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As I go about everyday life, rarely do I stop to think about what, how, or why I do the things that I do. Taking this rare weather experience as an occasion to share with you my daily routine has been fun. Eye opening, even! It gives me third person perspective about what my day really consists of, and an awareness of what is in every moment. My yoga instructor friends would call it mindfulness. It was deeply fulfilling to focus on what simply is in each moment for the sake of documenting it for you.
That mindfulness is one of the hidden blessings in this remarkably frigid weather for me. The other blessings are watching life go on and flourish despite hard temps and unhappy situations. A polar vortex can't stop those things...and so I'm grateful witness the beauty of life despite the bitterness.
I decided to compile the Simple Soaps For Simple Folks Animal Reports to recap this stretch of insanely cold weather and life on the farm.
1/30 - 5 am animal check: Frosty windows and walls in the barn, but goats seem content and the babies are all snuggled together in groups under the heat lamps.
The rooster is crowing... obnoxious as ever...and all hens happy to go to the fresh suet.
This farmer girl is snuggled under a blanket, listening to the furnace run as she plans her day.
1/30 - 9am animal check: Goat babies are up and bouncing around with their usual shenanigans. Momma goats are calmly eating, some excitement about getting beet pulp in their feeders.
Chickens are doing their usual random chicken life things...and the dang rooster is still crowing.
All waterers are still operating as they should with fresh water for everyone.
1/30 - 12:30 pm animal check: The sunshine is deceitful, and the wind has picked up.
Chickens have laid 10 eggs...I'm impressed!
Goats quite cheerful, eating, eating, eating their hay. All babies are up, bouncing around, bellies full.
Farmer girl has found more goodies to make chicken suet with, and plans on baking some human treats after writing a blog.
#ArcticBlast2019 #FarmLife #WinterFun #AnimalCareUpdates#DeepFreezeInMN #CountingTheHoursUntilItBreaks
1/30 - 5pm animal report: All holding steady! Goat babies and mommas all seem in fine health.
Chickens gave 4 more eggs, so 14 in for the day. Not shabby at all!
Bird feeders filled twice; counted 7 hen pheasants waiting for messy woodpeckers and bluejays to treat them to random sunflower seeds beneath the the feeder.
1/30 - 8:30pm animal report: Happy farmer to see baby goats thriving! Took warm pail of molasses water to barn for surrogate momma, Nellie, hoping to boost her energy and milk production to feed Shamrock's little guy. She drank it right down.
Chickens laid two more eggs for the day, grand total of 16!
Hans, mini Schnauzer, gets cold feet, but loves to tramp around the barn searching for rats. Baby goats have been getting outside the fence, and "play" with Hans. He isn't sure he likes their play style--too much head butting.
Farmer girl is inside, hot showered, and ready to call it a day. Hands are very chappy and raw; will need to put on solid hand lotion tonight before bed.
#ArcticBlast2019 #FarmLife #AnimalCare #ColdMN#Minus27NowButFeelsLikeMinus39 #GoodnightAll
1/31 - 5:30am animal report: It is COLD outside! There is fog in the valley (seems impossible with these frigid temps...how?!). A few shivery babies on the outside edges of the snuggle piles. All got up to eat and interact. Blaze, momma goat, has claimed her cozy space beneath the hay feeder. She parked there last night, and was cozied up with 5-6 little ones against her for warmth there this morning.
Chickens look like one giant ball of feathers, grouped together, fluffed up. There were a few excited clucks about fresh suet this morning.
Coffee now, breakfast shortly. Wash started; needing clean base layer clothes. Seems they get funkiest the fastest... Sunrise was gorgeous!
Farmer girl anticipating day on the computer writing the enewsletter and completing applications to summer events.
#ArcticBlast2019 #AnimalCare #FarmLife #ColdMN #DeepFreeze#Minus29ButAtLeastThereIsNoWind
1/31- 10am animal report: Slow moving animals in the barn today; I feel like the cold has finally settled in on them. Everyone preferring to stay cuddled together--goats and birds alike. My little surrogate is hungry. Doing best to keep him fed with two different momma goats, but am concerned. He is also the loner. No one claims him; in fact, the other mommas openly shun him with aggressive head butts as if to say, "Don't come too close to my babies or me." When I leave the pen he is nickering/asking for more food and attention...and it pains my tender heart.
1/31 - 12:30pm animal report: Majority of babies now know how to get out...and are busy frolicking in the barn, jumping on and off hay bales, and racing around the barn alley with reckless abandon. When placed in pen they happily nurse. Mommas take turns slurping the warm molasses water when offered it.
Chickens shared their 11 eggs with minimal pecking during collection. Rooster is rude as ever.
Hen pheasants now jumping up at bird feeder in anticipation of seeds coming down. Entertainment!
Farmer girl curtailed computer time and possible snooze to run to town...bank...baby bottle...chiropractor...soap drop-off. Always a multipurpose run into town; relieved chiropractor was only one close enough to potentially smell barn on clothes and see disheveled state.
1/31 - 9pm animal report: Final report as weather is to do a turn about. I'll post randomly about the farm life as it is, so stay tuned!
Surrogate is a happy camper! Belly is full. He saw me coming into the barn and ran to me calling for food; smart guy! I am beyond relieved that he is getting a full tummy, and it is fulfilling to know I'm taking better care of him with the bottle.
Added two more eggs to the count. Grand total of 14. Nice work, chickies.
Hans, mini Schnauzer, needs a bath. He reeks of barn and goat poo. He doesn't mind, but I sure do! Treats galore promised and given during the bath, and he will clean up well.
Farmer girl is ready to call it a day; so much activity and decision making in last few days. She is glad temps are rising, and that tomorrow brings a new day, chances, and opportunities.
#ArcticBlast2019 #FarmLife #FinalPostOfSeries #FunTimes #AnimalCare#GoodnightAll
The responses to these facebook posts were beyond gratifying. We have a strong farming heritage here in the Midwest, and it is evident through the remarks and comments the followers on the page made. Some of my farming friends were even kind enough to share helpful thoughts and information! It gave me a huge sense of community, something that feeds my soul...especially when I'm deep in the trenches of doing everyday chores and life. I forget that there are like-minded, understanding, hardworking people sharing the same life experiences.
Dear reader, we, meaning both you and I, survived #ArcticBlast2019! We endured, we overcame, and we learned together.