Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It was 17 alright…

Well the weatherman said the low for the night would be 17, and he was right. When I got up in the morning it was 17, unfortunately that was also the high. By the time Rudy got up (a short time later) it had dropped to 16. He groaned when he looked outside. Driving to Roswell in freezing fog is no fun, but Father was coming back from his vacation. Oh well such is life.
By the time I went out to feed the temp had dropped to 14, what fun. It was beautiful outside. Everything was covered with white, not like snow, but all light, and lacy. The horses were all lacy too. They had frost on their manes, and tails, even their eyelashes sported lacy white frost. Luckily I had put the beet pulp in the tack room so it was only slightly frozen. I tried breaking ice for the horses, but it froze over again quickly. Water is a problem. Without electricity down at the barn I cannot use the water heaters. They don’t drink a lot, but they still need water. There’s not a lot of snow for them to slake their thirst so they have to drink what they can when they can. Unfortunately, I can’t quite seem to make them understand that.
I get everyone fed, break ice, and take it up to the house to put in the big tank where I have water heaters. George calls, and asks for a ride to Capitan. By now the temp has dropped to 13, and I have to doctor Sierra in this? He of course is being a pill yet again. As soon as I get one side done, he paws the gauze off before I can get the other side done. Finally (after I get quite ticked at him) I manage to get his leg up in the air resting on my knee. I slap both gauze pads (loaded with antibiotic) on at the same time. Quickly I pulled out the wrap, and started to wrap his leg, which he tried to thwart till he realized that I was only wrapping his leg. That he doesn’t mind. Finally I get done. Kids! Thanks to his fighting I’m not really that cold, which is a good thing as the temp has continued to drop.
I take George to town, come home, and rest a bit before I start working again. Rudy has called several times, first to tell me that Father’s plane has been delayed an hour. He saw about 4 or 5 accidents on the way up including a state trooper who ended up smashing his front end on a barrier after spinning out. Embarrassing! The roads are very icy. He calls again when he is stuck on 70 on his way back home. A pickup has wiped out, and they were waiting for the salters to come before they let anyone else through. He had already been sitting for half an hour. Actually he was very lucky because shortly after he turned off to 380 they just plain gave up, and closed 70. He called when he got to town, Father had to eat, and because the roads were so icy he wanted to get home as quickly as possible so they didn’t eat in Roswell. They were at Smokey’s eating, and would be home soon. Meanwhile I start cutting wood. It is going to be a very cold night, and I need to get more wood. I test the logs I cut the other day, and they aren’t ready to split yet. This cold should help, I hope.
Rudy gets home, and immediately I can tell that Father is sick. No he says it’s just his normal cough. Right. I get more wood cut, and split filling the wood boxes, and sit down for a few minutes with Rudy. 4:00 has come too soon and its now 9 degrees out. The poor horses, I know they are built to deal with these cold temps far better than we are, but I can’t help but feel for them. I gave them extra hay, and oats in the goodies I give the seniors. I know they will be fine, but ok so I’m a big softie, what can I say it’s cold out. The sun hasn’t broken through the fog all day leaving little light in the barn. It’s so cold that the soaked supplements I give Jeri freeze before I can feed them to him. I’ll have to bring the beet pulp I normally soak overnight into the house. They’ll freeze before the pellets can absorb the water even if I leave them in the tack room. After I get everyone fed I still have to break the ice, and fill waterers. There are two buckets in the barn, Sierra’s small tank, and the two automatic waterers in the back stalls. Star is the thirstiest horse, and because she has such a small petite head with a short nose she can’t reach the water so I have to fill her tank three times a day. As soon as she sees me with the bucket she runs over to get a drink. She doesn’t seem to understand that I have to put it in the tank first. If we ever get electricity back down at the barn things will be a lot easier. Until then I have to do things the old fashioned way. It makes one wonder how our ancestors managed so long ago without the conveniences we now take for granted. Water is always my first concern, but no matter what I can always get some. I just go down to the village key in my code, and fill my water tank. If they had snow they could always melt enough for cooking, washing etc., but what about the desert people. How did they manage? It makes one appreciate our modern conveniences, and points out just how spoiled we truly are.
I finally get done, and head up to the house. I feed the dogs, and chickens, and then myself. I sink into mothers chair heating pad on my back, and plan not to move till it’s time to come to the computer room after Rudy goes to bed. Father comes in, and says, that he’s running a slight temperature, and his cough is going to keep him up all night. I don’t know if he’s insulted more by being sick, or by the fact that I was right. I told him he was sick, but no he knows better than I. I ask him if he took his cold medicine, which he forgot he had, so I get him a cold tablet, and make him some honey tea. That should calm his cough for a little while at least. I also set up his vaporizer with Vicks in it. It’s dry here to begin with, and with his heater, and the fireplace going the air in the house is twice as dry. When you have a dry cough that only makes it worse. Anyway I get him situated in his room, and settle back down. By the time I put Rudy to bed, and sit down to my computer, it’s 5 degrees out. I think that’s cold enough. I start the fire in the computer room since one fire isn’t going to do the trick this night. The computer room is a converted porch I think. There are sliding glass doors leading to it off the TV room. It doesn’t necessarily help to warm the rest of the house by having the wood stove going in there, but it does keep the cold from invading the rest of the house. When we lived in a regular house with heat, and air I would turn the thermostat down to 55 at night in the winter so it works out about the same. Sometimes it’s even a little warmer in the morning, at least in the TV room it is. Now our bedroom is another story. It has lots of windows, and it’s on the north side of the house. That works fine in the summer, but winter not so much. That’s what blankets, and quilts are made for. Finally I settle down and get myself to bed wondering what tomorrow will bring. Hopefully a little warmer day, are you listening Lord?

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