Sunday, December 14, 2008


We're experiencing the first day of an Alberta Clipper that has rushed down upon us has frozen the Great Outdoors and any who dare to be out in it. This morning the weather forecasters promise a high of -15* which we have not moved from since early this morning.

The men have been out feeding livestock and de-icing water tanks and re-lighting gas heaters that keep our water tanks from freezing over. On the first day of a Deep Freeze like this, there may not be too many problems, but as there begin to be days upon days, there is greater chance of more problems of things freezing solid and tractors jelling up and livestock feeling the effects.

A negative 15 degrees sounds cold as it is, but see that flag flying straight out? That indicates how windy it is. We estimate 15-20 mph so add that on to the temp and the wind chill temperature (what if feels like) is -40*.

I bundled up in my woolies (wool pants I've had for 25 years) and many layers and then topped it off with my fur-lined bomber hat and went out to check on my chickens. Their water was icing over so I cracked that and added another scoop of wheat to their feeder. Then I decided to feed the cats some hot milk and dog food and went home to shoveled the side walk.

Hubs came and got me to go with him to feed cake to the cows in The Breaks and up at the Big Shed. Here's a view from the pick-up cab as we drove up the road. It's a bit of a ground blizzard with pretty low visibility.

Happy cows all lined up munching their cake and hay. When they're done, they'll likely go down into The Breaks (similar to badlands just over the hill) and find a place out of the wind to spend the day.

And now I'm home baking potatoes and making a good dinner for my men who have been in and out of their pick-ups and tractors all morning. The woodstove has a good, hot fire going and the Christmas music is playing. I'm so grateful for a warm home and my family gathered inside.

Now for a little humor for cold winter living. I'm not a Minnesotan, but living way up North, I can relate to them completely.


  1. Glad that you have a toasty fire going. I'm sitting in front of mine right now. We've been having weird weather lately - 62 degrees on Friday and today, 21. Hard to know what to put on when you head outside.
    I enjoyed at the youtube video - we have a joke that's in the same vein.

    "How do you spot a Canadian?" "He's the one praying for global warming"


  2. Yikes Woman -- it's COLD up there! You made me go check our weather forecast 'cause usually we get some of what you're having -- not so this time -- guess it's going to skip us. I'm always amazed that livestock can survive those awful temps -- poor guys. And that song is hysterical -- must send to hubby!

  3. Wow! That's a whole new dimension of cold! I hope you have a nice place to heat up your vehicles before you go out, but that's probably only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I can't imagine all the precautions you must have to take for both people and animals.

    May I ask what that blue reading on the left of your thermometer is? I'm sure it's something obvious that I've forgotten, but I'm curious.

  4. All I can say is Burrrrrr. We were at 24 this morning and for us down here in the desert that is pretty nippy....but it sounds like it would be heatwave for yall.

    Stay warm and safe.


  5. The pictures of the cows reminded me of the Little House on the Prairie books. She describes the cows' breath freezing around their mouths and noses, nearly suffocating them. I don't remember the particulars, but wondered if this ever happens to your livestock??

  6. Island Sparrow, I think your Canadian praying for global warming is funny! You all know about the cold up there!

    Thimbleanna, it always amazes me that the livestock have little problems tolerating this weather. They have thick hides and heavy hair coats so that helps. But still, too long at these temps takes a toll on them.

    Laura, the blue reading on the left of the thermometer is the inside temp. We have an inside/outside thermometer which is nice. Vehicles are parked inside and plugged in. Those that are outside are plugged in too.

    Ranchwife, 24* is cold enough, I agree. We're hoping for that temp. in a couple weeks.

    Learning to Follow, the cows do get a frosty-icy muzzle from the moisture of their breath and the freezing temps. They have to drink each day so that melts some of the ice off. As you can see by the pics, they do have an icy coating on their hides too which actually insulates them.


  7. Oh - 40, now I feel bad about my commnet above. Love Clarice

  8. HA!! As you know, I'm from Minnesota - and I was curious about the YouTube - and so even though I'm on dial-up, I waited the almost 30 minutes for it to completely load up - and I watched it and laughed and then I had to call my family in and we all watched it together! Very very true! Thanks for the chuckle, Jody!

  9. The whole family liked the video, Jody. Even here in moderate Western WAshington things have been a bit chilly lately and we're ready for things to warm up. We never have your kind of severe weather, though. Yikes.

    Liked your documentation of your daily activities in the cold, cold cold. My kids thought it was very interesting.

    Keep warm!! Merry Christmas!
    Angie in WA


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