Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Walking In A Wicked Winterland.....
....isn't that the way the song goes?If not, it should. Ever since Christmas it's been beastly outside. We've not had huge amounts of snowfall, but about every other day an inch of two falls. It's not been the snow that brings out the worst in winter, but the frigid cold. Add the random snowfalls into the sub zero weather and it makes for a less than pleasant time. For two days it did this weird little snowing thing, but never accumulated. The snow looked like crumpled up cellophane when it landed. It got annoying.
I've left the water running in both the bathroom and kitchen sinks constantly. The wood stove has consumed much time, either building, poking or stoking the fire, taking out the massive amounts of ashes, or carrying in a constant supply of wood. The critter's water has been frozen solid and I finally gave up on trying to bust it out of the tubs, and just found more tubs to start over with. It does look a little weird--rows of buckets and tubs lined up along the fence.
At it's worst, I just had to think of the things that must be done and head outside with some sort of plan, before toes and fingers rapidly went numb from the cold. The sheep and chickens all got extra foods and water. The chickens were my biggest concern, with Blue the old ram next on the list. I bought some gold plated straw--5 bucks a bale!-- to put into his shelter and the chicken house. The most fragile hen opted to spend the night on the floor of the coop on one of the coldest nights, so I piled straw all around her and over her. She is still kicking.
The dogs have been cold and obstinate. They seem to think standing right in the way will make me get chores done faster and thus their time in the house will come sooner. All the explaining, and perhaps, yelling, in the world doesn't change their minds. They know what 'move' means, and Boone will grudgingly move one inch at a time in front of me as I'm trying to carry buckets of water or wood. It's not pretty. Move Boone! One inch. MOVE! One inch, as he gazes over his shoulder at me, tail tucked, abused face on. IF YOU DON'T MOVE I'M GOING TO MOVE YOU FOR YOU! One more inch. Not at my most witty to be sure.
The back gate wont' shut all the way, because of the ice that accumulated before the snow and frigid temps. I can still latch it just barely. The door to the house won't open all the way and won't shut by itself, which makes carrying wood in tricky, especially with the kittens. Meshach bangs on the door and meows the whole time I'm trying to get the wood in, and when I come in with a very heavy load of wood, he feels the need to very slowly trot along in front of me, and heads right for where I want to set the wood down . Does this sounds familiar? All I can say is once again I'm glad I don't have close neighbors.
Anyway the sheep seem to be handling it fine except a couple of the oldies, and the forecasters are promising that this frigid single digits and below zero temperatures are over for awhile. Next week we might even get up to 40! Wow...it will feel like a heat wave. Maybe some of this snow will melt off and the doors and gates will shut and I can turn the water off for awhile. It's been exhausting. I missed some work because of the weather but the roads were pretty decent most of the time. The snow was crunchy enough that it gave good traction.
It sounds like there were few areas that were spared this cold and snowy weather, so I'm sure there will be lots of sighs of relief this week.
Have a good one!