Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .

Okay, I am one of those sick people who prefers winter to summer.  Yes, I have to get bundled up and do morning chores now, but I have the right gear, insulated coat with collar that zips up over my mouth and nose, hood that snaps closed over the high collar, insulated socks, insulated boots.  By the time I'm dressed, I'm toasty warm and looking forward to the cold air that will hit me when I walk out the door.

See, in the winter you can keep adding layers of warm clothing.  You can back up to the wood stove.  You can cross country ski.  In the summer, you just can't take off enough clothing to be cool, and air conditioning is not my cup of tea.  I resort to it on really bad days, mostly to pull the humidity out of the air.  And the flies!  Oh, yes, try hanging over a fence feeding three voracious calves - a trick in itself because I'm using two hands to hold three buckets - and have flies biting your legs and arms.  Give me winter!

We had -26º last winter, coldest weather since the first year I moved out here, when we hit -28º.  I was milking that week, and two days in a row it was -4º when I headed out to the barn at about 2:30 in the afternoon.  Yup, that was the high point of the day.  The worst of that is frozen water lines, ice that makes me worry that one of the girls will slip and fall, equipment that won't start.  But in general, there are ways around those things.  I move a small space heater out to the milk room, and it warms the corner where the piping sits.  When the spigot freezes in the barn, we hook the hose up to the sink in the milk room.  That works just fine, and I always run a little hot water through the hose at the end - it softens the heavy duty hose and makes it easier to curl up neatly when I'm done watering.   We don't have a heater in the calves' watering trough, just break out the ice and toss in some hot water.  Last winter it was so cold that I had to bring out my big long-handled sledge hammer to break it out.  But as I said, it all works out, and there are no flies or mosquitoes biting me while I work.

It is snowing right now, supposed to continue all day.  Tonight we may get some icing.  Now that is NOT good.  But that means it is time to stay home!

I'm going to head down to the garden after market this afternoon.   We are supposed to get into the low teens on Thursday, high of only 18º.  I'm going to grab another armload of kale.  This could be the end of my garden.  :(

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