Sunday, January 23, 2011

-23

The National Weather Service has announced -23 lows tonight, and more snow next week. This is a cold I have never experienced before. I don't know what it will do to the house, the truck, the animals, or the little details that keep things running like electric water-tank defrosters on the farm. I do know that I'm staying home today to look after things and keep the stove burning all day and night. Does anyone have any cold-weather tips that could help around here? Should I run the truck engine for twenty minutes tonight to keep the battery alive? Should the sheep get bag balm on their noses? Do your dogs need more water to keep from a cold dehydration? And is it better to keep the wood stove roaring or down to hot coals all night, which has more of a heat output? I'll take on this cold and snow regardless, but advice that could keep my vehicle safe or animals more comfortable would be a gift.

51 Comments:

Blogger aerogramme said...

If your battery is in good shape, the car should start, I have been living in Wi and Mn for a couple of years, the car is always parked outside and always started, I never worried about it even with a -30 and nice windchill.

Make sure that every body as an extra serving of food, and get yourself a nice blanket and read read read. this is not the first time your animal will experience this weather nor the last time.

As for the home, keep this stove roaring cook a nice soup and enjoy the ride

January 23, 2011 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger KathyB. said...

I have no suggestions, but hope all goes well for you and your animals. I do know a well-fed wood stove keeps you warm and also cooks a good stew or soup, plus, the constant carrying-in of wood keeps YOU warm!

January 23, 2011 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Leave a water tap open to a slow drip so the pipes don't freeze (we have heat-tape on the line coming into the house but still when it gets super cold one line freezes). And it wouldn't hurt to run the truck; I too have a Ford Ranger and Saturday morning it wouldn't start--the battery is only a year old. After it sat in the sun a bit, it did start but since yours is your only vehicle, why take chances?
I just had a dream about keeping the chickens warm...farming gets into your psychy!

January 23, 2011 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Jenna, My Suggestions from growing up in Vermont

#1 Keep the fuel tank full. If there is any water that has condensed in the tank, you want to keep it in solution. If you let your fuel tank get low it can settle and freeze in the lines.

#2 I keep a roaring fire, and then bank it back at night. It's dangerous to run a hot fire while your asleep as you could start a chimney fire and not know it. On really cold nights (like last night) I throw in more wood mid way through the night.

#3 The only problem I have with my dogs is their paws. They will frostbite the pads if it gets really cold.

#4 Extra food helps for the animals. Put the grain right to them. (put the oatmeal right to yourself)

#5 If you have plumbing on an outside wall, leave it trickling when it is really cold so it does not freeze up

#6 DONT WORRY, its been a while but when I was a kid it got this cold up here ALOT. I remember using Kerosene salamanders on the tractors to thaw them enough to start. We had a large dairy and the animals did fine with good bedding, good food, and good shelter. Just do a couple rounds during the day to check on them. If you have water heaters they should not freeze, if not, when you do your rounds, bring a large kettle to thaw the water.

Enjoy the day. I'm going skiing!

January 23, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
OpenID peihome said...

Brr, we're getting some chilly temps here, too.

One day, when you're flush (it will come!) you might invest in an engine block heater. I used to have one and it was superb. However, we don't have one now and our little car has managed to start in -23 temps, touch wood.

Funny, in PEI here, everyone puts their livestock inside for the winter, even the sheep. So, we followed suit, and our little flock is inside the barn - I'm sure they would love to go out but the electric fence is buried beneath the snow!

I call wintertime my 'sleep-deprived' season - getting up throughout the night to stoke BOTH woodstoves! I HATE waking up to a cold house. We keep them turned down to burn slow, then let them rip several times throughout the day to keep the flues clean.

Take care!

January 23, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

This is great. It's 7:30 AM here and the sheep are eating extra hay, the wood stove has been started, and I'll drive the car into town for gas.

I have 3/4 a tank of fuel, not a full tank. But It's better than low. I plan on baking a lot (heat in the kitchen from the oven) and letting the water drip through the night.

This is a bit of an adventure. Scary if I was alone, but with you guys it feels like you're all along for the ride.

January 23, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

3/4 is fine, top of the car and you should be all set!

