The ice lingers

Wednesday, February 17

I didn’t really feel like writing today but I know that once I sit down at the computer the words start to flow and in the end I’m glad I took the time to jot down a few events of the day. If I ever decide to print my blog I think I may enjoy reading even the most mundane of days whether I felt like writing or not.

Speaking of day, mine started too bright and too early around 4:30 this morning. Lizzie Belle did SO good all night with not one coughing spell, yay! I must’ve gotten a little too comfortable thinking we would make it the entire night then WHAM, cough, hack, cough, hack. sigh. When the second bout of coughing began at 5 o’clock I decided to just get up with her and let CountryBoy sleep since I did not have to go to work today. We came downstairs, I threw some logs on the still hot embers and sat in my winter chair across from the fireplace and started catching up on Instagram and Facebook. What I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch but that end of the house was too cold so I decided to turn on the stovetop and start heating the water to percolate the coffee knowing the caffeine would do me some good. After that I promptly sat down again trying to soak in the heat of the fire.

It’s been cold this last week and we are still covered in ice. Today marks day 8 since we have left the farm. The truck looks like it has been abandoned. I was wondering if it would even start when the day comes that we are finally thawed out. I guess we’ll find out when that day comes ’round.

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I called my B&B boss this morning. We both knew I wasn’t going to make it in today but we had a nice chat. I also wanted to make sure all was good and nothing was needed. If so, we would’ve hopped in the side-by-side and driven the six miles to take care of it. Thankfully, all was good.

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While I was feeding the fire my middle finger hit a charred log as I placed a log on top it. Ouch! It smarted and has let me know all day long about my mishap. Thankfully, I didn’t seriously burn the tip of my finger.

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CountryBoy and I were going to clean out the chicken coop today. The girls have barely stepped foot outside their coop. They’re not fans of ice and snow or even the cold weather so they have remained inside. A few of them occasionally sneak over to Mabel’s pen to hang out but for the most part they remain in their coop which means they are pooping non-stop in there. When I locked them up last night I noticed there were literally mounds of poop here and there. Yuck. The problem is – the poop is frozen. (Which means it doesn’t smell so that’s good!) There was no way we were going to be able to clean up frozen poop. (I was mainly going to hold a couple feed bags open so CountryBoy could fill them. My B&B boss wants some chicken poop for her gardens.) Since that project was nixed and we were already bundled up for the frigid outdoors we thought we’d fly the drone and snap a few photos. The drone was having difficulty setting the GPS coordinates and then we got a low battery signal so we decided to forget that idea and came back in and threw some more logs on the fire. It seems that is all I have done today. I’m trying so hard to conserve wood since we don’t have enough to get us through the winter but mercy, when it’s twenty-some degrees and below the house gets cold awfully fast unless we keep the fire going. One day I hope to have this ‘ol box-frame house insulated. Some how, some way.

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LizzieBelle has done pretty good today. It was recommended that we run a humidifier to help her so I put a pan of water on the stovetop (bright and early this morning!) and I ran the diffuser in our bedroom last night with Northern Lights Black Spruce, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Wintergreen essential oils. Today I warmed some water and put a tiny bit of honey in it. I’ve read, and have been told, that the honey will help soothe and heal her raw throat. She seems to know it’s helping and hopefully she will begin to cough less and less so that we don’t have to call the vet again. I’ve also been concerned about her weight. She is eating the same amount of food as she has always eaten but she’s packing on the pounds lately. (Aren’t we all ’round here at the farm!) And, she’s always wanting to eat. She even grumbles when she thinks it’s time to eat and we’re not feeding her. So, today I chopped up a couple carrots and cooked them until they were nice and soft. Then I put a little less of her food in the bowl and added a good amount of the cooked carrots. We soak her food in water so all of it soaked together and she gobbled it all up when it was ready. I’m hoping the carrots will help fill her up and satisfy her and maybe she’ll even shed a few pounds. I’m also hoping the carrots will help her eyesight. All of a sudden it seems she has lost her near-sighted vision. My poor Belle! So much going on with my poor little girl.

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I spent the majority of the day (what time I wasn’t feeding the fire!) cross-stitching. It’s coming along.

The thing with cross-stitch is that it’s a slow hobby. Slowly but surely the tiny squares are being filled with colorful X’s.

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See what I mean about writing? And to think I didn’t want to write today, ha!

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Farm news: 12 eggs

Thursday, February 18

This morning we woke up to about six inches of snow, glorious snow! It was so beautiful! This is the most snow we’ve had in a while. In fact, the first year we moved here (six years ago) we had 18 inches. No snow shovels, no warm clothes, no nothing. We thought, oh dear, what’ve we done! The locals assured us that 18 inches was NOT common and they were right. Since then we’ve had about an inch or two each year. Today, however, waking up to six inches was awesome!

