Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day Two of The Bottom

The day started out as I reported earlier; with frozen pipes and a dead truck. I had fallen asleep too early the night before (11:30PM) and let the fires die out. That choice turned my 60-degree living room to a chilly mid-forties by 7AM. I was curled up under a pile of blankets and collies. I stayed under the covers for a few stolen moments pretending everything was fine. Then Friday jumped onto my chest and started licking my face and the day began proper.

The work of the farm is heavier with the frigid-weather chores. Extra feed, bedding, and water carried to make up for the energy the animals use to stay warm. There's about a half foot of snow out there, and ice below it - which makes for some really solid agility tests. So far I only fell down once.

Several attempts of restarting the truck failed. (I've added extra coolant and have a trickle charger on the battery.) Some of the house pipes are thawed (kitchen, not bathroom). But even with the  encouragement I was gaining in degrees in the farmhouse I was feeling beaten down. This doesn't really bode well for day two the The Bottom. I tried to snap out of it. Coffee was hot and ready. I had lined up the day's work indoors and out and made my list of little goals. I was okay. The problems I had I was trying to fix and had fixed before. Chins up!

Then I nearly burned the house down...

I was over zealous with my heating and nearly started a fire this afternoon by letting too much air stream through the mud room stove. I came inside from hooking up the truck's charger and smelled that battery-acid stench of burning stove paint. It tastes like rust and chemicals in your mouth, makes you feel sick all over. I shut the flue and clamped the stove's air supply down much as possible and checked the attic and outdoor chimney areas - all seems safe but I'm gun shy now to leave the farm even if the stove is fine. It was scary.

And all it took was dry wood in an overworked stove I neglected for twenty minutes of outside work. Imagine if I had left the farm or was doing an extended outdoor chore like digging out the pigs' fencing?! I have chills just thinking about it. I need to have both the chimneys and stoves cleaned and inspected.

In lighter news the incubator I borrowed from a friend hatched a chick this morning! Out of the dozen or so eggs in there only one that hatched but I hope for more. Hearing those peeps from the Styrofoam box was so unexpected and joyful to hear. I was filling soap orders and focusing on adding fats to milk when the sound hit me like a record scratch. Babies! New chicks on the coldest day of the year so far!

The house now smells more of mint and crockpot goodness again. There's a loaded crock pot of Silkie Bantam Stew and egg noodles and I have been hydrating with warm mugs of water with lemon juice in them. It's soothing just to have the warmth inside. I feel a little better that the house didn't burn down. It's been here since 1860 and I hope very very hard I'm not the end of the story for it.

Tonight will be colder than last. I am hoping I can get the pipes cleared and running and the truck started. More updates often over on Twitter @coldantlerfarm

Current Stats:

Outdoor Temp: 3° F
Tonight's Low: -9° F
Indoor Temp: 59° F
Truck: Turns now! (still won't start completely)
Pipes: Kitchen thawed/Bathroom frozen
Toilet Bowl Water: Liquid
Also: Friday got her period & hates her diaper

And if you want to pitch in for hay/feed/plumbing or just general morale support you can do so at: If you don't, that's fine too. I'll be updating here through the worst of this winter weather daily.