Thursday, January 31, 2019

Saying Goodbye to January, 2019

Bye, Felicia. 

That's how I feel today. 

We really have nothing to complain about, we, in the mid-American part of 
the lower forty eight, while our northern and northeast cousins are in the throes of a 
terrible storm. 

This is the kind of weather that drove Keith (in the winter of 2013-14) to give up
on the country as he fell more ill.... and convince me it was time to move to 
"the big house", where we lived until he died. 

You can see the vestiges of our last snow were melting on Sunday, when I heard a sound on the deck and went to look out the window. 
I saw two naughty ewes on the deck, who had pulled the chain on the 
pasture gate (I had forgotten to loop and "lock" it), and made themselves at 
home in the yard. 

I let them stay for the afternoon, they actually grazed for several hours. 
Yes, in the cold. 

I have made a decision that no one will be eating or drinking on the deck in the summertime. 
I am tired of the constant mess, and I can put the water somewhere where it will stay cool all day. 
I am moving a finch feeder to a spot next to the side deck, where I can sit at the kitchen table and watch the finches feeding, and the mess will go down to the ground, where they can clean it up.  The finch feeder hanging now in a flower bed will come out, and will be unused and kept as backup. 
I am spending a fortune on wild bird seed, and it has to stop. 

She IS the queen of all she surveys. 

Unfortunately, the Queen had to have some blood drawn 
last week, as I monitor her pretty closely at this stage in her life.  
We are starting Tramadol daily now for her aches and pains. 

Thanks to Dr. Becker and Ashley, at Bethel Animal Hospital, where I have taken my 
pets for over 30 years. 

We were very lucky that for much of January, the hoses were able to be used, and flowed 
freely, or somewhat freely... they did spit ice cubes a few times.  Last year, all hoses 
were drained and hung by this time, but this year, I was able to use them more. 

I just realized that I did not get a picture of the truck and trailer, but on the 23rd, I had 
Casey from Reynolds Lawn and Leisure, in Shawnee, Ks., come and work on 
my John Deere tractor.  I was so glad to hear that it is in excellent condition at 
six years old (maybe seven!).... and good to go for another season.  He did a complete 
tune-up on site in the trailer that he pulled, and I was so glad to know it is in good shape.  

Chris, my oldest grandson, was here for two nights from Garnett, and got the barn 
straightened up, and the mower was moved in there until spring. 

Ooops... just realized this is a bit of a blurry picture, 
but the ancient shop lights were removed from the barn, and 
my nephew Brandon hung these new LED lights for me. 
He also re-wired all the circuits, and made sure I am good to go to 
get my seeds started in two weeks.  We had coped with 
dingy old shop lights since we bought the place in 2005, 
and Keith replaced very few of the bulbs in them.  It was depressing 
going in the shop/barn  and as you can see, it became a repository for things

On the 13th, a business hauled away a huge pile of junk that my grandson had readied for them... and since I took this picture, Chris has gotten busy and done even more cleaning.  We stopped 
that day (the 23rd) because it was terribly cold. 

In a couple of weeks, we will work on it even more, donating some things and 
junking others.   The shoplights have to be hauled away, and all the bulbs that were in them. 

I hope to have a wide open space and be able to walk in, find what I need, and walk out. 
I have a LOT of gardening things in there, and am eager to start seeds this year. 

I also had them haul things from the Dierksen storage building, and it is in much 
better shape.  I am still going through the boxes and bins in this building.  
Chris cleaned it up, too. 

Yesterday was the first time the ducks did not want to get in water. 
It was four degrees below when I took this picture, 
with a "real feels" of twenty below.  They half-heartedly 
fished for their lettuce, and then went back under the 
porch where I had put straw for them.  No chickens were 
let out. 

The black bucket in the back froze clear across the top, for the first time. 

It was a miserable day, and in the afternoon, we had an 
unexpected snow squall that thankfully did not drop 
too much snow. 

I stopped at Orschelns and bought another bucket similar to the 
heated sheep bucket, which has never frozen.  It is a little 
taller than the one you see here, but was open this morning. 

Beautiful hoarfrost around it this morning!
It was seven above, and I had to go out three times to get all the chores done, coming in to 
warm my hands up. 

Beautiful frost and reflection in the other bucket, too. 

There was not even this much open yesterday morning, it was seven above this morning, and only eight below real feel. 

I have permanent farm hair (took this while I was 
photographing the buckets).  (gosh, pretty good scowl, too)

Jester has the right idea!


  1. Glad to see everyone is doing okay!

  2. You have some exciting plans for the new year...but I bet there will still be company on the deck on occasion ;-). Regarding hoses, I use mine all winter, even below zero. Just unhook them from the hydrant and then immediately drain them well - I walk down the hose, holding it up as I go along and make sure they are empty. Even at zero they'll still work fine :-).

  3. it will be nice to have that all cleaned out and organized! it's so so cold here right now and on monday it will be in the 50's and raining. this weather is too weird!

  4. Hari OM
    Having spent twenty minutes in -5'C this morning scraping ice from the car, I still have to remember it's warm to what some are experiencing over your side of the pond! Awwww Jess... good work pupster! YAM xx

  5. Jester does have the right idea! I hope the Tramadol helps Lilly, I know our son has used that for his dogs as they aged. You have done so much cleaning up in the outbuildings! I'm so glad you have Chris to help you there too. We moved our birdfeeding station away from where we and our dogs walked all the time. Still can enjoy them but without so much mess underfoot. I hope February is a milder month for you, Mary Ann. Stay safe!

  6. Mary Ann, you seem so happy to be back on the farm!! I like Jester's idea. The idea of a warm blanket and a snooze sounds like a great way to spend a cold day! :)

  7. You've been quite busy, getting things straightened up and dejunking; bet it feels so good to get a jumpstart on spring.
    Stay warm if you can.

    Smiles :)

  8. It's been much the same here with temps below zero and barely just above, but the weekend is supposed to warm up and we'll thaw out. Thankfully I don't have to go out in it to care for critters like you do. Yes, they say not to stay out very long at all due to frostbite. Take care and keep thinking Spring !

    Love and hugs,

  9. So nice to have family who can do things around the house to help out. Stay warm!

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