Winter Storm Gia. It’s not a blizzard, but it’s impact on Rappahannock County and on the vast (almost 1.25 acres) Serendipity Farmhouse estate is noticeable. As I am writing this on Sunday, January 13th, we are now into the second day of the storm and expect more snowfall this afternoon. When the storm subsides, I intend to post pictures and facts about the event.
Last year we talked about Winter Storm Riley (here) and now we are under the influence of Winter Storm Gia. Naming winter storms is a relatively new practice. You can find a history of the practice and a listing of the names for winter storms for the 2018-2019 winter season at – Winter Storm Names For 2018-19 Revealed
The Weather History Graph for the SFH WX Station (see below) for January 12th shows temperature, dew point, and wind indications as the front edge of the storm passed over SFH. Note that the snow began to fall between four and five PM, just as the temperature and dew point merged.
SFH WX Station Report: The reporting period begins with relatively balmy temperatures for January. The warmer weather moved out and was replaced by cold air from the north. On the 12th, Winter Storm Gia moved in from the west and southwest and met with the cold air. Temperatures dropped, dew points rose and Voila! SFH is now covered in white.
2019-01-09 Full details here.
|Temperature||51.6 °F||29.7 °F||40.7 °F|
|Dew Point||32.5 °F||10.9 °F||21.3 °F|
2019-01-10 Full details here.
|Temperature||34 °F||26.6 °F||30.3 °F|
|Dew Point||13.8 °F||8.1 °F||11.4 °F|
2019-01-11 Full details here.
|Temperature||39.7 °F||23 °F||31.3 °F|
|Dew Point||20.1 °F||11.1 °F||14.6 °F|
2019-01-12 Full details here.
|Temperature||32.7 °F||23.7 °F||28.1 °F|
|Dew Point||27 °F||14.9 °F||22.9 °F|
Highlight: What is the meaning of “20+C+M+B+19”? — Well, I’m glad you asked.
Serendipity Farmhouse is a special place, a state of mind, and a retreat from a troubled world. Even if there is bad weather and hard times, it is our home – it is the place where we believe we were meant to be. And without becoming overly religious or pious, this is where God wants us to be during this time in our life. For that reason, like many others throughout the world, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany we asked God to bless our house.
So, on Sunday we wrote “20+C+M+B+19” above the entrances to our house. You can clearly see the year “2019”. The three letters “C+M+B” have two meanings. First they represent the traditional names of the three Magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar and they stand for the phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat”, which means “May Christ bless this house”.
If you would like to know more about this simple custom, check out the link here.
SFH WX Station Report: Roller coaster weather – highs bouncing up and down, but the National Weather Service tells us snow is coming on Saturday (12 JAN) and Sunday (13 JAN). No accumulation amounts have been predicted yet, but we do know the temperatures are already dropping.
|Temperature||60.4 °F||30.2 °F||45.2 °F|
|Dew Point||37.8 °F||23.2 °F||30.6 °F|
|Temperature||39.4 °F||29.1 °F||34.2 °F|
|Dew Point||32 °F||22.8 °F||26.8 °F|
|Temperature||62.2 °F||30.6 °F||46.2 °F|
|Dew Point||49.5 °F||29.8 °F||37.6 °F|
We’ll keep it short today as we play catch up and get ready for my first work week of the new year.
Highlight: Son #1 came over for a visit. He brought Grandsons #1, #2, and #4. It was raining when they arrived. A frontal system had moved through and all the boys were interested in seeing how the new SFH WX Station plotted and graphed the wind speed, wind direction, and temperature changes. It wasn’t a science lesson, it was a practical demonstration of how to observe what goes on around you and make sense of it. Even more importantly, it was a chance for us to spend some good time together.
Granny outdid herself putting on a good feed for the hungry lads. Of course, there were some of their favorites – corn chips and SFH’s finest G&G H-Bomb III Salsa. Grandson #4 looked a little overawed with the effects of his portion of Peter’s Pickled Jalapeno Peppers. He was not deterred – he ate them all.
There’s nothing like a day with the grand-boys!
Weather: I included the wind information for Saturday the 5th to show wind gusts recorded just as Son #1 and the grand-boys arrived at SFH.
|04 JAN, Friday||High||Low||Average|
|Temperature||45.1 °F||28.6 °F||36.8 °F|
|Dew Point||41.7 °F||27.9 °F||35.7 °F|
|05 JAN, Saturday||High||Low||Average|
|Temperature||58.1 °F||35.4 °F||46.7 °F|
|Dew Point||47.1 °F||30.6 °F||39.4 °F|
|05 JAN, Saturday||High||Low||Average|
|Wind Speed||15 mph||—||1 mph|
|Wind Gust||24 mph||—||—|
|Pressure||29.79 in||29.39 in||—|
Why is weather reporting important? For almost a year you’ve heard us complain about windstorms, hurricanes, temperature, humidity, and rain. But all of that whining is merely anecdotal. Using calibrated and reliable instrumentation, we can now give you actual data and relate them across days, weeks, months, and years. It’s wetter, but how much wetter. It’s humid, but how humid. Now we can show you why 95°F at SFH is different than 95°F in Idaho Falls, ID.
Weather is the story behind the many other stories here at SFH. This is our way of helping you understand.
Highlight: The Serendipity Farmhouse Weather (WX) Station has been up and running for over 24 hours. We are slowly familiarizing ourselves with the workings of the new system, but we have a long way to go until we can bring you select WX data on the blog.
For the time being, we have to learn more about the system, calibrate the instrumentation, and work out the best ways to have the data presented on the blog. We will keep you informed of what we’re up to and try not to bore you with technical minutia. As is our standing policy, when we mess up, we will explain what went wrong and give you the lessons learned.
If you would like to see the near real-time readout of the new SFH WX Station click here.
SFH WX Station Report: The following table summarizes our first day of weather observations.
|03 JAN – Thursday||High||Low||Average|
|Temperature||50.5 °F||30.4 °F||40.4 °F|
|Dew Point||35.6 °F||29.5 °F||31.7 °F|