January 23, 2011 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna-not necessary to start the truck unless you are going to let it run long enough to recharge the battery from starting it.While in town get some dry gas [walmart or auto store,etc some groc stores sell it and put some in your tank before you start home that way it is all through your trucks fuel system- this will stop potential gas line freeze and remove the accumulated moisture-keeping it parked out of the wind will also help-let water lines trickle as suggested, we have been putting a drop light down near the ones in our North walls. [ don't touch the walls with it though-fire hazard if done improperly. I bank the wood stove off during the night but do add to it if im up during the night. Keep the animals in the house or barn- extra food will help them also-water is always critical so you must provide this. Have faith-spring is coming

January 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger sheila said...

Leave water faucets at a heavy drip to a slow stream. Moving water is harder to freeze.

Check the antifreeze level on vehicles. The concentration of antifreeze needs to be high enough or engine blocks can freeze and crack.

Rub some Vaseline on the rooster's comb, also any single comb hens. It will keep the combs from freezing off. Otherwise the animals only need dry bedding, frequent water checks, and enough extra calories to produce body heat.

Wash the dogs feet (then let them dry well inside)if they get into salted surfaces. The salt is hard on their pads and they will crack and bleed. Oh and make sure if antifreeze is leaking out of any vehicle it is kept away from the animals. My sister's dog used to drink out of mud puddles and there was enough antifreeze leaking out of their old car to eventually cause destroy their dogs kidneys. Animals like antifreeze it tastes sweet to them.

Get a few days wood in the house so you don't have to keep opening the door to bring more in. The more you open the door the more heat escapes. Also, the wood you bring in from outside will take a long time to warm up so it will cool the house down too. Do enough for a few days in the morning and then get it warmed to house temp before night fall when the outside temps drop even more.

Pile an extra blanket on your bed. This one might be a 3 dog night, as in let the 3 dogs in your bed to keep your feet warm!

I second all of Jeremy's suggestions. They are good and there is no sense in repeating them.

January 23, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Andi said...

You are not alone, Jenna. we're here, living vicariously through you and loving you all the while

January 23, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Sorry I have no advice for you, having lived in FL for a while. We had 34 this morning, but that's a lot different than what you are experiencing!
Glad you have these northern folks to look to for advice.
Enjoy your baking!

January 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Glenn said...

One of the true gifts in farming is the relationship that we enter into with Nature as she shows us her many moods and cycles. She is a willing teacher if we are willing students. The deep winter cycle that we are in now is a final exam of sorts; when she culls the weak and the unprepared. Soon enough it will be time for her spring semester when we begin to prepare for the rebirth.(it can't come soon enough for me)

The beauty of communities, such as your blog, is the sharing of lessons learned. One of the best sources of farm wisdom is the old folks. They will pass on their lessons learned if we will give them an honest and open audience.

I am confident that you will do fine.

January 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Thanks Glenn for reminding us of our connection to nature. And as my hubby reminded me the other day--with this cold a winter, we shouldn't get tomato blight this year, a positive from a negative
(-13 forecasted here for tonight).

January 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

If you happen to have any first cut or stemmy hay, give that to the sheep. It'll really keep them warm once they start digesting it. I'm sure they'll be ok. I feel for you though, because it's 20* here in MD and that feels frigid!

January 23, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger GirlSavorsLife said...

It's not uncommon for the temperatures to get -20 or below for stretches of time where I live-- they call our spot in the mountains the "cold spot of the nation". Although, our cold is a different cold than out east-- less chilling and moist. I suggest: hot toddies, warm blankets, a warm dog or two. :) Hunker down-- spring's a'comin!

January 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger eliav said...

Jenna you should compile these tips for future use. Readers like me who aspire to a small farm life im the north will appreciate all this practical wisdom!

January 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger twistie said...

I'd grease up the combs and wattles of the birds, (will be doing that myself shortly) and block the wind if possible. An extra bit of food, they'll need it, -23 is COLD! You've got a good head on your shoulders, you'll be fine.

January 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Extra hay for the animals and drip both hot and cold water, I know it's odd but hot water freezes faster than cold. I just endured 48 hours without hot water because I forgot to drip mine one cold night! I can't advise on the woodstove, but I too plan to bake tonight, and my horses will be in deep-bedded stalls with extra hay. I have only electric heat here in my little apartment and I don't think it's going to be able to keep up with the demand, so I'll need the (electric) oven on too!

