Getting Going

Yesterday I could not get going.  It was so freezing cold outside   – hovering around 20F (-6C)  – not that cold compared to what is coming but the wind was screaming and it felt so much colder – I was driven back  inside, straight after doing the most basic of the chores, but I could not get busy in the house.  I kept looking in the kitchen and rearranging the washing then drifting back to the chair by the fireplace to have a think. I wanted to be outside with my animals.  I wanted to think.


Do you think there are days when we really should listen to our inertia and just sit and think?


While I was inside forcing myself to get the house work done Sheila was out in her sleeping room rearranging the straw, she shifted her entire bed to the other end of the pen, then scooped it all up very high. The wind had changed to a howling Westerly and I think she felt a draft. Plus the floor of this barn is concrete and sometimes I think she is like the princess and the pea and she is trying to get as far off that cold floor as possible.

Last night I stood leaning on the pig gate and said “Go to bed Sheila, Go to bed, darling.”  I say this gently, quietly, repeating the same words and tone over and over. Poppy was being an idiot, as usual, leaping about but Sheila turned and lumbered up into her bed, pushed things around for a minute, then lay down and grunted softly as I forked all the extra straw on top of her. She ended up looking like an untidy pile. Then I made a wee bed for Poppy next to her  but Poppy scorned it and ran out into the night to chase dogs.  “Let her go,” said Sheila. yawning (and pigs do yawn as you know)  “maybe I can get a moments peace before she comes to bed.”


It was forecast to be 10F last night (that is – 12C) so I am sure she was glad to have Poppy to eventually cuddle up to.


This is why I like the Hereford pigs, their faces are so smiley and cheerful.

Elsie is still doing very well.  I stand very still and wait and eventually she comes over to sniff and say hullo.  She will be fine.  (Yesterday I got a call from a Dutch Belted breeder, who is also a reader, to tell me that the new numbers for the breed say there are almost 1,000 on the US. So I stand corrected.)

Last night I shut all the barn doors to cut down on the drafts. 10 degrees is Cold. 10 degrees with howling gales all night is FacePeeling Cold and Nasty.


I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your thoughtful friend on the farm,






65 Comments on “Getting Going

  1. sometimes we need a slow day by the fire to think and restore ourselves.
    cold days are perfect for that,

  2. I find that I’m very much effected by atmospheric pressure changes. I can make my head hurt and my muscle feel slow. I wonder if that’s what you’re experiencing… “pressure”. Good morning to you all! I’m off to make lunch. We have sunshine today; enough sitting inside.

  3. I hope you are as warm and draft-free as Sheila and all the other barn-folk. Sorry your day wasn’t good – that kind of feeling often hits me, and I can stare unseeing at a job waiting to be done.
    I hope it soon warms up for you.
    ViV xox

  4. I can;t say I blame you – the cold does seem to make the brain run slowly. I’m sure Sheila would suit a big brass bed, or solar power underfloor heating 😉

  5. I hear you about the cold! Just back in from feeding the chickens and opening their pen up – not that I think they will venture fine today . It is 20F at the moment, but have the same wind which makes it feel so much colder. And it is only November! Going to be a long cold winter if this keeps up – roll on Spring!

  6. Yep, I’m having a quiet day on the interwebs after a busy 4 day family visit. Big welcome to Elsie – she is much smaller than I expected but I am glad to hear she seems to be a calm lady. I hope you all warm up some before the next onslaught of cold. Looks like there will be some more little chicks soon 🙂 Laura

  7. Yes. You are right ,you are thoughtful in that you care for the comfort and safety of your animals. In fact I think you need a great big hug..
    Here is comes.

    (((((()))))) xxxxxxxxx

  8. It doesn’t get anywhere near that cold here, but we’ve had a lengthy cold snap (for us) an I think I am feeling slower because it’s too early for such weather. It makes me feel like it has come to stay and none of us will get any respite from winter before the official changing of the seasons.
    I am going to look up how to tell the difference between a Galloway and Belted cow when just looking at them. I’m glad your Elsie is a quick learner. She’ll soon be in your pocket. 🙂

      • yes I have not heard the cough again, thankfully, and they are both spending more time in their bat cave during these cold days, somehow they rummage about in there each time ancd actually cllose their door with straw, I cannot imagine they do this on purpose (thankfuly they cannot reach up and close ther air vent at the top) but they are very snug that is for sure, c

  9. Brr C that sounds numbingly cold. We are in Michigan at the moment so I know how it feels! I’m wondering if one of those big rubber stall mats in Sheila’s bedroom under the straw bedding would help cut down on the cold coming up from the cement floor?
    Of course with her and Poppy snuggling together they are probably plenty toasty! 🐷

