Monday, January 1, 2018

Day Six of the Bottom

Last night I fell asleep in a 60° home by a roaring fire. I didn't stay up for Midnight, but I did have a Guinness and a goat in my lap. The little guy is healthy and eating well from the bottle. He was dropped off with a gallon of milk, bottle, towel and his voice. Nubians are famously vocal goats and he's no exception. He was quiet as a mouse until around 2 in the morning when the screaming started. His screams (which sound so much like a piglet I might name him Wilbur)set off the rooster, Chase. So when I was supposed to be in deep sleep I was listening to a goat in a dog crate and a rooster in a cage holler. I woke up around 4AM to feed him and check the water/stoves and all seemed well. The house was colder as we slunk into the deep freeze of the night - but at least the fires were lit and the kid had warm milk in his belly.

I woke up to a different situation. The house was cold enough to see my breathe and the cats had figured out how to remove the plastic window from the top of the chick brooder and ate every chick trying to hatch from their eggs. They also killed the smaller chicks in the living room, including a baby Silkie Bantam I was nursing from a rough hatch. I was livid at the cats and wouldn't look at them, just stared at their full bowl of kibble with glowing eyes.

All the pipes froze. The ground water created a tiny iceberg behind the washing machine that will spill everywhere as the room heats up. As the house woke up the kid started screaming, rooster crowing, and I realized I had no way to make a fresh pot of coffee. In all the events of yesterday I didn't think to do the dishes and prep the pot the night before - failing at my own advice. Friday and Gibson had to be separated since she's in heat and so I had one dog crying to be let out of a crate, a goat screaming like a pig, a rooster crowing (now just walking around the mudroom because to hell with everything) and no coffee.

The good news is this. I just put my head down and got to work. I added water from the tea kettle to the percolator and made a half pot of coffee with old grounds. I put in earbuds and listened to an encouraging podcast while I cleaned out old ash in the stoves, lit fires, carried in wood, checked on the farm (all outdoor animals are okay save for one old hen that passed in the night), did morning chores outside, tended to the hawk and goat kid, and slowly got my life back together. It's 10AM and so far one line of the four water lines is thawed - the kitchen hot water. I filled containers, topped off dog bowls, did the dishes and made a fresh pot of coffee.

Right now I am writing this just to feel like I am doing something else. And because sharing the story of Winter's Bottom helps me feel less alone in it. I so look forward to sunshine, a working truck,  and rising temps indoors.

10AM Stats
Outdoor Temp: -7° F
Tonight's Low: -3° F
Indoor Temp: 46° F
Truck: Still won't start
Pipes: One line thawed
Toilet Bowl Water: Frozen/not flushing