Windchill Wonders and Worries

This is a story of joy and panic.

Joy – because our second grandchild was born two days ago, in the morning (while a -43C windchill was raging outside) and then, shortly after we got the news we had a serious farm crisis and we didn’t even get to celebrate the joy until we tended to our crisis.

I have to back up a few days to explain what led to this panic/crisis. We have been in a near-crippling deep freeze for the last week to ten days. Temperatures ranging from -25 to -35 complete with windchills sending the real temperature to almost -50….with no relief! The winds rarely let up and the sun just has minimal power to lend any warmth to any living being.

I continue to be amazed how our animals keep on keepin’ on in these conditions but they do.

Crowding at the only working waterer

It’s the equipment that starts to give up. Two of our three cattle waterers decided enough was enough and they froze up. And then the real panic, our electric space heater in the pump house quit and when we opened up the box of our backup heater….we find it’s the wrong kind….it has no cord to plug in!

If the pump house has no heat all the water lines that run to the corral AND to the house freeze solid and the whole system shuts down. In these conditions – a nightmare to even hope to repair.

We just wanted to enjoy the news of our new granddaughter – instead we’re scrambling to replace a simple heat source that we thought we had backup for but….

So off I tear to the nearest city (an hour away) to find some units and get myself back ASAP. Meanwhile, hubby and son Tyler remain behind to jimmy-rig a cord into the backup unit we found. Thank goodness we have our very own instrumentation technician in the family and thankful he was available this crucial day.

I wasn’t taking any chances, once I found them and loaded up with 2 of each.

By the time I got home things had settled down, the pump house was still warm, the water-lines had been preserved and peace had returned to the farm-site.

Our back up supply of heaters is going to be beefed up considerably now after this scare. When you don’t have a hardware store just minutes from your doorstep, out here in the country, you have to be more prepared. Still learning these hard lessons after all these years of farming/ranching!

Time now to catch our breath and get ready to meet our new precious sweet grandchild.

Winter Water Woes

Now, I thought I had troubles with “water gone wrong” when the temps drop below -25C and there are cows and horses and dogs and cats and bulls to keep hydrated throughout the bone-chilling days. I found another blogger with similar woes, aptly titled The Seven Emotional Stages of Hauling Water. I empathized almost immediately!

sled

I was pretty proud of my “system” of sledding two 5 gallon plastic water dispensers [otherwise used for the glorious warm days of summer camping] to the horses’ waterer that had recently failed us in our temperature plummet. This gal however, packed her two 5 gallon pails back and forth by hand and on-foot to fill a 100 gallon trough! I am humbled but at the same time comforted to be in the same company of other hard-working souls determined to care for their livestock no matter what the conditions.