winter is here -why am I so surprised? 

I woke up to winter this morning. What? That was a surprise to me. For some reason I was lulled by the warm October and November temps we’ve been having and I began to think winter was still a ways off. My porch mum just died off two days ago(maybe that should have been a sign) My knockout roses are still trying to bloom. It’s like they have been trying to will winter to stay away. I am (we are -hubby included)guilty of being unprepared here for winter. Not a good thing on a farm.

Frozen duck”pond” When the hoses are no good at all that will be the end of the pond fun for a bit.

I should have known it was on the way when I walked out to the barn the other day there was that distinctive nip in the air. I even thought to myself “winter is coming.” I just kept thinking we had time.

Today time was up. An overnight freeze brought us to our senses. We have always planned for winter way ahead. My planning drive being a part of my inner being. This year not so much it seems. In my defense I am über overwhelmed with a crapload of stuff. But I’m still kinda mad at myself for being in winter denial.

I do have a barn loft full of hay but our fields are still the dangerous green that makes our horses crazy for grass and us fighting with grazing muzzles so they can graze in the fields a few times a week. It’s been too nice out.  Winter was not on my mind much. I was still in October or something.  We have been so in denial and we haven’t set up like we normally have for the five winters previously that we have lived on this little farm. And today winter let us know she’s here.

Frozen water. Frozen hoses. That’s the sign and and all it takes for everything else to become clear that we are not ready.  We haven’t set up the heated buckets. We haven’t set up warming lights for the birds. We are going to have to start hauling water from the house BC the pump has a pinhole leak running to it and the cost to replace is huge -though today I’m reconsidering getting it fixed in some way BC it lightens up the workload a ton by alleviating hauling water from the basement.

I am not in panic mode but I am on I better get my butt in gear mode. I have to get some extension cords and a new water bucket to put on top of this cool flat metal disc that keeps the water in the coop from freezing. I need to put some better bedding down in the runs and I wonder if it’s to late to get some stone dust and gravel. I think we are always trying to chase water issues in winter.  We don’t want anything to freeze. Not the pipes not the ground not the water buckets. It’s really all about the water. Then that becomes about electricity. We need electricity to keep some of that stuff from freezing. We worry about footing for the horses- we were supposed to be getting the drainage issue fixed but the company that we hired hasn’t called to say we are on their schedule- I think the ground is too frozen now. It may have to wait for spring. We may have to order a load of stone dust for the paddock – that might help.  Ice and hooves don’t mix. At all.

So today and tomorrow and over the weekend -which is supposed to bring us more of that warmer weather that makes me forget winter – we will be getting prepared. Better late than never. No matter how much I pretend it’s not coming winter is going to be here. Soon. Ok maybe it’s here now.Maybe.

Thanks for reading.

 

our pump that we installed last year. the pipe to it sprung a leak the second week we had it. we couldn’t afford the fix last winter. but now I am wondering if its time.

 

The leak to the water pump is hidden under this table so the dogs wont get to it. Today we had the water on 5 minutes bc we needed to get water to the horses so decided to try the pump – and it began to gurgle under the table. sigh…it is always something on a farm!

 

Little Journeys

When we began Valentine’s Day by having a quiet date eating at our local diner I had no idea what the day would evolve into. We spent much of the day after that quiet breakfast taking kids from here to there and there to here. You know your busy when you are reading your bible study chapter (for the next day) at an indoor soccer arena!

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Early Valentines Date with my husband Kevin

 

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Our local family owned diner – The Old Towne

 

After an exciting indoor soccer match ( ours sons team won and he scored too!) we headed to my in-laws home for a visit.  This was not a pre-planned visit. We made the decision sometime during the morning. It had been too long since we had seen them and we really wanted bring them some love and some treats for Valentines day.  We couldn’t head out until we picked up our daughter from her work at 4pm – so we got a later start. As we drove the forty or so minutes to their home it began to snow. I had known we might have weather but I didn’t think the forecast called for much accumulation. I did know that the temps were scheduled to drop significantly as the evening progressed.

When we got to their home with hot pizza in hand along with some Wicked Good Cupcakes in a jar (sent from my mother) it was snowing pretty hard. I became slightly worried but tried to push it back into the vast recesses of my mind. I wanted to spend the time enjoying the visit not worrying about leaving. I have the best in-laws one could ever ask for. At 89 and 90 they have slowed down quite a bit. My FIL has dementia and though he doesn’t know me anymore he is the always the most polite and gracious host. My MIL has a sharp mind. I brought my knitting in hopes she could teach me how to begin but she had some trouble working my yarn(which means I will) but that spurred her in to showing me all of her knitting and crochet projects she has done. She made some beautiful things over the years. I was so impressed. She gave me some Alpaca wool and I am not worthy yet to use it but I aspire to get there! She was inspired to give knitting a shot this week and I am looking forward to hearing how she did. I love these visits because I can tell they make her world that has shrunk because of her mobility issues bigger. She is like a second mother to me and I know how blessed I am to have in-laws that are so wonderful to me.

Pretty soon it was time to head out and it did not look great outside. The winds had picked up and it was freezing cold. The snow had stopped but I felt leery about it. Marylanders are not the best drivers in the snow. I wasn’t alone in my worry, my mother in law was worried too. I could tell. She kept saying that the snow was wet snow. I didn’t realize why that was worse than the dry powdery kind until we left.   I should have just asked to camp out at her home but we worried about our dogs and how they would fare at home all night. Two would be stuck in crates and the other two just hanging out (where would they make their inevitable bathroom if we didn’t come home?) So we headed out the door.

