A Cold, Snowy Winter’s Morn on the Farm

I.LOVE.SNOW.

My DEEP feelings for SNOW go way back. In fact, I don’t remember ever NOT being enamored with Snow. I’ve loved Snow forever.

Of course, growing up in Georgia, and living there most of my life, I didn’t KNOW Snow personally, but I fell in love any way. I suspect it is kinda like online dating? We have never met in person until I moved to this farm, but I loved SNOW before we met.

However.

Life on a mountain farm in “real” snow is way different than life in a house in Metro-Atlanta with a few flurries.

I am learning. How to get things done. How to manage in snow. Our farm was a dairy farm many many years ago. I try to imagine what it was like THEN. To get everything done in winter on a dairy farm in, say the 1940’s. Now, with all the modern conveniences I have, surely I can take care of myself, my family, and a few farm animals in the winter.

It’s bright and early Monday morning. No school again today. (yay!) The world became white a few days ago. Later, at sunset, this snowy world will take on a pinkish tinge as the white snow reflects the cotton candy clouds. I’ve been waiting on the snow for months now. “Been a-missin’ you.”

But for now, let’s get ready to head out. The temperature is a balmy 14 degrees.

A few things I’ve learned.

Boot dryer.

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Get you one. When you need your boots, you need them to be dry on the inside. Believe me on this.

Also, get two chicken waterers. Keep one in the chicken house and one in YOUR house. Let’s go get the chicken waterer and fill it up before we head out. Mine’s in my pretty 1970s funky blue tub.

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Oh yes. One more thing. The hose. I don’t have water at my barn, so I get water to the horses with buckets and a hose. Now, in winter….hoses freeze. So, I bring the hose into the house. It is in my hallway. Let’s grab that too and head out.

Excuse me, Feral Barn Cat with a mustache who now lives in my house.

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Here we go. Here’s the hose.

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Wait, wait. One more thing. I think I’ll have coffee with the horses this morning, so let me get a cup of joe to go.

Alright. Let’s go to the chicken house first.

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One thing I’ve learned about chickens is that they do not like the snow the way I do. They will just stay in their house and aggravate and bother each other rather than go outside. I’ve figured out a way to get them out and about. I put out hay on top of the snow for them to walk on, peck around on, and cuddle up in. So, let me put out some hay and I’ll be right back.

Okay, done.

Here they come. The rooster leads the way.

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So, now let’s take care of the horses.

Here’s Little Banjo saying, “Top of the morning to ya.” His head is about as big as his body. He is half pony, half miniature horse.

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Let me sit down and have that cup of coffee before it gets any colder.

I pulled a couple of chairs into the barn this winter. I have enjoyed them being in there. Half the charm of having horses is being able to hang out with them. Now I have a place to sit and just hang out.

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Here’s what I see while I sit here and drink my coffee this morning. (I have also been known to sit here and drink a glass of wine in the evening.) It is quiet here, the only sounds being munching of hay or a bird chirping. Yesterday, there was a hawk in the barn that couldn’t figure out how to get out. When I came in, it was totally freaking out. I opened all the doors wide and showed it the way to freedom. Thankfully, today there is no such commotion, just these guys.

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I would tell you that they just admire me this much. Blue, the dog, and the horses gazing lovingly at me.

But the truth is that yesterday I had a cup of coffee AND a bowl of oatmeal while I sat here. I gave them each a little bite of my warm oatmeal. So, that’s why I have their undivided attention. Oatmeal. Which I do not have today.

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My Magical Merlin thinks I DO have the oatmeal. Got to go kiss that muzzle. Big smooooch! Not exactly what he wanted when he stuck his muzzle in there.

I’ve had a little bit of coffee, so let’s head out and get the horses some hay. I use this wagon constantly. It is my HAY wagon. It is also my SITTING wagon. Once I get the hay out, I flip it up and sit in it. I’ll show you in a minute.

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Oh, have I shown you the sign I made? It is hanging right here and speaks the truth.

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Me=scared to death.

Okay, let’s go to the hay bay of the barn and get some hay.

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Argh. It is hard to pull this wagon through the snow. Even with tire tracks, it is is tough to pull!

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I know.

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I got the hay out of the wagon and am simply sliding it across the snow. Much easier!

