Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 degrees

It's 12 degrees outside, and that's a new kind of cold for this farm. So far the lowest temps have been in the high teens, but last night the mercury dipped to ten degrees and when the farmhouse stoves went out around 2AM the house dropped to the low fifties. This isn't horribly cold, but chilly enough that when I reached over to hug Gibson his black fur was cold to the touch. When I woke him he stretched out his lanky body so he was easily 5 feet long from front paws to back paws, and then curled his spine back into another ten minutes of sleep, tail covering his nose. He must have learned that trick from the huskies.

Today's work includes some everyday chores like repairing the sheep fence, turning out the pony, and loading up the truck with some hay from Nelson's farm for the barn's larder. I'll pick up some more feed in Bennington and stop by the home-brewing shop so I can pick up a valve I am missing for siphoning the hard cider. I'll call the farrier for Jasper (his feet need some trimming) and the butcher about the pigs. They have a date with destiny soon. It feels like just last weekend I picked them up with Tara. But by the time those two are in my freezer Tara will have a belly the size of a throw pillow under her shirt. Life rolls.

There's a Christmas Potluck tonight at my friends' house in Arlington, and I'm bringing a big pot of mac-n-cheese with veggies. It's a comfort food potluck, by the sounds of everyone's menu and for nights this biting, I welcome it. Right now however, I have hot coffee by my side and a list in my head of errands and supplies, chores and plans, recipes and outfit selections.

I hope you all have a wonderful and festive Sunday! The solstice is in just a few days, and that means starting the 23rd, the light returns! Days will get longer, and Christmas even more special. At least, to me.

32 Comments:

Blogger doglady said...

Doesn't this dry cold feel good though? It was 13 degrees at 5am and 11 at 6. It was 59 inside. Now the woodstove has it up to 74 in here. Yay! Time for fleece lined pants. It's about time.

December 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Brrrrrr for us here in NC last nights 28 is about as low as I want to see it get. Sounds like a busy but rewarding day. Take care.

December 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

fleece lined pants sound HEAVENLY

December 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger christine said...

Happy Holidays to you, Gibson, and all at Cold Antler Farm, Jenna. I welcome the days getting longer, too!

December 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
OpenID offgridinwv.com said...

Someday the list in your head will be on paper.

December 18, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I can't believe you're already making plans for Kevin & Bacon - it really does seem like just last week that we picked them up! Wish I could be there to see them off, too...on a bun. Mmmm. ;)

(Sorry, y'all - I've officially reached the "irrationally hungry" stage of pregnancy.)

December 18, 2011 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger steak and eggs said...

How did the baby chick fair? Are they warm enough with the heat lamp if the stove is not burning? I'll be glad to see longer days so my chicken will start layering more.

December 18, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Great, now I want mac and cheese. lol

December 18, 2011 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Tiffrz-N-Kidz said...

I spent a year in Saratoga and remember developing a serious love for my LLBean flanel lined jeans, and my REAL Aran knit fisherman's sweater. This Texas girl was NOT ready for lake effect snow! But I was amazed at how much you can DO in the cold, kindof like how northerners wonder how Texans survive in 104+ heat. In TX 1 inch of snow shuts the whole system down, ditto 100+ heat up north. (You guys have snow plows, we have deep porches and swimming pools.) I also began my love of woodstoves there, the people I stayed with heated their 200+ year home with an equally ancient stove. It was lovely.

December 18, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

And northern coastal dwellers start wilting when the thermometer passes 78. In the teens, it is just getting chilly.

December 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

It was our first real cold, but here in North Western VT.... Just in time for a true solstice celebration!! But, that being said...I can't wait for the daylight to start to lengthen!

December 18, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

What I really love are my Walls insulated bibs. The fact that I can't fit into them this winter is killing me. Although it hasn't really been too cold yet.

December 18, 2011 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I love this community of people connecting access the country!

We used to live in Duluth, MN and people would start to talk about the heat at about 75 degrees and at 82 the whole city was down at the beach playing volleyball and swimming IN LAKE SUPERIOR. You'd have thought you were in California. (lake superior tops out at about 42 degrees). We miss Duluth terribly!

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas!

Kate

December 18, 2011 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Instant fleece lined pants = pj bottoms under jeans a size to big.

December 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

So glad to live in the Pacific Northwest!We never know when ice and snow may happen this winter. Our area is very hilly and many drivers become nincompoops in adverse weather. Pedestrians have to be very cautious about icy sidewalks and roads -and watching out for skiddding cars.

December 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

Bring on the sun and bring on the cold. Grew up in MN and miss that freezing of the nose hairs feeling. Pretty mild in Denver most of the time. Dont miss the dealing with water buckets for animals well below freezing, but its amazing to watch the horses take it in stride, they dont seem to mind the cold if they are dry. Love the big furry coats, how is Jaspers? Hope you dont have any pipe issues this year!

December 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger frostyprince said...

Jenna your next book should be a cookbook. I love all your recipes I have made from your first book or gleaned from your blog.

December 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger frostyprince said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 18, 2011 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Meredith is a genius

December 18, 2011 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Meredith is a genius

December 18, 2011 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Meridith is, indeed a genius. Now if only I had a pair of jeans that were a size too big. :)

December 18, 2011 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Wonderful idea!

December 18, 2011 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Diane, come to VA and shop in my closet...I have summer 6s, fall 8s, and winter 10s...never a shortage of jeans I either can't fit into or are too big.

December 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Homemade Mac&Cheese is pure comfort food. I especially love cauliflower added, but have thrown in all kinds of veggies and it's good. I'm not sure what the Kraft stuff in a box is, but it's nothing like homemade.

December 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Meredith, with your approach to fleece line pants, what is LLBean to do? The ME eonomy needs less resourceful shoppers than you.

December 18, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

one flaw in Meredith's plan. This would definitely encourage me to "fit" into the bigger size...... NO!!!!!!!!!!

December 19, 2011 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

6 degrees on the Downeast Maine coast this morning. Just a tad chilly.

December 19, 2011 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I also never have "too big" jeans (I'm really short, so if they're too big, they're also way too long) but when I wear my insulated bibs to do morning chores, I always put them on directly over my pajamas - comfy, warm, and no one would ever know!

December 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

I prefer tights or leggings under jeans, because they fit in my "normal" jeans. :-)

December 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Have you tried trimming Jasper's feet yourself? It does not take many tools and is not difficult on an unshod horse. Some horses are so tough footed (Appaloosas for example) they many not need shoes. After watching the farrier, you could do it. Probably much cheaper. Dogs love hoof trimmings.

We are anticipating Christmas on the Phony Farm in TN.

December 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Jenna, I hope you mean for this year, this is the coldest? Please get youself ready for the -20, -30 range that I have seen many a year in northeast MA. It usually lasts 2 weeks or so in Jan or Feb. Stay warm, stay strong. Mentally rehearse what infrastructure will freeze solid, and alter it or prep. Kind regards...

December 19, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Katiegirl I only wear tights under jeans myself, I can't deal with the lumps and bumps of layering baggy materials.

December 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

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