Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrr, it's cold out there

Well, I WAS going to write about our sweet new cow Mattie, but then we got hit with a blast of arctic cold and pretty soon I was far too busy chat. The boy had the brains to get himself sick this week, or this little tale of woe would be his. Here's a picture of his favorite nurse. She's been sleeping (almost non-stop) by his head ever since he got sick.

Anyway, back to my story...about ten days ago, the farmer's weather report said to get ready for winter. I blithely ignored that figuring how cold could it get. HA! Got me.

A mere 15 hours into the cold some kind of valve failure caused the winterized pipes in our barn to freeze up, not to be fixed until they thaw. 24 hours later the water froze solid in the animal's 100 gallon watering trough. Just about this time our resident water trough filler disappeared down to town for a weekend visit to a friend's house. Good timing him.

That left me to do about an hour and a half of water hauling from the kitchen sink. Let's just say that's a LONG way to haul 10 gallons of water. Or even 5, or say 75. Once I got over that bit of work, I realized we were in this for the long haul and we would be toting water morning, noon and night until the pipes thawed. I tried to view this as an opportunity for exercise. That idea lasted about a day. Tomorrow will be 8.

I wish that waterhauling we didn't include me but it does. We=Me and Steve, and I have to say Steve doesn't whine near as much as I do about this.

When we were just about sick to death of frozen pipes, the boy reappeared from his weekend of fun and went back to being the water sherpa. Thank God! He faithfully hauled buckets for a day and a half until he got sick and put himself to bed. He has yet to emerge. Poor boy. Good thing he has that cat.

Now I bet you can guess who's back to hauling water again.? You got it. Me (and Steve, the tireless mighty man.)

Three times a day, we have been hauling as much water as we can to the big grey watering hole on the side of the barn and the giant blue bucket in the cow stall and to the other giant blue bucket behind the cow stall. And apparently we can't keep up with the demand, because everytime we go out there, most of the water is gone and what's left is frozen solid.

All this hauling water reminded me of what life was like for Ma and Pa in Little House on the Prairie. Remember that one long winter where they just about froze or was it starved to death (hard to say which). I don't remember a single mention of Pa hauling water that whole winter. But he must have and he must have hauled tons of it. (Literally.) Or maybe they just melted snow on the stove all day and invited the cow in for a drink? Maybe there's no mention of it because hauling water was so normal, Laura couldn't imagine talking about it. Kind of like us going to the grocery store or say breathing. But really she should have said something because it's hard work. Though, I do seem to remember that she does mention all the water hauling SHE did when she and Almonzo planted those trees on their homestead. So am I to assume that water hauling only deserves mention if a person does it themselves. Did I mention that I've been doing a lot of it this week?

And just so you know, when it is this cold (11 degrees F early this morning), fashion rules change. Cold requires special attire. Layers and layers and layers...honestly, if I told you how many layers we really have on you wouldn't believe me.

And can you see the frost on Steve's glasses and mustache? Crazy....he was only out there for 15 minutes or so. Brrr...
And speaking of crazy, check out these eggs we found under the chickens last night. Frozen solid. Told you it was cold around here.


  1. Oh cool! Frozen eggs! I live in a subtropical zone so I have NO idea how cold is cold, but frozen eggs give me a clue.

  2. Oh, Patti guys are so much better people than I would ever be...thank you for being farmers. I would be running a series of hoses from the kitchen sink out the window into the barn...and if the eggs are frozen UNDER the chickens, does that mean the chickens are freezing, too???

  3. Frozen eggs are weird...esp as they are thawing. Charlie wasn't too keen about eating them until they returned to normal. Ms Lottie, where do you live?? Hi, by the way!

    And Lynna, you would NOT run a hose out the window because that would make the house TOO cold. We are having a terrible time trying to keep the house warm with the woodstove. We have the radiant floor heat on a little bit but mostly we are using the stove and the house is cold too. I feel like we are weather wimps complaining about 11 degrees. If we lived in Minnesota, that just might be a warm day in February!