The best way to describe the last two days would be to call them an exercise in frustration. We started hearing about the snow storm we were going to get over the weekend. As each hour passed the chatter amongst the weather forecasters reached a feverish pitch. They kept changing the amount of snow we were going to ultimately get, but they said over and over and over that IT WAS GOING TO SNOW. There was going to be decent snowfall accumulation, we should get several inches.
Carter was absolutely beside himself with excitement. He was finally going to get to build a snowman. Even I was looking forward to a little snow. It has been 3 or 4 years since we had measurable snowfall at the farm so we were all ready for some fun in the snow.
As it happens all too often the weather forecasters were wrong. Very, very wrong. We didn't get any snow. Not a single, solitary snowflake. Instead we got ice. Lots of ice. Somehow no one had ever mentioned an ice storm as they hyped up our snow storm.
dreary skies, icy roofs
one of the cupolas in happier weather
Still, Jason and I had done a few things to prepare. Like good southerners we had stocked up on groceries. We put plastic baggies over the handles of all our water hydrants to make sure they didn't get frozen. The horses were blanketed and weatherized. They hay feeders were overflowing with hay. The tractor battery was happily tucked away in our house in its home away from home. We even thought to purchase a can of ice melter in case any of the snaps on the gates were frozen. We were ready for snow. Instead we got ice.
Monday really wasn't that bad. With the exception of a ten minute period mid morning the ice came down very lightly. Nothing was frozen, not even the snaps on the gate chains. The only treacherous part of our farm was the driveway. It was basically a mile long skating rink. You walked on it at your own risk. Since I had a very strong desire to stay upright I walked in the grass.
good thing the horses weren't feeling crowded in their sheds (/sarcasm)
icy tree; the driveway looks very innocent but it was a sheet of ice
the ice does make things pretty
Thus even though we were absolutely unprepared for an ice storm we got through the day on Monday with no issues. There were lots of frisky and playful horses, they seemed to think it was fun. The majority of the sheds remained empty as the horses chose to carry on as usual. The World's Cutest Fainting Goats on the other hand were highly displeased.
the World's Cutest Fainting goats were not impressed
Just when we were thinking it was all working out ok anyway things began unraveling a bit Monday evening. We had taken showers, eaten dinner, and were just settling in to enjoy a quiet evening inside when the electricity went out. We found ourselves sitting in the dark. Jason immediately proceeded straight to "OMG we're doomed and will never have electricity again" mode. I kept telling him to calm down. He didn't.
We all bundled up in multiple layers of clothes and went to bed early. It was dark, we were all bored, and it seemed like the best option. Happily PES was on the ball and our electricity came back on at about 1am. Thankfully our well insulated house had only lost 10 degrees of heat at that point. Even I was hot in my Michelin Man clothes. We all shed a bunch of layers and went back to bed with our electronics plugged in and the central heat running.
Since I'm the World's Lightest Sleeper I never went back to sleep. Jason and Carter never have this problem. At 5am I was sick of laying awake in bed so I decided it was time to get up and "git r done." I had no idea what I was in for.
I dressed like the Michelin Man again, dug up the truck keys, and headed outside. When I stepped off the porch I immediately wiped out and only saved myself by grabbing the porch column. I wrapped my arms around it and hung on for dear life. I finally got my feet to stop moving and regained my balance but definitely not my dignity. I sloooowly inched my way along the driveway to the truck.
The truck was encased in about an inch of ice. I spent a few futile minutes beating on the ice hoping I could get a door open but I finally gave up. I proceeded to
Of course I couldn't get in to the pasture because the snap on the chain was frozen shut. I mean FROZEN shut. I beat on it. I yelled at it. I beat on it some more. The horses were getting quite concerned. They watched the crazy lady remain on the wrong side of the gate with their feedbags yelling and banging on the gate. I thought about pouring water on it but I knew that was only a very temporary solution and would make these even worse overall.
Then I remembered "oh wait, we bought that can of ice melter." My happiness was very short lived when, in a moment of deep irony, I realized where my precious can of ice melter was. In the truck. Which I couldn't get into because it was iced shut. Like I said, a moment of deep irony.
Finally I started breathing on the snap trying to unthaw it. If anyone had walked up then and seen me they would have thought I had lost it as I stood there doing mouth to mouth resuscitation on the gate snap. It finally worked after a minute and I was able to pry the snap open. All morning long, at six more pasture gates, I had to do mouth to mouth resuscitation on the snaps. It was not my finest hour(s).
Thankfully Jason spent part of the day on the tractor using the seed spreader to spread about 15 bags of salt on our driveway. We can now walk on it like normal people. Jason also spent about thirty minutes beating the ice off the truck and the car so we could actually get in them. The trees and fences are still coated in ice as we are having, by far, our coldest week of the winter this week. It is supposed to get very windy tomorrow evening. Jason is pretty convinced we will have power outage number two since the trees and power lines are all still coated in ice.
It is only Tuesday but I'm ready for this week to end. I've been pretty good about not complaining about winter this year, but I just have to say it once: I loathe winter. I detest cold weather. I cannot put on enough clothes to be warm. I like heat. Thank goodness we only deal with this a week or two out of the year. I could not make it as a Canadian, I was meant to live in the tropics.
I had to take a picture of one of the sheds in use; Dolly, Silky and MyLight
I would feel sorry for Toledo and Clayton if they hadn't had a perfectly good shed five feet away from them (with one horse in it I might add)
Kennedy and Walon with their faces buried in the hay
Johnny and Rocky decided to use one of the empty sheds during the period of heavy icefall
Who needs a shed when you can stand in the woods? Sparky and Griselle
Merlin, Walden, Fabrizzio, Duesy and Bruno coming for dinner
Bruno and Duesy
Donneur, Romeo and Cocomo
George and Asterik
Silver and Lofty were having fun
Taco and Dutch (note Dutch sticking his tongue out, that's what he thought of the weather)
Rip, Grand and Tony were having a 3-horse play session