I almost cried this morning when I woke – checked the temperature and found that it was only -17f ( -27c) – the forecast was calling for -26f and after struggling through yesterday I was in despair.
Now that it is over I can concede that it was bad. By yesterday evening I had a terribly sore throat and gritty eyes. But all the animals and birds save for three starlights that literally froze where they sat, we were all ok.
It is a funny thing the cold, I am very rugged up with three layers of trousers, four layers on top then my raggy jacket, my big mohair shawl, hat and then extra hood. Kim’s extra long fingerless mittens over double cotton gloves and I look like this.
I am of the persuasion that many loose layers of natural fabrics are better than tight fancy plastic.
But still after about 30 minutes working outside even with visits to the kitchen to fill buckets I felt myself begin to stumble in the snow a bit. I became a little woozy really. What was even more interesting was that my Mind began to watch my Body. Monitoring my bodily reactions with no emotion at all. My mind had split apart from my body and was Watching with interest. As I finished up who I was feeding I would begin to feel a bit drunk, then as I shuffled back up to the house I would feel nausea – not vomiting nausea but that nausea one feels alongside hunger. And still my mind emitted no panic just amazement – no, not amazement – wonder even interest at the effect extreme cold has on a body.
Then I got so tired. Terribly tired. The cold exhausted me.
By then I was of course feeling really hot, skin tingling hot but I know that trick so I did not take my outer clothes off – even when I was inside- I have a distant memory of my mum warning us to keep our jackets on and warm back up slowly. The heat of cold is a trick.
I wore my headgear and wooly jersey and double socks inside all day anyway – the house heater was having a big of a struggle keeping up.
So this morning my throat still hurts and my eyes are gritty but when I awoke to only – wait let me check what it is now, it always gets colder at dawn, hmm, -20 now but no wind. No wind! I am so grateful.
You remember Jude has a house in the barn, a horse trough flipped over with a hole cut in it. It sits on deep straw. Is covered in straw with little air holes at the back. With a huge mound of straw at the entrance . Jude has made a tunnel through the mound and into the doorway of his house. He actually drags an old tablecloth in with him and bunches it up at the door after himself. I have seen him do it three times now. He goes in and shuts his door. Amazing. God knows how he breathes in there but so far so good. He pops back out warm and fat and hungry.
I hope they did ok last night. But we warm up from here. The worst us over I think.
You know, yesterday I could not work out why my earlobes were aching. Then I realized that the metal of my earrings- studs- were conducting this terrible cold right through my ears. So I took them out. No more pain in the earlobes. Extreme right?
We have gone up FOUR degrees in the last hour. -16 as I finish up . We will warm up fast now – faster than usual actually then straight into snow but I don’t believe we will get snow, it is still too cold for snow.
I will let you know how we all are later, after chores.