January 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Wow, what an outpouring of help in the time of need. I am so glad you have so many friends that live in areas that have experienced the kind of cold you have and can help. Here in NC about the worst we can expect is the 13 degrees we got last night. Take care and have a great day.
Odie

January 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

For whatever reason - I'm no physicist!- hot water lines freeze more quickly than cold. I leave my hot taps running at a fast drip/trickle and once every hour or two flush the toilet and run your taps full force being careful to restore the fast drip after. Make sure you always have "emergency water" run off beforehand and your laundry and dishes up to date so that an interruption of a few days won't be too bad.
Park your truck facing away from the prevailing wind - better to drive snow up it's tail than under the hood.
Always drink lots in the evening - that means you wake during the night and go to the bathroom and while you're up you can stoke the stove.
Always make sure your daily wood supply is in the warmed part of your house - it burns more efficiently at ambient temp than with the frost gleaming on it fresh from the woodhouse!
This will pass - the days are lengthening now!!
Hang in there.
Janet in cold cold cold Nova Scotia

January 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
OpenID sissyjane said...

Wow! I thought nineteen was cold...Sounds like you have great tips here, Jenna. I'm sure you will be fine. This shows the power of blogging! Isn't it great?

January 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

You should open the cupboard doors under your kitchen sink and let the faucet heavily drip to lightly trickle. Don't know how your bathroom is set up but you might need to do it in there too. If your tub has an access panel take it off so warm air from the house can get in there. Since you have a good snow cover your piping from the house to the septic is well insulated so shouldn't have issues. Same with the well. You are probably going to hear some very loud snaps and thumps as the house adjusts to the cold but don't worry. It has seen worse. The sheep have enough of a coat to be cozy as long as they have adequate shelter, food and water. Their ancestors have seen worse. Don't know how your chickens are housed but you might make a small area for them so there is less to heat if they are using the whole barn. The pig has a nice layer of fat and knows how to burrow into a pile of hay so she'll be fine. Since your dogs are in the house with you they really don't need anything out of the ordinary. If you have some extra cash, you might spring for a battery pack while you're in town or zip over to Bennington where there are more choices in stores. If the truck fails to start you can jump it. Yes it is a bit of a pain but I usually need to do it a few times a winter. When I was in college in VT we had a spate of -35 and everyone went out and started their cars at 3AM. What a drag.
As far as your stove goes, if your chimney is lined and in good shape and your stove pipe is clean, burning a hot fire should be fine. You might want to add wood midway through the night. Hopefully you aren't burning green wood.
If you can get in touch with the former owners, you could ask them if there are any places in the pipes they experienced catches.
Can't wait to hear how you've prepared and what the results have been.

January 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

It's been wicked cold here in Wisconsin for the past few days, and seems like it will be for a bit longer. Extra grain to the chickens seems to be helping, although I did lose one of the older girls to the cold. :-( For the house, I've hung some old quilts across the doorways. The doors are good, but air leaks around the frame were bad. The quilts seem to be working great, as the heater (LP furnace) is running less and the house is staying warm. It's an old trick, but a good one! Oh, and piling a quilt on yourself also works. Ha ha!

January 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Jenna, These are all great suggestions and I have nothing to really add, but I hope as you settle into your community, you get to know your physical neighbors more. I know this something you want to do and are doing--not easy when you work outside the home etc. I am from "away" here in central Maine, though I have lived here for almost 40 years, I have found people very generous. Ten years ago, we never could have gone through our ice storm (no power for almost 2 weeks) without them. Also, despite deep winter there is so much life renewing already in the natural world--you're never alone, really.

January 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
OpenID huningtonsachsbrauerei said...

Your battery should be okay, but if it's been causing you trouble at all, an old Nebraska winter trick is to actually remove the battery and take it into the house overnight. Pain in the butt, but so is a dead battery when you're trying to get to work.

Highly recommend you invest in a block heater for your engine. You just plug it in before you go to bed, and you get a worry-free start-up in the morning, even with a -60 windchill. Been there.

For outdoor faucets, electric tape will keep them from freezing. Just wrap the pipe with it, and plug it in.

January 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I have a battery heating pad and an engine heater that is 110V. It is in the lower radiator hose and came from NAPA.

