Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Big Chill 2013 Edition, Day 5

The weather guessers said all along that we 'wouldn't get near the string of records set back in 1972'.  No, we wouldn't - we'd break them, one by one.  Well, so far, at least one has fallen, and today's low of -10 in Eugene was only 2 degrees shy of the all time record low ever recorded for the date, in 1972, of -12.  We, however, not being in the valley, were a bit on the balmy side.  It actually did hit 6 degrees here, but I didn't have the camera close to hand, then once I did I forgot to get a pix before it heated up out there.  For me, that's just 5 degrees warmer than the coldest weather I've ever been in, when it was 1 degree back in February in Wisconsin while I was back there.  It was so cold here this morning that the second I stepped outside and took in a deep breath thru my nose, my nose hairs instantly turned into little frozen icicles.  It was a weird feeling, that.  And breaking the ice on the tanks was a chore to behold - even the sledge was barely enough, as some of the ice was probably 2" thick.  And that's after continuous breaking of it all day and into the evening yesterday.  Dale ran an extension cord to the big galvanized tank in the north pasture and we dropped the big tank heater in.  That at least will keep the big ice at bay, but we still have to continuously refill the tank with the hose out of the greenhouse anyway, as the regular hose to the tank is just a solid bar of ice with no chance at staying liquid at these temperatures.  We did make it to 22 degrees today, under mostly cloudy skies, which means not much melted at all.
In this cold weather, the cows need to eat - a LOT.  We are feeding twice as much as normal, include a huge feeding of alfalfa with the grass hay, 3 times a day.  The last feeding is made as late as possible so they can spend the night digesting and thus producing plenty of body heat.  Pony and his minions also eat continuously.  The hens get three times the scratch grains, which produce more energy than just their feed ration.  The dogs get their breakfast and dinner hot - hot water, a portion of raw Scoobyburger and their kibble.  It's all a management thing.  If you know how to manage your animals properly, you shouldn't have any problems.  Yes, it's a lot more work for us, especially when the very furthest faucet is the only one that didn't get drained (south pasture where Pony and his minions are) properly and Dale has to spend an hour or so with a torch thawing it so he can refill their tanks.  It's just good animal husbandry.
We also found that a good way to keep warm is to dust the component shelf before the cable guy comes on Wednesday with the new DVR, since the old one has pretty much given up the ghost.  All you older folk are nodding your heads, saying 'yeah, we know how THAT goes', because you know how it went.  If you're going to dust that shelf, you might as well dust them all.  If you're going to do that, might as well move the subwoofer from one side to the other.  If you do that, then you need to move the couch.  Which means you can take that section that Sybil ate a hole in out to the trash area where the old freezer is, waiting for a trip to the dump.  If you do that, you might as well clean the windows and sills behind the couch.  And the electric floorboard heaters.  And shampoo the carpet.  Vacuum up the dead bugs and spider webs from the corners and curtains and windowsills.  Put up the knitting stuff and try to cover the scratches on the sidetable with Scotts Liquid Gold.  Take all the candles out of the glass holders and clean the holders and the candles.  Did I mention shampooing the carpet?  And eventually, 3 hours have passed, you've long since turned off the heater in the room and ditched 2 of your 3 layers, and gone outside in the 22 degree weather to cool off several times.  Who needs a heater when you have housecleaning?
Needless to say, didn't get a lot of pictures today.  Which you are probably glad about

 The object here was to show the frosted trees in the background.  It really looked a lot better in real life

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