Remember how I told you it got really cold the night before last but that was OK as i was all preparde for the cold? Well, I completely forgot that the milking pump and the pulsator hate cold and I left them out in the milking room, the pump sitting on its stand and the pulsator on top of the bucket, all clean and hung on the hook.
I got all ready for milking, filled buckets with dry pig feed ready for the hot milk, took the shiny milk cans from the house to the barn, carried three full buckets of hot water to the milking room, replenished the piles of clean rags, chopped up the pumpkin for the cows, got everything ready, rinsed and cleaned the cups in the hot water, turned on the music and brought in Aunty Del, I washed her udder and dried it, turned on the pump, picked up the cups, put them on and nothing, they fell straight back off. The pump turned on but there was no pressure. The pulsator was not clicking. Horrors! Aunty Del did not care, she kept munching while John and I flew through all the checks trying to work out why we had not pressure.
It stayed very cold yesterday and the pulsator was still frozen. Major error. I had to run it or ages, cupping it with my panicked hot hands before it warmed up and the pump got up a good head of ‘steam’. Aunty ate the whole pumpkn herself waiting. And after I milked her – she finished well – I had to chop up another pumpkin for Lady. Who we milked just fine. It was cold yesterday and this morning we are at 27F – not as bad! but still way below freezing.
The cows and I all got a fright so after the milking I dragged the pump on its handy wheels, across the quad, up the garden path, through the trees and stowed it in the glass house. Then carried the bucket and pulsator in theere as well. The whole apparatus is now in the glass house where it will be warm. This will be a frequent trip until I finish milking noth cows.
I had a new reader comment a few days ago that she had never seen a blog where the photos had nothing whatsoever to do with the text, she found it fascinating.
I hope she is reading today because her comment made me smile. It is not done on purpose, the images are a collection of what I saw yesterday. And the text is a recollection of only a tiny part of yesterday that comes to my mind when i have my first coffee with you. A bit like wandering about the farm looking at stuff while we talk of other stuff.
Anyway, i digress because I made another error that fist night – yesterday morning I went to feed the pigs and their food was frozen solid too – it usually sits overnight in the barn. That nice warm porridge froze overnight. I had to take out buckets of boiling water to thaw their breakfast. So now there are three big buckets of milk and grain sitting in the kitchen.
I also forgot to plug the cows water heater in so they were all standing staring at a frozen tub of water yesterday morning (and this morning too as i need to find their tank heater! I will do that today.
Of course you cannot run hoses when it is that cold as the water freezes in them unless you drain the water out and coil the hoses up on the fence.
I forgot that to0! I am laughing at myself. Here was me being all smug thinking I was so organised and I forgot to get the waters organised. Everyones water was frozen solid. You cannot fill a bowl that is already full of frozen water.
In the old days, in the winter, I would take Sheila a bucket of warm water a few times a day, now her head is too fat to fit in the bucket. But thats ok because she is trained to stand back. That is the command “Stand Back Sheila. Stand back.” This means take a step back, get your head out of the bowl I am going to fill it. And she does, she waits patiently until I fill her bowl with food or water then tucks in. You can’t muck around though she will not wait long!
I wil be carrying a lot of buckets of warm water this winter – we have more pigs than ever!
Good morning. Off I go to work,
Hope your day is lovely!
I remember those days of uncoiling hoses, watering the stock with them, and then rolling them back up and putting in the barn where they would not freeze. Somehow ended up with wet gloves every time! Hoping the Farmy and the Fellowship have a great day!
Oh aren’t wet gloves awful in the real cold – still not too cold here yet! c
I love the piglets’ chunky little bums! Good job, Poppy. What a good mom. And Geraldine. I love her so. I would buy a calendar just of Geraldine! She is so funny and judgmental. She’s like a cat with feathers!
Stay warm! It’s finally getting cold here, too!
