This is the de-icer, put into the livestock water trough, to keep ice from forming. It might be hard to imagine how much of a thrill this is in my life, but think…Sunday morning I was chopping two inches of ice in this trough and, at dusk, had to chop ice again before “installing” the de-icer.
I’m not the only one who is thrilled, the gold fish are happy to be warmer. Ummm, those orangey spots in the water are the gold fish; bought three for $1 at WalMart and have done what
guppies goldfish tend to do…procreate. If anyone wants any, they’re yours for the asking…and getting.
The weather report says six inches of snow before morning and we’re halfway there now. The right photo was taken about 4:00 and the one below was taken about fifteen minutes later…see the difference?
Against my better judgement, I had to go to town today. Roads were icy and snowy but the trip still had to be made and when I got home, chores had to be done. In the winter, I do chores twice a day, about twelve hours apart so I can give the animals a bit of extra food as well as cast my eye over them to make sure everyone is okay. Even so, there are times I’ll still need to go outside later on to check on someone, open a gate, give extra food, etc. Today, by 3:30 I was in flannel nightgown, bathrobe, warm socks and wool slippers with the intention of staying inside until daybreak tomorrow.
Then I noticed the bird feeder was empty and the internal argument began…fill it now or wait until tomorrow? Self said, “You’re already in your nightgown, robe and slippers; you should wait until tomorrow.” At the exact point I was ready to agree, a sparrow flew to the feeder and found it empty. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!! So yes, I got a container of bird seed and very slowly, very carefully went down the snowy, slick back stairs, filled the feeder and then crept back up the snowy, slick stairs and then inside the house.
I am such a sap! On the other hand, I’ll sleep well tonight, knowing that the birds will have food when they show up at 0’dark dawn in the morning.
Remember these green boots? Useless, I tell you…totally useless! At least in the snow they are useless. “Why”, you may very well ask? Because they are rubber, have no traction and are slick as greased lightening. Useless! After filling the bird feeder, I came back inside and looked out another window and saw sheep at the back gate. So…for this trip I slipped off my woolen slippers, slipped on these rubber boots, grabbed a walking stick and headed outside. Where my feet promptly slipped out from under me and I landed, flat on my back, in the snow. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!
Nothing broken, not even my pride, and the sheep are now finding the open gate and beginning to wander into the yard where they’ll have grass and warm water to drink. Things like this…making sure the animals have food, shelter, water make me happy even at the same time I’ll feeling tired from the exertion. Yes, the work is physically demanding but it’s good work, meaningful work (to me at least) and work I love. The sheep, below, is one of Carly’s relatives, another Shetland and happy to find food. Can you tell the poor little thing is nothing but skin and fleece? Not! -chortle-
It makes me happy, knowing Carly has an extra ration of sweet feed with her arthritis meds. it makes me happy, knowing I’ve done my best for her poor arthritic bones. It makes me happy, knowing her last days are filled with as much caring as it’s within my power to give. What doesn’t make me happy is not knowing when to say good-bye to her. There’s a saying: if you have live stock, you’ll have dead stock and that’s true. The big question is: when to say good-bye? When is she in so much pain the meds aren’t enough any more. It’s the age old question for me…when?
So many folks tell me, “take them to market, sell them off. They’re too much work for you” but I’m not listening to those folks. Dave and I had an agreement, never take anything to market and, as long as I’m able, I’ll honor that agreement. Just because he’s dead, doesn’t mean our commitment is void.
When I first got animals, I would brush the snow off their coats and break the icicles to make the animals more comfortable. It took me a while to learn that snow is a great insulator and breaking the icicles doesn’t make any difference at all. Leaving the snow on their backs keeps them warmer and more comfortable; brushing it off makes them colder.
High in the maple tree, two guinea’s are roosting, huddled together, gripping tightly their hold on the branch. The white guinea was wandering around, on the ground, and I’m not sure if s/he’s confused, hungry or what, perxactly. There’s no way of knowing so I scatter food on the snow, hoping the guinea will, eventually, wander over and find it. I bought a bag of chicken scratch for them and am trying to gentle them by feeding them. I’d love for them to become tame but it’s going to take some time. The dogs like chicken scratch, I suppose it’s the molasses and corn combination, so I am constantly shooing dogs away from guinea food. It’s a delicate balancing act, keeping the animals fed, sheltered, watered and in good health. It’s also my job and I like to think I’m good at it; so far, anyway.
Blessings ~ snow ~ guinea’s ~ sheep ~ dogs ~ work of my hands and heart ~