No bloody kidding.
I snapped this photo on the way out to the barn this morning. The thermometer read minus 28 degrees Celsius, and the morning sun had already done some warming up.
Actually, it's a wonder I got up at all. Getting me out of bed this morning, where I was snugly cocooned in flannel sheets and wool blankets, was like trying to convince Cinderella to get her head out of the grain bucket: it took a lot of convincing to get that ass moving.
It's a wonder I made it past the front door.
It's been bitterly cold and I think we're all starting to get a bit stressed out around here. I'm worried about the equines especially, who greeted me this morning with snowy eyelashes, muzzles covered with icicle shards and hooves balled up with ice, which is both dangerous and damned uncomfortable.
Everyone is hungry, all the time, and it's causing a bit of drama in the barnyard. Even Lucy, who's usually quite mannerly when it's time to hand out the rations, ploughed into me this morning like some rabid were-goat.
The only one who seems deliriously happy about the weather is Henry. Then again, he's deliriously happy about just being outside, though he's not too keen on getting ice balled between the pads of his paws.
While we haven't any any problems with our pipes freezing (yet?) our wood furnace has an insatiable appetite and we're burning through wood faster than expected. We're supplementing with our kitchen wood stove which is both practical and downright therapeutic.Now I admit, I'm usually pretty grumpy this time of year. I totally get the whole hibernation thing: I feel myself slowing down, getting tired more easily and succumbing to morose thoughts (so if I disappear for a few days - or a week - please bear with me.)
But we're safe and warm, unlike so many others in this world. When I think of all the people on the streets right now, I'm instantly humbled.
So suck it up, girlfriend, and just get on with it.
I've got a job to do outside and as hard as it is to get moving, there's an almost masochistic sense of satisfaction that yes, when I inhale the insides of my nostrils may feel like they're filled with shards of glass, my bare hands burned (yes, burned, I tell you!) when I grabbed the metal handles of two water buckets this morning and despite taking 10 minutes to get dressed I still have frozen toes when I come back inside, but the animals are fed, the water is defrosted and we haven't lost a chicken yet.
Not a great picture, but my camera battery gave out. I think it was trying to tell me something, like, 'Stop taking pictures and get the hell back inside!"
Of course, the good news is, this cold snap won't last forever. It's supposed to warm up next week to negative single digits. Compared to this nonsense, it'll feel almost tropical. (It's funny how relativity works like that: it's always about 15 degrees warmer inside the barn than out, so when I'm tending to the goats and chickens, it feels positively balmy.)
And come spring, when the bugs are swarming, the sump pump is working around the clock and the poop is gooshy and smelly, I'm sure I'll look back on this stretch of winter with the feeling that it wasn't really that bad.
Then again, maybe I'll just start planning my garden. A seed catalogue and a cup a tea makes the perfect antidote to the winter blues, any day.