I actually managed to get off the farm for a little while this afternoon to have lunch with my mother and also get a (desperately needed) hair cut. As I was chatting away with Julia who cuts my hair she mentioned to me "I just heard on the radio that Tennessee was in a State of Emergency." I happened to be taking a drink of my water at that moment and found myself snorting water out my nose as I half choked, half laughed when she said that. She gave me a quizzical look that said "did I say something wrong?"
So I explained to her that we had actually already lived under a state of emergency a couple of weeks ago. She was as blissfully unaware of our state of emergency as Jason and I had been. I should explain here that we have some more extremely abnormal weather forecasted for the next few days. One night is predicted to hit a low of 9 degrees with daytime highs just below freezing. Like our last State of Emergency we are looking at a period of about 60 hours where the temperature will not go above freezing. The good news is that it isn't supposed to be nearly as cold as a couple of weeks ago but still . . . this arctic cold nonsense is getting old. Really old. Hello, isn't this the south?? This State of Emergency business was weighing heavily on mind so when I got home I decided to take a quick look at the website for TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) to see what the official statement was.
I breathed out a huge sigh of relief (sarcasm) when I realized that in fact we were not living in Level III - State of Emergency. Instead we were only living in Level IV - Elevated. This time our governor and TEMA decided that we are only kinda/sorta in a state of emergency. Here is the official statement:
"The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has activated to a Level IV – Elevated status to monitor weather and road conditions, and to manage any local requests for resources or assistance due to the approaching cold front and sustained period of subfreezing temperatures.
Additionally, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued Executive Order #35 today declaring a State of Emergency in Tennessee to exempt federal Hours of Service requirements in the state for transporting propane during this period of cold weather." (the bold emphasis was theirs, not mine)
So there you have it folks, the official word. This time it is anticipated that most of us are going to live, and in fact there were not even any dire warnings that "being outside for even a short period of time would be extremely dangerous." Those were TEMA's words in our last state of emergency, not mine.
Jason and I have done our usual preparations. I say usual, but we've never done any of these things before this winter. We plugged in our truck. Given that we had never, ever used the block heater on our truck before this year the first time we plugged in the truck was kind of an adventure. All of the horses are in either their medium or heavy blankets, a few of them are double blanketed. We ended up triple blanketing (!) one horse a couple of weeks ago. It is too soon to know if that will be necessary again.
Guess where our tractor battery is? Yep, you guessed right. Open up the pantry door and you will see the tractor battery nestled in there again. I am learning so many things winter. I now know where the block heater is on our truck. And I am now living with the freaking tractor battery in my pantry for a second time. Jason and I have been doing this farming thing together for almost a decade now. Until this year he had never felt the need to gently tuck the tractor battery into the pantry. He has now done this twice this winter. I can hear the conversation now when we have house guests.
House guest: "Hey, do you have any potato chips."
Us: "Sure do. Just look in the pantry right next to the tractor battery."
That is an actual conversation we could have in our house right now. Maybe it is just me but that really seems wrong.
I have all of my long underwear also at the status of Level IV - elevated. It is all clean and ready to be layered. I am thinking this time I might be able to get away with just doubling up the long underwear instead of tripling it. At least that will make buttoning my pants slightly less painful. I have my case of toe warmers sitting in the mud room and ready for use. My friend Wren gave me this great suggestion of putting toe warmers in between my two layers of socks. It worked like a charm during our go around with the polar vortex! It is good to have friends that are as cold natured as I am. Canadian Jason is not all that helpful in how to dress for cold as he is somewhat impervious to cold.
In all seriousness I will be thrilled when these next 60 hours are over with and I can try to be warm again. Aside from the fact that I am totally not built for cold weather I really hate living through big weather changes with horses, bless them and their overly sensitive GI tracts. Here we go again . . .
Merlin and Walden were being super playful
Then Fabrizzio decided to join in the fun
Johnny and Alex
Gibson and Cocomo
Sebastian and Lighty were having some play time
Dutch and Wiz