Prep Monday—Ignoring the Cold

If I don’t talk about the weather, the bitter cold won’t actually exist, right? So I won’t discuss how, this morning INSIDE the house, the temp was 55 . . . which is fine for some reason if you’re outside. I won’t talk about how it took FOREVER for the furnace to kick on or how GODAWFUL it felt when I was breaking ice in the water trough at a totally miserable 3 degrees.

If my feet ever thaw out, I’m sure I’ll be able to ignore the weather . . .

I haven’t been to the greenhouse since Missouri became the new Arctic, but I imagine that, in spite of heat lamps, everything is dead. No biggie, we’ll start over—lesson learned!

The horses had ice on their muzzles too—and Cody had a little snow on her back. Must have been rolling, because we didn’t get any precip last night. Of course, Cav is often spotted SLEEPING in the snow. Guess here is still better than South Dakota! They do have a nice shed to go into, but since they’ve never seen one before, that might take a little more time to get used to.

I’ve also learned that Cody can be a little hard to spot; no pun intended. She blends into the leaves and snow covering the pasture . . . sometimes I have to look twice!

It’s not so bad out there—the only thing freezing are my eyeballs.

Well, enough about the weather; I’m ignoring it, right? Besides, in a couple days it’ll be 50.J

So they say . . .

In the meantime, prepping in on hold, so to speak. We’re getting ready for Christmas! The stockings are hung, but often have to be removed so we get more heat from the fireplace . . . Finally found a spot for a tiny tree—the one we had at the bookstore—but half the lights went out. Que sera, sera! And of course, no space on it for all my antique ornaments . . . seems odd after all these years . . . decades . . .

And no, we aren’t actually putting prepping on hold—see, here’s the thing: once you’re prepared, you go into maintenance mode. We restock whatever supplies we use and we make repairs when needed. Like the water pumps in the pasture, for instance. Good thing we caught that before the temps dropped. It seems little Cav was rubbing his head on the top and a half-assed fix from the previous owner came apart.

But my husband had experience replacing the one by the house a few weeks ago, so it all worked out. And, he bought extra parts for the other pumps, just in case!

We’re also making adjustments as we go, such as laying in a larger supply of firewood—which means cutting down more dead trees. Such a challenge as soon it warms up a bit—we’ll need to find dead trees. In winter. Yikes!

Also, we’re gonna need more hay—the challenge here is not finding it or buying it, but storing it. You’d think, with a 40×60 barn, we’d have plenty of room. You’d think . . .

Well, time to go break ice in the water trough again. Merry Christmas and happy prepping! Only 90 days until spring!



Prep Monday—Cold and Rain

Argh, I’m so tired of this—already! I can deal with cold. Wind, not so much. Cloudy days one right after the other, not at all! Yes, I know it’s only November . . .

Super hard to get motivated to do much of anything.

This makes me think of the pioneers and the isolated farmers back in the day. What did they do all winter?

Well, they still had chores of course. Around here, we start up the fire first thing in the morning and heat water for coffee, then feed the animals. Not so different, really.

Of course, we have meals to cook and clean up, and housework and laundry don’t stop in the winter. The biggest difference now is that we have it a lot easier—electric ovens and propane stoves and a hot water heater. Now, when SHTF, we’ll be using other methods; think about it, when you go camping, how much time it takes to build a fire and cook and clean up afterwards.

We do have to make sure we have a good supply of firewood; most of that was done earlier in the fall, but since this is our first year heating with wood, we’re still in the trial-and-error stage as to quantity. Just like the pioneers, though, we generally let it burn down overnight and start with coals in the morning. It sure helps to have a nice, thick comforter on the bed!

Back in the old days, besides all this, winter was also a time to relax and do indoor activities like playing games, craft projects, making music, and so forth. I’m sure we all remember Pa Ingalls and his fiddle, amiright? Well, I don’t have a fiddle, but I do have a guitar, an organ, and a drum . . . and books. And leather working tools and one of these days I’ll get beyond the second stitch on those damn knitting needles that I’ve carted around for 20 years . . .

Of course, the old folks didn’t have TV and Internet, either. 😉

Winter is a good time to plan your garden, or work in the greenhouse, or start projects, and you don’t have to feel guilty about slowing down during this time. After all, when you’re homesteading or farming, you more than make up for that during the rest of the year!