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!