We were met within five minutes to a closed major road that we take home. It was ice- ah the wet snow turned to ice with all the cold wind.  We made a U-turn and nearly slid into the next intersection. Hubby said it was driver error(oops) and assured me that our ancient Ford Expedition would get the job done and get us home. All I could think of was some un-confidant driver slamming into us. I wanted to go back to my In-laws and I began voicing that desire in a panic. When I get that nervous I feel sick and I was getting that queasy feeling in my stomach. But the longing to get the to the dogs kept us going. But it was a cluster F out there. (Excuse my French) navigating down one road was like getting through a battlefield. Stuck cars were everywhere -traffic was at a crawl. My husband missed a turn that would have taken us back to the closed road but hopefully north of the closure. So with that out we had to opt to going on another major road instead. When we hit that road we went ten feet and we came to a stop.  All three lanes had cars stuck in them. The traffic was horrendous. People were abandoning their cars and walking up the sidewalk! Aghhh!

At one point I thought I was going to rip out my hair because I was getting in a panic being stuck and then the blaring of a fire truck siren behind us was tearing up my slowly melting sanity. Where could any of the 900 cars go to allow the fire truck to get through? Some stuck cars were able to move a bit out of the way and the fire truck managed to twist and turn its way through traffic- it took like 30 minutes- I hope whoever was waiting for it was ok. When the firetruck went through the traffic for a brief minute there was a hole to drive through between stuck cars and a few cars got through but that didn’t last long because a driver in a small pickup decided he didn’t want to be stuck so he began flooring his gas in hopes to propel himself burn off the ice. Well…all he did was burn rubber but he went nowhere. His car just began creating noxious fumes from his truly burning rubber. I know he was like all of us- he wanted to get wherever he was going. He did not want to be stuck – I give him A for effort and O for obnoxious! And I am certain he will need new tires after that show!

By this time I was fluctuating between panic to putting it in the lap of the Lord. I went from saying “I’m going to puke” to staring in amazement at the stuck cars then Id get panicked again! I was not at my best. Thank goodness my kids were either very tired or didn’t care I was upset because they certainly weren’t upset. L snapped a picture after I snarled at him not to. I was that stressed. I felt pictures were not necessary. How unlike me!

The last straw was when some younger guys began to jump out of their cars to help other stuck cars. I was so scared these kids would be injured by a car sliding into them. I wanted to yell at them like some crazed mother. But bless them because they did help get cars moved. Pickup guy did not want to be pushed off to the side and he kept trying to will the truck to get up that hill. Finally he got far enough up the lane that cars could squeeze between him and another stuck car. Part of me felt like we should help these people but the other part of me wanted to just get the hell out of there. And I knew my husband felt that way. He is ever so calm outside but I knew my panic and his inner stress at being stuck for so long was not boding well at us being helpers. So we weaved around pick up guy and we were free. We navigated roads and finally by the time we got out of that backup the other roads never got that busy(because it was getting late) and the rest of the trip was slow but not crazed.

The Ford got us home ( it really is good in the snow). It took three hours but we were safe. The dogs were fine. I’m so thankful for my husband keeping a calm head despite my panicked state and his expert driving skills. What a day! It was a Valentines day full adventure but best of all it was filled with love. I’ll take a little adventure and nausea when it is sandwiched in love!
Thanks for reading.

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Picture my son took. I think that is pickup guy in front of us.

 

Accepting a challenge

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Notice my drink w the straw!

Little did I know my jaunt barefoot into the snow yesterday would end up in a challenge. A few folks on one of my Facebook groups where all things creative happen decided that jumping barefoot into the snow looked good enough to create a challenge.
I was in but I kind of already did the barefoot thing. So I decided to take it up a notch and think of something else. Someone Posted a shot and was in snow up to their knees – but ours is dwindling away. So here is what I came up with! And it felt great!
Take that winter!

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A BIG THANKS to my boys for accepting the challenge with a great attitude!
L thought it wasn’t a big deal at all since he lives in shorts most of the time and rarely wears a coat. Ozzy was excited as always and got into his summer cool character sunglasses and summer guy necklace!
They Rock!
I must say it feels so good to put your feet in the snow! Woke me up.
Wish it burnt calories- I have a Super Bowl feast to eat.

Take That Winter!’

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This year, I decided that I was not going to let winter get the best of me. The last few years I have gotten the winter blues. Two years ago it was pretty bad and last winter I was recovering from cancer treatments so I actually liked the excuse to hole up and recover my strength. But by March I was a bit Blah. This year I am going to fight against the blahs and my tendency to lament about it being bitter cold out. It isn’t easy but it’s the end of January and today it was sunny and I felt a bit of Spring in the air. My husband thinks I’m nuts but I feel it there.

So in homage to my new found fight to embrace winter I’ve been bundling up in less gear. Unless it’s horribly windy I’m not donning my winter riding pants that I wear like snow pants. I’m not adding three layers under my barn coat and I’m deciding in my mind that I’m not freezing!

Today was it was 25 degrees out and I was feeling rather warm in my head. I decided I wasn’t going to feel the cold. And I really didn’t! Maybe it was the sun – I don’t know- but today I felt like I could triumph over winter its ability to kick me into the doldrums.

In celebration I decided to put my bare feet in the sand- ok it was snow but I can pretend. I asked my husband if he dared me to put my bare feet in the snow. He looked at me and with a twinkle he said “yes”. He didn’t think I’d do it. So I said ” ok! ” he quickly reneged on his challenge and began begging me not to do it. Ah but the die was cast and off came my sneakers (nope didn’t even have the winter boots on) and then my socks. I stepped on the snow and wiggled my feet in its puffiness. It really
wasn’t too bad. It was very freeing!

Maybe it’s my new state of mind or maybe my mind is in some kind of state. But I say take that winter you won’t get me down. Bring on February! I’m letting the ducks attitude rub off on me.

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