Those healthy little piggie butts are cute as anything! Ah the water thing is about to rear its ugly head out here as well. We got our hydrant just in time, but we still will have to lug buckets, just not from the house which is a major improvement. I don’t care how many times we have to get ready for the cold, there is always something not prepared for.
I left all the water hoses hooked up last night and it’s currently 21. I’d say it’s a rookie mistake, but I’ve been doing that at least once every year for the last… Sigh…
Ha ha !! Yes I know that feeling! c
Well I am here to congratulate you! You did not forget to take more beautiful gold-filled pictures! Love the one if the barn and tree.
Oh wow…that’s cold 😮
It looks like the piglets are whispering in Boo’s ear, telling him a secret.
Or offering him kisses on his cheek. Sweet fatties.
At least with all the backwards and forward C, you will stay nice and warm.
Have a beautiful day.
🙂 Mandy xo
Cute little piggy butts love Boo n Ton giving them their morning welcome!! It’s fun to see all the Farmy interlove feelings! Love the farm scene against the skyline!! It’s aggravating when we forget those things we normally do!! Been there – done that!!! We just aren’t ready for this cold weather!! Ugg after so many 70 degree days!! Have a better day!!
The cold likes to catch us by surprise. Even when we think we’re ready. You sound like you’re ready for tomorrow though. And, I love love love the picture of the barn, wheelbarrow, and cat. What a beautiful composition!
Surely the pictures and text are relative – it’s all part of farmy philosophy 😉
I wonder how long a body can keep doing all that work you do. I never thought much about it for myself until this year. The cold adds a whole new element to hard work. At least in the south it’s not quite so brutal.
It is still pretty nice here too! c
Just love the Geraldine photo! What a shot!!! I, too, had a giggle just now about what the new reader said about the pictures often being different from the text. Once we join the farmy fellowship and become familiar with the farm family, it’s a given that we get to see them all in their daily antics. And when we don’t see one, and they are not in the daily news, we simply ask about them. And we are always treated to so many incredibly beautiful and creative photos! And, as well, thought provoking musings, and just plain fun stories of life on the farmy. Thanks Celi!!!!! xoxoxoxo
yes – you can always ask and i will chase the character down with Camera House!
I’m surprised you don’t forget more with all you have to do but then I understand forgetting just makes more work. Your temps are astounding. We won’t go down to freezing until Dec 5. But rain everyday until Dec 2. When the rain clouds go, the cold comes in. I love all you photos and especially the little pigs with Boo looking on. The fact that you take the time to write and photograph on top of all else is impressive. It would be beyond me. Thank you for making my day brighter. I just turned up the heat here.:)
Those times of brain fog always come when we are feeling rather pleased with ourselves don’t they…a little reminder that life is real and will always find a way to remind us that no one is perfect, or as organized as they think they are 😉
Mornin’ from Wyoming. I can totally relate to the milking equipment issues. As we’ve had our first winter storm (8″ snow and 8* F) I’ve started my winter routine with the milk stuff — hoses, etc. spend the night in the greenhouse, bucket with pulsator top come to the house — I do have to use a smallish heat lamp with a 100 watt bulb that clamps on the bucket handle during milking — have had it freeze up midway otherwise. My vacuum pump seems to do ok as long as I run it with nothing on it after milking for a few minutes….I do bring it in at 0* F and below. Frozen buckets of water are like rocks….and seem to take DAYS to thaw. As we are “off-grid” and can’t use electric water heaters, years ago we invested in some solar 40 gallon water tanks — work like a charm — and even at way below zero only have a breakable layer of ice on top….of course you still have to get the water to them. Hope your day is filled with thawing sunshine!
Hmm – I have done research on solar water tanks but did not find them – did you buy them ? or make them
Here’s the website foe the ones we bought. They were expensive but really worth it — ours are about 8 years old and still doing great — no problems at all. http://www.ranchtanks.com/
can’t you find something with wheels to transport all that water, something easier on your back ?
