Sunday, January 5, 2014
In case you ever wondered what a geeky writer does when she's not geeking out or writing...well, you probably didn't, but I'll tell you anyway. This weekend, I've been winterizing the farm as the temperature prepares to drop down into the single digits over the next few days. What is this madness? I live in Georgia! So when do I get to have mint juleps on the porch and complain about the heat??
Listen to me, talking like an old lady about the weather. Thrilling stuff. Growing up on a farm sped up the aging process, I think. Summers were spent working. Holidays were tempered with responsibility. And snow days meant throwing the truck in four wheel drive and heading for the barn. At least now, with the horses at home, there's no driving involved. But there's still lots of work that comes rolling in with the cold.
For starters, all the water troughs and buckets freeze, and freeze thick. I pulled this off a trough yesterday morning.
It hasn't gotten down to 8 degrees in my memory, so for the first time, I'm trying electric stock tank de-icers. They're this heated metal coil with a cage around it, so curious horse noses can't touch the hot part. And they really add to the ambiance of the yard with all the orange extension cords running up the to the house from the pasture fence. Classy touch. Fingers crossed the horses don't get electrocuted. And that Markus doesn't pull the thing out of the water with his teeth.
Each stall has a heat lamp in it, and I figure they must help because the horses stand directly under them. And they make my barn look like a bordello. Red light district, baby.
I'm feeding warm soupy bran mash. Yummy.
And tripling their blanket layers.
Ah, winter. There's nothing like hammering through ice, little chips of it flying up and lodging in your eyes, your nose too numb for you to know its running like a faucet. Bundled up like Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story. "I can't put my arms down!" I live a sexy life.