9th Jan 2014

Too cold for this.....

yes indeed, here we are....the Holidays are upon us. I suppose they have been for awhile but the full onset of Thanksgiving into Christmas is in full tilt last minute frenzy. Ever since our "purple Friday sale" we have been going gangbusters. Thank you all for your support.

Many across the country have asked about shipping and weather related delays. These are always a possibility and this last week was no exception. Between the East coast back to back snow storms and the "first time ever in my 13 years in Oregon" SUB ZERO snowstorm and ice week I can honestly say that we are trying, but it is in god's hands.

As you know we started this chocolate adventure on our farm. A lovely pace that has been a working farm in one way or another for over 80 years. Once upon a time we grew more berries than we knew what to do with and decided to use some as an experiment in chocolates. That was 13 years ago essentially and we have had many winters. Never have I seen a winter onset/wake up call like this last week. As last Friday progressed we kept hearing that it was gonna snow but the weatherman has been wrong so many times we figured it would be like "one of those storms"; the kind we think is gonna be big and turns out to be a light dusting on the valley floor and maybe an inch at the house. Alas this was not to be.

By 3pm last Friday I was booting my employees and closing the shop as the weather got into whiteout conditions in minutes. The stuff started piling up fast. By 3: 30 there was 3 inches on all our cars down here in the flats and belle called from home and said it was getting bad at the house which is up at a higher elevation. It took some of our crew over an hour to travel 10 miles. My 4x4x came in handy that day as I was able to make it up the hill to our farm, unlike many of my neighbors who had abandoned their cars at the bottom of the hill. 8 fresh inches of snow was awaiting me and it was still comin down. It wasn’t even 5 o'clock! Hunkered down we actually watched the news and discovered that not only was this the snowstorm of the decade but that the temperatures were gonna plunge into single digits for days.

Yikes! I got no time for this! Its Christmas chocolate season! People are expecting us to do our jobs right now! I awoke Saturday to a clean, crisp, snow saturated landscape and a 5 degree thermometer on my porch. 5 Degrees??? WTF??? never seen that before. Luckily I had the forethought to run our sink water to keep the pipes flowing. We are on a well, and antiquated yet maintained well and I really didn’t want my pipes to freeze. We kept water going at all times. Last Sunday night I awoke like all old men do when nature says you must and I didn’t hear the water in the kitchen. I went to look and it was on, but no water. In spite of our best efforts the Sunday plunge to zero, yes...ZERO!!!....had frozen the well anyway!

As I write this we are on day 3 of no water. The well is fixed of the 3 big blown out frozen pipes at the well head, but it has frozen underground the whole 200 feet to my house some 18 inches underground. We are done. Kaput. Finis. Now we  are relying on the kindness of family, the gym, and spit baths from 5 gallon buckets of water we are hauling home fro m the chocolate factory. It is not in our control at this point. We must wait for it to thaw. With nighttime temps in the 20's forecast for the rest of the month we will be lucky to have running water at our house before spring.

As you may know I consider myself a big hippie. But it has many decades since I was a smelly hippie. If I brought patchouli home belle and lillie would throw me out.....


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