At least when I carry it it does not spill.. cand is good for my scrawny arms! Just think of it as a work out.. c
I use a kid’s snow sled to pull my water around. I fill up the buckets inside our back stairs to the basement. Then can balance three tall buckets in the sled. It is just an inexpensive black plastic sled with a bit of a lip all the way around. It can get tricky though as the snow develops ruts … can be tippy then! Hope all is ‘fluid’ with your operation today. Good luck!
Excellent idea – I will look into these sleds!
The last line will stay with me through the coming cold. “I wil be carrying a lot of buckets of warm water this winter” says a great deal to me about life. Also, it helps me remember a very human story with an amusing ending–Sheila of the “too fat [head] to fit in the bucket” backing up on command.
Oh my! All those things I have never had to think of or luckily experience. We get excited when the fountain in the courtyard freezes slightly a few times a year.
Those chubby little toddler pigs are too much!
that is the very reason I read your blog. If you didn’t have pics of all the animals, I probably wouldn’t read it as often. thanks
Nor would I!! c
chubby piggies! Adorable- I hope allgoes better now with the freezing temps and frozen paraphernalia!
I have only one hose to drain but it’s very long and cumbersome. Heavy too. But nothing in comparison to buckets of warm water! Daily yet! Good pig Sheila!
Could your equipment stay thawed with a light bulb in a closed cupboard? Very considerate of you to warm things up for the ladies! The Red River is starting to form ice along the edge. I’m running away to warmer climes, but I’ll be able to watch Springs progress as the channel thaws in April. I hope your efforts are successful keeping everything at the right temperature. Nice pictures as always.
Send over the carpenter that cupboard would you – I need that fellow – though the cold now is nothing compared to how cold it can get. We will look back on this later in the winter as a Warm day. c
I’ve always thought I should get a metal filing cabinet or a metal storage cabinet and put a light bulb in it to keep things thawed. If a cabinet was big enough I could even hang a coiled up hose in it. Of course it’s just another of those ‘brilliant’ ideas that never come to pass.
and it would have to be BIG!
I LOVE looking at all the pictures, but read every word, also! I never thought the text had to ‘go with’ the pictures, I guess….
yes, nor did our new reader – she thought it was great though unusual! c
The pig butts are the cutest ever!
How funny… it would never occur to me that the pictures and text were not related. It’s all Farmy, and the pictures tell stories as welll as the words. I love the piglet photos: Growly “morning, piggies” , squeaky “morning, Ton Ton”… They have such sturdy little legs, lots of good healthy bone in there.
Giggle! Oh dear, Ceci! Methinks your brain may have already gone on vacation from the sounds of it! Whose baby chicks are those? In the early Spring, we raise ours in the bathtub with a heat lamp on them, straw and newspaper in the bottom of the tub. If it’s particularly cold, we put a towel over part of the tub, as we only have one stove to heat the whole house – that and three space heaters. Yours look quite comfy and happy. The rains and snow have started here in the mountains and one of the passes is closed for the winter. Just LOVE your pictures – so clear and loving, even when you have ‘bad piggies’ scampering about in No-No land! Still giggling – though I know it wasn’t funny to you, but your description is delightful!
Thet were hatched by their mum about a month ago so they are in my emergency chicken housing with her for the moment _ I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with them as it will get cold in there.
Lovley landscape image at the end.
Somehow the pictures do match your words in my mind – it’s all about the farmy and is a bit like walking along with the old farmers I knew as they go about their chores – disjointed information but it is all connected in a circle somehow….like multitasking several conversations or something. This probably makes no sense. But as you talk, the images give sense of season, flavor and attitude of the farmy at a certain point in time. That second to last image is so clearly fall and one farmy resident mulling over/reflecting on the season, the chill, the day, the work done, the changes, and what all it means – like sum of your words in a picture.
Hey Celi .. Oh no what a stressful time for you. Wonderful pics .. I do that too with my images. Sometimes they work with my blurb other times no way 😃 I always love dropping by. Hugs