Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I don't know about where you are...but snowed.

Maybe it didn't snow at all for you.  Maybe you live in the southern hemisphere and you are enjoying your summer holiday.  Maybe you live on the equator and are enjoying summer, as you do every day.  Or maybe you are somewhere else that is being pummeled by unpleasant weather.  I know, it could be much worse.  I could be in Australia, about to be hit by a cyclone, having only recently made it through horrendous flooding.  So really, I ought not to complain.  However, I am going to complain anyway, because I'm having that sort of a day.
I worked from home yesterday because it was a blizzard day.  It was the sort of day when I would prefer that my home desk was positioned such that my peripheral vision wasn't constantly barraged by snow swirls that looked like a herd of polar bears passing by my window.  (Do bears come in herds or flocks?  Or posses?)  I made cornbread in the afternoon and ate some with fresh butter and felt like a period of hibernation would be well advised.  I retired to bed a little early and lay in the darkness for a time watching the continued polar bear migration past my bedroom window, and wondering what it would all look like in the morning.

This morning, the wind was practically gone, there were no more polar bears, and the view outside the window was a still whiteness, with small ridges on the clean white surface.  Some areas of deeper drifting were visible, but overall, it didn't look all that dreadful.  I had a coffee, and contemplated the prospect of snow removal and getting to the barn.  I then had yogurt, and contemplation on the side.  I read my email for work, answered a few, spent some time on a work project, and then thought it might be time to actually feed the critters outside.  Considering the fact that by it was nearly 10 am by then, I should have been clued in to the fact that I had not seen or heard any goat or rooster yet.  Smart cookies, my animals are!
After donning my insulated coveralls, earmuffs, scarf, hat, insulated gloves and my "tall" boots, I opened the garage and surveyed the polar wasteland driveway before me.  Not to be discouraged, I started up the snowblower (thank you for the "easy start" feature, Honda) and dealt with the concrete part of the driveway.  The gravel part is not so easy but fortunately my kind neighbour had sent over his truck with a plow blade to help me with that part.  I determined, somewhat to my surprise, that the snow was a bit deeper than I had expected.  In fact, it was deeper than the height of my snowblower.  This made for some interesting "double layer" snowblowing feats that took quite some time, not to mention dexterity, to accomplish.  Not to worry though, I looked very stylish doing it, because I am a winter fashionista, of course.
I peered around the side of the house and decided that the walk to the barn looked quite manageable, so I hefted a 50 lb bag of sweet feed from the garage and proceeded to walk down the side of the house.  I began to mutter a number of words, none of which have anything to do with "manageable" and most of which I can't even put on this blog because my mother reads it.  Stumbling through the snow with a 50 lb bag of feed is never enjoyable, but it's even worse than usual when the snow is deep enough to push the legs of your insulated coveralls up over the top of your boots, such that when you heave your leg out of the snow, a copious amount of it enters your boot in the process.  I was less than impressed when Lucky Nickel made her appearance and came dashing through the snow like a legless ball of wool (since the snow was so deep it hid her legs entirely) only to stand in front of my leg each time I tried to take another step with the aforementioned bag of feed.  I cannot tell you how long it took me to get to the barn, but it was too long.

Upon recognizing that the food-giver was actually present, the rest of the animals began their usual chorus and I spent the next half hour trudging about with buckets of feed and water and hay bales, occasionally stumbling on hidden blocks of ice under the snow, or other unseen obstacles.  It wasn't difficult to determine that the snowblower was needed in the backyard too, so I retrieved it and plowed out nice little paths for myself (and a certain small white goat.)
This was no easy feat either.  First, the snow was again too deep for the snowblower, and second, I was on grass, so it was a harder job to push the snowblower.  My calf muscles were disgruntled about the entire experience and my knees complained about the incident where I tripped on an unseen chunk of ice and abruptly fell knees-first into the snow, tipped forward, and wallowed about like a beached walrus for a while in an effort to recover.  Of course, Lucky Nickel felt that this was an opportune time to jump on my back and try to play "pull-the-hat-off-the-human" before I managed to heave her off.
Fortunately, all the animals seemed to have come through the storm unscathed.  Kenzie the lamb is loosing some of her old fleece but new, thicker fleece has come in underneath so I'm not worried about her "patchy" looks at the moment.  She is one of Black Pearl's offspring from last June but she still doesn't really look like a full blue-faced Leicester to me, so I don't know what she is.
The donkeys don't seem to give a hoot about the snow.  The goats are in fine form and Osmo, despite the fact that his 'spare brain' has now fallen off somewhere, persists in grunting and sticking his tongue out at the girls despite the weather.  He even tried to get out to Lucky Nickel today, but she was having none of that.
The angora rabbits are probably the warmest animals on the farm, given their thick coats and unruffled expressions.
After all this, I came inside, showered, and dressed in nice new, clean pajamas and my pink "Snuggle Sack" purchased some years ago from Lands End, a silk scarf, purple fingerless mitts, non-matching socks and slippers, and went back to work at my desk.  When one keeps the house at 58 degrees, one must dress appropriately.  And as always, it is important to be a winter fashionista.  Until next time....stay warm!


