Specific little wishes come to me during this time of bitter cold as I work outside with our livestock. They are small things that, if they were granted, would make a huge difference in the work I do. It’s only a matter of time before things warm up again, but until then, I’ve gathered some of my little wishes into a list to give you a bit of insight into my winter work.
This week’s little wishes:
- For hair that isn’t frozen into icicles, whipping my face with brutal ferocity
- For gloves that don’t freeze to the water hydrant handle, coming off when I shut off the water in the ram pen
- For sheep coats that aren’t frozen to the wool on the backs of the sheep, requiring that I heat the ice with my ungloved hands to get the coats off to change them
- For manure that doesn’t freeze instantaneously to the wooden feeders upon contact, requiring that I scrape the pellets off before feeding (they normally just bounce off the feeders and fall to the ground)
- For eggs in the hen-house that don’t freeze and crack overnight if I don’t find them until morning
- For automatic waterers that aren’t filled with sheep-dribble icebergs, making the surface of open water so small
- For equipment that isn’t frozen to the ground, like the cinder block holding open one of the barn doors. The pipe we normally use to lever the frozen block off the ground is now also frozen to the ground near the block, blown over in this week’s winds. The crowbar that I could use to free the pipe is — you guessed it — also frozen to the ground where it blew off the board fence next to the pipe. Aargh!
- For air that doesn’t hurt with the first breath outside
- And finally, I dream of dead parasites that will make all of this cold worth the effort!