Sunday, January 11, 2015


It’s been cold lately.  Beyond cold.  Cold is when the lake is 50 degrees when you jump in to it on a 90 degree July day.  This is something else. 

It’s cold.  Friday was 8 degrees below 0.   Earlier in the week colder still.  I think the lowest we’ve have seen this week was 15 below.  This morning it was a comparatively balmy 0. Sure, it could be colder.  It could be 30 below.  We’ve had worse but… damn, it’s COLD!

I commiserate with the other hardy souls that live in this frigid environment.  Low temperatures are compared... who had the lowest?  What about that wind chill? I complain.  I whine.  Then I berate myself for whining.  Aren’t I a tough Minnesotan?  Don’t I choose to live here?  Not originally I didn’t… my ancestors did.  What the heck were they thinking? Really, I want to know!  Maybe they were made of tougher stuff than me.

Cold makes us crabby.  Our language deteriorates into sniffs, grunts, pants, and occasional swear words.  Cold makes everything harder.  Especially water … har har har!!!  Ok, not funny.  Chores are more complicated but we hurry through them to get back into the house.  So far the hydrant has not frozen up.  When that happens, the real cussing begins.

Wardrobe selections have become limited.  Only pants baggy enough to layer over long underwear are worn.  Undershirts under turtlenecks under sweaters, sometimes with a scarf become daily attire.  Laundry is closely monitored.  Is there clean long underwear for tomorrow?  How ‘bout the Smartwool socks supply?

I can think of one (only one, mind you) upside of it being really cold.  It’s a thing I doubt many, if any people reading this will have thought about.  Ok, here it is.  Frozen chicken turds.  Yep.  Frozen chicken turds are (as Martha (I’m sure) would say if she actually had to tidy up her cold chicken coop at 5:30 AM on an 8 below morning) a Good Thing.  Easy to pick up and separate from the bedding with the manure fork.  This makes it  much easier to maintain the coop.

I’m beginning to understand (a little) why some of our retired friends and family head for other states in the winter.  I’m pretty sure Kevin and I will never join that migration though.  My retirement plans include plenty of poultry and goats, and possibly other livestock.  The logistics of packing up that kind of menagerie and heading for Texas or New Mexico just doesn’t warrant my think time.

Instead, I am thinking wouldn’t a tunnel out to the barn be nice?  Or maybe just add on to the house so the animal housing is attached.  Didn’t they used to do that in the old days (the really old days) in Scandinavian countries?

I could fill pages of lists of things that are bad about cold weather, but being an optimist, I got to thinking that there must be other good things about it besides frozen chicken turds.  Here is what I came up with:
1.        It feels really, really good to come in from outside
2.       There are no bugs
3.       The back-entry way (the part of our house that some would call a mud room) serves as an auxiliary refrigerator.  And we now have a LOT of freezer space.  An entire garage of it.
4.       Snuggling under a heavy pile of bedding is pure heaven.

That’s all I can come up with.   How about you?  Use the comment section below.

I'm adding some photos taken this  morning down below.  I'm not sure how to take a picture of cold.  
Stay warm people.
Chicky and Billy-Dood were so cute cuddled up together.  Of course they had to get up and come out when I tried to take a picture... so this is all you get of them. You can see we had a little snow shower going on at the time.

Hens are curious and opportunistic.  Here some of my flock are pecking around in the entry way of the Winter Coop while I am filling their waterer with the hose (a major pain in the winter).  I am not worried about them going outside and running off... They don't like going out in the snow.
After filling the water up, I gave them a bag of leaves to peck around in. 

Filling the horse waterer this morning, you can sort of see the steam rising. 


  1. Yes, the cold does tend to make us crabby, ha ha! Stay warm!

  2. Drinking hot drinks, like tea. Putting your cold fingers under a sitting hen or a cat to warm up (speaking of, how are my girls?) Having a darn good reason to stay inside and work on projects you'd like to work on. Cute winter accessories
    There's some other reasons for you. Stay warm Mom

  3. Folks in Montana used to say that a hard winter drove out the Californians. I suspect it keeps the Texans at bay, too. So, cold weather has that going for it. Plus, the frost on the inside of the bedroom window is kind of neat, as long as you're under the covers. And, the stars are always really bright when it's cold. Besides, it makes spring seem so much better than it would otherwise. Hey, that reminds me of the joke about the guy who was hitting himself on the head with a hammer...