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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cold And Alive

Patrice is hosting Chat Number 123 and, after playing along, I'll do a little farm update. I'll admit right now, I'm fairly stunned...physically and emotionally...due to the terribly cold weather so any mistakes, my apologies.

1. How much baking did you do before/after Christmas? Do you get more inspired to bake when temps are cooler? I baked shortbread and carried it around to folks to say "thanks"; I'm still baking shortbread and carrying it around to folks to say "thanks". Good manners are never out of season, eh? I bake all year 'round, especially bread. The only thing grocery store bread is good for is croutons...and that's only if it's sturdy bread and not sliced white bread. Sliced white bread is what Carly and the dogs get for a treat, it can't be beat...a pound loaf of white bread for eighty-nine cents and treats galore!

2. Do you have any food intolerance or allergies? No food intolerance as far as physical limitations but I'm not crazy about liver. There are certain meds I cannot take, due to allergies.

3. When was the last time you were in a restaurant? Mary and I had lunch last week at a local place. It's going to be a while before we return, the place was nearly empty and service didn't exist. Trying to get the waiters attention was like trying to push molasses uphill, he seemed to be oblivious to the fact his tip was, directly, dependent upon his service.

4. What's your favorite accent? Patrice, I'm like you, a myna bird and can mimic folks when I've been around them for a little while. When Dave and I first met, he thought I was former CIA because I used English hospital instead of in the hospital, and because I cannot pronounce aluminium the American way, pronounce it the English way, etc. It took him a long time to become convinced otherwise...silly goose. -smile- My sheep, horses, dogs and cats understand me and I them.

5. My favorite ___ is ____.  Right now, my favorite thing is being warm...wonder what it feels like?

How cold has it been in your part of the country? At 7 a.m. this morning it was 20 degrees below zero; not sure what it was at 4 a.m. but it had to be colder and with the wind chill last night, it was around 30 below. I did the best I could to get the animals ready; extra hay was set out, Christmas trees were put out for the sheep, Carly got extra meds, grain and chicken scratch while Harry got extra chicken scratch and grain. I'm missing one of the guineas; not sure what's happened to it. By the way, Christmas trees, when stripped of all ornaments and not dyed, make excellent fodder for sheep, not for horses. They love the fresh green taste and some believe it aids in de-worming.

Even with the de-icer, the water still froze and my gloves instantly froze and any time I had to touch a lock, gate or fence, they stuck to the metal. Using Harry's black rubber water bucket (which was frozen solid), I bashed the three inch ice and managed to break enough to increase the drinking area. Tomorrow I'll let the sheep into the yard so they can drink from Carly's electric water bucket. I guess that means the alpacas will come too.
The horses have frozen whiskers and I have frozen nose hairs. TMI, is it?

Sadie is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and has a very short coat; she freezes in the winter so I gave her my scarf as well as her sweater. It helped keep the wind from going down her throat and back; she seemed to appreciate it. When I held it up to her the second time we went out, she immediately sat and waited for me to wrap it around her head.
Carly turns 20 this spring and I figured she'd not make it last night. Even with a wool coat, the temps were nasty and the wind shill nastier, yet at 6:00 a.m., she was at the back porch, bleating for her breakfast. She's a tough old ewe!
"The ancient white house with its steep roof and low eves 
looks like a ship anchored in a still, white sea." 
~ Gladys Tabor ~ 
Tonight is the second night of extremely cold temps but, so far, not much wind. The temps are supposed to get warmer...please God!...and my old bones are going to be grateful. Y'all stay warm and safe.

Blessings ~ heat ~ food ~ safety ~ well animals ~ Gladys Tabor ~


  1. I know your shortbread is much appreciated. Praying you and the animals have a safe night. God bless.

  2. I bet your shortbread is yummy! Be safe in the cold temperatures!

  3. Sandy, even though I was off the internet the month of December you were in my prayers...and especially this week with these cold cold temps, knowing you had to go out to care for the animals in it all...your name is one the Lord is beginning to associate with my prayers. ;) I admire you tremendously. Shortbread is a favorite of ours! Do you make long distance deliveries? ;-)

  4. Yay, Carly! You go girl! She really has a thick coat. Our sheep aren't the kind that you shear. They need wool coats. So, you say Al-oo-min-ee-um. I understand that perfectly. I had a friend from England live with our family for a while. She loved to imitate Americans. It was a stitch. She was funny. Everyone sounded lick a country bumpkin from the south. Stay warm! Cute horse. Wendell wants a scarf like your ridgeback's.

  5. Oh so glad it is going to be a bit warmer and you made it through that cold. I was worried.
    It does look pretty and I love your quote.

  6. The white house does look like a ship anchored in the winter sea of snow. Stay warm and safe. It is so unsafe to be out long when it is THAT cold.

