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November 10, 2013: Ugh and Double Ugh

It was a wise decision yesterday, to get the dogs and horses out for some exercise. I sensed that the weather was going to take a turn for the worse, and I was right. However, I couldn’t imagine that it would get as bad as it got. It began last night –rain, snow, rain, snow, with gradations in between.

We learned of this shortly after we got up. I’d failed to secure a gate latch, so the horses were out. Rainbow and Ryder alerted us to this. The horses are out barks are very identifiable – they sound more urgent than the moose are in the yard or a car is passing bark. I’m glad of this. Without thinking, I threw on my

down coat. Pete and I both moved quickly, and in short order got them back in their enclosure.

Overnight, the horse pen became a quagmire, slush and semi-frozen ice covered three quarters of the enclosure’s surface. I dealt with totally disgruntled equines by giving them hay, lots of hay. I also picked up manure, shoveled out the front rubber mats, and stashed buckets, bins, and containers in the horse trailer. It was so precipitous that my down coat had become duck soup. On the return trip back up to the house, I squeezed my mittens and watched the water drip to the ground.

I went inside and ignored what was going on outside by working on my book proposal. At 1:30, Pete and I ventured outside again. Ugh and double ugh. We took the dogs, which were by now quite restless, for a short walk. I wore my muck boots, two pairs of socks on each foot, a nylon windbreaker over a wool sweater, and rain pants. So I remained reasonably dry. Pete, who was not dressed quite as warmly, soon said that his feet were cold. We continued to slog through the slop. The dogs, which all have decent winter coats, repeatedly stopped and shook the rain snow mix off their glistening black backs.

We returned home, and then took Raudi and Hrimmi for a walk around the loop. They were less enthused about being out than were the dogs. I tried to keep my now sagging spirits up by repeatedly telling Pete that it was a great day. Each time I said this, Raudi laid her ears back. She hates it when I’m disingenuous.

This evening there was more of the same. Pete gave me an assist with pen cleaning. While we were inside, approximately three inches of snow had fallen. This might not be such a bad thing, for after it gets colder we won’t have to deal with sheer ice. Rather, we’ll have to deal with frozen snow.

I guess that winter is here. Tomorrow we’ll move the white stuff around, using the scoop, the shovel, and the tractor. It’s now nearly mid-November. So winter will seem shorter than it might have.

Next: 230: 11/12/13: Onward and Upward