Thursday, January 23, 2014

How are You Coping

With this winter deep freeze? I'm sure it has altered pretty much everybody's routine whether it is just warming your car up in the morning, or maybe taking a vacation in the Bahamas (this gets my vote) or making endless changes in your barn routine to keep the animals comfortable.

Around here, we just keep fighting it day by day, breakdown by breakdown, draft by draft. Yesterday the boss went to Glen and bought three of the heaviest small canvases he could get. We nailed them up over the big fan and both barn doors, and then tucked them in with feed bags stuffed with more feed bags, and piles of hay.

The skid steer is being prissy and not liking the cold and we now are having to buy and feed round bales, which are normally left down below the barn. Last night when the lazy little twit was actually running for a few minutes, he brought some bales up to the door, where we can roll them right in by hand if it won't start this morning.

Everybody got extra bedding last thing at night and we are feeding a LOT of hay. Hay helps the girls stay warm as they digest it.

Inside the house I deal with the dainty dachshund. I am not accustomed to such dogs. Contrary to popular local opinion border collies don't much mind the cold, so until my dogs got old, they didn't need a lot of extra attention in that department. They did sleep indoors, but indoors here...well, it is cold most of the time, and we shut the furnace all the way down at night, so it ain't exactly summer. 

Anyhow, Daisy, although delightful, is not a big, rugged border collie, bred to work sheep in the most extreme weather that Scotland can muster, and come out smiling and looking for more. Nope, Daisy is a little toy dog.

So I lined her tiny doggy bed with one of those silver survival blankets. Then I added two one-gallon jugs of hot water, one on each side. Then I put one of those plushy Christmas blankets on top of the whole affair. She has a cozy little snuggle spot right in the center, into which she just nicely fits

This morning she grinned at me and didn't want to get out of bed even though the furnace ran all night despite being turned all the way down. She was plumb cozy.....

As I sit here typing with all my winter outdoor stuff on except my down vest, scarf, gloves, and boots, I wish I could say the same. It's really not that uncomfortable, but I have no desire to take my outer polar fleece off....and it smells resoundingly of cows, as I normally only wear it to the barn. Phew.

Stay warm!


joated said...

Even on the short trip to the post office, a day doesn't go by that I don't see the farm equipment repair guy at one of the five dairy farms I pass. A buisiness that depends upon the free flow of liquids, be it water or milk, has a tough time when the high for the day is only in the mid teens and the over night lows are in the negative.

Stay warm. Stay safe.

Rev. Paul said...

It's 39 here, and has been raining all night. (sigh...) Stay warm, ma'am, and stay safe.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

The first winter (1970-71) we lived in Saratoga,it was close to 30-below each night for a couple of weeks in January, but we were living in Skidmore faculty housing and the college paid for our heat. So we could crank that furnace to a toasty 70 degrees. Now we pay our own bills to heat a drafty old house and have to warn any guests to dress warm enough to tolerate temps that rarely break 60. I don't shave my legs all winter (that extra fur helps), but nobody would know, since I never get out of my longjohns. Luckily, I'm now retired and don't have to go outdoors unless I want to. I guess I'm glad I don't have a barnful of cows. I hope they realize how lucky they are to have kind-hearted farmers like you and yours.

ellie k said...

It has been in the low 30's here in Florida, that is cold for us and the farmers are really suffering, not a lot of cows but lots of crops and citrus that can 't stand much of this kind of cold.

Cathy said...

Yep. Keeping the drip in our utility faucet going. Stuffing old bedding between the screen door and the dog flap that hasn't been used in 20 years . . .

Trying to remember to look at the beauty beyond the worries. And sorry . . but I love that you smell of cows:)

Terry and Linda said...

I just knew you were going to say she now gets to sleep in the middle of your bed with YOU!


Anonymous said...

Yup, like you we just take it one day at a time...hasn't been real bad, got below zero last night, got a chinook coming in tomorrow and then back into the cold on Sunday.. we are supposed to get the cows in and have it set so we can pull the smaller calves who weren't sold last fall, this Tuesday... might be a cold job!

threecollie said...

Joated, we have had two of them in so far to the tune of a couple of grand in repairs, one of which didn't even work. Great life if you don't weaken

Rev. Paul, I don't like rain in the winter much, but if you want to swap weather I am up for it. This is getting old fast.

Jacqueline, lol, that is so funny...about the shaving...any time anyone shaves any body part around here it seems to get colder. Thus in summer we get after the boss to scrape off that awful beard, but in winter we encourage him to keep it.

Ellie, I hate to hear that about the citrus. We love oranges, and hate to hear when it freezes out. What a cold year!

Cathy, I probably do to one degree or another most of the time...hard to avoid. However, that old barn shirt, ack! I washed it three times yesterday. lol

LInda, well, no, gotta draw the line somewhere. lol She does sleep with Alan when he's home on weekends.

Robert, you deal with much more than we do. At least we are in the barn most of the time, which is cold, but not as cold as out working stock. Hope it goes okay for you, and real sorry to hear that you are sick on top of it. Take care.