  7. We got 10 inches of snow, but were happy not to get the high gusting wind that was promised. I'm happy to see they are wrong sometimes. So we had a high of 8 today after all the minuses. It felt so much warmer that we had to turn the heat down. :D I'm glad to see that you are all handling this like pros and this is only the 1st of January. The days are longer! :D

  8. PS I love your home.

  9. Hope the cold subsides in your area too - we are experiencing the same thing seems like it has been below 0 the entire month of December except a day here and there with this last week being the worse because of wind chills. We had some -47 or so days... take care

  10. That Sadie is one smart cookie! :)

  11. You are living in frigid temps, you poor dear! We have it "over the moon" with snow, and it is cold, but you take the prize in the freezing temp department. Be safe, stay warm . . . Love the gesture of wrapping your scarf around the doggie! LOVE, for sure!

  12. Cold weather is not descriptive enough for what you're getting now. Bone-chilling, ewe-killing is apt though. Wow, your ewe Carly is amazing and a tribute to your care and her thriftiness.

    Sandra, you never cease to amaze me and I count you as a mentor and someone to emulate. Really.

  13. Hi Sandra! Is THAT your house? It's gorgeous! Yay for the tough old ewe!
    Wow, I feel cold just reading this post. It has warmed up a bit here. I pray it warms up there today.
    Tea and soup and doggie cuddles. Please, God. Keep Sandra warm.

  14. Dear Sandra ~ Your weather sounds frightful to me. I am so glad you and your animal friends are surviving. I hope it does warm up for you some so that you will have some blessed relief from the cold.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  15. Hooray for Carly! I like tough old ewes. May your sun shine brightly, your wind die to a whisper, and your stove glow warmly in the evenings.

  16. I've been thinking of you and all your critters, hoping you all survive these horribly low temps and wind.

    Love that image of your house -

  17. Oh that shortbread. My SIX YEAR OLD ovens have been out since before Christmas and we are waiting to see what the company is going to do.

    I loved reading the answers to the questions. Stay warm inside as much as you can. It is cold here, too. WAY TOO COLD! xo Diana

  18. Oh it has been a cold winter...must even be harder when you have to go outside to tend the animals. We have had to cover the snow with dry leaves, so our pugs can stay outside long enough...sometimes it takes several tries...

  19. "Good manners are never out of season" that! I do enjoy baking but did a little less this year yet I still had too many leftovers. Sadie looks so cute bundled up. That is really cold, praying it warms up soon......

  20. Sandra, here in Australia I just can't begin to imagine such cold weather. I love how you care for your animals. I do hope they all survive this cold. Look after yourself too, you are such a role model and inspiration. Be warm and safe.

  21. I still haven't gone outside ... but with your sweet animals, you have no choice. Be careful out there ...


  22. O, these photos!!!

    I often think of you and your animals - especially in this coldness these days!

    The horse with the white ice in the nose, the sheep eating christmas-trees.....THE SAME AS MINE!! Good idea, ah,sister ??! :)

    The dog with the warm coat, the snow in the wool of the sheep.....

    Brave, brave Thistle-Family!!

    Our weather?? Its spring since before Christmas, O MAAANN!! What a climate....

    Greetins also from Xaver!

  23. Gosh, that looks cold. Y'all keep that up there, would ya? :) Nice pictures though. I'm glad the animals made it through the night OK. The bird may turn up unscathed. Hope so. And I never knew that about Christmas trees. I'm a hard worker but I fear I'd be such a lousy farmer. You are a wonder.

    My husband is a Myna Bird. That man can imitiate just about any noise or speech pattern! So can his sister. She does a really hilarious Valley Girl that is a scream. It's amazing to listen to them. I'm lucky I even sound coherant. We use a lot of English terms and spellings too. I started watching English comedies and reading English books, especially history, in the 1980's. I preferred it so much it stayed with me. The proper English culture is so much superior to the new black anti-American culture.

    Stay warm my friend. ~:)

  24. If that is your does stick right up there where the wind would blow coldly! When this cold spell passes I hope you will sleep *really* well!

  25. we had that super frigid cold here in the ozarks too-we are now in for a bit of warm up and lots and lots of rain-sounds like ice in our future-I think this has been a rough winter for allot of us.
    stay warm and cozy

  26. Sorry to be so late in commenting, Sandra. I do hope you have defrosted by now! Goodness, those animals. I commend you for trying so hard to take care of all of them on your own. God bless you, every one.

  27. Dearest Sandra:
    I hope by now you're starting to warm up a bit. I'm sure your animals appreciate everything that you do for them. You're a wonderful steward, and I was so happy to see that Carly survived.
    I'll be praying that the weather changes soon for you.

  28. Bless your heart -- having to take care of everything and everyone yourself. But you do it well, my friend. Hope the sun in shining and the skies are blue for you today. xo

  29. Reading your post made me even more thankful to be a human that gets to live indoors rather than an animal having to be outdoors.

    Though we're in the 40s right now, we made it to 80 degrees at some point this, from shivering to sweating and back again.

    I enjoyed your photographs. I wish we could get snow like that here!

    Have a great weekend!

  30. Frigid or not, it was a lovely post to read! :)
    You had it much harder than we did even though you're a bit farther south.
    Hope you're enjoying a bit of a thaw this week!


  31. I never would've thought to feed the sheep the tree! Shortbread is good stuff.


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