December 15, 2010
Another Wisconsin winter is decidedly upon us! Over a foot of snow in one day and drifts several feet high. Luckily, Uber Hubby plowed, blew, and shoveled all day so that I would have paths to the barn, bees, and animals.
My winter coveralls (hand me downs from hubby) are draped over a stool in the mudroom where they dry in front of the furnace register between my trips outside. Boots, mittens, and ugly, but warm cap are hung there too. I finally found a solution to my cold feet... I buy tall rubber boots a size too large, then put in an extra insole and pull on heavy wool socks that I can tuck jeans legs into. The trick is to keep some air space around your toes.
This morning I'll carry out one of the baseball sized zucchini that we saved in the cold cellar. The pigs and goats love them in winter and they provide some much needed variety to their winter diet of hay and grains. They love pumpkins as well. I've also brought a two gallon can of hot water which I'll use to mix up the pig's "porridge". I always make it extra soupy because they don't like to leave their warm tunnels in the hay to visit the water bucket so they have to drink the watery porridge before they can get to the grain on the bottom of their bowls.
Feeding the barnyard ducks and geese is proving to be a challenge as they have decided not to leave the open water in the big pond. So I struggle out there with the bucket of grain and pellets. Should have worn snow shoes because the drifts are thigh high. Normally, I would have shoveled a path for them across the ice, but the pond is not yet frozen deeply enough to make that a safe chore. I'll also have to put some sort of shelter out there for them as the night temperatures are dipping well below zero.
Pulling off all of the layers that are stiff with ice and covered in snow is a bit more challenging that getting it all on was... I really need one of those boot pullers... and that hat gives me perpetually flat hair! But a hot cup of hyssop tea with honey and feet in dry socks propped up by the wood stove... priceless!