Fight The Cold Winds
So yes, the cold! It means such presence on a farm like this. This is a farm heated by firewood, worked on my human lungs and horse collars. No tractor carries bales to the fields - just forearms. No thermostat turns up the heat at 2AM when the world goes numb - alarms are set to restock my stove. But the house and the animals are my job when real cold comes.
I rarely worry about the poultry, sheep, or the horse - if they have the calories and wind protection they need and their body condition is good - they are golden. It is the comfort lovers I worry about - pigs and goats. But the trio of goats tucked into their corner of the barn with grain-fed tummies - well out of harsh winds. The pigs had burrowed in their forest home several feet deep with hay and three walls of wind block. When I came out to check on them at first light Friday they popped their heads out of their deep bedding with steam rolling off the, little scorched fields on their black bristled backs. All was well. It felt good.
Well, mostly. The pipes did freeze in one faucet and are in the process of unfreezing. The plumbing is still an issue here (calling for some creative resourcefulness I’m certain you don’t want to hear about). Also, the antibiotics stopped my toothache. If I can afford the trip to the dentist I will go Tuesday. Things are touch and go right now.
I am happy and tired as I write this. It’s dark outside and I spent the morning frantically working on artwork and commissions for Christmas gifts folks ordered. I drove in the snow to the Post Office and waited in a very long line to mail the stack out to 5 states and 2 different countries. After that, I got Aya Cash ready for some hunting and we hiked for miles in the snow together. She flying above me, and I hiking below in the drifts. I was grateful I made that 2-egg omelet before we left. I needed the energy. Without snow shoes hiking in the snow is exhausting, but a great workout. We stopped to make tea in the woods. It was lovely. I took out my Kindle Fire and listened to My Favorite Murder while sipping some Lyons with a dram of whiskey in it. I looked over my snowy land and said a little thank you to the local wights, swirling about seen and unseen. I poured half the tea out for them, a thank you for keeping an eye on this feral place.
Speaking of stories - I have the winners of the audio book! Email me please Delayne and Fungus Queen - and I will email you your download from Audible soon! Thanks to all who entered.
At the end of this long day I feel like celebrating. I am tired, but it doesn’t take much fuss to play some music. Usually it’s the fiddle I grab but lately it’s my little uke, A beloved sponsor sent to me that instrument and the book that taught me how to play it in DAY. I must talk about these chaps at Native Ground more, because they are the same books that taught me and hundreds of CAF students to play the fiddle over the past six years or so. That little ukulele has been tuned up and in my lap a lot on these cold days. I think because the somewhat tropical and bright sound is emotional warfare against the cold. I have found all sorts of Yuletide music to play online, too. Some songs learned in minutes with simple tablature and strumming. I sat down mentally, physically and creatively exhausted today from farming, illustrating, and hunting - but it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to strum some chords on that little buddy. It took me minutes to learn Away in the Manger - and I added some Jenna Flair to it with faster strumming on try 3. In the comments of this post I will put details of the combo package they sent me of Uke, book, and CD. It was under sixty bucks. Not bad for fighting the cold winds and low spirits.
I hope you guys are looking forward to the holidays and keeping your farms, families, kids (human or caprine), flocks, horses, sounders and more safe as the days grow darker. Light comes back soon, or has every December for quite some time. Let's hope for the best together.