We have heat tape around the water pipes. It is 110V.

Check your anti freeze, a tester only cost about a dollar from Wal Mart. All auto parts stores sell them.

Put additive in your gas to keep water from condensing out and freezing. All auto parts stores sell this.

January 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger katermac said...

I would echo PEI (being another canuck :) - if your truck has an engine block and you can plug it in, it'll start no problem. My dad swears by putting vaseline on his face so he doesn't get frostbite (just where you might have exposed skin). Adding draft snakes to the bottom of your doors can also help loads. Good luck! Hope it's at least somewhat enjoyable :)

January 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I was going to suggest taking the battery out as well. As someone already said, starting a vehicle would require more running time to replace the charge you used to start it. You should already have dry gas in the take, but if you don't, put some in. You should never let your gas tank go below half tank in the winter. Being a member of a fire dept - I can't pull my battery as most likely we will be out on a call with this type of weather. So I park my truck so that it gets the first morning sun to help warm things back up. A battery will loose about 50% of its starting power in the cold weather.

Drip the water like every already said and if a pipe does freeze don't use a torch to warm it - use a hair dryer or some other slow even heat. If it makes sense with your set up, you could pack hay around pipes that you think might be in danger of freezing - not near a heat source of course.

I would guess you are more prepared for the weather than most just because of the lifestyle you live.

January 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Velma said...

keep yourself and your animals hydrated. water available, drink alot. woodstoves and forced air furnaces dry you out so much. i'm facing the same thing alone up here (st. lawrence co.), you need to keep calm and smart. and the critters (and you) out of drafts.

January 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Single Serving Jack said...

The sheep might end up licking the bag balm off because it feels weird - which may mean they are exposing their skin to saliva and moisture and may be counter-productive in the long run.
If an engine block heater or removing the battery to bring indoors is out of the question, having a battery less than 3 years old with as many Cold Cranking Amps as you can fit in your truck is helpful. Should you start your truck and it doesn't run correctly, shut it off before you damage the catalytic converter and let it warm up in-situ before starting again.
We had an access panel on the foundation of our farm house that let us access the plumbing. We always threw a bale of hay against it to help eliminate the drafts. Leaving the cabinet doors open and the taps running, helped as well. I can't say enough good things about the draft snakes or draft dodgers for keeping the house warm.
Sometimes we had to leave the hydrants dripping as well so we didn't have to haul water to the barns.
Good luck!

January 23, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I just thought of another automotive thing I do.

Permanently attached to the battery on my truck is a trickle charger. Wal Mart and Harbor Freight sell these.

My Chevrolet stays plugged in all the time and when it come time to start the engine the battery is completely charged.

This is helpful because in the Northern cold climes running the heater, radio, windshield wipers and lights will over power the alternator output and drain your battery. Check the water in the battery.

January 23, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

So as of 1:45 I have snow pulled off the barn roof and chicken coop (about to do the sheep sheds next), a full tank of gas in the truck, wood piled up dry by the stove, and will leave faucets dripping all night.

Piece of cake.

Oh yeah, gotta bake that cake.

January 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Irma said...

If you haven't already done so, you might want to consider wrapping your hive. The bees create their own heat, but a bit of help wouldn't go wrong.

January 23, 2011 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Katou said...

Hi Jenna,

Here in North-Western Québec it was -30°C at 8H00 this morning when I got up; now, at 13h40 it's -26°C. It's cold but we have a beautiful sunny day!

We all have block heaters in our vehicules and I usually plug it in for about 2h00 before I have to leave. If you don't have a block heater, I suggest that you start your truck from time to time just to make sure it starts. I know, by experience that it is no fun to have a vehicule that does not start when you have to leave for work and you are alone with your troubles.

I don't have chickens, but I know that people put heating lamps in their coops for the night and for very cold days.

As for the dogs paws, when my son was living here, he had 12 sleigh dogs and we used to sew them booties for those really cold days or when he went riding with them.

I live in a old house that only has a wood furnace for heating system. There are days it is'nt to warm in the house, 14°C but I'm well dressed and I have en electric blanket for my bed. Even if I usually don't need it during the night, I put it on before going to bed. When you get into a warm bed, it makes a big difference. When I didn't have an electric blanket, I warmed my bed with the hot water bottle and I slept with it!

