Today was the last day of the year, and hopefully the last of the extreme weather. It has been a few years since I’ve had to deal with these extreme cold temps, and while I haven’t forgotten what it’s like, I have definitely been spoiled the past few years with our mild winters. Why can’t we have just the right amount of snow without going down to nearly 0 degrees? If we have a mild winter then we don’t get the snow we need to survive the summer. If we get snow we also seem to get days in the teens or less, with howling winds that go right through you. It does make for beautiful pics I have to admit. I can’t really complain today was definitely warmer than yesterday. I even saw the sun, it does exist, it does exist!
We got up to a whole 19 degrees today, of course tomorrow it’s supposed to snow so I guess it will be at least a week before I can even think about having water again. Before it starts snowing Rudy will go into town to get a load of water for the horses. I’ll fill the tank up at the house, and the pasture horses tank. I got it about half full today poor things, they were down to just ice. They don’t drink that much, but there are seven of them, and every day I take at least an inch or two of ice out. That means a tank will only last about two days, maybe three if I don’t have that much ice, and they don’t drink too much. It’s not as big a tank as I have up at the house, maybe about 200 gallons or so, I don’t remember exactly. I took the float off deciding to keep it off for the winter. If we are going to have this cold of a winter I may as well since I can’t use it if there’s no water. Besides where it’s located it takes forever for the pipes, and hose to unfreeze even after we get water flowing. The whole pasture setup is weird. I don’t know what Rudy was thinking when he put everything in, neither does he. At any rate we have a pasture, and I am very grateful that we put it in before everything else fell apart.
I had Rudy go pick up hay today since I only had enough alfalfa for today, and Lord knows what the roads are going to be like tomorrow. I got everyone fed, and was just about ready to go up to the house when Rudy called telling me he called Harvey’s, and they would only be open till noon today, and not at all tomorrow or Friday. He also informed me that the electricity was out, and Otero (the electric company) was trying to track down the problem. More fun, I really needed that Lord. I was about ready to come up to the house anyway so I finished what I was doing (hauling water of course), and high tailed it up to the house. I asked dad to make a shopping list so I could do his shopping for him, gave Rudy my shopping list for Harvey’s, and sent him on his way. Without electricity I didn’t want to break ice and put it in the big tank not knowing when the electricity would come on again. It was still too cold to change Sierra’s bandage so I got Dad going with some instant oatmeal since his milk had gone sour while he was gone. Then I got myself something to eat. I’m not picky I had some cold stuffing for breakfast. Hey it has grain, fruit, and protein in it. Sounds great to me. I was going to cut some wood, but Paul Bunion I’m not. I decided to rest a bit before I had to go down to the barn to figure out where I was going to put 16 three-strand bales of alfalfa.
I managed to get about half an hour of rest before I realized that the whole of Capitan might be out of power so I called the Mercantile, and Smokey’s (the grocery), and when neither of them answered I knew there was no going to town for groceries or anything else. I can remember when all registers had a hand crank so when the electricity went out you could still carry on business. Well those days are long gone so I called Rudy, and asked him to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some medicine for Father, along with some milk. Dad would just have to deal with whatever we fixed for dinner. Poor thing he slept most of the day anyway so food didn’t really matter.
Rudy was going to be back in about an hour so I went down to the barn to see what I wanted to do about the hay. Now our barn is big, but I have to keep all the hay separate. I also have only half of it to work with since one side is all stalls. Then I have my feed area, not to mention various and sundry pieces of equipment. The tack room takes up about a quarter of one side of the barn as well. What I’m left with for hay is about a quarter of the barn. I have Ghost’s hay over by the feed, then there’s George’s, and April’s hay. I have all the oat hay next to George’s hay along one wall, which leaves part of one wall where the tack room is. I can put three bales of grass, and twelve bales of alfalfa there. The rest can go in the front stall across from Sierra where I have the rest of the grass. I bring the last bales of alfalfa from the front into the barn, and move the rest of the grass around so I can put four bales of alfalfa there. I just get everything re-arranged, and the barn swept when Rudy comes back. Pretty good timing if I do say so myself.
Rudy gets back, and we get all the hay situated. It is so much easier with two people. Rudy still isn’t up to par (much to his dismay), but he can at least get the hay off the truck for me to stack. No I can’t carry them. But that’s what the dolly is for. I can only stack them three high, but that’s good enough. Such was the last day of the year. Hopefully the new year will be better than this last. Seems like I’ve said that every year for the past four or five years. Hey the hard times can’t last forever.