When bad weather like this hits I need to change my routine. If I go out in my coveralls, wool, and canvas and expect to get all the animals fed, watered, and bedded in one shot I am just kidding myself. I could do it, but it is asking for burnout, frostbite, and general misery. So I do the the chores one animal at a time. I may go out and just rake the barn roof free of snow and then get the goats some hay and fresh un-frozen water. That is fifteen minutes in the cold and in this storm that is enough to get me back inside to defrost my digits and grab a cup of coffee. Once warmed up by some light office work, emails, etc I head back outside and instead of goats (who are at this point find and chewing cud in their wind-proof barn on a bed of straw) it is time to see that the pigs are okay. today that meant fixing their fence, lugging out unfrozen water, a five-gallon bucket of feed (food scraps and pig chow today), and then heading back inside to defrost again. The sheep and horses are another trip, since they are closest to the house and their hay stashes are right near them so I can get them both done in one shot. As snow piles on the pony's backs and the sheep head up the hill to their pole barn to weather the storm I do the same inside, stoking the fires. I woke up and the house was 53 degrees this morning. Right now, it is about 58. Its taking longer to heat up because Stewarts was out of that dry wood this morning and the fire just isn't as hot. Dry firewood in two armloads is worth a truckload of wet wood. I have learned this for certain. I hope to get to a point where I have enough dry stuff stacked and waiting a year in advance of its burning season, for that is the right way to do this! Alas, I am where I am. I'll be happy to reach 60- degrees by sunset if I can keep the pipes from freezing up.
I remember in my past life when I would be gone all day at an office, not home to pull snow off buildings or stoke a fire. That life was okay, but I like this one more. I like the effort, the need, the fact that so many depend on me. It means that I matter. I even like that I need to offer a million different services, animals, stories, songs and dances to pay the bills because I wake up with a mission every day. It's scary right now, but I prefer being scared of my perfect life than comfortable in my old one. You can't be comfortable and want something at the same time. You can, however, fake that you are comfortable until you grow numb, till your desires wither up like a neglected plant. I'm not scared of breaking bones, bills, judgement, or rolling eyes but I am terrified of looking back on my life someday and wishing I lived it differently. So I stoke a cold house, pull snow off a roof, sip coffee between 40-pound buckets in each hand up a snowy hill, and plan workshops so you can come here and be a part of the story.
I hope you are all safe and warm wherever you are!