Saturday, February 13, 2016

Big Cold

Today will be met with high winds, intense cold, and lows in the negative teens. As of 8AM this morning all is well. The animals had been checked, fed, and watered. Everyone has extra bedding, a place to get out of the wind, plenty to eat, and basically the proper motivation to sleep through this blast of winter like the horrible hangover it is. We'll get through it. I still get nervous.

This is my fifth winter on this farm, but the house and I have changed considerably. When I bought this place I depending on an oil burner with baseboard heat. There was thick carpeting in the front room. Everything was fresh paint and shiny and clean. Now it is roaring fires that keep the home warm, feed bags are stacked inside the dining room on a dirty wooden floor so they don't freeze, and there's not a carpet to be seen - save for the welcome mat. I have shearling slippers (carpets on my feet) and a broom for dog hair. Works kinda great.

I have to run into town soon for some long nails to repair a loose metal piece of the pig's wall. If the high winds predicted blow through it might be in danger of blowing off. I'll surely grab a cup of coffee and Stewart's and listen in for the weather and farm news, maybe bullshit with some of the real pros. The elder dairy farmers around here will have their own advice and predictions to share, and there are a lot of things a pony and sheep can benefit from that also keep heifers comfortable in this weather.

-15 tonight. High winds. You know what I'll be doing? I have a bird this farm raised this summer in a cast iron pot, slowly cooking with potatoes and carrots for a think chicken stew. With a pot of rice it'll be enough to feed four very hungry people, which I am expecting tonight to come after dark for Game Night. As the winds howl out there we'll be inside running our Pathfinder campaign and every few hours I'll head outside with a lantern to check on sleeping pigs in their shelter, the horse in his, the sheep in their shed, goats in their pen, and the birds in the barn.

Merlin is due for the farrier soon. I'll call Dave and set something up after Tuesday when the sun becomes civil again.

I have my truck back as of Thursday evening and made the first of three payments on the repairs. Two more Fridays of repairs ahead to earn and figure out. I am so grateful for the five of you who sent in donations this week! This blog is free, always will be, but those little gifts and the ongoing subscriptions some of you choose to patron - it really makes a difference. Every little click on that button is used to cover hay and feed, truck repairs and firewood, the lights and internet. It all helps. It makes me realize I am also not just shouting into a void but talking to people who really care about this little mountain farm. Thank you.

That cell phone piece I wrote for the Guardian has been shared 22,000 times and has nearly a thousand comments. That is insane! Celebrities are retweeting it. People are sending me emails from all over the world in congratulations and celebration. Many, many, more called me an idiot or worse. *shrugs* Well, they aren't here hammering pig walls in the high winds, stoking stoves, tending water lines, or bedding sheep sheds. These are all things I can't do with a smart phone, or any phone for that matter. I may very well be an idiot, but tonight around stove light, candles, lanterns and hot food raised on this very chunk of earth surrounded by good friends and our own feral stories - I feel like I am not missing out on anything.

But I'll raise a glass to smart phones anyway. The payment for that story will cover at least one more truck repair payment!


Blogger PansWife said...

The first thing to go when I bought my old farmhouse was the orange and red shag carpeting that was already 20 years old, but probably the newest thing in the house. To me, wall-to-wall carpeting is like clothing you can't wash and a place for dirt to permanently take up residence in your home. I was rewarded with big chestnut boards underneath the shag and I can't understand why anyone would cover them up in the first place; all these years later they still look great and just need a damp mop and broom to keep them that way.

Very nice article about phones. I have a Smart Phone (and a landline), but I don't comprehend why people are always staring at these devices. I guess if you're 16 and want to communicate with your pals there is that appeal, but I use it for business, making lists, taking photos and occasionally sending a to text my husband about picking up something at the hardware store or grocery. My rejection of modern life's luxuries is cable TV and I'm pretty clueless about most celebrities (I had no idea who your hawk is named after and had to Google it, still not real sure who she is). I love the internet and ebooks, but I'm glad I can stay away from them and go for walk or watch birds at the feeders or spend a few hours making a meal or weeding in quiet. I agree it's all a balance and I'm glad we get to chose.

February 13, 2016 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...


To me, wall-to-wall carpeting is like clothing you can't wash and a place for dirt to permanently take up residence in your home.

Exactly, especially with a house of farmboots and animals. But that shag protected that wood for you the whole time it was there!

Anna Kendrick is my hero. I wrote why here.

February 13, 2016 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Thanks for the followup, Jenna. I've been reading your blog for awhile, but missed the post on Ms. Kendrick. Stay warm!

February 13, 2016 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

Well done on the article numbers/views/shares.

February 13, 2016 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

No shrugging.....You see, the slightly more weathered me reads those this way.....

They have to call you an idiot to make themselves feel better, because their lives revolved around staring at that little screen....they are chained to it, either by employment or by social status. They are too chicken to break free....what would people think.

And it must be sad to have to constantly check your phone to see if you're popular.,,,or not deceased. lol

February 13, 2016 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

Just whitewash your subfloor to keep it protected it looks better than any chemical laden carpet in my opinion and protects it and keeps it easy to clean!

February 15, 2016 at 7:25 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home