Sunday, March 01, 2009

rain, rain, and possibly snow

It is a complete mess outside here, as it rained almost all day yesterday, apparently all night long, and is still going right now. The temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and for the first time in a long time, I've actually closed the geldings in stalls to keep them dry and keep the stalls from getting drafty.

Salina and the donkeys have the barn aisle plus two stalls, and I've left them two places they can look out if they like, but even so, Rafer Johnson is moping. He really dislikes this rainy, cold weather. I have tried to make things interesting by putting hay nets in two places, and hay piles in two more, and we had NPR on for awhile this morning, but of course what a donkey really wants is warm sunshine, an open field, and a nice dust spot to roll in.

Right now he has none of those.

I started Salina, Keil Bay, and Cody on a bit of alfalfa pellets in their dinner last night, and I am so happy to report they loved it. The animal fat smelled odd in the pellets we tried several months ago, and now that I am smelling the real pure thing, I understand why they blew and snorted and refused to eat the tainted ones.

I noticed yesterday that the Southern States alfalfa pellets label had alfalfa and soybean oil listed, but no animal fat, so perhaps they have gotten some feedback and changed the way they're making them.

I can hardly bear to mention the forecast we are looking at for later today. Depending on how things track, it appears this rain may change to sleet, and then later tonight snow. Right now they're saying an inch of sleet and up to 6 inches of snow!

As a child, or even a young adult, this news would have been cause for celebration, but now I view it from a different perspective, primarily, how it will affect my daily routine.

I have my February de-wormers ready and now will have to wait until we get through this rough weather. I don't like to de-worm the horses when it's too cold or we have adverse weather - I figure the stress on their systems is enough without adding more.

So that has to wait, and I'm focusing on keeping everyone happy and fed and hydrated and mucked out.

The crazy thing is that today we are looking at snow and a few nights of temps in the teens. Next weekend we will have temps in the 70s and sunshine again! Which is a good thing, but what a swing of the weather pendulum.

A good writer friend emailed that she planned to stay in this weekend, and read and write and relax. I think I'll make some tea, light a candle, and try to get on that wavelength!


ponymaid said...

Alas, alack, I fear March is here to stay. It's terribly hard for us donkeys - we crave the warmth of the Southern Hemisphere. I am living vicariously through the photo of Rafer sunning himself while Redford looks on. I also love the description of your collection of foodstuffs - I do love the thought of a full pantry, though I myself am forced to live on a pittance. And now the weight-loss powder...

MitMoi said...

I am already burrowed in and writing. I'm telling myself that I will not cook (as is my usual MO) but take advantage of this cozy time to write, write, write.

I hope the wavelength hits you too!

billie said...

Oh, Sheaffer, even Rafer is living vicariously via his own photo today!

I believe you and Rafer Johnson would be quite the pair of partners to run a lovely old "country store" - the kind with bins full of good things, including a row of all sorts of mechanical gadgets and nuts and bolts and such.

Rafer loves assisting me in the feed room, but Redford has an impetuous streak that simply does not allow him to have access to bins full of food, so Rafer doesn't get to help the way he used to.

I was thinking you might perhaps tell the woman that she ought to go through her photo albums and find a few of herself at a younger age, in order that she might compare them to her current self and realize that we all get a bit more portly as we advance into maturity.

Maybe if she reminded herself, she would be able to relax about micro-managing your waistline, although I know she does it out of concern.

Rafer and Redford will soon be trying a diet based on a balanced timothy cube, which has beet pulp and vits/minerals incorporated, which I will soak and mix with some salt, freshly ground flax, and Vit. E in oil. I hope they like the new mixture. It is supposed to be very good for miniature donkeys and ponies who don't need lots of calories.

billie said...

MitMoi, the *idea* of the wavelength is very much present, but I keep getting sidetracked by the weather. I do have the mug of tea and mean to light that candle right NOW.

Victoria Cummings said...

I knew that warm weather was too good to be true. Six inches is a lot for you guys! I can't even think about how much we're supposed to get. I'm hoping that the storm moves out over the Atlantic and we don't get as much snow as they are predicting.

billie said...

Victoria, the warm weather was so nice while it was here - but I'm afraid we're now dealing with the other end of the spectrum.

Right now there is no sign of snow or even sleet - but the rain is incessant and a barn gutter bent from the weight - causing a minor flood in the barn shelter. M. came out and between him fixing the gutter, digging two trenches, and me bailing with a trusty large-sized plastic yogurt container, crisis was averted. :)

What a mess though!

The horses are handling this all with great spirits.

I hope this whole front passes you by.

jme said...

we're looking at probably a foot of snow tonight too, and you're right - weather never concerned me before i had my own horses to manage. not it's just another cause for preparedness and occasional worry :-( and is the cause of very bored and ornery equines :-\ if i have to keep them in tomorrow, they just might mutiny!

hope your storm is forgiving and everyone can get back to their regular routine soon!

billie said...

It appears we are now in between the rain and the snow, if the weather gurus are on target.

I'm just relieved the rain has stopped for now - will deal with the next thing when it comes. :/

So far Salina has been a bit unruly a couple of times, and the geldings, especially Keil Bay, are using their hay nets like boxing balls, but otherwise we have no mutinies in progress. :)

I finally opened stall doors and that probably helped.

The idea of a foot of snow is enough to make me go hide in the closet!

I hope we all get less than what they're saying, and that we can thaw out quickly and get on with spring.

Grey Horse Matters said...

What crazy weather the whole country has experienced this year. Just yesterday we were so happy almost all the snow had melted and now this prediction of a foot or more with 40mph winds. It seems just when you think it is over it's not. My husband cut his trip short to be able to fly home yesterday instead of tomorrow.
I hope you get lots of writing done and stay cozy. I sometimes wonder if the horses don't get fed up with winter too? I'm sure they will deal with the weather as they always do though and take it in stride.

billie said...

Arlene, I'm glad to hear your husband has gotten home ahead of the storm.

The very weird thing I noticed a little while ago in the barn is that Salina is suddenly shedding like crazy - almost as if she is a week ahead and knows that by this time next weekend we will be warmer than ever.

I've typed in 9 pages of edits this afternoon, the woodstove is cranking up to high heat, and dinner is in the oven.

There is still a chance this thing will track one way or the other and miss us, or at least that's what I'm hoping for!