Month: January 2016

Weathering the Storm – Part 2

We are at the tail end of the storm now and I think it’s safe to say that we made it through just fine.  This was a big test – it’s the first storm since we brought the horses home and got the chickens.  My biggest fear was that the power would go out with the high winds we’ve been experiencing but so far, so good.

We ended up getting 25-30 inches of snow.  It’s hard to tell, because it has been so windy that it has drifted everywhere.  Tomorrow we will start digging out.  The work that Gator did last night was futile but at least he had fun – he’s like a kid with that tractor!

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Speaking of having fun, nobody had more fun than those two dogs of ours.  They couldn’t get enough of it! Between Gator and I, they went out with us at least 6 times today.  Not to mention the couple of times Carly went out on her own – although that didn’t last long since there was nobody to play with her.

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Good thing they’re black – makes them easy to find in the snow.

The horses were perfectly happy in the barn.  They slept most of the day.  I imagine they will be ready to get out and play tomorrow.  That will take some work – every door on that barn has a big snow drift up against it!

The chickens fared well too.  We put a tarp up around two sides of the coop to keep the snow from blowing in.  The chickens really didn’t like that and Gator found two of them huddled in a corner as far away from that tarp as they could get.  Once he picked them up and put them in the hen house though, they stayed put.  I put a little food and water in there with them and they seemed comfortable.

I hope everyone else who’s had to deal with the storm has been able to stay warm and safe!

Hang in there – spring is coming!

Weathering the Storm

Here in central Virginia, we are several hundred miles south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Somehow, when I imagined moving to the South, I envisioned cool and sunny winters with the occasional miserably rainy day.  Those of you who live in the area are laughing at me right now – that’s OK, I deserve it.  Right now, we are under a blizzard warning – we’ve already had about 6 inches of snow and we are expecting 24 more inches.  The wind is starting to pick up and within the next hour or so, sustained winds should be over 25 mph and they will continue until late tomorrow night.  Like I said, not exactly what I imagined when I moved to “the South.”  This is expected to be one for the record books, but I have to say, I’ve lived here almost 7 years and every year we seem to have at least a couple of substantial snow storms.

The weather forecasters deserve some credit on this one – they have been predicting this storm for the past several days and timed the snow right down to the hour.  The forecast called for partly cloudy skies early this morning.

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It was hard to believe a sunrise like this would happen the morning of a snowstorm!  As I tracked the hour by hour forecast on my computer, it said that flurries should start by 11:00 so since I was between meetings, I headed out and moved the horses from the back pasture to the smaller pasture next to the barn.  They hate being stuck in stalls, so I made it a little easier on myself by not having to walk way out to the back field when it would be snowing hard.

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Sure enough, by 11:15, the flurries started.

A downside to working from home is that I don’t get snow days but one of the benefits is that I can see the horses from my office!  Even in the snow, they were pretty content for most of the afternoon.

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Finally about 4:00, I finished my last meeting and decided that it was time to bring them in and lock up the barn for the night.   It was coming down pretty hard by then and they were ready to come in anyhow.

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Gator decided the driveway needed a pass with the tractor before it got too late, so about 7:00, he bundled up and headed out with the dogs.  After 10 minutes, the dogs came back.  Gator blew in 20 minutes later, cold and full of snow (and a little miffed that the dogs abandoned him!).  Not sure if it did any good to plow but hopefully he’ll be able to tell where they driveway is tomorrow!

Stay tuned for day 2 of the snowstorm!

Wrapping up the Year

In our usual style, Gator and I finished of 2015 with a bang – or should I say PROJECT?  We just couldn’t leave well enough alone, and since December was so mild here in Virginia, we decided to fence in a couple of fields.  Our single pasture was getting over grazed by the horses and it has always been part of the plan to add another field or two so that we can rotate and give them time to recover and regrow.  One of the fields is small – just about an acre, which will work well for one horse when I need to separate them.  The other one is about 5 acres and has lots of good grass.  These two new fields will just about triple our turnout area.  That means a lot of posts had to be set – but not before we got them painted.

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The good news is that we were pretty much over the learning curve and we got 145 posts painted in one weekend.  Gator rigged our round bale spear for the tractor to carry the posts out to the field.  At the recommendation of our local Co-op agent, we decided to rent a post driver instead of using the auger on our tractor to drill post holes.  It pays to listen to people who know!  What a great decision – we were able to set about 120 posts in about 12 hours over two days.  After that, it took about 4 days to install the insulators, do the bracing, install the gates, string the wire and do trenching to bring the electricity over.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that we are done with that!  Hopefully we won’t be building any more fence for a long time.

That wasn’t the only project that got wrapped up to finish out the year.  I have been working on five different cross-stitch projects over the past 3 1/2 years for my daughter’s family and I just finished the last one!

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Now everyone has a Christmas stocking and both grand kids have framed birth announcements.  I wish I had counted how many hundreds of hours I have spent working on them.  I think it will be a while before I do any more cross-stitching – I’m kind of burned out on that too…

It was a really good year – we were blessed in so many ways.  We got a lot of things accomplished and now maybe I will have more time to blog in the new year!

 

 

 

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