Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday encore ~ The 7MSN at minus 27 degrees

Back in early February when I wrote the post below, I dreamed about July and sweltering heat. And now that it's summer and I've got my sweltering heat, guess what I'm dreaming about...NOT! I'd rather be dripping in sweat all day long than be as cold as I was on that day in February. Just looking at these pictures again drops my core temperature a few degrees. Hope you're staying cool and enjoying your long weekend.

Just before I went to bed Wednesday night, I checked the temperature – it was minus 16 degrees. How is that even possible? I was in disbelief and denial. But the snow had stopped, the wind wasn't blowing, all the boys and girls in the barnyard were tucked in with plenty of food and water. There was nothing left to do but worry.

Around 1:30, I got out of bed to stoke the fire in the woodstove. I turned on a light, only to discover that the power had gone out. Now isn't that special? No probem, I have a generator. I'll just turn it on in the morning when I need it, I thought. Then I remembered I hadn't turned it on since August. Then I convinced myself it would never start up. Then I laid awake all night devising Plans A, B, and C for getting the morning chores done without water (the well pump needs power). Then one of the smoke alarms started chirping, driving Smooch into a frenzy, and I went out into the garage, got the ladder and changed the battery by candlelight. Are we having fun yet? Then I started filling pots with bottled water to heat up on the woodstove. Wynonna would need her hot oatmeal, and Hank would need his hooves soaked to remove the ice balls, and I would need to dump a pail of hot water in the solar trough to free up the float (otherwise, the water in the trough has stayed liquid, amen).

Anyway, by now it's almost dawn and I ventured outside to see if the generator would start, knowing full well it wouldn't. But it proved me wrong! I danced through the morning chores, I was so happy.  The boys didn't seem any worse for wear, and once I dug Wynonna out of her straw, she was fine, too. The chickens were mad that I wouldn't let them out of their coop, but I convinced them it was for their own good.

Once I got all the chores done, the light was looking particularly nice so I grabbed my camera.

I had never seen frost like this before.

Alan and George were both working the Andy Rooney eyebrows.

I thought Hank's frosty lashes looked rather stunning.

Alan's eyes might have been frozen wide open at this was Cold.

Both burros seemed very tired – as soon as the sun came up, they stopped eating to soak it in.

I was worried at first when I saw both of them standing with their tails tightly clamped against their butts, 
then I decided this must be a burro's way of keeping his core warm.

If I had had a tail, I would have been clamping it down, too, but I went back into the house instead. Once I got the coffee made, I turned off the generator, pulled up a chair in front of the woodstove, and planned to read until the power came back on, which it finally did around 8:45.

I turned on the computer and looked at the temperature widget to see how cold it was.
All I could do was shake my head and say a little prayer that we all made it through the night
and that the generator gods were on my side.


  1. made me cold too...what a difference several months make...

  2. Carol in Colo7/2/11, 6:53 AM

    I could be rolling in the snow right now just for a few minutes. To think this is the last weekend of snow skiing at A-Basin. I am ready of a cool down and so really good rain for a day.

  3. Estella from Co.7/2/11, 7:46 AM

    The pictures cooled me right off..LOVED THEM..thank you for sharing. Those days will be back before we know it...I try (TRY) to enjoy everyday as is. Some place I picked up..Live everyday as if it was your last, BECAUSE it just might be. Hugs to the kids

  4. Linda,

    I can't tell you how much my husband and I love reading your blog and seeing your gorgeous photos. We live up in the very green Pacific NW and own two mini donkeys, five goats, three dogs and a cat. Your neck of the woods is so beautiful and a world away from where we live. Your life is what I dream about but could never do in real life. Thank you.

  5. ... Andy Rooney eyebrows! LOL I LOVE your blog header ... I believe it is new? I'd rather be dripping sweat too... that is why we moved south from Northern Michigan... which I do miss. One trick though here in the heat... don't apply much makeup (if any at all)...!

  6. You have permission to throw Hank's poo at me for what I'm about to say, but....

    I cant wait for winter to come! I just, don't do summer. It flattens me.

    I love the new layout ;).

  7. oops! forgot to subscribe to comments - see what the summer does to my brain? I rest my case :P.

  8. Isn't it funny how one season makes us long for the other?

  9. Thanks for the reminder! I had almost forgotten about winter. Think warm.

  10. We live in southern new mexico and February was awful for us also. We have lived here 15 years but last February was the coldest winter we can remember since moving here. Your pictures are great, love your ranch setting. You have a great place!

  11. I love summer. It's nice here in Ontario most days in summer. The winter however is hard to take so I'll just stay basking in the warm summer breezes since I know what happens 5 months from now. It's a different planet.
    Best always, Sandra

  12. Thanks for the cool thoughts! The boys' frosty pics are amazing. As we are burning up here, I'm trying to convince myself that I like summer better than winter right now........

    Had one of those smoke alarm chirping, dog going crazy, waking up at 1 am not sure if the house is on fire, climbing on chair to remove, situations recently!

  13. How refreshing! I think I felt a cool breeze come off your roof and into my living room!

  14. I also love the new header--and the reminder about how much easier the heat and humidity is to bear than the dead of winter.

  15. Those are some amazing photos!! I love the frosted eyelashes! But BRRRRRRRR... winters in WA are NOTHING compared to that. I will try my hardest to remember this 6 months from now when it's raining sideways. ha ha

  16. okay, Linda. you know I love your site and think all of your animals are adorable!! and I think your photography is amazing and you really capture the adorable (or in Hank's case handsome :) )essesnce of everyone.... but I just need to say that the picture of Alan in the header is a little "Gary Busey" and makes me laugh.... outloud :)

  17. Really feel the coolness from your blog and this will remind me of more snow removal from my car next winter :-D ...Best of all, I love those six pictures of your "children" on top of this blog.