Yesterday morning dawned sunny and clear, but it just started off on the wrong foot for me. Our snowblower never did start after the storm (despite hours of coaxing) and we had to shovel out our long driveway. So, Rog and I got up early to take the snowblower over to our neighbor's house. He's a retired farmer who fixes lawnmowers and small engines in his garage. It was still very cold. When I went to put on my chore jacket, the pocket was curiously wet...I put my hand in to discover it was full of broken eggs I had gathered the day before, tucked in my pocket, and forgotten. Yuck! I emptied out the egg mess, threw that jacket in the laundry, grabbed another jacket, and zipped up to my chin, catching my neck in the zipper. Ouch!
The snowblower weighs a ton. There is no way we could lift it onto the bed of the pickup, especially since our backs were already complaining from all the shoveling the previous two days. Rog had the clever idea of making a ramp with several long 2x4s and we would roll the snowblower up into the truck. It seemed like a sort of dangerous plan to me - I could envision the snowblower slipping off the boards and flattening one of us- but it actually worked great. We drove a half mile down the road and dropped off the snowblower (rolling it back down our makeshift ramp), then returned home and I headed out to do the chores while Rog went in to get ready for work.
Despite having heaters, ALL of the animals' water containers had frozen solid. Even my fancy thermo-hose was frozen. I guess it was just too cold for the technology. So, I hauled the poultry water dispensers in the house, rinsed them with hot water to melt the ice, and filled them with fresh, lukewarm water to help warm the chickens and geese up a bit from the inside. Then I hauled many 5-gallon buckets of hot water to the loafing shed and dumped into the cows' water tank to melt that block of ice.
Hauling big buckets of water through deep snow is not fun. After the first couple trips I remembered the little plastic toboggans I had purchased at a garage sale last summer. The kids had teased me about those sleds then, but they turned out to be invaluable for this chore. Using a toboggan I can haul two 5-gallon buckets of water across the deep snow smoothly (no sloshing) and effortlessly.
Today was sunny and much warmer. Or at least 20 degrees F feels comparatively balmy after windy, below-zero temps. The geese and udcks seemed very happy to bask in the sun and stretch their wings after being confined the past three days in the dark barn.
It's amazing how they can walk barefoot through the snow and they don't seem to be bothered by cold feet!
The orange cat has grown a very thick, fuzzy coat, perfect for this weather. He loves to romp through the deep snow, challenge the geese, race straight up trees, and entertain us as we shovel and do the chores.