The snow was on top of all the ice we’ve had for the last eight or nine days, I can’t even remember now, so there was no going anywhere which was definitely OK with me. At 9 o’clock I grabbed my travel mug full of hot coffee and shuffled over to my desk in the dining room and logged in to work. There were not very many emails in my Inbox which had me thinking that very few people are at work. With only a handful of emails that needed my attention it didn’t me long to catch up.

Working from home sure has its perks such as a hot breakfast being delivered right to my desk…

CountryBoy’s Breakfast Pizza and a glass of orange juice. yum! Yesterday he decided to do something different for breakfast and he came up with the breakfast pizza idea. Homemade biscuit dough for the crust, mozzarella cheese, and toppings of scrambled eggs, onions, red peppers and sausage. I have to say it was even better today. Yea, a girl could get used to working from home!

After logging off from work I headed outside to enjoy the snow and try to capture its beauty. Pictures just don’t do it justice but I gave it a go…

As I was walking around taking these photos I could hear trees snapping and cracking in the mountaintops all around me. It was an eerie and very creepy sound.

We ran out of sunflower seeds but thankfully we have these seed blocks. With the ground covered in ice the birds have been eating everything we put out for them. We have two more blocks left. Hopefully we’ll be able to leave the farm to get more seeds before they eat their way through the last of the blocks.

It has done my heart good seeing everyone’s social media posts of the snow. Many families were outside making snowmen or sledding, making and throwing snowballs and just embracing the beauty of the season. It was very refreshing to see children outside playing and not on their electronic devices.

Again, I walked up to the road and this time I remembered to check the mail. We didn’t have any mail but we should have received a copy of the paper we worked so hard at putting together on Tuesday. So, either the mail did not run yesterday or there was a mishap with the paper after we sent the pages. I’m hoping there was no mishap after all our hard work but it could happen. The drivers have to drive an hour south to pick up the printed papers from the printing company and many roads are iced over making the journey quite precarious. There’s also the possibility that the printing company could have lost power after we sent the pages and weren’t able to print the papers after all. Then there’s the possibility that the mail carriers played it safe and stayed off the roads. I think we can all live without getting the mail for a day or two for safety reasons.

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LizzieBelle had another rough night coughing for quite some time right when we went to bed then a few times throughout the night and early this morning. I didn’t relish the thought of leaving our warmish bedroom to go sleep on the couch in the cold living room so we toughed it out and eventually everyone fell back asleep. I just keep hoping that each day will bring a vast improvement but it seems like she’ll have a decent day and then a rough day, a decent day then a rough day. My poor girl!

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Farm news: 12 eggs

Friday, February 19

It was a fairly uneventful day. LizzieBell had a good night but woke us up around 6 o’clock. I got up and brought her downstairs, let her out to do her business, went about getting her breakfast ready, our coffee brewing and the fire going again. It’s day 10 of staying home due to the ice storm. It’s like we’re in a state of limbo. The days are not warming up enough to melt anything so we spent the day trying to stay warm. CountryBoy even lit every single oil lamp we have downstairs and placed them around the living. Believe it or not, they helped knock the chill out of that part of the house. Me? I’ve stayed put in my chair across from the fireplace and fed the fire to keep it going. As soon as I would let it die down a bit I could feel a chill in the air. I spent my time in the chair cross-stitching.

That’s pretty much all I did all day. It was kinda nice with nothing pressing to do.

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I left my chair long enough to walk up to the mailbox. The seeds we recently ordered had been shipped and I was concerned about them being in the mailbox overnight if they had indeed arrived. The seeds had not arrived but the infamous paper had. yay! Here’s what was nothing short of a miracle in the making…

I told my fellow co-workers that we should frame this edition after what all we went through to put it together in the midst of an ice and snow storm.

I had my camera with me on the walk to the mailbox and here’s a few more snow and ice pictures…

We finally had an egg customer brave the driveway. He made it down the drive and across the bridge without a problem and we were able to sell seven dozen eggs.

Saturday, February 20

We woke up to a chilly morning. It was 3 degrees and quite cold in the house as the fire had died down throughout the night. We’ve chosen to not get up in the middle of the night to restock the fireplace for two reasons. One, by not doing so it saves a bit of wood. Two, it’s much safer to not trudge downstairs in the middle of the night (speaking from experience). I’m happy to say that even though it was only 3 degrees when we woke that the pipes had not frozen and the water was still running inside the house. This is a huge deal. The first several years we lived here the pipes froze every year with the first year being the worst with 15 busted pipes that year. I can’t say the same for the water pumps outside. They are supposed to be freeze-proof but they still freeze. On these frozen mornings CountryBoy has to carry a pail of water to the barn to water the chickens and Mabel.

