Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fiercely Unnatural

After posting the last one on feeding the deer, I realized that the last post before that was back in January and was probably the last day that I worked at the horse farm. Why? Because   the next day I came down with the same coughing virus from which I thought I had just recovered. Another trip to the doctor after three more weeks of coughing and finally got some medicine that made it go away. J had been telling me for over a month to go to the doctor, but I said, "It's a virus, there's nothing she can give me that will help." Wrong. Will I never listen? Probably not.

However, haven't gone back to work because I'm a wimp and it is still so cold in the mornings that am afraid that if I go back to spending 3-4 hrs. out there in that cold I'll start coughing again. Like I said, I'm a wimp. My girlfriend called me a candy-ass, but I prefer wimp.

J is home from work and has snow-blowed up back and is now feeding those hungry critters again. As his son said, they have become a full-time job. But this is a fiercely unnatural winter and they need the extra care. They had already come back looking for more just before he came home.

Spring?

March 20, 2014, first day of Spring and 45deg. F here in Maine at 1:40pm and everything melting like crazy. We woke up this morning to 8-10" more of snow on top of the already couple of feet of snow on the ground that has been there frozen all winter. Days the temp sometimes climbs to mid to upper 40's and this feels like a heat wave to us because we have become accustomed to much lower temps (sub-zeros anywhere between 20's up to +20's) for almost six months. And there seems to be no real warm-up in sight. (Big Sigh)

J had to go to work early this morning because there was no school due to the snowstorm. So when I got up I found a text asking me if I could snowshoe up back and feed the deer. Because I had just looked out the window and saw 3 or 4 deer out there waiting, I gave another big sigh, (hadn't had my coffee yet)(whine, whine, whine) got dressed, put on my boots, coat and gloves and went out with a big pail of grain that J had left on the inside porch. I took my snowshoes and the pail with scoop and started off up the road. I look up and there were 3 standing at the end of the road watching. By the time I got to where he starts dropping piles of grain, they turned and ran back into the trees. But I wasn't fooled; I knew they hadn't gone far.

I trudged back and forth through the snow making paths onto which I could drop the grain, up and down the road, then into the woods where the snow kept dropping off the trees onto my head. Luckily my hoodie was up. Back and forth, up and down until I was right behind the house close to the bird feeder. When I got back to the road, I looked up to the end and there they were, already eating what I had put down. Hungry, hungry deer. I came back down the road emptying the pail as I went.

Coming back to the front of the house, I realized that the birds needed food also but had already taken off my snowshoes. So I trudged back out with the seed but only in my boots, no problem. Okay, everybody fed. Now, back in the kitchen to my coffee, right? No, have to put the smoked picnic on the stove to start cooking, then the sheets in the washer to begin their cycle. Now my coffee, Yes!! And I don't have to go to the gym today.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

15 Below

Usually I think my job is fun. Working around horses and adorable ponies and getting to love on them in between mucking out their stalls is fun for me. However, today was not quite as much fun; working outdoors for four hours in -15 degrees F. Thank God it was not windy. We had to keep going into the tack room where there is a heater and changing out our gloves. We'd put the cold ones on the heater and put on warm ones that we had left there. Boy, did that feel good, but it didn't last long. Before you knew it, you had to go back for another change.

Luckily for me, I only do six stalls and water and then I'm done and can walk back up the lane to a warm wood stove. My co-worker does the other six stalls, feeds all the animals, puts them in and out, waters outside animals, plus all the other barn duties. She works all day, but she is young and can handle it. She works hard and she loves the horses. She is very knowledgeable and I am very impressed.

Anyway, this old woman was quite happy when her stalls were done and all were watered and it was time to walk up the lane. Sometimes it felt like the old lungs were frozen.

Weather report said colder tomorrow. Oh dear.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Return of the Owl

Today my owl returned. J woke me this morning saying, "Come here, quick," and led me to the window, told me to look down by the bird feeder and........nothing. We looked up into the big old maple trees across the lane and there she was.

I didn't get a picture this time, but here is one of her from last winter:


Last year she came only during snow storms but today is clear and sunny. Noticing in this photo it is clear and sunny, but when she first showed up it was snowing, then cleared.

Today she moved to an upper branch of the tree and stayed there for about 4 to 5 hours. I watched her through binocs and her eyes were closed most of the time. Every once in a while one eye would open just a little. So we are still wondering was she napping or pretending and keeping an eye out for a possible lunch. Although she had plenty of chances to catch a lunch as many blue jays and red squirrels came very close to her on branches nearby and taunted her with their chittering trying to drive her away. She would just look at them and turn away and ignore them. We decided she couldn't really be that hungry.

After about 3 hours or so J said he had to go out and retrieve his trophy cam that he puts out at night to catch the deer and that he would probably scare the owl off.  He walked right by the tree and right under her out and back. She just watched him but didn't move.

Then a couple hours later he decided he had to go back out and put down the deer feed before he went off to work. She watched him go out again and disappear into the woods. A few minutes later I looked out and she was gone. Hoping she comes back.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Post of 2014....A Grumble?

Even before commencing this post, I am feeling a little guilty because of wanting to grumble about this rainy, icy, miserable winter plus the fact that I have been sick with a respiratory virus since December 26 and just when I am starting to feel a little better albeit with a residual cough, my gentleman friend roomie comes down with strep throat which means poor little old me will undoubtedly have it by the end of the week. Really?

Okay, now that I've got that out of me, enough. I fully realize that there are millions out there so much worse off than I am. Am thinking especially of all those poor little sick children with life-threatening illnesses who are so brave and strong and never cry, "Why me?" And yes, I am thankful to God for my life and everything in it. Hence the guilty feelings.

How could one not be thankful for the chance to see faces like this every day of said miserable winter:


Or for having beautiful grandchildren like this:


So, old man winter or witchy woman winter, whichever, bring it on. Rain, ice, snow, cold, we can deal.