Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Report From the Frozen North

Its cold. This morning I woke to find the mercury had dropped to -10. Its not uncommon for it to get this cold up here, though it is uncommon this early in the season. I knew it was going to be a fine day when I turned on the vacuum pump and had no vacuum. Seems the steam from the hot wash water the night before had found its way into the pump and froze the vanes up. The salamander died the day before, so I had no easy way to get it going. It took an hour to get it running with the help of a syringe, flashlight and a secret mix of diesel fuel and oil. After milking we had several frozen drinking cups in the cow barn to thaw. Water from somewhere had froze solid in the end if the gutter. 45 minutes with a splitting maul (that will never be the same) and a wrecking bar had me ready to clean the barn. Flipping the switch yielded some strange sounds and flying belt. I did eventually get it done. Every job on the farm seemed to take twice as long to do today.....such is my life from now until spring.


At 12/14/2005 4:35 PM, Blogger Herrick Kimball said...

Hang in there Scott !

At 12/14/2005 5:03 PM, Blogger JFC said...

All in a [winter] day's work.

Man, I'll never make it to being a real agrarian. Of course, it helps that I'm done in the more temperate region of southwest Missouri, but still ...

My admiration is unbounded.


At 12/14/2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Northern Farmer said...

I remember when the cows went outside to a wood heated stocktank and a person cleaned the gutters everyday by hand. Never no frozen watercups and the barn cleaner always worked. But nowadays isn't technoligy wonderful!

Truthfully Scott, I "know" how you feel. But better days do come.

At 12/15/2005 8:46 AM, Blogger Missouri Rev said...

Just last week we hit ten below and had 9" of snow added to it, which is very unusual for these parts of Missouri. The hot water tap in our bathtub froze while the cold water remained open. I'll never figure that one out. I've got to chuckle though, since all of the "weather experts" had predicted a dryer and warmer winter than normal.

At 12/15/2005 2:17 PM, Blogger Matt said...


The next time you have trouble with ice, remember waters' trinitarian property as it points the The three-in-one who created it as such.

I think that will brighten your day. (please detect my sentimentality)

At 12/15/2005 3:13 PM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

I have but a brief comment, and that is "Burrr!" ~Sorry burned the rest of my words in Holtzman's Hearth to stay warm...Cold here in Catskill, as I got up at 3AM this morning to spend 3 hours unloading a tractor trailer, as my neighbor might quaintly say "I feel ya' dog!"
(Did I just write that?)

At 12/15/2005 4:23 PM, Anonymous KS Milkmaid said...

Oh Scott, we were there last week. Actually, Brian was. We were -5 in our open front shed. Everything froze. Heat lamps didn't help, nothing did. We have been so blessed not to have it this cold the past five years. Of course, the week we had this weather was the week we had our big customer carpools come in. We still managed to sell 168 gallons of milk despite the freeze. I feel for you and I admire you and my husband who have a loyalty this city girl can't seem to wrap her mind around. I just watched him truck out to the shed with awe/admiration. I am a weenie. If this ministry had to rely on me, we would call it a snow day and shut the the farm down for a day. And why not? When you are sick at your city job you can take a sick day. I mean, the schools close too. Pathetic, we city folk, seem to think a cow will not produce milk on below zero days or that somehow they will magically milk themselves. Milkmen have just moved to a saint status in my eyes. Thanks for your hard work and your dedication.

At 12/15/2005 6:13 PM, Blogger TNfarmgirl said...

So far our lowest temp has been 12 degrees in the milking parlor (which is open at both ends ) Two of my boys milk in the morning (15 and 12 years old - we milk 2 cows) and they milk by hand....they are frozen stiff after cleaning the cows - then they have to milk....I admire them so much.

The best offering I can give are steaming mugs of homemade hot chocolate when they come in the door - I am with the Milkmaid - if it was up to me I'd be tempted to call it a snow day :)

Blessings on you and your faithfulness!


At 12/15/2005 7:56 PM, Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

You're beating us to the bottom of the thermometer. We only got down to -5°F this morning. Fortunately the winds held off and it warmed to 22°F during the day - we had bright sun and clear blue skies. It made me appreciate my new thinsulate leather work gloves - an early Christmas present from me to me. :)

At 12/16/2005 5:00 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

Hello Everyone!

It has warmed up a bit. Its now 32 and freezing rain! One extreme or the other I guess.


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