Meanwhile, outside everything still looked the same – a snow covered iceland. However, the sun was shining. During the winter months the sun is always a welcome sign. Wth that we decided to venture out and make our way to Rural King for some bird seed and cracked corn. Of course, while we were there we went ahead and stocked up for the month. CountryBoy also found him a good pair of muck boots. They were quite pricy but after years of going without proper boots for snow and mud it was time. He didn’t want to spend that much but I was adamant. Good shoes are a necessity and these will keep his feet warm and dry. I found a couple pairs of warm socks. After six years we are still trying to build up our winter wardrobe.

We waited until afternoon to venture out in hopes of giving the roads some time to thaw. Come to find out, our road was the only one that was still snow covered over a layer of ice. Thankfully, the main roads were good so we had a nice trip to and fro. The truck, however, was another story. It had been covered in ice for so long that it remained on the hood and the lower portion of the windshield the entire way to Rural King. After stopping to eat a bite of Mexican CountryBoy was able to break the rest of the ice off the windshield for the drive home.

While we waited for the roads to thaw I did a couple loads of laundry and did some more cross-stitching. I also broke out some cotton yarn and some hooks to do some crocheting. I like to have a to-go project and cross-stitch doesn’t make a good to-go project because it’s something that I need to concentrate on and can’t just pick up where I left off as easily as crochet.

LizzieBell went with us and was thrilled to be out of the house. I’m so worried about her though. Not only is she still coughing she has lost her near-sighted vision and her hearing is not that great. I just can’t bear the thought of her getting old.

Sunday, February 21

The backroads were still frozen this morning so we decided to stay home from church since we have to take several backroads to get there. I did another load of laundry and then spent the day fluctuating between crochet and cross-stitch.

I made some peanut butter this morning from some shelled peanuts that CountryBoy didn’t want to eat and had some on toast this morning. So good! We had leftovers for supper.

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As the morning gave way to afternoon I felt a dread coming over me knowing that tomorrow morning would bring about business as usual and have spent the afternoon trying not to think about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed these last eleven days and I’m having a hard time getting myself geared up to go back to work. CountryBoy knew my quiet struggle so he spent the afternoon finding movies that he thought I would enjoy to help ease the dread. We spent the afternoon, he in the recliner, me in my chair in front of the fireplace with a crochet hook in hand, watching movies. It was a good day that went by too quickly.

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LizzieBelle did fairly good today. She woke us up again around 6 o’clock and coughed for quite a while this morning before finally stopping and settling down for her nap in front of the fireplace. The rest of the day was pretty good with very few coughing spells.

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Farm news: 12 eggs

Monday, February 22

Another rough night and early morning. We were all up at 5:30 and LizzieBelle’s humans sat patiently waiting (although one was sleeping sitting up!) for the coffee to percolate. I’m calling the vet tomorrow. There’s far too many changes going on with her that makes me think something more than just a Kennel Cough is going on.

I was able to drink both mugs of coffee before going to work and got started on packing up the baby blankets to be mailed. I left about 15 minutes early so that I could stop by the post office. It was a good thing. Here was the state of our driveway as I pulled out…

… a solid sheet of ice and slickerensnot as they say. I made it across the bridge and almost to the end of the driveway knowing that I would need to have some speed in order to get up the incline to get onto the road. As I started the slight climb I started sliding so my immediate response was to let off the gas. By doing so, my back tires just spun even though I was in 4 wheel drive and I wasn’t able to get onto the road. I backed up the driveway a bit and started again. I kept sliding but kept my foot on the gas but it still wasn’t enough momentum to get onto the road. I backed down the driveway even further and tried again. I was sliding all over the place but kept my foot on the gas and even though my back tires spun a bit they finally grabbed and I made it onto on the road. whew! You might be able to see my tracks where I was sliding…

Once I got off our little road the main roads were good and I still had plenty of time to stop at the post office.

It took every fiber in my being to leave the house today. I tried not to think about it and just got dressed, headed out in the rain, got in the truck and went to work praying I would have what it needed to get caught up and through the day. Once there it was an extremely busy day trying to catch up on two weeks of not being in the office. It was a good day but nonetheless, I’m happy that this day is behind me. And guess what was in the mailbox today? The seeds we ordered, yay! I might just allow myself to start thinking about Spring now.

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CountryBoy spent the day mashing and freezing extremely ripe bananas and cleaning out the mounds of chicken poop in the coop. fun, fun!

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Farm news: 11 eggs

1 Comment

  1. Goodness! You all have had much more ice and snow than us! I hope you thaw soon.
    So sorry Lizzie-Belle is having such a rough time. We went through a similar spell with one of our girls and she needed a steroid to get over the hump because her airway was so inflamed from the coughing. Fixed her right up!
    Stay warm!

    Liked by 1 person

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