From Pipi’s Pasture: So now it’s January…
So now it’s January, and the holiday season is over. What is on mind right now is what is on everybody else’s mind — the weather. It’s hard to focus on any other writing topic here at Pipi’s Pasture because, after all, it is taking three to four hours a day to do all the chores. If you have animal chores to do, you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t you still have to deal with the snowy, wet mess.
It seems like it has been three weeks that we have be wading snow, splashing through slush, and sliding around on the ice, and then the cold front hit. I’ve been shoveling paths to stock tanks, rolling bales from the haystack to the corral, digging out the corral gate just wide enough to squeeze through to finish corral chores, and during the severe cold I had to pack buckets of water to tanks at the far corral where I usually use a hose.
This column is a summary of January 2017 so far here at Pipi’s Pasture.
• Our enclosed front porch is a mess of items left from chores, including two “pocket” hoses spread out to dry, the bucket the hoses are carried in, grain buckets and measuring cans, sacks of cat food, a small section of garden hose used at the corral hydrant, a boot warmer that is busy a lot of the day and night, and drying gloves and other chore clothes.
• It takes a good 10 minutes to put on chore clothes — two sweaters, two jackets, two pair of pants, a hat that pulls down over my ears, extra socks, and extra gloves stuffed in my pockets in case my hands get wet.
• There’s plenty of snow to remove from the driveway and stackyard so Lyle keeps the tractor busy blowing it; in fact, there is plenty of snow removal going on in the neighborhood.
• It is tricky walking around in the corral and feedlot where frozen “cow pies” under the snow are a “stubbing the toe” threat, it’s slick to walk in tractor tracks, and the ice is treacherous.
• The cows exhibit a variety of moods daily, ranging from quiet to downright cranky; they’re extra curious when we have to use the tractor to feed due to deep snow.
• The cat water pan and front yard hose have to be put in the house during the severe cold.
• Outside cats find cozy places to sleep under out-buildings, in the haystack, in a pile of empty grain sacks, in the carport, and others, but amazingly they are out and around during the day.
• A doe mule deer watches my every move in the morning when I put out cat food and warm water; she enjoys the cat food.
• It’s hard to drag ourselves out of a warm bed in the morning, and the cold and weather-related situations have had me working from home for several days.
That’s how it is at Pipi’s Pasture so far this 2017. Be safe and stay warm.
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