Louise said...

Oh my goodness, Claire! You really got whollopped by the snow, didn't you? But, like a true shepherdess, you kept on going, you and your trusty snowblower. Here's hoping that easier days are ahead.

Love the indoor look. It's surprisingly like my indoor look. I keep my house at 65, but, I'm an old fart and am entitled to more warmth than you youngsters.

texwisgirl said...

My house was set to 59 degrees today too - just to give the heater a chance to kick off once in a while. NE Texas didn't get your snow (just a dusting with some ice pellets) but we got the cold and wind so the house was BRRRisk. Love your indoor outfit. Mine is sweats and slippers and a space heater in my office!

Brenda said...

A snow blower is a very handy thing to have around with this kind of weather! I just plowed through with my boots and coveralls. I found some of my young goats with their faces pushed in up to their ears in the snow drifts. They were being really silly playing in the snow.

Nancy K. said...

I'm glad you didn't get hit any harder than you did! Poor Lucky Nickle was so happy to see you. :-)
She was probably worried about you!

Love the work clothes! Gosh, if I turned my thermostat UP to 58, I'd probably be in a tee-shirt. Not really, but it would be a relief from the fifty degrees that I leave mine at, all winter long... :-(

Flartus said...

Oh, I do feel sorry that it's at your expense, but I had to giggle at your description of your fun trip to the barn! That little goat sure is lucky that you put up with her antics!

And, on a related note: hooray for snowblowers!!

(I feel very odd not having any snow, like I forgot to sign up for something or change the calendar...but I'll deal with it somehow.)

Anonymous said...

That sounds about like my day! Glad you survived.


Split Rock Ranch said...

Great post! I think we've all earned a trip to a warm beach somewhere - with no animals in sight...just kidding (I think). The cold has been brutal here but we didn't get much snow. And so far it hasn't gotten much above zero so no melting, hence no ice and no mud (yet). By the weekend I'll be digging out my Wellies to trudge through the mud, I'm sure. Stay warm and safe!

Toodie said...

Oh you sure worked hard today girl. I enjoyed the photos and that angora rabbit I could cuddle with. I need my house at 66 and 63 night time. Love those

Carol............. said...

All I can say is "bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrr". LOL

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Actually, I'm jealous as you got to stay home AND you have a barn in your backyard! Plus, I covet your socks! ;)

You know.....thinking about the snow as polar bears marching past your window makes it seem a wee bit more tolerable.........

(I think a group of bears is called a grumble. But probably only in our house.)

porkpal said...

The Hat! You're wearing the hat!

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Porkpal....I didn't think anyone would notice! LOL! I must tell Catsy. She would be proud. :)

Mom L said...

Claire, you got my snow! Sunny here, temp up to 18F now but more snow coming in over the next few days. I did get out Monday and hope to run a couple of errands today, but I don't have to do any of the chores you do! You are a great Mama Goat to Lucky Nickel - wish I could see her leaping on your back!

Nancy in Iowa

IsobelleGoLightly said...

We like our snowblower too! My lady is nice and doesn't blow the snow at us when she goes by in the driveway. I wish she'd let me loose so that I could jump on her back when she falls down like a walrus!


Greetings from Southern California :-)

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You, ~Ron

Spinners End said...

Oh What a beautiful bunny! Nice color. (Don't tell lucky nickel!!)

My Life Under the Bus said...

UGH ! We are in Ct and have gotten something like 85" of flipping snow with a nice layer of ice from last week. My seven year old cracked thru and got stuck in a snow drift up to his waist! Nevermind hauling logs for the wood stoves. The weight of them ( well and me) made me crack through the snow everystep - it took forever! I feel your calf pain!!! Stay Warm!