'Cuz there sure isn't any "warming" going on around here!!! BRRRRR! I don’t remember winters this cold when I was a kid. Maybe it is just because I was a child then with child sensibilities – the thrill of sledding on the wooden sled my dad made for me, or getting to wear long pants under my skirt to walk to school (though we had to take the pants off once we got there), or building snowforts and pelting my brother with snowballs. Now as an adult with adult responsibilities, I am far less amused.
It was minus fifteen in the barn this afternoon. It's supposed to get colder still over the next couple of days, with a wind chill factor of minus 23 tomorrow. And that's according to the weather forecast - the winter temperatures up here in the hills are usually about five degrees colder than the "official" reports.
Once again I have added more bales of straw to the piggies' stall in an effort to keep them warm. The straw breaks down quickly and piggies are very sensitive to cold. I have two bales left and so I must go on the scrounge again or fork out $12 - $16/bale from the local supplier and haul them home four at a time (which is all my vehicle will hold).
I have put a large tarp over the big double barn door to eliminate the wind, which is picking up again tonight. I hauled warm water to the barn four times today – the piggies can’t get enough of it, and it chills and freezes within a couple of hours. Even Martin the alpaca is inhaling the warm water. Next I will be making them hot chicken and dumpling soup – my personal comfort food for cold nights and winter days. I would make the pigs hot oatmeal, but oatmeal is something I have never learned to cook as it is one of the few foods I really don't like!
Even the dogs have finally started refusing their run in the pasture. Oliver is game, but Belle only leaves the house to do her business, and today Charley and Sadie were both crying and picking up their frozen feet within a few yards of the pasture gate.
So tonight we cocoon in the house and hope that this cold snap will soon end. If I wanted to live in a place with cold winters, I would have stayed in the Northwest Territories!
Stay warm, everyone.