Thursday, January 8, 2015

Well, the rooster is still alive

Just heard one of the roosters crowing.

I haven't checked on the rest of the outdoor animals yet though.  It's a nippy 2 degrees right now and other than dashing out onto the front porch to grab some wood for the stove,  I don't yet have the will to bundle up and go outside to see if anyone has frozen to the ground.  As soon as day breaks I'll put on my overalls, parka, wool socks, snow boots, ear muffs, woollen cap, ski mask and scarf and waddle out to the barn, probably  looking like Randy from "A Christmas Story".

Of course, things could be worse.  I could still be living back in Illinois.  It's currently -9.8 without the windchill at my sister's place.  Sucks for you, Christine.

I fondly remember the winter weekday mornings, having to wake up at least an hour earlier to shovel the driveway.  Hoping that I remembered to plug in the truck the night before so it would crank over.  Driving the hour+ commute to work in the snow/slush and counting the number of fender benders or vehicles in the ditches while I could still see my breath inside the cab of the truck because the engine didn't heat up enough until half way through the drive.  Even when at work, in the confines of my toasty office, supplemented with warmth provided by one of those portable heaters, I couldn't get the chill out of my bones.  The drive home may or may not have been less hazardous, but rest assured, I would be greeted by a now-frozen three foot wave of snow/ice at the driveway entrance from the plow trucks going by during the day.

Ahhhh, the good old days.   Thankfully they are a distant memory.

And for those of you who still have to commute to & from work every day in this shit wintry mix?  I'm sorry.  I really, really am.

Although I'm no longer required to brave the icy highways and snow drifts every weekday morning, I still have a winter routine:

Start kettle for hot tea.  Fill 5-gallon bucket with warm water.  Bundle up (see previous description).  Open door to the bitter cold.  Curse the universe for the current axial tilt of the earth.  Carefully walk outside with the 5 gallon bucket of warm water, half of which has sloshed out of the bucket and on to my pant leg.  Enter goat / chicken pen, hoping to see signs of life.  After confirming no one is dead, start whacking at the stock tanks to chip out the ice.  Scatter frozen chunks of chicken feed to the chickens.  Fork over lots & lots of hay for the goats who are rushing you hoping that they will get grain instead.  Grab now empty bucket, go back inside to refill, then trudge out again where there is now a line of goats wanting warm water and will now refuse to drink out of the stock tank.  Sit down at computer and blog about how cold it is while sipping hot tea.

Depending on how cold it is, I'll repeat the above scenario at least two other times.

I guess I shouldn't complain too much.  I really have it better than a lot of people.  I don't have to walk very far to the barn.  We have hot water in the house.  And as Tammy pointed out just this morning on her blog, we have indoor plumbing.  I used to think chamber pots were disgusting, but believe you me, if I had to pee in the middle of the night and it was 2 degrees outside, I'd be using one of those puppies.

So, my fellow frigid bloggers, take care today and through this cold snap.....even if your "cold" is only down to the 40's you bastards.


  1. Ha ha, had to laugh. I'm about to curse the world and carry water out too. I think we like to torture ourselves. We have some frozen pipes, but I filled buckets last night. We woke up to a wind chill of -25°F this morning. I hope the chickens are all alive.

  2. We broke down and bought a heated dog water bowl for our chickens. We had made something but this worked better. Could rig up something for your chickens? We have an outdoor extension cord from the house, works great! It's freezing, dense fog here- oh joy!

  3. I feel so bad for you! We're colder here but I do have heated waterers for the critters. Take care!

  4. If the climate keeps changing, you may need a heated water bucket. Of course, you still have to schlep 5 gal buckets of water out to fill them. But it can be cold water....does that help?

  5. No way I could carry water to four useless nags, a donkey and 50 some odd sheep. I have a line that goes to the barn but it tends to be the first one to freeze when the temps get below zero so I put a tap on it in the basement and drain it out when they are predicting temps like we are getting now.

    I will more than likely have to turn it on this afternoon and refill all the tanks.

    I did notice yesterday one of the yearling lambs has taken to pulling the tank heater out of their tank so I tied it in better. Hope it worked :)

  6. Heh! We lived in northern Indiana (near Gary) for ten years. I know exactly what you're talking about. So after we moved back to NE Okla, I'd see fellow employees in big Alaska-type parkas when it wasn't even COLD yet. Weenies!

  7. Do you usually have these cold temps in your neck o' the woods? You live in the Ozarks, for Pete's sake!

    We've been walking out to get our mail these days (masochists that we are) and it was 6 above zero this morning. Both of us commented that it actually felt WARM compared to the -10 or -15 the past two days. 'Course, there was no wind this morning which makes a BIG difference.

  8. Carolyn,

    I don't miss traveling 45 minutes to an hour one way to work through cold temperatures, snow, ice, and wind. I tolerate the cold here in Oklahoma but will continue to complain because I'm an old fart now and my bones ache with this cold. Stay warm!!!

  9. Had to smile at your frigid day routine; so similar to mine. So similar to all of us with critters I suppose. :)

  10. In regard to your cat picture. It was so cold here, -16 without the wind chill, that our dog went out to do her thing and her yard brownie froze straight up in the yard like a finger. Nice sight everytime I look outside.

  11. There are worse things than this cold snap....I'm sure. Just not sure what! :) That said since we have been housebound for a few days (I live in IL) I've made great use of and caught up on all the random TV I'd missed since we were on vacation and then sick! I think that's my silver lining for the moment! Love the cat picture!

  12. Ha Ha! This made me laugh!!!! It's soooo true! Love the cat pic too.