I find that these cold winter days are perfect days to resource ourselves (I'm not sure if my English is OK with this). Friday, I decided it was a day with no TV, no computer. I read, started planning my garden, went outside to shovel, feed the birds, bring in wood. At the end of the day, I felt really good and I think that I'll do this more often.

You are such a courageous girl Jenna and you are lucky to have all these persons with you. Sometimes, when everything seems to fall apart around us we don't think that it will come to an end someday. We have to remember that the sun always finishes by coming out and today, we know that spring is around the corner, even if the temperature is in the minuses.

Hope everything goes well for you.

January 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

When I got up to feed this morning here in Central NC, it was 23 degrees and I actually thought of you and other homesteaders up North before I complained! I can't add anything more to an extreme cold weather discussion but, if you get some 100+ degree days this summer, I could give you all kinds of advice! I have a friend who used to work in the prison system with inmates on work detail. He used to have them sing Christmas songs in the summer as a way of fooling themselves into feeling cooler. He says it worked amazingly well so maybe you could sing a little Jimmy Buffet or Bob Marley and think of hot sandy beaches. It just might work! Take care!

January 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Goatldi said...

What everyone else has said plus I assume you have a well. You should have by now wrapped any pipes that may be above ground and exposed.

Our well in the Central Valley of Cal. would freeze up and require a good dose of hot water on the above ground pipes if we failed to wrap.

Having lived a winter the Woodstock, NY I would say hot water might not help you so wrap if you need to. Also don't stick your tongue on any outside surfaces. ;-) Stay warm!

January 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger ladybughomer said...

Living in So Cal I found the advice from your readers fabulous and fascinating. I think the one piece of advice that was novel to me by far was about keeping wood in the house in a warm place. My dad lived in Montana for many, many years, and I don't remember him talking about that one. My grandpa raised goats in Montana, though, in the early 1900's and he did have a lot to say about snow! Not for sissies he used to say. Good luck tonight Miss Jenna.

January 23, 2011 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger bdalward said...

I live in Central Illinois, where it can also get well below zero once in a while. Having a good battery is always the best idea, having the right antifreeze in the radiator is a must. I have made cornbags, (some people use rice) and all you have to do is heat one up either on the woodstove or in the microwave. The heated grain stays nice and warm for a long time. If you had a few of those, the chickens might enjoy roosting on them. It would keep them warm for a few hours anyway. Don't forget to make one for yourself. I have an unheated bedroom in my old farmhouse, and even though it does get some rising heat from downstairs, it is on the exposed west side, out on the prairie, so those windy nights make it very frigid in there. I warm up a cornbag and take it to bed with me, placing it first at my feet. It's wonderful.

January 23, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Out here in western Oregon we don't get that cold but any time the weather dips below 25 or so for several nights or days in a row I open the cabinet doors (remove any cleaning products the dogs might like to sniff or lick!) to my kitchen and bathroom pipes/drains - especially ones on an exterior wall. The heat from the house helps - well most of the time - December 2009 was so cold that the water in my toilets froze! But then I have a mostly uninsulated 1920s house. Keep the wood stove going and don't worry about the car. 3 winters in AK (SE albeit) and I never plugged my car in.

January 23, 2011 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Cam said...

Hang in there Jenna, this weather will pass and you'll be telling us how nice 5 above feels.

I'd just like to say that for your sheep - extra hay is the most beneficial as they generated heat while fermenting the roughage in their gut.

Oh and I find stormy cold weather is a great time to start a new fiber project.

January 23, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Janice said...

Wow, lots of great hints. I now nothing about living on a farm but I do know about the cold. I live in Alberta, Canada in the foothills of the Rocky Mts. Everyone should have a block heater in their vehicle. It's called being kind to your car.You put it on a timer as it only has to be on 2 hours before you use your vehicle. Lots of people would put a piece of cardboard in front of the grill to protect the radiator from the cold. Also put a blanket over your windshield so you don't have to scrape in the morning. Try to park facing away from the wind. Maybe a good use of the extra space in your barn could be shelter for you vehicle for now.
I actually grew up in England where it was really cold because it is so damp. My mum would heat a brick on the stove and wrap it in an old towel and put it in our beds to warm them up at night. We also had heavy velvet floor lenth curtains over the doors to keep out any draughts.
I hope everything goes well for you and this cold spell is a short one.Cuddle up with those gorgeous dogs.

