Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What is two more?

We started back to school Monday. It was a makeup day, but no one seemed to mind after all the days off. We were out of schedule. Students were a bit lethargic, but everyone was ready to get back to a more normal routine.

Then it snowed.

Then the temperatures dropped to the single digits again.

Another two days off of school. The main roads aren't too bad, but the back roads are still a mess. What is the temperature when salt on roads loses it's effectiveness? The forecast looks frigid until Friday.

I'm really not complaining about having the days off. The roads were a mess. I love that with our new schedule, we are all home when there is bad weather. It is just a bit challenging to never quite know what we'll be doing the next day, and daily making the plan up as we go. I like a plan. I can be flexible, but I like a plan.

We have gotten a lot of projects done. We've been a little lazy too. There some other projects, like starting my seeds, and canning the remaining tomatoes in my freezer that I would have gotten done if I'd known we'd be off for six days for a water issue, and now two more days for weather. There are projects I should have done like de-clutter and clean the house that I just couldn't find the motivation for.

Today we had frozen pipes for the first time in years. The temperature was really much colder than a few weeks ago, but we are guessing the wind had something to do with it. That and the fact that last week Tim fixed some loose duct work under the house. The fix kept heat going into the house instead of under it. Tim got to go under the house again today for the pipes.

I am thankful that we are home these days when the temperatures do not even approach the freezing mark. It is a challenge to keep fresh water for the animals on these days. It would be even harder if we were leaving early in the morning and not getting home until late afternoon.

We left the poultry inside today. They would be ok outside, but it is almost impossible to keep their water thawed with their door open. We really should get a water heater for them.

The hog house is set up with pig doors that have heavy flaps on them. We also heat the hog house because it is plumbed. The pigs are able to come and go as they please between the house and pasture. About the only time we will confine them inside is for weaning or when there are new piglets and cold temperatures.

Today's high in the low 20s did not deter them from coming out. This pasture was just recently opened up. There are still lots of nuts under those leaves, and it is partially a garden spot that is full of potatoes we chose not to harvest for ourselves.

The feeders are a little shy. They took off running from the fence when I walked up to them. They stopped at the trees. As I talked to them, they looked and started to come back. They know Tim's voice better than mine. I didn't wait for them. They might not mind the cold, but I do.

The two sows in that pasture, on the other hand, know my voice. They were in the opposite corner when I approached the fence. They came running toward me as soon as I started talking. I felt a little guilty I hadn't brought them a treat. Very pregnant, but young, LuLu was the first to arrive. Steady old Charcoal was right behind her. 

Our new schedules have meant Tim tends the animals more, doing the jobs that I used to do when I was home and he was working 50+ hours a week. After school he tends animals, and I tend house chores. I kind of miss going out and talking to the animals and watching them. I'm glad to have him do though when the temperatures are below freezing!

Here we are about 3:00 in the afternoon. Tim ran into town for some feed. He said the back roads are still completely covered, sheets of ice in places. There are now WV school closings, yet, but neighboring counties in KY are closing, one even closing for Friday already. Guess I need to make two plans for tomorrow.

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