When I stepped outside at 6:00AM to milk and do chores the soles of my boots made a loud squeak on the deck snow. I breathed deeply and the air was cold enough to be uncomfortable in my lungs, so I glanced at the thermometer to tell me what my boots and respiratory tract had already told me, it was cold! The thermometer clarified my findings with the report of -4, very cold. I was glad I had put two coats on my Luna goat.
After chores I came inside to thaw out, and tackled my first "big" project of the day; taking down the Christmas tree. This is a chore I dread each year. It is sad to remove that glowing, happy symbol, and it is just not a pleasant job. I vowed to get it over and done with swift efficiency, and set a timer to gauge my progress. To my surprise I had ornaments removed, neatly packed, lights rolled up and the tree hauled out of the house in approximately 26 minutes! It seems to be a lesson I must learn and relearn, the tasks that loom so dark on the horizon of my day really take up a very small amount of time. I tend to spend far more time fretting about them than I do accomplishing them once I begin.
Once the pine needles were swept up, I put on my winter clothes and went to check on the animals again. When the weather is this cold I try to give frequent snacks and make sure the water is thawed. The chickens and ducks appreciate a handful of lettuce, an old apple, or a handful of sunflower seeds. The pony adores a ginger snap, and the goat...
Likes to eat Christmas trees!
One of the wonderful Christmas gifts I received this year is pictured here, the bag hanging from the gate. It is called a Nibble Net, and is a specialized hay feeder. You see, animals like horses and goats stay warm, in part, by their digestive process. They eat hay, and their body produces heat as they break that hay down into usable nutrients. Most horses, and especially mine, will eat every scrap of food left out for them, pronto! This means that during the long cold night, or the days I am away from home at work, the horse polishes off the food I leave her, and then has hours with no food available to her. To leave enough food to last her all night or day would mean that she would become even more overweight than she already is, not a good plan.
The Nibble Net is a solution to this worrisome problem. I can cram it full of hay, and the horse can work at it to get small portions out at a time. This means that she has food available to her and I can worry less. And less worry is a good thing.
Please note that the horse whiskers are coated in frost... it is so cold that her very breath freezes. She does not seem to mind. She has hay!
And speaking of snacks, we are going to our friends house for supper tonight to celebrate New Years Eve. We celebrate together most years, and have developed a nice tradition... supper around 7, and then we are in our respective homes snug and cozy no later than 10. We agree that we are fuddy duddy's and we don't care. My contribution to the meal is what I consider to be a rather fancy dessert, Tiramisu. I've never made it before, it seemed a daunting recipe, but I gave it a whirl today. I made it from a recipe I found on Epicurious. It involved things I do not normally cook with like Marscapone cheese and dry Marsala wine and lady fingers. I snuck a fingerful as I assembled it and it tasted quite good. It is chilling now on the porch, and I have high hopes that it will be well received at the celebration. This sort of cold weather makes everyone appreciate a nice snack.