Thursday, January 31, 2019

Surviving the Vortex

The news is filled with the current polar vortex hitting our region.  We had temperatures down to -12 last night and I can't even guess what that was with the wind chill factored in!

The critters are staying as warm as I can make them.  My three horses, Sassy, Bandit, and Lochlin, enjoy the extra grain they're getting along with plenty of hay to keep their internal fires burning. 

Bandit's coat is so well insulated that the snow doesn't even melt! 

Loch doesn't look as fuzzy, but his coat sticks almost straight out and he looks like a teddy bear.

Sweet horse lips.

Sassy, the old girl (she's 31!), needs a little extra help and she gets a nice warm blanket to give her the little bit extra she needs.   I think Bandit and Loch would be overheated in a blanket!

I have to admit.  I spent a good portion of the day sitting by the wood stove and watched the wind blow snow high across the back yard. 

But that's partly because the morning started off with a soul-freezing challenge!

I said that I would pass along farm life's bad with the good.  

I saw this meme on Facebook and actually laughed out loud:  

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Water is always a problem on the farm.  

I checked the horses' water at the start of the polar vortex and they were great!  Then overnight they must have slurped down half their trough of water!  

My wonderful new water spigot that was run down to the barn this fall froze a week ago.  So I hauled out all the long hoses (I'm smart now and use Magic Hoses that fit in a bucket!) and took them out to the spigot closest to the barn.  I twisted the connections together, laid out the hoses so they wouldn't knot, and reached for the spigot.  The handle was frozen solid and NOT going to turn.  

So.  I reloaded the hoses in their bucket, hauled the hoses over to the other, farther away, spigot and found that just enough water had frozen on the threads of that spigot to make it impossible to twist on the hose connection.  This was the last chance spigot and had to work!  I warmed the threads with my hands and gloves and was finally able to get off the ice and connect the hose.  I turned on the water full force because, at these low temperatures, water will freeze up in the hoses in an instant!

I hauled the spraying hose end through drifted knee deep snow down to the horse trough.  I have a bungee cord tied on the hose end so that I can attach it across the horse trough and not have to stand for 30 minutes filling the water.  But... one end of the bungee cord was tied on shorter than the other in a way that when attached it either sprung off the horse trough (and you know how those Magic Hoses contract back about 50 feet) or the water sprayed out of the trough - and that bungee cord was frozen solid so I had to work with it the way it was.  Finally, finally, I was able to use every bit of strength and attach the hose in a way that worked.  Remember too - this was all done in negative degree weather.  Painful!  Then went on to finish the rest of my feeding chores.  

There's some not so glamorous stuff that happens on the farm.    

One other report of bad news.  We're very sad to say that our old lab, Daisy,
had to be put to sleep this week.  She was having problems urinating and we found that she had an inoperable tumor.  She was a sweet old girl we're going to miss that big old hair, farting, loving soul!


  1. I saw that meme too. And it's true! I hate water problems - my husband bought a back up tank heater after hearing the far we didn't need it....but, we have it! My barn cats like to climb all over everything and pulled out the end of the cord to their water and heating pad. So, one of the nights it was cold for them. I'm just glad it is almost over. Sorry about your dog!

    1. I'm glad it's almost over too. It looks like we're going to have a week of relatively warm weather!