"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I don't need to say that it's cold outside because we're all pretty much over this fact.

I rushed out to the barn yesterday to give Lily a large serving of beet pulp with extra extra water. It was 35 degrees outside but the wind was starting to pick up. I think the forecast said it was 25 with the windchill at the time.

Warm mare is warm
She slurped up her mush while I set up a bag of beet pulp for that night. The BO had mentioned she was going to do warm bran mashes, so I asked if Lily could get soaked beet pulp instead. BO said no problem. I was really happy to see that all of the mares were using the run-in for once. 

Gracie and Windere in the run-in. Windere is 33 years old and refuses to gain weight despite BO's supreme efforts at always keeping food in front of her. She is never locked in a stall so she can always have the option of moving. At night she is brought into the second barn, but she gets the run of the rubber-matted barn aisles, where she has soaked Senior, a bucket of beet pulp, and both a pile of alfalfa and of grass hay to keep her eating. She has a buffet. The vet thinks she has GI lymphoma, which explains the lack of weight gain, but Windere is otherwise a happy, feisty creature whom the other mares still respect. BO always makes sure she's warm, since she has very little natural insulation, which is why she is wearing the neck hood.
It's in a sweet location in the field: close to the gate, facing away from the wind, with trees on the opposite side of the run-in, so they have a wind break on both sides. BO has placed a round bale hut in this spot, but the round bale is almost gone. Lily went straight to stand in the run-in with her girl friends once I set her free.

This was the temperature last night when I got into the car at 2:00 am after work:

Ok. Not negative. But still! It doesn't get this cold in this area!

Of course, that was without the wind chill. With wind chill it was -15. Not complaining though. I'll take single digits over the monstrous negative temperatures that some have been having.

That didn't change the fact that it was still freaking cold, THE coldest temperature I've experienced to date, and despite 5 layers and the heat cranked to high, I still shivered violently in the car all the way home. Thankfully it's just a 10 minute drive!

Today I woke up earlier than I would have liked after working the night before, because I was determined to go out to the barn to give Lily her beet pulp and thus get extra water into her. It was 8 degrees outside. I could hear the wind howling outside of the apartment. The wind chill was supposed to be -20+. 

Liz sent me a photo of herself dressed up to go to her barn in full ski gear. The windchill in WV was -40 today. I figured if she could do it with those inconceivable temps, I could certainly do it with -20.

So I got dressed and headed out the door. I wore:

- Cuddl Duds silk top
- Patagonia Synchilla fleece hoodie
- wool boucle turtleneck
- ELT fleece jacket
- Free Country 3-in-1 jacket
- fleece pajama pants (don't have regular yet)
- North Face ski pants (hand me downs from Liz)
- 1 pair of medium weight Smartwool socks, and 1 pair of regular wool socks
- flannel scarf
- fleece-lined knit cap
- SSG 10 Below gloves
- running sneakers (I usually wear running sneakers to the barn and switch to my snow boots once I get there. The snow boots live in the trunk of my car at the moment so I can access them at any time, including leaving work. The snow was almost gone when I got to the barn from Monday's rain, and the ground frozen solid, so there was no mud or wetness to deal with. I chose to just keep the sneakers on so I wouldn't have to remove my gloves to do up the laces of the snow boots. My feet stayed surprisingly warm thanks to the two pairs of socks, and I had extra mobility in actually being able to run around in the sneakers. Haha..)
* In case you didn't notice: DEATH TO COTTON! I do NOT wear cotton outdoors in the wintertime.

I stepped outside and was more than pleased to discover that while yes, it was cold, I wasn't cold. Success!

I look like I'm going for an excursion on Everest. Sheesh.
Drove to the barn to discover that the mares didn't have round bales yet. I texted BO to see what had happened. The round bales were delivered and Rolando was supposed to put them out the day before with the tractor. It had been hideously muddy, though, so Rolando had decided to wait until today.
Well, the tractor was frozen today. They couldn't get it to turn on.

That's how cold it was.

I could see where the mares had been thrown square bales to keep them eating; they were almost finished. I got 2 more bales and threw them out for the mares. It was 1:00 pm and I knew the mares would get more hay sometime around 4:00 pm. Lily came right up to me from the field, and I quickly haltered her and gave her her soaked beet pulp. I sat in the car with the heater blasting to wait for her to finish.

Muddy mare enjoying her food.

She gobbled down her food, and I then set her free again. She immediately dove into the hay to eat.

I'm looking forward to 30 degree weather again. 

You know how baby chicks go "cheep-cheep-cheep", right? Ok. There is a popular joke back on the island that goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was a baby chick that lived in Puerto Rico that decided he really wanted to be a penguin. So he dressed up like a penguin and got on a plane to fly north. When the plane is finally arriving at the North Pole, the chick starts to say, "shi-shi-shi!" repeatedly.

The pilot turns around and says, "You look like a penguin, but penguins sure don't sound like that."
And the chick says, "Shi-shi-shit it's cold!!!"

I'm that chick right now. 

Stay warm, my friends!


  1. *giggle* I like that joke.

    I hope you're enjoying the approaching HEAT WAVE of 30s. Then 40s. THEN 50s *gasp*. I always appreciate those temperatures MORE after having cold snaps like this. That thought is what I keep in mind when intense cold snaps like this hit. It makes the rest of winter so much nicer because its *not so cold* any more.

    1. Totally agree! I never thought I'd welcome 30-degree weather because it's WARM, but it is certainly warmer than 12 degrees! Hahaha...

  2. The only part of the list that made me go humm? was the running sneakers. I am impressed you could get two pairs of wool socks on your feet and then the sneakers. (I've heard it works better that way then the other way around.)

    Stay warm, my friend. Shi-shi-shi

    1. Haha! I forgot to explain that. I usually leave the house in running shoes and change into my snow boots at the barn. They kind of permanently live in the trunk of the car because they are such a muddy mess right now.

      The snow is mostly gone from the rains on Monday, and the ground was frozen solid so there was no mud to deal with. Once at the barn, it was so cold that I really did NOT want to remove my gloves so I could do the boot laces, so I decided to see how long I would last in the sneakers while running around for 30 minutes in the freezing cold. Literally running around: getting the two hay bales from the barn, throwing them in the barn golf cart, running them down the hill, tossing them out to the mares, scurrying around spreading the hay in little piles around the run-in so they wouldn't squabble, then driving the cart back up the hill (it *almost* stalled going back up, which was really funny...the last time I drove a golf cart, I was 11 years old!) My foot kept warm by pumping that gas pedal...

      Then running back down the hill on foot to get Miss Thang out.

      At that point I'd been out for about 15 minutes, and my feet were still surprisingly warm. So I just kept the sneakers on and never swapped into snow boots. My feet never got cold. I didn't believe runners that said they used their regular running shoes in the winter, but now I understand why. If you have good socks on underneath, stay dry and keep moving, your feet never really get cold.

      And yeah, I was surprised the sneakers went on over the two pairs of socks without my feet feeling like they were in a vise!

    2. And LMAO!! Yes: I agree that sneakers over wool socks tends to work better than the other way around. ;)

    3. Edited to include sneaker explanation now. :)

  3. Holy cow! Looks like this year has had many record breaking coldness! Stay warm Saiph. Ava and I are thinking of you (and Lily!)

    1. It's crazy. Yesterday it was warmer in BOTH Poles than it was in most of the US!! It was 28 degrees in Fairbanks, AK, and 9 degrees in Antarctica. I think it was in the 20's in Russia. Nuts, I tell you!