Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tough Love

Patty took this photo at her farm a few years ago, and I adore it. To me this photo is everything a Fell Pony is: tough, strong, sturdy, warm, and stubborn.  He's also tall, dark, and handsome. (My kind of man.) The day this photo was taken there were barns and piles of hay and shelter from the cold but he wanted to be outside, His druthers was his own.

Do you see the frost on his back? That's a good thing. Snow on a horses back, or even ice, means that the hair is working as a living blanket. Keeping his outside hairs colder and inner body warm. Snow can rest on a thick-coated equines back and never melt if all systems are working right. He's my tough love.

Chores were all done outside around 8AM. Inside chores started at 6:30, getting the house warmed up from the 44 degrees it slipped into during the night. I know some of you cringe to read that, but it is wonderful! Oh man, to wake up with a mission and to have the power to overcome the elements, you feel like a damned superhero! Fires are lit, wool is slipped over naked, steaming, skin. Shearling covers toes. Matches strike hope. Coffee perks and its elixir fills the room with a verve more potent than any drug, at least to me. Yes, the slushy ice-coated water in the dog bowl in the kitchen was a bit of a shock but that coffee was hot, the cream was thick, the sweater heavy, and spirits high.

To wake up comfortable under a pile of wool and sheepskins and see the steam rise off your body makes me feel like a woman warrior from another time. To greet the day on fire, literally smoking, puts your mind into this primal mode of action and comfort. The trick to sleeping warm in cold weather is to always sleep naked. Even a tee shirt and shorts under that pile of wool and skins stops the body from radiating the furnace it needs. Sleep naked. It's better. We keep forgetting we are animals. I was warmer under that pile than any resort spa's sauna.

In years past mornings like this were met with fear. Not today. All the animals on this farm are  now tended by a woman with nearly a decade of experience. Mistakes were made in the past, for sure, but last night not one turkey, chicken, sheep, pig, goat or horse seemed worse for wear. All had thick, warm, beds. All had wind-free shelter. All had more calories than I ate on Thanksgiving. All had been checked on during the night. They are bonnie and braw.

So were this 1860's house's pipes - which did not freeze! Now the house is up to 52 degrees and the fires are roaring. I am roaring too. I feel strong, and motivated as hell. I have a real task ahead to achieve this week and I will figure out a way to meet it. If I can keep this place running smooth at -18 degrees; I can handle a few bills. At least that is the mindset I am choosing. Half the battle in this scrappy life is deciding you already won.


Blogger Sheryl Blair said...

I'm cold just reading this! Negative 18 is a temp I never hope to see here in Tennessee! Drink another cup of that hit coffee and stoke that fire. Best wishes for a speedy Spring :)

February 14, 2016 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Jen B-K said...

You GO! While I have done much of what you describe (and in TX we are never prepared for harsh winter weather), I am gardening barefoot today, putting in onions and potatoes. Enjoy what remains of your winter, as Spring is almost upon us...

February 14, 2016 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Harmony Hill said...

Now there's a great spirit and fine mindset. Real and dreamy all in a good way. Your choices and outcomes are as good as done.

February 14, 2016 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Janet Hamilton said...

Love this post!!! I'm rooting for you. You're writing is inspiring.

February 14, 2016 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger cjbstar said...

Sure have enjoyed your blog the last couple of weeks. Thank you for sharing your farm life and hard work. Stay warm and strong.

February 14, 2016 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

It is very cold there...-15....burr. You have no broken pipes? Thanks for writing about a horses' naturally warm coat, built in to keep them warm. I hope that the cold front moves quickly out of your area. You are right on track to handle what life hands out. Keep up the good thoughts.

February 14, 2016 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger crb said...

Hi Jenna, I'm trying to reach you about creating a logo, but I don't think my emails are going through. Could you pm me? Thanks!

February 15, 2016 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Now sure how to message you crb? You can email me at, twitter DM, or Facebook messages!

February 15, 2016 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger crb said...

I sent you an email. Thanks!

February 15, 2016 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Ginny said...

Sleeping naked is way warmer! I sleep under down, and prefer the warmth. I'd sleep under a wool blanket but I haven't been able to afford one yet.
Glad to see you're still kickin, I haven't been able to catch up on your blog in a while!

February 24, 2016 at 4:07 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home