    • yes, that is a good idea, i have a big mat under tima’s bed.. I shall look into it.. in the next month or so the new pig houses will come and one will be put into Sheila’s room, so she will have an even nice bed.. c

      • I was going to suggest the stall mat, we have them on the concrete floor in one of the horse buildings. I can attest to the fact that they cut the cold coming off the concrete when the farrier comes and I’m standing in there for a couple of hours. With the mats it takes longer for the cold to seep into my feet. As an additional help it’s easier on the horses’ joints when they are standing in there. We’ve also put them in the duck’s pen, the chicken coop and on the wood floor of the building where the goats, the donkey and Percy live and in part of the goat/pig/poultry yarrd. They’re easier to clean too. When there’s not the risk of freezing on contact you can hose them off easily. It was 12* F with a gusty wind the last 2 mornings when I was doing chores, brrrrrr. Yes, some days it’s good to just wait, kind of like letting your brain get reorganized so it’s up to the tasks at hand.

        • are they terribly expensive sherry? I like the idea of putting them under the pigs sleeping quarters. though they do have piles of straw and sheeps wool under them.

          • They generally run around $30 to $35 for a 3/4″ thick mat sized 4’x6′. I believe you can also get some that are 1/2″ thick. The local Fleet & Farm store carries them here as well as Tractor Supply and the Purina store. We’ve been able to do without any bedding at all in the horse shelter and the donkey’s room year ’round and none in the goats’ house in the summer time.

            • that is not too bad.. they are big enough, I may start collecting them, the sheila account might buy one for her.. that would be nice.. thank you darling.. what wr you feeding percy now that the grass is drying up?

              • He’s getting hay and the pelleted food that farmer Bob uses though not a lot of that as it’s digesting the hay that keeps him warm. He also gets veggie scraps and leftovers but he has to share with everybody else. He’s not very good at sharing.
                It might be worthwhile to watch the ads if you have any local farm papers, we got quite a few used mats from a local dairy farm that went to a different type of cow matress. I’ve also seen them advertised on Craig’s list as stall mats or cow mats.

                • What is that pelleted food? They have been on fresh grass for so long that mine are really only beginning to eat hay – they are getting pretty good at eating alfalfa cubes and so on, but when I am in a big hurry it would be good to have a back up t their chopped veges, though I live in Deep Fear of overfeeding Tima and getting a fat pig who will not breed. A feed with NO grain in it would be a great back up.

              • Covering the floor with about 6 inches of clean wood shavings makes a good cheap insulation for Kune kunes too. It also traps warm air between the layers of chips and makes a soft mattress to cushion little piggy’s joints. It’s very cheap & effective way to stop the cold from radiating off the concrete and one application should last many weeks. The mats sound great, but when money is tight wood shavings make a great alternative & do the job. As for sitting & thinking by the fire, we might all be better off if we listened when our mind & body needs a time out. It’s when we ignore our intuition that things can go wrong.


  10. Oh my gosh what is up with this cold? It’s 28 here and that’s usually the very worst it gets in the coldest part of winter. Hey Mother Nature, I’m trying to grow my last crop of lettuce and kale here! So, will you please stick to our regularly scheduled weather?
    I really need a clown suit like yours.

  11. I believe thinking days are necessary…as are days to not think at all. Stay warm. It is painfully cold today.

  12. You of all people deserve a sit now and then! It was cold here yesterday and I just did not want to drag myself out of bed to write at 5 AM. But eventually I made it. I hope you had a lovely day by the fire!

  13. Dear sweet Celi… your photographs made it apparent to me that the answer to your question can be found in your “animal” instinct. Every one of your photos of the farmy critters reflected moments of quiet, thought, or simply being in the moment. Of course that is what we are supposed to do a LOT of days. The animals seem to understand this… it’s we humans who tend to keep so busy and always focus on accomplishments and multitasking that we do not rest nor detach from the stress of it all – be it good or not so good stress. I have had many days of dawdling and being unfocused about work and chores the last couple of months. I think I like this place… it’s just a little weird, but I feel deep down that it could be good for my inner spirit! Keep warm… I’m surely not going to complain about the cold down south after hearing the numbers in your neck of the woods! BRR!!

  14. I understand your loathe to get going. I think fighting that brutal cold saps our resources. Our overnights have been plus or minus 20 degrees. Today we won’t break freezing. Forcing myself to do laundry, clean my studio, and try to feel energized.