January 23, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger E said...

If you do decide to move the battery inside remember that the battery is heavy & battery acid is strong stuff - wear old clothes, don't spill it.

A helper would be a good idea.

January 23, 2011 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

We let the fire go out so that the furnace runs otherwise the pipes in the basement have been known to freeze. That's especially fun when your hair is full of shampoo and the water slows to a trickle. The hairdryer has been used several times to get the pipes flowing.

January 23, 2011 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger jim said...

JENNA- and you thought that you were alone- we should all be so lucky-take all of these suggestions, compile a checklist for next year and then when the weather turns sour you'll be way ahesd. I also used to put cardboard between my grill and radiator to keep extreme cold off the radiator and make my truck warm up faster. it was there most every winter. We also opened cupboard doors but as noted don't leave anything toxic that the pups can eat-we put rolled towels by the door sills and on top where the windows passs each other. Dry gas in vehicle a must. Once these freeze up its hard to get them un thawed withoug a warm garage. Not expensive. goood luck friend and keep us updated.

January 23, 2011 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

I would second the comment about checking to make sure your antifreeze is protected to 20 below, also start your truck and let it heat up well before attempting to drive it. This will ensure that the oil is flowing well.

January 23, 2011 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Tanja said...

I think you should change your name to FreakingColdAntlerFarm. It's 0 here and dropping... made sure everyone was bedded down, hung a heat lamp in the coop, and we'll hope for the best tonight.

January 23, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger bostonbakedbean said...

Hi; a few tips on your stove; Don't burn pine ! 2 much creosote ! Harder woods burn slower & give more heat. It should be "seasoned" (aged at least a few months outside out of the rain & snow. don't cover with a tarp;it's gotta "breathe" 2 dry out properly)) Put a small hole in the floor 2 allow outside air in front of the stove 2 come in 4 combustion. That way u don't send already heated air up the chimney & wasted. If u lower the fire 2 much, it will take 2 much heat 2 get the house warm again. Hot water freezes faster than cold ! I know from being a plumber who's fixed hundreds of frozen pipes ! If ur battery's not in great shape, u can park it on an overturned milk crate 2' from the stove. If u get up in the middle of the nite,turn it a half turn. A battery only gives 40% of it's power at 0 degrees as it does at 80, when it has 2 work harder 2 crank the engine, 'cuz the oil's thicker.If replacing the battery, the biggest,most powerful 1 u can fit in the truck is what u want. U could get an engine block heater (plugs into electric socket; comes in different wattages ) 4 easier starting & reduces starting wear on engine. Cold starts are harder on the engine & really cuts fuel milage 'till it warms up & u get heat faster too ! NEVER race a cold engine ! Warming foods are: oats, quinwa,cinnamon,cardomom & ginger.

January 23, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Ditto keeping your gas tank above half--when I lived in NH during a particularly cold snap in which we were cheerfully informed it was currently colder in Hanover than in the North Pole, my gas lines froze with it half full and stayed that way until it warmed up. The mechanic laughed at me and said the tank always needs to be 3/4 in the winter, unless I wanted to get a very long extension cord and a hair dryer to start the car each morning...

January 23, 2011 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

gas line antifreeze treatment. although ethanol in the gas nowadays may do that already...

January 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger bongloboy said...

that place looks very cold, I was wondering how do you grow food there during winter seasons? do you use Greenhouses ?

January 25, 2011 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

Woke up to -22 last Sunday. Sled dogs were geeked and out of their hay-filled houses to play with their canine neighbor. Our horses played in the moonlight during the even colder night. Our goats cuddled in their hay filled barn, next to one of our flocks of chickens. Our pigs ~ they love the snow, but were spooning in the deep hay. I just kept one of our two woodfires burning, waiting for the temp to rise to -11 so I could go outside for the day. We have to keep our cabin water dripping all winter. We always bed down the critters more before a cold temp, and feed extra fat (with the meat) to the sled dogs. Animals do well, if cared for, i.e. bedding/feed. I love northern Michigan winters...;) Although our outhouse seat gets a tad frosty at -22.

January 29, 2011 at 11:27 PM  

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