Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cold weather sucks!

Today the HIGH is 9 below zero (Fahrenheit) and the wind chill is around –19! Outside it looks picture postcard perfect with clear blue cloudless skies. When I walked to the barn to feed breakfast the skin on my face stung from the cold. OK, THIS is why I don’t like living on the frozen tundra! And the horses, bless their hearts, are braving these temps like champs. All have very thick coats of hair and munch on 1800-pound round bales of good quality hay and sip heated water. They’re actually in better humor than I am about the climate, as all come to the fence line for pats, scratches and rubs.

The house is cold at 60-some degrees. It just cannot maintain warmth in the deep freeze. Until we finish its renovation in the warmer weather, we will have to manage with the various drafts and freezing floor. The corn stove is doing its best and it is cozy when we snuggle in bed. Tiger and Lady have joined us the last couple of nights when wind chills bring temperatures to –30.

We have a new water heater, changed from propane to electric. It works great, but the water lines froze last night, so we’re waiting on the basement heater to get that running again. When the water and the temperature are right I look forward to taking a shower! As I write I am dressed in layers that include snow pants, a lap blanket and my beaver hat!

The hens continue to produce an average of nine eggs a day. We have a small group of people who buy a dozen here and there, so we’re not stocked to the gunnels having to make quiche, omelets and soufflés. They have heat lamps in the coop, which is a screened in area inside the barn. Some hens have snuggled so close to the lamps their feathers have singed. Donna gets fresh produce scraps from an organic grocer and they feast on that regularly in addition to the egg crumble feed from the mill.

Lady’s puppies are 11 months old this month. Last summer, Donna took one of each, Agnes and Bernie, and our trainer, Tony, and his family bought another female they named Si-Si. Lady enjoys seeing these three pups regularly. They rip and run and play until all are winded and then they start over again. Si-Si was spayed last month, Bernie was neutered last week and soon Donna will make a date for Agnes to be fixed too. Lady was spay shortly after the pups were weaned last year. We had lots of surprise babies on the Auld Macdonald Farm last year and we’re trying to exert some control. We hope the other four puppies are doing well in their homes too.

On Friday we’re planning to hook up the trailer and begin heading to Scottsdale, Arizona for the big horse show. It is mostly sunny and in the 70s there today! I’m looking forward to that. Heide is taking care of the animals while we’re gone (Lady comes with us) and if there’s anything she can’t handle Donna is just down the road. We’re thankful for them both.


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