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Here you go, Cutie Pies. Hay!

Hmmmm, it is incredibly bright out here. It makes my eyes ache. I’m glad I have sunglasses in my pocket. Now, if my eyes ache, it means Mr. Merlin’s do as well. He is very sensitive, both physically and emotionally.

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There we go. His fly mask should do the trick.

Okay, let me go get my wagon and sit for a minute with the rest of my coffee. I’ll show you how to use the wagon as a chair just in case you ever need to know.

Like this. It is a rocking chair. I am leaning my back on the bottom of the wagon and above my head is the handle. You see?

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I laugh at this photo. No makeup. Hat that has been chewed up by the dog (Oreo!); it used to say “Whistler” in the front. I got it on a trip we made 15+ years ago to enjoy the snow in Whistler. I wear it because it is the warmest hat ever, not because it is photo worthy. And, you should see that coat. It has been my puffy, warm barn coat for 3 years now and it is a mess. I throw it in the washing machine every few weeks. This year, I used masking tape on the pockets and the holes. But whatever. I’m smiling and that’s what matters, right. Ah, farmlife. Stinky, dirty, wonderful farmlife. Sitting on a wagon, smiling like a fool farmlife.

Actually, now that I think about it. Maybe I’ll throw out that coat at the end of this winter and treat myself to a new one. Maybe. Maybe not.

Time to head back inside. I’ll change clothes and hang the wet clothes up to dry. On my to-do list next is building a fire and making some tiny biscuits. And do some lawyering. It’s a good day. A very, very good day.

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Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

 

 

 

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    Hah! Have to laugh at your routine ! Sounds so similar to mine! I live on a farm in Idaho! First the feral cat who lives in the garage in his cozy bed full of blankets with garage heaters when cold! Then,we give our chickens treats in the morning!! They loooove bread! We just tear up 3or4 pieces! I buy the cheapo bread at the store! Also! They looove lettuce and cabbage! They love to peck it! Keeps them from being bored too! Also stop and feed the goats! Popye,Rueben and Oliver! Then! Off to the horses!!! Miss Anne and Dolly Madison! Two beautiful paints!!! Oh ! Don’t you just love our horses!! I am scared to death too! Saddle up and ride! Yikes!! Can’t we just pet them! Ha! Well! I do it afraid too! Love to sit in the barn also and hang out!! We are very lucky!! I wouldn’t trade our lifestyle for anything!! We have 26 acres of bliss! From one farmgal to another,Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaw!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      yes….you are right, we are LUCKY! Cindy, my chickens are so bored they are pecking each other. I throw out all kinds of left-overs and treats, but the last two days, I have found a bloodied chicken and bloody snow (two different chickens, btw.) They heal by morning, so it is not a serious “attack” but I require PEACE on my farm. I’m trying to figure this out. I don’t normally have this issue. I can’t free range them because of predators, and thought I had given them plenty of run room. Have you had this problem? I’m thinking they are just sick of the cold snow and it is making them grouchy? Goats sound like FUN, but again, keeping them safe here in the mountains is impossible without 5 strands of electric wire, so I don’t guess I’ll ever have those clowns to entertain me.

      • Cathy says:

        Rebekah, I have a friend who has chickens and she actually hooked up a radio in their chicken house and plays quiet music. That has really helped keep them calm. Just a thought.

      • Cindy says:

        Hey ! We lost a chicken recently! The others hens were pecking it and there was blood all over its head! I was COMPLETELY mortified! I yelled at my husband to come and get the poor thing out of there! Like you! We keep them in a large run about the same size as yours.Very upsetting! My husband took it out in our orchard and killed it! My sweet peal.
        Ugh, I was so upset and my husband was so F—– pissed at the others hens for doing that! He could not eat there eggs for a few weeks until he got over it! This goes with the new territory of our life now Rebekah! Unfortunately we are seeing things we are not use to! We need tough skin! Anyway! One of my farmgal girlfriends just told me tonight about a large,hard block of some kind of pressed food !!!! It’s for chickens!! She says her chickens peck at it all the time!! Sounds good to me! I am getting one tomorrow!also, put a couple of whole heads of cabbage to let them peck at! If you read about chickens pecking each other they say when they taste the blood they will peck the hen to death!!! Yikes! I can’t handle that! Good Luck! Email me and let me know what you did and if you find the large block ! See ya! Farmgal!

