Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm

We learned today just how well our house holds heat. We lost power at 8 this morning and didn't regain it until 3. It was torture for Pony Gal because I didn't want to open any doors to let her (or Mr Deeds for that matter) outside, and let the cold in. I ended up just sitting with Superboy most the day, rocking him. When the electric did come on, I had accomplished only one thing-a scarf for my husband's grandmother, and realized I didn't feel like cooking. So, I called Dad to have him pick up dinner from the local bar and let Pony Gal out the door. This kid loves winter. She played with the ice for so long. When she came in her little hands and face were so red. It was so cute to walk in on her all wrapped up in a blanket lying in front of our fireplace.
So, what if our power had not come back on? Well, that is one of my big reasons for wanting to be "off the grid" as far as energy is concerned. But for this go around, we had plans to go to my mom's for as long as it took. She has a furnace (and still had her power) but keeps her wood stove in working order, so we would have been nice and cozy. She also is only 10 minutes away, so it would have been no prob. And, it seems, the roads weren't too bad about the time we would have taken off. For whatever reason our county thinks it is unnecessary to clear our roads, or to even keep an adequate amount of gravel on them, so traction stunk. Luckily we are only 8/10's of a mile from pavement.
Oh, and the chickens hate this weather. They hate it more than usual because Papa H failed to tell me he HAD NOT been checking on their food and water levels regularly. In freezing weather. So, I look outside to see there are no footprints to the coop. (He is all of 50 feet from the coop, while I have small, needy children, and am more like 200 feet from the coop). Anyway, I managed to get Superboy asleep long enough to go rescue the poor ladies. They had no food left and their water was frozen. And he had been feeding and watering them outside, which is just torture when there is snow on the ground. Who wants to walk on that with no shoes? So, it seems I am now in charge of this-not a big deal, but one that I would have loved to have heard about rather than found this way. It had been at least four days since the snow, so they had been waiting at least that long. No wonder they have slowed down tremendously in their laying habits. I wouldn't either if I was starving and cold. Yes, very cold. But, yet again, is a situation that did not have to be. It would have taken all of an hour for our friend/electrician to run electric in the already dug trench to the coop so we could hook up the heating lamps so it wasn't so frickin' freezing in there. We have the trench dug, but didn't know about it until it was filled with snow and ice and impossible to access until spring. So, now, hopefully my husband will be able to help me this weekend as we try to amend the mess Papa H has made by running an extension cord from the garage to the coop. This could have all been avoided had we just purchased the solar lighting/electric system (cheaper) from Harbor Freight I wanted months ago. But, no. Lets be difficult. Right. For those of you who don't know, I have lived on a farm, with chickens since I was about 5. That's well, 20 years, with a couple years lost in town. So, ya think I know what's going on?  I just felt so bad for those birds. It's cruel. And all it would have taken was a legitimate phone call (as so many I get from Papa H are not). Anyway, that's our ice storm story. Nothing too fancy.

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