Our little funny farm typically requires little work. We feed and water the goats, rabbits, and chickens on a daily basis, but these tasks only take a few minutes, especially when there are several of us to participate. All of that changes when cold, wet stuff freezes and falls to the ground. Most people will spend this evening going to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk, but we will be running around, preparing Cornercopia for the blanket that will cover our animals' homes, food, and water!
Our chores tonight will include securing a hay bale from the neighbor so our goats will have something to munch on until their grass is uncovered. We will also need to check in on the goats we have in a pasture up the street. Hopefully no mamas will choose to deliver during the storm! Jerry and I will need to cover the rabbit cages with a tarp. This keeps the snow from blowing in if the winds are high and provides a little reprieve from the biting cold. We also need to pick up some extra water bottles, since they freeze so quickly. We generally keep a set indoors thawing so we can switch them out several times a day. The chickens will be fine, except that their water freezes also.
Once it snows, our tasks become that much more difficult. If the accumulation is anywhere near what they are predicting, we will need to shovel a path for the goats and chickens to leave their shelter. Water will have to be replaced several times a day for all of the animals because of freezing. Of course, we won't be able to use the hose, since it will probably be frozen, so we will have to carry the water from inside. The chickens and rabbits will probably eat more because of the cold, and the goats will still want their grain even though they will have a huge bale of hay!
We have a generator in case the power goes out, but because our well pump is old, it won't function without electricity. I will be busy tonight, filling up jugs of water for our family and our animals. Not to mention, the loads of wood we need to carry in to keep the wood stove working! Ughhhh, I get tired just thinking about it all!
Then again, when we get a huge snowfall like the one that is creeping closer, we gather around the fireplace sipping hot chocolate and Russian Tea. We have piles of snow boots and gloves by the door and wet jackets hanging by the wood stove to dry. The kids are home all day bugging us to go sledding and play in the snow. We roll giant balls of snow into snowmen and take pictures of the kids sitting on top! We shovel the neighbor's sidewalks and visit Ms. Agnes in her warm kitchen. We walk down to the Lewis's sledding hill in the cow pasture where we make epic sled jumps and sledding trains with as many neighbors as we can. We make a fire in the fire pit and light the burning pile in the garden. Sometimes, we even go back to the sledding hill for a night run!
Yes, our funny farm is a cornecopia of work in the snow, but the memories we make during the most challenging of times seem to be the memories that stand out the best! Okay, maybe I am a little excited!