  2. Bonnie ellis says:

    Oh girls…I envy your routine. “Our” chickens are owned by folks next door. We have snow like this every winter and usually lots of it and cold. But you have the luxury of the farm…yes, luxury. Those of us city folks don’t have the opportunity to sit in the barn with a cup of joe or listen to the wonderful sounds of animals. You do have the work but you also have the joy.

  3. Cathy says:

    I do so enjoy your posts but they make me feel so lazy, haha. We have acreage but no chickens, no horses, no tree farm, no nothing. Just a small garden and lots of yard to mow. I’ve often thought about putting up a chicken house but so far my husband has been able to talk me out of it. I sent you a picture on FB of Gimp, our feral cat. So far he still won’t come close. I do have a disadvantage as we’ve discovered he can’t hear so I can’t talk to him gently. I’ve learned to catch his eye, blink slowly and he blinks back the same. That’s the best communication we can come up with so far. Whatever works I guess. Your mustache cat looks so good! Just like Hercule Poirot, lol. Life IS good, I agree!

  4. DJ says:

    I look forward to each and everyone of your posts. As I read and look through the pics, I dream, smile, laugh and philosophize depending on your current post. I am so grateful for you taking the time to share your thoughts and moments.

    Thanks till your next post.

  5. Loreta says:

    I so enjoy your blog and wish I was young enough to do those things. Love you

  6. Denise Ross says:

    Rebekah I look forward to your posts so I can live the farm life vicariously through you. Love the photos and your snippets of life. Let us know how you go with your chickens. I’m curious if the radio will work for you. We have no snow here where I live in Australia, as I live in a very moderate climate zone. Here we are in the middle of a hot summer and I love the days when a cooler southerly change comes through. I live in a regional sub tuba area and since I currently rent, I do my gardening in pots. I’m loving being able to add things I’ve grown into my cooking. I feel a little farmgirl aside from the values I live by. One day I’d love to have a little country space and have some animals with a dog and chickens at the top of my list. We shall see how that all pans out. So I’m learning from your posts too. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your snowy farm life.
    Just a little but envious :)

  7. Diane Van Horn says:

    I saw that snow coming your way and thought instantly of you! Enjoy seeing all the critters and your beautiful, smiling face! Have fun in the snow!

  8. Meredith Williams says:

    Hi there! Get yourself a plastic sled and tie a piece or two of baling twine to the handle-presto! Instant hay bale moving device for those snow days! I love the heart wreath on your barn wall- I have one that will be going to the barn with me this afternoon❤️.

  9. Judy says:

    Thoroughly enjoy your posts. I could smell the hay and horses and hear the chicky’s quietly clucking to each other from here. It was great,don’cha know!
    Thanks for sharing. I’m there with you in heart!

  10. Cindy says:

    I was wondering if you were enjoying all of the snow. Did you get hit by the blizzard? I am enjoying having a very mild winter this year compared to most. So we’re both happy! And, at this very moment I am sitting in my new den, which I am choosing to call the parlor, with the gas fireplace flame on high, crocheting a blanket. Very snuggly and not in the basement !!!
    Oh, One last thing Georgia girl! Never heard tell of boot warmers! We always turned our boots upside down and put them on the heat registers!

    Cindy Bee

  11. Krista says:

    Such a great post! Thank you for taking me on a journey thru a day in your life. It sounds like you have so much fun and enjoy every minute of it. This has to be the best kind of work. Your Little Banjo is a very handsome horse/pony. Enjoy your snow and spending time with your animals!

  12. Janet Conn says:

    LOL. The feral cat that now lives in your house. We have three! My daughter, then my husband and then myself each adopted one from outdoors. They all live in the house now and we love them so much. They do have a way of ingratiating themselves into your hear and lives.

  13. Teresa Dempsey says:

    I have enjoyed reading your post. Like you, I have learned all kinds of winter tricks. I use a heated large dog bowl for my chickens. It works great and has cut down on my hauling water to the coop. I ordered it off of amazon. Winter is just about over – my crocus and daffs are blooming. I’m really ready to play in my flower beds! Peace to ya!

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