Friday, June 14, 2013

Snow-mageddon 2010 - 2011

I've been browsing through some old journal posts, and stumbled upon a few good stories I'd forgotten about.  I've decided that some of them deserve to be shared, so over the next few days I'll be posting some of my best true farm tales from "back in the day" to here.   I've been guffawing all morning over some of the shenanigans my dear friend B and I have got ourselves into!   Perhaps I can convince her that our chicken butchering deserves a spot of honor in this blog as well.  ;)   This journal entry was originally wrote on December 9, 2010.   Enjoy.


Day 1 – Battle with Carhartt’s
Carhartts - 1  Me - 0

It would seem that the White Death has already reared its ugly head this year.  All of those prayers floating heavenward begging for a White Christmas in typical Bing Crosby fashion are on the fast track of being answered this year.

For me and the chickens of Chick-topia, it’s the most horrible time of the year.
I hate the White Death. Snow-mageddon came earlier than I had anticipated this year. I like those green and dry Christmases – and I don’t mind waiting until January for the first flurries.  February would be even better. Or, just one day of the White Death – December 25 – would be perfect!

But, alas, as it is, we’re in the midst of the beginnings of Snow-mageddon 2010 – 2011. How’d we get so lucky?

Not only are we battling the angry swirling white flakes that mockingly skip, twirl, and pirouette their way to covering our corner of this precious earth, but the deep freeze has settled in for a long stay. Frozen pipes and poultry water are all I have to show for the Devilish Deep Freeze.  The Thaw seems far off in the distance.
To truly appreciate this weather, one would have to be born as an abominable snowman. This short chubby woman doesn’t do well with the cold.  I have secret desires – that my husband doesn’t share – to move south – to a warmer climate. But not so far south that we’d be near the water.

I had to brave the unbearable and wicked elements of December today. I knew my precious poultry and other critters were depending on me to drag my frozen carcass out there and relieve them of some of their misery in all this mess. 
I completely dreaded it.

It’s been so bad, in my mind that is, that I’ve threatened to sell every Critter off the whole place – just so there’d be NO outside chores. But, alas, I cannot bring myself to part with the goats – who are so full of personality it isn’t funny! And of course none of the chickens can go!  (Ok, 6 gals received pink slips today, but no one else is going!) I almost evicted the lop rabbits - aka The Dukes – but when push came to shove, and they turned their big beautiful eyes on me, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So as I was trying to psych myself up to go out and freeze, out of the corner of my eye something caught my attention. It was brown, and lying in the corner of the kitchen in a heap.  Hmm….is that my other half’s…why yes, it is! Men’s coveralls!! Carhartt’s at that!! WHOOT!!

A hair brained scheme began to form in my mind – and I snatched those bigger than I am coverall’s off the floor, shook them out, and proceeded to don them. I shoved my left foot in first, then my right, pulled them up to my waist and quickly jammed my arms into the sleeves.  With great pride and feeling quite pleased with my ingenuity, I padded to the bedroom where I found my red thermal Taz socks – complete with slip proof stuff on the bottom of them! 

I then padded back to the kitchen where I pulled on my rubber boots. It was at this point I decided that maybe putting on two layers of clothes before the coveralls wasn’t a good idea. My arms were so thick, and the coveralls, being larger and not made for me as they should be, made it difficult to bend down and pull my boots on.  After several frustrating tugs, the boots were on, and I was out of breath. I bent over one more time to zip the pant legs over the boots.

Thirty minutes after I started, I was out of breath and felt like I’d already done a day’s worth of chores. I hadn’t even made it out the door yet!

The finishing touches of my perfect winter ensemble were two pairs of gloves, and the man’s Case Farms Chicken toboggan – where the best chickens come from.  Try explaining to your chickens what Case Farms is!  I totally lied to the girls when they questioned my wearing the hat. I explained to them that it’s a farm that thinks they house the best layers in the world, but we know better because the best girls are in our yard. (I’m hoping they bought it, but a couple of the gals looked skeptical! Especially after I handed out the pink slips to the light Brahmas!)

So proud of my ingenuity to wear my other half’s coveralls, I excitedly called out to him, “Do you see I’m wearing your coveralls?” 

He replies, “Yea, will you go get me a screwdriver?”  *rolls eyes*

As I trudged outside in midst of the White Death, it became increasing apparent that those coveralls were definitely NOT made to fit me.  I also became aware of why people like them so much – they definitely kept me warm!  The problem was trying to successfully walk in them while rotating out frozen waters for fresh and filling feed pans.  The crotch of the coveralls stayed somewhere around my knees – making it difficult at best to walk. My dear other half said I looked like a penguin waddling around Antarctica….frankly, that’s how it felt! 

Somehow, I made it work. I trudged back and forth to the barns filling water, feeding, and making sure everyone was dry and warm.  By the time I was done with the chores, I was overheating.  If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought those coveralls were forcing me into early menopause with the heat wave running down my back and legs.  Sweat was running down my back, and I was so warm I couldn’t wait to get to the house and remove the now offending garment.
I honestly believe the body heat radiating from those coveralls melted a path from the barn to my house.

I stumbled in the door, nearly tripping over the too long pant legs that had fallen down under the heels of my boots. I ripped off both pairs of gloves and yanked up on the pant leg zippers.  I grabbed my boots and huffed, tugged, and heaved until they both came off and I fell backwards.  Then I unzipped the front of the blasted heat wrap and tried to pull my arms out.

Panic! I couldn’t get my arms out! I knew there was no possible way the stupid things had shrunk – at least I didn’t think they could have.  I tried to shrug out of the sleeves, but they were so tight across the shoulders I couldn’t get either arm out – at least not without help.  I tried to reach my right arm across to tug on the end of my left, but again I couldn’t reach. At this point, standing in our too warm kitchen, it was beginning to feel as I was wearing my own individual sauna.  I was slowly roasting to death!  I could feel my first shirt beginning to shrink wrap to my body, and my pants were sticking to places they should not have been sticking. My temper started to rise right along with my body temp.

At that moment, my wonderful other half came in. smile I asked him to please pull on my left sleeve and to help me out of the now suffocating, offensive coveralls that I had excitedly crawled into. He gave one hard jerk, and I stumbled backwards into the wall.  Sputtering, I started to yell at him for not being gentle – but wait! My arm!  It’s been freed!

I scrambled out of those coveralls as fast as I could and tossed the offending garments into a heap in the corner, totally convinced they were some evil device created as some sort of torture device.

The truth of the matter, though, is that I was warm! I didn’t come in from chores chilled through the bone – and it’s all thanks to those cursed coveralls.  Just don’t know if I dare attempt it again…

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