January Thaw

Greetings from a warmer prairie. We have had more nice days in the last week than frigid. We had single digit high temperatures during the middle of the week and a significant warm up over the weekend. Saturday I sent Mom a selfie saying “No wind, 16* and sun. Coat optional!” Granted I was working and moving helps keep one warm.

Monday I was able to keep my appointment in North Dakota border town. J advised me to run my errands and get home before dark. We are on high alert in case the wind comes up. A strong wind will fill the road with snow and we might not make it back home. I stocked up on groceries and bought a new snow shovel (I seem to have cracked mine). To top off the day, I ran into one of my favorite neighbors at the diner and ate lunch with him.

We had a beautiful Tuesday. After dinner J and I moved snow. Keeping the snow moved so we can get around the yard makes for a lot of busy work.

I have a little routine to my shoveling. I work on the deck, sidewalks, the aprons in front of the garages and machine shed, chicken coop and the doors to the horse barn (a/k/a barn cat house). It gets a bit redundant scooping snow, but I think it’s easier to clean up a small mess than deal with a big one. The way our luck runs, if we have a big mess it’s probably not good, well below zero and we are in a hurry. Unpredictability is the spice of life. Small mess = less stress!

Wednesday J made a dash to town for parts. While he was warming up the pickup, I got a phone call saying the mail lady got stuck. J pulled her out, ran his errand and got home before the wind came up.

Apparently the mail lady wasn’t as brave on Friday; we didn’t get mail. After talking to several people we have come to the conclusion that our road was the only portion of the the route that didn’t get mail. Maybe today.

The hens are still laying, but at a slower pace. Between the four Araucanas I’m getting 1-2 blue eggs a day. Last week I started noticing big white eggs. One of my two old Leghorn hens is laying.

I let the chickens out of the coop one day last week. With the nice weather I’m going to open the door and let them roam as much as I can.

Friday the 13th was just that for us. We waited until 8 am to chore hoping it would warm up a bit; it was to -6*when we left the house. J and I got the calves and the bred heifers/2nd calvers group fed before trouble struck. We had a breakdown. It turned out to be an easy fix, but required a trip to town for parts. Unfortunately, the town with the part is 90 miles, one way. Fortunately they had the part we needed on hand. By the time J got home and made the repair it was almost 2 o’clock. By the time we got back to chores it had warmed up to 8*!

We spent the evening celebrating my favorite Mechanic’s birthday by going out to eat with family and friends.

J and I were back at it moving snow on Saturday. J blowed snow out of the corals. I shoveled most of the alleyway and was glad to see J come help me finish the task. Later this week we need to give the bred heifers a pre-calving shot. Since we will have the second calvers sorted off they will go back with the main bunch of cows.

We are glad to see a “January Thaw” in the works for this week. Livestock and humans need a break from the extreme cold. Temps in the 20’s, will be well received by all.

Between watching the weather and looking at Facebook posts I want to wish Good Luck to those of you who are dealing with rain, freezing rain and ice issues in the mid-west.  And for those of you experiencing big rain falls or flooding, you’re in our thoughts too.

What is the weather like at your house?

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7 Responses to January Thaw

  1. Jennifer says:

    My hens are laying about an egg/week. Slackers! 😀

  2. Bonnie says:

    Everything seems more difficult in the winter. Glad it is starting to warm up. I can’t believe your hens are still laying. I know what you mean about keeping the snow cleaned out. Around here it piles up fast. Good luck and stay warm.

  3. Kim says:

    We got a lot of ice (photos on the blog tomorrow). We didn’t have power through the night, but it came back on at 6:45 AM. I couldn’t believe it, but I’m so thankful! In 2007 when we had so much ice, we didn’t have electricity for 12 days, so this is like a miracle. Things were melting this afternoon, which made it sound like a war was going on as ice hit the roof.

  4. Darcy says:

    Ranching in the winter is not for the faint at heart! 🙂 Hoping for better weather this week.

  5. Pamela Galindo says:

    After reading about your cold temps and realizing how durable you are to work and due chores and run errands in such extremes….all I can say is that I would be such a wimp!!!!! I was cold all day today, as I ran errands and it was just mid-40’s. I sure would be whining if it snowed here. LOL We have a little break from rain, but more is on the way and there will be more flooding. I really love reading every word you write.

  6. Alica says:

    I still feel like a cold weather wimp when I read your posts! 🙂 I’m glad you’re having a bit of a break in the weather!! You amaze me!

  7. CountryMum says:

    The snow does make for very stunning photos I might say! I just can’t imagine it being that cold. Snow is not something that I have had a lot to do with. We are experiencing a little reprieve from a heat wave today which is just lovely.

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