There’s some things I know for sure. I would not have been a good pioneer. It was -11 degrees when I got up today. I am a certified wuss when it comes to this kind of adversity.
And by this kind of adversity, I mostly mean worrying about the animals. The animals who have heated water containers, heat sources in both the coop and the shed, and masses of fresh straw and clean blankets for bedding. But still, I worry.
I’ve been out many times, checking on the barnyard crew. They’re unhappy. Who wouldn’t be? At morning feeding time Brandy was unfriendly, Jessie begged me not to leave and Doink…well, he barely moved. Pigs are very finicky about keeping their sleeping area clean, so he grudgingly designated a corner of the shed as the outhouse and only comes out to eat and drink twice a day. I haven’t seen him otherwise. His back was poking out of the hay when I was heading into the house today so I covered him with his purple blanky. His deep throated, “I’m miserable!” vocalizations calmed down a bit.
Even the chickens, who wander out and scratch around through most weather, are quiet in the coop or shed, feathers all puffy and eyes closed. I put Vaseline on their combs last night to prevent frostbite. Rapunzel, who usually doesn’t like to be held, was calm and seemingly happy tucked inside my coat while I rubbed the stuff on.
Now, a few hours later, the sky is a beautiful blue and the snow is sparkly. We’ve warmed up to a balmy 3 degrees. Brandy and Jessie have ventured out to take in the beauty.
Like I said, I’m not cut out for this weather. I started thinking about pioneer women when we were watching Lonesome Dove (definitely a top ten favorite for me) over Thanksgiving. They did so much hard work. They had so much sorrow and heartache. They had so few options – getting married and following their husband’s dreams was all many women had to look forward to in life.
What if I lived in those days and my pioneer husband said, “Honey, pack up the essentials in the wagon. We’re leaving this warm city and heading to Montana to homestead!” I think I would have replied, “Well, sweetie, I’ll miss you.” With my limited skills, I probably would have ended up living in a house of ill repute like Lorena in Lonesome Dove. Hopefully, though, I would have been the bartender 🙂
Stay warm, y’all!
(Shared at Homesteaders Hop, Clever Chicks Hop, Homestead Barn Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesdays With A Twist, Down Home Hop, HomeAcre Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, From The Farm Hop, FarmGirl Friday and Maple Hill Hop!)