Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snowy Day Adventure

Tuesday morning’s temperature was 5 degrees F. The wind chill was below zero, and it sure felt like it, especially on my frozen finger tips. During the day, it warmed up and by six p.m. the snowfall started.

There was snow on the ground this morning, something I dread because of the difficulty of getting around to do the animal chores. I waited until about ten a.m. and suited up. I have found that the hand warmer packs I bought at a check-out somewhere are great. They are dry chemicals in little packs which are activated by shaking after being taken out of their foil packets. I placed one in each of my knit mittens and wore knitted gloves. The mittens, which have both a thumb and a forefinger, went over the knitted gloves. Good enough. I know from yesterday that those heat packs will last all day.

My mistake was in miscalculating the amount of snow on the ground. I thought it was only an inch or so and put on my normal “muckies” -- everyday muck shoes, which slip on and off. I should have used my Muck Boots, which would have covered my ankles and the bottoms of my pants. There was actually about four inches of snow on the ground. So, I had warm hands but cold, wet feet before the morning’s chores were done.

Because I knew I might not be able to get back up the hill with my pickup, I drove the Kawasaki Mule down. It is presently covered with the soft enclosure I bought from Cabelas. It fits perfectly and has vinyl windows on four sides. Heavy-duty zippers allow me to get in and out when the weather’s cold and windy. When it first came in the mail, I wondered if I’d just wasted my money, even though it was a tenth of the $3,000.00 that a hard enclosure would have cost. So far, so good. I’m happy to be able to ride around in the rain and snow. If the sun’s out, the enclosure is solar heated and pretty comfortable. The doors can either be rolled up or zipped out when I don’t need protection from the cold.

I did all my rounds and actually got up the hill using the four-wheel drive. That’s all I can ask and am convinced that the Mule was a good buy. I only use about a gallon of gas a week and can go all over the farm without totally overextending myself physically. Going in snow is a wonderful bonus! Another practical problem solved.

This afternoon, I'm staying in. I took a container of homemade applesauce out of the freezer and made two applesauce cakes. When they cool, I'm planning on making browned butter icing for them. One will go in the freezer.

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