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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grumpy Farmer Syndrome

It's been horribly cold. As a Minnesotan I often get a bit cynical with the West coasters–a dusting of snow usually shuts everything down. But there aren't the same infrastructure resources here for winter weather, and heaven forbid the state consider...sales taxes to help with road crews for storms.

However, it has been one of the coldest snaps on record, and we have had to haul warm water twice a day to both barns and all paddocks. It is especially worrisome for the elders, the cold. I was relieved that everyone appears to have made it through, and we are hoping for a thaw tonight into the week, with rain coming, but at least above freezing.

The Bottomtums just go about their day, taking frigid baths and accepting the weather presented to them. What else can one do? I did leave them and Priscilla in their hut for two days straight, which was kept warm by their huddling body masses.

I think more than anything, hauling water creates the Grumpy Farmer Syndrome. Martyn stayed home in the cold too-not much a landscaper can dig in this weather-and I'm so glad he's been here to help. Now, if I was just hauling water to one or two buckets, that would be less grumpy accumulating. But I have ten areas to keep water in–so I have a lot of time to grow my grumpiness.

And my sciatic nerve got tweaked from hauling buckets. More grumpiness.

By night time I am so ready for a fire and a glass of wine and it makes it all the sweeter. But I forgot, I have to carry warm water to the multiple outdoor cats–more grumpiness.

So, I was watching the ducks, bathing, dipping and drinking water in the frigid cold. They did not dip a toe in to test the temperature, they leapt in. This is the only cure for Grumpy Farmer Syndrome-dive into the cold and get it over with.

I am less grumpy today, as it feels down right balmy at 30 degrees.


salmonpoetry said...

The only saving grace of this irritating cold snap on our little farminista is that the duck poop freezes in convenient single-serve dollops that can so much more easily be cleared from the path. We have the same grumpiness syndrome going on here though, hauling kettles of hot water out to melt down the duckpond, baling up straw to keep the shivering bantams warm, with muscles aching and headaches from too much cold and dry. Warm wishes to the elder residents out there (and those who care for them).

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

We winter in Wisconsin, where hauling water is a November to March occasion. Last night our worry was that the heated goat water bucket went on the fritz....we had the last bucket held for us at our local farm supply store. Our barn cats get a space heater to provide a reprieve on the below 0 nights. Winter has already worn my patience....

dulcy said...

It's been terribly cold here in the Ozarks. I've been obsessing over my little (well sort of mine since I feed him) cat, Firefly. Leaving garage door up enough for him to go in, food, and an old down comforter. Sort of a 5 star cat hotel.... other than single digit temps at night. Ugh!

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thanks, Lisa- it sure is pretty out today though frosty! Kari, DUlcy- I know, we don't have anything on you. When I first moved from Mpls to Oregon in 2002, I loved how the ground never froze like a board, and the buds were always on trees...I remember how long those winters were...Hang in there.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~