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January 6, 2019: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

We had been forewarned by the National Weather Service that the temperatures were going to drop. I don’t go by what the NWS says because their reports smack of predictions and predictions are a crapshoot. This time, they were right. Okay, they’re right fifty percent of the time. The temperature was around 0°F yesterday, and well below 0°F today. I do not know how far below zero, I’d say seven degrees or so.

I consider below 0°F temperatures to be life threatening. Of course, some would say, no pun intended, that this is a matter of degree. But all I can think when it’s below zero that if I went outside with nothing or hardly anything on, that I’d freeze to death pretty quick. And what keeps me from freezing to death is just a few layers of clothing. Pretty scary.

And I, of course, am never at ease when the temps drop below zero because our animals could also suffer the consequences. The chickens, they’re now in the roost box. I didn’t let them out into the coop today; too cold. The goats, they’re now in their shed. The chickens and the goats are generating body heat and this is keeping them warm.

The mares remain in the large paddock. Tinni, blanketed, is in the smaller enclosure. Tinni is where he is because

Alys and Judy
Judy came over for Indian food

otherwise, he wouldn’t get enough to eat. The horses, they don’t share their body heat nor do they share their food. It’s every pony out for him or herself. We take them for walks or ride them most days. Today, because it was so cold, I did agility with the mares and Pete and I took Tinni and Hrimmi for a walk. I also fed the mares an oatmeal mash at midday; this so they might take in more water. They’re not, as they should be, drinking much water.

The dog has it best of all. She’s generally in the cabin where it’s nice and warm. She shares her body heat with us and vice-versa when we all go to sleep at night. We sleep on the same bed. We also take her with when we go horseback riding, skiing, or bicycling. This way she, like the horses, gets exercise and stays in shape.

I did put off going outside today because I wasn’t up for dealing with cold. I’m not sure anyone who, like me, did go out felt any differently. I was outside for approximately four hours. I wore my Refrigiwear suit and under it, multiple layers. Still, I felt tired when I came in at 5 p.m. There are at least three reasons why. First of all, the suit is cumbersome and for this reason it takes increased energy to move around. Secondly, my face was exposed to the cold. And thirdly, I was taking cold air into my lungs, air that I had to warm up, using body heat.

According to the hard-working NWS forecasters, this cold spell is supposed to last at least a week. The good thing about this is that when the temps are again in the 30s, it’s going to feel like we’re living in the banana belt.

Next: January 7, 2019: Son of Brrrrr—The Story Continues

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