    • Agreed, we hav e not been above freezing for days now, which is not unusual in winter but it has come WAY too early.. however I am forcing myself out to the supermarket and ,god help us all, to the hairdresser- my hair needs a good chop!..c

  15. I’m in hiding from that same weather here on top of a mountain in Virginia. I should be out in about eight layers of Carhartt stacking rocks, but I’m heeding my inertia today. Low of 10, high of 25 with 20 mph winds. Not nice on an unsheltered ridge! Love the new cow, by the way! Welcome, welcome, and three cheers for rare breeds.

      • Thanks, C! I’m not feeling so entranced with myself at the moment, but I blame the weather! That, and that I haven’t got a big fat pet pig to cheer me on.

        • blaming the weather seems reasonable, it kind of feels like we were not given a chance to Hunker Down and get ready for it.. c

  16. 10 degrees, that is wicked. We go down to 21 tonight and our high is freezing today…pretty cold for the deep, sunny south, but 10…yikes! You and the animals stay warm.

  17. I keep going back to October 6th pictures Bye Bye, Miss C. Each one a portrait and so touching. Cold here in Chicago too. Good day to get hair cut. I hope you sit down, Miss C., when you get a haircut! : )

    • Yes I do sit down, but while the colour was working I wandered about the salon, tidying the counters, then organised the ‘Letters” books they are selling in there, making sure the shampoo displays were balanced.. no-one minds.. c

  18. Your yesterday is our today. 17 and only going into the low 20’s with fierce winds. Stay warm, drink your tea by the fire and recharge.

  19. I want a sit-and-think day, too. I think it’s a biological urge. If cave-people were inspired to bolt out of the cave in such temperatures, they’d have died. I want to follow the example of the ancestors!

  20. Wish autumn didn’t go by so quickly. We woke up to 32F/0C and that was the high, it’s been getting colder as the day goes by. Can’t blame Sheila for making a high bed!

    • What has me worried is that all of my outside critters, 2 horses, 2 goats, 1 mini donk and 1 kune kune have grown an amazing amount of hair! I’m hoping it’s not a harbinger of things to come. I dread another looooong winter like last year.

  21. Rememer the Russian trick to screw up your face, keep your mouth closed and stretch it every which way when you are out in the cold. Yes inertia issomething to be honored. Sometimes we get overwhelmed.

    My husband has alzheimers and other brain things, and is a mess, and we just have to get through the grit! total wow being a grownup!

    • This little bit of cold is nothing really, an observation at best. I hope your husband is having one of his good days!.. much love.. c

  22. Extremes of cold or heat tend me to inertia, when I can’t think at all. It’s when I’m on the move I think best, and the little wheels in my brain turn in time with my feet and hands. It seems too cold too soon, I hope it isn’t a sign of a severe winter, just early that will steady up as it goes along.

  23. Oh Celi, I hope the thing I have sent you hurries up and comes… This cold sounds brutal, particularly with the extremely hot weather we’re having. The poor Husband was standing in full Hi Vis safety gear, helmet and gloves in the midday 42C sun yesterday for half an hour. I worry about heat stroke… I love your Big Fat PIg, she has the most charming smile and delicate trotters.

    • She is a darling girl.. and so polite.. your poor hubs, tell him john is working all day out in this sub freezing temps maybe that will make him feel a little cooler.. c

  24. I’ll need a day of inertia but instead I’m on the go 14 hours a day to do as much as I can for my mom and family here in Germany. We had lovely weather here for November but tonight it is getting colder.

    • Oh you are there! Wecome back to germany! Your other home.. I hope the weather stays kind so you can spend lots of tme out on the farm.. c

      • I’m back again, what are you going to do when your mom is 91 and needs your help. I’m only staying for a little while.

  25. Oh Celi, one would not be ‘normal’ whatever that means if on some days one’s ‘mind/body’ did not go on strike! Wish I could huff and puff like Sheila to send some of our heat to you probably ’cause I do not particularly like our weather forecast of 34 C + every day for the next week either – a LONG trip to the cardiologist tomorrow at 39 C temps and an uncertain outcome: so bear a tiny, tiny wee positive thought!!! I almost cancelled this morning and then thought I better be ‘sensible’ and know the worst 🙂 !

    • I’ve had computer problems and missed this comment about your impending trip to the cardiologist…..which was yesterday now. Dear Eha, I hope all is well. Positive vibes chugging down the highway to you.

  26. Maybe you needed someone to toss straw over you and say, just hunker down darling and come out again when it’s warmer!

  27. I think that sometimes when we feel that way it is because we have gotten overtired without realising it and need a bit of rest.

  28. Poppy was being an idiot–I had to laugh. Those young’uns! I think is good sometimes. Sorry to hear it’s so cold up there already.

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