Wintertime Woes

And it is not even winter yet. The first event occurred on Monday when I was at work.  Apparently the heat tape for our pump-house faucet failed and tried to catch fire.  If it had succeeded it would have burnt down our  pump-house and perhaps the garage as well. We didn’t even realize that they could catch fire.  We have three faucets with that tape on them.  It is totally necessary that we continue this, but we need to figure out how to do it safely.

But the other issue is that it tripped the GFI plug in the pump house, and the heater wasn’t working.  If it had been a little colder, this could the meant the water for the entire farm could have frozen.  It could have broken pipes and/or damaged our pump.  This is so scary.

This is the blizzard that came on Tuesday.  We didn’t get much snow, but the wind did a lot of damage.  The sheep even went into the barn to get out of it. This is highly unusual.  But the geese stay outside.

One thing though, the water container cover I had bought survived.  I was wondering if it would do well in a windstorm, but it did.  So now we can get a second one and hopefully have algae free stored rainwater in the future.

On Wednesday Tom found that a tree had fallen over our backyard fence, taking it down.  So he had to chainsaw the tree off and repair the fence before the beagle figured out she could escape.

It is well past when we were expecting calves from our two cows.  The vet wouldn’t commit whether he thought they were pregnant or not.  What do you think?  Is Sonja pregnant?

What about Marji?  Is Rory shooting blanks?

I took down all over the barbed wired around their pasture.  So now there is less protection for predators going over the back fence into the pasture  And there is less protection for the cows taking down the fences as well. Here is a section that Rory has knocked down by rubbing on it that didn’t have any wire on it.  Now he can do this to the rest of the fencing too.

The other event is that the wood stove that Tom uses to heat the garage had a separation between the cover and the back.  This meant sparks were coming out of it.  This is a soapstone stove that came with the house when we bought it.  We believe the stove was from the 1970s when the Fox’s bought the farm.  It is a really cool stove.  Tom was able to purchase some high temperature fireplace mortar putty to try to repair it and so far it is working.  Hopefully this will work, and we will not have a garage fire.  That would be completely devastating.

Here are some frosty sunny sheep this morning.

One really sad issue is that my Jon-E hand warmer has somehow lost its burner.  I discovered this yesterday.  They apparently do not make these hand-warmers anymore nor their parts.  I googled around quite a while last evening trying to find one, unsuccessfully.  So I am without my wonderful hand warmer for now and have to use disposable, landfill-filling ones.  I have damage to my right hand from two different injuries (the snowmobile trailer episode and the Steve/fence issue) so this hand is really susceptible to cold now.

The next issue is trying to keep the hummingbird food thawed.  I have been taking the feeders in every night and putting them out early every morning.  But I believe Tom forgot to do this Monday when I was at work because when I got home Tuesday morning there was a partially thawed feeder on the pellet stove.  So it was imperative that I get the Christmas lights up as not only are they decorative and festive, they also keep the feeders thawed.  Here is the front porch feeder with its lights.

And the back porch feeder with its light.  Hopefully this will be enough to keep the hummingbirds fed.

And today the barnyard hose was frozen.  I was the one who tried to empty it yesterday, but I was in a hurry trying to get to a historic cooking zoom.  So my bad, but it took a while to get it unthawed to water the critters today.  Lesson learned.

These are out wintertime woes.  And it still isn’t even winter yet.  We have a ways to go.

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12 Responses to Wintertime Woes

  1. Washe Koda says:

    Excuse me are you gonna milk that Yak ❓

  2. Michelle says:

    Donna, there are reusable hand warmers that cause far less waste than the single-use ones. They have a metal disk inside that you snap, which causes a warming chemical reaction. Once they cool, you put them in boiling water to reset them.

  3. Jeanne says:

    I’m sorry you’ve had so many problems! Life can be difficult! I hope you can find the hand warmers Michelle mentioned.
    We had our first snow of the winter this afternoon. It was wet and slushy. We only got about an inch.

  4. Woes indeed and all at one time!!! We think we are ready for the worst but you just never know until it hits!!! Our hummingbirds leave and fly south by end of September but his year they waited until the first day of October. I usually take the feeders down when the 20 or so that we have dwindle down (usually by September 15) to one or two. I’m shocked yours are still around. Stay warm!! Love your blog!

    • Donna says:

      You never know. We have some hummingbirds that stay the winter but it is hard for them, I think. So good to hear you like the blog still. You have been reading it a long time!

  5. Oh my! I hope this the worst that winter will serve up to you!

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